Opinion Piece by Jonathan Kay who suggests Islamophobia exists in Canada

The National Post – June 19, 2012

This opinion piece captures Jonathan Kay’s talk as a panelist at the “Message of Peace: Countering Islamophobia” conference, hosted by the University of Toronto’s Muslim Students’ Association and ICNA Canada. He says, “Contrary to what some pundits argue, I do believe Islamophobia is a real phenomenon. Which is to say: I do believe there are some Canadians out there who have an irrational fear of Islam. For these purposes, I define “irrational fear” as a fear that goes beyond (a) the very real, legitimate and widely shared fear of Islamist terrorism; and (b) the very real, legitimate and widely shared concern about retrograde Islamist attitudes toward women being imported into Canadian society.”

 

“Overall, I think Canada likely ranks as one of the least Islamophobic nations in the Western world (just as it is one of the least anti-Semitic nations in the Western world). This is not because Canadians are particularly wonderful people — but, rather, because we happen to have a generally well-educated and well-integrated Muslim minority population. Unlike many of the nations of Europe, there is no Canadian equivalent of the impoverished, ghetto-like Muslim cités on the outskirts of Paris, or the no-go (for non-Muslim) areas in central England. There are a few radical mosques in Canada with some bad apples, but they are well-penetrated by intelligence agents and informants.”

 

“The Muslim community in Canada needs to form a moderate, professional, authoritative NGO that brings together the alphabet soup of smaller groups that already exist; and which gives journalists and politicians a one-stop shop for liaising with Muslims on an organizational level.”

Green Party Leader speaks out against growth of Islamophobia

The leader of the Green Party Dr Caroline Lucas MEP has spoken out against the growth of Islamophobia in the UK. “The Green Party’s view is clear: everyone in Britain must be free to follow their chosen faith, or none, fully confident that their right to do so will be vigorously upheld by government.”

Dr Lucas, who was recently re-elected as an MEP for South East England, signed up to a statement issued by a number of politicians and other prominent figures. The full statement reads as below:

Muslims in Britain are facing attacks on many fronts. These include:

* The high-profile arrests under terror legislation of Muslims who are subsequently released without charge, creating a climate of fear and harassment.

* An increase in violent attacks on Muslims in the streets and on Muslim places of worship.

* The targeting of Muslims by the far-right British National Party.

* Aggressive policing of Muslims on demonstrations, apparently designed to deter them from participating in peaceful protests.

* The racist misrepresentation of Muslim views and practices in the mass media.

* The political harassment of Muslim leaders by government ministers.