3/03/2006

More Thoughts on Kirpans

In much the same way as I believe that guns don't kill people, people kill people, I believe that daggers don't kill people. People kill people.
I have been doing some more thinking about kirpans and baptised Sikh children carrying them to school. While I still think it is a bad idea, part of the reason why I think this is that there is such a lot of violence in our schools. Because of the type of violence (not necessarily violence itself, since that has always existed) our attitude towards weapons is immature.
In certain civilizations long gone, war, honour and the correct use of weapons were tied together. If you know anything about the Spartans or the Samurai, then you will know what I mean. For a soldier to drop his sword or shield (depending on the culture) in battle, or to flee, or to act in any way that was deemed to be dishonourable, was a big deal.
What if violence in our schools was not an issue? What if everyone viewed any type of weapon as an instrument to be used honorably? I suspect that kirpans in the classroom would be less of a problem. In fact, I doubt anyone would even think twice about it. No one would even consider the possibility of a Sikh student attacking another student with their kirpan because that is not its purpose.
This is not the case, however. The reactions towards kirpans, the fact that it was ever an issue at all is, in my opinion, a symptom of a much larger problem in our society.

9 comments:

Rob Skinner said...

The Supreme Court decision is so silly that they must be just sticking their finger to Harper for daring to expose judicial selection to the public. If Sikhs are allowed weapons on religious grounds, then Moslems can wear hijabs, an excellent device to conceal automatic weapons to kill the infidels as Islam demands. Pity the poor Jewish student in room full of Moslem costumes.

The school boards are caught in the middle. If they don't have adequate security, then they are liable but they are not allowed a blanket rule banning weapons. I can see the need for screening of children as they enter school. And the need for a panel of experts to judge the sharpness of a knife or the readiness of a revolver.

I saw a post on another blog suggesting it was a retirement plan for lawyers and cheaper than a Royal Commission. Do we place a panel of lawyers in each school or do we broadcast the scanning results over the Internet? Is the picture on the Internet enough or does someone have to test the sharpness of each knife?

Better a ban on weapons and on religious symbols as France has than killing our children through political correctness.

Dark Blue Tory said...

I'm torn between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps this can be used as a precedent for religous freedom the next time a homosexual decides to challenge a ruling based on the Charter.

I don't know if it's a silly ruling, but basing a judgement on the "honour system" is kind of ridiculous to me.

But then again, which is more important?

The right to religion, or the right to life, liberty and the security of the person?

I wish I had been more involved in this debate from day one because as a true believer in our rights, I'm torn six of one, half a dozen of the other.

It's very interesting indeed. Notwithstanding clause, anyone?

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Just for the record, a hijab is a head scarf.

I'm not sure how a Muslim woman would conceal an automatic weapon in a head scarf, but that would be a sight to see.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure no one has ever challenged the wearing of hijabs in Canada. So it's not a case of "If we allow kirpans, next we'll have to allow hijabs". We DO allow hijabs. Always have.

Pinky Mouse said...

Thought provoking argument.

ferrethouse said...

Children should not carry knives to school. I don't care what you call them or what your stupid religious text says about them. Our children are NOT samurai so the analogy is weak. We DO allow modern day samurai to carry weapons - they are called police officers.

ferrethouse said...

Further to this point. In Samurai times, ONLY Samurai were allowed to carry swords. Anyone else who carried them was to be killed on the spot.

Ruth said...

LKO,
There is more to hijab than just a headscarf. Hijab is concerned with a Muslim woman's modesty and dress. It can include just the headscarf, but could go as far as chador or even a burqa.
But, I think you are right about allowing Muslim girls to wear hijab in schools. I have to say, I have never heard of an issue with it.

ferrethouse,
Modern day police officers are NOT the equivalent of ancient Samurai. The role of a Samurai was to protect the emperor. Sometimes, their role was perverted and they would harm regular joes. This was the reason for the development of certain forms of karate. Whether or not our kids are Samurai has nothing to do with my argument at all. Please go back and read what I wrote. If you think my argument was weak, then you may have missed the point entirely. I am not saying that children should be allowed to carry daggers to school. In fact, if you go back and read, you will see that I say this explicitly. What I am saying though is that our reaction to kirpans in school is a result of our attitude towards weapons in general... an attitude you have just demonstrated.

v said...

Just skip to the conclusion. Either you are for arming kids (but only kids from one religion) with knives in school, or you are against it. Me, I'm against it. You can make all the silly arguments you want but at the end of the day the pro-knives-for-certain-kids people have to live with their bigoted pro-knife position.

Ruth said...

anonalogue,
I think your view is overly simplistic. As I have said, I am not in favour of allowing kirpans in school. However, as I have also said, if our attitudes towards weapons were different, this would not even be an issue.

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