Like Minneapolis, the city of Mississauga is allowing mosques to broadcast the call to prayer during Ramadan, which seems reasonable, since 12% of the population is Muslim. The only problem is that some people are objecting, for bogus reasons.
An open letter attached to three petitions, two of them hosted on Change.org, calls on Mississauga to reverse the decision, arguing that broadcasting the Islamic call to prayer amounts to a “violation of human rights.”
“Those who would like to celebrate religious holidays should be allowed to do so without infringing on the rights of others,” the letter said.
It also suggests that hearing the Islamic call to prayer would trigger PTSD in soldiers who served for Canada in the Middle East. (Veteran Affairs Canada didn’t answer if any soldiers actually experience PTSD from hearing prayers but said any personnel needing help can reach out to them.)
I don’t get the argument that public religious practices are a violation of human rights. I am offended by the erection of churches all over my town; I can’t walk to the grocery store without passing 3 churches. Have my rights been violated? Hell no. If that’s a violation, that someone could argue that putting a giant spider outside my door for Halloween was violating their rights.
The PTSD argument needs more consideration, but is hard to take seriously in the absence of any individuals who are actually complaining about the problem. It also makes me wonder about the actual root of the problem: soldiers who were sent to Islamic countries to attack Muslims now get to come home and complain about Muslims because they acquired an aversion to the culture while they were bombing it? OK, PTSD is real and irrational, but I don’t think you get to blame the victims of a military operation for your problems. These soldiers, if they exist, should get help for their condition, but putting the problem on the shoulders of Muslim citizens is inappropriate.
And change.org? Really? Once upon a time that site seemed like a good idea, but it has become a morass of petitions, petitions, petitions, all of them destined to be ignored, and they have diluted what influence they might have once had to an absurd degree. Does anyone bother to read those petitions anywhere?