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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The veil

I was on CTV's The Verdict tonight, talking about "reasonable accommodation". That debate is framed as a discussion about all immigrants but, as with so many other euphemisms, it's actually about Muslim immigrants or, to be even more accurate, radical Muslim immigrants. I am a hawk, but I truly believe that most Muslims in North America came here to flee various medieval hell-holes, not to bring the hellish qualities of Pakistan, Egypt, Iran or other places with them. This hope of mine was confirmed last February when the Western Standard published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, and didn't buckle under pressure to recant. I couldn't believe it when our circulation department told me of how many Canadian Muslims bought subscriptions to our magazine in support of our stand, but it was true.

It is endlessly frustrating to me that the go-to media spokesmen for the Muslim community are radical Muslims, such as those at the Canadian Islamic Congress (whose president said on TV that any adult Jew in Israel is fair game for a terrorist attack) and CAIR-CAN, one of whose spokesmen debated against me tonight. Moderate Muslim voices like Tarek Fatah of the secular Muslim Canadian Congress are under-reported -- especially since violent threats against Fatah by radical Muslims forced him to resign.

Shahina Saddiqui was the CAIR-CAN rep tonight -- she was the one who tried to get the Jews of Winnipeg charged with hate crimes last year for watching a movie about Muslim terrorism. Of course, the cops laughed Saddiqui out of the police station -- that sort of thing doesn't quite work in Canada, yet. Saddiqui's left quite a track record of illiberal statements out there, including one that she tried to disclaim on the air tonight -- a comment five years ago explaining away female genital mutilation.

When someone with Canadian values hears about female genital mutilation, the only response is to recoil in horror and disgust. Saddiqui preferred to explain it as an attempt to keep Muslim girls chaste. As with so many other statements by CAIR-CAN, the Canadian Islamic Congress and other radicals, if you took the same words and had them spoken by white males -- say, a priest -- you'd be shocked. There is still a thick enough layer of political correctness towards these topics, even six years after 9/11, that an honest discussion is still tough to get to.

I'm impressed that Quebec's feminists have finally cut through that fog. A dozen years ago, they looked at Islam as an enemy of the white, Christian patriarchy, and thought "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" and, as with so many other leftists, backed radical Islam against the West. They have since come to their senses, and realized that the Taliban, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and too many Canadian imams are so retrogressive on women's rights that they make the Pope look like Liberace on the subject by comparison.

That's what this is about: calling radical Islam to task when it is sexist, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-democratic and illiberal. Maybe one day we'll even hear the civil liberties types talk about the separation of mosque and state.

The public has given up waiting for the media, political class and even police to talk -- or even think -- clearly about these subjects. The most startling thing I saw on the rest of The Verdict was the SES poll that showed that only 5% of Quebeckers, and not many more in the rest of Canada, believe in making more one-way accommodations to immigrants. It's been thoughtfully argued that John Tory's defeat in Ontario was because of fears of opening the door wider to Muslim radicalism. (I regret that Calgary's Alnoor Kassam -- a fully-integrated, liberal, Ismaili Muslim -- probably lost votes in Calgary's mayoralty election for this same reason.)

The SES poll and these other political anecdotes are proof that ordinary Canadians are coming up with their own home-made political solutions to Muslim radicalism, since the establishment won't give them any formal options (and the Muslim community has not solved this problem themselves by properly isolating and disowning the radicals amongst them). It's a sure sign that the wilfully blind elites are losing the argument when, as on tonight's show, so many of them call for political "education" of the common people.

I would have liked to have had more time tonight, and our segment was difficult with three panelists in three different cities, but I enjoyed the chance to be the lone voice all night arguing against one-way multiculturalism, and I enjoyed trying to smoke out the facts beneath the euphemisms -- pressing on issues like women's rights, gay rights and freedom of speech, issues that were once the domain of liberals, liberals who now stand gagged by their own soft bigotry of low expectations of Muslims -- they refuse to call out racist, sexist, anti-gay Muslims where they're do so in a flash with white Christian men.

Watch the whole show here and give me your brickbats or bouquets.

Posted by Ezra Levant on October 18, 2007 | Permalink


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"respecting the differences of the others"

. . . unless your name is Ezra Levant, of course. Or if you want an English or Chinese sign in front of your own store.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-21 5:46:03 PM

I was glad to see Ezra Levant on the panel.
I tought this discussion will be interesting...

Unfortunatly, there were no discussion at all because of him. He was the most extreme of the 3 and by far. Sad thing.

I give it to you obc. The french in Quebec is more than important for the population. In fact, everyone comming on the mic in the local debate are asking for a reinforcement of our French laws and to give new commers tools to learn french within 3 years. Sorry mon ami, you wont see an English Quebec in your lifetime.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-21 6:01:35 PM

I just want to see an independent Quebec in my lifetime! The sooner the better. Get off your duff, Mark, and make it happen!

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-21 6:04:02 PM

You know I'll do my best.
The local debate on reasonable accommodations is helping a lot too. You and I have the same goal so I wish both of us good luck.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-21 6:25:49 PM

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