Intellectual freedom: Birds fly backward? No, even more strange - government minister demonstrates real action on civil rights issues in Canada
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't read it. Jason Kenney, our Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, speaking at the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem (December 16, 2009) made clear that Canada is not the universe's biggest doormat. As long as his minority Conservative government stays in power, we will not tolerate open displays of ethnic hatred here.
That does not mean that we want more meddling by "human rights" Commissions. Far from it. Those useless or pernicious bodies never seem to be where the action is. They destroy lives where the action isn't.
But apparently, our government is already way ahead of the rest of the world in what matters: Read ...
Kenney's speech started out soft and disappointing – the usual sludge:
So how have we addressed these growing incidents of anti-Semitism? Well first of all, on the domestic level, our government has worked with the Jewish community to begin a program of recognizing our own history of official anti-Semitism. Before and during the Second World War, Canada imposed immigration restriction measures which denied access to our country of European refugees. Most notoriously in our decision, in 1938, to refuse to accept the M.S. St. Louis as a refugee ship. We’ve launched a $2.5 million commemorative fund to work with organizations to understand better research and educate future generations about the hatred which underscored those policies.Aw, come on, Kenney baby! This is a pile of tax-funded low-cal puffballs! For one thing, if “vulnerable institutions in the Jewish and other communities” face “vandalism or threats”, where the heck are the police?
We’ve launched a fund to provide assistance to upgrade security at vulnerable institutions in the Jewish and other communities and have faced vandalism or threats. And now we’ve been able to work with the community to upgrade security at dozens of Hebrew schools, synagogues and community centres.
I am glad to pay taxes for the police, and I am 100% for them whacking vandals, thugs, and terrorists silly.
But why reward a whole new busload of layabouts to whine about injustices to the long dead, while studiously avoiding useful activities today? I can only pray that senior members of the Jewish community have enough sense to see that these offers are payola for dimwits. They will do nothing of consequence today.
But wait! – now comes the payload!:
We have articulated and implemented a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. What does this mean? It means that we eliminated the government funding relationship with organizations like for example, the Canadian Arab Federation, whose leadership apologized for terrorism or extremism, or who promote hatred, in particular anti-Semitism.Okay, cats. I revise my opinion. Kenney is one sharp new claw in town.
We have ended government contact with like-minded organizations like the Canadian Islamic Congress, whose President notoriously said that all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets for assassination. We have defunded organizations, most recently like KAIROS, who are taking a leadership role in the boycott. And we’re receiving a lot of criticism for these decisions. I can’t recall how many times I’ve been sued for some of the decisions that we have taken, but we believe that we’ve done these things for the right reasons and we stand by these decisions.
We have shifted our program of multiculturalism, which is our programmatic approach to integration and to pluralism, to focus precisely on integration towards liberal democratic values to remove any confusion that may have existed that our approach to multiculturalism justifies abhorrent cultural practices and the expression of hatred.
And I need to commend our parliamentary colleagues for their tremendous work in forming the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition Against Anti-Semitism, and for launching an inquiry which is undergoing its hearings in Parliament through this month and next. A tremendous opportunity for us to bring to light the threat of the new anti-Semitism across Canada.
At the international level, we have tried to give practical expression to our profound concern about the new anti-Semitism in many ways. We did so by being the first government in the world to announce that we were removing funding for the Palestinian authority following the election of Hamas because of the essentially anti-Semitic nature of that organization. We have robustly stood by the right of the state of Israel to use the means necessary to protect its innocent civilians from attacks, terrorist attacks motivated by hatred, committed by organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.
Think of it. I am no longer compelled to fund lethal, focused anti-Semitism with my tax dollars, while the government allows "human rights" Commissions to engage in bizarre practices on the Internet and to persecute pastors, priests and bishops who are only doing their duty by telling people that traditional Christianity does not support the gay lifestyle.
Some accidental unfortunates also get caught in the traps set by these tinpot Torquemadas - when the Torques are not too busy pestering a retired, discredited Indian chief spouting anti-Semitism into the wind on the lone prairie. Or acting as witless agents for Islamic jihad.
(So far, thankfully, they have flunked big time on that last one, possibly because almost no one, including the vast majority of Canadian Muslims, is the least interested in the jihadis' weird causes. So why were the "human rights" Commissions so anxious to sponsor them?)
In my view, it's so they can claim to be "busy" while in reality they are hiding out from the real human rights problems.
Give us a bigger budget, they endlessly whine. Sure, so they can persecute even more people who aren't really a threat, while continuing to hide out from those who are? Go on, get outta here!
Re Kenney's speech, my cup runneth over. No, seriously, I am grateful. I think, however, that a thorough mop-up awaits. For example, let's focus on the treatment of women in some minority non-Western cultural enclaves in Canada. Faced with that, most current "human rights" employees would, I hope, quit. And good riddance. We can replace them with tough cops with an eye for serious problems.
I especially liked this:
We have shifted our program of multiculturalism, which is our programmatic approach to integration and to pluralism, to focus precisely on integration towards liberal democratic values to remove any confusion that may have existed that our approach to multiculturalism justifies abhorrent cultural practices and the expression of hatred.Yes, exactly. Canada cannot sponsor, tolerate - or even hear - violent ethnic or religious grievances fomented from abroad.
If someone wants female genital mutilation, child marriage, religiously sanctioned wife abuse, polygamy, amputations as a punishment according to a law code not recognized here, why come to Canada, and acquire a prison sentence? Fella, prosecute your civil war on women, religious or other minorities, or criminals (in your personal opinion, not the criminal courts' opinion) somewhere where it is tolerated. Not here.
We are governed, in general, by English Common Law (look it up). Thus our jails are nicer than some countries', but ... do keep in mind that we are not competing for the Five-Star Slambo Hilton Award ...
Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.