710 TRETHEWEY DRIVE # 306
TORONTO, ONTARIO, M6M 5A4
Tel: (416) 249-8102 Fax: (416) 249-4333
PRESENTATION TO TDSB'S HUMAN RIGHTS TASK GROUP
5110 YONGE STREET, NORTH YORK CIVIC CENTRE, TORONTO, ONT.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2000
Madam Task group manager and Task group members,
My name is Muhammad Dhubat Omar Haile and on behalf of my family, I would like to thank you first for this opportunity and speak to you tonight about my concerns as a parent who has two children in the system and another one coming soon. Now I want to comment on the TDSB's Human Rights Draft. I believe this policy does not properly address the principles of inclusiveness and the protection of our children.
Toronto is a city where people of different cultures, different colors, different ethnic and different religions live. Therefore, any policy setout by any public institution should reflect this diversity and should be enshrined in it the principles of fairness and equity.
As we all know, The UN Human Rights Declaration and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Ontario Human Rights Code do not exclude any particular faith group of people. In other wards, any human rights policy instituted by this Board should be inclusive to all sects of the diverse communities living in Toronto. This means that upholding or supporting the rights of certain groups should not constitute the denial and deprivation of rights of other groups. Or to put an other way, that the Board does not adopt human rights policy that promote and impose values and lifestyles at the expense of other groups. For example, like the recent adoption by TDSB the document plan of sexual orientation without public consultation. The final Human Rights Policy document must protect Muslims by explicitly including terms such as ANTI-ISLAM and ANTI-MUSLIM in the hate-group behaviors listed in the document.
The Principal of the Rights of Parents over the Education of their Children
According to United Nations Human Rights declaration, Article 26, section (3), "Parents have prior rights to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children." In addition, according to Article 26, section (2) "It [education] shall promote understanding, tolerance, friendship, among all nations, racial or religious...." In the spirit of this article, divisive issues, such as certain values and lifestyles, should be eliminated or removed from any adopted Human Rights Policy.
Moreover, the final Human Rights Policy must clearly state that the parents should be consulted on what their children learn from schools.
Furthermore, the laws of this country and our common sense tell us that children should be protected from all types of harm, informational, spiritual, physical or otherwise. Consequently, the TDSB has to discharge its responsibility to protect our children from instructional material that promotes the agenda of influential and powerful groups; and such policy has to introduce Human Rights Policy in a way that reflects the best interests of our children.
Ladies and Gentlemen: the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that, "Every individual...has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination base on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability." Therefore, the Board is obliged to uphold the rights of Muslims, like any other group, as guaranteed by the Charter.
Finally as a parent I am expressing before you my parental rights and views so many parents in my community, and other communities share that as well.