What happens when you see a person wearing a symbol of faith? Do you make presumptions? Think about it.
I am a convert to Islam, and have been practicing a progressive form of Islam called Sufism for awhile now, so that means as a Muslim woman I wear the head scarf. I do not wear it all the time, but when I do wear it is immediately identifies me as Muslim just like when you see a Jewish man wearing the kippah.
In my family, who have all been born and raised in Canada for several generations you will find crosses worn, the kippah, and now even the hijab. Symbols of faith have always been worn in this country, and rarely did they incite the hate, and mistrust that they do today.
While wearing the hijab here in Toronto, at a bus stop I was told to go home, and pushed into the street, at a bank on the Danforth I was asked what was that garb on my head, and at leading bloggers conference here in Toronto again I was asked what I wore on my head. I wear the hijab it is simply a symbol that I choose to believe.
Does that make me incompetent? someone to question? someone to mistrust? someone to hurl comments at?
In Quebec right now, there is debate about the wearing of symbols of faith for the civil service. Why? They say it is about the cultural heritage of Quebec.
Part of that heritage were teachers that were nuns that covered theirs heads. Many nuns still do. Are Quebecers forgetting their great Catholic heritage? Do they forget that for generations families like mine settled Montreal, and anglophones and the french got along, and built a city.
When we stir the pot of mistrust, of ignorance and tolerate it I must ask what are we willing to become? We have a wonderful charter of rights and freedoms in Canada. Canada attracts over 300,000 new immigrants every year. They think we are a good country..are they right? They think we are tolerant, that they can live a life of working hard and faith here, are they right?
Recently in the Niagara region a young Muslim girl walking down the street was assaulted, in Quebec a woman on a bus was told to go home, Jewish and Muslim places of worship have been vandalized. Is that the Canada we want?
Tolerance and respect are important parts in a society that is functional. That is what I want for my Canada. I want what my grandfathers, and great grandfathers fought for a safe haven, a place where we could live faith, where we could come to know and appreciate each other. What do you want for the future of Quebec and Canada?
How do you feel about the wearing of symbols of faith? do you wear any?