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Old 03-06-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
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A Sensible Attitude Towards Islam

I really like what these guys are saying, I have absolutely no problem with people who enjoy a private faith and the secular societies which protect it
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Two prominent Muslim personalities, both of them immigrants from east Asia, share a deep concern over the state of Canadian freedoms and values – a concern they say eclipses that of homegrown opinion-makers.

In their view, the liberal and left-leaning Canadian intelligentsia is wracked by guilt and contempt for their own intellectual heritage and they do all they can to stand up for radical Islamists whose agendas are more closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood than to Canadian freedoms.

They, on other hand, the “good-looking” Muslims whom the mainstream media generally ignore, stand with John Stuart Mill in upholding individual freedom and traditional values associated with an earlier Canada.

So spoke Tarek Fatah and Salim Mansur at a recent lunchtime lecture at the offices of the Ontario Bar Association, sponsored by the Speakers Action Group and the Canadian Jewish Civil Rights Association, and in interviews with The CJN.

Fatah is founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State. Mansur is a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario and a syndicated columnist.

Fatah contrasted the influence of “good looking” Muslims like himself – by which he meant those who share Enlightenment values and have integrated into Canadian society – to “ugly” Muslims who dress as in Saudi Arabia, speak with heavy accents, promote jihad and claim to be authentic representatives of their faith. Canadian politicians fall all over themselves to curry favour with the latter group, giving them prestige and influence.

Meanwhile, “nine-to-five” Muslims, who are mostly concerned with making a living and getting ahead, are cowed into silence by the authority granted by Canadian officials to these traditional Muslim representatives, he said.

Fatah and Mansur also blasted comfortable Canadians who fail to stand up for traditional values and confront jihadists among them. Canadians’ freedoms stem from the Enlightenment, the American and French Revolutions, and the concept that citizens of a country are governed equally by man-made laws, Fatah said. Other societies were formed around inherited racial or religious commonalities, but those belong in the past. Yet, even today, some people choose to live in the 12th century and not in the 21st, he said.

In Canada today you can find books distributed at street fairs supported by PEN Canada, an advocacy organization for free expression, that advocate jihad, he said.

Muslims like himself argue that it’s nonsense to accept the premise that women should be able to testify in court while their faces are covered by burkas, yet women’s groups rush to the defence of these women, he said.

He also took aim at mainstream Jewish organizations, saying Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith Canada are too eager to foster relations with more traditional Muslim groups and ignore Muslims who prize Canadian values.

In an interview with The CJN, Fatah said “there is a tremendous amount of white guilt. The intelligentsia in this country in a selfish way tries to assuage this guilt. It caters to the most idiosyncratic behaviour of the immigrant and practices the racism of lower expectations. It sets standards of behaviour for our community, but when dealing with immigrants and especially the Muslim community, it does not expect them to live by the same standards.”

He said mosques treat women as second-class citizens – something that would not be tolerated in the broader society – yet still retain charitable status. That’s not something that other Canadians should be subsidizing through tax policy, he said.

Fatah said Saudi Arabia is financing Islamic groups in North America, including in the GTA, who preach “hatred of Western society” and promote jihad.

“Jews are right at the top of the jihad victims,” he continued. “You can be blamed for everything that goes wrong in the Islamic world. The occupation is the biggest gift to radical Islam. The State of Israel is the gift to Islamists that keeps on giving. Palestinians’ pain is used by the Islamists’ agenda.”

Asked about human rights commissions – several provincial and federal commissions were recently asked to look into complaints about written material that allegedly promoted contempt of Muslims – Fatah called them “a joke, a scandal.”

Commissioners are political appointees and one senior person at the Ontario Human Rights Commission “is openly supportive of the Islamist cause and believes in Shariah law,” he said.

In a question-and-answer period, Fatah was asked why moderate Muslims don’t demonstrate against their radical co-religionists. Turning the question around, he asked why mainstream Canadians don’t demonstrate against the Taliban. Why would such demonstrations be expected of Muslim immigrants who are trying to make a living and who escaped tyranny?

Mansur added: Would an Algerian, who escaped from a country where hundreds of thousands were killed by religious extremists protest against the leadership of a mosque that was controlled by those very factions from Algeria and risk the lives of their families in Algeria?

Mansur said Canadians may now be pushing back against the erosion of traditional values. You can see it in New Brunswick, where parents were angry that a school principal banned playing O Canada at the start of the day. (That policy was reversed).

You see it also in Quebec where people are “more assertive” in demanding that their values be retained, he said.
The Canadian Jewish News - White guilt helps Islamists, moderate Muslims say

The issue of reaction to poor public policy is plain to see in the rise of nativist right wing movements, probably something we will get to see a lot more of over the next few years.
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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I've only been living in Canada for little more than three months, so I hesitate to comment too much about this--although my initial observation regarding this subject is quite similar to his.

Do other Canadians here have a comment?
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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He said mosques treat women as second-class citizens – something that would not be tolerated in the broader society – yet still retain charitable status. That’s not something that other Canadians should be subsidizing through tax policy, he said.
Is he saying here that religious institutions shouldn't get charitable status, period, or is he rather proposing that the government 'reward' mosques with what it considers enlightened views on women by granting them charitable status, while 'punishing' others by denying them that status? Because if it's the latter, that doesn't seem to me like something a secular government should be doing, using the possibility of tax benefits as a means of pressuring specific religious institutions to abandon this or that doctrine.

In general, what he's saying sounds good, but at least as reported, it also sounds rather vague, and I'm left unclear as to what precisely these 'ugly' Muslims are categorically guilty of. And this 'ugly'/'good-looking' metaphor strikes me as an unwise way to frame things--I can understand applying it to people with a 'jihadist' mentality, but it also seems like it might play into the hands of nativist types who'd like to think you can tell how worthy a Canadian citizen someone is based on whether s/he dresses 'weird,' or talks with an 'ugly' accent.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
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I have Muslim neighbors. Very nice people.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:35 PM   #5
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Reading is fun

The Holy Qur'an
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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I'd be interested in how much of the Qur'an you've actually read, not just soundbyted...

For even the Bible could look like a book of hatred and violence if judged one verse at a time out of context.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:28 AM   #7
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BVS, why shouldn't we consider the Bible to be a book with violence and hatred, not unlike the Koran?

These are man-made texts (I doubt that you'd disagree), must we pretend to be blind to their small minded and tribalistic attitudes? Must we make believe that religion is a positive in the world and excuse the superstitious violence as not being true religion?

I looked at Iron Horses' link a few days ago, the chapter I randomly clicked had calls to smite the unbelievers within 3 paragraphs, I don't justify attacking people for not believing what I believe and yet I am supposed to bend over backwards for fuckers who take this scam hook line and sinker and insist that I do too (something not demanded by the authors of the original piece)?

Iron Horse may be a credulous fool when it comes to the big questions (my opinion), but even a broken clock is right twice a day, why are people so timid when it comes to an ideology which people murder for, why shouldn't the Koran be held to the same critical standard which we treat the bible?
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
Reading is fun

The Holy Qur'an
I have a copy of The Holy Qu'an on my book shelve, next to my copies of The Holy Bible, The Torah and The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha. Though, my personal spiritual path/choice is Christianity. I have the greatest respect for other faiths. And reading these holy books, enlightens my soul.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
I'd be interested in how much of the Qur'an you've actually read, not just soundbyted...

For even the Bible could look like a book of hatred and violence if judged one verse at a time out of context.
Agreed.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:24 AM   #10
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This is exactly why I have no "white guilt".
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
why shouldn't the Koran be held to the same critical standard which we treat the bible?
It should be and that's my point...

If I remember right you started a thread years ago with single passages from the Bible, all of which at face value were very similar to what you are speaking about... all of which were discussed at great length given context.

I don't think you, Iron Horse, or even myself are knowledgeable enough about the Koran to do the same...
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HyperU2 View Post
This is exactly why I have no "white guilt".

Care to elaborate on this Rushism...
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:42 PM   #13
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I think the fact that I don't feel guilty about being white is enough elaboration. Do you feel guilty?
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:37 PM   #14
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I think the fact that I don't feel guilty about being white is enough elaboration. Do you feel guilty?
Ok, great, no one should feel guilty about the color of their skin...

but what does it have to do with this article?
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
Ok, great, no one should feel guilty about the color of their skin...

but what does it have to do with this article?
‘White guilt’ helps Islamists, moderate Muslims say

Did you read it?
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HyperU2 View Post
‘White guilt’ helps Islamists, moderate Muslims say

Did you read it?
Yes, I did read it, and I noticed it wasn't exactly the most objective piece I've ever read...

That's why I thought maybe you could elaborate and help me cut through the narrow minded bias, but maybe not...
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:49 PM   #17
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People are afraid of speaking their minds for fear of not sounding politically correct. I don't think it's narrow minded, I feel it often has a detrimental effect.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by HyperU2 View Post
People are afraid of speaking their minds for fear of not sounding politically correct.
I don't think it has anything to do with "political correctness" I think that's an outdated term invented by certain people on the right because they were tired of being told their views were ignorant.

People should be afraid of speaking their minds if they are uninformed...

Too many folks have strong opinions about shit they know nothing about...
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
Too many folks have strong opinions about shit they know nothing about...
You think that includes the Muslims mentioned in this article? They should be allowed to stand up against those who subvert their religion.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Iron Horse may be a credulous fool when it comes to the big questions (my opinion), but even a broken clock is right twice a day, why are people so timid when it comes to an ideology which people murder for, why shouldn't the Koran be held to the same critical standard which we treat the bible?
FOXNews.com - Critic Says Islamic Extremism Gets Whitewashed in American Textbooks - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

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In numerous history textbooks, "key subjects like jihad, Islamic law, the status of women are whitewashed," said Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, an independent group that reviews history books and other education materials.

In a section discussing Islamic fundamentalism, the textbook "World History: The Modern World," published by Prentice Hall, omits direct mention of the 9/11 hijackers' religion, referring to the 19 Islamic fundamentalists as "teams of terrorists."

"On the morning of September 11, 2001," the book reads, "teams of terrorists hijacked four airplanes on the East Coast. Passengers challenged the hijackers on one flight, which they crashed on the way to its target. But one plane plunged in to the Pentagon in Virginia, and two others slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. More than 2,500 people were killed in the attacks."

In his report on the text, Sewall called the passage "dismaying" in its flatness and brevity. "In terms of content, so much is left unanswered. Who were the teams of terrorists and what did they want do to? What were their political ends? Since 'The Modern World' avoids any hint of the connection between this unnamed terrorism and jihad," he wrote, "why September 11 happened is hard to understand."
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