Religion:Multiculturalism is a vital ideology that asserts that all citizens are equal. As a result, it ensures that all citizens maintain their freedom of religion and identity. Canada advocates for equality and freedom of rights among all citizens. Therefore, individuals have the liberty of enjoying religious freedom. However, multiculturalism enhances secularism, therefore undermining religion.
The government of Canada adopted the policy of multiculturalism in 1970. The insistence of the federal government on the social essence of immigration enhanced the implementation of the policy (Griffith, 2015). Multiculturalism ensures that each citizen maintains their identity, have a sense of belonging, and can embrace their ancestry without any fear or prejudice. Brosseau (2009) asserts that multiculturalism was adopted in different spheres of sociological, political, and social policies and prescriptively as an ideology. As a policy, it meant that the government managed diversity through federal municipal and territorial realms. The ideology was made up of a set of ideas and practices that involved the celebration of Canada’s cultural diversity (Fong, 2018). Similarly, multiculturalism revolves around a group of people with varying racial and ethnic roots living together coherently.
Multiculturalism is a crucial ideology that advocates for the rights of all individuals. The Canadian government had to manage the Quebec crisis effectively and therefore adopted Biculturalism and Bilingualism, which later transformed into Multiculturalism (Kymlicka, 2015). Multiculturalism has ensured that every Canadian is equal in every aspect of life by providing mutual respect in their social life. The policy was mainly adopted because of the tremendous success of Canada in bringing in immigrants from all over the world (Griffith, 2015). Their immigration policy attracted millions of skilled workers since it was not only favorable but also lucrative. Multiculturalism has therefore allowed the immigrants to effectively integrate into the Canadian system as they are allowed to maintain their identity, cultural, and religious practices. (Paris, 2018). The policy ensures equity socially, culturally, education wise, healthcare, the justice system and economy to mention but a few.
Freedom of religion in Canada is constitutionally protected as a right. The citizens are allowed to congregate and worship without limitation and interruption. The multiculturalism policy in Canada does not discriminate against non-believers; instead, it ensures that everyone is treated equally regardless of their religious belief. Freedom of religion is imperative in any given since it protects the rights and freedoms of minorities. Similarly, the autonomy enhances freedom of interaction without interference (Bonnis, 2015). Over the past years, Canada has promoted the freedom of religion. However, this does not mean that the government has not experienced issues of religious intolerance and discrimination. The country’s policy of multiculturalism has played a major role in ensuring that the citizens are treated equally and that their identities accepted and celebrated. Therefore, multiculturalism has greatly contributed to religious diversity in Canada
The structures present in Canada were initially defined by Christianity. After the introduction of Multiculturalism, they were changed to suit the Canadian secularism. The changes have enhanced the introduction of other religious groups like the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Chinese, and the Canadian aboriginals among others, finding it hard to integrate. In turn, there have been cases if religious intolerance in the country which puts the policy of multiculturalism at risk of failure (Bonnis, 2015). Some citizens believe that religious diversity is not an important aspect of identity and social change (Brosseau, 2009). Therefore, people are blind to the negative attitudes, beliefs, and values that cause intolerance and actions that lead to discrimination (Kymlicka, 2015). The issue of religion came up in Quebec after Catholic parents decided to sue the school as they believed that the mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture in the curriculum went against their religious stance. The Board of Education and the Supreme Court of Canada both refused the plea saying that their plea was against the country’s Multicultural state.
In the case of the Catholic parents and the Court’s emphasis on Multiculturalism, it is clear that the policy does not promote religious containment or accommodation (Skerrett, 2013). Multiculturalism and religious freedom seeks to enhance equality and diversity in the nation, The curriculum in most schools seek to undermine the sanctity of their religious beliefs by introducing children to the theory of relativism (Seljak, 2012). Canada’s Multicultural heritage is a priority to the country, and it leads to the government being more concerned about upholding it at the expense of religious freedom (Skerrett, 2013). Therefore, Canada enhances religious traditions regardless of the group that practices.
In conclusion, religious freedom in Canada and Multiculturalism are hard to integrate, as they tend to contradict each other. An adaptation of secularism in place of the respective religions would ensure there are national unity and integration. The foundation of Canada’s success in Multiculturalism is their mutual respect for all cultures, beliefs, and values. Focus on multiculturalism undermines religious freedom in the country.
Bonnis, B. R. (2015). Canada: Multiculturalism, Religion, and Accommodation.
Brosseau, L. (2009). Canadian Multiculturalism. Retrieved from https://lop.parl.ca/sites/PublicWebsite/default/en_CA/ResearchPublications/200920E
Fong, V. (2018). Why does Multiculturalism Work in Canada? The Torontonian Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/the-torontonian/why-does-multiculturalism-work-in-canada-d52ac4e23747
Griffith, A. (2015). Multiculturalism in Canada: Evidence and anecdote. Lulu.com.
Kymlicka, W. (2015). The three lives of multiculturalism. In Revisiting multiculturalism in Canada (pp. 17-35). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Paris, E. (2018). Canada’s multiculturalism is our identity. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canadas-multiculturalism-is-our-identity/
Seljak, David. (2012). Protecting religious freedom in a multicultural Canada. Diversity Magazine 9(3).(2012).
Skerrett, Kathleen. 2013. “Religious Freedom and Multiculturalism: Canadian Contentions.” The Immanent Frame. Retrieved from https://tif.ssrc.org/2013/08/20/religious-freedom-and-multiculturalism-canadian-contentions/.