To question or discuss Islam, or any religion, is not racism, it is not hate, it is not necessarily meant to "victimize" anyone. One is often left with the impression that if anyone ever felt that Mohammed, or Islam, even might have been insulted, no freedom-loving person can expect to be left in peace ever again. Canada and the West need to declare and defend a pluralistic, democratic approach to rights and freedoms without any shame, and without fear of offending anyone who might try to intimidate their citizens.

Islamists, who have, like many others, found ways of influencing Western democracies, have refined one process in particular, called al Taqiyya [dissimulation], sanctioned to promote Islam to "unbelievers" or "infidels," if and when considered necessary. The word "Islamophobia," for instance, has been disguised and misused so frequently that when Westerners merely question Islam, or its role in terrorism, they risk being branded as "Islamophobes" or "racists." The term "victimology," in which Islamists perpetually portray Muslims as victims of racism or of "colonialists" or "imperialists," has also generated impressive results in vanquishing the infidel, and providing Islam an immunity from criticism and satirical depictions. As a result, whenever the subject about Islam is raised, open dialogue, media and public discourse are restricted or shut down out of fear of being branded "Islamophobic" or "racist," even where no such sentiments may have been present. No other religion even attempts to obtain such blanket immunity.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird drew a line in the sand last spring in a keynote address to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum. He not only declared Canada's resolute friendship to Israel, but also Canada's commitment to a foreign policy that protects Canadian interests and promotes Canadian values of human rights, democracy, and freedom. He further avowed that "Canada will not go along to get along." Yet, despite the Canadian government's commitment to such values, it is confronted by the practice of al Taqiyya from Islamists, who appear to be using this method to hijack multiculturalism and suppress a key pillar of these freedoms: freedom of speech.

Take, for example, a study guide for would-be Canadian citizens, which stated that certain "barbaric" cultural practices, such as honor killings, would not be tolerated in Canada. In response to this, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau -- son of the former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and expected to become the next Liberal party leader -- castigated the government by stating that it should not call honor killings "barbaric;" that such language is unacceptable.

However, a man who slaughters his wife in front of their six children before throwing her dismembered head off an apartment rooftop is doing something "barbaric." The murder of four women, driven into the Rideau Canal near Kingston, Ontario for the sake of so-called honor, and the murder of a 17 year old girl for not wearing a hijab, thereby bringing so-called dishonor to her family, are also acts that are barbaric, just as, in India, before the Raj, the practice of suttee -- throwing a widow, live, onto the funeral pyre of her husband for the sake of her "honor" -- was barbaric.

Many politicians, however, seem to be competing for votes here and abroad at the expense of the safety and well-being of their citizenry. The words of Islamists frequently seem to be skewed responses to events -- pointing to an agenda to promote Shariah Law [Islamic religious law] globally, both through the subjugation of the West and through the delegitimization of Israel, with the ultimate goal of obliterating it.

The last part of this agenda was exposed in recent times in Durban, South Africa at the 2001 United Nations World Conference against Racism, which quickly deteriorated into a hate-fest for racism – specifically against Jews, under the label of "Zionists."

Ironically, the original Durban Conference was first funded by Western NGOs; Arabs had almost nothing to do with it. These Western NGOs, often supplemented by tens of millions of dollars from the European Union -- which recently refused to disclose details of its funding of anti-Israel NGOs -- have engaged in a form of political warfare designed to isolate Israel internationally, and thus have supported the political agenda of the OIC-dominated UN.

As these United Nations gatherings "against racism" continued to go downhill in the subsequent Durban II and Durban III Conferences, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon finally said: "We should condemn anyone who uses this platform to subvert that effort with inflammatory rhetoric, baseless assertions and hateful speech. Our common commitment must be to focus on the real problems of racism and intolerance." It might be worthwhile for multicultural countries to listen.

Justin Trudeau also recently came under fire for his participation in Canada's largest Islamic Conference, held in Toronto, and entitled, "Reviving the Islamic Spirit." The criticism was over the conference's sponsor, IRFAN [International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy], which was stripped of its federal charity status because of its ties to the terrorist group, Hamas. Even the moderate Muslim Canadian Congress advised Trudeau not to attend.

Not to be deterred, however, Trudeau, according to a report, smothered the Islamic conference in platitudes. He apparently went so far as to imply a totally inapt comparison in trying to liken the fierce division between English and French Canada, under Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, to that of the current divisions between mainstream Canada and Islam.

Evidently trying to balance competing interests, the Supreme Court of Canada recently made a significant ruling, that a witness, while testifying, may be required to remove her niqab face-cover. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said the ruling was intended to ensure the accused a fair trial and to sustain public confidence in the justice system. However, McLachlin also invoked the Charter of Rights, stating that there are times where balancing religious beliefs can be accommodated -- a ruling which leaves future cases open-ended. CAIR-CAN applauded the ruling for allowing religious concessions, while the Muslim Canadian Congress reluctantly praised it for not being comprehensive. Canadian courts also made a decision a year ago to ban Muslim women from covering their faces during citizenship ceremonies.

Canada's challenge in demarcating reasonable accommodations has been further exacerbated by Islamist coercion. For example, Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, visited Ottawa last September and called on the West to fight "Islamophobia." "Islamophobia" he said, "should be declared a crime against humanity." He commended Canada's multicultural identity while condemning what he called the profiling of Muslims at U.S. airports. However, although he referred to profiling as a provocation that can change the psychological atmosphere of an entire country, he made no reference to how global Islamic terrorism can change the psychological atmosphere of an entire country.

The same week as Davutoglu's visit to Ottawa, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also pronounced "Islamophobia" a "crime against humanity ." He did so in the wake of the film "Innocence of Muslims," falsely blamed by the Obama administration for having provoked the murders in Libya of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats.

There have, nevertheless, been sufficient demonstrations of intimidation and death threats, as well as murders and attempted murders by Muslim extremists against those who are deemed to have offended Islam. To name just a few: Salaman Rushdie ,Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Magdi Allam, Kurt Westergaard, Geert Wilders, Lars Hedegaard , Dr. Wafa Sultan, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser -- and even Gillian Gibbons, a kindergarten teacher in the Sudan whose students named a toy teddy bear Mohammed. Try typing into a search engine: "Killings for Islam." Even without it, one is often left with the impression that if anyone ever felt that Mohammed, or Islam, even might have been insulted, no freedom-loving person can expect to be left in peace ever again. The Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who barely escaped death at the hands of an ax-wielding Somali Muslim, recently warned that the West cannot permit itself to be muzzled by fear of offending Islamic sensibilities.

Canada and the West need to declare and defend a pluralistic, democratic approach to rights and freedoms without any shame, and without fear of offending anyone who might try to intimidate their citizens.

President Obama, however, appears to continue to bow to Islamic intimidation tactics -- by disingenuously repeating to the United Nations, for example, that a YouTube video had contributed to the murders of Ambassador Stevens and others, weeks after he had presumably been told it was not true. Without threats of intimidation, the United States and its Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, champion UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, "Combating Intolerance…." which Orwellianly enshrines intolerance by trying to close down all discussion of Islam. President Obama has also invited "scores of radical Islamists" to "hundreds of visits" to the White House, as he continues to politically posture himself at the whim of Islamists.

The Conservative government of Canada has declared that it cannot afford complacency in the face of the threats of ongoing intimidation and other compromises to national security. Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews has presented a multi-faceted government strategy, entitled "Building Resilience Against Terrorism," to tackle these demands. The program includes instruction on how to detect threats, as well as tactical plans. It encompasses investigation, intelligence operations, and a solid understanding of the "strategic drivers of the threat environment."

One of those strategies, heavily used by the adversaries of our democracy in every Western nation, is not only the abuse of the word "racism," but also the exploitation of the word "diversity" to mean anything external, such as one's gender or the color of one's skin -- but never a diversity of thought. To question or discuss Islam, or any religion, however, is not racism; it is not hate; it is not necessarily meant to "victimize" anyone.

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum on Democracy , has repeatedly discussed how prominent Muslim groups such as CAIR and ISNA use the concept of "victimology." He warns that such groups and their followers try to convince the Muslim population that it is being victimized. These groups fuel and fan the false notion that American Muslims are in perpetual danger at the hands of "racists" and "Islamophobes," while themselves practicing the tactical deception of al taqiyya to cover their promotion of an extremist rhetoric and assisting in a radical agenda.

This "victimology" subterfuge and its successes are also transmitted through Palestinian propaganda. Even as Israel defends itself after rocket attacks are launched from Gaza, it is only the plight of the Palestinians that is promoted, despite massive evidence that the Palestinian leadership is victimizing its own people (and of course Israel) by placing its weaponry and rocket launchers in heavily populated areas, evidently to cause civilian casualties among its own people for the world to see. The mainstream media largely covers up how Palestinians use their own people as human shields, and continues to present these violators of all human rights as victims. The mainstream media has also failed to report that the Palestinians have been conducting an ethnic cleansing of Christians in Bethlehem for years, all the while blaming "colonialists," "imperialists," "Zionists" and the West.

Canada remains one of the few countries which has remained firm in its support of Israel amid global propaganda, and which recently opposed the Palestinian upgrade at the UN. While the U.S. also opposed the upgrade, the Obama administration was quick to appear "evenhanded" as it condemned Israel's plans for building new homes in areas claimed by the Palestinians, even while it would not even think of condemning construction in, for example, Turkish-occupied Cyprus. Canada stood apart in refusing to join in Israel's condemnation.

Another issue Canada now faces is the Islamist tactic of "lawfare" -- employing the courts as weapons by filing, or threatening to file, costly, frivolous and malicious lawsuits -- to discourage others from speaking out, whether in public or in the privacy of their homes, as with Lars Hedegaard. Multicultural Canada, with its "kangaroo court" Human Rights Commissions, is particularly vulnerable. Now, a well-known blog, Blazing Cat Fur, noteworthy for its effective exposés on the ruthlessness of such maneuvers in Canada, is being sued, joining scores of others attacked by Islamists in our free society.

Ezra Levant, in another example, was dragged before the courts in a costly, 900-day prosecution case for re-publishing the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in the Western Standard in 2006; a case which led to his book "Shakedown," which was described by moderate Muslim professor and author Salim Mansur as perhaps the most important publication of the year documenting the state of free speech in Canada. Mansur also made the troubling assertion that no Canadian sued for "hate speech" has come out free and untarnished.

The UN and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), made up of 56 Arab and Muslim nations, has been relentless in its drives to criminalize free speech in the West. To that effect, in Istanbul, on April 12, 2011, the UN Council on Human Rights, whose 2013 members include Venezuela, Kazakhstan and Pakistan, adopted Resolution 16/18, and it received the support of the U.S. government. This resolution, although so far "non-binding," requires that Western democracies enact legislation to restrict speech that might be viewed as "discriminatory," or which might involve the "defamation of religion" – a transparent attempt to close down all discussion of Islam.

The first summit, co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the secretary general of the OIC, took place in Istanbul on July 15 2011. Clinton then hosted the OIC, in what is now known as the "The Istanbul Process," in December of 2011 in a three-day series of closed-door meetings at the U.S. Department of State in Washington. She flimsily justified her position by pointing out that there are those who feel vulnerable and marginalized as a result of their religious beliefs. She went on to promote the need to enforce "antidiscrimination laws" that would severely limit free speech. A third meeting on December 3-5, 2012 took place in London.

Nina Shea, a former Commissioner on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, observed that the real purpose of the Istanbul Process is to stop citizens in America and other Western nations from disparaging or even questioning Islam, and to be fully accountable to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and other Muslim states. Shea pointed out that for over 20 years, the OIC has been pressuring the West to restrict free speech in accordance with its charter to "to combat defamation of Islam." Shea also cites the 2009 fatwas issued by an official OIC organization-- the "International Islamic Fiqh [Jurisprudence[ Academy" -- calling for bans on free speech, legislation to protect Islamic interests and judicial punishment for public expressions of apostasy. Shea further highlights the demands to ban free speech by such groups as Egypt's Salafist Nour party, Iran's theocrats, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda-linked groups.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, in contrast, remarked that anyone who believes that the U.S. backed Resolution 16/18 "is some kind of a breakthrough is sadly being duped by the most obvious Islamist double discourse…"

Right before Canada's Remembrance Day, a video, created by a member of the Canadian military, making fun of Osama Bin Laden was deemed Islamophobic. The video, shown during an event, was a satire of the brutalities practiced within Islamic regimes which freedom-loving Muslims themselves rail against. Yet, Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin issued an apology to those offended and stated that the military has "zero tolerance for acts that do not reflect our Canadian values, especially the respect we owe to other cultures and religions." A full military investigation was also launched, with a promise to follow through with disciplinary action against those involved. CAIR-CAN called it "tragic that an ignorant prank threatens to cast a shadow on our heritage." The real tragedy, however, is the intimidation and attempts at censorship which the West continually encounters in the face of Islamism.

Canadian Imam Zafar Bangash provides an example of the ideologies that have seeped in domestically and become virtually commonplace among Canadians and in the U.S. As director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, Bangash -- virulently anti-Semitic and anti-West -- once called for an Islamic revolution from a mall just north of Toronto. He has also referred to "that black man in the white house who can't say no to those Zionist parasites."

Despite his spread of biased ideologies, he and his strong following -- domestically and internationally are quick to brand any criticism of such ideologies as "Islamophobic."

To protect all free speech, in the autumn of 2011, Conservative MP Brian Storseth introduced a ground-breaking Private Members Bill (Bill C-304). It repealed Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which had banned hate speech over the Internet or by telephone. The bill in effect stripped the authority of Canada's Human Rights Commissions to investigate online hate speech, as well as the commissions' authority to remove these websites if they are found in violation. Storseth, in his presentation to the House of Commons, called freedom of speech "a fundamental principle in our democracy and one which Canadians have fought and died for, for over a century," as well as a freedom on which all other freedoms are built. He continued a step further in a call to all his countrymen: "This is not a fight that one Canadian can take on himself, but rather an issue that all Canadians must engage in vigorously."

As a multicultural nation under a Conservative government, Canada is emphatically resisting going the way of Europe, but still it runs a serious risk, all the more with politicians such as Justin Trudeau. France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, has seen, largely from the promotion of extremist ideologies by Islamist preachers, the increasing radicalization of Muslims. The French population is now concerned about the growth of a parallel society -- not a peace-loving one, but one where threats, violence and oppression are commonplace. In Germany, according to a new survey, "the image of Islam" is "devastating." As Canada continues to honor human rights and equality for all, it would to do well to adopt a consistent, unapologetic stance in the face of anyone manipulating political correctness.

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