When I first saw the news about Mrs. Naima Ahmed being expelled from a French class early this week in La Presse [Google translation], I figured Québec would make front pages across the country for its so-called intolerance. I was wrong. All mainstream media treated the news for what it is, a legitimate accommodation attempt that failed:Julius Grey said. "What surprises me..." added Gérard Bouchard "is that these managers felt they needed to go all the way to the Minister's office to resolve the issue. They had everything on-hand to make a legitimate decision."
Even readers' comments on various websites and forums were somewhat consensual. Some commentators put forward that such cases were examples of newcomers testing the limits of Canada's tolerance. The dominant general point of view is that Mrs. Ahmed went too far in her stance. The fact that she rallied both the Québécois and other Canadians is quite a feat.
Obviously, there are two sides to every story. The Globe and Mail published Mrs. Ahmed's version. I prefer the more touching perspective rendered by La Presse's Michèle Ouimet [Google translation].
Religion is important and it shouldn't be the basis for any type of discrimination. But is this situation really about religion? Even if it is, it shouldn't be used as a free pass to justify all types of behaviors.