Lib­er­als are wrongly sup­port­ing a Mus­lim vic­tim­hood nar­ra­tive

Winnipeg Sun - - COMMENT - FARZANA HAS­SAN

Six­teen years have passed since that hor­rific day in 2001, and we must still wres­tle with the scourge of ter­ror­ism. The Mus­lim world had al­ready been ex­posed to ter­ror­ist atroc­i­ties for decades, but in re­cent years the Western world has also wit­nessed car­nage at the hands of ter­ror­ist cells or lone wolves usu­ally in­spired by the rhetoric of ar­tic­u­late and ruth­less dem­a­gogues.

In the Mus­lim world it is long-es­tab­lished sec­tar­i­an­ism that claims lives through ter­ror at­tacks. In the Western world, it is those old an­i­mosi­ties cou­pled with cur­rent po­lit­i­cal con­flicts that have sparked the re­cent waves of ter­ror, in­spired largely by the likes of ISIS and their sup­port­ers.

What ex­actly are the dy­nam­ics that stir the rad­i­cals in the West? In part, it is the broad po­lit­i­cal is­sue: the Is­lamic world can­not help see­ing every Western ac­tion as yet another at­tempt at hege­mony over Is­lam.

How­ever, at the mi­cro level some­thing even more per­ni­cious is tak­ing place. It is the per­cep­tion of per­sonal vic­tim­hood that feeds right into the ji­hadi mind­set.

The in­flated vic­tim­hood nar­ra­tive is com­mon. Some Mus­lims are con­vinced they face sys­temic ha­tred even here in Canada, that they are barred from prac­tic­ing their faith, that they face so­cial dis­crim­i­na­tion and cen­sure in the me­dia. To the rad­i­cals, re­venge is a jus­ti­fied re­sponse.

Mo­tion M103, in­tro­duced by Lib­eral MP Iqra Khalid, is a prod­uct of the vic­tim­hood nar­ra­tive. It has been sup­ported by most or­tho­dox Mus­lim or­ga­ni­za­tions as well as the left. In fair­ness, the more pro­gres­sive Cana­dian Mus­lim groups have op­posed it ve­he­mently.

The Ro­hingya in Myan­mar clearly suf­fer vi­o­lent per­se­cu­tion, and it could be claimed that Mus­lims in coun­tries like France live on the edges of so­ci­ety. But Canada?

Our laws pro­tect all cit­i­zens from racial, eth­nic and re­li­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion. These ideals are en­shrined in our Char­ter Rights. When­ever mi­nor­ity groups face dis­crim­i­na­tion—and they do—they can seek re­dress in court.

There’s no deny­ing that there are pock­ets of big­otry ev­ery­where, to­ward Is­lam and other mi­nori­ties as well. But the sys­tems and laws in Canada do not pro­mote such at­ti­tudes, and most Cana­di­ans ad­vo­cate in­ter­ra­cial harmony.

Canada dis­plays tol­er­ance at a per­sonal and state level. There is sym­pa­thy and sup­port for Cana­dian Mus­lims even among or­di­nary Cana­di­ans who do not iden­tify with any move­ments, and let us not forget that many refugees com­ing into Europe and Canada are Syr­ian of Mus­lim back­ground.

There is anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment, but there is also mas­sive sym­pa­thy for the Mus­lim com­mu­nity from the left, which in its naivety also of­ten sup­ports the fun­da­men­tal­ists and diehard Is­lamists who would love to turn Canada into a sharia state.

The Lib­eral gov­ern­ment is reck­less to sup­port Khalid’s mo­tion, which does not take into ac­count many of the pos­si­ble sub­tle and long-term reper­cus­sions.

M103, which will soon be dis­cussed by the House of Com­mons her­itage com­mit­tee, fa­cil­i­tates the vic­tim­hood nar­ra­tive. The Lib­eral gov­ern­ment should see that sup­port­ing ac­tions such as M103 gives of­fi­cial sanc­tion to a per­se­cu­tion com­plex which is al­ready wide­spread, de­spite the fact that Mus­lims face no more dis­crim­i­na­tion than any other mi­nor­ity group.

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