In the News: Condorcet-Dessaulles Prizewinners Call for Withdrawal of “Religious Culture” Part of ERC course

Il faut revoir le cours Éthique et culture religieuse (The Ethics and Religious Culture Course Must be Revised), Nadia El-Mabrouk, Andréa Richard, Le Devoir, 2018-12-19.

In an article in Le Devoir, Nadia El-Mabrouk and Andréa Richard, recipients of the 2018 Prix Condorcet-Dessaulles awarded by the Mouvement laïque québécois, call for the withdrawal of the “Religious Culture” part of the Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) program in Quebec schools. They point out several serious problems with this part of ERC, such as the following:

  • ERC infringes on the freedom of conscience of both children and their parents.
  • ERC discriminates against children who practice no religion, propagates stereotypes and promotes religious dogma.
  • ERC conveys religious sexism by showing women in traditional roles and is thus incompatible with the principle of equality between women and men.
  • ERC presents stereotypical images of religious practices, promoting more pious and fundamentalist practices, thus stigmatizing those who do not share those practices. In particular, it presents the veil as the norm for Muslim women and thus discriminates against more secular Muslims.
  • ERC is taught at all levels, including primary and early secondary levels where children have not yet developed sufficient critical thinking skills and are vulnerable to indoctrination.

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