Ezra was the show's token bigot.
Paula Todd and various guests looks at whether Canada is a country of bigots.
The Verdict: Oct. 18, 2007 18:30
A country of bigots? 9:42
Paula Todd proved herself an incompetent mediator let alone host. Unable to designate time to each speaker, she complained when her women visitors responded to Ezra, simultaneously from two different cities. Thus she ended up giving motor mouth LeRant more time than either of them.
What is interesting in this little discourse was that Ezra suddenly became the voice of liberal, feminist, gay, progressive values against the two women guests, Shaina Siddiqui representing Canadian Muslim and a reporter Manon Cornellier from Le Devoir, whom he accused of being promoters of just the opposite.
Ezra whose Western Standard is the right whingnut voice of Social Conservative Christian, Homophobia, racism and sexism was saying we should not let Muslims into Canada because they come from countries that oppress women and gays.
Gays being male, you see as liberal as Ezra has become he made no reference to lesbians. Ezra stated that Muslims coming to Canada are rabidly anti-gay thus implying that they would not only oppose Gay rights, something he and his ilk do as well, but would promote violence against gay men.Funny thing is that gay bashers in Canada and the U.S. or those who kill gay men have not been Muslims but rather White male Christians.
When that tact didn't work he claimed that Muslims from Africa wanted to bring the tradition of female genital mutilation to this country.
18 Oct 2007 by Ezra Levant
I was on CTV's The Verdict tonight, talking about "reasonable accommodation". That debate is framed as a discussion about all immigrants but, as with so many other euphemisms, it's actually about Muslim immigrants
I would have liked to have had more time tonight, and our segment was difficult with three panelists in three different cities, but I enjoyed the chance to be the lone voice all night arguing against one-way multiculturalism, and I enjoyed trying to smoke out the facts beneath the euphemisms -- pressing on issues like women's rights, gay rights and freedom of speech, issues that were once the domain of liberals, liberals who now stand gagged by their own soft bigotry of low expectations of Muslims -- they refuse to call out racist, sexist, anti-gay Muslims where they're do so in a flash with white Christian men.
Shahina Saddiqui was the CAIR-CAN rep tonight -- she was the one who tried to get the Jews of Winnipeg charged with hate crimes last year for watching a movie about Muslim terrorism. Of course, the cops laughed Saddiqui out of the police station -- that sort of thing doesn't quite work in Canada, yet. Saddiqui's left quite a track record of illiberal statements out there, including one that she tried to disclaim on the air tonight -- a comment five years ago explaining away female genital mutilation.
Now Ezra's tactic was to slander his opponents, while trying to talk over them. It's an old tactic of his. Say something outrageous, over generalize, and keep talking.
Suddenly Ezra is a defender of women and gay rights. This is the latest tactic of the right when attacking Muslims, to appear to defend liberalism and pluralism, when in fact they hate gay rights and feminism. But hey any argument will do when you wish to attack and belittle your opponents with a straw man.
In fact Ezra was in good company this week when fellow travellers on the extreme right in Calgary protested Veiled Voting. And that is what has set off this latest round of phony debate. Just as dual citizenship was a phony issue used by the right to attack Lebanese Canadians the issue of veiled voting which is a non-issue is being used to smear those who immigrate here from Muslim countries.
All this was caused by the recent debate in Quebec, and Ontario, over reasonable accommodation. After failing to raise enough support for their racist campaign against dual citizenship after the Israeli attack on Lebanon, the right in Canada has embraced the cause of the little town of Herouxville as their own to attack Muslim immigrants.
Suddenly the very nature of Canada as a nation of immigrants is called into question by the Pure-Laine of English and French Canada, as if they too were not immigrants. This of course is the residue of being a colonial country founded by two imperialist powers, who now claim to be 'founding peoples'. Forgetting as Ezra and others on the right do, that in fact Western Canada existed as Native land whose take over was through immigration sponsored first by the Hudons Bay Company and then the CPR and the Canadian State.
Immigrants to Western Canada faced similar racist attacks at the turn of last century and the reasonable accommodation they were offered by the Canadian State was internment or the Head Tax.
And that is what this debate is all about; reasonable accommodation. As we accept more refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries with religious and social practices different from ours there is the need to adapt. It is not as Ezra and the right wing would define it as acceptance of illegal practices such as female genital mutilation, rather it is the right to have for instance in washrooms in public institutions foot baths for religious abulations. Or having food choices available at public institutions. But foot baths and food choices are less threatening and a rather benign request than using red herrings like female genital mutilation, or the fact that homosexuality is banned and punished by the death penalty in countries like Iran.
Of course homosexuality was also banned and punished by the death penalty in Christian countries until the end of the 19th Century. But that point is overlooked by Ezra and his ilk.
The earliest record of someone receiving the death penalty for homosexual acts in what would become a part of the United States was in St. Augustine, Florida in 1566 when a man was executed by the military. The United States maintained the death penalty for convicted "sodomites" until about 1779 when Thomas Jefferson proposed that Virginia drop the death penalty for the crime and replace it with castration. Some states have revised the punishment for sodomy over the years, and some states and localities have passed laws protecting those who commit homosexual acts. The Revolution in France brought an end to criminal laws regarding sexual activities in 1810 under the Napoleonic Code. England abolished the death penalty for acts of homosexuality in 1861.
In fact it is really rich of Ezra to defend homosexual rights while his publication and the organizations he associates with denounce the Homosexual Agenda in Canada. Ted Byfield is a regular columnist in the Western Standard and like the rest of his clan are active in opposing gay rights.
Reasonable accommodation is a legal term, which Paula Todd failed to explain fully to her audience before she began her interviews. And it is a Supreme Court ruling that came about due to Christian sects demanding the right not to work on Sunday/Saturday due to their religious beliefs. It arose out of a labour based grievance over work scheduling. It is now enshrined in labour as well as common law and says that there must be a reasonable attempt to accommodate workers due to religious beliefs, or due to disabilities, etc., as outlined in provincial and federal human rights acts.
The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Central Alberta Dairy Pool discriminated against Jim Christie by failing to accommodate his need to be absent from work on April 4, 1983 (Easter Monday) in order to respect his faith in the tenets of the World Wide Church of God.
Mr. Christie was an employee of the Dairy Pool who became a prospective member of the World Wide Church of God in 1983. The Church recognizes a Saturday sabbath and ten other holy days throughout the year. Members of the Church are expected not to work on these days. Mr. Christie asked his employer for permission to take unpaid leave on Tuesday, March 29 and on Monday, April 4, 1983, because both of these days were holy days in his Church. He was granted leave for the Tuesday but denied leave for the Monday because Mondays were especially busy days at the Dairy Pool. Milk that arrives at the Dairy Pool on weekends must be processed promptly on Mondays to prevent spoilage. When Jim Christie was absent on Monday, April 4, without permission, his employment was terminated.
Now one would think even Ezra the lawyer would know and understand that, but of course he only became a lawyer to become a politician, like Harper who is not much of economist, Levant is not much of a lawyer.
Ezra like his compatriots on the right ignore what reasonable accommodation really means in law, in order to continue to raise the fear of the other, in this case Muslims, overwhelming White Christian British/French Canada. In this he is no different from the fascist ilk like Paul Fromm.
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