Monday, November 17, 2008

Same deeds, different treatment

Something that I find most annoying is the general deference paid to religion. There is the government deference; i.e., maintaining the Lord’s Prayer in the Ontario legislature, and the blind eye intervening human rights agencies have with respect to divisive religious commentary (unless, of course it is aimed at homosexuals), and then there is the tip-toeing one religion does around another one.

Islam has some very nasty things to say about Jews, a result of Mohammed massacring Jews after they failed to accept him as a prophet. You can find these unpleasant commentaries on various Islamic websites.

The Khalid mosque in Toronto that was mentioned in my last blog posting was contacted by the Canadian Jewish Congress to remove some anti-Jewish material from its website. Apparently, the mosque complied with the request.

But this is the same CJC that has been in the forefront of eroding our right to freedom of speech by diligently prosecuting wing-nut basement neo-Nazis through the mechanism of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Why the different treatment? Islam is a vibrant and growing religion, whereas Nazism is a clapped-out ideology with a miniscule following in Canada.

Isn’t that kind of ass-backwards? If you were a community upset about the bad things another community was saying about you, wouldn’t you be more concerned that the powerful community be brought to heel, legally and effectively, rather than bothering yourself about a handful of nutbars that have no traction in the larger society?


Blazing Cat Fur said...

It's politics I suspect, the CJC,B'nai brith etc are afraid this is a battle they would lose.

Navigator said...

I agree with blazing cat fur and would have included that in my post except for a time constraint when writing it this morning. Muslims are required to do nothing that would harm Islam, and a quick public relations cost/benefit exercise would have clearly led the mosque to the conclusion that discretion was the better part of valour. It wasn't lost on the leaders that their charitable status was being challenged by another Muslim organization. And it doesn't mean that some Muslims who subscribe to the negative depiction of Jews have suddenly done an about-face on that issue.

The excuse offered by the mosque was that Islam has many different interpretations depending on which scholars are doing the opining. This doesn't answer the case because the mosque is supposed to be guiding the faithful on the "correct" path of Islam, and therefore ought to be picking the Imams and the websites that most clearly meet the criteria to put the friendly, smiley face on the religion that they want everybody to believe they have. They should rip a page out of the Catholic play book -- Catholics are not shy about telling their herds (sorry, flocks)about what books they should or should not read, or what motion pictures are acceptable.

Of course, before this blew up in their faces in the pages of the Toronto Star, that may have been exactly what they were doing.