Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Accomodate, don’t hate

Re: “Unaccomadating at York”

Dear Journal Editorial Board,

The Supreme Court of Canada has been clear in rejecting the creation of a “hierarchy of rights” and suggesting
Charter principles dictate that a balance be reached that gives equal importance to both rights (Dagenais v CBC).

In a setting where exemptions are made for students based on health, scheduling or geographic reasons, denying accommodation for an honestly held religious belief is an unjust outcome. Protection for religious freedom exists precisely because there is a risk for tyranny of the majority. Where religious practices are unpopular but sincerely held by a minority group, it is incumbent on the majority to allow it to continue inhibited to protect religious freedom as an ideal. Anything less comes dangerously close to a civilizing mission that passes judgement on which beliefs can and cannot be validly held by a minority group. Your editorial discussed principles, and not allowing the request for accommodation as a matter of precedent. However, I think you missed that rejecting the request also set a principle — that religious beliefs can rightly be subject to value judgements from outsiders.

Rohit Jha
Artci ’10

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