11 May 2011

Free Speech for Geert Wilders. Not So Much for Canadian Press.

Speechie darling and anti-Muslim bigot extols the virtues of Western Culture, including the right to free speech.

He's right. Freedom of speech is something we should be proud of. Part of the wonderful legacy of the Enlightenment.

It's a shame then that Geert has a problem with freedom of speech when applied to the people he says he wants to warn about the dangers of Muslims who want to take away our freedom of speech.

Does that make sense? Eh, whatever! On to the article!


Warmington: Freedom should extend to Canadians too, Geert 

By ,Toronto Sun

First posted:

TORONTO - Geert Wilders was greeted with all of the courtesy Canada’s freedom of the press offers.
His entourage, however, doesn’t necessarily offer the same.

Toronto Sun reporter Jenny Yuen went to airport upon the Dutch parliamentarian’s arrival Sunday for several Canadian anti-Islam speeches and found out that freedom of reporting did not apply to her.

Wilders was in a room spewing out all of his “Islam is bad” mantra when his Party For Freedom “public relations officer chairman Ms. G (Gaelle) de Graaff” not only demanded her notes but also confiscated them.

She then handed them over to another clown named Naresh Raghubeer who later phoned Jenny at 11 p.m. and berated her, followed up with a snotty e-mail saying “in the future, it would be helpful for reporters to understand the security implications of stories they are covering. Last known locations and future locations should not be included unless they are approved or add to the context of the story (with the approval of the subject).

“Second, when items are off the record, it should remain so,” and “third, as I had correct the reporter re the focus on Christianity/Bible Belt, it appears personal bias were already taking the story down a road which was not factual or relevant. Kory Teneyke and Pierre Karl Peladeau should strive for better.”

Maybe it should be Freedom Party leader Wilders who should strive for better and have people who respect freedom around him. 

Imagine the hypocrisy of this tour going around and saying all things Islam are to be feared and yet bully a reporter and stealing her notes. 

The irony is amazing when this “freedom” guy Wilders is talking about the banning the building of new mosques, banning Islamic schools and even the Qur’an and yet his people are censoring free speech. 

Jenny is a good reporter who was just covering the truth. Meanwhile, Wilders was not banned or impeded here in any way.  

“There is no moderate Islam,” Wilders told Ezra Levant on The Source on Sun News Network, adding “Islam is not a religion” but an “ideology of hate” similar to “communism or fascism.”

Wilders is entitled to this free speech in Canada but I figure if you want to be really tough, drop the seven-member security detail and deal with the realities of what comes from the views you espouse.

He takes the “Islam is akin to cancer” approach where you must remove the tumour to avoid it spreading. 
Of course for Canada the notion is as dumb as it is odious, as simple and unfair as it undesired and unrealistic.

What are we supposed to do with all these so-called hate-mongering Muslims? If we kick them out I wouldn’t have a doctor or dentist, who I am quite sure are not terrorists. 

I can’t speak for Holland but in Canada people of Islamic faith have greatly contributed to society. 

Wilders, though, warns our society will become “Islamisized” if we don’t take action: “Don’t be fooled. Don’t think what happened in Europe won’t happen here.”

But he doesn’t know anything about Canada. No one is denying we have had our terrorism plots and our alleged honour killings but most Muslims are doing fine here.

“We all get along very well,” said Imam Steve Rockwell of the Downtown Mosque. “He’s just trying to stir it up by talking hate.”

However, one area Wilders did cover that is a fair debate is the idea of eliminating the face-covering burka. 

Wilders said his concern is the burka does not allow a woman independence from her husband to be able to fulfil her potential.

But photographer Dave Abel and I went to Regent Park and spoke to a number women wearing coverings who said such a move would be discriminatory. Faduma Abdul, who wears a hijab by her own choice, told us, “It should be a women’s decision to wear whatever she wants to wear.” 

She’s in school, has dreams and feels as a Canadian-born person she can achieve anything she wants to here. 

If she becomes a reporter, she should be able to cover a story without anybody stealing her notes.

While women’s rights issues are important to talk about, where Wilders loses a lot of Canadians — whether it be moderate Muslim leaders like Tarek Fatah or prominent Jewish rights advocate Bernie Farber — is this one-size-fits-all Islamic bashing.

“I am just not buying the all Muslims are to be feared thing,” said Farber. “And I just don’t think Canadians are in their hearts either.”

Adds Rockwell laughing, “The Temple Har Zion synagogue and Jaffari Islamic Centre on Bayview share a parking lot and there has never once been a problem.”

Everybody is welcome in Canada. We proved that when we let Wilders in here Sunday.

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