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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Muslims vs Islamists!

This is almost like a "Tale of Two Cities" except it's a "Tale of two Ideologies!"

Let's talk about both for a bit. On the one hand we have the "Canadian Islamic Congress" (CIC) and on the other hand there is "The Muslim Canadian Congress" (MCC) and the "Canadian Muslim Union" (CMU) which were organized to provide a voice to Muslims who support a "progressive, liberal, pluralistic, democratic, and secular society where everyone has the freedom of religion." (Wikipedia)

We will deal with the MCC and CMU first. MCC was formed in 2002, in the wake of 9/11 by a group of Toronto area liberal Muslims. Then in 2006 eight executive members resigned and formed the new CMU whose philosophy of Liberal Islam is similar to the MCC's but with an intention to work "with and within the Muslim community."

These are the only Muslim organizations in Canada to ask for a "separation of religion and state in all matters of public policy."

The groups gained prominence by opposing the implementation of Shariah Law in civil law in Ontario and supporting the country's same-sex marriage legislation.

They also promote gender equality and were involved in organizing a Muslim prayer session in which the prayers were led by woman.

They have also been critical of Islamic fundamentalism and urged the government to ban donations to Canadian religious institutions from abroad, arguing that doing so will curb extremism.

In 2007, the MCC came out against a Canadian Human Rights Commission complaint made by several youths associated with the Canadian Islamic Congress against Maclean's Magazine for publishing an allegedly Islamophobic column by Mark Steyn saying that; "The reaction of the CIC has only given credence to his premise - that Muslims in the West cannot accept the values of individual freedom, a free press and the right to offend!"

Earlier that year, the MCC came out against a proposal by John Tory and the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party to publicly fund faith-based schools accusing the Tories of "pandering to clerics."

The MCC has also been outspoken on the issue of women wearing the hijab saying "It is not a requirement of Islam that Muslim women stay covered completely" and that women should be assured that not wearing the hijab is not a sin. (The MCC is associated with the Progressive Muslim Union of North America.)

Then we have "The Canadian Islamic Congress" (CIC) which refers to itself as Canada's largest national non-profit and wholly independent Islamic organization without affiliation to any foreign group, body, or government and says it represents -- Sunni and Shi'a, men and women, youth and seniors. (Wikipedia)

It has been described as "conservative and traditional" in outlook, particularly when compared to two liberal Muslim groups, the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) and the Canadian Muslim Union. (CMU)

The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) supported recommendations by Marion Boyd that the government of Ontario permit sharia tribunals to which Muslims could voluntarily submit civil disputes and whose findings would then have legal weight under the Arbitration Act.

The proposal was opposed by the Muslim Canadian Congress, (MCC) the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and non-Muslim women's groups.

(The provincial government ended up rejecting the proposal and scrapping existing religious arbitration tribunals for Jews and Christians in the process.)

The CIC raised controversy when CIC President Elmasry wrote that Canadian Muslims; "Should not to make a cause of publicly deriding their religion, badmouthing the Prophet, ridiculing the Qur'an and mounting uninformed crusades to smear their Islamic Law, the Shariah."

In the aftermath, the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) demanded that the CIC apologize for "false" accusations that those who criticize sharia are "smearing Islam, ridiculing the Koran and badmouthing Muhammad."

The MCC stated that CIC President Elmasry accused the group of blasphemy, a crime that carries the death sentence in several Islamic countries, leading some MCC members to fear they will be arrested if they travel to certain Islamic countries...."

Arif Raza, MCC's lawyer wrote that "Your [Elmasry's] false and utterly irresponsible accusations of blasphemy have exposed these active, dynamic and prominent members of the Canadian Muslim community and their families to enormously dangerous consequences" and that "you [Elmasry] have defamed their good reputation and exposed them to ridicule and hatred within their own communities in Canada."

Elmasry responded by stating that Islam has no punishment for denouncing the religion, its holy book or the Prophet Mohammad. (Tell that to any Islamic Fundamentalist)

He dismissed as "nonsense" the notion that his words could be construed as a death sentence.

Unfortunately, Elmasry is incapable of grasping what freedom means -- he is on public record for insisting all adult Israelis are legitimate targets for Palestinian suicide bombers, only apologizing under duress -- since he comes from a culture where freedom is mostly non-existent.

Freedom comes with cost, and the cost of freedom of expression enshrined in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms is finding someone occasionally offended, yet this cannot be the basis for bridging or censoring the most fundamental right of an open society.

Also, since 9/11 it is transparently clear the assault against the West by Islamists is not limited to indiscriminate violence or the curtailing of freedom of expression!

Islamists are also "using our own legal system as a weapon against us" as Professor John Yoo at the law faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, recently noted.

The case brought to the Federal and Provincial (Ontario and British Columbia) Human Rights Commissions against Maclean's magazine for publishing Mark Steyn's essay on "The future belonging to Islam, a growing faith;" Is an example of "lawfare" being used to undermine the fundamental values of liberal democracy.

It was launched by Mohamed Elmasry and the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC).

On top of this the CIC has been outspoken in its criticism of a perceived increase in Islamophobia since the September 11, 2001 attacks. (I wonder why? -ED.)

It has accused governments and school boards of failing to address harassment and discrimination against Muslims and Arabs and has called for the province of Ontario to launch a public inquiry.

At a press conference at Queen's Park, CIC official Wahida Valiante said that "Islamophobia does exist and it's growing." and that "since 9/11, there has been no effort on behalf of the Ontario government, including the Ministry of Education, to have a comprehensive policy to address the growing isolation and marginalization of Muslim and Arab youth."

Well, let me tell you something folks.......... it's not up to the Government to "have a comprehensive policy to address the growing isolation and marginalization of Muslim and Arab youth!" Rather it is up to the CIC and any other Muslim organization to publicly denounce any and all acts of terrorism and religious fanaticism!

Islam has a hell of a public relations problem in the West and an "Us versus Them" attitude by ANY Muslim group will not help the matter!

Allan W Janssen is the author of the book The Plain Truth About God (What the mainstream religions don't want you to know!) and is available at the web site www.God-101.com

Visit the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There has got to be something really wrong when they can't even get along amongst themselves!

Saturday, January 19, 2008 6:11:00 p.m.  

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