Former judge wants to bar Muslims from scholarships
Geoff Nixon, CTV.ca News
Published Wednesday, February 25, 2009 12:14PM EST
A retired judge wants two Ontario universities to bar Muslim students from being awarded scholarships he has established, though the spokesperson for one institution says her school won't support a proposal that "flies in the face of everything we stand for."
Paul Staniszewski said he objects to the "medieval violence" used by the Taliban -- such as when Taliban militants recently kidnapped and beheaded Polish engineer Piotr Stanczak -- and he wishes to "disqualify" Muslim students from receiving financial aid he has paid for.
"I'm reacting to what's going on to people who aren't even soldiers, who are having their heads beheaded and this stuff is shown on the TVs and everything else," Staniszewski told CTV.ca in a phone interview from his Tecumseh, Ont., home, just outside of Windsor.
"I am doing the same thing these people are doing, except I'm not cutting off heads, I'm cutting off applications for help in their studies," he added later in the interview.
Staniszewski, who is in his 80s, has established scholarships at both the University of Windsor and York University's Osgoode Hall Law School.
The University of Windsor website lists three $1,000 scholarships under the name of the judge and his wife, and the York University website lists an award that is also named after the couple.
According to the description of The Honourable Paul I.B. and Mrs. Tevis Staniszewski Award, the retired judge graduated Osgoode in 1954 and practiced law for 13 years until he was appointed as a federal judge in 1967.
Staniszewski said he has attempted to contact both schools about his idea, though he told CTV.ca that he has only made contact with York University so far.
"They told me to put that in writing and they'll take it up with the board," he said.
York University spokesperson Alex Bilyk said he had no comment on the issue.
University of Windsor spokesperson Lori Lewis said the school could never support such a measure, though she said it was her understanding the administration had not been contacted about the matter.
"It goes without saying that our position is that we don't discriminate against our students and that is not an acceptable restriction," Lewis told CTV.ca.
"It's against the law and it flies in the face of everything that we stand for at this university," she added.