Letter #1 was published last week:
Gaps in his argument
Re: Don’t Blame The Media For Islamophobia, Jonathan Kay.For many years I have challenged Haroon Siddiqui over his thinly veiled hatred of Israel. Although he was always sure to temper his incessantly anti-Zionistic columns with the disingenuous balm that Israel has the right to exist, he never lost an opportunity to rely on the deceptive and inciting tactics that he now uses to so accuse the National Post.
Letter #2 appears today:
According to one such column, Siddiqui espouses that Shias and Sunnis, despite their centuries-old distrust and hatred for one another, would immediately cease hostilities coincident with Israel making peace with the Palestinians. More commonly, to disguise his true feelings about Israel and to fool those who had no vested interest to challenge his Middle East propaganda, many columns reliably inserted a quote from a Jewish, anti-Zionistic spokesperson-du-jour, provided to prop up his biased viewpoints by misleading his readers into trusting he knew of what he spoke. Correctly, Siddiqui is the pot that is calling the kettle black.
Joel L. Goldman, Toronto.
Re: Don’t Blame The Media For Islamophobia, Jonathan Kay; Gaps In His Argument, letter to the editor, April 26.
In a speech at the Aga Khan Museum on “Media, Muslims and Free Speech,” I argued that the media — especially the Post group of newspapers, which now includes the Sun chain of tabloids — have aided and abetted Islamophobia in Canada. Jonathan Kay, writing in the Post, took issue with that. Fair enough.
Along comes letter-writer Joel L. Goldman, accusing me of having a “thinly-veiled hatred of Israel” and being “incessantly anti-Zionist.” This is a reference to my past columns in the Toronto Star critical of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, now approaching 50 years. Many Jewish Canadians take exactly the same position, as do many Israelis.
None of this, however, has anything to do with Kay’s column or the excerpts from my speech published in the Star, on which he based his commentary, or my entire 40-minute speech, in which Israel was not mentioned once. The Post could have easily checked that out.
Haroon Siddiqui, editorial page editor emeritus, Toronto Star, Toronto.
And I just sent off letter #3:
Nowhere in Joel L. Goldman's letter does he state that Haroon Siddiqi cast aspersions on Israel during his recent talk at the Aga Khan Museum. Instead, Goldman was pointing out that, given Siddiqui's well-known views on the subject of Israel (clearly, he's not a fan), ones which have had the tendency to fan the flames of Israel-hate, it is pretty rich of the Toronto Star's "editorial page editor emeritus" to blame certain media outlets, the National Post included, for "aiding and abetting Islamophobia in Canada." Hence, Goldman's "pot-calling-the-kettle-black" quip, which, granted, may be somewhat overused, but which was entirely apropos here, whether or not Siddiqui mentioned Israel during his 40-minute lecture.
Speaking of which, kudos to audience members for sitting through that lengthy peroration. I, for one, lack the "sitzfleisch" to do so, especially when it consists of a lecturer hectoring non-Muslims for their purported but largely chimerical racism. No doubt that goes over well with certain audiences, ones which are as disinclined to acknowledge the jihad imperative embedded in Islam's sacred texts as Siddiqui is.
And, I venture to say, ones which share Siddiqui's far from chimerical animus towards Israel.
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