And your opinion is? Huron College should open up its Islam course, or shut it down


Goober
#1
Barbara Kay: Huron College should open up its Islam course, or shut it down | National Post

The late Mary Daly, a militant feminist, was a long-time academic at Jesuit-run Boston College. She was a revered icon in the feminist movement, but largely unknown to the general public until, in the 1990s, a male student initiated a lawsuit against Boston for Daly’s attempt to exclude males from a Womens Studies course. Daly would not back down, the plaintiff was successful in his suit, and Daly “retired” as a result.

This was of course the correct outcome to that case. How can any tax-funded institution of higher learning exclude any student from a course on the basis of his sex? But if we can agree on that – and I am sure all reasonable people do – then how is it that in 2014, 20 years on and, one would assume 20 years more enlightened on equality issues, a Canadian college finds it acceptable that a professor is excluding a student on the basis of his religion?

Here is the back story as told to me in an interview with Moray Watson.

On Dec 27th, Watson was browsing the website of a London mosque – Watson, an atheist of Christian background, is a candid worrier about what he perceives as a growing threat of Islamism in London – and he saw an advertisement for a course, designed and to be taught by Huron’s Chair of Islamic Studies, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, “The Muslim Voice: Islamic Preaching, Public Speaking and Worship.” The course was open to the public, the only prerequisite being an undergraduate degree.

Watson immediately signed up to audit the course (the course was open for credit or audit at that time), because he was curious to know how “dawa” – preaching of Islam – would be practiced in London. He was the first person to sign up, and was accepted in an email from the Dean of Theology (the course was being offered under the auspices of the Faculty of Theology, not Islamic Studies).

On January 6, Watson showed up for the first session. There were seven students present, all but for him, it seemed apparent from appearance and class discussion, Muslim, and known to Dr. Mattson. Watson declared himself willing as an auditor to participate in all assignments except essays and exams. He did not dissemble regarding his motivation for auditing the course. He felt in fact that his presence would be valuable in that Islamic preachers would be speaking to non-Muslims like himself and his feedback to them would be helpful to their education.
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On Jan. 8 Watson received an email from Dr. Mattson, telling him the course was no longer open to auditing students, as more credit students had signed up, and that he was no longer welcome. She suggested he take another course she was teaching, “Islam and Politics,” which did not interest him.

On Jan. 9 Watson spoke to the Dean of Theology, who was sympathetic but declined to intervene. We must linger over this refusal, since the dean – Rev. Canon Todd Townsend – himself teaches a course in pastoral theology and welcomes non-Christians as students.

Moray Watson has a strong case for his accusation of discrimination against Huron College

Watson then appealed to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) who is charged with equity issues and offering help to students filing complaints. There he met a frosty reception. Not only, according to Watson, did the CAO support the exclusion, he told Watson that they were changing the course syllabus “because of me.” On Jan. 6, as handed out in the first class, the syllabus stated that it aimed to improve the skills and knowledge of those “engaging in public speaking about Islam.” But that was being changed – and by Jan. 30 was changed – to “engaging in public speaking about Islam on behalf of Muslim communities” (emphasis mine). Naturally, the changed syllabus automatically excluded Watson and all non-Muslims.

It should be noted that UWO’s own code of ethics precludes any inquiries into a student’s religion during interactions. So it would seem that, prima facie, 54-year old accountant Moray Watson has a strong case for his accusation of discrimination against Huron College.

Nobody, including Watson, has a problem with a course in public speaking about Islam being offered at a college if it is inclusive. He also has no problem with it being exclusive, but offered in a venue such as a mosque or a community centre or a seminary that is not tax-funded. It’s really quite a simple issue. Open up the course or shut it down.
 
L Gilbert
+3
#2  Top Rated Post
Geeez. I am really beginning to think that humanity is doomed. Disallow one course in religious studies, disallow them all or STFU.
 
petros
+1
#3
Quote:

On Dec 27th, Watson was browsing the website of a London mosque – Watson, an atheist of Christian background, is a candid worrier about what he perceives as a growing threat of Islamism in London

Why would an atheist be worried about Islam?
 
Goober
+3
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Geeez. I am really beginning to think that humanity is doomed. Disallow one course in religious studies, disallow them all or STFU.

It was an open course- did they not think non Muslims would take the course- does the fellow have an agenda? - do not care - open course as it should be- it is a publicly funded College.
 
petros
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

it is a publicly funded College.

He paid tuition. Did he not get a refund?

Was he a brainwashed xenophobe disrupting the class with stupid sh*t?

Does a Professor have to allow someone into their classroom?
 
Goober
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

He paid tuition. Did he not get a refund?

Was he a brainwashed xenophobe disrupting the class with stupid sh*t?

Does a Professor have to allow someone into their classroom?

He fulfilled the requirements to attend the class.
As to your other point what would an Islamist have to fear from an Atheist?
 
petros
#7
Was he there to learn or ???
 
L Gilbert
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Why would an atheist be worried about Islam?

Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

As to your other point what would an Islamist have to fear from an Atheist?

Well, bigotry can go both ways.
Quote:

He fulfilled the requirements to attend the class.

Exactly.......... except the single stupid requirement.
 
Goober
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Was he there to learn or ???

Does it matter- since when are people thrown thru a profile review, in-depth questioning, background check to attend a course?
 
BornRuff
+1
#10
The new description doesn't, as they claim, exclude non-Muslims. It seems to indicate that it is not intended to be a forum to debate the legitimacy of Islam.

Given the description of the guy, an atheist who worries about the "growing threat of Islamism in London" and spends his free time browsing the websites of local mosques, I can quite easily see how he might be disruptive in a course that people attend to learn public speaking skills.

It isn't like they wanted to completely shut him up. They offered him a spot in a more appropriate class.
 
Goober
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

The new description doesn't, as they claim, exclude non-Muslims. It seems to indicate that it is not intended to be a forum to debate the legitimacy of Islam.

Given the description of the guy, an atheist who worries about the "growing threat of Islamism in London" and spends his free time browsing the websites of local mosques, I can quite easily see how he might be disruptive in a course that people attend to learn public speaking skills.

It isn't like they wanted to completely shut him up. They offered him a spot in a more appropriate class.

Did you read the complete article, or skim it?
 
petros
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Did you read the complete article, or skim it?

What was it that Gabriel told Muhammad to do? Read?

Quote:

On Jan. 6, as handed out in the first class, the syllabus stated that it aimed to improve the skills and knowledge of those “engaging in public speaking about Islam.”

Quote:

Watson immediately signed up to audit the course (the course was open for credit or audit at that time), because he was curious to know how “dawa” – preaching of Islam – would be practiced in London. He was the first person to sign up, and was accepted in an email from the Dean of Theology (the course was being offered under the auspices of the Faculty of Theology, not Islamic Studies).

If he wanted to know about Dawa and the preaching of Islam, which the course wasn't about, all he had to do was go to a mosque and ask an Imam.

All for free on the Muslim's dime.
 
Goober
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

What was it that Gabriel told Muhammad to do? Read?





If he wanted to know about Dawa and the preaching of Islam, which the course wasn't about, all he had to do was go to a mosque and ask an Imam.

All for free on the Muslim's dime.

Changing options and focal points ain't gonna work.

Read on MacDuff

On Dec 27th, Watson was browsing the website of a London mosque – Watson, an atheist of Christian background, is a candid worrier about what he perceives as a growing threat of Islamism in London – and he saw an advertisement for a course, designed and to be taught by Huron’s Chair of Islamic Studies, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, “The Muslim Voice: Islamic Preaching, Public Speaking and Worship.” The course was open to the public, the only prerequisite being an undergraduate degree.

Watson immediately signed up to audit the course (the course was open for credit or audit at that time), because he was curious to know how “dawa” – preaching of Islam – would be practiced in London. He was the first person to sign up, and was accepted in an email from the Dean of Theology (the course was being offered under the auspices of the Faculty of Theology, not Islamic Studies).
 
petros
#14
If he doesn't know what he was taking when he signed up he is probably a half-wit and it's saving the taxpayers money.

Anywhere in the article did he deny that more full course students took his seat?

Do full course students not a have a right to attend over a non-credit auditor?
 
Goober
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

If he doesn't know what he was taking when he signed up he is probably a half-wit and it's saving the taxpayers money.

Anywhere in the article did he deny that more full course students took his seat?

Do full course students not a have a right to attend over non-credit auditor?

The article does not state if more attended or not-- may be kinda hard after the course began, they had not applied, appears many were not interested.
He applied, he was accepted, he was booted. Need I say more.
 
petros
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

The article does not state if more attended or not-- may be kinda hard after the course began, they had not applied, appears many were not interested.
He applied, he was accepted, he was booted. Need I say more.

Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Did you read the complete article, or skim it?

Quote:

On Jan. 8 Watson received an email from Dr. Mattson, telling him the course was no longer open to auditing students, as more credit students had signed up, and that he was no longer welcome. She suggested he take another course she was teaching, “Islam and Politics,” which did not interest him.

Oy ya yoy. Need I say more?
 
Goober
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Oy ya yoy. Need I say more?

Well yes. I enjoy the discussion with you. Pony up.
 
petros
#18
Read!!!!!

no longer open to auditing students, as more credit students had signed up
 
Goober
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Read!!!!!

no longer open to auditing students, as more credit students had signed up

Read on
On Jan. 8 Watson received an email from Dr. Mattson, telling him the course was no longer open to auditing students, as more credit students had signed up, and that he was no longer welcome. She suggested he take another course she was teaching, “Islam and Politics,” which did not interest him.

On Jan. 9 Watson spoke to the Dean of Theology, who was sympathetic but declined to intervene. We must linger over this refusal, since the dean – Rev. Canon Todd Townsend – himself teaches a course in pastoral theology and welcomes non-Christians as students.

Watson then appealed to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) who is charged with equity issues and offering help to students filing complaints. There he met a frosty reception. Not only, according to Watson, did the CAO support the exclusion, he told Watson that they were changing the course syllabus “because of me.” On Jan. 6, as handed out in the first class, the syllabus stated that it aimed to improve the skills and knowledge of those “engaging in public speaking about Islam.” But that was being changed – and by Jan. 30 was changed – to “engaging in public speaking about Islam on behalf of Muslim communities” (emphasis mine). Naturally, the changed syllabus automatically excluded Watson and all non-Muslims.
 
petros
#20
Quote:

Not only, according to Watson, did the CAO support the exclusion,

no longer open to auditing students, as more credit students had signed up

Did more sign up or not?
 
Goober
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

no longer open to auditing students, as more credit students had signed up

Did more sign up or not?

Did they change the parameters of the course. And use a smaller font for Krists sake.

Suddenly many sign up- suddenly the curriculum is changed- suddenly they find out who he is. How did they manage that.

You see one thing I see another.
 
petros
#22
It's not my fault you're blind in one eye and can't see through the other.
 
BornRuff
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Did you read the complete article, or skim it?

I read it.
 
petros
#24
Goober didn't.

Come to think of it, neither did the National Post.
 
L Gilbert
+2
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

The new description doesn't, as they claim, exclude non-Muslims. It seems to indicate that it is not intended to be a forum to debate the legitimacy of Islam.

That could be explained in class, even by an incompetent instructor.

Quote:

Given the description of the guy, an atheist who worries about the "growing threat of Islamism in London" and spends his free time browsing the websites of local mosques, I can quite easily see how he might be disruptive in a course that people attend to learn public speaking skills.

It isn't like they wanted to completely shut him up. They offered him a spot in a more appropriate class.

So let him in and if he misbehaves, turf him back out.

If the course was strictly for Muslims to enable them to speak publicly about Islam, then the course belongs in an Islamic school.
 
Zipperfish
+2
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Well, bigotry can go both ways.

yrtogib?
 
Goober
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

It's not my fault you're blind in one eye and can't see through the other.

You are a smart man, so follow the chain of events. I have no issue with your opinion, though it is in error. I can live with that.
 
BornRuff
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

That could be explained in class, even by an incompetent instructor.

So let him in and if he misbehaves, turf him back out.

This is all based on speculation, since we only have one side of the story, but it sounds like that is what happened.

Even the best instructor in the world can't make a stubborn adult play along if the person refuses to do so.

Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Did they change the parameters of the course. And use a smaller font for Krists sake.

Suddenly many sign up- suddenly the curriculum is changed- suddenly they find out who he is. How did they manage that.

You see one thing I see another.

I'm not so sure they changed the parameters of the course so much as they clarified them.

Do you really believe that the course was ever intended to teach people how to speak about the growing threat of Islam? Having someone in a class like that that has no interest in actually learning what the instructor is trying to teach is obviously going to be disruptive to the other students.
 
petros
+1
#29
College classes are 1 hour three times a week or 1.5 hours twice a week. Does anyone disagree?

Jan 6 First class which he attended. Jan 8 he gets an email saying sorry, credit students have bumped your auditing seat would you be interested in islam and politics?

The class is full and they deny his attempt to attend that class.

Dr. Mattson welcomed him to attend her other course islam and politics so she obviously had nothing against him.

Where the f*ck is the wrong doing?

Is Stromfront doing articles for the National Post these days?

Is Levant writing under a pseudonym?

WTF?
 
L Gilbert
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

This is all based on speculation, since we only have one side of the story, but it sounds like that is what happened.

Even the best instructor in the world can't make a stubborn adult play along if the person refuses to do so.

True but such individuals can be turfed from classes or even banned from the school.



Quote:

I'm not so sure they changed the parameters of the course so much as they clarified them.

Do you really believe that the course was ever intended to teach people how to speak about the growing threat of Islam? Having someone in a class like that that has no interest in actually learning what the instructor is trying to teach is obviously going to be disruptive to the other students.

Like I said, so turf the bugger.
I don't see this as such a big issue (which is my overall point).
 
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