Muslims and multiculturalism: lessons from Canada’s Potemkin Village

As a result of a junket to Canada Ehsan Masood has written a superficial and at best naive article entitled “Muslims and multiculturalism: lessons from Canada” for openDemocracy that attempts to examine and contrast the multicultural policy models of Canada & Europe with emphasis on efforts to effectively integrate Muslims. What is soon apparent is that he was spoonfed, and has chosen to regurgitate, the politically correct version of Canada’s multicultural reality. The musings of both he and his handlers betray a Multicultural Potemkin Village whose facade is kept standing by an effort to maintain “the national consensus on cultural diversity”.

He quotes the usual shibboleths from a sprinkling of the usual suspects who support his contention that Canada’s is a working multicultural model and that we Canucks by gosh may just have something to teach those Europeans. Lets see what he and his handlers have to say.

The same, but different

Compared with Europe, opinion polls suggest that Canadians are on the whole more contented with each other and with the fact that their vast country is fast becoming more diverse. English-speaking Canada in particular is more comfortable with immigration – which is much less of a contested issue, for political parties of both left and right in the way that it is elsewhere in developed countries, particularly Europe.

“In Canada we are all immigrants, so immigration is not on the agenda”, says Michael Adams.”

Adam’s statement is a foundational belief of Canada’s multiculturalism mindset; it implies that Canada was always multicultural and that no distinct or recognizable Canadian cultural identity had ever existed prior to the imposition of multicult as official public policy – at least no identity worth noting. The statement blithley dismisses the history, values, traditions and beliefs of Canada’s two founding cultures. And Michael immigration is very much on the agenda – just not in the circles you travel. Multiculturalism was an attempt to legislate pluralism at the expense of Canada’s core values and traditions, without regard to the longterm ramifications, in short, social engineering of the worst order.

Michael Adams is a founder of Environics, the firm which in partnership with the CBC painted a Multicult Happy Face over the more disturbing results of a recent opinion poll they conducted. Just little things mind you like 14% or roughly 91000 Muslims in Canada sympathise with Islamofascist extremists. Beyond that mere quibble Environics & the CBC would have you believe that everything is idyllic. Adams has new book due, entitled oddly enough – Unlikely Utopia: the Surprising Triumph of Canadian Pluralism -hmm you may want to rethink your premise in light of those poll results Mikey, but then again why mess with success – skewing results to suit an agenda is what you do.

“One of the first things that grabs a visitor from Europe is the absence in Canada of an aggressive popular media. There is a tabloid press, but it concerns itself with the celebrity world, and the domain of the weird and the wacky. Canada’s newsagents and supermarkets lack the familiar (to a visitor from Britain) sight of a long row of newspapers screaming alarmist headlines in capital letters that frequently exude scepticism (at least) and outright hostility (at most) towards people of non-western religions or new arrivals from other countries.

“Furthermore, Canada’s media (both popular and broadsheet) will not do anything to disturb the national consensus on diversity. So, for example, members of the Canadian far right, or Muslims who support violent extremists, will not automatically make the front pages, nor will they be invited to the top news shows as routinely happens in Britain.

“We just don’t do that kind of thing in Canada”, says Nazim Baksh, an award-winning producer and filmmaker for the CBC, Canada’s public-service broadcaster.”

In part, perhaps, as a result of this consensus, the Canadian popular press is not particularly popular. “

Well Ehsan you got that last sentence right and thank you Nazim for confirming what we we already knew – The CBC attempts to manipulate public opinion by limiting access to a politically reliable range of voices while restricting access to “extremists of the far right” such as Michael Coren , see Blacklisted by the CBC . Meanwhile the likes of Judy Rebick of Rabble fame, and arguably an “extremist of the far left”, are granted ready access. What also disturbs me about Ehsan’s stance is that he seems to imply his approval of a media that actively screens and manipulates content in order to achieve a desired agenda. Ehsan just an FYI – if some barking mad Mullah is proclaiming it Allah’s will that Muslims behead Infidels – the public has a right to know.

A Canadian debate

“But Canada’s policy community is eager to learn how other countries are responding to the al-Qaida threat – indeed they are closely looking at the United Kingdom, and contacts between British and Canadian foreign offices remain close. What do they make of the UK response so far? As would be expected, views inside different government departments are decidedly mixed.

One successful British initiative, for example, is a project called the Radical Middle Way. Here, some of the world’s most respected Islamic scholars have been taken on lecture-tours that have attracted young people in the thousands. This idea was suggested by Q-News magazine and the British Muslim student body, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis). It later found backing from inside the Whitehall governing elite. “

Well if the “Shaykh Abdallah to answer the difficult questions” forum is any indication Radical Middle Way is not exactly a shining success. Here’s one supplicants query:

“From Bush and Blair’s comments to date, extreme muslims want to establish sharia, bring back the khilafah and get rid of israel. Surely that is what most muslims want? Does that mean we are all extremists? “

Funny how they won’t post Shaykh Abdallah’s answers. Still any dialogue is better than none.

“If anything, Canada has had a diversity of Islamic opinion for longer than Britain. As in Britain, Canada is home to Muslim organisations that originally started life as foreign offshoots of Islamism in the middle east and south Asia, or which were once strong supporters of the Iranian revolution of 1979. But in contrast to developments across the north Atlantic, Canada has a proactive and established national Muslim women’s organisation in the shape of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women

Canada is also home to the writer and activist Irshad Manji, whose bestseller The Trouble With Islam Today is a passionate polemic that calls on Islamic scholars to at last acknowledge the rights of minorities such as the many gay and lesbian people who regard themselves as Muslims, and who want to be accepted as a part of the society in which they live.”

Terrific – the Canadian Council of Islamic Women opposed Sharia Law in Ontario – kudos to them it shows genuine progress can be achieved, but Ehsan fails to mention that Ms. Manji was so threatened that she had to hire Body Guards.

I am all for interfaith dialogue, Lord knows we need it witness this piece submitted to the Canadian Council of Muslim Women’s discussion forum:

External Problems:

1) The rise of a destructive, war-like, Messianic ethos, with a discourse of “good” and “evil,” and large-scale destructive policies, as manifested in war against Afghans, Iraqis and others.

This ethos can exist at various levels: Whereas some people may be actively messianic, others may only be affected by the black and white world-view. Historically, since the crusades, Messianism has deeply influenced Muslim-Christian relations. A thousand years ago, believing themselves the “holy” Frankish race, the crusaders attempted to purge the Holy Land from the “accursed” Persian race (See Pope Urban II speech at Clermont), who were polluting the Holy Land with their presence, thereby preventing the coming of the Messiah. The time we are living in now coincides, with the second thousand-year cycle and the second rise of Messianic expectations.

Suggested Strategies:

1) To counter Messianism, Christians and Jews have some wonderful positive values and recognize the general undesirability of hate. In addition, they have the fitra, the beautiful human nature by which we can all distinguish between the positive and negative. We need to find ways and means of reaching out to these positive values and human conscience, working towards the recognition of harmful activities, putting a stop to them and replacing them with friendship.

2) Study the extent of damage this ethos has caused, e.g. how many Canadians died as a result of the war in Afghanistan, which seems to be only harming everybody: whether Afghan, Canadian or otherwise.

3) Identify sources, which propagate destructive Messianic ideology and address them, e.g. Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, which can imbue children and teens with the “hate” ethos. For example, in Lord of the Rings, free peoples of the West and North enter an all-out war with the terror-inflicting forces of the South and East, in Middle Earth (Middle East?), for the second time after a thousand-year lapse (crusades?). On the border of the conflict lies the land of Gondor (Palestine?), run by a steward, and awaiting the coming of a king, who is also a healer (Messiah?). Interesting is Saruman (Catholic church?), the leader of a group of priest- or monk-like wizards, who in the previous conflict lead the wizards, but has turned evil, thereby necessitating the new leader, Gandalph(Evangelicals/Masonites/templars/another church?). Also interesting is the steward (Jews?), who fails to accept the new king and dies a pagan death. As we can see, this book promotes a disturbing world-view, made even more disturbing by the fact that it is widely read by teens and young persons.

4) We need to develop our own media, such as a newspaper, that promotes a more balanced view and that counters the “Lord of the Rings” worldview. I think we should work together with African Canadians, Aboriginals, Asians, and anyone else who wishes to promote a more positive worldview.

The author is Nevin Reda an advocate of womens rights in Islamic worship and an active member of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women. Nevin Reda is what many would consider a “progressive Islamic voice”. Yet her interpretation of both Lord of the Rings & Narnia borders on the paranoid, admittedly both are Christian in outlook but clearly a distorted prism twists her worldview.

As for Afghanistan how can she advocate Canada’s withdrawal from a Humanitarian Mission whose goal is to eradicate the scourge of the Taliban – no friends to women either Islamic or Dhimmi?

Is the Canadian Council of Muslim Women the face of Multiculturalism as it relates to Muslim integration in Canada?

Or is it this:
Canadian Muslim leader finds something good about 9/11 “

Ibrahim Malabari, director of the Islamic Center in Toronto, said, ‘There was a dramatic increase in the quest for finding the truth about Islam after 9/11, thus encouraging many people in the US to embrace Islam.’ H/T RelCath

Or this:

Toronto “peace” demonstrators cheer announcement of Israeli deaths

While I can only speculate as to Ehsam Masood’s motives, he paints a too naive picture of Multiculturalism and Muslim integration in Canada and his own sources underscore this. Canada has nothing to teach Europe regarding multiculturalism and specifically Muslim integration and Europe has nothing to teach us. Multiculturalism is a well intentioned but failed undertaking that has proved itself a divisive factor in Canadian society, a cynical vote getting ploy contrived by the Liberals of the Trudeau era to manipulate ethnic voting blocs. That immigrant communities have and will continue to contribute richly to Canadian society is a given. The question of Muslim integration remains a growing concern to Canadians as our hoped for progress remains elusive.

Update: Read this at Flaggman’s Canada – pay attention to the comments – Jihad against Moderate Islam in Canada: Violence, Intimidation, Dissimulation . MUBIN SHAIKH makes it clear why his version of Islam is incompatible with freedom and a democratic society. H/T SDA