Freedom of Speech Attacked in the House of Commons on Women's Day
"For the first time in history, 338 young women filled every seat in the House of Commons in honour of International Women’s Day as part of an initiative called Daughters of the Vote, organized by Equal Voice, which advocates to elect more women in politics." On an occasion ostensibly dedicated to the advancement of women, Islamophobia, reading the Globe and Mail's reporting on the event, took center stage.
In his address to the gathering, the Prime Minister did not challenge statements about Canadians being raving Islamophobes or a baffling observation, if you are not familiar with Islamic scriptures, that Canadians, in their defence of freedom of speech, are favouring the growth of a "culture of ignorance".
In Islamic scriptures the period before Islam is generally referred to as Jahiliya, the time of ignorance when world views as numerous and as varied as the colours of the rainbow flourished on the Peninsula. The Prophet’s flight from Mecca to Medina in 622 with his followers marks the alleged transition from ignorance to enlightenment. The year of this exodus is known as the Hijra or Hegira. The Hegira begins the Muslim calendar and is represented as 1 AH or 1 al-Hijra. For the believers, Western Civilization’s questioning, multi-coloured world-view is a product of the time of ignorance.
I am not aware in the entire history of civilisation of a more gracious, more loving, more vibrant society than that of the Arabs before Islam … [it was a time] … of unbound freedom, lofty sentiments, a nomadic and chivalrous way of life, [a land] of fantasy, joy, mischievousness, bawdy impious poetry, refined love-making …
Ernest Renan, cf. Robert Montagne, La Civilisation du désert (my translation)
They were a people of primary colours, or rather of black and white … They were a dogmatic people, despising doubt, our modern crown of thorns. They did not understand our metaphysical difficulties, our introspective questioning. They only knew truth and untruth, belief and unbelief, without our hesitating retinue of finer shades.
This people was black and white not merely in clarity, but in apposition. Their thoughts were at ease only in extremes … they never compromised; they pursued the logic of several incompatible opinions to absurd ends, without perceiving the incongruity.
They were a limited, narrow-minded people, whose inert intellect lay fallow in curious resignation. Their imaginations were vivid, but not creative.
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Making no claim to the high road, Trudeau used the occasion to stoke the fires he claims he wants to put out, not omitting to take a swipe at those in Parliament who would not back Motion 103 i.e. the Conservatives because of its implication for freedom of speech:
Do we have a problem with Islamophobia in this country? Yes, we do ... If everyone had just agreed [to Motion 103] and we’d moved on, maybe we wouldn’t be addressing the very scary and real spike in hate speech. Maybe we wouldn’t be challenging each other as politicians in the things that we’re saying, in the choices we make as leaders to play up divisions and fears.
The Prime Minister made a choice "to play up divisions and fears", his claim to the contrary notwithstanding. What will you do? Enlightenment or ignorance , what will it be? I would choose ignorance. It makes perfect sense in the upside down world you are asked to accept as the better reality.
Wilferd Madelung in his seminal The Succession to Muhammad - A study of the early Caliphate, Cambridge University Press, 1997 comes to a conclusion supported by Leone Caetani (Sep 12, 1869 – Dec 25, 1935), the great Italian-Canadian scholar and "pioneer and founding father in the application of the historical method on the sources of the early Islamic traditions "wiki that without the massive expansion outside the Peninsula and the brutal suppression of dissent at home after the death of the Prophet, the Arabs would have returned to that wonderful world they once knew.
The great conquests outside of Arabia had turned the mass of the Arabs, deprived of their former freedom and reduced to tax-paying subjects by the Quraysh (the tribe from whom Muhammad hailed and from which, with the short exception of the caliphate of Ali, the early rulers of the believers would be chosen) and the ridda (War of the Apostates) into a military caste sustained by a numerically larger non-Arab, non-Muslim subject population. It may be questioned whether the caliphate of Quraysh would have lasted very long without this imperial expansion … the successful diversion of all energy into vast military conquests, in the name of Islam, kept any longing for a restoration of the past at bay.
Bernard Payeur, March 9, 2017