We don't get to choose the battle. We only get to choose our side.
Don't think we have a problem with Islamophobia in Canada? Check the comments under any critical post about Amira Elghawaby, the federal government's new appointee.— Max Fawcett 🇨🇦 (@maxfawcett) February 1, 2023
She deserves better. https://t.co/yw6vZ9rhY0
Quebec continues its bizarre campaign to convince everyone that the real problem with Islamophobia is that it's terribly, terribly offensive to have suggested that it exists in Quebec and in Quebecers. #cdnpoli https://t.co/OY54mmdvDJ— Jeff Rybak🍁 (@JeffRybak) February 3, 2023
That @AmiraElghawaby is not supported by Quebec is actually to her credit. It means that she, unlike so many Canadian politicians, has the chutzpah to state the obvious about Quebec's regressive, hateful, anti-Muslim laws. Good for her! #CDNpoli #GoodTrouble— Matt Hopkins (@RealMattHopkins) February 5, 2023
At a provincial level in Canada, ever since it was Lower Canada, it is Quebec that has dealt for two centuries with unfounded anti-religious prejudice. So I think it should be ashamed of itself over its anti-Muslim laws.
I mean, can you imagine how crazy it’ll be if @JustinTrudeau, under pressure from a bad-faith right, fires the Muslim woman he himself appointed to address Islamophobia because she previously called out…Islamophobia? https://t.co/VNPwFRyTtN— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) February 4, 2023
The real reason people are so up in arms about this appointment? It makes white people feel uncomfortable, and that’s all this is about....All this is is a group of people being offended that their behaviour has been called out. Bill 21 is a disgrace, a racist piece of shit that is undeserving of this country.
Don’t say it’s out of touch with “voters”, say what you mean - that your friends in the French establishment are mad because they got called the fuck out— Evan Scrimshaw (@EScrimshaw) February 4, 2023
In The Orchard substack, Jeremy Appell describes the moral panic among pundits who just cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that Islamophobia is actually a problem - Canadian Pundits throw Amira Elghawaby to the wolves:
My grandfather worked at the Sun Life Building for decades, my mom there too, and so Dorchester Square is my place - the one place on earth I can go and always feel at peace— Evan Scrimshaw (@EScrimshaw) February 4, 2023
I adore Montreal and Quebec with all my heart, I love it in my bones - and that’s why I care
He goes on to call out pieces by Althia Raj, Chantal Hébert, Tom Mulcair, Susan Delacourt, Konrad Yakabuski, Andre Pratte, Kelly McParland, Chris Selley, Tarek Fatah, Terry Glavin, and finally, of course, Rex Murphy.Amira Elghawaby, Canada’s newly-appointed special representative for fighting Islamophobia, is under fire for … criticizing Islamophobia in Quebec.And Canadian media commentators have added fuel to this fire every step of the way....The media has continually perpetuated the hysteria surrounding Elghawaby’s appointment, with pundits mostly honing in on her criticism of Islamophobia in Quebec. But many of these columns veered into explicit Islamophobia.
....“We are sensitive to the concerns that have been raised since her appointment, but the challenge before her is a considerable one and we believe that Ms. Elghawaby should be given the opportunity to assume and pursue the mandate for which she was appointed,” the letter said....“We stand ready to contribute to a constructive dialogue around these complex and sensitive issues and are committed to countering biases of all kinds.”Among the people who signed the letter are constitutional lawyer Julius Grey, philosopher Charles Taylor and Boufeldja Benabdallah, co-founder of the Quebec City mosque where six men were shot in 2017 in an anti-Muslim attack.The Anti-Hate Community Leaders’ Group, an Ontario-based activist organization, also released a letter in support of Elghawaby’s appointment. It said that after working with Elghawaby for more than a decade there is no one better suited for the federal position.
Moving on, here's another issue that demands taking a stand for what is right -- supporting trans kids, and their parents:
Voices of Support for Elghawaby Grow After Calls for Her Resignation https://t.co/y9Uyvdbbwd— The Maple (@readthemaple) February 7, 2023
In his substack, Tom Scocca writes an absolutely stunning article - Why is the New York Times So Obsessed with Trans Kids? - calling out the New York Times (and echoed by The Atlantic and New York magazine) for their recent obsession over trans teenagers, creating medical, educational, social and political "controversy" where few or none actually exist:
This issue is a deeply personal one for me. I hope you take the time to read this and understand what is really going on: They are fear mongers, creating a wedge issue, and profiting off of it. It has to end. https://t.co/1BBun5BxDI— Jay Kuo (@nycjayjay) January 30, 2023
This is pretty obviously—and yet not obviously enough—a plain old-fashioned newspaper crusade. Month after month, story after story, the Times is pouring its attention and resources into the message that there is something seriously concerning about the way young people who identify as trans are receiving care. Like the premise that the Clintons had to have been guilty of something serious, or that Saddam Hussein must have had a weapons program worth invading Iraq over, the notion that trans youth present a looming problem is demonstrated to the reader by the sheer volume of coverage. If it's not a problem, why else would it be in the paper?
print this out and wheat paste it to the office door of every editor at the NYT, the atlantic and new york magazine, this is a *superb* piece of press criticism from @tomscocca that lays bare what’s going on here. https://t.co/OcLVAFLwz1— GOLIKEHELLMACHINE (@golikehellmachi) January 30, 2023
Trans kids are NOT getting surgery on their genitals....that would be cis kids...It's called circumcision.— Plastic Martyr (@plasticmartyr) February 7, 2023
You can't get gender affirming surgeries until you're 18 & in some rare instances 16. Stop projecting your bizarre obsession with children's genitals onto us. You're sick.
But Fox News loves it. Those GOP lawbreakers live for FOX Spews interviews. Some are shunned & freaking out abt losing OANN & Newsmax.— — • 𝗖 𝗛 𝗘 𝗘 𝗞 𝗬 • — (@andreagail_k) February 3, 2023
The topic gives them hours of righteous opinion interviews by people that need attention but have never met a transperson. Grievance propaganda.
Moving on, I hope we have reached the end of the Great Balloon Hysteria:
Peaceful protesters in Oklahoma Capitol chant “Trans Lives Matter.”pic.twitter.com/1UuIr8Bnoy— mpowerdance project 🇺🇸 (@mpowerdance) February 7, 2023
I kinda feel like if we’re capable of being spied on by balloon maybe we shouldn’t be allowed to have secrets.— Andrew Nadeau (@TheAndrewNadeau) February 4, 2023
Like it’s one step above being spied on by one of those fake lapel flowers that squirts water.
"Research balloon" @TheBuffaloNews https://t.co/8G7sTz7A0G #ChineseSpyBalloon pic.twitter.com/MALIHKIL68— Adam Zyglis (@adamzyglis) February 4, 2023
Finally, I see Elon is still struggling with Twitter - it's like watching your neighbour assembling an Ikea desk after throwing out the instructions and the Allen wrench:
the spy balloon shows how far we’ve fallen behind china in steampunk technology— Emo Philips (@EmoPhilips) February 4, 2023
imagine buying a mcdonalds, firing the whole crew, then asking the dumpster raccoons how to work the deep fryer https://t.co/kX8yJkxfsc— kilgore trout, death to putiner (@KT_So_It_Goes) February 1, 2023
"We're not happy until you're not happy!"— Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 😷🏳️🌈 (@CathieCanada) February 7, 2023
Quebec's Bill 21 bars public servants from wearing religious symbols to work. It is not specifically Islamophobic since it affects all religions that expect members to identify themselves through their dress. The law can as easily be called antisemitic for its effect on men wearing Jewish headcoverings, and it was attacked on that basis by Irwin Cotler, Trudeau's advisor on antisemitism. Sikhs, such as Jagmeet Singh, have also criticized the law, which obviously affects men in turbans.
But Quebec has not asked Cotler or Singh to resign, which points to a far more widespread form of discrimination - misogyny. The pattern is quite clear - men can criticize the law for its effect on religious men, but women can't do the same for religious women. This is yet another case of a prominent woman taking stick for saying things for which no man is being reproached. And the media is not calling Legault out on this misogyny, preferring to frame the story in terms of religion.
Elghawaby is finding out that women who publicly stand up for women's rights are on their own. Other women will join the pile-on if it means keeping their own jobs. This is nothing new, just ask JK Rowling, Chimamanda Adichie, Kathleen Stock Maya Forstater. Martina Navratilova and Germaine Greer, among many others.
Interesting point - I had thought the main impact was on women with hijabs but I hadn't realized it also affected wearing turbans - this makes it even more evident that the goal was anti-"ethnic" discrimination.
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