Chrystia Freeland debates diversity with Bill Maher

Canada’s trade minister was part of a panel on ‘Real Time’ that discussed the persecution of Muslims in the wake of the Paris attacks

Graham Hughes/CP

Graham Hughes/CP

TORONTO — Canada’s trade minister found herself in a spirited debate over diversity on an American late night show.

Chrystia Freeland was part of a panel on “Real Time” with Bill Maher that aired Friday night.

Maher quoted a poll that suggested a majority of Americans don’t feel that Syrian refugees share American values.

Freeland challenged Maher when he went on to say that it’s nonsense to suggest that all religions are alike and share values.

She said in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris it’s important to recognize the Islamic State doesn’t represent Muslims and that it’s important to stand up for diversity.

Canada is poised to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this year. The government is expected to announce on Tuesday the mechanics of bringing them into the country.

Maher and Freeland clashed when the late night comic said there is a small percentage of Muslims who support ISIL and practices like honour killings and forced marriages.

“I think now it is incredibly dangerous and very wrong to persecute Muslims and say there is something wrong with being a Muslim,” Freeland said, who appeared on a panel with former Maine governor Angus King and Conservative blogger Ben Domenech.

Maher denied he’s demonizing Muslims, but said their ideas need to be changed.

“You’re saying their ideas are bad?” Freeland asked.

“Killing women for being raped, I would say is a bad idea. I do. Hang me for it,” Maher shot back.

Freeland, a former media executive, has appeared in the past on Maher’s show and has also appeared on a number of other American shows.


Chrystia Freeland debates diversity with Bill Maher

  1. That’s one thing I didn’t miss these past ten years. The constant blathering by cabinet ministers about “diversity”. Talking about nothing as though it were a thing. If you’re looking for an easy way to something while saying nothing at all, just toss up some paean to diversity.

    • If there wasn’t some diversity it seems like you wouldn’t be here.

      • That isn’t really what I look like. oh, you mean my name.well when my parents first brought us here in the 1970s; yes as refugees and yes from the Levant region –the word ‘diversity’ wasn’t even used in its modern context. That only started in the 1990s. Even ‘multiculturalism’ was rarely discussed back then. So that can’t be why I’m here.

        I favour bringing in 100K Syrian refugees coming here and even more if that’s what we need to do. I’m opposed rushing them in without proper screening because Jr. made a hasty campaign promise. Do the right thing and do it the right way and do it without empty rhetoric and hollow slogans. Or is this new government same as the old – ie talking points just different buzzwords being used?

    • My friend, you have just described liberalism in a nutshell.

      • I just described politics in a nutshell, but Liberal and progressives in particular. All parties do it, just different buzzwords and I found the Conservartive buzzwords (families, families and oh yeah families and more families and maybe some tough on crime) a little less grating. but only a little. Move over to the dippers and you have “working families” as opposed to I dont’ know – other familes who don’t work? Or something. Thign about empty words and talking points – they can mean everything and nothing at the same time and that’s just the way pols like it. Saves them from making sens.e or saying anything meaningful.

  2. The problem was communication. Maher was talking about Isalmism. The literal interpretation of the Koran that has the same pitfalls if you take any of the Abrahamic religious doctrines at face value. In each, there are pretty nasty passages that condone actions that aren’t acceptable now. Freeland thought he was talking about Muslims. This is a common mistake. Take a look at Maajid Nawaz’s work and his book with Sam Harris.

  3. On that note did you see the immigration minister with the new syrian refugees on the stage the other day. I did not see a lot of poor women and starving kids, I did see many fighting age men. what is with this?? Go back to your country and fight for what is yours. Go AWAY WE ARE CLOSED!!!!!!

    • Middle class and rich people can be running for their lives too or did you not know that. That’s especially true for the Levant region where ethnic hatreds and extremism have reduced many former wealthy and successful families and even heads of state to refugee status. and elevated many poor dumb uneducated warlords to the top of the heap. Maybe you should be glad they seem successful and they can hit the ground running in their new home.

  4. It is well known that Maher has little respect for those who literally believe in whatever religous story they have inherited. Or I should say those who justify their actions as justified by their religion as documented in their historical records (Bible, Koran, Torah, etc.). So Maher was making points to justify his position that intellectuals like himself can poke holes everywhere.
    However as an intellectual I am surprised that he has overlooked the obvious fact that ones religous affiliation often has more to do with their culture. It is their team. Once a Leaf’s fan, always a Leaf’s fan.
    So Maher wants all Leaf’s fans to be demonized and discraced and outed and ostracized….because of the litany of offences that he can rattle on and on about.
    Maher’s end game is obliteration…..a WWIII perhaps? I was proud of Freeland’s attempts to express Canada’s more enlightened multiculturalism theology. It is a much better and realistic strategy with a realistic endgame in mind.

  5. As I understand it, Ms. Freeland is one of the folk whose towering intellect is going to make up for their leader’s deficiency in this regard. I am, therefore, dismayed that her interjection into the “minimum wage” discussion at the start of the linked clip was to offer up the helpful point that hiking the minimum wage is good because it helps the middle class who, in Ms. Freeland’s view, appear to include minimum wage earners. Her enthusiasm for waiving visa requirements for Mexicans also seems somewhat at odds with her party’s strident opposition to the TFW program which included a very high percentage of Mexicans. The modus operandi of the Liberals that is emerging is to continue to denigrate Harper while doing the same things his government did (except for raw sewage dumps).

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