Inquisitive Minds Podcast Critical Thinking on History, Religion, Politics and Culture

This week on the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we examine the problems with hasty conclusions and imprecise definitions. As news came of the identity of the suspect responsible for the bomb threat at Concordia University on March 1, 2017, people realized that a lesson against hasty conclusions and analysis needed to be learned. This unfortunate episode and others like it comes at a time when many feel a growing atmosphere of discrimination against Muslims and other religious groups. This has forced some Canadian parliamentarians to propose a motion against Islamophobia and systemic racism. In this episode, we discuss how this motion uncovered the uncomfortable reality that Canadians and Quebecers are quite divided over the issue of anti-Muslim sentiment and what some see as the threat of the Islamization of Canada.

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In one week (19 Oct. 2015), Canadians will be voting for a new government. A debate around the place of the niqab (a "religious" garment covering the face and worn by some Muslim women) during the oath of citizenship ceremony has caused quite a stir. Politicians take sides in this issue citing security, terrorism, Canadian values, women's oppression, individual rights and freedoms, religious liberty, etc. to state their case. The debate has revealed that people in Canada are unclear when in comes to individual rights, as defined by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the end, it seems that the niqab debate revealed that Canadians (and especially Quebecers) experience a certain malaise with their current political system. What seemed at first to be an insignificant issue has turned out to be something which might clearly affect Canada's political future.

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