by Howard Rotberg
I believe, that like Europe, we shall one day wake up to find that what I call "tolerism" has eroded our rights to liberal democracy, and most people will have no clue how it happened. So this essay shall help to show how it happens.
Islamism is not just an ideology of enforcing submission to Islam through terrorism, lawfare, and the like. It can also be seen as the ideology behind spreading Islam by any means possible to the West, to prepare for a world-wide Caliphate and the imposition of Shariah Law.
Muslims who subscribe to the ideology of the Caliphate and Shariah Law, really do have views that are incompatible with liberal democracy and its individual rights regime.
Those who advocate tolerance for the Caliphate and Sharia law, must realize that their tolerance is endangering the liberal freedoms of women, children, gays, and ethnic and religious minorities, protected by our existing Justice system.
And so, I wrote the book, Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed to explain how dangerous the goal of excessive tolerance is when it may result in the most intolerant illiberal people gaining power and then ending all tolerance. In the book, I give many examples of how this is working in contemporary culture, and in media, universities, and the entertainment industry.
Aside from a number of years in Toronto and Vancouver, I have lived most of my life in smaller cities in Southern Ontario.
I wish to examine some ways in which the cultural imperialism of Islamism is working in a small Ontario city. I believe, that like Europe, we shall one day wake up to find that what I call tolerism has eroded our rights to liberal democracy, and most people will have no clue how it happened. So this essay shall help to show how it happens.
Brantford is a city of around 100,000 people, and was once a major manufacturing center, but many of the large industries closed. A good location near Hamilton, Toronto and other cities, however, has prevented population loss as low housing prices attract people to live locally and work regionally, and the local population requires the usual services and retail.
A city of magnificent Churches dotting its older Downtown area now is watching as declining Church attendance is resulting in the closing of Churches, especially among the traditional denominations, as opposed to Evangelical Christian congregations, which are growing. The Sikh Temple and Muslim Mosque are growing quickly. A Jewish Synagogue lasted from 1907 to 2001 before it closed as Jews gravitated towards bigger cities.
The local Mosque recently invited local politicians and media to an Iftar meal during Ramadan. Its imam stated to a local newspaper that Ramadan is the perfect time to explain the Muslim faith to others in the community. .
“The Qur’an was revealed to the whole world. It is not just for Muslims,” he said in an interview and to the gathering.
“We have invited everyone to share the message for all of humanity.”
The newspaper article, however, did not see fit to make it clear what is the message of the Qur’an for non-Muslims and what exactly is its message beyond doing works of charity and praying the requisite number of times per day.
“We must thank Allah that we are in Canada,” said a retired imam to the reporter. “I never forget what Canada stands for. Peace, love, harmony, tolerance.”
Unfortunately, it is not correct that Canada stands for peace, love, harmony and tolerance, however much that formulation might appeal to aging hippies or those seeking to obfuscate the reality of our contemporary culture wars.
Traditionally, we in Canada are said to believe in “Peace, Order and Good Government”. Peace is of course a goal, but, to further that goal, Canadians have served in the forefront of military operations or Wars where armed conflict was deemed necessary to defeat Nazis, or more recently, the Taliban or ISIS. To hope for Peace without acknowledging that Evil must sometimes be eradicated by War is simplistic nonsense.
Our “Order and Good Government” imply the use of a liberal Justice System to enforce order and uphold liberal rights and freedoms. Nowhere is Tolerance said to be the main goal, as it is surely assumed that tolerance without Justice or tolerance of illiberal evil are not worthwhile goals.
“Islam is all about inclusiveness,” said the imam to the reporter. “We have invited people to join us not just to eat, but to share in friendship so we can know each other better.”
Knowing each other better is probably a worthwhile goal, as long as communication is a two-way street and offense is not taken when some of us state that Shariah law is not compatible with liberal democracy. And if Islam is “all about inclusiveness”, are we allowed to ask why countries ruled under Islamic law and in the name of Islam are seldom inclusive, having banished all Jews and are increasingly persecuting and banishing Christians?
And must Islam continue to be “inclusive” to the radical elements that are driving it in a violent and illiberal way? In London, Ontario, an hour to the west of Brantford, two local teens, one a recent convert to Islam and one born Muslim, were somehow radicalized enough to help seize a natural gas plant in an Algerian desert with al-Qaeda. They died, along with 37 hostages and 27 other Islamist militants. No one in London, at the mosque they attended or elsewhere knew enough to raise a red flag about these terrorists in training.
But is it “belong(ing)” to the “wider city” or is it public relations and proselytization?
The second event to be discussed happened during the war between Israel and the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. A local man, with medical qualifications in Gaza and not in Canada, decided, against Canadian government advice, to travel to Gaza, as he had to do sufficient medical work there to keep his medical license in force.
Despite the dangers there, he took his 8 year old daughter with him, and she stayed with relatives. When the war broke out, after years of Hamas sending rockets against Israeli civilian areas, the wife, a pharmacist at the local hospital was of course frantic. Canadian officials worked diligently and arranged for the girl’s return to Brantford. Her father of course stayed on, whether it was to protect his medical license or whether it was because medical doctors were needed to treat casualties.
A local United Church minister partnered with the Islamic association and an association of Palestinians to organize a candlelight vigil, which was well-publicized in the local paper. This minister had a long record of criticizing Israel and siding with Palestinians.
In his Church newsletter in 2010, he cited as a voice of “reconciliation, commons sense and moderation” the Supreme Leader of Iran Sayyed Ali Khamenei, because Khamenei in response to a Florida pastor threatening to burn the Koran, sought to equate both mainstream Christianity and Islam regarding supporting extremists. The Minister quoted approvingly Khamenei’s boast that “We Muslims will never commit similar acts against what are held to be sacred by other religions.” Of course, Iranian-backed ISIS has committed against Christians, Jews, Hindus, Yzedis and others a lot worse than threatening book burnings – ISIS has been seeking to remove the Christian presence from Iraq and Syria, and Iranian-backed Hamas desecrated Jewish synagogues left behind when Israel sought peace by giving up control of Gaza. The terrorist group Hezbollah receives military training, weapons, and financial support from Iran. The local Minister of course has become a mouthpiece for Iranian propaganda.
He was held in high esteem by City Council and the local media, until sadly he was arrested for sexual exploitation and luring of a 17 year old girl in his congregation and then later for child pornography. Nobody except me comments on the link between his personal immorality and his hatred for Israel.
I have no problem wanting to support a young girl getting home, but Hamas is a terrorist organization with a Charter to murder Jews. Salma’s father had no business taking her there, to let her watch Hamas television which incites children to murder Jews. Imagine, how I, a grandfather of three, and the son of a Holocaust survivor, whose grandparents and then 8 year old aunt were gassed in Auschwitz, feel when I see our government allowing the immigration of people who have been trained by their totalitarian country to hate Jews, and who are not coming here to get away from their Islamofascist leaders, but maintain frequent contacts and travel back to these hateful places, like the girl’s father does.
I wouldn’t have a problem with the father going on some humanitarian mission but when he went there it was for the purpose of keeping up his medical credentials there. In other words, once Hamas murders all the Jews and takes over Israel, he will be in a position to go back there and practice medicine.
Also, Brantford was the home for 25 years of Mahmoud Issa Mohammad, a convicted terrorist murderer of Jews on a hijacked El Al flight at an airport in Greece in 1968.
Part of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, he and another man hurled grenades and sprayed the plane with machine-gun fire, killing a 50-year-old Israeli maritime engineer.
In 1970, Mohammad was convicted in Greece and sentenced to 17 years in jail. However, he was freed a few months later after another Palestinian terrorist group hijacked a Greek plane and threatened to kill the passengers unless the Greek government released Mohammad, which of course it did.
In 1987, he applied for residency in Canada while failing to disclose his membership in the PFLP and his criminal history.
Although on Dec. 15, 1988, an immigration adjudicator ruled Mohammad should be expelled from the country because he had concealed his role in the 1968 attack in Greece, before he could be deported, he filed a refuge claim and was able to avoid deportation for more than 25 years due to appeals and legal maneuvering by his lawyer. The legal case is estimated to have cost Canadian taxpayers over $3 million.
Mohammad denied he was a terrorist, stating in 1988 that he was "a freedom fighter”.
Upon his deportation , our immigration minister was quoted as saying, “Mr. Mohammad flagrantly violated Canada's fair immigration laws and this country's generosity. He made a mockery of our legal system.” A mockery indeed. Lately the Government, by a close vote of 149 to 130, passed legislation making it easier to deport foreign criminals.
What always stays with me, when I hear of an Open House at the Mosque or a candlelight vigil for the daughter of a Hamas supporter, is that the local Muslim community did not to my knowledge speak out against this terrorist murderer in our midst. They do not speak out against Hamas. Our Muslim neighbours minimize the value of Justice and instead assert the value of Tolerance. We have been tolerant enough, in my opinion.
As I walk down the street in Brantford, I fear this new world of tolerance and appeasement that has reached my town and is changing it; I am one of the few who even cares.
Howard Rotberg develops affordable rental housing and affordable commercial and cultural space in converted heritage buildings in Southern Ontario and is the founding publisher of Mantua Books (www.mantuabooks.com). He is the author of Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed and The Second Catastrophe: A Novel about a Book and its Author.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.