But Canada is one nation that isn't considered in this discussion. Our vast neighbor to the north, polite and genial (except for some twits in the former government) sits by the side of the USA quietly watching and smiling at the debate. One Canadian, however, had her say, and the Calgary Sun carries the story:
Dr. Mahfooz Kanwar recently attended Calgary's largest mosque for a funeral.
At one point in the proceedings, a man Kanwar has known for more than three decades led the prayers.
"He was saying in Urdu (the official language of Pakistan): 'Oh, God, protect us from the infidels, who pollute us with their vile ways,'" recalls Kanwar, a professor of sociology at Mount Royal College in Calgary.
"I stood up and grabbed him by the lapels, which was shocking even to me because I have never done anything like that in my life and I said: 'How dare you attack my country.' And then I addressed the crowd and said: 'I have known this man for more than 30 years and he has been on welfare for almost all of those years.' "
"Then I said to this semi-literate man, 'you should thank me and those you call infidels.'"He asked me why and I said: 'Because the taxes I pay are putting food on your table as are the taxes of the so-called "infidels.' "
Homa Arjomand, who lives in Toronto and headed Canada's successful campaign of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada, says like Kanwar, she too once embraced the idea of multiculturalism.
Arjomand, who calls herself a "victim" of sharia law -- a strict set of rules based on Islam's holy book, the Qur'an, that subjugates women, as well as allows for the chopping off of hands for theft etc. -- says part of the reason she decided to immigrate to Canada was because she had heard about official multiculturalism.
"I thought how wonderful, but not anymore," she declares.
"I came here for Canadian values, not sharia values. I fled Iran on horseback because the values there threatened my very life. If people want to live under sharia or the way they lived back home, let them go back," she said.
Kanwar agrees. He says the time has come for the Canadian government to tell new immigrants "once you're in Canada we expect you to be totally devoted to Canada -- no divided loyalties."
"This country," added Kanwar, "is a democracy and democracy is founded on Christian principles.
"Canada is -- like it or not, take it or leave it -- a country founded on Christian principles where the vast majority of citizens are Christians," said Kanwar.
CanadaIt's heartening to hear a Muslim state a clear and simple fact: that Canada is founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Further, it is encouraging to hear him say that immigrants who aren't happy with this reality, should reconsider their residency here.
Judeo-Christian values, in fact, are the foundation of all Western democracies, and are the reason why countless millions of people of other faiths and cultures have left, and are leaving, their countries to live in Europe, Britain, and North America.
One simple litmus test of which values provide a more open and democratic life for its citizens--those based on the Judeo-Christian tradition or those based on other faiths--is to look at the traffic flow of immigrants: Is it from Christian countries to countries where the vast majority of people are non-Christian, or is it from non-Christian countries to those whose laws are based on Judeo-Christian values?
Overwhelmingly, it is the latter.
-by new kid on the block
Carved in stone above the Parliament Buildings of Canada it is written: "He shall have Dominion from sea to sea". This passage from the Psalms was viewed by our Christian founders as a reference to the coming reign of Christ. And the thousands of historic churches sprinkled throughout this nation bear witness to the fact that Canada was not founded on some broad or nebulous concept of multiculturalism; it was founded on Christian principles and values.
-by Richard Ball
Amen!! We are a Constitutional Monarchy founded by Christians. It is because of these values that people were welcomed from all over the world. The parable of the Good Samaritan shows we must treat all justly and with compassion and mercy.
-by Roy Eappen
As a "non-believer",I have never been threatened by Harper's "God Bless"comments,it is easier to trust a man who wears something so personal on his sleeve.
As long as church is separated from state it is wholly acceptable behavior,given our history.As long as people are free to have their own beliefs,it honors us to respect and protect the heritage that has made this country great!
-by Canadian Observer
James: I'm an agnostic, who used to be a very devout Christian. I know the foundations of Christianity better than most people, including its primary source docuements, and reformative moments. And, I can assure you, that Christianity of the New Testament and Islam have nothing in common other than monotheism. The Koran and the "traditional" teachings that make up Islam are completely unreformed and completely locked into 1400 year old modes of viewing god, sin, crime, and punishmen, and life on earth. Islam has not had a reformation that has made it compatible with pluralistic society.
"Moderate" Muslims are struggling to come to terms with this, but usually they do so by ignoring their own foundational teachings. Since so much of Islam is not Koran based, but based on traditional teachings that came after, they have a very difficult job ahead of them.
Making the New Testament Bible fit with liberal democracy is a cake-walk compared to Islam. And, let's not forget that most early immigrants to North America were Christians who were seeking freedom from Catholic and Protostant states and pursecution in Europe... the American constitution is a wonderful testament of Christian New Testament values entrenched in a way that keeps those values from being hijacked by the state. They took the core values yet separated church and state... brilliant.
-by Debris Trail