Tired of Nonsense

I guess you have heard about “Innocence of Muslims” and all the protests around the world. The news is everywhere. Today, I would like to comment on this subject and talk about liberty of expression.

First, I have a lot of doubts that Muslims are so offended by this movie. I saw the movie myself. It is available on YouTube. To watch it, search for “Innocence of Muslims” because YouTube keeps removing it. Warning: You will probably not be offended by this movie based on its humorous style and its absence of hate speech. It does not mock Mohamed any more than we usually mock politicians.

To me, this film seems to be a pretext for violence. There are so many people in the Middle East living in very difficult conditions.The pressure is extreme and many will jump on the first occasion to express their anger. Anger that Imams won’t be afraid to use to promote their religious agenda. If this is true, censoring what we can say about Islam won’t help to maintain peace.

That being said, I would like to express my anger to all the people trying to limit our freedom expression when we want to criticize Islam or any other subject. I believe, like millions of others, that Islam is abject. I also believe that its so called prophet Mohamed was both a pedophile and a violent man. Now, because I say this, some are going to say that I am insulting people. Since when expressing an opinion or a disagreement is insulting people? If you invite a friend for dinner and in the middle of a conversation you express opposition, is your friend going to leave? If so, he or shet was probably not your friend anyway. I think there is a misconception here: attacking Islam is not attacking Muslims. I am not attacking Muslims in any way. Religion is a sensitive subject and everything said on a religion can be seen as a personal attack. But in reality, we must remember that they are two different things.

Back to the main question:“Why is criticizing Islam seen as insulting people?”. When are we going to say that we agree with someone else even if we don’t? I see two main reasons: fear and conformism Since Islam is expressed as a very violent religion by some, it is no surprise that some people will do what it takes to stay peaceful. As for conformism, when you are working in the media or as a politician, popularity is your main concern so expressing opposition won’t help you gain popularity.

What really drives me crazy is the fact that the Koran expresses an extreme level of violence against the ones who do not believe it. This is not a opinion but a fact. If you believe it is unkind to condemn Islam, that it is insulting people, it is maybe time to rethink your position. Too much oppression is expressed in the name of Islam and the ones suffering the most are Muslims themselves. A lot of Muslims are trapped in this religion and leaving Islam means for them being rejected by their friends and family.

And all this nonsense is putting humanity at risk If we want to live in a better world with more peace, more reason and more justice, we must move away from this retarded way of thinking. Here, I am not talking only against Islam but against fate and religion in general. The rejection of these ideas is necessary in order to fully embrace reason. Until then, there will be threats against the ones expressing the truth and we will continue to destroy humanity.

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Pierre Thibault ― Let’s talk against Islam!

Let’s talk against Islam! Shall we? A lot of people feel uncomfortable about someone taking against Islam. They believe that doing so is disrespecting Muslims. If you do so, you’ll probably be labeled a xenophobe, racist, intolerant or extremist. But Islam is a religion. It is an ideology. Muslims are the people practicing the religion. This is two different things. Talking against Islam is like criticizing socialism or communism. It is simply expressing an opinion on a subject and, most of time, in the case of Islam, it does not involve attacking Muslims specifically.

But religion is a special subject in today’s society. Religion is taboo and legally above criticism. For example, here in Quebec, teachers of the class “Éthique et culture religieuse” are not allowed to criticize the main subject of this class: religion. No other subject taught in schools has this privilege. Why is this so? Probably because religion, for centuries or even millennia, has constantly attacked free speech with threats. This is violence. Criticizing religion, or any other subject, is not by nature expressing violence. But denying this right by intimidation or other forms is violence. This is unacceptable and this has to stop.

Islam, like other religions, demands conformity and is based on faith. There is no space for inquiry and reason. The choice is clear: Islam or death. Because Islam is not in the light of reason, it opens the door for arbitrary interpretations which leads people to commit abuse in the name of Islam.

Millions of people have been killed in the name of Islam and the massacres still continue today. Here is short list of things for which a person can receive (and often do receive), the death penalty for in the name of Islam:

  •     Honor crimes (when a woman gets raped, it is perceived as a dishonor for the whole family);
  •     Apostasy (the desire to go away from Islam);
  •     Adultery (only when the woman does it of course).

Other atrocities made in the name of Islam include sexually mutilating children, like the ablation of the clitoris for girls (excision), cutting hands for stealing, forced marriages (often with children or young teens), and the abuse of women (in Islam women are there to serve men so a husband does not need his wife’s consent for intercourse).

So much exaction is committed in the name of Islam and this is only possible because free speech is suppressed. While these crimes are mostly committed in the middle east and Arabic countries, censorship is very present in the Occident and there is reason to believe that incidences of these crimes will grow here too as free speech becomes suppressed.

A simple search on the internet will reveal that a lot of people have been arrested in the Occident for criticizing Islam. For example Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff , an Austrian citizen was convicted on the 15th of February in an Austrian court for ‘denigrating the teachings of a legally recognized religion’ namely Islam (http://islammonitor.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4102). Islam is the only religion that enjoys this privilege. Attack Christianity as much a you want and no police officer will knock at your door.

In the desire to accept others as they are, we’ve stepped back: Islam is a race, freedom is bad, our culture is inferior and we have to swallow a lie. Most people want justice, freedom, and equality. However, the idea behind Islam is to dominate the world and impose sharia: the Islamic law. As I said before, for Islam, there is only Islam and death. It is time to realize that the idealistic view we have of justice and freedom is not compatible with Islam and I definitely choose the first to the former.

What about Muslims in this story? Muslims are often categorized as either moderate or extremists. While for other people, Islam is simply a cultural reference. In this moderate/extremist view, extremists are the ones advocating violence while moderates are listening, approving the speech or simply remaining silent. And who could blame these people to remain silent if the fact of speaking can destroy their life? Islam is a trap. No one is helping any Muslims by remaining silent. Muslims have the right to practice their religion in peace but Islam is no excuse for censorship or for committing any crime.

So before it is too late, think about it. Liberty is precious and it is our duty to protect it. Today, we are loosing our liberty and the enemy is Islam. Talk before it is too late. A good thing to note is that more and more Muslims are starting to talk against the exaction of Islam. We can only encourage this initiative.

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Alex B. Rivard – The Fighter

While watching videos of the young man with bushy hair and a moustache that had not reached its fame, I can’t help but notice how full of life young Jack Layton was. Fast forward to May, 2011 and 60 year old Jack Layton still had a youthful appeal. Although he was campaigning with a cane, he managed to turn his cane into a symbol and silenced the critics that thought he wasn’t strong enough to campaign or even mount a challenge.
Layton finished May 2 as the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, a historic first for Canada’s New Democratic Party. Tragically for Mr. Layton, he only got to enjoy the official title of “leader of the opposition” for a little over a month before Parliament recessed for summer. Layton’s passing comes a shock to Canadians who respected and admired Mr. Layton. He was, by all accounts, an honest politician who was respected by his political foes and friends alike. Being an honest politician and having the respect of all Canadians is something that is incredibly unique and special in a time when most people are incredibly cynical of their representatives in Ottawa.
Layton connected with voters in ways that many politicians can only dream of. He was, possibly, the only politician in the last election that people felt they knew. They wanted to have a beer with him, watch a playoff game with him, and wanted him to represent their concerns in Ottawa. Never mind that many of his Quebec voters didn’t know who they were voting for, the only thing that mattered to them was voting for le Bon Jack. A man that appealed to Quebecers as a hard working, caring, and decent individual. It remains to be seen how the NDP will recover from this loss, but that is a discussion for another day. Today is about remembering a man who had the respect of every Canadian.
On a personal level, I often disagreed with Mr. Layton. But I couldn’t help but secretly wish that he was a centrist-Liberal when I watched him during the “Leaders’ Debate”. The energy that Jack brought to federal politics motivated many young voters to take an interest in the political affairs of their country.
Leave it to Jack Layton to write a letter to Canadians before he passed away. Mr. Layton had evidently accepted his fate but wanted to share his final thoughts, concerns, and aspirations with the country that he loved so much. Regardless of political stripe, every single Canadian can learn from Jack. We can learn to be compassionate. We can learn to be proud. We can learn to be tenacious. Jack taught us that we can fight anything that life throws our way. If we could learn from Jack’s tenacity, hope, perseverance, and courage, we could very well “change the world”.

Read Jack Layton’s letter here:

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Alex B. Rivard – You’ve got Jack

Jack Layton’s temporary resignation as leader of the official opposition will test the roots that the party has made in Quebec. Layton’s young caucus faces the very real possibility of returning to Parliament without le bon Jack, the man who propelled the party to their best ever showing and was responsible for the election of over 50 MPs in the province of Quebec alone. Although Mr. Layton has set his return for the beginning of the fall session, the new NDP caucus may have to begin the session with an inexperienced Parliamentarian that could see the Liberals become the face of the opposition.
Layton’s illness could prove to be difficult for his young and inexperienced caucus. How will the people of Quebec react to their new representation if Parliament resumes without Jack Layton at the helm of the party? There is a belief that the NDP have what it takes to carry on without Jack Layton but I can’t see this happening. The NDP’s phenomenal Quebec surge in popularity before the May 2 election ultimately resulted in the Orange Crush which saw the NDP essentially sweep Quebec. The NDP knows very well that they owe this showing to their leader. The people of Quebec that voted for their new representatives did not vote for their candidate, they voted for Mr. Layton. Jack Layton was the embodiment of the party. Couple this with, an apparently, unappealing Liberal leader and an incredibly strong western Tory base, and you have Quebec’s Orange Crush. In my riding, the NDP candidate didn’t actually start to campaign until the polls turned in his favour. When he did public canvassing, he carried only one poster of himself and two of Jack Layton. The young people that were won over by the NDP were certainly not won over by the individual candidates. They were won over by the passionate and charismatic Jack Layton. There is no better example of this than Ruth-Ellen Brosseau who managed to win her riding while vacationing in Las Vegas.
What will the NDP look like without their moustachioed leader should Parliament resume without him? This is a very real question that the NDP caucus will have to discuss. Putting Layton’s cancer aside, he is 61 years old. One wonders how long he can continue doing this while maintaining a public battle with cancer, a bad hip, and a large, young caucus. Layton has turned to Nycole Turmel to lead the party in his absence. A long time union leader, Mme. Turmel seems like a reasonable selection for the job. If only because Mr. Layton wants one of his two deputies to succeed him as permanent leader when the time comes. Layton has to start thinking about his future and what he will do when he beats this cancer. With Layton’s young caucus, does he have a face in there that can win over Quebec like his does? I hardly think that Mr. Mulcaire can and I don’t think that the large separatist ridings that the NDP now represents will embrace English born Libby Davies as party leader.
The  party has to remain united in their leader’s absence. With the party’s leader temporarily out of the political scene, the spotlight now shifts to individual MPs who will have to step their game up and become the faces of the party. Should Layton miss the September beginning of Parliament, his absence could either show Quebec and Canada that the party is more than just Jack, or could show Quebec and Canada that the party is all about Jack. While Mr. Layton takes his time beating cancer, the caucus has to discuss ways to show the country that they can be a strong opposition party without Mr. Layton. The party  needs to be every bit as strong, courageous, and fearless as Mr. Layton is being right now. As a Liberal, I wish Mr. Layton a safe and quick recovery in his battle.

Twitter: @Alexbrivard   Contact: lalanterne.cfimontreal@gmail.com

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