In April, ethnically Sikh BC politician, Ujjal Dosanjh, said that Sikh extremism is on the rise in some parts of Canada, and blamed it on “politically correct” Canadians who let it happen. It sounded incredible to hear the words at the time, but then again his comments were tempered by the fact that he was beaten badly in 1985 by Sikh extremists after speaking out against violence done in the name of religion.
25 years later, Ujjal Dosanjh says that extremism is much worse, despite the fact that the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history occurred when Air India flight 182 was blown up in 1985 by Sikh terrorists, killing 329 passengers.
The reason that we can’t have an honest conversation about extremism — and this is according to a Liberal MP and immigrant — is that Canada’s “polite brand” of multiculturalism gives extremists the opportunity to drag their old grudges and prejudices from the homeland to Canada.
“I think what we are doing to this country is that this idea of multiculturalism has been completely distorted, turned on its head to essentially claim that anything anyone believes – no matter how ridiculous and outrageous it might be – is okay and acceptable in the name of diversity.
“Where we have gone wrong in this pursuit of multiculturalism is that there is no adherence to core values, the core Canadian values, which [are]: That you don’t threaten people who differ with you; you don’t go attack them personally; you don’t terrorize the populace.”
Fast forward to today’s op-ed in the National Post. Mr.Dosanjh writes about the honour killing of Aqsa Parvez by her father, and the increasing importation of such values to western nations:
In 2000, the United Nations estimated that 5,000 women and girls are murdered every year in honour killings, a term that masks the brutality of the crime it describes. In some cases, women are even killed because they have been raped. While such murders are particularly prevalent in the countries of the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and parts of Africa, as we are seeing, they also happen in the Western world.
There is a huge misconception that these crimes occur because of certain religious beliefs. There is no religion that condones the murder of women. It’s the feudal/patriarchal culture of male dominance and control that’s the culprit. For example, in the Indian sub-continent, and in the Indian diaspora, such killings happen among people of many different faiths. The irrationality surrounding the notion of “family honour” provides cover for brutality and inhumanity.
Mr.Dosanjh goes further, saying that in countries like Canada, Great Britain, and the United States, fear of offending minorities prevents society as a whole from examining the immorality of the mentality that leads to honour killings.
I suppose the only contradiction in all of this is that we have hate speech laws that limit free speech to the extent that people are genuinely afraid of being accused of disseminating hatred on the basis of “race or religion”. Don’t think it’s possible? The Human Rights Commissions are filled with such cases.
If Ujjal Dosanjh were more consistent, he’d move to throw out section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Code, so that we can get down to the honest business of criticizing the extremism that the Liberal MP says we’re too afraid to speak about.
Let’s not forget what consequences can transpire for those people who do try and have that honest conversation.