Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stephen Harper and the Veiled Appeal to Racism

Stephen Harper would like us all to know, that when it comes to the headgear of some Muslim women, some are more equal or permissible than others.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't agree with a Quebec Court judge's controversial decision to refuse to hear a woman's case because she was wearing a hijab, a spokesman says. "If someone is not covering their face, we believe they should be allowed to testify," Harper spokesman Stephen Lecce said in a one-line statement.

Even if he doesn't say it himself. And it's just a one-line statement.

Because of course, as I pointed out yesterday and Chantal Hébert points out today, he's counting on fanning the flames of bigotry in Quebec's Great Niqab debate.

Along with his fellow travellers in the Bloc Quebecois.

If imitation is the sincerest from of flattery, Harper’s brain trust must be feeling pretty good for the Bloc Québécois has now embraced the prime minister’s stance with a passion.

Even though he should know better.

At the time of the debate over the Parti Québécois’s charter and its attending imposition of a secular dress code on all public sector employees last year, there was evidence that one of the collateral consequences of the discussion was to inflame anti-Muslim prejudices. 

It is on those embers that the Conservatives and the Bloc are pouring fuel.

As should his nasty stooge Chris Alexander, who if you remember, can't tell the difference between a niqab and a hijab.

And Great Leader's loyal servant Jason Kenney, who despite being obsessed with religious rights, has remained remarkably silent about that obvious case of religious discrimination.

Almost a day after the story broke, Canada’s normally hyperactive minister for multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, had yet to devote a single tweet to the issue.

And why? Because they're all playing the same dirty game. And their shameful campaign, as Rafe Mair points out, is nothing but a veiled appeal to racism. 

Surely no one but the very naive would suggest that there’s not an undercurrent of racism in this country. This racism is easily directed at those who look different. All one needs to do to exploit that racism is to raise suspicions about a very few who are different and visit those suspicions on the whole lot. 

I accuse Prime Minister Harper of doing precisely that.

And a deadly threat to the future of our country...

I fear that Mr. Harper has found an evil but effective issue for the coming election. I fear he will exploit it, and many will support him for it. One can only hope that Canadians are better than that.

And what makes all of this even worse, is that some progressives are lapping it all up, and choosing to turn this into an opportunity to debate whether women should wear niqabs or not. 

Because I don't know how many comments I read in the papers today saying something like this: "I was an NDP supporter, but because of this Muslim thing, I'm now supporting the Conservatives."

And some people I know have even been asking me why a gay atheist like myself, who has no time for religious extremists of any persuasion, and thinks the niqab oppresses women, should defend those who wear them...

And my answer is because it's the right and Canadian thing to do, they are not hurting anybody or doing anything illegal, it's none of my business, this is NOT the time for a Great Niqab Debate. 

And to think anything else at a time like this one, would be to play into the hands of Stephen Harper and his monstrous Cons.

Who are using bigotry as a political weapon, should be condemned by all decent Canadians. Expelled from power as soon as possible before they degrade this country further.

And in the meantime, and all the way to the next election.

Be forced to wear the headgear THEY rightfully deserve...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


Marmalade said...

I agree and this 'veiled appeal to racism' is another Canadian Disgrace!

As for the Bloc, consider this scenario...........they win All Federal seats in Quebec! Wouldn't that be something to upset the apple cart?

David said...

Be vigilant! Stand on guard for our democratic way
Lloyd Atkins | Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2015 12:15 am

Since Stephen Harper became prime minister, hundreds of First Nations, Inuit or Métis women and girls have been murdered or gone missing. Thousands of other Canadians have died due to work-related accidents.
Did Harper take a leadership role in understanding the needs of Indigenous people? Did he ram legislation through Parliament to strengthen occupational safety standards?
Of course, not. These kinds of issues are not high on his priority list.
Harper prefers to play games. Hidden behind the political smoke of his undeclared war on jihadist terrorism and his confrontational posturing on Ukraine, you will discover the prime minister's top priority: himself.
He is obsessed with maintaining control over Canada. When Harper was a little boy, his favourite game must have been “(I’m the) King of the Castle.” For reasons obvious to most, he probably played the game alone.
Canadians should prepare themselves mentally for a murderous terrorist attack. Such an event will be horrific, garner non-stop media coverage and give the fanatical followers of ISIS/ISIL additional publicity.
Some politicians are certain to use such a calamity to tighten their grip on power. Harper’s government, well-known for its secrecy and deception, has a re-election agenda based on spin doctoring the truth.
Be vigilant.
Stand on guard for Canada’s democracy.

Lloyd Atkins, Vernon

Simon said...

hi is a disgrace, but the Bloc will never win all the seats in Quebec. For one thing the Anglophones will never vote for them. And even a lot of sovereignists won't have anything to do with them. They have a beast of a leader, and they're not going anywhere...

Simon said...

hi David...thanks for the letter. It's encouraging to see how many Canadians are finally starting to speak up. I think Bill C-51 has struck a nerve, and not the one Harper wanted...