One of the things I receive messages about is how in the public school, certain Muslim books aren't appropriate because they are too religious. In order for the books to be in those spaces, they need to be secular in content without teaching any type of faith based doctrine.
But that got me thinking just how secular are our Canadian schools?
It's true that schools don't teach any type of faith directly. But are they really secular when kids practice their counting on Halloween themed sheets as soon as October comes? Or learning sight words with Christmas trees and mistletoes? Or Valentine's Day or Easter egg sheets? I can only imagine what the classroom bookshelves look like during each one of those times?
I remember in my first two years in Canada, my ESL teachers got me greeting cards for those holidays without any consideration of my own. Without a doubt, we have come a long way in the years since then. Today, there is a lot more room for flexibility and open discussion between parents and teachers to come to common ground.
As a person who practices the Muslim faith, I don't expect that the school system teaches my Muslim faith to the non-Muslim majority. But I do wonder at times, what being secular really means?