Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An Evening of Free Speech in Toronto (Enjoy It While It Lasts)

It was exhilarating to be in the audience yesterday at the Canada Christian College and to be among the capacity crowd who were there to hear some fearless tellers of truth. On the bill: Sam Solomon. Rabbi Jon Hausman. Ezra Levant. And, of course, the main event, Geert Wilders. All of them were there to warn us about the threat posed by supremacist Islam and its one-law-fits-all; all of them incredibly smart and articulate, passionate about Western freedom and the element that drives it, free speech.

So why do I feel so downcast this morning? It's because I know that in our glorious Trudeaupia, where "feelings" trump truth, much of what was said last night has already been criminalized as "hate speech." Indeed, the stuff that came out of Wilders mouth--let's just say he is not a fan of totalitarian Islam or its warrior founder--was way more "hateful" (i.e. truthful) than the stuff that got Mark Harding tossed into jail years ago. And, ironically, what made me feel worst of all was Wilders' prescription for rescuing our society. As he ticked them off (curtail immigration from Dar al Islam; ban burqas, Muslim schools and the construction of new mosques, and even the Koran), I knew none of would ever fly here. First of all, they violate our holiest of bovines, our Trudeaupian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Second, things would have to get at least as bad as they are in Europe (with its "no-go zones" and flaming "youts") before Canadians would even entertain the notion that maybe, just maybe, genuine freedom is more important than paper freedom. Third, I worry about what would happen to a free society were it to actually do what Wilders suggests.  How do we forbid Muslims from building schools and mosques and from wearing Muslim garb? How do we police and punish those things without transforming ourselves into something ugly? Thus, the only one of Wilders ideas that is in any way doable is the one about immigration. And even that one is unlikely to gain traction until the situation on the ground deteriorates a la Europe, and by then it will be too late.

What's also gotten me down is that the Stephen Harper Conservatives, who I had counted on to ratchet back state censorship, are now front and centre in expanding it. The are moving ahead with an idiotically-written bill that would criminalize the mere linking to "hate sites." Official Jews and sharia aficionados may rejoice at such controls, but the rest of us should recoil in horror at a move that will create a vast new category of criminals--bloggers, facebookers and Twitter tweeters.

As a soon-to-be-criminal, I have a message for the censors, every last pissant one of you: come and get me. And one more thing: bite me. Hard. (Oh wait--guess I'm not as depressed as I thought I was.)

Update: The NatPo article quotes some Wilders nay-sayers:
Outside the college, a small crowd of about 10 activists had gathered to protest the event.
"There's a difference between exercising freedom of speech and racism," said Kate Milley, an activist with the first nations solidarity working group, who along with the Anti-racism Action group, organized the protest. "I have two issues here: One is with his message, and the other is that groups in Canada are sponsoring him to come and spread that message."
Farooq Khan, executive director of the North American Muslim Foundation, expressed shock at Mr. Wilders' being allowed into the country, and is dismayed by what he sees as a lack of nuance in the views of many Westerners about Islam.
"It is the political agenda of the far right, which is hell-bent on on creating an environment in which Muslims must get out of the West," Mr. Khan said in an interview before Monday's speech. "The Wilders event is nothing more than creating hatred."
Mr. Khan said it is because of events such as Monday's that Muslims in Canada feel marginalized, feelings he said lead young Muslims toward radicalization.
Here's how I know that that's utter bollocks, Farook. There's no way Muslims in Canada can feel nearly as "marginalized" as the most marginalized group in the country: champions of freedom/free speech. We are marginalized--smeared--as being members of "the far right" and accused of having an eliminationist agenda (ironically enough, something many Arabs/Muslims and leftists flinging the mud actually do have re Israel). If anyone should be pushed "toward radicalization" it's us. But since our "marginalization" isn't prompting us to, say, train with paintball guns in the woods or blow up urban infrastructure, it must be something in Islam itself that engenders "radicalization" (hello, jihad!). Which--guess what, moron?--is exactly what Wilders was talking about.


Mark said...

Glad you enjoyed the Wilders event.

Have you written the PM, Jason Kenney, Rob Nicholson, etc., Scar? We need conservatives to voice concern about the bill and try to get the gov to have it amended.

I wrote them yesterday and got a personal response today.

scaramouche said...

Haven't written yet, but I will.

sanwin said...

Well said.

And it was nice finally meeting you and putting a face to the poet behind this site !

scaramouche said...

Thanks, Sanwin. Nice meeting you too!

Neelas said...

Hey Andy

If you're such a free speach supporter why screen peoples comments when they are posting on your blog?