DISCUSSIONS: WK17 Is Canada threatened by Trumpism?

Trumpism” should be recognized.

“Trumpism” can be defined as the policies advocated by Donald Trump, especially those involving a rejection of the current political establishment, usually accompanied by a call for vigorous pursuit of American national interests; a controversial or outrageous statement that is attributed to Donald Trump.

Trumpism has been discussed before but rears its negative and alt right head like a frequently reappearing Phoenix from Greek mythology. 

Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star, recently advocated ‘How Trumpism should be combatted in Canada.’ See SIDDIQUI

Siddiqui often writes in support of Muslim issues, not as a promoter of things Muslim, but as a defender of equality as practiced and lived in Canada. In his recent column, he advocates how Canadians should fight Trumpism.

  1. Political leaders/candidates like the ‘Leitches and Lisees‘ should not be let off the hook:
    He is critical of Leitch for her idea of vetting potential immigrants relating to their belief in ‘Canadian principles.’
    Besides painting Kevin O’Leary with the same brush, he also includes Chris Alexander who shut the door on Syrian refugees while keeping it open for Christians.
    Even Harper cannot avoid Siddiqui’s criticisms as ‘conflating Muslim terrorists with all Muslims; falsely accusing mosques of fomenting jiha and undermining legitimate mainstream.’
  2. Trudeau must protect our trade with the U.S. but not at the expense of Canadian Muslims:
    One Montreal woman, a Canadian citizen who had regularly travelled to the U.S. to visit her parents, was recently grilled, harassed and turned back at the Quebec-Vermont border. Her phone contained Muslim prayers and she replied that she attended a mosque in Montreal.
    Siddiqui writes, her ‘treatment puts a lie to the Trump administration claim that it is not targeting Muslims. Trudeau as a duty to ensure all Canadians are treated fairly.’
  3. Expand the remit of the intelligence and security services, as well as antiradicalization groups, to include the monitoring and ferreting out of right wing extremists:
    There are about 100 white supremacist anti-immigrant and virulently anti-Muslim groups active across Canada, especially in Quebec. They need to be on the radar.
  4. Protect mosques and Muslims:
    Dozens of mosques have been vandalized, and Muslims physically assaulted or harassed in public spaces, and discriminated against at work. Women have been disproportionately targeted – perverse testimony to the falsehood of Islamophobes’ ostensible concern about the status of women.
        Federal, provincial and municipal governments should audit the many police investigations into such incidents, to see what was done or mostly not done. Police services have a duty to seriously investigate allegations of incitement of hatred, prohibited under the Criminal Code.
  5. Ottawa should restore the hate speech provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act:
    Harper axed Section 13 in deference to those demanding unfettered freedom to malign Muslims and Islam. The media joined them, citing free speech, without ever answering whether they favour free speech for anti-Semites and homophobes, for example.
    The need to balance free speech with protecting vulnerable groups has long been a cherished Canadian value. The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly upheld hate speech prohibitions of both the Criminal Code and the Human Rights Act. But Harper ignored the rulings, just as Trump does not want the American courts to stay in the way of his diktats.
  6. Mayor John Tory needs to stop obfuscating his close links with Nick Kouvalis, who recently quit the Leitch campaign for using Trump-like tactics of name-calling and telling the big lie to unsettle the opposition:
    Tory is a decent man but he’s known to compromise principles in trying to appease all sides.
    Kouvalis was his chief strategist in the 2014 election. Tory must publicly rule out any role for him in the 2018 mayoral election.
       Tory’s other friend, Andy Pringle, whom he installed as head of the Police Services Board, raised funds for Leitch’s leadership bid. He stopped only after media raised questions. The harm is already done. How can he possibly be assumed to be impartial about issues involving the policing of” minorities after his financial and political support for someone peddling racist policies? He should resign. Tory should ask him to.
  7. Premier Couillard must abandon his bill before the Quebec National Assem­bly banning niqab-wearing Muslim women from giving or receiving govern­ment services, even health care.
    Couillard had introduced it to pacify anti-Muslim nationalists, who are not easily pacified. Lisee and Francois Legault, leader of the third-party Coalition Avenir Quebec, announced they will target both
     the niqab and the hijab.
        It matters not whether Couillard – or you or I – dislike the niqab. At stake is a secular principle – the state has no business telling women how to dress or how to practise their faith, so long as that practice does not cause harm to others.___
  8. Quebec City needs to be transparent as to why a permit for a Muslim cemetery has been held up for years, necessitating the transportation of bodies to the Mon­treal area.
  9. Municipalities across Canada must re-examine all delayed construction permits for mosques to ensure that the objections over zoning and traffic are not smokescreens for anti-Muslim prejudic­es.
    Municipalities should take a lesson from Mis­sissauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who last year blew the whistle on anti-Mus­lim bigots.

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Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism. It is our collective duty to roll it back – and not just because Canada has propor­tionately more Muslims than the US., nearly four in 100 Canadians to one in 100 Americans.

It is in our enlightened self-interest to keep Canada as the only G7 nation that values diversity; maintains national con­sensus on relatively high levels of non­discriminatory immigration; and has all enviable record of integrating newcom­ers. As the latest census data shows, two­thirds of our population growth comes from immigrants. They will increasingly be critical to our prosperity and global reach.

While Americans and Europeans wall­ow in deep divisions, we must maintain our civility, mutual respect and harmony. We need only look to Quebec City to remind us why.

What do you think?

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