Barbara Kay: Appeasing the Islamists in Quebec
National Post - Tuesday January 5th, 2016
Islamism proved a growing threat to Western nations in 2015. But while massacres rivet our attention, they constitute only the most flamboyant tactics in the jihadists’ triumphalist program, which calls for the infiltration of our institutions and the eventual domination of our culture.
That can’t happen so long as we exercise our freedom of speech to denounce Islamism and shame those who support it. Which is why Islamists invented the myth of Islamophobia in Western countries to justify their call for a tightening of the noose on this precious freedom. They certainly can’t do it alone, but they have “useful idiots,” as Vladimir Lenin used to call Western supporters of communism, to help them by furthering the absurd notion that criticism of Islam — a belief system like any other — is a form of defamation, which in our jurisprudence is speech that can only harm an individual.
One of these useful idiots, Jacques Frémont, president of the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) and president-elect of the University of Ottawa, is the father of Quebec’s Bill 59, which will give offended individuals the power to have writers they perceive to have criticized Islam censored and punished by onerous fines. This dreadful initiative marks a Canadian watershed in Islamist appeasement, but attention paid to it in English Canada has been shamefully sparse.
Frémont believes the state must play a role in managing the mentalities of its citizens. His object in promoting Bill 59 was to ensure that “the perception of Quebecers,” with regard to Islam, falls into line with the way the commission — er, Jacques Frémont — wants them to understand it. Ominously, the bill would allow the QHRC to pursue websites that, in its estimation, describe and denounce the triumphalist ideology of Islamism. Article 6 of Bill 59 would “give the QHRC the power to initiate legal proceedings before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal without having to wait for complaints from the public.” Frémont has affirmed a plan to use the requested powers to sue “people who would write against … the Islamic religion … on a website or on a Facebook page.”
Alarmingly, Frémont takes his understanding of what is and is not offensive from UN Resolution 16/18, which was written by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the worlds’ second-largest political body, comprising 56 Islamic countries plus the Palestinian Authority. The OIC has a stranglehold on the UN Human Rights Council, which it uses to ensure that Israel’s alleged crimes are the near-sole focus of censure, rather than the pathological Judeophobia, persecution of religious minorities, brutal misogyny and lethal homophobia, not to mention the total lack of freedom of speech, that typify their own countries.
In 2005, the OIC initiated a 10-year program to make defamation of Islam (as they defined it) a crime throughout the world. They are close to realizing that goal, having begun implementing Resolution 16/18 through the “Istanbul process,” a series of conferences promoting the OIC agenda. Many EU countries are seeking to criminalize Islamophobia by using “racism and xenophobia,” “public order” or “denigration” laws like Bill 59, which are essentially proxies for the OIC’s Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.
The Cairo Declaration asserts the superiority of Islam and defines freedom of speech according to Shariah law, which considers any criticism of Muhammad blasphemy. (Former French screen star and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot, for example, who has criticized Islam, mostly for its use of animal sacrifices, has been prosecuted and fined four times for “inciting racial hatred.”)
Clinton could not assent to enacting speech-restrictive laws in the U.S. — that pesky constitution!
Frémont’s fascination with the OIC is hardly unique in North America. In spite of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is supposed to protect Americans from speech-chilling laws like Bill 59 and the Cairo Declaration, one of the OIC’s biggest fans is the U.S. State Department. Hillary Clinton enthusiastically sponsored the first Istanbul conference in 2011, which included delegates from the U.S., the EU and the OIC, but was largely conducted behind closed doors and attracted little attention.
Clinton could not assent to enacting speech-restrictive laws in the U.S. — that pesky constitution! — but she did assert that the U.S. could advocate for other messages to achieve the same result, such as the use of “good old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming.” On this file, she and her president march in lockstep. U.S. President Barack Obama famously announced in 2012 that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
Well, if the future does not belong to those who have the right to say anything they want about the prophet of Islam, just as the past has belonged to those with the right to say anything they want about Moses, Christ, Marx and the Buddha; and if “slander” of Islam is to be defined by the OIC and suppressed by shaming or worse — then to whom exactly do Jacques Frémont, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama intend for the future to belong?