Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Robert Fisk: If Harper is Serious About Cultural Barbarism He Should Arrest Himself

I grabbed this shot with my mobile this afternoon of a debate that was going on in the House of Commons.

Because the title jumped out at me, and made me wonder again what country I am living in.

And then I remembered that the Con in the picture is Wladyslaw Lizon, one of the founding members of the group that wants to build that foul monument to Harperism.

And I was reminded of what Robert Fisk wrote the other day.

If Stephen Harper is serious about criminalizing "barbaric cultural practices" then he should arrest himself. 

Is Stephen Harper off his rocker? Forget his trip to Jerusalem last year when the Canadian prime minister said that criticism of Israel was a “mask” for anti-Semitism.

Now Harper, the man with the choir-boy good looks whose pro-Israeli policies might win him a seat in the Knesset, is about to push a truly eccentric piece of legislation through parliament in Ottawa. It’s called – and I urge readers to repeat the words lest they think it’s already April Fool’s Day – the “

Because as Fisk points out barbaric cultural practices can be in the eye of the beholder, polygamy is already illegal, so called "honour killings" are already murder. And it is all about stirring up bigotry.

Because in truth, the new Canadian legislation is about foreigners or – more to the point – Muslims. Hence the BC Mormons have nothing to worry about. Because the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act (Bill S-7) – let us keep repeating this weird name – is playing what Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom calls the “foreign barbarian card”.

Or as Elizabeth May pointed out recently, all about feeding Harper's rabid Con base.

"The problem with the bill is the bumper-sticker title. Zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices? I think it's to fan the flames of a Conservative base that's disillusioned with the lack of ethics of the prime minister. So they're trying to rally round their base by saying we're here to stand against barbaric cultural practices," May told the CBC's Rosemary Barton. 

"People won't know what's in the bill. Goodness only knows how they'll fill in the blank of what they think a barbaric cultural practice is. I think it's appalling."

But then so is Harper's Great War on the Niqab...

Because although as an atheist and a gay guy and huge supporter of women's rights, I'm not a big fan of the niqab. It reminds me too much of the fanaticism of all religions, that would treat women like chattel or try to kill me.

But wearing one is legal, it is an expression of diversity. Who am I to judge a Canadian based on what she wears, rather than the way she behaves, or the content of her character? 

My parents taught me to do the right and Canadian thing, even if it's not popular. Especially if it's not popular.

And it is all about feeding Harper's bloodthirsty base, or as Gerald Caplan writes, feeding his inner bully.

Out of 35 million people in Canada, Stephen Harper has chosen to single out for verbal abuse one lone, niqab-wearing Mississauga woman, Zunera Ishaq.

What he has done – this great authority on the Muslim religion – is to slander an entire “culture” as “anti-woman.” What he’s done is to unleash his caucus to join the piling-on of this one woman – “stay the hell where you came from” – even if they then pretend to apologize. She is defenseless; he bullies her from his privileged place in the House of Commons while his mindless minions stand and cheer.

And all of this scapegoating, this character assassination of one woman, is being done for the crassest of political purposes.

And what is really frightening is that Harper has recruited so many Canadians to join him in his foul crusade. Even those who should know better, but have still jumped on this bandwagon of bigotry. Even if it costs us the next election.

And at the end of the day all I can say is what is happening to this country? What has he done to our politics?

And although Fisk is right about this:

It certainly says an awful lot about Harper’s Canadian political cultural practices.

He's wrong about Harper's "choir boy good looks."

Because on this blog at least I will always portray him as the monster he really is...

The grubbiest, foulest, most disgusting Prime Minister in Canadian history.

And repeat what I have said for so long.

We will not be clean, we will not be safe, we will not be Canada again.

Until the day he is defeated...

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  1. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Worshipping some guy who was nailed to a piece of wood seems like a barbaric cultural practice.

    1. hi anon...well all I can say these days is thank god I'm an atheist...;)

  2. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Anon 10:45 ya no shit eh? Harper maybe should be shackled in a public square where he can be ridiculed by the majority of Canadians who see him for who he really is. A worn out old fool who thinks he is the dictator of Canada in other words a 'Lunatic' spiced with dictator right wing leaning hard to the far off the deep end right.

    Mogs Moglio

    Simon "Choir boy good looks?" makes me wanna puke...

    I think he is the ugliest PM ever.


    1. hi Mogs...yes one can only hope that Fisk was being sarcastic. I think he must have been because he also called Peter MacKay "equally capable." When as we all know he's exactly the opposite...

  3. e.a.f.11:38 PM

    barbaric cultural practises. well we in Canada have quite a few. Among the federal government's barbaric practices:
    - citizens forced to live in the streets in 40 below weather.
    - our children killing themselves for want of mental health services.
    - letting our children go hungry.
    - withholding a billion dollars from Veteran Affairs.
    - more Veterans killed themselves than died in the middle east wars.
    - doing nothing about hundreds of murderers walking around free because their victims were First Nations women
    = failing to provide clean drinking water to First Nations people/
    - failing to provide medicine to our sick citizens because it would cost the government money.
    - Putting people in solitary confinement
    - a growing number of suicides among female prisoners.
    - sending people to jail for long periods of time for non violent crimes.
    - denying people a safe place to deal with their substance abuse issues.

    You want to talk barbaric practises, you bet. We have enough of them, but I don't see mention of them in this act stevie is trying to push through parliament