...Let us think for a while about what we - as "good Canadians" - did to our Aboriginal communities, to several generations and even generations to come. Let us think also about what we "good Canadians" have done throughout our history, even as a young nation, to the Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities in our midst.In this context, I like the saying, "Jihad is the way; sharia is the goal." But, hey, that's just me.
And now, during more recent times, it is just as imperative that we think about how Canadian citizens of the Muslim faith have been treated.
Despite having our world-renowned Charter, we’ve manage to perpetuate long-term systemic mistakes toward those who are "different" in our midst. We just don’t seem to have learned what history and human rights are there to teach us. And sadly, there is ample proof of that today in the way Canadian Muslims and their religion of Islam are portrayed.
To hold an individual or group responsible for what others did - guilt-by-association -- is both insane and unacceptable, yet we try to justify this. To hold citizens of the Muslim faith "guilty until proven innocent" is un-Canadian, plain and simple. In any other context, reasonable citizens would call such behavior foolish and unjust. We already know from history that collective humiliation is also collectively damaging; in no way does it reduce the harm of societal demonization.
In this context, I like the saying: "Don’t be sorry; be careful!"
Can you guess why those few terse words impress me? It comes down to one clear reality: if we damage others repeatedly, while repeatedly declaring remorse, the day will come when our apologies will be empty and devoid of meaning. It is no different than in an abusive marriage where the assaulting spouse inflicts pain and then apologizes ... over and over again. "Sorry" becomes a ridiculous joke.
Like a subjugated spouse, Canadian Muslims are under so much unnecessary pressure that they often do not have time to constructively think, plan and contribute fully to our own country. How they could, while living 24/7 under a spotlight, always on guard, always on someone’s radar; followed, scrutinized, demonized, and above all purposefully dragged into an apologetic state, demanded to defend Islam and themselves? Imagine how you would feel if society routinely expected you to be accountable for any evil act or mistake made by other individuals who claim to be of your faith? Not only are such expectations disruptive and inconvenient - they are downright irrational!
It is not up to any of us - Muslim or non-Muslim -- to explain or make amends for the utterances and actions of those whom any society would describe as criminally pathological or insane. This great country has extensive laws and jurisprudence to deal with them. Thus it is the height of social injustice to assume that Canadian Muslims pose a potential threat, simply because an infinitely small percentage of them "go bad." No racial, religious or national group anywhere can claim exemption here.
Yet nearly a decade after 9/11 we are still asking: Why should Canadian Muslims have to apologize for what Osama Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda did? Why should we have to apologize for what Mr. Parwaz did to his daughter Aqsa here in Canada? Why should we apologize for the thoughtless and immature actions of "Toronto 18" member, Zakaria Amara? Why should we have to apologize for the murderous actions of Nidal Malik Hasan at the Fort Hood U.S. military base in Texas? Indeed, why are we expected to apologize for the actions of radicalized individuals somewhere in Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other place in the world? Canadian Muslims are as outraged and disappointed as any other citizens by misguided and criminal individuals who have done more damage to the image of Islam and Muslims than to anyone else... This entire scenario of guilt-by-association just does not make sense!
Why must it be assumed that "only Muslim" individuals commit crimes supposedly linked to the expression or vindication of their faith? And why, by comparison, are the motives of non-Muslims apparently so unimportant? If other human beings occasionally and tragically succumb to overwhelming anger, stress, fear, insanity, or any other motivation, should Muslims be such superhuman beings that they do not also experience these conditions?
Why was there no media focus on the motives behind the infamous Oklahoma Bomber’s actions? I would suggest it’s because he was not a Muslim. Similarly, when women are killed in our midst by violent (usually male) partners, do their aggressors’ motives matter? Or when ‘a psychotic mother’ kills her two teen-aged children?
In short, when innocent people are killed, wounded, or traumatized does it matter what motivated those who committed the assault against them? Why we do not look for deeper societal impulses behind shocking murders...
Saturday, March 20, 2010
No Jihad/Sharia/Supremacism Here, Folks. Best Move Along Now
Iman Dr. Zijad Delic, the Canadian Islamic Congress's second in command, has that victim group palaver down pat. In his latest communique, he lashes out at Canadians (which ones? name names, imam) who mistreat Muslims, society's victim group du jour. The imam calls upon Canadians (presumably, all of them) to apologize for their actions, and to stop blaming Islam when Muslims succumb to--wait for it--"deeper societal impulses"--and do bad stuff (like, say, blow people up, or kill chicks who "dishonour" the family):