Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Harper channels Dubya

Oh, Harper. Harper, Harper, Harper. You make me weep for our future.
In his interview with Peter Mansbridge last night, our glorious Prime Minister harped (forgive the pun) about how “Islamicism” is the biggest threat to Canada.
First of all, I’m not sure “Islamicism” is a real word. Certainly my word processor doesn’t think so, judging by the squiggly red line it puts under “Islamicism” every time I type it. But leave that aside; I’m pretty sure everyone knows what that means these days. Radical Islamic terrorism. We hear about it all the time. It’s a concept that’s often in the news... the American news. Usually, we’ve managed to tone down the hysteria our southern neighbours appear to feel every time someone says “Islam.” Not any more.
Harper and his Conservatives are going to try and push through the old anti-terrorist laws that were debated in 2001 but were eventually shelved in 2007 due to heated resistance. Well, he has a majority now (thanks very much, Democracy), so I guess he doesn’t have to worry about trifling matters like “heated resistance” or “rational thought” anymore. So thanks to Stephen “Captain America” Harper, here’s what we can expect in the near future:
1. Police will be allowed to arrest people without warrants and detain them for up to three days without filing charges if they believe a terrorist act may have been committed.
2. Judges can compel witnesses to testify in secret about past associations or pending acts under penalty of going to jail if the witness refuses to comply.
It should be pointed out that neither clause was used by authorities in the five years they were in effect, so at least our front line cops and judges aren’t as prone to abusing the authority they’re given as we all might believe.
So here’s my question for Mr. Harper (though I doubt very much he reads my blog, more the fool he): If a law wasn’t used at all for five years, and its specific purpose was to help combat terrorism, how can you conclude that “Islamicism” is the biggest threat in Canada? Maybe he’s receiving email threats or something, or maybe Muslims give him dirty looks when they walk by him. Actually, a lot of people give him dirty looks, but maybe he just notices the one sort.
I think the biggest threat we face in Canada is succumbing to the police-state mentality that plagues the United States. Islam is already under attack in America and Europe. Do we really need to join that train? We don’t castigate Christians just because a minority of them are radical loons, so why are we picking on Muslims? Yes, some of the more extreme are doing some very bad things, but so has Christianity (Crusades, Inquisition, pedophile priests, etc). So has every major religion.
The last time I checked, we are supposed to be striving for a society without prejudice and bigotry. Can you try and remember that, Oh Glorious Leader, before you go on national television and paint 1.5 billion Muslims with the same brush?

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