The Canadian reality is still different than the American reality. And the Canadian reality is different than the European reality. But the gaps between the three are shrinking.
York Regional Police threatened to remove a rabbi as one of the force’s chaplains if he hosted a controversial anti-Islamist speaker at his Thornhill synagogue.
Insp. Ricky Veerappan, of the force’s diversity, equity and inclusion bureau, confirmed he and officers from the service’s hate crimes unit met with Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of the Chabad Flamingo Synagogue on Tuesday.
Veerappan said he told Kaplan that Geller’s speech “would not be endorsed by York Regional Police” and that the rabbi’s role as a force chaplain would be thrown into question if he were to permit the event.
“If he did (host Geller), then we’d have to reassess our relationship with (Kaplan),” Veerappan said. “We serve the needs of the entire community. Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities.”
Veerappan said a member of York Region’s Muslim community, whom he wouldn’t identify, brought Geller’s scheduled talk to the attention of police.
In March, the University of Toronto hosted controversial Muslim lecturer Tariq Ramadan, who has also spoken in Toronto at the annual Islamic faith conference, Reviving the Islamic Spirit. In October, Pakistani politician Imran Khan, a controversial critic of the U.S. war on terror, spoke in Brampton. Leila Khaled, a Palestinian revolutionary from the 1970s, is set speak at University of British Columbia on May 4.
The rules are fairly straightforward. Muslims are allowed to do anything they like because interfering with them might rile them up. And non-Muslims are only allowed to praise Islam because otherwise Muslims might get riled up.
There is no standard of behavior. Only a security concept that stakes everything on not riling Muslims up. And that means free speech goes by the wayside.
Obama officials have engaged in similar efforts to silence and even imprison those who burned Korans or made movies offensive to Muslims. Every Western country is falling under the same mandate that conflates national security with not offending Muslims.
In the name of that inoffensiveness, Muslim speakers who promote terrorism are tolerated in order not to offend the Muslims who might otherwise turn to terrorism. And non-Muslims who oppose terrorism are silenced because if they speak, Muslims might turn to terrorism.
This is the upside down world that appeasement has given us where black is white and good is evil.
Blazing Cat Fur has Salim Mansur’s letter which makes the same point.
I submit your intentions might very well be of some merit as a guardian of law and order. But those pushing for preventing Ms. Pamela Geller from speaking by putting pressure on Rabbi Mendel to deny the use of his synagogue for holding her event are people I know very well. These are people, Muslims as I am, who come from cultures that have no respect for individual rights and freedoms enshrined in our constitution, and while making home here in Canada have no respect for the culture of this country. They need to learn the culture of a free society, of a society that is open to debates and discussions however painful this might be to someone else’s sensibilities. But if you concede to their demands, all that you would be doing is indulging them, heeding their wishes and threats, and slowly, intentionally or not, bending Canada’s tradition in the direction of the ruined cultures of these people which they have brought with them and want to push into our society.
I hope you will think hard and think clearly given your responsibility and defend the tradition of liberal democracy based on rule of law, individual freedom and free speech. I might just remind you that it was in defending this tradition that time and time again your compatriots went across oceans to distant places and were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice so that freedom there might take root by defeating the forces of tyranny. It often takes immense courage to do what is right, whether to refuse going to the back of a bus in a segregated society or protecting the right of someone to speak, especially when one disagrees with what might be spoken.