American Elephants


Islamophobia, Freedom of Religion, Free Speech And Hate Speech by The Elephant's Child

The Canadian  House of Commons has passed a motion that singles out the criticism of Islam as a form of “Islamophobia.” Critics condemn it as an attack on free speech. There’s a lot of that going around these days, especially on college campuses. But also in governments, at all levels. The Left has raised any unpleasant speech to the level of “hate speech,” a fuzzy phrase that doesn’t define the speech, but condemns the speaker as a bad person. To be condemned as fascist, racist, homophobe, Islamophobe, sexist, etc, etc, etc.

This is particularly abhorrent for those who have been elected to office, for going around with the bad person label may mean that you lose your next election, but also that your opponent has some real ammunition to destroy you. But there is no such thing as “hate speech.” There are hateful words, or cruel words, or even language intended to incite violence. But let’s try to be accurate with our language.

The fear of being so labeled has everyone ever so careful with their use of language and avoidance of any suggestion that could end up with the BP label. Words get ultra-careful. Obvious things cannot be said or done. It becomes a careful time with everyone tip-toeing around what in an ordinary time would be a straightforward condemnation or disagreement. On the other hand, tweets, comments and social media, are increasingly rude, foul-mouthed, nasty and increasingly unprintable. The increasing prissiness of official-speak is driving ordinary folk quite bonkers.

The picture illustrating the article is a photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau behind a placard saying “Diversity is Canada’s strength” (in two languages). This is also nonsense. Diversity is a current buzzword of the Left, who are trying to divide the people by forcing them to readjust any organization or particularly any photo so there is the proper representation of skin tones and ethnicities—none of which have any importance at all. It’s what’s inside that counts. Is there a diversity of thought, of outlook, of knowledge? Are there nice congenial people or only rude and nasty ones? Are these people with whom you have something in common or strangers? Honest and trustworthy?  The minute you start asking real questions the idea of diversity of skin color gets silly. Doesn’t matter.

The more important question is — why has “diversity” suddenly become the top question or issue? I saw a piece recently where someone was questioning Germany’s troubles with “migrants.” And someone responded “But don’t you understand how important the diversity is to Germany”— or something to that effect. That’s just my memory. And of course the Canadian discussion soon got into the freedom of religion issue regarding Islamophobia. It is not a matter of freedom of religion when the proponents of one form of that religion want everyone else to submit or be killed, and keep demonstrating ever gorier ways that they kill dissenters or just those who are out of line.

I wrote something a few days ago about the increasing extent to which people on the right and those on the left were not speaking the same language, and it is true, and intentional. Language is becoming a tactic and a weapon in our increasing division.To suggest that the Left speaks in the language of feelings and emotions is only the beginning of the differences, which are growing ever closer to all-out war. More to come.

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Canada News on Motion M-103

The House of Commons has passed M-103, a non-binding motion condemning Islamophobia and religious discrimination.

All NDP and nearly all Liberal MPs supported the motion, which passed 201-91. The majority of Conservative MPs voted against, with leadership candidate Michael Chong and Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton voting in favour. Mississauga Liberal MP Gagan Sikand and Barrie Conservative MP Alex Nuttall both abstained.

The vote follows months of bitter debate and a series of protests and counter-protests across the country over whether the private member’s motion would limit free speech or single out Islam for special treatment in Canadian law.

Irwin Cotler, the human rights expert and former Liberal Justice Minister, said in an interview with iPolitics.ca that he would have advised Khalid to strike the word “Islamophobia” and replace that term with “anti-Muslim.” He also would have added a reference in Khalid’s motion to earlier House of Commons resolutions condemning anti-Semitism.

But Khalid said she was unwilling to “water down” her motion.

Rex Murphy:
For the motion itself, and the politics that attended it, have not been without contention. The questions raised on its wording were legitimate. Why the particular focus on Islam? Why not a motion, as some have suggested, speaking out against prejudice against all religions?

There is also concern that the motion will, in some manner, chill valid criticism of Islamist terror, or will not make allowance for legitimate criticism or analysis of Islam. Such criticism would now be forced to wear the degrading mantle of Islamophobia. Given this welter of mixed impressions and varied understandings of the very point of the motion, how effective can it be?

A survey published Thursday by the Angus Reid Institute suggests that 42 per cent of Canadians would vote against the motion, while just 29 per cent would vote in favour of it. About two-thirds of Conservative voters were against M-103, while opinion was more divided among Liberals and New Democrats.

The poll suggests that Canadians have doubts the motion will accomplish anything. A majority of respondents said that the motion would have no real impact. Another 31 per cent felt it was a threat to freedom of speech, while 12 per cent believed it would help “reduce anti-Muslim attitudes and discrimination.”

The survey was conducted between March 13 and 17, interviewing 1,511 Canadians adults who were members of an online panel. A probabilistic sample of this size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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Comment by Ron Clutz




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