Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Lesbian complains about Muslim barber to Human Rights Commission

This story from the Calgary Sun is from free speech warrior Ezra Levant. He’s talking about the Canadian Human Rights Commissions, which exist to censor offensive thoughts and offensive speech.

Excerpt:

Faith McGregor is the lesbian who doesn’t like the girly cuts that they do at a salon. She wants the boy’s hairdo.

Omar Mahrouk is the owner of the Terminal Barber Shop in Toronto. He follows Shariah law, so he thinks women have cooties. As Mahrouk and the other barbers there say, they don’t believe in touching women other than their own wives.

But that’s what multiculturalism and unlimited immigration from illiberal countries means. A central pillar of many immigrant cultures is the second-class citizenship of women and gays.

So if we now believe in multiculturalism, and that our Canadian culture of tolerance isn’t any better than the Shariah culture of sex crimes and gender apartheid, who are we to complain when Omar Mahrouk takes us up on our promise that he can continue to practise his culture — lesbian haircuts be damned?

He’s not the one who passed the Multiculturalism Act, and invited in hundreds of thousands of immigrants with medieval attitudes towards women and gays and Jews, etc. We did.

Mahrouk’s view is illiberal. But in Canada we believe in property rights and freedom of association — and in this case, freedom of religion, too.

But McGregor ran to the Human Rights Tribunal and demanded that Mahrouk give her a haircut.

In the past, human rights commissions have been a great ally to gay activists. Because, traditionally, gay activists have complained against Christians. And white Christians are the one ethnic identity group that human rights commissions don’t value, and that multiculturalism doesn’t include.

In recent years, Canadian human rights commissions have weighed a complaint about a women’s-only health club that refused a pre-operative transsexual male who wanted to change in the locker rooms.

They’ve ordered bed and breakfasts owned by Christian families to take in gay couples. They’ve censored pastors and priests who have criticized gay marriage. Gays win, because it’s a test of who is most outraged and offended.

But in the case of the Muslim barbers, the gay activists have met their match. If the test is who can be the most offended or most politically correct, a lesbian’s just not going to cut it.

Oh, McGregor is politically correct. But just not politically correct enough. It’s like poker.

A white, Christian male has the lowest hand — it’s like he’s got just one high card, maybe an ace. So almost everyone trumps him.

A white woman is just a bit higher — like a pair of twos. Enough to beat a white man, but not much more.

A gay man is like having two pairs in poker.

A gay woman — a lesbian like McGregor — is like having three of a kind.

A black lesbian is a full house — pretty tough to beat.

Unless she’s also in a wheelchair, which means she’s pretty much a straight flush.

The only person who could trump that would be a royal flush. If the late Sammy Davis Jr. — who was black, Jewish and half-blind — were to convert to Islam and discover he was 1/64th Aboriginal.

So which is a better hand: A lesbian who wants a haircut or a Muslim who doesn’t want to give it to her?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support all the speech and thoughts that the Human Rights Commission finds offensive. But I wouldn’t use the power of the government to suppress ideas and speech that I disagree with. I’m not a fascist. I don’t like forcing other people to do things that they don’t want to do with the force of government.

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Obama’s Arab Spring: Rockets fired from Egypt hit Israeli city

From the Chicago Tribune. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

A rocket fired from Egypt’s Sinai desert struck the southern Israeli resort of Eilat on Thursday, police said, fuelling Israeli worries over militant activity in the border area.

No casualties or damage were reported.

An Egyptian security source told Reuters in Cairo that Egyptian forces were searching the area along the border but had not found any evidence indicating any rockets had been fired from the Sinai.

The head of Eilat police, Ron Gertner, told Israeli Army Radio that explosions were heard in Eilat soon after midnight. Police found the remains of one rocket in a construction site, about 400 meters (yards) from a residential area.

Asked if the rocket was fired from Sinai, Gertner said: “Based on our working assumptions and the range, yes.”

Officials in Israel have been worried that the Sinai has become a base for Islamist militants since former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall last year.

“For a long while now we have been seeing that the Sinai peninsula is turning into a launching ground against the citizens of Israel, for terror,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the attack.

It was launched a day before the start of the Jewish Passover holiday, which commemorates the exodus of the biblical Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Eilat is expected to be full of vacationers during the week-long holiday.

The Israel-Egypt border had been relatively quiet since the two countries signed a peace agreement in 1979. But Israel says that since Mubarak was overthrown, Cairo has lost its grip on the Sinai and militants are exploiting the lawlessness.

Here’s something related that I found on Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Egypt’s new parliament is dominated by the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which is busy rewriting the nation’s constitution and — contrary to its own past promises — is running a candidate for the nation’s presidency.

Once the Brotherhood controls both the presidency and the legislature, it can pretty much do what it pleases — kill homosexuals, force women behind the veil, oppress Christians and other religious minorities, and unilaterally abrogate the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace deal.

Despite this ominous turn of events, as the French news service AFP reports, White House officials held talks with Muslim Brotherhood representatives in Washington this week.

“We believe that it is in the interest of the United States to engage with all parties that are committed to democratic principles, especially nonviolence,” said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, adding that the talks emphasized “the importance of respect for minority rights, the full inclusion of women and our regional security concerns.”

Well, not only does the Muslim Brotherhood not “respect” minority rights, but it also wants to impose rigid Islamic Shariah law on all of Egypt.

So much for “democratic principles.”

As for the “inclusion of women”, westernized Egyptian women who dream of freedom will soon find themselves subjugated in a way they’ve never been before.

What’s especially tragic is that as the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, it won’t take long for it to replace the 33-year-old peace of Camp David with a new state of war with Israel.

So why are we talking to the Muslim Brotherhood and giving it credibility? What’s to be gained?

The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. And it means to place Egypt under Shariah law — the antithesis of a regime based on democracy and human rights.

As they prepare to take over, Egypt’s pending rulers make clear their contempt for us and for our Western values. So is Egypt’s military, which has arrested U.S. citizens for the odious crime of promoting democracy.

Our response? After suspending $1.3 billion in military aid, we reinstated it last month. And we added $250 million in economic assistance to sweeten the pot.

We’re deluding ourselves if we think this is going to end favorably. Islamists have taken over or are about to in Libya, Tunisia and now Egypt, something that our government largely applauded and aided.

Turkey, once a solid ally of the West, has quietly moved to the hard-core Islamist side. Syria, now in the throes of a revolt against Bashar Assad and his socialist Baath Party, may soon join the ranks — a clean sweep.

Today, Israel is friendless and vulnerable, more so than at any time in its modern existence. It will be on the receiving end of many more missile volleys.

We need to be taking steps to restrain aggression against us, our allies and our interests abroad. The Obama administration has done the exact opposite.

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Thousands of Muslims demand Sharia law in Tunisia

Political Map of Africa

Political Map of Africa

Huntr sent me this disturbing AP article.

Excerpt:

Several thousand men and women demonstrated outside the Tunisian parliament on Friday to demand the inclusion of Islamic law in the north African country’s future constitution.

“The people want the application of God’s sharia”, “Our Koran is our constitution”, “No constitution without sharia,” and “Tunisia is neither secular nor scientific, it is an Islamic state”, cried the protesters, drawn mainly from the Islamist Salafist movement.

Some men climbed on the roof of the building and unfurled a banner that read: “The people belong to God.”

Several women sported the niqab, or full-face veils.

Tunisia’s moderate Islamist leaders, who took power following last year’s ouster of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after a popular uprising, are under pressure from a radical Muslim fringe.

The ultra-conservative Salafists have in recent months demanded full-face veils for female university students, castigated a TV channel for an allegedly blasphemous film and beaten up journalists at a protest.

“We are here today to peacefully demand the application of sharia in the new constitution. We will not impose anything by force on the Tunisian people, we just want that the people are convinced of the principles,” said Marwan, a 24-year-old trader.

Sharia law in Malaysia condones child marriages, even as young as 11 years old – as long as the Sharia court approves it. Here’s a story about about a child aged 9 given to someone in marriage, in Yemen.

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Montreal Muslims found guilty of first degree murder in Shafia trial

From the National Post. (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)

Excerpt:

After Canada’s first mass-honour-killings trial, three members of a Montreal family have all been found guilty of first-degree murder in the drowning deaths of four other family members — including three teenage sisters.

A jury on Sunday handed down its guilty verdicts for Mohammad Shafia and Tooba Mohammad Yahya, as well as their 21-year-old son, Hamed.

They had been charged with murder after the bodies of three Shafia sisters — Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and 13-year-old Geeti — were discovered in a submerged vehicle in a canal near Kingston, in June 2009.

Also in the vehicle was Rona Amir Mohammad, the 52-year-old first wife of Shafia, whom he married in his native Afghanistan before the polygamous family moved to Canada in 2007 and settled in Montreal.

A conviction for first-degree murder carries with it an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

[...]A dozen independent witnesses — including Montreal police, social workers, teachers and school officials — testified the girls feared their father and even some of their siblings, who they believed were spying on them, and were depressed and desperate to get away.

On wiretap recordings played for jurors, Shafia called his daughters “whores,” “filthy” and “rotten children” who betrayed the family and Islam and did “cruelty” to Shafia by secretly taking boyfriends and by wearing revealing clothes.

Prosecutors alleged that the victims died in an honour killing orchestrated by Shafia to cleanse the shame he felt from the conduct of his daughters.

The trial also heard that Shafia’s first wife, who was living in Canada illegally, wanted a divorce from Shafia and was supportive of the daughters who were dating.

Blazing Cat Fur also points out this Montreal Gazette article, which says that the relatives of the Shafia murderers approve of honor killings.

Like the UK, Canada has major, major problems with immigrants who are not integrated properly into Western culture and values. The Liberal government that was in power for decades was always pushing for “diversity” and “multiculturalism”, just like the UK Labour Party. Liberal professors, like those at Queen’s University in Kingston, are even pushing for Canada to adopt polygamy, in order to respect the cultural beliefs of Muslims.

In Canada, polygamous Muslims can already collect multiple welfare checks for their multiple wives.

Excerpt:

Hundreds of [Greater Toronto Area] Muslim men in polygamous marriages — some with a harem of wives — are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.

Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said wives in polygamous marriages are recognized as spouses under the Ontario Family Law Act, providing they were legally married under Muslim laws abroad.

“Polygamy is a regular part of life for many Muslims,” Ali said yesterday. “Ontario recognizes religious marriages for Muslims and others.”

He estimates “several hundred” GTA husbands in polygamous marriages are receiving benefits. Under Islamic law, a Muslim man is permitted to have up to four spouses.

However, city and provincial officials said legally a welfare applicant can claim only one spouse. Other adults living in the same household can apply for welfare independently.

The average recipient with a child can receive about $1,500 monthly, city officials said.

This is another situation where liberal Toronto lawmakers want to support “multiculturalism” and “diversity”.

Oh, and did you know that multiculturalists also support sex-selection abortions? It turns out that sex-selection abortions are very popular in non-Western nations, like India. Yes – it’s another area where leftists side with “multiculturalism” and “diversity”. One wonders what multiculturalists think of honor killings and burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. After all, if you accept all views on moral issues as valid, then you approve of all of these views as valid. That’s what moral relativism and tolerance means – celebrating everyone’s point of view as equally valid.

Well, I for one think that honor killings and sex-selection abortions and widow burning and polygamy are all morally wrong. I guess I am not multicultural and diverse enough.

You can read more about the Shafia trial and the verdict here at Blazing Cat Fur.

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Exceptional speech on foreign policy by Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty delivered this must-read speech on foreign policy to the Council on Foreign Relations today.

Excerpt:

President Obama has failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy in response to these events.  He has been timid, slow, and too often without a clear understanding of our interests or a clear commitment to our principles.

And parts of the Republican Party now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments.  This is no time for uncertain leadership in either party.  The stakes are simply too high, and the opportunity is simply too great.

No one in this Administration predicted the events of the Arab spring – but the freedom deficit in the Arab world was no secret.  For 60 years, Western nations excused and accommodated the lack of freedom in the Middle East.  That could not last.  The days of comfortable private deals with dictators were coming to an end in the age of Twitter, You Tube, and Facebook.  And history teaches there is no such thing as stable oppression.

President Obama has ignored that lesson of history.  Instead of promoting democracy – whose fruit we see now ripening across the region – he adopted a murky policy he called “engagement.”

“Engagement” meant that in 2009, when the Iranian ayatollahs stole an election, and the people of that country rose up in protest, President Obama held his tongue.  His silence validated the mullahs, despite the blood on their hands and the nuclear centrifuges in their tunnels.

While protesters were killed and tortured, Secretary Clinton said the Administration was “waiting to see the outcome of the internal Iranian processes.”  She and the president waited long enough to see the Green Movement crushed.

“Engagement” meant that in his first year in office, President Obama cut democracy funding for Egyptian civil society by 74 percent.  As one American democracy organization noted, this was “perceived by Egyptian democracy activists as signaling a lack of support.”  They perceived correctly.  It was a lack of support.

“Engagement” meant that when crisis erupted in Cairo this year, as tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, Secretary Clinton declared, “the Egyptian Government is stable.”  Two weeks later, Mubarak was gone.  When Secretary Clinton visited Cairo after Mubarak’s fall, democratic activist groups refused to meet with her.  And who can blame them?

The forces we now need to succeed in Egypt — the pro-democracy, secular political parties — these are the very people President Obama cut off, and Secretary Clinton dismissed.

The Obama “engagement” policy in Syria led the Administration to call Bashar al Assad a “reformer.”  Even as Assad’s regime was shooting hundreds of protesters dead in the street, President Obama announced his plan to give Assad “an alternative vision of himself.”  Does anyone outside a therapist’s office have any idea what that means?  This is what passes for moral clarity in the Obama Administration.

By contrast, I called for Assad’s departure on March 29; I call for it again today.  We should recall our ambassador from Damascus; and I call for that again today.  The leader of the United States should never leave those willing to sacrifice their lives in the cause of freedom wondering where America stands.  As President, I will not.

I blogged quite a bit about the peaceful protestors in Iran. Remember Neda Soltan who was shot down in the streets? And yet Obama had almost nothing to say about the pro-democracy movements. And Obama was on the wrong side in the Honduras election, as well – he backed Manuel Zelaya. It’s good that Tim Pawlenty has something to say about it.

And a bit more  of his speech:

The third category consists of states that are directly hostile to America.  They include Iran and Syria.  The Arab Spring has already vastly undermined the appeal of Al Qaeda and the killing of Osama Bin Laden has significantly weakened it.

The success of peaceful protests in several Arab countries has shown the world that terror is not only evil, but will eventually be overcome by good.  Peaceful protests may soon bring down the Assad regime in Syria.  The 2009 protests in Iran inspired Arabs to seek their freedom.  Similarly, the Arab protests of this year, and the fall of regime after broken regime, can inspire Iranians to seek their freedom once again.

We have a clear interest in seeing an end to Assad’s murderous regime.  By sticking to Bashar al Assad so long, the Obama Administration has not only frustrated Syrians who are fighting for freedom—it has demonstrated strategic blindness.  The governments of Iran and Syria are enemies of the United States.  They are not reformers and never will be.  They support each other.  To weaken or replace one, is to weaken or replace the other.

The fall of the Assad mafia in Damascus would weaken Hamas, which is headquartered there.  It would weaken Hezbollah, which gets its arms from Iran, through Syria.  And it would weaken the Iranian regime itself.

To take advantage of this moment, we should press every diplomatic and economic channel to bring the Assad reign of terror to an end.  We need more forceful sanctions to persuade Syria’s Sunni business elite that Assad is too expensive to keep backing.  We need to work with Turkey and the Arab nations and the Europeans, to further isolate the regime.  And we need to encourage opponents of the regime by making our own position very clear, right now:  Bashar al-Assad must go.

When he does, the mullahs of Iran will find themselves isolated and vulnerable.  Syria is Iran’s only Arab ally.  If we peel that away, I believe it will hasten the fall of the mullahs.  And that is the ultimate goal we must pursue.  It’s the singular opportunity offered to the world by the brave men and women of the Arab Spring.

The march of freedom in the Middle East cuts across the region’s diversity of religious, ethnic, and political groups.  But it is born of a particular unity.  It is a united front against stolen elections and stolen liberty, secret police, corruption, and the state-sanctioned violence that is the essence of the Iranian regime’s tyranny.

So this is a moment to ratchet up pressure and speak with clarity.  More sanctions.  More and better broadcasting into Iran.  More assistance to Iranians to access the Internet and satellite TV and the knowledge and freedom that comes with it.  More efforts to expose the vicious repression inside that country and expose Teheran’s regime for the pariah it is.

And, very critically, we must have more clarity when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program.  In 2008, candidate Barack Obama told AIPAC that he would “always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.”  This year, he told AIPAC “we remain committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”  So I have to ask: are all the options still on the table or not?  If he’s not clear with us, it’s no wonder that even our closest allies are confused.

The Administration should enforce all sanctions for which legal authority already exits.  We should enact and then enforce new pending legislation which strengthens sanctions particularly against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who control much of the Iranian economy.

Here’s a clip from the discussion with CFR after the speech:

You know, I was listening to a fiscal conservative being interviewed on the radio the other day and the person was saying that he had more fear of Obama’s foreign policy than of Obama’s economic policy. This was after he had laid out a gloomy economic picture.

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