We need to understand what 'Islamophobia' really means - Macleans.ca

We need to understand what ‘Islamophobia’ really means

Canada needs to have a hard look at the hysteria about Muslims in this country. The way people use the word Islamophobia won’t make it easy.

Throughout the second day after the late-night shooting at the Mosque in Quebec city, people continued to add flowers and notes and other objects as memorials for the victims on snowbanks around the perimiter of the mosque. (Photograph by Roger LeMoyne)

Throughout the second day after the late-night shooting at the Mosque in Quebec city, people continued to add flowers and notes and other objects as memorials for the victims on snowbanks around the perimiter of the mosque. (Photograph by Roger LeMoyne)

Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, a government information-technology specialist, father of two. Ibrahima Barry, 39, a civil servant for the provincial health-insurance board, father of four. Khaled Belkacemi, 60, a Laval University chemistry professor, father of three. Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, a government information-technology specialist, father of three. Azzedine Soufiane, 57, proprietor of the Assalam halal grocery, father of three. Aboubaker Thabti, 44, pharmacist, father of two.

They are the dead from the Jan. 29 massacre at a mosque in the Quebec City suburb of Sainte-Foy. Among the million Muslims of Canada, they were our people, murdered while at prayer, and the horror of it drew our flags to half-mast and summoned thousands of Canadians to mourn in small candle-lit gatherings and in street vigils from Iqaluit to Victoria, and from Halifax to Calgary.

Of course, there must be a fair trial for the 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, and it is perhaps not yet especially helpful to draw the most direct cause-and-effect lines between the Sainte-Foy atrocity and the ultra-nationalist and “alt-right” derangement that those who knew Bissonnette identify among his passions. Still, at the same time, a consensus is emerging around the proposition that Canadians, and particularly Quebeckers, are summoned by the murders to pay some heightened attention to the rise of that sociopathology that has come to be called “Islamophobia.”

MORE: Why refugees to the U.S. are risking life and limb to get to Manitoba

A recognition of the usefulness of subjecting anti-Muslim bigotry and hysteria to some close scrutiny was already gaining traction before the horror in Sainte-Foy. Two days earlier, it was U.S. President Donald Trump’s bedlam-inducing executive order aimed at refugees and travellers from several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa—which grew out of his campaign pledge to at least temporarily “ban” Muslims from entering the United States altogether—that prompted a four-and-a-half-hour emergency debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Last October, after some fits and starts, the House of Commons adopted a resolution condemning Islamophobia in all its forms. Last December, rookie Liberal MP Iqra Khalid tabled a resolution, to be debated Feb. 15, calling for a further condemnation of Islamophobia that would require the Standing Committee on Heritage to study the matter of “eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia,” and also proposes a federal data-collection effort on hate crimes.

Khalid’s idea has been warmly received by Liberals and New Democrats. Conservative MP and leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch, unsurprisingly, has staked out an adversarial position, on the absurd grounds that no specific religion should be afforded “special privileges.” The Conservative caucus hasn’t taken a position, but it should. Khalid’s proposal is timely, worthy and necessary. An important first question that should be addressed, however, is what it is we’re even talking about here, exactly.

Getting “Islamophobia” wrong will only entrench everyone in the preposterously deadlocked and polarized place that tends to leave Canadians largely incapable of having a respectful, “non-partisan” and productive conversation about a range of vexing difficulties. The problem is with the word itself.

“Islamophobia” is a neologism that appears to have arisen from a 1991 study by the Runnymede Trust, a pro-multiculturalism British thinktank. The Runnymede study defined Islamophobia as a species of xenophobia, specifically an “unfounded hostility towards Muslims, and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims.” That’s perfectly straightforward. But over the years, the term has taken on a different meaning, with a different function.

It is defined now by the Oxford Dictionary as a “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.” Much mischief is made with the term by both the “left” and the “right,” by the habitually appalled and by the consistently bigoted.

It is quite possible for a person to be vaguely indifferent or even affectionately amenable towards Muslims generally and Muslim immigrants specifically, while at the same time harbouring a healthy skepticism about federal refugee policy, or a deeply jaundiced view of Islam, and perhaps of religion in general. It is possible to be a devout Muslim and to hold a great deal of Islamic piety in contempt, as well.

Getting it wrong can do great harm, because the slipperiness of language occurs in tandem with the slovenliness of ideas. The Southern Poverty Law Center, for instance, recently sustained a nasty self-inflicted wound to its reputation in this way. Long a turn-to organization for research on political extremism, the SPLC published a list of what it described as 15 “anti-Muslim extremists ” that included the unambiguously bigoted American hothead Pamela Geller and the notorious paranoid Frank Gaffney along with the impeccably credentialed Maajid Nawaz, a high-profile reformist Muslim. Nawaz works with the Quilliam Foundation, a British anti-extremism think tank named after the founder of Britain’s first mosque.

The imprecision of the term Islamophobia is almost invariably bound up in dead-end arguments that allow both “counter-jihad” activists and jihadists alike to conflate Islam, the religion as it is practiced by the overwhelming majority of Muslims, with Islamism, the totalitarian ideology that has produced several virulent strains, including the ghastly fanaticism of Daesh, otherwise known as Islamic State.

What can appear at first glance as an unexceptionally “progressive,” if otherwise dreary, point of view can conceal something else entirely. As in, this: “The West has at its disposal tremendous media facilities for the education of the public, but until now, these facilities of information, education and entertainment have been largely used purposely to misinform, to miseducate, and to instill hatred against the Islamic peoples.” Who said that? The infamous Nazi Ernst Zundel. It’s from a screed of his, published by the hideously anti-semitic Swedish webzine Radio Islam.

The conflation of Islam with Islamism allows anti-Muslim bigotry to flourish. Bigots and lunatics routinely conflate passages from the Quran with the faith of innocently devout Muslims. It’s easy work to find all sorts of bloodcurdling passages in the Quran that can be lifted and rigged to slander Muslims of all kinds. Like these: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks. . . Oh believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends. . . Oh believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness.”

Taking that to mean that Muslims are just waiting for the chance to embark upon rampages of neck-smiting and wickedness is to surrender to racism and dementia. Even more unpleasant, this one’s about Jews: “I shall give you my sincere advice: First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. . . Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.”

That one’s from a lurid 16th Century tract composed by the prophet of Protestantism, Martin Luther. Shall we all start freaking out about Lutherans now?

The “left” has happily entertained its own hysterical conspiracy theories: the United Nations reconstruction of Afghanistan was really an American imperialist war for oil (Afghanistan, alas, is rich mainly in sand) is one. “Al Qaeda was created by the CIA” is another. Sometimes, the idiocies of the “left” and “the” right are indistinguishable or interchangeable, even in the arguments about President’s Trump’s vulgar excesses.

Who said this? “If they want to build a wall that’s up to them. If they want to throw out illegal immigrants or keep out Muslims that’s up to them. It’s their business.” It could have been the execrable Trump-admiring Brexit rabblerouser Nigel Farage. But it was the disgraced British MP and “anti-war” loudmouth George Galloway, who not long ago was a frequent celebrity guest on fashionable CBC chat shows and a darling of Toronto Star columnists.

MORE: It is time for Canada to do brave things

During Tuesday’s emergency House of Commons debates on how Canada should respond to Trump’s anti-Muslim executive order, the wisest counsel came not from NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, who did a splendid job attempting to wrest something useful from the government benches, nor from rookie Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen, who had nothing to offer in response.

It came from Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel, who is not what you would call a popular person at the Conservative Party’s fringe, where shouting about Muslims is the loudest.

“It is facile for us to believe that there are not others on this planet who disagree with our way of life. There are those who hold views so extreme that they kill in the name of their God. They rape in the name of their God. They subjugate and bring terror in the name of their God. No religion and no nation is immune to this,” Rempel told the House.

“Yet there are those who seek to bring light and beauty to the world. They seek to bring peace, prosperity, and tolerance. Every religion and every nation has these people. They are Muslim and they are Christian. They are Sikh and they are Hindu.”

By closing our arms around the grieving widows and the children and the loved ones of those six martyrs in Sainte-Foy this week, we Canadians might just have allowed some light and beauty to emerge from this horrible thing. Yet there remains an unspeakable hatred of Muslims, and hysteria about Muslims, abroad in the land.

We need to get this right. We owe it to the dead, and we owe it to the living, to face this scourge with decency, with compassion and with honesty, to muster what is right and good about Canada to the cause of seeing to it that those six men did not die in vain.


We need to understand what ‘Islamophobia’ really means

  1. Beautiful. Thank you for this.

  2. Islamophobia is no different to arachnophobia. Not all spiders will kill you, but what’s the harm in avoiding all of them just in case? Even the moderate ones don’t care if their dangerous cousins kill you.

    • Johnny come latelys still debating the term Islamophobia can study closely this above specimen comment.

      Within it, a clever comparison is being made between Muslims and spiders. Lacks originality as it is a straight up cut and paste from a hate blog. Susceptible simpletons exposed to carefully crafted Islamophobic one-liners such as these from right wing pseudo-intellectuals can now be kept busy associating icky and repulsive feelings towards all Muslims. Not much thought is given to the fact that spiders play an extremely important role in our ecosystem. Now what the poster was really trying to convey was another Islamophobic cliche along this line – “Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims”.

      A slightly less flattering arachnid commonly associated with Muslims is our humble house cockroach. You see, “Muslims are like cockroaches because they breed like cockroaches”. Also not much thought is given to the fact that this is sometimes a complement attesting to the resiliency of the Muslim peoples. Cockroaches are foretold by scientists to survive nuclear war ! “Oh the humanity… Muslims and cockroaches will be the last ones standing. Squash them both now before it is too late”.

      Get real folks. Address this trash. Or someone in a Quebec city masjid will set forth to squash some spiders.

        Perhaps while you are on your tirade, you can explain to readers the instructions from the Koran concerning the suggested treatment of non-Muslims and those who leave the Muslim religion.

        • But why a fixation on the muslim religion? Does it stem from an irrational phobia or a genuine quest for knowledge? Laws of apostasy and other juicy tidbits are found in the Torah, Bible, Talmud and portions of the Vedas (Manusmriti) as well. And along with the Quran, I am familiar with choiciest of verses in each of these sacred scripts. Why not engage in a comparative study? Do you really want to go there?

          • Why the muslim religion? – neither of your points above. As I stated before, we’re not afraid of anything and personally, I don’t give a damn what it says in your Quran.
            Why the muslim religion? Because its your buddies who are targeting innocent people in cowardly attacks the world over. Time to stop talking about irrelevant verses and tidbits and pseudo-intelligent ramble trying to show us how smart you are and how wrong the rest of us are and focus on what the vast majority wants to know: How did these murderers get into our country? How do we prevent that from continuing to happen? Who are the cowards that shelter these murderers while their here? What are we doing about them? If your loyalty is not to this country and its laws and its culture that provides you with the basis for your meaningless rants then emigrate to Yemen or Somalia (cheap real estate I hear!)
            I think Trump is on to something for now – but you’re not. Go ahead, go “nuclear” on that as you so cleverly state in one of your later rambles.

          • “Because its your buddies who are targeting innocent people in cowardly attacks the world over.”

            What sort of juvenile or geriatric trollery is this? My buddies? How is this not equating a regular everyday Canadian Muslim citizen to your brand of a violent stereotype?

            And then this gem???
            “If your loyalty is not to this country…..emmigrate to Yemen or Somalia?”

            I have no incentive to justify my loyalty to Islamophobic trolls. That I will demonstrate on voting day and every other day via hard work that actually benefits Canada.

            It is the right wing whose loyalty is now under question. It’s narrative has been penetrated by Russian propaganda efforts in UK and Europe and is polarizing and demoralizing our nation. I therefore propose a Canadian values test for all right wing candidates standing for office.

            For the life of me, is there a real centrist conservative party left anymore???

          • Real centrist conservative party? There likely was, we would all love to be there – but according to you we’ve all become paranoid pettifogger, juvenile or geriatric trolls, spiders that need to be squashed – and so, your hate-filled rhetoric and imbecilic rants (and of course your buddies blowing stuff up all over the world as I mentioned before) are the cause for the slide to the right, its the reaction to your intolerance for otherwise believers – read your book it tells you right there who non-believers are and what to do with us – not in my house! You WILL NOT shove that garbage down our throats. Christian people in now democratic countries have spent the last 2000 evolving, for us time didn’t stand still. We now make and have the best in technology, cars, art, and yes infrastructure, tolerance, the highest living standard – you and your buddies want to be part of this? No problem – come in the front door, learn to respect our culture (even if we don’t have to be interested in yours whether you like it or not), learn our languages and DO NOT apply your primitive religious / political practices here – they’re NOT WELCOME. We don’t veil our women, our daughters can wear what they want without being afraid of a pack of uncivilized animals considering them prey, and we respect those who aren’t like us even if they are different as long as they INTEGRATE like we all did when we came to this beautiful country –
            Notice how, unlike you I’m not constantly referring to religious scriptures? Don’t need it – even though I love the bible – but don’t need it because here we’ve figured out how the basics work and they don’t have much to do with religion – think integration, fit in, gratitude, participation in building this place.

          • Your inclusiveness, Joe88, and demands on the Canadian Muslim community have been duly noted. I have nothing further to add except to wish you peace, prosperity and happiness.


      • Paranoid pettifoggers have brought to my attention that the last paragraph of my above post may need to be re-edited. Honest readers understood the post in context but below is what I intended to mean:

        “Get real folks. Address this trash talk. Or someone exposed to this right-wing hate in Quebec city may set forth to squash some spiders in a masjid.”

        I do not believe in threats or violence of any kind and am determined to call out hate where ever I see it.


        • Re : Joe88’s comments : I agree. And while Middle Eastern immigrants are showing gratitude and respect for being here, they should also make a determined effort to learn about OUR history — not bring the baggage of their own Middle Eastern conflicts with them. To “Practicing Muslim” — it is “oh so impressive” that you can cite chapter and verse of the Koran. And, Oh, I am just so happy that your children learn the Koran by heart — so that they can reproduce it at a moment’s notice if it gets lost or stolen. But, have you also taught them about the struggles — the lifelong, devoted struggles of the Canadians who came before you that brought us to this wonderful place of civilization. Do your children know about Tommy Douglas, “the father of Medicare”? Do yo?? Have you read “Working People : An Illustrated History of Canadian Labor”, by Desmond Morton. How about “Lament for a Nation”? And, here is a very, very good book — John Ralston Saul’s “A Fair Country : Telling Truths about Canada”. (reader’s guide to it available) You see, we stopped wrangling about religion a long time ago, and put our efforts into developing a fair living wage in place (Winnipeg General Strike, 1919 — sound familiar???) There is a vast history which you and all other immigrants should learn before you try to tell us how to live. (I note that in one of your comments you even had the audacity to try to tell me how to vote!!) Open your heart and your mind. Canadians as a whole are , in fact, kind people. But, it is always “more, more, more” with some immigrant populations.

          • @Lindsay3: I can be accused of audacity yes, but you will be hard-pressed to find a single sentence where I told you how to vote. Did’nt happen, won’t happen. I give you the benefit of doubt that you did not deliberately misconstrue my statements (for the second time), but are simply employing a negative debating tactic.

            That said, I found your post very helpful, for you have shared in it, a reading list. I am particularly interested in “Lament for a Nation” and the author’s commentary on keeping Canada’s national identity separate from the US. It pains me to see the level of deep American penetration in media, business and culture and most recently, the right wing narrative as well. Canada is not Europe, UK or US and must not develop policy that solves problems unique to those countries by giving in to xenophobia or paranoia.

            To reciprocate I too would have loved to share some books with you on Islam and Muslim contribution to civilization over the centuries, but that appears pointless as you and some other posters are of a fixed opinion that immigrants, specially Muslim, must not tell you “how to live” but that knowledge must flow only from “old stock Canadians” to immigrants. This is sad, but also to my advantage, as I lack the time to do proper justice to the debate that would have generated.

            I will take a look at your suggested reading list and also share it, but cannot guarantee on behalf of anyone, that peaceful religion will not continue to play a role in Muslim lives for generations to come. Religion provides guidance for societal success that manifests itself over time cyclically and for generations to come.

            To conclude my final post, I am in violent (pun intended) agreement with your last sentence. Canadians as a whole are indeed a kind and wonderful people, regardless of ethnicity and I pray to God, this be the case for many many centuries into the future.

            Happy Canada’s 150th anniversary. Peace, prosperity and respect to all.

  3. “Yet there remains an unspeakable hatred of Muslims, and hysteria about Muslims, abroad in the land”.

    Seriously, this is incorrect. But yes, we do need to understand what ‘Islamophobia’ means, and it does not mean the hatred of Muslims, at least, not to me personally. Most Muslims that I have lived amongst, worked with, and taught to, are peace-loving, friendly, and intelligent people.

    The problem that is highlighted by this subject is the existence of fundamentalist Islam that is brain-washing naive students of a misinterpreted Qu’ran by criminal imams. It’s as simple as that.

    Actually, it is not that simple. The problem is the avoidance, by most authorities, that such teaching exists … when clandestine videos are available, which is almost beyond belief.

    Could we not start by banning all copies of the Qu’ran not published in English or French.

    • Canadian students and activists learning to deal with Islamophobia can also look at the above post.

      First part of the post appears reasonable with welcome advice to “criminal” Imams to reign in misinterpretations of the Quran. But God has not bestowed leopards with the ability to conceal spots. Delusional advice to “ban the Quran” (Arabic only so it’s ok) promptly follows. Ruffle feathers of these right wing tools further and Islamophobic chants to “nuke Mecca” may also follow.

      Below is some education about banning the Quran.

      1. It has been tried before in history at various times and places. Over-zealous British generals attempted this ban in hotbeds of resistance to their colonization of the Indian subcontinent. Also in Muslim central Asian territories of the former Soviet Union, where Quran study simply went underground. Both attempts failed. Why? Learn below.
      2. Quran is not actually a book. It is a Spoken Word that is memorized and recited. Millions of even non-arab “huffaaz” (memorizers) memorize the entire arabic Quran, letter for letter (600 odd pages worth), some children as young as nine. This is also the way it was and will be to preserve over generations.
      3. What haters really are hoping to ban is actually the “Mus-haf”, a publishable book, that records the Quranic spoken word for the convenience of transmission and study. Mus-hafs have also been destroyed in the past and just most recently, burnt in Florida by a penurious pastor who found and outlived his 15 minutes of fame. That automaton was rightly prevented entry into Canada by our noble border guards under Harper’s reign.
      4. If every copy of the Mus-haf in the world, not just in Canada, were to be burnt altogether at the same time, little non-Arab children will reconstitute multiple copies within 24 hours, word for word and vowel for vowel, in Arabic. (possibly faster with engagement of social media)
      5. Even authoritarian regimes in the world such as China consider banning the Quran, a really, really bad idea. Baffling how trolls in pluralistic societies can even put pen to the thought.
      6. Perhaps 2000 odd years ago, some troll somewhere also demanded the banning of the Aramaic bible? Unfortunately today, the real Aramaic spoken word of Jesus (pbuh) no longer remains, only translations and versions on which even learned scholars argue and bicker. A great, great tragedy in itself.

      Verily It is We (God) Who have sent down the Dhikr (Quran) and surely, We will be its guardian. (Quran 15:9)

      • Prac, you go, girl!

      • Practicing Muslim,
        You believe in the Quran and another book. I would not suggest that your books be banned because I believe in freedom of religion.
        But I would just point out that the Quran was not produced until the 7th century and by only one man, correct? The bible I use is the King James Bible (1611) is the English translation of the Greek manuscript (New Testament) going back to the original manuscripts in the days of the Apostles (2000 years ago). The Old Testament is basically the Jewish Bible and was written over a period of more than a thousand years starting around 3000 or more years ago. I think there were several dozen people who wrote the various books of the Bible. There is a lot of evidence the KJV is the only accurate (100%) bible. The many miracles and fulfilled prophecies in the Bible prove it came from God. Christians believe it is God’s written revelation to man and that there is no other written revelation. That is a central issue that you may investigate if you are so inclined. The fact that eyewitnesses say in the N.T. that Jesus rose from the dead is the clinching proof of his claim that he is the Son of God and is a of fundamental importance in the Christian faith. The gospel of John gives a great account of His miracles and rising from the dead. This means he is both the Son of God and God as part of the trinity. The trinity is a hard concept for many to understand. It does not mean three gods. Rather it means three persons in one God. Cheers.

        • Kermodebear,

          I could not resist coming out of lurk mode just to appreciate your post. I do refer to KJV and NIV off and on but my real preference has been RSV due to its endorsement by the Orthodox Church. Although I respect all denominations, I have observed that on a relative basis within Christianity, the Orthodox Church provides its adherents with spiritual tools and traditional practices closest to Islam. Its eschatological similarities with Islamic prophecies have also fascinated me. Thank you for sharing your explanations of Christian belief and creed. Respect and cheers.

          – O mankind! We (God) have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so you may know one another. (Quran 49:13)

    • My problem with that site is that many of the crimes are not necessarily done for religious reasons. In that sense we could say that all drug related killings in Central America are done by ‘Christians.’ We could also note that many of the forms of ‘justice’ resemble what we find in the Torah.

      • David Rosee

        I have not followed the link, but I wanted to say that I thought the man who killed 6 people at the Mosque may have been the same person who spoke with one the members of that community a few days earlier and that he expressed an interest in the religion. And if that was true, that it was the same person, perhaps the reason he killed was not because he hated them but for other reasons, such as being rejected by them.

        I found it interesting, too, that the community member stated that the young man he spoke to made a remark about liking middle-eastern food and it was at that point he led the man outside as he thought he was not serious. I would think religion and culture are often intertwined and that people might like the whole package, as it were. I realize – and maybe the community member didn’t – that we from the west get rejected too, and treated unfairly by those we only want to be accepted by. Sometimes I think that those who are better off in our society and who are well-established in their communities can be intolerant of those who struggle to find places that are accepting of them. And that goes for Christians, or people with no practiced religion, as well as Muslims.

    • Very well funded hate sight with a motivated and dedicated team of Islamophobes and xenophobes looking to play God and shape the future of Europe and the western world. A closer look at sources of seed funding and background of its authors, along with other hate sites, such as the not so britebard, reveals an interesting shadow group, playing a satanic role to create a future holocaust of Muslims (the new Jews) and a clash of civilization to the benefit of …………..

    • Thanks Joe – not surprised to see the plethora of disgusting acts. But shocking is the naivete, actually the stupidity on the left where most still think that by bringing these facts to light we’re talking about not wanting to help those in need.

  4. Reasonable article. All things to all people. I would counsel however that we resist wasting resources forever debating semantics and accept reality that Islamophobia exists and has long been ignored by state and media. Along with antisemitism and other prejudices, we need to create a national strategy to tackle and defeat it.

    Canadian muslims have an important role in identifying Islamophobic talking points and literature and must actively address its narrative to neutralize hate. They can no longer simply afford to lurk in forums but must actively participate in debate and call out falsehood where they see it. It is a civic duty not just religious. They have the law on their side and the best wishes and support of all good hearted Canadians who see the nation being polarized by short sighted right wing extremists that cluelessly take their lead from fellow bigots living in Europe and in the south.

    Hate spreads instability in a society that also impacts economies and must now be dealt with as a national security issue. Last thing needed is for the west to continue losing hearts and minds of muslims around the world, all the while Russia and China actively engage in enhancing their reputations within muslim lands. This latter trend is disturbing and is already shaping new alliances that will eventually lead to treaties and pipeline agreements defining the next world order. Address this trend now and stop debating.

    • Perhaps, you should be active within your own community, that’s the core of the problem. Start by telling the imams to ban all copies of the Qu’ran not published in English or French.

      • LOL it’s written in Arabic

        • And the Holy Bible is written in Hebrew. LOL

          • The Torah of Moses (pbuh) was in Hebrew and the Ingeel (evangel) of Jesus (pbuh) was in Aramaic.

            Rename yourself to B.CauseIDon’tKnowEnough.

          • @ P.Muslim; I suspect that you are well aware that I do know more about Islam than you wish me to reveal to others.

          • @P.Muslim; Allow me to caution you that I am 40 years older than the person attached in my ID photo.

          • @B.CauseIStillDon’tKnowEnough:

            I do not doubt your knowledge of Islam. Some superficial knowledge after all is prerequisite in order to bring 1.6 billion muslims into disrepute.

            But knowledge is not sufficient for a debate. With it must accompany wisdom and God’s light, without which, a donkey with a load of encyclopedias or a speed googling champion would also be rendered scholarly.

            How would you assess yourself on a wisdom scale after asking for a blanket ban on the arabic Quran earlier in light of my response to you?

            You lack objectivity and a debate with you is no more relevant than a pillow fight. I therefore surrender the floor to you with complete humility.

          • @P.Muslim; I resent being likened to a donkey or a Google champion as you exit this discussion. I sincerely respect your belief in your religion, just as I was when teaching post-graduates in Bangladesh (a so-called secular country where non-Muslims, especially Hindus and Buddhists, are terrorized by some criminal groups), where I was fortunate to have an occasional imam in my class, who was quite polite about the insistence that my Christian God was also his God, etc.
            Our problem is your apparent reluctance to accept that there are some imams who are misinterpreting certain phrases in the Qu’ran in a criminal style of hate related to ‘unbelievers’, while they argue their entitlement to ‘free speech’, which should become quite obvious if one of our official languages was used.
            With respect, I consider this discussion ended.

    • Prac, sing it, sister!

    • Practicing Muslim
      You say,
      “Hate spreads instability in a society that also impacts economies “.

      Hate is a strong word that may not always be the best term to use. When it comes to jobs, old-type Canadian citizens are now having to compete with newer immigrants, It may be similar in a way to when feminism starting taking over and women entered professions that men had typically held. Many job-hunters would see that as unfair, to have to compete for jobs in such an environment.

      You say Muslims should engage more, as you are. Many of you need to learn more about the country you live in, which you have obviously been told is a great country. And it is if you have money, or community support, it might well be. And just because I say this doesn’t mean I am not good-hearted. I am, but I do not like being trampled over.

      • “Thank You”, Sue McPherson. In my opinion, what many Canadians want is lower immigration quotas, to ensure that the people already here all have a fair chance. I, personally, would like to see our government make sure that “no one is left behind”. There are so many people in Canada today, already, who could benefit from a kinder, more caring society.

        • Lindsay,

          Yes. But Trudeau seems only interested in what the refers to as the middle class. I find it hard to believe that he thinks we are all equal to start with and that it is only through hard work and merit that one achieves success. But that’s how it is with people who have inherited their greater opportunity in life – the notorious silver spoon.

      • Fair post and a fair concern at the very end. Some day when I get closer to retirement and have to compete harder for employment with a younger and more skillful workforce perhaps I too would feel like I am getting trampled over. I do not know how I will deal with those feelings at that time. But I do know for sure that I will never blame immigrants, muslims or the government for my problems and will take personal responsibility right now to prepare for retirement. And of course, God is my Provider and in Him I place my trust. Sufficient is He and the best disposer of all affairs.

        • Practicing Muslim,

          I’m not saying one has to “blame” Muslims or immigrants. This is fairly new, anyway, the idea that it is Muslims in particular that are taking the best jobs, I had thought I was in competition with the younger generation, and yes, some minorities who were granted favouritism. But yes, the point is, we do need controls over immigration. We most definitely do. We have what we have and cannot change that. But there is still time to stop it from getting worse.

          Furthermore, instead of all this talk about Islamophobia, we need to concentrate on Christianithy maybe on the particular Christian religions, as well some of the “minority” religions. If Muslims want to focus on Islamophobia, great, but we also need to talk, all of us, about what Christianity means, in this culture of ours that may be unfamiliar to Muslims and others.

          Lastly, I do not appreciate the way you addressed the problem I mentioned, of old-time Canadians having to complete with Muslims, etc. You need to watch your language, and you need to be more sensitive to Canadian culture, in which we like to pretend the playing field is fair but in reality it does depend on what family you come from, whether you have wealth or not, and so on. I’m sure many immigrants come here to our kind and generous country believing they have hit the jackpot, and that it is all theirs to take.

          • I am happy Sue to discuss immigration in the context of demographics, birth rates, debt loads, entitlements, tax base and a boomer generation closer to retirement placing a higher burden on a dwindling tax base. But you will not like my response. Immigration is no longer a choice but a strategic necessity. This fact was not lost even on Harper, a radical advocate for strict immigration controls. You will be surprised in looking up the annual number of immigrants that were brought in during his reign, myself and family included.

          • Reply to Practising Muslim, post starting ” am happy Sue to discuss immigration”

            Instead of saying you would be happy to . . . , why not state the item you are able to discuss AND say something about it.

            Our gov’t spends too much on useless projects such as pre-kindergarten, robotics for one or two individuals, and saving the tiniest of babies when it suits them. But the point is, they have money, and they are still spending it, but not on healthcare for the older citizens here already, not on getting feminists to change their tactics regarding motherhood, and not on finding a way to stop the entitlements received by Senators who already have enough of everything.

            I know Harper was trying to put limits on immigrants, but it is hard to get citizens to see the drawbacks of this, and the more they let in, the less likely it is the old Canada will cease to exist.

            This immigration problem, from the perspective of foreigners already here, is sometimes told in terms of “if you’re not for us you must be against us.” No grey area there. And that is what happened when I spoke out about the woman in the hijab (don’t know her religion) who came to a Secret Santa get together for seniors and started distributing presents to each of the residents. Trying to make an objection to hijab Santa brought the wrath down on me, as though I am racist for not letting her do anything she wants to, for not being tolerant of her antics.

            I am for Kelly Leitch, although how to educate foreign applicants for immigration on the culture of Canada apparently isn’t on her list. Perhaps a short book, on our traditions, so they don’t step on people’s toes, or appear to be taking control of one of our traditions, or trying to alter our customs in some way. I guess I would say, instead of trying to test their values, simply give them something that educates them.

          • to prcticing Muslim
            this sentence corrected
            “I know Harper was trying to put limits on immigrants, but it is hard to get citizens to see the drawbacks of this, and the more they let in, the less likely it is the old Canada will continue [not cease] to exist.”

          • Don’t worry about our dwindling tax base, we have Governments to figure that out. It’s not your job to defend the hordes coming in to throw us back to the stone age by breeding like rats. There are simple solutions to resolving low birth rates within our control – how about not sending money to the last corners of the planet and instead spending it on free day care for all – see? Don’t need the hordes from the East for that –
            You must have read that somewhere int he Euro-left-wing trash/hate publications –

  5. What’s this? A threat to non-muslims in the very first comment posted by a “practicing muslim” – I quote from below: “Get real folks. Address this trash. Or someone in a Quebec city masjid will set forth to squash some spiders.” Here’s how it is folks: 17 comments here – one threat of violence from a practicing muslim hiding in anonymity. Sound familiar? Has nothing to with phobia – we’re not afraid of anything.

    • JOE88: Your point is valid. Why is this never brought out in the main stream media?

      • Yes, it was a threat. And it should be treated as such.

      • Because they tell us what they want us to hear – rarely, if ever the unbiased truth. Not even sure we can expect that in all cases because many folks are not able to draw the best / correct / necessary consequences from the truth. For a dose of this just watch CNN then flip to FOX for commentary and view point on the same matter – you’d think they’re from different planets. And, truth be told, if they did report on these issues fairly it may make even the more moderate blood boil, which would produce more violence. Think sharia law zones in major European cities where anarchy rules over federal law, on-going violent crimes, molestation, robberies in Germany, etc, etc, – we’ll never hear that on the 6 o’clock news. What they will show us is an interview with a crying young muslim mother with two little kids expressing her gratitude for being allowed into the country (Germany in this case) while in the back ground you see fifty 25 year old men rushing through into Germany with hoodies covering most of their faces. One of these guys ended up driving a semi-trailer loaded with 20 tons of steels through a Christmas market in Berlin, as I’m sure you saw.
        One has to pay attention to these nuances they don’t want us to see, or perhaps it is better we continue being told that none of this is really happening –

    • In a programmed zeal to associate violence with every muslim under the sun, you have deliberately misconstrued my post to be taken as a threat. Less paranoid readers familiar with the use of literary devices such as subtlety, sarcasm and foreshadowing of an event that has already occurred (in flashback), would have understood the message I was trying to convey against hate and therefore against violence that recently stemmed from that hate.

      Below is a re-edited clarification as a one-time favor for pettifoggers.
      “Get real folks. Address this trash talk. Or someone exposed to this right-wing hate in Quebec city may set forth to squash some spiders in a masjid.”

      I apologize for refusing to fit into your stereotypical image of muslims, but this spider does not believe in threats or violence.

      • For all those who have been taught to rush and associate violence with every day muslims:

        Below is a post that was made last week on a right wing website which according to Alexa rankings that has more than 35 million sessions each month. This post is still up on the site which also has over 6% of its visitors from Canada. Alarmingly a member and former patron of this fraternity of websites is now Trump’s chief advisor.

        “I swear to God if we had the nuclear firepwr to destroy every muslim piece of shit man, woman and child, give me the fuckin launch codes. I will do it. And then I will think about what I want for diner. Then sleep the sleep of the saved and the thankful.”

        Many other murderous posts litter comments sections on these websites and exposes a consistent genocidal narrative within the right wing, possibly similar to the one that led to the misfortune of natives of the American continent and the Jews of Europe.

        Before claiming a higher moral pedestal……………..

        • Nobody is associating violence with everyday muslims – we’re associating violence with violent muslims

  6. Islamophobia seems to be a made up name used to discredit anyone who speaks out about the atrocities of the Islam political ideology. Phobia suggests a fear. Therefore, I question who is really afraid of Islam, those who speak out or those who are afraid to speak out and instead prefer to to attack those who do.
    As mentioned, Islam is not a religion but rather a political ideology. However, it has its roots in the Koran. I suggest that those who see no problem with this ideology, refer to the Koran and read about its instructions to its followers.

    • I am tempted to go full nuclear on this post by replacing the terms, Islamophobia with antisemitism, Islam with Zionism and the “Koran” with the Talmud, just to demonstrate that two can play the game of hate. But I would be simply insulting another demographic which has suffered horrendous atrocities and a holocaust by right wing xenophobes and hate mongers.

      And in respect to that demographic, I resist.

  7. I read this far:
    “It is quite possible for a person to be vaguely indifferent or even affectionately amenable towards Muslims generally and Muslim immigrants specifically, while at the same time harbouring a healthy skepticism about federal refugee policy, or a deeply jaundiced view of Islam, and perhaps of religion in general.It is possible to be a devout Muslim and to hold a great deal of Islamic piety in contempt, as well.”

    Forget the last line. It is out of place. It makes it sound as though this article was written by a Muslim.

    I agree with the first part of this, that Muslims or peoples from middle-Eastern countries whatever their religion can be just like everyone else, more or less. And yes, I believe immigration is a problem, if we already in Canada want to preserve our culture at the same time other influences and cultural aspects are coming in and making our culture broader (and presumably, accessible to us who are already here.

    What I don’t like about this article is the subject – Islamophobia. I don’t believe that that is what most of us have to address. Perhaps it is an academic subject while for the most of us, learning how to live with people from other cultures and religions is the issue. And that goes for for the newer Muslim immigrants too. It’s not just us who have to be tolerant and accepting.

    • Well said – and exactly my point. We can’t be the only one’s tasked to accept change, learn and grow and be tolerant. Those who aren’t willing to accept that, who want to force their religious laws ahead of our country’s laws and who are intolerant towards our culture precisely because we are tolerant – those need to be kept away. For all my tax money I ask that we are certain that this is the case before granting anyone access to this fabulous country or any other in the Western civilization for that matter –

      • I agree.

  8. I had an encounter recently with people where I live who seemed not to be familiar with our Canadian (westernized, original immigrant type) customs, based on our Christian origins. What the lady in the hijab did was the equivalent of a westernized Canadian walking into a Muslim celebration and altering the celebration in a significant way. I do not know the culture well enough to given an example, but it would be like going into the home of a traditional Chinese family and not removing one’s shoes first.

    I have seen on the internet that travellers to certain countries can research the country beforehand, to find out what not to do and what is acceptable. I would like to request that foreigners to our country do this, so no errors occur of the type that did where I live, while the residents were sharing in a Christmas celebration.

    r culture is so familiar to those of us who live here and have internalized it that it is no longer needs to be verbalized, or defended, apparently. But it is time old-Canadian citizens think about this so that our culture does not become distorted or taken over.

    I realize this might be seen by some as the wrong place to write about this, but what better place to draw attention to one of the problems Canadian old-timers face.

    • “Thank You” again, Susan. Until all of the people who are already here have given the issue of just where we want our country to go, then we should put a pause on bringing massive numbers of new people in. In my opinion, it is not up to Justin Trudeau to decide for all of us what our country should look like — even if he does like to take his Christmas vacations with an enormously wealthy leader of a Muslim sect.

      • I agree, Lindsay. Trudeau isn’t listening to the people. It looks different from the top. He doesn’t run into the same problems that some of us down here. You talk about all of us deciding what our country should look like but I sometimes get the impression a lot of us want it to look like their home country. I can understand that, but acting as though Canada is a country of immigrants thus it is a free-for-all and whoever had the power wins is not the way to do it, as far as I’m concerned.

        The trouble is, those closer to the bottom are influenced by those who have more and are generous, just as women used to be impressed by men who were generous. But one has to question their generosity, and not confuse that with them trying to change our customs.

        • Again Sue with your fear that your customs are changing, what you fail to see is that Canada today is not what it was in 1950 and Thank God for that. As for your gripe against immigrants, I am sorry to tell you that you are an immigrant and so is your family, unless you are part of the First Nation Native group which has lived here for several thousands of years. So be happy with that fact that you immigrated to Canada.

          • L.Beaulieu (Sue) –
            Like me, I don’t think Sue “fears” anything. On the contrary, you socialists need to stop assuming we’re afraid of these cultural cripples. We don’t want them is what we’re saying. Just like when I don’t want you in my house if you can’t behave – I’m certainly not afraid when I ask you to leave, I’m never less afraid in fact. People like Sue are trying to defend what they and their ancestors have built and paid for with their taxes, more or less carefully layering in cultural pieces over the centuries to form what we have today.
            We all want to help those in distress but – like I said in an earlier post, I personally wouldn’t save one muslim mother if it means letting in violent elements like the cultural / social cripple who molested teenage girls at West Edmonton waterpark the other day – not in my house. I’m sure you’ll disagree for some reason, which is OK because we are a (still) a democracy, but please put your hand in the air to offer up your wife / daughters for these guys to fondle next time and stop sweeping what really matters under the carpet.
            Sincerely –
            Your fellow immigrant, in Canada since 1987, never a day unemployed, pay my taxes on time, my wife is visible to all and I am proud to have friends of every denomination because we respect eachother

    • Sue you have written a few comments here and you refer constantly to Canadian values and traditional values and old Canadian stock, I have no idea what you mean by that. An old stock Canadian is that someone whose family immigrated to Canada before 1765? or is it Native Canadians who have been here for millenia. As for Canadian values what on earth is that? Is it white British Christian values responsible for genocide around the world? Does that include French culture in Canada or Native values. You seem to put yourself above other people as if you belonged to the chosen race. Immigrants to Canada are your equal in Law and in the Constitution, so no one is superior. You obviously fear Muslims and I am willing to bet you fear Jews, and people who practice another form of Christianity which is not yours. You should reflect on that.

      • L. Beaulieu. I hope that you will take a minute to consider some input. .. The IMPORTANT thing is that there is a wide-spread confusion about what “Muslim” means, and what “Islam” means.

        “Muslims” are a people who practice a particular faith. “Islam” is the translation of that form into government structures.

        Motion 103 is, in fact, asking the Canadian government to ban any criticism of a form of government that is responsible for all sorts of atrocities.

        Now, it is unfair to say that all Muslims are going to follow their government’s commandments, and perform atrocities themselves. BUT, and this is a very , very important but, many Muslims are , in fact, “devout” Muslims. You only need to read “Practicing Muslim”‘s comments in this section to see that many Muslims study and learn… even to the point of having their children memorize the Koran line by line, to be able to replicate it if necessary. (those are his word, not mine. )

        When the Jewish people came to Canada, they did not come believing that God had commanded them to “take over” all the lands of the earth. (And that is not to say that Christians and Jews both have not committed atrocities in the name of their religion. They have. But we are talking this century, and the 20th century. And, please, I would ask you to not bring up the Palestinian / Israel conflict. In my opinion, the Palestinian people have a lot of “right” on their side, and Israel is purposefully aggravating the situation. But we are not talking about Israel here — we are talking about Canada. ).

        The Mennonites did not come here to take over Canada. The Buddhists and the Hindus did not come there to try to push their beliefs on us.

        The followers of Islamic jihad do want to. I am wondering if you understand this?

        The conflicts in the Middle East, of which we have heard so much about , have now come to Europe and North America. If you are an honestly open-minded person, could I please ask you to watch the You Tube videos from Europe currently available on the FaceBook for ImmigrationWatchCanada.org

        You certainly may not believe what you see — that is your right, but before you go any further insulting Sue with statements like “You are probably afraid of the Jews, too”, it would be the decent thing for you to do to at least consider another person’s point of view.

        Whether you like it or not, once there is a “critical mass” of Muslim people in this country, then we will be living with the same mess.

        I would like to say, “Have a Nice Day”, but I have a feeling that you are not an open-minded person. And, on this matter, saving our Country from constant stress and violence brought on by people who swear allegiance to “Allah” , and to the people who translate his words as meaning “go forth and pillage and destroy”, I am afraid that I am not feeling very much patience with people’s determination to bury their heads in the sand.

        If you are a sincere person, why not do a bit of research on things like the state of Sharia Law in Canada. Just google the three words, Sharia Law Canada. You will find a page that starts out with the website address http://www.billionbibles……….. On it, is a description — in loving and glowing terms, of how far the Islamic movement (as opposed to people who adhere to the Muslim faith) have come in forcing Sharia Law upon the countries which have been opening their arms to them in this “refugee crisis”.

  9. The equation of Martin Luther’s anti-Semetic views with the Qu’ran is profoundly dishonest and undermines the objectivity and credibility of the entire article. Despite his credentials as a theologan, his statement is not (nor does it pass muster according to) Christian scripture (see Col 2:8); whereas, the passages quoted from the Qu’ran ARE Islamic scripture! Simply stated, Luther was not a Christian prophet, but Muhammad is the Greatest Islamic prophet.
    The Qu’ran holds itself to be clear and unambiguous, yet the hermeneutical gymnastics required to make it appear peaceful militate against this very premise. In this light, it’s easy to see why so-called “Islamic extremists” view “moderates” as apostates and hypocrites.
    It’s encouraging to see Muslims willing to engage in honest and thoughtful discussion and debate, but for this to occur the right to disagreement and critcism must not be suffocated under the heavy cloak of anti-Islamophobia.

    • Well said!!

    • Very well said.

  10. Last year, six young First Nations females (in their teens) took their own lives. Their deaths are the direct result of government policies which continue to leave the indigenous people of this country behind, without hope for a better future. Until Canada had dealt with the deplorable past and present of its relationship with First Nations peoples, she (Canada) has no business claiming to care about human rights. Mr. Glavin lists the six people who died in Quebec City. I am very sorry that they died, and I am sorry that they died due to violence. But, there are all sorts of violence. We do “violence” every day to thousands of Canadians — First Nations, the homeless, our veterans, the mentally and physically challenged, senior citizens, single mothers, etc.., by not making sure that our government’s policies and practices take care of the people who are already here. I am sorry that some people who are of the Muslim faith no longer feel safe in Canada, but I can assure that the thousands of people living in degradation and poverty in Vancouver’s East End do not feel safe , either. Canadians need to think long and hard about who they really want to bring in from the cold. In my opinion, we should take care of the people who are already here before we try to save the rest of the world.

    • I agree with your main point, Lindsay3, that many groups in society are suffering. And I question whether Muslims are aware of that when they separate themselves into their own secure (?) communities. They seem to be of the opinion that it is Canada’s treatment of them that needs to take priority. And that is likely a result of the killings in Quebec, or at least exacerbated by that tragedy. It brings to mind the Montreal Massacre of 1989 in which 14 women were killed. That enabled feminists to make the entire country focus on the so-called plight of women, even though men too were suffering.

      I do not see the solution to the problem being mainly the govt’s policies and practices. I think Muslims and newer immigrants should show more consideration to Canadians who have been around for a while, and not use this tragedy to gain sympathy for what they see as vicious unfair treatment towards them, just as feminists used Marc Lepine’s actions to make the same claim.

      • “Thank You”, Sue. :)

    • Well said – especially since we always seem to have money to send as aid to foreign countries, in addition to inviting more penniless immigrants in while our own needy are hanging around Hastings waiting for a lucky break –

      • Joe88

        Re penniless immigrants:

        When I came here 60 years ago with my parents they were penniless. This might be a good time to mention, too, that because my mother was trained to teach phys ed in schools in Britain, she was not qualified to teach here but did take a job doing much the same thing at the YW.

        We don’t want to be a country that only brings in the wealthy and educated, do we? There are so many of that kind of immigrant, from India, China, etc. We ought to give poor people a chance, too. The main problem is that we don’t want to bring in so many that our culture gets lost.

        • Yes, a balance. But a balance that works for those who are already here.

        • Agreed – the amount of money one owns has nothing to do with a person’s quality. I’m an immigrant who came to Canada in 1987 with little more than a suitcase full of clothing and a dog in a cage and limited education. This country has given me the opportunity to advance my life and my career to a Vice President role in a leading firm, with much hard work of course but with the freedom to do so – so you’re point is well made, thank you for the reminder.

          • “You are Welcome!!!” :) :)

  11. Luv reading ur blogs…. It provides us with such good content….. Pls follow me at che653wordpress.com would love if u would comment and let me know about my work as I am new to the blog world…. I ll be greatly obliged…..

    • Niralivdesai, I tried every combination which I could think of to find your blog. I also tried several combinations in Google. Perhaps you could paste your full www address into a replay. :) :)

  12. Experiment:
    On a nice warm day (Soon, I hope), visit a city centre with a notebook, spend 10 minutes observing everyone, and note the number of French Canadians seen. Then, spend another 10 minutes and note the number of Chinese Canadians seen. Then, spend another 10 minutes and note the number of Mexican Canadians seen. Continue this study for another hour, noting the numbers of various ethnic individuals seen. Difficult, eh?
    Then, spend 10 minutes noting the number of Muslim Canadians seen.
    Finally, write a Conclusion … and post it here.
    Just a thought.

    True Story:
    I once led a post-graduate student study-group where I posited the probability of a Islamic/Canadian government, many decades in the future. One Muslim student, with a wry smile on his face, answered, “Yes, because we are very patient people”.
    Think about that too.

    • B.causeIknow

      You know, the mayor of London England is a Muslim. Sadiq Khan. I don’t know what to make of that, But Britain has changed drastically over the years.

  13. Well said – especially since we always seem to have money to send as aid to foreign countries, in addition to inviting more penniless immigrants in while our own needy are hanging around Hastings waiting for a lucky break –

  14. My reply is to Joe88’s suggestion of free day care for all. It wouldn’t even have to be “free”, Joe — a good start would be to have good, quality day cares, with licensed and educated people running them. (And, lo and behold, this would go a long way towards raising the living standard of many of the very low paid day care workers now, as well as allowing women who want to work to do so. ) In this country, many, many women still have to go scrounging for some neighborhood person to take the children. Of course, in Quebec — as I have mentioned, I have a great deal of admiration for the way the province of Quebec supports its citizens, this day care is largely available, and at a subsidized rate. To address this — the lack of affordable, quality day care, would be “one brave thing” that Justin Trudeau could be doing. Instead of doing so, he says, “Oh, we need more people to create a tax base….etc. etc. etc.” , so lets go look for people from other countries to come here. It is this type of “catch-22” situation which is really getting me upset. How about better education for First Nations peoples (let alone safe drinking water). (And, before you question my credentials to speak on this, please know I have direct experience with both — non-quality education and unsanitary water that would immediately be fixed if it was being consumed in a city somewhere. I have lived it. ) I am becoming sad to be a Canadian. And now, Little Lord Trudeau cannot even keep his promise to bring about electoral reform….

  15. Dear Practicing Muslim,
    I see that you have “signed out” as per these discussions, and I think that is perhaps a good idea. I am sure that you are a very nice person, but , you know, “people like me” really, really, really find the clothing which you insist on your women wearing “scary”. That is an honest statement from me to you. I find them scary. I do not want to know about more a way of life that leads to that. As well, part of my own personal baggage is that my only son went straight into the US Marines out of high school. And, he was signing up just as the Twin Towers went down. (Please acknowledge that I recognize fully that the Bush invasion of Iraq was just that — an invasion. It was not a justifiable conflict, and , in my opinion, the world is a far worse place because Bush and Cheney have not been tried for war crimes. ) So, anyway, as I say, part of my own baggage is that I lived in complete and absolute terror for the next five years. And ultimately resulted in losses in my life which I have not yet recovered from. However, I give thanks every day that it — George Bush’s war, did not cost me my son. One of his best friends in the Marines was blown to bits by mortar on one Friday morning, with my son standing beside him. But he himself came home safely from two deployments. So, while absolutely none of that has anything to do with you, or your family, or your friends, it would be helpful — it would be a good thing , if the Muslim community would recognize that people in North America have been deeply, deeply scarred by the conflict in the Middle East. It is all very frightening. (Just this minute I listened to a report on CBC about the prison in Syria which is now called the “slaughterhouse”.) So, without getting into semantics , or verbal gymnastics, perhaps you could ask your people to be a bit more sensitive to our needs. The young woman who “won the battle” to wear her (burkha??– sorry, I don’t readily know the proper language), and cover her face at her swearing in as a Canadian citizen did just that — she “won the battle”. But she went a long, long way to “losing the war” in winning the hearts and minds of Canadians. This is the type of thing that I would hold your people accountable for. To hide your face while swearing in to become a Canadian citizen. Finally, as I , too, want to move to other aspects of life in general, you say that you did not tell me how to vote. I am unsure if it is in this article’s comment section, or in “Time for Trudeau to do a Brave Thing”. Your comment was, in response to my statement that I had been a life-long NDP’er , was “NDP. A vote for the NDP is a vote for the Conservatives”. Canadians have been fooled once, but they won’t be again….”. or words very similar to that . Two points about this : it is the NDP that has brought the social programs which Canadians cherish into being. If you look at the history books , at face value, it will show you that they came in under Liberal governments. But, it was as NDP Premier in Saskatchewan (Tommy Douglas) who fought tooth and nail to bring it into Saskatchewan first. The rest of the country followed –but only because the NDP often held the balance of power in the government, and pushed, and pushed, and pushed….. Years, decades, lifetimes of hard work to get us to the point where we are now. To the point which we cherish, but which Harper wanted to erase — he wanted to take us back in history. He is gone. But Justin Trudeau is showing every sign of being as untrustworthy as Harper. So, yes, you did try to tell me — perhaps not how to vote, but try to suggest how I should think — and nobody does that. My second point is that it was only on the issue of immigration that I have seriously considered leaving the NDP for the Conservatives. Our country needs lower immigration levels– in my opinion. If for no other reason than that we NEED a period of time to heal from the continuing affects of George Bush’s war. We need time to reflect, and think quiet thoughts. We do not need to be bashed over the head, continually, with UN demands to ‘take more in”. We don’t need constant calls for “family reunification”. We are a struggling people ourselves. And, now — finally, I want to tell you that , in another place, at another time, I might well have asked you for your reading list. But, you see, my mind is all filled up with my own pain and my own losses. I do not have room in my heart, nor in my mind, for anybody else’s right now. And I would like my government to understand that I, and my family, are struggling — really struggling. And I would like to be shown compassion, and caring, and love. Same as you. So, if your people could perhaps put some of their demands on hold for awhile, perhaps you would find that time, “the great healer”, would work its’ magic. Respectfully, “Lindsay”

    • Lindsay; Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. I identified with your emotion, and wish Macleans would highlight it throughout its publications.
      I wish you well, and hope that God, and your son, care for you.

      • “Thank You”, B.CauseIKnow It has been really, really hard. Especially when my son was fighting for the US –and Canada (rightly) rejected that war. Then, Canadian soldiers went to Afghanistan….

  16. A quote which is often wrongly attributed to Hitchens but was actually said by Andrew Cummins (either way it perfectly sums up the situation): “Islamophobia: a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to control morons”

    What happened in Quebec was a tragedy and if it were up to me that scumbag would get the death penalty. But I expect the Muslim Brotherhood connected advocacy/lobbying groups here in Canada – who are very well-funded, well-connected and aggressive – to milk this for all it’s worth. This new bill being put forth to “condemn Islamophobia” (even though we already had a bill like that last year plus whatever the heck that was with the mayors of all the major Canadian cities signing a pledge against Islamophobia) is just them inching closer to passing blasphemy laws here in Canada. I really believe they will make a play for that sooner rather than later.

  17. To other participants in these “Comments” sections : In seven days, on Feb. 16th, a Private Members Bill – Bill M103 , is going to be debated. I have been told by a number of people that this Bill could, in fact, the first breach in our cherished freedom of speech. I have also been told that the Muslim Brotherhood is taking an interest in what is going on in Canada. I do not have any way, as of today, to verify these things – for you or for myself. However, due to the importance of this issue, and the great haste with which this Bill is being dealt with, I am posting this to ask that you seriously consider speaking up about this. Calling your Member of Parliament and asking for more information, and using your own best judgment, would be a good place to start. It is up to you. Here is one of the information feeds which I have received :
    “Given the current Government’s stated goal of obtaining a seat at the United Nations Security Council, pressures from within and outside the country from powerful Islamic lobby groups, and the Canadian Government’s demonstrated proclivity to advance the “Islamophobia” initiative with undue haste and in the absence of evidence, there is a real risk that the fundamental right to free speech by all Canadians will be unnecessarily curtailed to accommodate the sensibilities of a special interest group.”
    – Major Ret’d Russ Cooper

    • One more comment :Gage G.. You are absolutely right. Almost all immigrant groups have gone through a period of being vilified and rejected. I am of Irish and Irish background, with a little bit of Metis thrown in ….
      You are also absolutely right that we can’t be safe by closing our doors. BUT, no other ethnic group has come here with a pre-designed plan to make their religious beliefs the law in Canada. Rather than debate this with you, could I please direct you to something which I have found during this past week , as I have been trying to come to terms with all of this “stuff”. There is Retired General by the name of Russ Cooper. General Cooper (Retd) wrote to all Members of Parliament last year, after they had passed the e-petition regarding “islamophobia”. In great detail, and over several pages, he talked to the Members of Parliament about why he believes that this was not necessarily a good thing to do — why it might well be a first step in eroding our freedom of speech. Now, on Feb. 16th, our House of Commons is going to debate a second bill — this time a Private Member’s Bill brought forth by a Muslim Member of Parliament. General Cooper believes that this second Bill would go even further towards eroding Canadian’s hard won freedoms. He details some of the history of how the Muslim Brotherhood and other activist Muslim factions are operating in the US and Canada. General Cooper’s letter is entitled : ” A Letter to All Canadian Members of Parliament — Choosing Free Speech in the Face of Allegations of Islamophobia”. One place where you can find a copy of this letter is on this website : gatesofvienna.net/2017/01/Canada on the brink of incorporating Islamic speech codes.
      “Thank You” for your input, Gage G.. Sincerely, “Lindsay”

  18. Do you honestly believe that this type of attack (see below — just now in Paris) won’t come to Canada, sooner rather than later? If you do believe that, then I think that you are not “enlightened”, but naive . ( a good -hearted Canadian). Please, do your research, ask some questions, talk to others, before Motion 103 passes in the House of Commons next week, and it potentially becomes a crime for me to even post this.

    French anti-terrorism forces arrested four people, including a 16-year-old girl, and uncovered a makeshift laboratory with explosives material as they thwarted a suspected new terror attack, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday.

    The arrests Friday were in the Montpellier area of southern France. The prosecutor’s office said around 70 grams of TATP were seized. The explosive, which can be made from readily available ingredients, was used in the November 2015 attack in Paris and the March 2016 attack in Brussels carried out by Islamic State extremists. The men arrested were aged 20, 26 and 33

    • They will Lindsay, we’re on the radar by all accounts. But it doesn’t have to be a machete or C4 – how about the pervert who molested teenage girls in the West Edmonton water park this past week? Recent Syrian refugee who thought it was OK to grope young girls in a public place. I would not trade you one Syrian mother and child for the 6 young girls, now traumatized for the rest of their lives because we had to let someone who doesn’t want to integrate into civilization – another “practicing muslim” no doubt. Nothing to do with phobia – hard facts over and over. A backward, violence-prone upbringing will almost always produce backward and violent people – let’s not roll out the red carpet for them. If it’s my fiefdom and you want to live here then adjust to the way we live, add positive change, don’t be a burden, go to work and pay your taxes if you want a voice. As importantly though, know what you’re talking about, and if you don’t then listen to those who do and learn.

      • “Amen” to that, Joe88. I do not understand why people think that Kellie Leitch’s proposal for a “face to face interview to test for Canadian values” is such a problem for some people. It seems to me to make a lot of sense. I think that I would go a bit further, even, and ask Moslems who want to live here if they are ready and willing to swear allegiance to the Canadian government, over and above “Allah”, and thus be willing to give up some of the more offensive aspects of their culture?? What do you think?– would they want to come then? BTW — have you signed the petition at immigrationwatchcanada.ca (google “lower immigration Canada” ) The petition is in regards to Motion 103, being debated in the House of Commons on February 15th or 16th.

        • Lindsay3 –
          Thank you for the referral – I’m on it

          • That’s great, Joe88! The thing is, the good-hearted Canadian public equates “Muslim” with “Islam”. They are not the same things. One is a religion, the other is a form of government . MP Khalid is asking us to ban criticism of the form of government, Islam. (I find this deceitful and “sneaky”. They have used the same elsewhere.)

            BTW : I read today that one Liberal MP has admitted that, “yes, the expectation was that the Motion 103 would eventually be turned into legislation”. ….I hope that you will help myself and others keep an eye on this. Sincerely, Lindsay

  19. Particularly with the primary hubbub surrounding motion M-103 recently and the definition of the term “Islamophobia” being considered too “vague” by the standards of folks who have trouble telling the difference between a Bill and a Motion, we need to get this term pinned down, and coin a word to cover what it is not.


    “Islamophobia”: A unreasoned or irrational fear of all members of the Islamic faith, Islamic sharia law, or of Islam itself, often based partly on the acts of fundamentalist or extremist sects or organizations within that faith, that is highly virulent on a sociological and memetic basis.

    “Mislamic”: Simply does not like Muslims and/or Islam.

    There, Islamophobia is a problem, Mislamic sentiment less so.

    One is the government’s concern as it threatens the public peace, the other is the problem of individuals, including any particularly uncharming Muslims.