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Ban Islamophobia in Canada?

- Posted in Politics by with comments

After the terrorist attack on Parliament under the Harper government, the conservatives tabled a bill (and passed!) that posed a threat to free speech by banning what they interpreted to be "terrorist propaganda", even after running a political campaign ad that potentially violated the law.

Fast forward to now, it appears parliament is mulling over whether or not to implement the polarizing opposite in response to the recent attack on a Mosque in Quebec, which could potentially pose just as much a threat to free speech just as the previous government's bill did, if not more. It's certainly predictable. Conservatives push for the irrational hardcore removal of what they deem to be "propaganda", Liberals push for the just as irrational "compassionate" response of "this is systemic and it must be fixed". The motion?

a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.

As if society today is predicated on "systemic discrimination". That it would be disruptive to change something so ingrained in our culture, yet must be done. Do these people even realize what that means? Systemic? There's never any statement to back up such a wide reaching claim, it's just accepted as "fact", and that's precisely where it all begins to fall apart. The accusation of a "systemic" issue in society gets thrown around so loosely now that it seems to have lost all meaning. The use of the word "Islamophobia" seems to only further promote this hysteria and adds to this useless rhetoric.

Yet the issue here is one and the same. Yep, I'm going to say that dreaded word again: interpret. If the motion is acted upon like the regressive left constantly lobbies for, it'll be all in how the government interprets what is and isn't okay when it comes to their view on what is "systemic discrimination" and what is "Islamophobia". The problem is by going in with such a shaky foundation there's no way it'll turn out too well.

Why can there be no in between? Why can't governments realize that sometimes, there is no great government or legislative response to these issues? A tragedy is a tragedy, and hate is hate, as bad as it may be. You don't need to make a distinction, whether it's targeted toward a religion, a sexual orientation, skin colour, etc, it's all wrong. Violence and extreme hate is already illegal under Canadian law. It's enforcement of existing law that is needed, not sensationalistic proposals based on emotional response.

I opposed the "ban the burqa" fad that made it's way across the country for its threat to freedom of religion. That certainly resulted in some absurd accusations on how I wanted to "implement sharia law", but ideologues seem to always act that way. Those people were on the right, but now with the left in power the lies seem to be coming from the other side now.

It should go without saying that I'm no defender of Islam the ideology. I oppose strict ideology in principle but I take a strong libertarian stance when it comes to important constitutionally protected freedoms like speech and religion. I want to see anybody's ability to criticize it's ideological fallacies further protected just as much as someone should be able to be a peaceful follower wearing a cloth on their head. The "everybody is racist" paradigm we're currently experiencing is a dangerous trail to be on and it seems it'll be the cause of another "free speech should take the back seat", all in the name of crisis.

See this article in the National Post on the threat posed to criticize Islam.