cig_control September 9, 2019
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Christine Douglass-Williams

A major “Islamophobic” incident has taken place in Canada. The National Post explains:

An Ontario legislator is racking up online praise for his response to Islamophobic remarks directed at him at MuslimFest over the weekend. A video posted online and viewed more than 250,000 times shows NDP Gurratan Singh, who represents the riding of Brampton East, responding to a man’s anti-Muslim remarks at the event in Mississauga, Ont. In the video, Singh tells the man that he condemns racism.

But what did this man, whose name is Stephen Garvey, actually say to garner this kind of attention, scorn, and charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia”?  He asked the provincial politician Gurratan Singh whether he supported “political Islam” or “sharia law.” That’s it.

Let’s look at a comparable example about the subject matter of hate speech and racism, as this is the second time in less than a week that such a topic has made national headlines in Canada.

Several days ago, Jihad Watch ran the first such piece, which was about a Canadian federal Liberal candidate who spewed hatred against Jews. Liberal Party candidate and prominent religious leader Hassan Guillet was busted by B’nai Brith for his history of antisemitic comments, and only upon a public outcry was he dumped by the Liberals as a candidate.

Here is what was said about him:

  • Guillet referred to Israel as an “apartheid state,” with no justification for this claim. Imagine if someone said that Islamic states are apartheid states, based on their supremacist values.
  • “In January of 2017, Guillet celebrated the release of Raed Salah, a Hamas-aligned activist who has accused Jews of staging the 9/11 terror attacks and has claimed that Jews use children’s blood for baking holy bread.”
  • Guillet hailed Salah as a “jihad-fighter” and “frontier-fighter” whom “Allah will surely support.” Guillet congratulated  Salah “on being freed from ‘the prisons of occupied Palestine,’ and prayed that he will some day be successful in the fight to liberate ‘the whole of Palestine.'”

Something is dreadfully wrong when a so-called respectable religious leader gets away with spewing dangerous, racist and hateful statements against Jews for so long, and is subsequently accepted by the federal governing party as a political candidate. Meanwhile, the media and certain politicians jump on the back of a citizen simply for asking questions about the sharia and political Islam.

The media generally ran with a narrative about Garvey’s remarks being “Islamophobic” and what a big hero Singh was for keeping his composure under the strain of Garvey’s “racism.” The media also went on about how Singh made his brother, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, so proud. Notice, however, that Singh never addressed Garvey’s concerns about sharia or political Islam, but instead dismissed him with name-calling (“racist”), which escalated an already volatile situation. When Garvey was accused of being racist by Gurratan Sigh, he shouted– “I am not racist. I am not racist.” The media dismissed this as special pleading, but in fact concern about sharia is not racist.

While every Western society should continue to fight the ills of racism (including racism between visibly minority groups and religious discrimination and supremacism), there needs to be caution about crying wolf. Let’s be fair and ask the question: what was “hateful,” “racist” and “Islamophobic” about Garvey’s questions? Maybe Garvey can be accused of disrupting a peaceful event, given the scene he created, and there were also unverified accusations that Garvey was disparaging toward police in his rage that followed the incident, but creating a scene is outside the domain of whether Garvey should be categorized as a “racist” or “Islamophobic.”

Garvey was also accused of ignorance in mistaking a Sikh for a Muslim. This sometimes happens, but there is no actual evidence that Garvey did confuse the two. He was directing his question about sharia to a politician, which is valid in itself, and does not indicate that he assumed that the politician was Muslim. Sharia has been a longstanding concern in Canada: back in 2003, then-Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty declared after a long brouhaha concerning religious arbitration in Ontario that “there will be no Sharia law in Ontario….there will be one law for all Ontarians.” The question about sharia is no less relevant today.

It is unjustifiable to immediately judge Garvey as a “racist” because he inquired about Singh’s position on political Islam and sharia. Garvey, like many others, has now experienced being tried and convicted of “hate,” “racism” and “Islamophobia” in the court of public opinion by the media, the Singh brothers, and other Canadians who have surrendered to political correctness and identity politics. Such capitulation comes at a high cost for those who value the rule of law and freedom, and especially for the significant number of immigrants who have escaped countries where political strife based on religion is mainstream, disruptive, and even abusive and violent.

The attention given to this incident and the reaction to it from the Ontario legislature sets a disturbing precedent. The fallout from Garvey’s scene at MuslimFest only highlights the urgency of why questions about sharia and political Islam need to be openly addressed and discussed in Canada, without fear of reprisal. There needs to be a public discussion of Islamic supremacism, Muslim Brotherhood groups which are operating successfully on Western soil, efforts by powerful Sharia activists worldwide to curb the freedom of speech, Canada’s anti-Islamophobia motion M-103, which has been championed by questionable operatives, the Liberal Party’s determination to return Islamic State fighters back to Canada, the allowance of dual citizenship to jihad terrorists, the Islamic supremacist entryist problem in Canada, etc. But such discussions are being shut down, since no one wants to face what Garvey is facing now, and others before him have faced, suffering reprimands, dismissals and defamation for calling out the real dangers of sharia.

Another celebration in Canada — Islamic Heritage Month — also made news awhile back, and it turned up a disturbing definition of “Islamophobia” provided by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (formerly CAIR-CAN) for students in a guidebook in the Toronto District School Board. The NCCM defined the term as: “fear, prejudice, hatred or dislike directed against Islam or Muslims, or towards Islamic politics or culture.” 

B’nai Brith challenged this definition, and it was slightly altered. But in light of it, there is little wonder that Garvey would be concerned about sharia and political Islam, but the Canadian media and public officials, instead of reassuring him and other Canadians, made him out to be a hate-mongering racist.

If Canadian citizens and media alike continue to be unwilling to address the elephant in the room, Canada’s prized freedoms of expression and of the press will be lost.

“Jagmeet Singh proud of brother for confronting heckler at MuslimFest,” by Catharine Tunney, CBC, September 2, 2019:

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he’s proud of his brother for confronting comments Ontario politician Gurratan Singh says amounted to Islamophobia during a festival in Mississauga this weekend.

In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday, a protester later identified as National Citizens Alliance founder Stephen Garvey confronts Gurratan Singh at MuslimFest, and asks if he supports Shariah law and “political Islam.”

The Brampton East MPP responds, “We don’t need that kind of racism in Canada.”

Security can be seen trying to escort Garvey out while he’s yelling, “I’m not racist. I’m not racist at all.”

During a stop in Toronto on Monday to mark Labour Day, Jagmeet Singh told reporters: “I gotta admit, I’m proud of my brother for responding with strength, responding clearly that that is wrong.

“For so many Canadians this a reality, that what happened to my brother yesterday is not a one-off incident.”

The NDP leader, whose family is actually Sikh, said it’s important to come out against any form of racism.

“Any time I’ve been faced — or any time my brother clearly has been faced — with Islamophobia, the response hasn’t been, ‘Hey, I’m not a Muslim,’ it’s, ‘Hey, hate is wrong and we’ve got to stand together,'” Singh said.

“People, because of their gender, because of their sexuality, because of the colour of their skin, because of their language, because of their religion face that on a regular basis. I want to say to you, don’t give up, believe in who you are, be confident, be strong. But it’s all our responsibility, collectively, to make sure you don’t have to take this on your own.”

Gurratan Singh tweeted out the video of the confrontation Sunday, adding he “will always stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters and say hate is wrong.”….

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