GUNTER: Liberals play a dangerous game with illegal immigration

Representative of SunMedia commentary, with the canard that Trudeau’s ill-advised old tweet is wholly responsible for the influx, not the Trump policies themselves (and government tweets since then have taken a different turn).

While there is and can be legitimate criticism of the government’s handling of the asylum seekers, no solutions are as easy as claimed. When the Sun Sea arrived in Canadian waters, former Minister Kenney played up the threat to Canada’s system of managed immigration, but most were accepted as asylum seekers.

That being said, given that it does strike many Canadians as queue jumping and the like. The opposition naturally makes this an issue (more care in language and tone needed, however).

Should the apparent recent declining trend in asylum seekers continue (too early to say), that may defuse some of the tension:

Canadians’ tolerance for illegal immigrants is about to be tested as never before.

Around 60 per cent of Canadians in most polls claim to be open to illegal immigration if the refugees now pouring into Quebec are truly oppressed. Indeed, it is this support the Trudeau government seems to be counting on as cover for its refusal to do anything about the 3,000 or more illegal immigrants – many from Haiti, Nigeria and Central America – currently crossing the Quebec border every month.

The federal Liberals think this deluge is a sign of Canada’s magnanimity and multiculturalism. They also think it will win them votes if the refugees are portrayed as asylum seekers from Donald Trump’s mean-spirited America.

While Donald Trump is separating refugee parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, our hipster PM is signalling a warm welcome to anyone who can arrive at our doorstep.

Our prime minister is tweeting out words of encouragement to illegal immigrants and his government is doing everything it can to resettle asylum seekers quickly, so they slip into Canadian society unnoticed until well after it’s too late to remove them.

But the Liberals are playing a dangerous game, not just politically, but also with the rule of law.

Canadians probably are more tolerant of illegal immigrants than are Americans. But then again, we haven’t had the volume of illegals they have had to contend with.

For nearly 30 years, the estimate of the number of undocumented “aliens” in the States has hovered around 11 million. But given that no one knows with certainty how many come in every year (only how many are thrown out), it is entirely possible the total is closer to 17 million to 20 million.

That would be the equivalent of between 1.7 million and 2.0 million in Canada. But the federal immigration and border agencies estimate there are only about 100,000 illegal immigrants north of the border – or only about five per cent of the number in the U.S.

It’s pretty easy to be morally superior when facing a crisis that is only one-20th the size of your neighbour’s.

However, the RCMP estimate that last year nearly 21,000 people crossed our border illegally seeking asylum. Most had come from the United States, so technically could not be deemed refugees. (If you arrive in Canada from a country that is not threatening your life or your freedom, you cannot be considered a refugee, legally.)

So far this year, at least another 8,000 have walked across our border in Quebec pulling their worldly possessions in suitcases, duffels and cardboard boxes.

The temporary welcome camp Ottawa set up in Quebec can only house fewer than 1,000 asylum seekers at a time.

Ottawa has, therefore, tried to bribe the other provinces with grants to help temporarily settle the rest in college dorms, social housing, emergency shelters, even hotels. But money and patience are running out.

And other provinces and cities are getting wise.

Ontario’s new premier, Doug Ford, recently told Prime Minister Trudeau his province would no longer help settle asylum seekers, to which the PM responded with a smug, sanctimonious lecture on Canada’s refugee obligations.

But like a lot of what Trudeau believes, his lecture was long on virtue-signalling and short on substance.

Canada is not, as Trudeau claimed, required to provide everyone who shows up here with protections equal to those afforded citizens. We must safeguard their lives and freedom, but only if they have arrived from an unsafe country.

(You can get cute, if you want, and insist Trump has made American unsafe, but that’s not true under international refugee treaties.)

The truth is, the Trudeau government has mismanaged the current refugee flow. Badly. And they are going to strain Canadians’ generosity with the torrent they have unleashed.

Source: GUNTER: Liberals play a dangerous game with illegal immigration

Barbara Kay: Actually, one needn’t be a hysterical bigot to have concerns with M-103, other commentary by Lorne Gunter and Chris Selley

Barbara Kay continues not to understand, or appear not to understand, what M-103 includes and what is do not. Coyne is on much sounder ground than she, despite her examples of unacceptable comments:

In December, for example, Georges Bensoussan, a Morocco-born scholar on Jewish communities in Arab countries, was prosecuted in France, because a complaint was filed against him for incitement to racial hatred by the “Collective Against Islamophobia.” His crime? Two quotations were cited in the charge, taken from an interview last year on a French cultural radio show. Bensoussan said, “Today, we are witnessing a different people in the midst of the French nation, who are effecting a return on a certain number of democratic values to which we adhere,” and “This visceral anti-Semitism proven by the Fondapol survey by Dominique Reynié last year cannot remain under a cover of silence.” (Here he was referring to a 2014 survey finding Muslims in France were nearly three times more likely to be anti-Jewish than French people as a whole.)

If these are not fair comments by Andrew Coyne’s standards, then I do not know what is. But Bensoussan is in the dock for them. His story frightens me — with reason.

Ironically, I happened to come across this story at the same time as it was revealed that in at least two sermons distributed on Youtube, imam Sayyid al-Ghitaoui of Montreal’s Al-Andalus Islamic Centre called for Allah to “destroy the accursed Jews,” to “kill them one by one” and to “make their children orphans and their women widows.” (Has he been fired yet? I ask because only Jewish media considered it a story worth covering.) It’s not as if this imam is unique here either. Imams all over the world say the same and much worse about Jews, citing sacred Islamic texts. ISIL members too tell journalists they are following the prophet Mohammed “in the strictest way.” They feel their Islam is as “real” as those who wrote E-411.
So I say to the petitioners of E-411 that I have received their opinion loud and clear. And now I would like to make up my own mind about Islam, as I do with all contentious issues: that is, according to primary sources, credible commentators, legitimate opinion surveys and so forth.

I do not wish to be told by a petition or by the recommendations of a study based on that petition what I must think — or say in a considered and thoughtful way — about any ideology or belief system in deference to the sensibilities of a specific group in order to earn a seal of non-Islamophobic approval from agenda-driven advocacy groups and their political allies.

I greatly admire Andrew Coyne for his exegetical brilliance in the hermeneutics of electoral reform, but on the subject of creeping Shariah-based blasphemy laws across the Western world, it grieves me to say that he has revealed himself as an authority of rather lesser stature.

Source: Barbara Kay: Actually, one needn’t be a hysterical bigot to have concerns with M-103 | National Post

Lorne Gunter picks up the same slippery slope argumentation:

After arguing it was wrong to tar all Muslims – extremists and moderates – with the same brush, Prof. Kutty then added I was way off base for linking the treatment of suburban Montrealer Antonio Padula with the effects M-103 may have.

Padula is just some guy from the Montreal-area community of Kirkland. One evening shortly after the horrific murders at a Quebec City mosque, Padula saw three police cars pull up outside his home. He was arrested, taken away in cuffs and put in jail for the night, all because police misinterpreted some tweets he posted as promoting hatred toward Muslims.

Kutty said Padula’s treatment had nothing to do with the intent of M-103, that he was being charged under hate crimes and other laws, not under a Parliamentary motion offering support for Muslims.

But that’s how these things start. Too often they begin with well-meaning intentions. Yet once they get into the hands of politically correct bureaucrats, Parliamentary committees and human rights commissioners, they morph into something unrecognizable.

Tremont asked me whether, perhaps, Padula’s treatment was justified given that his indelicate tweets came just days after the bloody shooting. But isn’t that just promoting a climate of fear – fear that everyone who posts politically incorrect tweets is a potential murderer who deserves to be arrested and throw in a cell, and possibly face months of expensive legal defence to clear his name?

The supporters of M-103 insist there is an increasing public climate of hatred and fear against Muslims. But wasn’t the treatment of Padula just as much an overreaction based on fear?

If Muslims shouldn’t be condemned for the actions of a few extremists in their faith, shouldn’t it also hold that Antonio Padula shouldn’t be arrested just because officials are suddenly acting out of fear that everyone who tweets unkind ideas is a potential killer?

Prof. Kutty also said it was wrong to focus on the word Islamophobia because he had a good definition of it. And, I’ll admit, his wasn’t bad. But that’s the problem – everybody has his or her own definition. Give that much leeway to the human rights police and the broadest possible definition will be upheld. There will be more, not fewer, Antonio Padula’s rousted from their beds in the middle of the night for the “crime” of being politically incorrect, or even just ironic.

Source: M-103 could morph into something unrecognizable

Chris Selley nails it beautifully in this commentary, contrasting the federal conservatives with their Ontario counterparts:

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says he will support Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers’ private member’s motion asking the legislature to “condemn all forms of Islamophobia.”

“I think it’s pretty straightforward to condemn any form of hate,” Brown told reporters Tuesday morning. “In terms of Islamophobia, it is real.” He said he would encourage his MPPs to vote likewise. And there is no sign of significant dissent in the ranks.

That’s a good thing. Private members’ motions compel the government to do precisely nothing. They are not the soil in which legislation grows, nor are they fertilizer. They are farts in the wind. And on thorny issues like Islamophobia or Israel or transgender rights, their primary purpose is often to expose one’s political opponents as holding unsuitable positions and then denounce them.

Nothing good can come from falling into that trap — and if there was any doubt about that, Brown’s former colleagues in Ottawa are proving it in spades.

It is now lost forever in a toxic fog, but there were legitimate debates to be had about Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s private member’s motion M-103, which calls on the government to “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination,” and to “develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.”

Perhaps the platonic ideal of this legislatively inconsequential motion would not single out any one religion. Perhaps it would be worded differently: were he still an MP, Irwin Cotler said he would have proposed replacing “Islamophobia” with “anti-Muslim bigotry” or “anti-Muslim hatred.” That’s perfectly reasonable. To some people Islamophobia means “anti-Muslim bigotry” or “anti-Muslim hatred,” but to others it means what it says: fear of Islam.

You’re allowed to be afraid of religions (though I wouldn’t recommend it), and you’re certainly allowed to criticize religions. Some Canadians spent the entire Stephen Harper era being afraid of evangelical Christians, for example. On Monday the Masjid Toronto mosque apologized for a supplication recorded on its premises asking Allah to “purify Al-Aqsa Mosque (on the Temple Mount) from the filth of the Jews.” (That’s as translated by Jonathan Halevi of CIJ News.) I’m certainly not going to sit here and condemn Jews for “fearing” Islam.

But these are delicate arguments to make even in a regular political climate. It’s quasi-suicidal in today’s political climate — one in which six parishioners were recently gunned down at a mosque in Quebec City; in which protesters have descended on Toronto mosques with signs reading “ban Islam,” “Muslims are terrorists” and the like; and in which some portion of Canadian conservatives who were already leery of Islam have followed Donald Trump’s tire tracks into a ditch of conspiracist madness.

Among the ditch-dwellers and those who flog merchandise to them, M-103 is an “Islamic blasphemy law” that prohibits criticism of Islam or it is the first step (or another!) toward the implementation of Shariah law in Canada. Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media held an entire “free speech” rally based on those premises last week, and four Conservative leadership candidates actually showed up — including whichever demons have seized the bodies of well-regarded diplomat Chris Alexander and orthopaedic surgeon Kellie Leitch. Enough has transpired in the past couple of weeks to fill an entire campaign’s worth of attack ads for the Liberals; they must be thrilled to pieces.

Back at Queen’s Park, there are many grounds on which to question whether Patrick Brown is the best man for the job of ending nearly 14 years of Liberal rule. The Liberals will cast him as the worst Conservative bogeyman since the last worst Conservative bogeyman: anti-abortion, anti-sex-ed, anti-government, the whole lot. Many conservatives, meanwhile, wonder whether there’s much conservatism to Brown at all — or much of anything that outranks political expediency.

But Brown’s outreach to immigrant communities remains one of his key accomplishments; there is no reason to believe he isn’t sincere in supporting Des Rosiers’ motion on principle. And if there are Ontario Tories who do have minor concerns, the Ottawa precedent makes it clear how best to proceed: express those minor concerns by all means, but vote for the motion. There is nothing to be gained by doing otherwise.

This is a low bar the Ontario Tories are clearing here, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. Given that their federal cousins are currently beating themselves around the mouth and ears with that same bar, however, it is nevertheless a reassuring sign of basic political competence, leadership and sanity. It’s quite a world Canadian Conservatives are living in all of a sudden.

Source: Chris Selley: On Islamophobia, Ontario Tories look to pass the very easy test their federal cousins failed

 

Stephen Hume: Canada’s bigots grant themselves permission to vent

Good piece by Stephen Hume on how government messaging has encouraged bigotry to come out of the closet:

Canada’s vitality derives from constant change; it has never been frozen in amber. Once upon a time, the Cree controlled an area from northern Quebec to the Rockies. Cree was the lingua franca of North America’s biggest business. Economies evolve; times change. Get over it.

Canada has absorbed waves of French, English, Chinese, Japanese, Americans, Scots, Irish, Ukrainians, Germans, Russians, Finns, Belgians, Greeks, Swedes, Italians, Hungarians, Lebanese, Tamils, Punjabis, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Doukhobors, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus. All changed and were changed by the country to which they came.

Chest-beating for the good old days when the British in British Columbia meant membership in an elitist white colonial old boys club is silly yearning for a time that existed only briefly — and good riddance to it.

Bigotry has a long and beef-witted pedigree here in “a white man’s country” where the “Yellow Peril” once commanded headlines and the Ku Klux Klan had a headquarters in Shaughnessy Heights. Ah, those good old days when bigots could strut their stuff.

The murderous clowns in pointy white hats attracted 500 enthusiasts to their founding meeting in Vancouver in 1925. Two years later, they claimed a provincial membership of 13,000, including five members of the legislative assembly.

Before them, we had the Asiatic Exclusion League, fomenters of race riots who in 1923 lobbied successfully for the unjust laws to bar Chinese immigrants and for which the federal government has formally apologized.

Echoes of those poisonous attitudes suffuse the nasty, outraged, inflammatory commentary — often delivered with no sense of irony from behind the veil of web anonymity — suggesting that a few Muslim women’s veils are part of some fascist fifth-column assault on Canada.

Well, they aren’t. And more of us should be saying so — and helping stuff this ugly genie of bigotry back into the bottle before it starts granting wishes we come to deeply regret.

Stephen Hume: Canada’s bigots grant themselves permission to vent.

Lorne Gunter focuses on the niqab at citizenship ceremonies:

But where is the security or fraud concern with the wearing of a niqab at a citizenship ceremony? The ceremony is formality, a celebration of already having won approval for Canadian citizenship. The ceremony itself does not itself confer citizenship on the participants without them first clearing all the legal hurdles and passing the new, more rigorous citizenship test.

A sneaky woman cannot pass herself off as someone else by wearing a niqab, take the oath, then suddenly tear off her veil and declare, “Ah-ha! I have tricked you. Now give me my citizenship.” The citizenship card would still only be issued to the proper woman.

I am all for niqabs being dropped at airport security for as long as it takes a security screener – male or female – to feel confident a passenger is who she claims to be. No special accommodations such as a separate screened-off area or female-only checkers.

But the only threat in wearing a niqab at a citizenship ceremony is potentially the threat to our cultural norms. And I am always reluctant to allow governments to force free citizens to behave in any particular way absent a real, immediate and significant danger to other citizens.

The niqab truth about face coverings | GUNTER

Lastly, Farzana Hassan, takes the opposite view:

However, the most refreshing new angles on this debate are being provided by Munir Pervaiz, president of the secular Muslim Canadian Congress.

Pervaiz repudiates special privileges for niqabi women.

For example, he asks why a niqabi woman should wait for women police officers to process traffic infractions, in case she is stopped on a street.

Why must law enforcement wait till a woman police officer is found?

Would the niqabi woman be willing to wait in a police cruiser or cell till such arrangements are made?

Should she resist if she is taken into temporary custody and charged for interfering with the process?

Pervaiz also states that, “Courts have strict rules of attire. And the government … can make regulations to govern conduct in a court.”

Courts require people wear attire that shows respect for formality and tradition.

For example, the wearing of hats is discouraged in a courtroom, and no one would rationally complain that this restricts individual freedoms.

Why must niqabi women insist on the niqab at all times, in the face of established norms of attire?

Niqab is about our values, not race | Hassan | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Su.:

 

Extremist ‘foreign fighters’ may threaten Canada: U.S. top official | Ottawa Citizen

Short reference to outreach programs during the visit of the head of Homeland Secruity,  Jeh Johnson:

Johnson said that in addition to a military mission to crush ISIL in the Middle East, and an intelligence strategy to track foreign fighters, the U.S. is conducting an “outreach” program in U.S. Islamic communities. That program is designed to prevent people from being fooled into recruitment by ISIL’s “slick” propaganda.

“ISIL is a stateless group of depraved criminals —rapists, kidnappers, killers and terrorists who control a territory,” he said. “There is no religion, including Islam and there is no God, including Allah, that would condone ISIL’s violent tactics.”

Extremist ‘foreign fighters’ may threaten Canada: U.S. top official | Ottawa Citizen.

Lorne Gunter, true to form in the Toronto Sun, rails against political correctness in describing ISIS as not Islamic, and implicitly casting a slur on all Muslims as well as political leaders:

Western civilization won’t be defeated by economic collapse or government debt, by an external military force or even its own internal decadence. But it could well be done in by political correctness.

It’s bad enough that U.S. President Barack Obama could stand bare-faced in front of his nation two weeks ago and insist the Islamic State terror group “is not Islamic.”

Huh!? Islam is in their name and behind every murderous, brutal, barbarous act ISIS commits.

There are imams and Muslim scholars who would argue that ISIS is, in fact, the very epitome of Islamic faith put into action. It is possible to debate that those Muslim leaders and ISIS itself are wrong in their interpretation of Islam.

But to insist to the world that ISIS “is not Islamic” is the equivalent of standing in front of a red wall and insisting it is green. It is contrary to what is plainly, clearly, obviously true.

Not sure what I am missing but there seems to be a lot, understandably, talk about Islam-inspired extremism and fanaticism these days.

Why can’t we talk about Muslim fanatics?