Barbara Kay: Teach the truth about Islamophobia

While I disagree with Kay’s dismissal of Islamophobia (arguably, many of her commentaries suggest an anti-Moslem bias), I do share some of her concerns with the guide, particularly not situating Islamophobia within the broader context of racism and discrimination more broadly, whether antisemitism or against Blacks and other visible minorities, or racism and discrimination within and between visible minority groups.

Hate Crimes Comparison.004Police-reported hate crime data 2008-14 as in the chart above shows an increased share of anti-Muslim hate crime (while much less than reported crimes against Jews, this reflects in part the greater comfort the Jewish community has in reporting, including through B’nai Brith):

Then there are flag-raising statements in the guide itself.

  • The guide states “it is apparent” that Muslim children are suffering high levels of stress and alienation, but provides no objective evidence other than vague allusions to community feedback. Are mental health professionals reporting elevated levels of Muslim-specific anxiety? It doesn’t say (raising the question: in future CHRC proceedings, could assertions from this CHRC-approved guide be relied upon by parties to a CHRC process without independent proof of their veracity?)
  • The guide (divisively) states that “racial and religious profiling” has become “acceptable” when directed toward Muslim youth, but provides no examples, or comparisons with, say, black profiling.
  • The guide suggests Israeli children’s suffering receives more media sympathy than Palestinian children’s suffering. That is demonstrably false. But is this now a CHRC-Red Cross position?
  • The guide says special support is needed for arriving Syrian Muslim children traumatized by their war experiences, without mentioning the war-related trauma of (the shamefully few) Syrian Christian or Yazidi children allowed into Canada. What message does this send the latter groups?

Most ominously, in its “Final tips” to teachers, the guide states: “Generally, some care should be taken by teachers on the language and tone they take when discussing world events and the Islamic faith.” As opposed, say, to the tone teachers may feel free to take when discussing other religious faiths? One sees here the heavy hand of the Cairo Declaration and its intention to see criticism of Islam criminalized, or at least censored, on a global basis.

If a teaching guide on tolerance is necessary, let it be about tolerance for all minority groups. Let it be evidence-based and a collaboration of racial, religious and other groups. And instead of NCCM/CAIR.CAN, let Muslim input come from the democratic, pluralistic and reform-minded Council for Muslims facing Tomorrow (MFT), one of whose founders, Sohail Raza, responded to my media query on this subject:

“The CHRC and the Red Cross should be more concerned about human rights abuse and actual racial discrimination than pandering to a victim ideology and a contrived phrase like ‘Islamophobia’ created to stifle conversation. MFT is distressed by the activities of certain organizations claiming to represent Muslims while closely linked to the supremacist Muslim Brotherhood. These organizations are part of the problem and not the solution.”

Well said. This ill-conceived, “some are more equal than others” initiative, designed to encourage grievance-collecting in Muslim children and baseless guilt in other Canadian children, should be terminated at once.

Source: Barbara Kay: Teach the truth about Islamophobia | National Post

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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