01.20.2011 10:35 AM

Sharp as blunt butterknives

That’s how sharp a kirpan is, as my old friend Ian Capstick pointed out on CBC last night.  And, as I have queried, why is it somehow okay for steak knives to be wielded inside the National Assembly’s cafeterias and restaurants – but if a devout Sikh attempts to enter with a puny kirpan, as thir faith requires them to do, and as is permitted in the House of Commons and the Ontario Legislature and elsewhere – the separatists want to make it a crime? It’s as bizarre as it is shameful.

The issue is attracting international attention – and, I am happy to note, my party has vociferously condemned the Bloc Quebecois and their shameless appeal to xenophobia. Others, meanwhile, are fulfilling their expected roles: Maclean’s “all Quebec is corrupt” idiot sides with the bigots, as does the media-roundup idiot at the Post. Figures.

As I told an old friend from Kingston last night, this is precisely why I favour a big wall between Church and State, and going in both directions, too (ie., politicians shouldn’t stick their noses in matters of faith, and the faithful shouldn’t impose their views on the body politic).

The separatists, it seems, favour separating more than Quebec from Canada.  They favour other kinds of separation, as well.

Jews, Muslims, devout Christians, Mennonites, et al., take note. If it can happen to one, it can happen to all, history suggests.


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    Bill says:

    I’m an atheist but if the high court says it’s okay, so be it.

    Duceppe shows his xenophobe colors.

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      minority reality check says:

      For the record, a vast majority of minorities support Quebec on this position. Is it any wonder ethno-cultural communities are moving away from the Liberals. It is time for the Liberals to address this bleed, not only of their most loyal ethnic supporters, but also of their “white male voters.”

      No Kirpans. No Hijabs. No Burqas in Parliament. Sorry Warren. You and Iggy are wrong.

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        Bill says:

        SCC and charter say you’re wrong.

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    Loraine Lamontagne says:

    I’m still unclear – is it OK to wield steak knives from the cafeteria into committee meeting rooms?

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      Warren says:

      Sure. Members get fed in committee meeting rooms all the time. And they’re not handed plastic knives and forks, either.

      But you knew that already.

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        Mr. Chamberlain says:

        Haven’t ever heard of a kirpan being misused. If it happens, it must be highly unusual. To be safe, does this mean we take this to it’s logical conclusion and ban religious belief from our elected officials?

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    Colin says:

    A kid with a baseball bat is more dangerous than one with a Kirpan

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      Loraine Lamontagne says:

      I doubt they’d let a kid in with a baseball bat.

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        James Bow says:

        What if he was wearing a full uniform? 🙂

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    Loraine Lamontagne says:

    Many who today work at the National Assembly witnessed the murder of three of their colleagues. They work for an institution that had a minister kidnapped and murdered by the FLQ. They work in a province where donors to the party in power recently received letters with the logo of the FLQ telling them they and their families are fair targets – and they’ve had their personal addresses published on the web. I would not dismiss the security measures taken at the National Assembly simply as bigot gestures. There are reasons for enhanced security at the NA.

    Overkill maybe, like it is for the random obligation to remove your shoes before boarding planes in or to the US. Security experts consider metal objects of many forms, nail files, knitting needles, as potentially dangerous; yet a kirpan would not be dangerous because of its religious value? I don’t get it.

    And no, I had no idea about the steak knives. I’ve never seen them eating in committee on tv – and I’ve never been in person… But I don’t think they’d let visitors in with steak knives.

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      Warren says:

      Brown visitors, anyway.

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        Loraine Lamontagne says:

        If I were them I wouldn’t let in someone who is drunk, no matter the colour of their skin, or a white man with a knife either, steak knife or otherwise. Trained as he was in the military, Lortie may well have killed three persons with a knife.

        I have absolutely no problems with persons who vote with veils or who carry kirpans in their daily activities. I am just not as quick as you are to label as bigotry the measures taken by security at the National Assembly.

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    John Owen says:

    Russel Williams and Harper film vs. fighting international criminal Justice

    On October 18, 2010 Colonol Russel Williams pleaded guilty to all charges.[46] On the first day of Williams’ trial and guilty plea, details emerged of other sex assaults he committed, including the sex assault of a new mother who was wakened with a blow to the head while she and her baby were asleep in her house.[47] The first day of trial revealed that Williams also had pedophile tendencies, stealing underwear of girls as young as 9 years old. He made 82 fetish home invasions and attempted break-ins between September 2007 and November 2009.[48]

    Russell Williams progressed from fetish break-ins to sex assaults with no penetration to rape and murder. He kept detailed track of police reports of the crimes he was committing, logged his crimes, kept photos and videos and even left notes and messages for his victims.[49] In a break-in into the bedroom of a 12-year-old, he left a message in her computer saying: “Merci” (“Thank you” in French). He took thousands of pictures of his crimes and kept the photos on his computer. Crown Attorney Robert Morrison presented numerous pictures of Williams dressed in underwear and bras he stole, frequently masturbating while lying on the beds of his victims.[48]








    He obtained a Master of Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada in 2004 with a 55-page thesis that supported pre-emptive war in Iraq, and in June 2004, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and on July 19, 2004 he was appointed commanding officer of 437 Transport Squadron at CFB Trenton, Ont., a post he held for two years.[10][20][21][22][23][24]

    From December 2005 to May 2006, Williams also served as the commanding officer of Camp Mirage, a secretive logistics facility believed to be located at Al Minhad Air Base in Dubai, United Arab Emirates that provides support to Canadian Forces operations in Afghanistan.[10][20][21][25]

    He was posted to the Directorate of Air Requirements on July 21, 2006 where he served as project director for the Airlift Capability Projects Strategic (C-17 Globemaster III) and Tactical (CC-130J Hercules J), and Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue, working under Lieutenant General Angus Watt at this posting.[21][26]

    In January 2009 he was posted to the Canadian Forces Language School in Gatineau, Quebec, for a six-month period of French language training, during which he was promoted to colonel by recommendation of now retired Lieutenant-General Angus Watt.[27]

    On July 15, 2009, Colonel Williams was sworn in as the Wing Commander at Canadian Forces Base Trenton by the outgoing Wing Commander Brigadier General Mike Hood.[28] Canadian Forces Base Trenton is Canada’s busiest air base and locus of support for overseas military operations. Located in Trenton, Ontario, the base also functions as the point of arrival for the bodies of all Canadian Forces personnel killed in Afghanistan, and the starting point for funeral processions along the “Highway of Heroes” whence their bodies are brought to Toronto for autopsy.[20][21][29][30][31][32]

    Williams has been described as an elite pilot and “shining bright star” of the military. He had flown Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Governor General of Canada, the Prime Minister of Canada, and many other dignitaries across Canada and overseas in Canadian Forces VIP aircraft.[10][20][23]

    Williams is a keen photographer, fisherman and runner, and he and his wife Mary Elizabeth his wife are also avid golfers.[17][18]

    Along with the murder charges, Williams was charged with breaking and entering, forcible confinement, and the sexual assault of two other women in connection with two separate home invasions near Tweed, Ontario in September 2009. According to reports, the women had been bound in their homes and the attacker had taken photos of them.[20
    In addition to the four primary incidents, the investigation into Williams includes probes into 48 cases of theft of women’s underwear dating back to 2006. In the searches of his Ottawa home, police discovered stolen lingerie that was neatly stored, catalogued, and concealed.[37]

    In April 2010, Williams was placed on suicide watch after he tried to kill himself by wedging a stuffed cardboard toilet paper roll down his throat.


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    Dave says:

    I’m still upset about switching mounties’ head gear from those useful pill box caps held on by a string with those clunky flat brimmed stetsons. You can’t even get into a car in those stetsons.

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    WesternGrit says:

    The Kirpan is one of 5 Sikh symbols bestowed on Sikhs who are baptised – a practise originated with the 10th Sikh guru. The kirpan is symbolic (in the Guru’s words, not mine) and displays the baptised Sikhs (meaning “student” or “disciple”) willingness to stand up to oppression and fight for the rights of the oppressed (no shit, I’m serious – quite a noble symbol). Of other Sikh symbols the “Kara” is also one of note. You see Sikhs wearing the stainless steel bracelet on their right wrists. In the 1700s these were razor sharp, and used in combat (defensively, and offensively). Now they’re more like a copper golf bracelet. The Kara was to remind the Sikh to always do “righteous tasks” – basically a “do not steal or commit crime with these hands” reminder. The “kacha” (loose boxer shorts) are worn to remind baptised Sikhs to uphold “moral virtues” (you can imagine what that refers to).

    Kirpans are manufactured as decorative symbols. They are all made in plants in India and are dull as the blade of a hockey stick. They are purely symbolic. Most baptised Sikhs carry a Kirpan about 3 inches long (no longer than a dinner knife, and duller). Many Sikhs (like my Grandma) wear a kirpan around their neck (on a chain).

    These morons opposed to the kirpan are simply appealing to xenophobia, and rabble-rousing. Pretty easy to do in tough economic times.

    Just remember folks. You can not stand up for this minority’s rights. You can avoid standing up for the next one. Don’t cry to me when they come for you…

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    WesternGrit says:

    I guess this is why we Sikhs are natural Liberals… We wear the very symbols that require us to stand up for the rights of the oppressed. A good fit…

    Warren – you can let your political friends use that line during their gurdawara visits… lol…

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    Saskleftie says:

    I agree this is shocking xenophobia, right up there with their position on burkas and voting. The Bloc once again shows it is out of sync with Canadian values of respect for differences. Shame on them!

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    Mr. Chamberlain says:

    Kirpan Kerfuffle
    by Martin Patriquin on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 10:51am
    “…they don’t lose an ounce of their religiosity if they remove that object for the purposes of public safety–especially if they are doing so to testify in the name of religious freedom.”

    Confused thinking.

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      Mr. Chamberlain says:

      He needs the material. Only, I’m not sure he’d understand it.

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    Bob says:

    It is clear that you are not arguing for a separation of church and state, but rather that the state take religion into consideration. In situations where a knife would be prohibited in general you are advocating that religion be taken into consideration and for certain individuals to be exempt from that prohibition.

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      Mr. Chamberlain says:

      Just wait – we’ll see a “compromise” in the form of a regulatatory definition of a “knife”.

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