Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Wingnuts on Aqsa Parvez

Like you couldn't have predicted Coren's latest literary turd coming on the heels of Aqsa Parvez's murder.

Not that we know why, or even if Muhammad Parvez killed his 16-year-old daughter Aqsa last week in Mississauga, Ont. But we do know that he has been charged with the crime and that friends told reporters there had been terrible arguments about Aqsa's refusal to wear Islamic head covering and that she wanted a different path from that of her family.

You should have stopped there, Michael. You almost sounded reasonable. The fact is that Muhammad Parvez (or someone in his household) has committed a crime, and will be held to account under Canadian law for that crime.

Sadly for the world, Coren didn't stop at that paragraph and launched into a tirade of muslim-bashing that is truly appalling:

Which is probably just what the owner of a Christian bookstore in Gaza thought three months ago as he was murdered and his shop firebombed. Or Danny Pearl, shortly before the American journalist had his head cut off by Islamic terrorists -- who, naturally, filmed the whole thing and made sure their chants from the Koran were loud and clear.

Why yes, Michael, the wingnuts in Islam are a vile, violent bunch of beasts. But claiming that they represent the greater body of Islam is about as valid as saying that Fred Phelps represents Christianity.

Or the wretched gang-rape victim in Saudi Arabia sentenced to 200 lashes for daring to be in a car at the time of the crime with a man to whom she was not married or related. Or the women stoned to death for adultery. Or the Iranian men hanged because they were homosexual.

Hold it a second. This criticism is coming from the same guy who wanted to turn Iran into a glass parking lot not so long ago? Really. Or the same guy who has bemoaned how "feminism has ruined the family"? Again, I wouldn't even begin to suppose that the laws in Saudi Arabia are defensible under our standards (they aren't), but Christianity hasn't exactly been a paragon of virtue either.

Only a bigot would argue that every Muslim was violent or opposed to Western freedom. But only a coward or a liar would argue that there was not a profound and deeply worrying link between conservative Islam and myriad acts of terror, intolerance and hysterical anger.

Just like the oh-so worrying link between Stephen Boissoin's letter and a gay bashing in Red Deer, perhaps? Oh wait - Boissoin was a Christian, so he was only "discussing an opinion"...sorry I forgot.

While I am deeply troubled by what happened to Aqsa Parvez, Canada's laws already speak to this matter quite clearly on numerous different levels. Unlike Mr. Coren, I do not believe or claim that such incidents are representative of anything except the actions of individuals, and not of the greater body of Islam. (The practising muslims I know are not particularly prone to violence)

As to whether certain social attitudes in the Middle East (esp. towards women) need to change, I do believe that change is necessary. But I am also not foolish enough to think that such change is going to be delivered successfully at gunpoint.

Those who choose to live in Canada are subject to our laws, which for the most part reflect a generally egalitarian view of the citizens of our nation. Mr. Parvez will be held accountable for his own actions under Canadian law. Mr. Coren, like Ezra Levant is far too quick to turn the issue into a judgment of someone else's faith.


Anonymous said...

"But I am also not foolish enough to think that such change is going to be delivered successfully at gunpoint."

You better change them, because they are trying to change you. Just like in Paris they wait until they have the numbers and then they attack. They are ashamed about the Aqsa Parvez situation because it tipped their hand too soon.

Grog said...


You are paranoid and delusional.

A "forced conversion to Islam" (much less radical Islam) in the West is doomed to failure for the same basic reasons that various attempts to convert the Middle East to Christianity have failed.

The Parvez case is a crime, plain and simple and it will be prosecuted as such. To claim that it represents something larger and more sinister is silly.

Anonymous said...

What's your point about the Alberta case?

Grog said...


Just pointing out the amazing double standard that comes out of nitwits like Coren. Oh so quick to beat on the drum stamped "Islam is Evil", but when something is done in the name of "Christianity" it must be "good".

It's also called irony.

Anonymous said...

But which way do you lean on that particular story? Do you think there is a correlation between violence against homosexuals and "devout" Christians expressing their views in the local paper?

Grog said...

In the case of the Boissoin case, there is a probable, but unproven link. (Go read Boissoin / Lund Decision for details.

IMO, Boissoin was not merely "expressing his devout opinions" - especially not after having read the vile piece of excretia that he wrote.

... and yes, declaring war against another group of people can, and does, promote violence against them. (which is quite different from merely expressing an opinion)

GS said...

(previously anonymous)

"the vile piece of excretia" is found rather liberally in religious books.

Boisson would find himself rather at home in jurisdictions like Saudi, Iran, Egypt, the UAE (to name but a few countries in which homosexuals have either been executed or jailed in current times).

I'm still confused as to whether you personally feel that local paper should be penalzied for publicizing his "view" (or excretia, if you prefer). And if so, do you think the next step is to taken on the Religious texts for promoting much of the same sentiments?

Grog said...

GS, let me put it this way:

(1) I haven't specifically talked about the Red Deer Advocate (the newspaper involved), although I feel they showed amazingly poor editorial judgment in writing the letter.

In this case, the newspaper has long since refined its editorial policies as a result of the Boissoin letter fallout.

(2) I'm quite familiar with the scriptural issues involved. I do not know if you have read the letter in question or not. I assure you that it was decidedly not rooted in the language of scriptural issues, but rather repeated a large number of blatant falsehoods about homosexuals. (e.g. homosexuals are pedophiles, that they "recruit" youth among others)

There is an enormous difference between the language of "my faith tells me that x is morally wrong because ..." and the language of the Boissoin letter. (and in particular, the Boissoin letter is what I refer to as a "vile piece of excretia")

On the matter of specifically religious texts, I'm not particularly concerned about them. Scriptural interpretation is a different topic and one that can itself be quite engaging. (clearly my own interpretation of scripture isn't likely to align with Boissoin's)

GS said...

I don't think there is a shortage of "scriptural texts" extolling violence for crimes against "morality". No doubt they are open to "scriptural interpretation", but one may argue such lofty expressions as "war on drugs", "war on the homosexual agenda" may also be open to creative interpretation as well.

Grog said...


Fair point about reading phrases.

Discussion of scripture is rather interesting, and is a legitimately protected activity - even when it strays into highly controversial topics. Go read the Christian Heritage Party's platform - it is intriguing for the way that they cross reference back to scripture for their various positions - while I think that their stance on many subjects is awful, I can however, go back to the scriptures they cite, and challenge their interpretation. {although I doubt they'd listen} Boissoin's letter did not create any such opportunity in its narrative.

I draw a considerable distinction between the two phrases you put forth in my evaluation of them. While the war on drugs is about controlling recreational access to a set of substances deemed "dangerous", the "war on the homosexual agenda" is about something that is undefined. (BTW - if you ever find a copy of the "Homosexual Agenda", please let me know - I've never seen such a thing, except in the fevered imaginings of anti-gay loons like Peter LaBarbera)