Canada’s foreign policy invites retaliation: Lawrence Martin

Mr. Taylor, the well-known philosopher who headed up a Quebec commission on cultural and religious minorities, suggested that the federal Conservatives are surfing on Islamophobic sentiment, which makes alienated Muslim Canadians easier targets for recruitment by radical Islamist terrorists.

Mr. Taylor is no slouch. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has called him “one of the world’s greatest living philosophers,” although the minister might well be revising that appraisal now.

But the Montreal professor makes a valid point, and one that should be seen in a broader context. It’s not just anti-Muslim rhetoric that puts Canada high on the radar list of enemies, or the upping of the ante by extending the Islamic State mission to Syria. It’s also how Ottawa has resorted to provocative rhetoric and incendiary statecraft elsewhere: With Russia by way of unsubstantiated accusations, the latest being that they confronted us in the Black Sea. With Iran in shutting down our embassy in Tehran. With the Arab world through unconditional support for Israel.

… Mr. Alexander has had experience as a diplomat – in Afghanistan, no less. But you’d never know it. Last week, he listed the hijab as a face covering that has no place in the citizenship ceremony. The problem? It’s a head scarf, not normally used to cover the face. “Hey, before you send a race-baiting e-mail,” tweeted Liberal strategist Gerald Butts, “at least know the difference between a hijab and a niqab.”

 Canada’s foreign policy invites retaliation 

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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