That non-weapon sure is pointy

Reciting “It’s not a weapon” won’t allow us to avoid the debate

I am unpleasantly surprised to find Colleague Geddes sowing nonsense in the Quebec National Assembly kirpan debate—a conversation that has quite enough of it already. In his introduction to a Q&A with Liberal Sikh MP Navdeep Bains, Geddes links to the 2006 Supreme Court decision in Multani v. Commission scolaire Marguerite‑Bourgeoys, stating that the court “found that the kirpan is a religious symbol, not a weapon.” Begging his pardon, the court found no such thing. The court’s members are carefully trained in logic: it would never occur to them that an item had to be either a religious symbol or a weapon, and could not possibly be both. That would be a pretty silly conclusion! Justice Charron actually wrote:

There is no denying that this religious object could be used wrongly to wound or even kill someone, but the question at this stage of the analysis cannot be answered definitively by considering only the physical characteristics of the kirpan. …In order to demonstrate an infringement of his freedom of religion, Gurbaj Singh does not have to establish that the kirpan is not a weapon. He need only show that his personal and subjective belief in the religious significance of the kirpan is sincere.

The court didn’t find for the appellants on the grounds that “the kirpan is not a weapon”. Indeed, all parties to the suit accepted the premise “that the kirpan, considered objectively and without the protective measures imposed by the Superior Court, is an object that fits the definition of a weapon.” The court found for the appellant because the school board’s zero-tolerance policy towards weapons, based largely on fears that the presence of a knife would somehow allow spooky negative vibes to propagate throughout the school, did not constitute a minimal infringement upon the rights of a religion that happens to insist upon the carrying of a weapon. (Anyone who has studied the remarkable history of the Sikhs can only be surprised that they don’t carry about five of them.)

I hate to break it to Nav Bains and to admirers of leading comparative-religion scholar Michael Ignatieff, but reciting “It’s not a weapon” won’t give us a magic wormhole we can all leap through to avoid debates over religious accommodation in public services. As I understand matters, and I am perfectly prepared to receive instruction on this point, the whole point of the kirpan is that it’s an avowedly defensive weapon. The reference books, including those written by Sikhs, tell us that it is worn precisely to signify and reinforce the Sikh’s wholly admirable preparedness to protect his faith, his community, and innocent human life. I suppose I could have added the words “just as a handgun might be”, but that would send altogether too many of my readers scrambling for the Preparation H.

Respectable efforts to establish a modus vivendi on the kirpan in secured public spaces can’t begin with evasion if they hope to be successful (and certainly it sets a terrible precedent for evasion to be designated courage). I’ll add that the problems are not really all that thorny for those of us who have never consented to fanaticism about security theatre or to cretinizing “zero tolerance” of blades in schools.




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That non-weapon sure is pointy

  1. Of far more interest to readers ready to impose some compromise which they are sure wouild still allow a Sikh to practice his religion is the "personal and subjective" bit.

  2. Of far more interest to readers ready to impose some compromise which they are sure wouild still allow a Sikh to practice his religion is the "personal and subjective" bit.

  3. I just can't help thinking that this debate over "pubic safety" is tinged with xenophobia – not by all, I am sure, but by many. I hope I am wrong.

    • I would suggest it is filled with moral posturing and faux xenophilia. Because clearly under no circumstances, and especially not religious ones, would a white christian be allowed to carry a weapon in the HoC. And make no mistake, you can use a kirpan to hurt someone – it's a weapon.

      So this is an instance of "positive discrimination".

      People are afraid to appear racist so they let the Sikhs carry around pointy daggers. But not other races. RACISM!

      • well, the "fear of others" that I am seeing on comment boards this morning seems rather real to me.

        • faux xenophilia – that's the stuff you're guilty of. xenophobia – that's the stuff you're seeing on comment boards.

          dont you know your greek etymology?

          • Well you don't seem to see a difference between race and religion.

      • Because clearly under no circumstances, and especially not religious ones, would a white christian be allowed to carry a weapon in the HoC

        What do you think the Mace is?

        • And no one is allowed to touch the Mace.

          • Prince Phillip routinely carries a honking big sword into Parliament during the Queen's speech…last I checked, he's a white Christian.

          • Ok sorry, a white christian MP.

          • If the MP in question were a naval officer, and wished to appear in full dress uniform including his sword for such a ceremonial occasion, he most certainly would be allowed to. The point is the distinction between weapon-as-symbol and weapon-as-weapon. The kirpan seems to me to be a weapon-as-symbol, and therefore, if worn sheathed, and not of an outrageous size and sharpness, is just as allowable as the Prince's sword or the Sergeant-at-Arms' Mace.

          • A naval officer? Um… ya, and police officers are allowed to carry guns. Your point?

          • Read my comment again – the point was obvious.

          • I actually agree with your point. But I dont believe that a similar exemption would be made for a white person in a similar situation. Your weapon as symbol or weapon as weapon thing is correctly applied for Navdeep Bains, but I dont trust the left to apply it correctly if the person is white.

            Too much hypocrisy from these guys over these issues to be taken seriously.

          • My 72-year-old father-in-law carries a pocket knife around with him at all times. A religious symbol? No. A weapon? Also no. But I'm willing to bet he'd have it taken from him in places where a Sikh with a kirpan would be allowed to pass through. So I agree: if the kirpan is treated differently, then there is reverse discrimination occuring.

            I think some of our security measures are absurd, but if they are to be applied they must be applied equally.

    • Don't be silly. This is a completely valid public-policy debate. Xenophobia, bigotry, small-mindeness, and racism have nothing to do with it.

      Just like with the turbans-in-the-Legion debate twenty years ago.

      • Jsut like the turbans-in-the-Legion debate it is an example of bigotry, xenophobia and small-minded reacism. Otherwise why raise the issue? Does anyone in the Bloc actually think MPs are in danger of being attacked by people weilding their Kirpans as weapons? Why would they do that? This is nothing more than the Bloc trying to stir up antagnism among Sikhs so they can say – "look at those multi-cultural Canadians – they all hate us – let's leave". The fact their position also appeals to Canadians who don't like people with brown skin is, I suspect, irrelevant to them, but not to many of the people posting on this board it would seem.

  4. I just can't help thinking that this debate over "pubic safety" is tinged with xenophobia – not by all, I am sure, but by many. I hope I am wrong.

  5. The "is or is not a weapon" debate is not really relevant from a legal perspective. Bottles and pens, for example, have been used as weapons, and resulted in charges under section 267 of the Code.
    http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/kam

    The question is whether it is reasonable to curtail this particular religious expression/freedom, which like other sharp objects may be used to hurt someone, for purposes of ensuring security. It seems to me that it is highly unlikely that it would be used for violent purposes, as there are millions of Sikhs, and such instances are rare.

    • In British Columbia, after the last round of "We cannot ban the Kirpan 'cause its racist" , there was a large skirmish at one of the Sikh temples between two sides of the congregation(?) and you bet – the kirpans came out and sikhs had to be treated at the hospital for wounds caused by Kirpans.

      A Kirpan is a weapon and to say it isn't, is a politically correct person with his/her head up their – in the sand.

  6. Every country marks itself off from the world with a virtual wall of symbols…their own flag, their own anthem, their own animals, their own icons, their own language, their own holidays, and their own myths. Even if the myths and so on make no sense.

    Us against 'the other'. Us against 'them'….is the message.

    Quebec has been going down this road for a long time….and at long last they've reached the dangerous end-point of racial purity.

    'Multiculturalism is not a Quebec value' ….because 'we' are pur laine is the subtext.

    So out with Anglais and hijab, and now kirpans. The question is…what's next?

    • But it is not just a Quebec thing – I am seeing a lot of xenophobic comments on the Globe and Mail's comment boards this morning.

      • I agree, there is plenty of it to go around. But in Quebec it has become party policy….in a party that has been govt before, and could be again.

        Other countries also have right-wing nationalist parties…they appeal to a segment of the population…so we always need to guard against them. We don't need to go through the 'racial purity' crap again.

    • Quebecers have also gone down the road of a terrorist group kidnapping and murdering a member of their government. They have had a madman come into their legislative assembly and kill three persons.

      Just a few weeks ago, their electoral officer judged it perfectly legal for a group to use the emblem of the FLQ to inform donors to the party in power, by personal letters addressed to their home, that they and their family are targets, and for that group to publish the personal addresses of these donors on the web.

      None of this exists elsewhere in Canada, that I am aware of. I think that it's possible that the National Assembly security needs differ from those of the PEI legislative assembly, or others. The security director of the NA should be allowed to make to make those decisions.

      As for the Bloc proposals and Louise Beaudoin's comments, pure xenophobia in my opinion. There I would agree with you.

      • It always starts with something that sounds reasonable….that you can 'sell' to the public….then it trails off into absurdity

        To wit: Because we had white male RCs involved in murder, and because we had a white male RC murder in the legislature….THEREFORE we must ban Muslim female hijabs and Sikh male kirpans.

        • Indeed, but it would appear to be the world that we live in. We've had muslims terrorists slam airplanes in the Twin Towers therefore we must forbid old ladies from carrying their knitting needles onboard and have people randomly remove their shoes so we can smell their socks.

          The security measures in the National Assembly and elsewhere may be over the top, but they do reflect the security measures adopted by others who have been the victim of violent attacks.

          • The airplane argument again?

            Since the National Assembly doesn't meet in an airplane, it's not relevant.

          • Why not? What does altitude have to do with risk evaluation?

            Lortie did not put the National Assembly in an airplane before shooting.

            I have never looked into this but I would bet my shirt that the Congress and the Pentagon have strict security measures in place. They're on terra ferma.

            It's about the history of attacks and the likelihood of further attacks – whether in the air or on earth.

          • LOL you are beginning to sound like Madame Defarge!

            Altitude has everything to do with it…the plane is itself a weapon….and they are stuck in mid-air. People can't run for the exits.

            In any case this is all American nonsense that we don't have to follow on terra firma in Canada.

            Although, yes….. Sikhs can enter congress and the pentagon with kirpans.

            Why not take your knitting to the National Assembly and see what happens?

          • Thre you go : visitors are prohibited from carring knitting needles to the Capitol Building.
            http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/Visit/Visitor%20Sa

            That's because some muslim crashed a plane into the Twin Towers.

            I will ask the National Assembly and let you know.

          • Well kirpans aren't prohibited.

            I think you have a clear-cut case of discrimination against knitters here! Sue!

            Don't 'ask' the assembly, just show up with knitting. You'll likely be ushered right in.

          • I once was at a baseball game in NYC talking with a man who, thanks to a nice donation to his Senator, got himself a tour of the White House.

            In it some man had a 2" little pocket knife on him, and didn't want to give it up before entering. The Secret Service agent gave him three options: "one, you hand over your knife. two, you walk back onto the street. three, I consider you a security threat to the President and I shoot you in the head until you stop moving". (Interestingly enough, the President was not in the house at the time)

            So yes, there are pretty strict security measures in U.S. government buildings.

          • Our MP Navdeep Bain has been there wearing a kirpan.

          • Not according to…MP Navdeep Bain, who has only mentioned wearing in in the House.

          • He said he wore it in the US Congress.

        • Because we had white male RCs involved in murder, and because we had a white male RC murder in the legislature….THEREFORE we must ban Muslim female hijabs and Sikh male kirpans.

          There you go having to bring race into a religious/public policy discussion. Is this an automatic reaction to you, or do you deliberately have to silence that little voice in your head warning you that you're being ludicrous every single time?

          • There are no actual 'races'….but since you're an Alberta Con, one has to explain it in simple terms.

            I'm sorry, but you can't discriminate against people on religious grounds…or on the colour of their skin.

            So whether you want to call it 'religiousism' or 'racism'….to you they aren't white christians, so they aren't 'real' people.

            Jesus was brown you know. Palestinian in fact. Jewish even. And, ahem, not a capitalist.

  7. The "is or is not a weapon" debate is not really relevant from a legal perspective. Bottles and pens, for example, have been used as weapons, and resulted in charges under section 267 of the Code.
    http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/kam

    The question is whether it is reasonable to curtail this particular religious expression/freedom, which like other sharp objects may be used to hurt someone, for purposes of ensuring security. It seems to me that it is highly unlikely that it would be used for violent purposes, as there are millions of Sikhs, and such instances are rare.

  8. Every country marks itself off from the world with a virtual wall of symbols…their own flag, their own anthem, their own animals, their own icons, their own language, their own holidays, and their own myths. Even if the myths and so on make no sense.

    Us against 'the other'. Us against 'them'….is the message.

    Quebec has been going down this road for a long time….and at long last they've reached the dangerous end-point of racial purity.

    'Multiculturalism is not a Quebec value' ….because 'we' are pur laine is the subtext.

    So out with Anglais and hijab, and now kirpans. The question is…what's next?

  9. I am sure Mr. Ignatieff would never suggest that a jailed Sikh should be allowed to carry a 20cm long kirpan 'because it's not a weapon, it's a religious symbol'. He speaks of institutions – well, how about courtrooms?

    I read that kirpans have been disallowed in courtrooms elsewhere in Canada, but I haven't read reports that these security measures were taken because, well English Canadians speak English and therefore they are narrow-minded and bigots. This kind of reasonning is usually reserved for the Kweebekees while Canadians elsewhere will continue to have the right to determine the security measures appropriate to their institutions without being labelled as racist.

  10. If a non Sikh were to carry a Kirpan, would it not be considered a weapon? Could a passerby not grab a Kirpan from a Sikh and use it as a weapon?

    • Your second point is valid!

      • That's the whole point of forbidding metal objects in places where security is a concern. Knitting needles are not allowed into the Capitol Building. They don't believe that I as a knitter am a dangerous person; they believe that someone with less noble intentions would grab my needles.

        • You could take an eye out with a Rosary cross. Are they banned?

      • So's the first point.

        • And its logical corollary: that in the hands of a person pretending to be a Sikh but who really isn't…

  11. I am sure Mr. Ignatieff would never suggest that a jailed Sikh should be allowed to carry a 20cm long kirpan 'because it's not a weapon, it's a religious symbol'. He speaks of institutions – well, how about courtrooms?

    I read that kirpans have been disallowed in courtrooms elsewhere in Canada, but I haven't read reports that these security measures were taken because, well English Canadians speak English and therefore they are narrow-minded and bigots. This kind of reasonning is usually reserved for the Kweebekees while Canadians elsewhere will continue to have the right to determine the security measures appropriate to their institutions without being labelled as racist.

  12. If a non Sikh were to carry a Kirpan, would it not be considered a weapon? Could a passerby not grab a Kirpan from a Sikh and use it as a weapon?

  13. But it is not just a Quebec thing – I am seeing a lot of xenophobic comments on the Globe and Mail's comment boards this morning.

  14. I think Iggy and his comment about how kirpan is not a weapon is good microcosm of why many people hate pols/politics. A six inch knife is not a weapon, apparently, when worn by Sikhs but I can guarantee there would be entirely different reaction if I, middle aged white male, started to wear knife off my belt buckle in public. Government, and pols, are dividing Canadians by the colour of the their skin, or their beliefs, instead of treating everyone equally before the law.

    I am shocked you wrote this Cosh but I am glad that you took on one of your colleagues and his nonsense. One of my many complaints about Canadian msm is how our opinion writers completely ignore one another.

    • Every year during hunting season you can see middle-aged white men wearing hunting knives in Canadian Tire and other such stores.

      • But the question is, can they wear them in the Que National Assembly, or in Parliament? Apples to apples, please, Emily!

      • Actually, no you don't. Not since the 70's anyway.

  15. Finally an objective point of view – thank you CC. Now lets see if there can ever be a compromise agreeable to all parties.

  16. I think Iggy and his comment about how kirpan is not a weapon is good microcosm of why many people hate pols/politics. A six inch knife is not a weapon, apparently, when worn by Sikhs but I can guarantee there would be entirely different reaction if I, middle aged white male, started to wear knife off my belt buckle in public. Government, and pols, are dividing Canadians by the colour of the their skin, or their beliefs, instead of treating everyone equally before the law.

    I am shocked you wrote this Cosh but I am glad that you took on one of your colleagues and his nonsense. One of my many complaints about Canadian msm is how our opinion writers completely ignore one another.

  17. Finally an objective point of view – thank you CC. Now lets see if there can ever be a compromise agreeable to all parties.

  18. The Kirpan is indeed a weapon which sympolises the Sikh's commitment to defend a defenseless person under attack or their fatih. I wonder if it might be time that well-intentioned progressive thinkers might try to begin the debate with Sikhs that such a symbol is antiquated and represents a willingness to do violence in order to correct a perceived wrong. And that violence is not a proper solution to such wrongs.

    • I would think that violence in defence of the defenceless is a proper solution. That is why we give guns to the police, for example. But surely it is not up to non-Sikhs to start telling them what they should or should not believe – isn't that what the guarantee of freedom of religion means in the Charter? Or does it only apply to Presbyterians and other inoffensive groups?

      • It is not a religious right to carry a weapon. A knife is a weapon. Period.

      • The point is that those who are most vociferously advocating the right of Sikhs to carry the symbol everywhere are those who typucally reject the use of violence to resolve differences.
        Here, I'll state it: the Cross has been used to justify violence against those who reject the Christian faith in the past.
        For the most part, Christians have realized that the Cross is a symbol of victory over violence.
        One would hope that the modern world could convince the Sikhs that a symbol of violence should be discarded, or possibly changed to a broken knife handle with no blade perhaps.

    • Oh, and the flippin' charter don't make a tinker's damn whether a symbol is appropriate or not. My views nor anyone else's views on the legitimacy of a symbol isn't determined by what the Charter says. As intelligent humans, I think we can have a civil discussion on that.

  19. The Kirpan is indeed a weapon which sympolises the Sikh's commitment to defend a defenseless person under attack or their fatih. I wonder if it might be time that well-intentioned progressive thinkers might try to begin the debate with Sikhs that such a symbol is antiquated and represents a willingness to do violence in order to correct a perceived wrong. And that violence is not a proper solution to such wrongs.

  20. Quebecers have also gone down the road of a terrorist group kidnapping and murdering a member of their government. They have had a madman come into their legislative assembly and kill three persons.

    Just a few weeks ago, their electoral officer judged it perfectly legal for a group to use the emblem of the FLQ to inform donors to the party in power, by personal letters addressed to their home, that they and their family are targets, and for that group to publish the personal addresses of these donors on the web.

    None of this exists elsewhere in Canada, that I am aware of. I think that it's possible that the National Assembly security needs differ from those of the PEI legislative assembly, or others. The security director of the NA should be allowed to make to make those decisions.

    As for the Bloc proposals and Louise Beaudoin's comments, pure xenophobia in my opinion. There I would agree with you.

  21. I agree, there is plenty of it to go around. But in Quebec it has become party policy….in a party that has been govt before, and could be again.

    Other countries also have right-wing nationalist parties…they appeal to a segment of the population…so we always need to guard against them. We don't need to go through the 'racial purity' crap again.

  22. True storey. In 2002 I arranged for passes to the Gallery for Question Period. On my way walking over to the HoC I stopped at an antique store on Bank Street and purchased a beautiful sterling silver letter opener – 5 inches long. It was so soft you could wrap it around your wrist – put it in my jacket pocket. Going through security the detector beeped and even though I showed the commissioner the store reciept I had to hand it over for safe keeping.

    Navdeep works on Parliament Hill and has had (up until now) agreement from his co-workers and security to wear his kirpan.

    If there had been a couple of Sikhs wearing 5 inch kirpans right behind me in security and the commissioner let them go through, believe me I would have raised h_ll!!!

  23. True storey. In 2002 I arranged for passes to the Gallery for Question Period. On my way walking over to the HoC I stopped at an antique store on Bank Street and purchased a beautiful sterling silver letter opener – 5 inches long. It was so soft you could wrap it around your wrist – put it in my jacket pocket. Going through security the detector beeped and even though I showed the commissioner the store reciept I had to hand it over for safe keeping.

    Navdeep works on Parliament Hill and has had (up until now) agreement from his co-workers and security to wear his kirpan.

    If there had been a couple of Sikhs wearing 5 inch kirpans right behind me in security and the commissioner let them go through, believe me I would have raised h_ll!!!

  24. It always starts with something that sounds reasonable….that you can 'sell' to the public….then it trails off into absurdity

    To wit: Because we had white male RCs involved in murder, and because we had a white male RC murder in the legislature….THEREFORE we must ban Muslim female hijabs and Sikh male kirpans.

  25. All in all, this debate marks a refreshing change from those focused on hijabs and burqas. After we muddle through this kirpan issue, I really do hope that we can get back to the enlightening turban debate that I remember so fondly from my youth.

  26. All in all, this debate marks a refreshing change from those focused on hijabs and burqas. After we muddle through this kirpan issue, I really do hope that we can get back to the enlightening turban debate that I remember so fondly from my youth.

  27. I would suggest it is filled with moral posturing and faux xenophilia. Because clearly under no circumstances, and especially not religious ones, would a white christian be allowed to carry a weapon in the HoC. And make no mistake, you can use a kirpan to hurt someone – it's a weapon.

    So this is an instance of "positive discrimination".

    People are afraid to appear racist so they let the Sikhs carry around pointy daggers. But not other races. RACISM!

  28. Hypothetical scenario:

    White guy carries gun into House of Commons.
    He is arrested.
    He provides the following explanation: "it's religious"

    What happens next?

    a) There is a debate on whether religious reasons can justify bringing a gun to the House of Commons
    b) There is a debate on how this is all Sarah Palin's fault
    c) Ignatieff returns to Harvard
    d) The man is summarily shot

    • And what religion would that be?

      • It's an obscure christian sect. But still worthy of respect. I understand that the likes of you think all religions are worthy of respect except christianity, but try, just for the purpose of this hypothetical scenario to imagine a world in which an obscure christian sect would be treated with the same deference as Shiksm.

        • Is the gun loaded?

      • what does it matter what religion it is anyway? how more clearly can you show your bigotry, then by asking that question?

        That's like if I wanted to introduce someone to a friend, and my friend replied "what race is he?".

        Please, the principles of religious freedom are independent of religion IS IT NOT? you hypocritical bigot you, I just caught you with your bigotry in fulll view.

        Disgusting.

        You make me sick.

        Racist.

        • Well I'm afraid you can't just 'make up' a religion to suit your purposes on any given day. It has to be a recognized religion.

          I'm not anti-christian, I'm a non-believer in ANY religion.

          However, the charter guarantees freedom of religion…which is the principle involved here.

          See….I can tell you're a kid because you argue for racism and then accuse me of it. LOL

          • That's besides the point. The point is if evangelical christians were required to carry a weapon around, their 'religious freedom' would get thrown out the window by faux-intellectual posers like yourself.

          • No, it's not 'beside the point'….it IS the point.

            You have to deal with reality, alfanerd, not kid's fantasies.

          • Unfortunately, kid's fantasies (i.e., Liberal and NDP nonsense) is very much part of reality.

          • No, it is Con fantasies about Libs and NDPs that is the problem.

          • Ping

          • Pong

          • That will be next – the NRA declaring themselves a religion. I'm surprised they haven't thought about that already.

          • I'm not anti-christian, I'm a non-believer in ANY religion.

            You're also engaging in either ageism or a weird form of populism here. In your view, the big difference between Sikhs and alfanerd's new Lugeran faith is that Sikhism has been around 6 centuries, and Lugeranism around for 6 minutes. So how long does he have to wait before his religion can get this exemption?

            Alternatively, alfanerd is the only follower so far of his religion, while there are 25 million Sikhs. How many more followers before you swap sides?

          • "I'm not anti-christian"

            You may not be willing to admit it to yourself, but yes – you are.

        • Don't answer this fella. He's just trolling.

      • And what religion would that be?

        Lugeran.

        • LOL! Love it!

    • Well, I presume first we'd have a debate as to whether or not the white man in question was really following a "religion" or "some weird crazy hypothetical that alphanerd cooked up". You can't just claim something is religious and boom, it's religious, there are limits. It has to be an established and recognized religion. However, if we then established that it was really a religion, I imagine we'd have a second debate about whether banning the gun was a reasonable curtailment of the man's religious freedoms.

      I'd also imagine that we might conclude that banning a gun from Parliament IS a reasonable limit on religious freedom, while banning a blade is not, for the same reason that I can buy a knife at any hardware store, and keep a whole block of them unlocked on my kitchen counter, whereas I can't buy a Glock at the local Walmart, and I'd be in trouble if I kept twelve handguns sitting on my kitchen counter 24/7.

      • You CAN buy a Glock at the local Canadian Tire, depending on where you live, or through the mail if that's inconvenient. You can also buy chainsaws, Coleman stoves and bags of manure at Canadian tire, but not all those are appropriate things to take to the House of Commons.

        • Sure, my point was simply that it's entirely possible that one might conclude that a restriction that should be placed on a gun may not need to be applied to a knife. If they were always treated the same I'd have a knife safe on my kitchen counter, not a knife block.

          • To which I agree. Well put. I just can resist a chance to spread manure.

        • Bags of manure typically cannot be brought into the House of Commons as it makes things difficult for the Speaker.

          • Don't be silly – plenty of 'em can be seen in the HoC benches daily… though they usualy walk in under their own … steam.

  29. Hypothetical scenario:

    White guy carries gun into House of Commons.
    He is arrested.
    He provides the following explanation: "it's religious"

    What happens next?

    a) There is a debate on whether religious reasons can justify bringing a gun to the House of Commons
    b) There is a debate on how this is all Sarah Palin's fault
    c) Ignatieff returns to Harvard
    d) The man is summarily shot

  30. it clearly is a religious symbol. it clearly is also a weapon. Oh and alfanerd, nobody cares about white people we have it all already. Well apparently anyway.

  31. it clearly is a religious symbol. it clearly is also a weapon. Oh and alfanerd, nobody cares about white people we have it all already. Well apparently anyway.

  32. And what religion would that be?

  33. Every year during hunting season you can see middle-aged white men wearing hunting knives in Canadian Tire and other such stores.

  34. well, the "fear of others" that I am seeing on comment boards this morning seems rather real to me.

  35. It's an obscure christian sect. But still worthy of respect. I understand that the likes of you think all religions are worthy of respect except christianity, but try, just for the purpose of this hypothetical scenario to imagine a world in which an obscure christian sect would be treated with the same deference as Shiksm.

  36. Indeed, but it would appear to be the world that we live in. We've had muslims terrorists slam airplanes in the Twin Towers therefore we must forbid old ladies from carrying their knitting needles onboard and have people randomly remove their shoes so we can smell their socks.

    The security measures in the National Assembly and elsewhere may be over the top, but they do reflect the security measures adopted by others who have been the victim of violent attacks.

  37. what does it matter what religion it is anyway? how more clearly can you show your bigotry, then by asking that question?

    That's like if I wanted to introduce someone to a friend, and my friend replied "what race is he?".

    Please, the principles of religious freedom are independent of religion IS IT NOT? you hypocritical bigot you, I just caught you with your bigotry in fulll view.

    Disgusting.

    You make me sick.

    Racist.

  38. faux xenophilia – that's the stuff you're guilty of. xenophobia – that's the stuff you're seeing on comment boards.

    dont you know your greek etymology?

  39. The airplane argument again?

    Since the National Assembly doesn't meet in an airplane, it's not relevant.

  40. Well I'm afraid you can't just 'make up' a religion to suit your purposes on any given day. It has to be a recognized religion.

    I'm not anti-christian, I'm a non-believer in ANY religion.

    However, the charter guarantees freedom of religion…which is the principle involved here.

    See….I can tell you're a kid because you argue for racism and then accuse me of it. LOL

  41. Because clearly under no circumstances, and especially not religious ones, would a white christian be allowed to carry a weapon in the HoC

    What do you think the Mace is?

  42. And no one is allowed to touch the Mace.

  43. That's besides the point. The point is if evangelical christians were required to carry a weapon around, their 'religious freedom' would get thrown out the window by faux-intellectual posers like yourself.

  44. No, it's not 'beside the point'….it IS the point.

    You have to deal with reality, alfanerd, not kid's fantasies.

  45. Prince Phillip routinely carries a honking big sword into Parliament during the Queen's speech…last I checked, he's a white Christian.

  46. Why not? What does altitude have to do with risk evaluation?

    Lortie did not put the National Assembly in an airplane before shooting.

    I have never looked into this but I would bet my shirt that the Congress and the Pentagon have strict security measures in place. They're on terra ferma.

    It's about the history of attacks and the likelihood of further attacks – whether in the air or on earth.

  47. Unfortunately, kid's fantasies (i.e., Liberal and NDP nonsense) is very much part of reality.

  48. Ok sorry, a white christian MP.

  49. LOL you are beginning to sound like Madame Defarge!

    Altitude has everything to do with it…the plane is itself a weapon….and they are stuck in mid-air. People can't run for the exits.

    In any case this is all American nonsense that we don't have to follow on terra firma in Canada.

    Although, yes….. Sikhs can enter congress and the pentagon with kirpans.

    Why not take your knitting to the National Assembly and see what happens?

  50. No, it is Con fantasies about Libs and NDPs that is the problem.

  51. In British Columbia, after the last round of "We cannot ban the Kirpan 'cause its racist" , there was a large skirmish at one of the Sikh temples between two sides of the congregation(?) and you bet – the kirpans came out and sikhs had to be treated at the hospital for wounds caused by Kirpans.

    A Kirpan is a weapon and to say it isn't, is a politically correct person with his/her head up their – in the sand.

  52. Thre you go : visitors are prohibited from carring knitting needles to the Capitol Building.
    http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/Visit/Visitor%20Sa

    That's because some muslim crashed a plane into the Twin Towers.

    I will ask the National Assembly and let you know.

  53. If the MP in question were a naval officer, and wished to appear in full dress uniform including his sword for such a ceremonial occasion, he most certainly would be allowed to. The point is the distinction between weapon-as-symbol and weapon-as-weapon. The kirpan seems to me to be a weapon-as-symbol, and therefore, if worn sheathed, and not of an outrageous size and sharpness, is just as allowable as the Prince's sword or the Sergeant-at-Arms' Mace.

  54. Remember, Emily – you don't have to do that in the HoC, or the BC legislature, but the Quebec NA has reasons to feel that attacks are possible – they have happened in the past, and the climate there is such that it could happen again in future.

    I do enjoy living in Ontario

  55. Thank you for bringing that up. The sad part the fight was all about letting the old folks use tables and chairs to eat after service in the basement instead of sitting on the floor!!!!

  56. Well kirpans aren't prohibited.

    I think you have a clear-cut case of discrimination against knitters here! Sue!

    Don't 'ask' the assembly, just show up with knitting. You'll likely be ushered right in.

  57. A naval officer? Um… ya, and police officers are allowed to carry guns. Your point?

  58. Read my comment again – the point was obvious.

  59. Question: If the kirpan is banned from the House, should Prince Phillip be allowed to escort his wife into the Canadian HoC attired as he is here (in the British House), including sword in scabbard?

    http://www.corbisimages.com/Enlargement/U1966299….

  60. Question: If the kirpan is banned from the House, should Prince Phillip be allowed to escort his wife into the Canadian HoC attired as he is here (in the British House), including sword in scabbard?

    http://www.corbisimages.com/Enlargement/U1966299….

    • LOL good point! The man is obviously a terrorist!

      Right next to the Queen too!

      • They're so cunning. And he's been getting away with it for decades.

  61. I actually agree with your point. But I dont believe that a similar exemption would be made for a white person in a similar situation. Your weapon as symbol or weapon as weapon thing is correctly applied for Navdeep Bains, but I dont trust the left to apply it correctly if the person is white.

    Too much hypocrisy from these guys over these issues to be taken seriously.

  62. Yes, by white RC males. Not by Muslims in hijabs or by Sikhs carrying kirpans.

    It's an excuse.

    Attacks by anybody, anywhere… are always possible.

    That doesn't excuse over-reacting

  63. LOL good point! The man is obviously a terrorist!

    Right next to the Queen too!

  64. So you think that if an MP decided to enter the House wearing (under his shirt) a crucifix with a sharp point, he'd be denied entry? I've seen such crucifices made from iron nails, about 4 inches long, and easily used as a weapon…

  65. And why would military officers be banned from carrying issue weapons? You gonna ask why the cops are allowed weapons?

  66. And why would military officers be banned from carrying issue weapons? You gonna ask why the cops are allowed weapons?

    • They're allowed to by law.

      Maybe understanding the law before coming up with such hypothetical questions would be wise.

  67. No I dont think so. A kirpan is not a crucifix, pointy or not. A kirpan is a knife. It is not a "butter knife" as some pretend that it is.

    Actually, some kirpans are butter knives, but many sikhs believe that if a kirpan is not capable of being used as a weapon, it is not a proper kirpan.

    You can use anything as a weapon. A pen can be used to kill someone if used correctly. That's not the point. But a kirpan IS a weapon. That's the point.

  68. No I dont think so. A kirpan is not a crucifix, pointy or not. A kirpan is a knife. It is not a "butter knife" as some pretend that it is.

    Actually, some kirpans are butter knives, but many sikhs believe that if a kirpan is not capable of being used as a weapon, it is not a proper kirpan.

    You can use anything as a weapon. A pen can be used to kill someone if used correctly. That's not the point. But a kirpan IS a weapon. That's the point.

  69. Well, I presume first we'd have a debate as to whether or not the white man in question was really following a "religion" or "some weird crazy hypothetical that alphanerd cooked up". You can't just claim something is religious and boom, it's religious, there are limits. It has to be an established and recognized religion. However, if we then established that it was really a religion, I imagine we'd have a second debate about whether banning the gun was a reasonable curtailment of the man's religious freedoms.

    I'd also imagine that we might conclude that banning a gun from Parliament IS a reasonable limit on religious freedom, while banning a blade is not, for the same reason that I can buy a knife at any hardware store, and keep a whole block of them unlocked on my kitchen counter, whereas I can't buy a Glock at the local Walmart, and I'd be in trouble if I kept twelve handguns sitting on my kitchen counter 24/7.

  70. John Geddes making elementary errors when talking about the law (or anything else to which he turns his mind)? Shocking.

  71. John Geddes making elementary errors when talking about the law (or anything else to which he turns his mind)? Shocking.

  72. Well you don't seem to see a difference between race and religion.

  73. My question is why suddenly has this become an issue. No one expressed concern or fear about Kirpans before. Why now?

  74. My question is why suddenly has this become an issue. No one expressed concern or fear about Kirpans before. Why now?

    • It was raised few times before, but political correctness ruled and still rules. People rather risk dying than offending anybody.

  75. Is the gun loaded?

  76. The kirpans may have been required in their old home land, but this is a new Country. When in Canada do as the Canadians do, or go back home so you can wear it. The Kirpan is a knife!

    • Sikhs have been in Canada since at least 1887. They are Canadian and this IS their home.

      • True say.

        They're brown, have long hair and turbans. We're all afraid here, for some reason. You would think we'd be better at having this conversation since the english and french have been fighting since, well, forever.

        While I fall on the side of "Disallow" in this argument since I consider it to be a weapon, I've seen lots of people make arguments on the disallow side that are truly shocking. Integration is a double edged sword, we have to change and they have to change. It's only sometimes the devil is in the details. Oftentimes, it's in our hearts.

  77. The kirpans may have been required in their old home land, but this is a new Country. When in Canada do as the Canadians do, or go back home so you can wear it. The Kirpan is a knife!

  78. Sikhs have been in Canada since at least 1887. They are Canadian and this IS their home.

  79. So you think only white people can perpetrate attacks in the National Assembly? How racist of you. By nature, a Muslim in hijab of a Sikh would be incapable of violence? You have the right to think so, but I disagree. I consider Muslim and Sikhs as human beings, like other human beings.

    Attacks are always possible, and it's the job of security to prevent them as best they can.

    • Emily has a hate on for Christians. According to previous posts, they are the root of all evil. Apparently Sikhs and Muslims, by comparison, are as pure as the driven snow and would never resort to violence…

      • Surely there is a point in asking the question as to whether anyone actually thought the gentlemen attending a meeting on cultural accomodation did constitute a threat? This is the same lunacy that thinks 90-year old veterans are a terrorist risk if they set off a metal detector. Common sense and proportionality can come into play at times – even in dealing with matters of security.

        • Sure there is. But that's not really of concern to Emily. She attacks Christians every chance she gets – I know, having been victim of one of her rants before, where I somehow became the cause of genocide in Africa simply for declaring myself Christian. And now she's raising the colour and religious affiliation of the person who attacked the legislature – essentially saying that only white Christians are likely to be security risks and everyone else should get a free pass.

          (OK, so I'm overstating her claim – so far – but she'll get there if you give her time. Having read her comments over several months, I know her to be rabidly anti-Christian.)

          • Having been on boards with "emily" for several years now (she used to post on the Bourque site as "nola", I can say I don't think she is rabidly anything – since that suggests a degree of sincerity that I don't believe she has. She does see these boards as a competitive sport and if she can get under your skin sufficiently to make you abandon an argument or simply go away she will consider herself the victor. It is all a game (she is consistent in her pro-Liberal party and generally anti-religious opinions, but I believe she just sees those as conveniently contrarian positions for the most part).

          • I'm sorry, but you haven't been on boards with Emily for years now..

            I see these boards as a place to discuss things….but that always assumes there is someone intelligent to discuss things with. An intelligence I don't believe you have.

            You 'go away' or more usually attack me personally….because you have no policy argument to make.

            Sorry, not a Liberal, I am an atheist though. As hard as that is for you to wrap your mind around.

            While you're playing Truth or Consequences with OTHER people's lives though, you might want to mention you're a failed Con candidate in BC.

            Now you're just sucking up for an appointment.

          • LOL you are overstating everything hon. Including your supposed 'victimhood'.

            I'm an atheist. No religion. So christians aren't special I'm afraid. It's just that christianity comes up more often on these boards than any other religion…I'll be happy to say the same thing about other religions if you like.

            I said it was silly to go after Muslims and Sikhs when it was Christian attacks previously. It's being used as an excuse to be racist.

          • No Keith, you're perfectly stating her claim: since white people were guilty in the past non-whites should be able to carry their ceremonial knives in a way Scotsmen cannot.

          • A Scottish Sgian Dubh isn't either a religious artifact or command.

          • Au contraire! If you re-read what Cosh wrote, you'll find that your (and our) opinion on the matter is irrelevant:

            He need only show that his personal and subjective belief in the religious significance of the kirpan is sincere.

            If you find some crazy Scottish Catholic who believes in his entire heart that his giant decapitating sword is a requirement of his faith then it is. And its entirely as legitimate as your kirpan-wearing Sikh buddy's.

  80. So you think only white people can perpetrate attacks in the National Assembly? How racist of you. By nature, a Muslim in hijab of a Sikh would be incapable of violence? You have the right to think so, but I disagree. I consider Muslim and Sikhs as human beings, like other human beings.

    Attacks are always possible, and it's the job of security to prevent them as best they can.

  81. Your second point is valid!

  82. Don't answer this fella. He's just trolling.

  83. That's the whole point of forbidding metal objects in places where security is a concern. Knitting needles are not allowed into the Capitol Building. They don't believe that I as a knitter am a dangerous person; they believe that someone with less noble intentions would grab my needles.

  84. They're allowed to by law.

    Maybe understanding the law before coming up with such hypothetical questions would be wise.

  85. True say.

    They're brown, have long hair and turbans. We're all afraid here, for some reason. You would think we'd be better at having this conversation since the english and french have been fighting since, well, forever.

    While I fall on the side of "Disallow" in this argument since I consider it to be a weapon, I've seen lots of people make arguments on the disallow side that are truly shocking. Integration is a double edged sword, we have to change and they have to change. It's only sometimes the devil is in the details. Oftentimes, it's in our hearts.

  86. "Other countries also have right-wing nationalist parties", did you just elude to the Parti Québécois as "right-wing"? I certainly hope not haha.

  87. And what do they do at airport screenings? Are they allowed to go through with these 'non-weapons'?

  88. And what do they do at airport screenings? Are they allowed to go through with these 'non-weapons'?

  89. " The reference books, including those written by Sikhs, tell us that it is worn precisely to signify and reinforce the Sikh's wholly admirable preparedness to protect his faith, his community, and innocent human life. I suppose I could have added the words “just as a handgun might be”, but that would send altogether too many of my readers scrambling for the Preparation H."

    Um maybe because they haven't invented a kirpan that can spray a 30 odd clip of shards of hot metal around CC. I believe rocket launchers are frowned upon in public spaces too.

    • I didn't suggest that security agents and their rulemakers can't make a practical distinction between knives and guns. Merely that there's not much of a moral one.

      • Sorry CC. Just trying to provoke a response – kinda like you did.

  90. " The reference books, including those written by Sikhs, tell us that it is worn precisely to signify and reinforce the Sikh's wholly admirable preparedness to protect his faith, his community, and innocent human life. I suppose I could have added the words “just as a handgun might be”, but that would send altogether too many of my readers scrambling for the Preparation H."

    Um maybe because they haven't invented a kirpan that can spray a 30 odd clip of shards of hot metal around CC. I believe rocket launchers are frowned upon in public spaces too.

  91. Don't be silly. This is a completely valid public-policy debate. Xenophobia, bigotry, small-mindeness, and racism have nothing to do with it.

    Just like with the turbans-in-the-Legion debate twenty years ago.

  92. I didn't suggest that security agents and their rulemakers can't make a practical distinction between knives and guns. Merely that there's not much of a moral one.

  93. My 72-year-old father-in-law carries a pocket knife around with him at all times. A religious symbol? No. A weapon? Also no. But I'm willing to bet he'd have it taken from him in places where a Sikh with a kirpan would be allowed to pass through. So I agree: if the kirpan is treated differently, then there is reverse discrimination occuring.

    I think some of our security measures are absurd, but if they are to be applied they must be applied equally.

  94. Emily has a hate on for Christians. According to previous posts, they are the root of all evil. Apparently Sikhs and Muslims, by comparison, are as pure as the driven snow and would never resort to violence…

  95. To Emily, anything left of Papa Stalin is a raving rightoid waiting to seize control of her ovaries.

    • Cons sure worry about dead people a lot.

      Rightwing is rightwing….it's not hard to tell the difference. The PQ is becoming …or has actually always been…a party that stands on racial purity. Kind of like that party in Germany run by another dead guy. The one that believed in ovens, and the militarism of nationalism….extreme nationalism that involves racial purity.

      How my ovaries got into this is anybody's guess. Con's constant concern about sex…and other people's sex lives…is the likely answer.

  96. To Emily, anything left of Papa Stalin is a raving rightoid waiting to seize control of her ovaries.

  97. Because we had white male RCs involved in murder, and because we had a white male RC murder in the legislature….THEREFORE we must ban Muslim female hijabs and Sikh male kirpans.

    There you go having to bring race into a religious/public policy discussion. Is this an automatic reaction to you, or do you deliberately have to silence that little voice in your head warning you that you're being ludicrous every single time?

  98. But the question is, can they wear them in the Que National Assembly, or in Parliament? Apples to apples, please, Emily!

  99. And what religion would that be?

    Lugeran.

  100. Pong

  101. LOL! Love it!

  102. I'm not anti-christian, I'm a non-believer in ANY religion.

    You're also engaging in either ageism or a weird form of populism here. In your view, the big difference between Sikhs and alfanerd's new Lugeran faith is that Sikhism has been around 6 centuries, and Lugeranism around for 6 minutes. So how long does he have to wait before his religion can get this exemption?

    Alternatively, alfanerd is the only follower so far of his religion, while there are 25 million Sikhs. How many more followers before you swap sides?

  103. Jsut like the turbans-in-the-Legion debate it is an example of bigotry, xenophobia and small-minded reacism. Otherwise why raise the issue? Does anyone in the Bloc actually think MPs are in danger of being attacked by people weilding their Kirpans as weapons? Why would they do that? This is nothing more than the Bloc trying to stir up antagnism among Sikhs so they can say – "look at those multi-cultural Canadians – they all hate us – let's leave". The fact their position also appeals to Canadians who don't like people with brown skin is, I suspect, irrelevant to them, but not to many of the people posting on this board it would seem.

  104. Sorry CC. Just trying to provoke a response – kinda like you did.

  105. Actually while there have been fights at temples, and there were people injured, I don't think anyone used a kirpan. And if they did, so what? They also had access to forks and kitchen knives.

    A more useful reminder would be the Olympics, which were attended by tens of thousands of Sikhs in Vancouver – none of whom were required to remove their kirpans at any of the venues. Were there any incidents of anyone using one of those to attack anyone? No.

    The miniscule theoretical gain in security be demanding people hand over their kirpans is surely outweighed by common sense – or has our paranoia over security completely eclipsed that notion?

    • The same can be said of handing over pocket knives or nail clippers – but if we're going to be ridiculous, let's treat everyone with the same level of absurdity. Otherwise, we create different classes of citizenry.

  106. Actually while there have been fights at temples, and there were people injured, I don't think anyone used a kirpan. And if they did, so what? They also had access to forks and kitchen knives.

    A more useful reminder would be the Olympics, which were attended by tens of thousands of Sikhs in Vancouver – none of whom were required to remove their kirpans at any of the venues. Were there any incidents of anyone using one of those to attack anyone? No.

    The miniscule theoretical gain in security be demanding people hand over their kirpans is surely outweighed by common sense – or has our paranoia over security completely eclipsed that notion?

  107. Surely there is a point in asking the question as to whether anyone actually thought the gentlemen attending a meeting on cultural accomodation did constitute a threat? This is the same lunacy that thinks 90-year old veterans are a terrorist risk if they set off a metal detector. Common sense and proportionality can come into play at times – even in dealing with matters of security.

  108. And do what, precisely? What actual threat is this type of security trying to prevent? Runaway cardigan fabrication?

  109. I would think that violence in defence of the defenceless is a proper solution. That is why we give guns to the police, for example. But surely it is not up to non-Sikhs to start telling them what they should or should not believe – isn't that what the guarantee of freedom of religion means in the Charter? Or does it only apply to Presbyterians and other inoffensive groups?

  110. You could take an eye out with a Rosary cross. Are they banned?

  111. That will be next – the NRA declaring themselves a religion. I'm surprised they haven't thought about that already.

  112. They're so cunning. And he's been getting away with it for decades.

  113. The same can be said of handing over pocket knives or nail clippers – but if we're going to be ridiculous, let's treat everyone with the same level of absurdity. Otherwise, we create different classes of citizenry.

  114. Sure there is. But that's not really of concern to Emily. She attacks Christians every chance she gets – I know, having been victim of one of her rants before, where I somehow became the cause of genocide in Africa simply for declaring myself Christian. And now she's raising the colour and religious affiliation of the person who attacked the legislature – essentially saying that only white Christians are likely to be security risks and everyone else should get a free pass.

    (OK, so I'm overstating her claim – so far – but she'll get there if you give her time. Having read her comments over several months, I know her to be rabidly anti-Christian.)

  115. "I'm not anti-christian"

    You may not be willing to admit it to yourself, but yes – you are.

  116. I went onto the Quebec Legislature website to see if they had posted a list of prohibited items. They don't, but I clicked on the Gift Shop. They sell a metal letter opener, a set of cheese knives, assorted bar ware which could be used to perform a bodily injury.

  117. I went onto the Quebec Legislature website to see if they had posted a list of prohibited items. They don't, but I clicked on the Gift Shop. They sell a metal letter opener, a set of cheese knives, assorted bar ware which could be used to perform a bodily injury.

  118. You CAN buy a Glock at the local Canadian Tire, depending on where you live, or through the mail if that's inconvenient. You can also buy chainsaws, Coleman stoves and bags of manure at Canadian tire, but not all those are appropriate things to take to the House of Commons.

  119. So's the first point.

  120. Actually, no you don't. Not since the 70's anyway.

  121. It is not a religious right to carry a weapon. A knife is a weapon. Period.

  122. Sure, my point was simply that it's entirely possible that one might conclude that a restriction that should be placed on a gun may not need to be applied to a knife. If they were always treated the same I'd have a knife safe on my kitchen counter, not a knife block.

  123. To which I agree. Well put. I just can resist a chance to spread manure.

  124. As the kirpan is symbolic, so were the tables and chairs.

    This was a battle between the more extreme and more moderate people within the Sikh community. Of particular interest because the extremists had carried out the Air India bombing and the moderates wanted to get rid of their influence within the temples.

    An example to other immigrant groups who have within themselves violent elements.

  125. As the kirpan is symbolic, so were the tables and chairs.

    This was a battle between the more extreme and more moderate people within the Sikh community. Of particular interest because the extremists had carried out the Air India bombing and the moderates wanted to get rid of their influence within the temples.

    An example to other immigrant groups who have within themselves violent elements.

  126. Bags of manure typically cannot be brought into the House of Commons as it makes things difficult for the Speaker.

  127. Having been on boards with "emily" for several years now (she used to post on the Bourque site as "nola", I can say I don't think she is rabidly anything – since that suggests a degree of sincerity that I don't believe she has. She does see these boards as a competitive sport and if she can get under your skin sufficiently to make you abandon an argument or simply go away she will consider herself the victor. It is all a game (she is consistent in her pro-Liberal party and generally anti-religious opinions, but I believe she just sees those as conveniently contrarian positions for the most part).

  128. LOL you are overstating everything hon. Including your supposed 'victimhood'.

    I'm an atheist. No religion. So christians aren't special I'm afraid. It's just that christianity comes up more often on these boards than any other religion…I'll be happy to say the same thing about other religions if you like.

    I said it was silly to go after Muslims and Sikhs when it was Christian attacks previously. It's being used as an excuse to be racist.

  129. I'm sorry, but you haven't been on boards with Emily for years now..

    I see these boards as a place to discuss things….but that always assumes there is someone intelligent to discuss things with. An intelligence I don't believe you have.

    You 'go away' or more usually attack me personally….because you have no policy argument to make.

    Sorry, not a Liberal, I am an atheist though. As hard as that is for you to wrap your mind around.

    While you're playing Truth or Consequences with OTHER people's lives though, you might want to mention you're a failed Con candidate in BC.

    Now you're just sucking up for an appointment.

  130. Cons sure worry about dead people a lot.

    Rightwing is rightwing….it's not hard to tell the difference. The PQ is becoming …or has actually always been…a party that stands on racial purity. Kind of like that party in Germany run by another dead guy. The one that believed in ovens, and the militarism of nationalism….extreme nationalism that involves racial purity.

    How my ovaries got into this is anybody's guess. Con's constant concern about sex…and other people's sex lives…is the likely answer.

  131. There are no actual 'races'….but since you're an Alberta Con, one has to explain it in simple terms.

    I'm sorry, but you can't discriminate against people on religious grounds…or on the colour of their skin.

    So whether you want to call it 'religiousism' or 'racism'….to you they aren't white christians, so they aren't 'real' people.

    Jesus was brown you know. Palestinian in fact. Jewish even. And, ahem, not a capitalist.

  132. Don't be silly – plenty of 'em can be seen in the HoC benches daily… though they usualy walk in under their own … steam.

  133. I once was at a baseball game in NYC talking with a man who, thanks to a nice donation to his Senator, got himself a tour of the White House.

    In it some man had a 2" little pocket knife on him, and didn't want to give it up before entering. The Secret Service agent gave him three options: "one, you hand over your knife. two, you walk back onto the street. three, I consider you a security threat to the President and I shoot you in the head until you stop moving". (Interestingly enough, the President was not in the house at the time)

    So yes, there are pretty strict security measures in U.S. government buildings.

  134. No Keith, you're perfectly stating her claim: since white people were guilty in the past non-whites should be able to carry their ceremonial knives in a way Scotsmen cannot.

  135. A Scottish Sgian Dubh isn't either a religious artifact or command.

  136. Our MP Navdeep Bain has been there wearing a kirpan.

  137. Not according to…MP Navdeep Bain, who has only mentioned wearing in in the House.

  138. He said he wore it in the US Congress.

  139. It was raised few times before, but political correctness ruled and still rules. People rather risk dying than offending anybody.

  140. The point is that those who are most vociferously advocating the right of Sikhs to carry the symbol everywhere are those who typucally reject the use of violence to resolve differences.
    Here, I'll state it: the Cross has been used to justify violence against those who reject the Christian faith in the past.
    For the most part, Christians have realized that the Cross is a symbol of victory over violence.
    One would hope that the modern world could convince the Sikhs that a symbol of violence should be discarded, or possibly changed to a broken knife handle with no blade perhaps.

  141. Oh, and the flippin' charter don't make a tinker's damn whether a symbol is appropriate or not. My views nor anyone else's views on the legitimacy of a symbol isn't determined by what the Charter says. As intelligent humans, I think we can have a civil discussion on that.

  142. Au contraire! If you re-read what Cosh wrote, you'll find that your (and our) opinion on the matter is irrelevant:

    He need only show that his personal and subjective belief in the religious significance of the kirpan is sincere.

    If you find some crazy Scottish Catholic who believes in his entire heart that his giant decapitating sword is a requirement of his faith then it is. And its entirely as legitimate as your kirpan-wearing Sikh buddy's.

  143. And its logical corollary: that in the hands of a person pretending to be a Sikh but who really isn't…

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