Thursday, September 17, 2015
Jason Kenney and the Bigot Issue that Could Kill Canada
Golly. How did I know that the shabby Con stooge Chris Alexander's moment of glory, or infamy, wouldn't last long?
That he would rush out this morning to breathlessly announce that the government would appeal a court decision allowing a woman to wear a niqab during a citizenship ceremony.
Only to be quickly given the hook so Jason Kenney could show everyone who is the REAL Immigration Minister.
And take this bigot issue one step further.
Conservatives doubled down on their position that women should not wear face coverings during citizenship ceremonies, saying the government would take the matter to the Supreme Court, while vowing to reintroduce the niqab ban within 100 days of re-election.
And of course claim the credit.
"I'm proud to have made the decision to underscore the public nature of the citizenship oath," Kenney said during a news conference in Calgary Wednesday morning. "Like the vast majority of Canadians — including I think the vast majority of Muslim Canadians — I do not believe that the public declaration of your loyalty to your fellow citizens should be obscured or hidden.
Even though that's nothing to brag about, and it's NOT what two courts said when they ruled in favour of Zunera Ishaq...
Even though she has said she is prepared to bare her face in private before the ceremony for purposes of identification.
And even though back in 2012 Kenney wasn't bothered about staging a fake citizenship ceremony. Until he was caught.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and the Sun News Network are laying the blame for a misleading televised citizenship ceremony squarely on the shoulders of federal civil servants. The Canadian Press reported Thursday that six federal bureaucrats were drafted to pose as new Canadians for a reaffirmation ceremony broadcast on the TV channel last October.
"I regret that, but that in no way should undermine the importance and value of special reaffirmation ceremonies which we encourage all Canadians to participate in."
But then none of this has anything to do with the citizenship ceremony, and everything to do with creating yet another wedge issue as the Globe Editorial Board points out.
Mr. Harper’s dedication to this issue gets its legs from the distrust many people, Muslims included, feel toward the niqab. Some see it as discriminatory. But that legitimate disagreement has been transformed into a fear that veiled women are trying to “hide their identity,” as Mr. Harper said.
It is all contrived bullshit, and it is a matter of religious freedom.
A religious freedom is a religious freedom; it’s not something you only practise when it’s convenient to the broader society. Mr. Harper has never had a valid argument – legal, social or otherwise – for pursuing this issue so doggedly.
Which you'd think Harper would know, considering that he created the so-called Office of Religious Freedom.
Canada is recognized globally for its leadership on human rights issues, and takes principled positions to promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance throughout the world.
Even if its stated mandate couldn't be more hollow or farcical.
But then Harper and his Aussie attack dingo Lyndon Crosby don't care about that. All they care about is creating a wedge issue to help them win the election...
And sadly, since so many Canadians, including many in Quebec, believe they have the right to tell a woman what to wear, it might sway some votes.
And if the Cons are successful in fanning the flames of bigotry it could cost us our country.
You know, ever since I was a teenager I've found myself fighting for the rights of people who aren't popular, because my parents raised me to believe that those are the people who most need help.
So here I am defending a woman who veils herself because of her fundamentalist religious views. Even though I don't think much of niqabs, and I'm an atheist.
But you know what? I don't regret it a bit. Because what those struggles have taught me is to recognize bullies when I see them.
And there is no worse bully than this disgusting monster...
And the good news is that bullies can be beaten.
The niqab controversy may win back a few of his most rabid supporters. But the Cons will not be able to fan the bigot flame without overplaying their hand.
Which would only reinforce the widespread feeling that Harper and and corrupt vicious regime have been in power for too long.
So while it is an ugly issue, I still believe the desire for change will prevail.
And that in just over a month our long nightmare could be over...
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