A Manitoba medical student who was expelled after failing to satisfactorily apologize for his controversial views on guns and abortion has been granted a new adjudication of his expulsion. […] Rafael Zaki, a Coptic Orthodox student at the University of Manitoba who was supposed to graduate in 2022, posted three items on his Facebook page in February 2019. He was expelled in August 2019.
Expelled for posts on Facebook? This seems a bit excessive.
One year later, after losing two appeals within the university system, Zaki asked Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench to review the decision made by the University Discipline Committee. Zaki said he was expelled “for holding conscientious and religious beliefs that abortion is harmful.” […] The university, meanwhile, said that it must ensure professional behaviour and attitudes in order for its students to become doctors, and that Zaki was expelled for failing to reach that standard “even after numerous attempts … to assist (him) in remediating his conduct.”
That sounds … awful. "Numerous attempts"? The student wants to become a doctor. A doctor generally wants "to do no harm". Just because people at a university may disagree with the student's position does not mean that the student should be ejected from the school. University is a place to explore and challenge ideas, not run away from them.
Ken Champagne, the provincial judge in the case, found that there was a perception of bias and the university discipline system had failed to consider Zaki’s Charter rights to freedom of expression. […] “The decision is quashed,” Champagne wrote, calling it “incorrect and unreasonable.”
Glad the provincial judge can see through the absurdity.
Zaki’s posts received 18 anonymous complaints to the university and he was brought in for meetings with top faculty members. Zaki agreed he had written the posts and that they were unprofessional. He then made five attempts to write an apology letter regarding the posts, none of which were deemed satisfactory.
Five attempts? Why were these unsatisfactory?
“Your fifth apology lacked sincerity, as no evidence of any personal exploration or self-examination of any of your attitudes was provided,” the 2019 expulsion decision states, according to court documents. “Further, you continued to apologize for the impact your article had on readers, suggesting it was their fault for being offended.”
So … taking this to the next logical step, if nobody is allowed to say something that might offend people, we are all limited to "Hello" and "Yes, thank you". All other language can be deemed offensive depending on the repeatability of the recipient. What an absurd notion.
After Zaki sent his second apology letter, Ripstein sent him a letter saying it was “not clear to us that you have had any change of your opinion on sensitive topics,” and that the belief of the Progress Committee — responsible for student evaluation within the college — was that Zaki should be expelled. Three more times, Zaki sent in apology drafts.
“It is hardly surprising that they were all deemed insufficient, as the Progress Committee had already concluded Mr. Zaki should be dismissed,” the judge wrote.
Yeah … that's the Canadian "education" system for you. Guilty until proven dead.
The judge also found that the university discipline system failed to consider Zaki’s Charter rights to freedom of expression. […] “He would not and could not change his deeply held pro-life religious beliefs,” Champagne wrote in his decision.
I fail to see why this belief is so egregious that a person can be expelled. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree, freedom of religion and expression are — for the moment — still a part of the Canadian charter. Why is it so hard for people to agree to disagree anymore? Why must everything be black and white? Oh, sorry … truth and fake.
The walls that abound around thought will do nobody any good. Canada is moving very quickly into the arms of a very destructive ideology and there doesn't seem to be very many people who are standing up to say "This is absurd. Stop."
I sincerely hope that more people do stand up to the ideologues who have held the education system hostage for 50+ years and move the country back towards accepting people for who they are … regardless of whether they are "right" or "wrong" on various topics.Manitoba medical student expelled over 'pro-gun and pro-life' Facebook posts wins court ruling