This Op-Ed/Analysis is the author's personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of JerusalemOnline.com

Op-Ed: Is Canada Planning to Make Criticizing Islam Illegal?

Canadian human rights activist and freelance journalist of Iranian origin Shabnam Assadollahi explains why she believes it should not be illegal to criticize Islam in Canada. Assadollahi also explains why she does not believe that the dislike of Islam should be classified as a phobia.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Isn’t “phobia” a type of mental disorder? Isn’t the “Islamophobia” motion, which was ‘unanimously’ passed by the Canadian government and calls for limiting the rights of Canadians to criticize Islam, contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

The definition of Islamophobia from a Google search is “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.” What exactly has the Parliament of Canada petitioned against? Criticism of Islam? Criticism of Muhammad? Criticism and condemning the Islamic State and all Islamic terrorist groups affiliated with radical Islamic ideology? Petitioning against those Canadians who condemn Sharia law? If Canadians criticize Islam or convert from Islam, will they now be considered an “Islamophobe” by Canada?

Follow JerusalemOnline Twitter page and stay up to date with the latest news

What’s next? Sending Iran and Hamas type morality police to the doorsteps of Canadians critical of Islam while radical imams continue to spew openly radical ideas in schools and mosques? What about Canadians who are suspicious of others plotting possible terrorist activities – will they be afraid to report it to authorities in case they are wrong?

The petition for which the Canadian government recently passed a motion was initiated on June 8, 2016, by Samer Majzoub, President of the Canadian Muslim Forum, and condemns Islamophobia in “all” forms.

The details in the petition, which was sponsored by the Liberal MP, are extremely sketchy to say the least- e-411 for the parliamentary petition:

“We, the undersigned, Citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to join us in recognizing that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam, and in condemning all forms of Islamophobia.”

Again I say, please keep in mind Islamophobia’s definition.

It seems that many Western politicians, the “mainstream media”, and our political elites use the term “Islamophobia” without even knowing what is in Islam. There might be a lot of things about which one could be rationally “phobic,” or simply fearful in Islam.

 

Since Trudeau Liberals came to power, Canadians have been constantly reminded that to speak negatively about Islam is supposedly acting as a fear-mongering, racist, xenophobic, “Islamophobe.”

 

It is far more probable that they are none of those things; rather that it is the accusers who are racist (Quran: 2;65; 2.89; 3:110-112; 4;160, and on and on). Xenophobic really does not apply to Jews, Christians, Yazidis, Hindus, Kurds, Baha’is , Zoroastrians and a few different sects of Islam; it is truly the other way around.

 

These people are rightfully afraid of harm coming to them from Sharia law and radical Islam. I am a living example of one who has experienced harm from radical Islamic Sharia law. I was imprisoned at age 16 by the Iranian regime for simply expressing my disagreement with their policies. They held me prisoner for 18 months in their notorious Evin Prison; I miraculously escaped the murder and rape I heard about every day in that dark place.

The memories of that season still haunt me today. And their threats still follow me today in Canada. Therefore, I have a reasonable fear of radical Islam. To call my fear a phobia, an irrational fear, lacks compassion and fails to recognize the true reality of the same present danger living close to me once again. I am on their hit list. It was reported that the highest commander of the IRGC very recently said they would soon kill all dissidents living abroad.

People who are jittery about radical Islam and Sharia law are this way for many a reason: They look at how Sharia law is practiced in Saudi Arabia, Iran, by the Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram and are concerned quite justifiably.

The Islamic Cairo Declaration of 1990, written as a direct refutation to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, states that all human rights are protected under Islamic Sharia Law. Therefore, according to this view, beheading, stoning, flogging, slavery, child marriage, wife-beating, amputations and a woman’s worth considered half of a man’s are all human rights. Is that what we want for Canada or in Canada? Or in and for any country?

All that these purported critics are doing is pointing out what is in Islam’s Sharia law if anyone cared to look. And when it comes to concern with the quality of life, people should care to look. What is it that these extremists are so eager to cover up?

To those of us who have experienced Islamic Sharia law first-hand, protecting Western values – free speech, common law, equal justice under the law, democratic (“man-made”) governance; individual freedoms, separation of church and state, an independent judiciary, to name just a few – is indeed a cause for concern. Every single one of them is contradicted by Islamic Sharia law or radical Islam.

Why should it be against the law to outspokenly disagree with aspects of a different religion or culture? Especially if it outspokenly threatens one’s own?

Interesting to note, there are no such terms as Christianophobia or Judeophobia that define a dislike or prejudice against a Judeo-Christian worldview and Jews and Christians, especially as a political force. And when Googling anti-Zionism, a photo appears of Islamist Muslims condemning Jews and a State of Israel. What if Christians and Jews petitioned for anti-Christianophobia and anti-Judeophobia motions condemning “all” forms of these? Would we all put duct tape on our mouths? And it is true that Christians and Jews would never be allowed to petition for this in any Middle Eastern country on the face of the planet.

Canadians are worried that with the rise of Islamic extremism in Canada, the country is on its way to becoming like Europe with no-go zones. That is why we must keep the secular state and religion completely separate, so that no one’s religion and in Islam’s case, religious ideology, is given special treatment or singled out.

Our goal is, and must remain, equal treatment for all. Equality and pluralistic respect can only be achieved when the government acts constitutionally without bias or favoritism towards any particular religion or religious ideology. Our Western constitution is one that is founded upon the notion that all men and women are created equally and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; free from the harassment of oppressive tyranny inspired by the dogma of any sort; religious or political.


Watch The Main Newscast - Click Here

JOL Blogger | Shabnam Assadollahi
Shabnam Assadollahi is a multi-award-winning Canadian human rights activist and freelance writer/journalist of Iranian origin. She has a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology and has worked extensively helping newcomers and refugees resettle in Canada and has distinguished herself as a broadcaster, writer and public speaker. 
 
Shabnam was arrested and  imprisoned at age 16 for eighteen months in Iran's most notorious prison, Evin. Shabnam’s primary and heartfelt interest is to focus on the Iranian community and world events affecting women and minority communities. 

Click Here for more reports by Shabnam Assadollahi
Contact: Email | Facebook | Twitter


Found mistakes in this report? - Click Here

comments powered by Disqus

JerusalemOnline News Feed