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May 16, 2011

Geert Wilders: Don't let the blissfully ignorant into my country

Hassan Ibrahim

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How do you deal with an ignorant bully? Well, when we were young and on the schoolyard we were told to ignore the bully and walk away.

However, what if the bully shows up in your backyard?  What if he was in your backyard spewing his hate and vomiting ignorance all over your lawn? He would be hard to ignore then wouldn’t he?  You’d have to do something. 

Good luck. You’re going to need it because the powers that be say that’s freedom of speech my friend.  In fact, the powers that be had no problem letting that ignorant fool into your backyard to wipe his ass with what freedom of speech should be about, and replace it with hatemongering.

Your bully’s name is Geert Wilders.

Just recently he was allowed to enter this great country of ours and spread his “ideas” of Islamic teaching and law to an invitation-only event hosted by the International Free Press Society and Canada Christian College.

To give you some perspective here are some of Wilders views on Islam:

1) He says that he doesn’t “hate Muslims, he hates Islam”

2) He likened the Qur’an to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and said that the Qur’an “incites hatred and killing and therefore has no place in our legal order”

3) He argues that Islam is not a religion but instead a political ideology, like communism or fascism.

4) He once referred to Prophet Mohammed as “the devil”

All of these misguided ideas culminated in a short film that Wilder made in 2008 called Fitna which can only be described as a modern day Nazi-esc propaganda film, suggesting Quranic-inspired motivations for terrorism among other things.

There are really three things at play here; 1) is what exactly should free speech encompass? And, 2) if we allow this kind of hate speech to fall under that umbrella of free speech where do we draw the line?

The third thing I would like to separate because it is perhaps the most important; is what Wilder is saying actually hate speech?

Even though it seems shocking to ask this question it ultimately has to be asked if we are to get to the root of the problem and weed out the pit bulls from the pups.

So what exactly should free speech/expression encompass?  For this one I go straight to the Charter of Rights where it states that the meaning of expression includes any activity that conveys, or attempts to convey, meaning. Wilders seems to be on solid ground here.

But of course with respect to the freedom of expression in Canada there are limits by content “where the meaning of the expression is specifically forbidden by the law, such as hate-speech law”. If this law wasn’t specifically written for people like Wilders, than I don’t know why it was written.

However, for one moment let’s go back and face the fact that Wilder was allowed to speak and therefore it would seem that everything he said was simply freedom of expression.  What then?  There are many people to hate, and many ways to hate them, and if we let hate-speech become freedom of expression then we should be prepared for hate to spread like an epidemic.

If we are to draw a line may I suggest that the line is drawn where an ignorant person becomes an ignorant leader. 

One man on the corner shouting racially hateful obscenities with the stench of alcohol on his breath is not going to incite people to take up arms against anyone, but we’ve sadly seen too many times in the past where a leader’s words can bring about wars.

Now back to my third question; is what Wilders saying actually hate-speech?

I’m not going to answer that.  You have to ask yourself that question and then ask yourself if you want people like Wilders coming into our country. 

Let me give you a clue though; he said he “hates Islam”. (I couldn’t resist the sarcasm because this seems ridiculously obvious to me)

One last question; why do you think Wilders chooses to be the bully and spread hate the way he does?

I don’t know much about bullies but I have read that they bully because of “their mental state. They either have some problem in their way of thinking or mindset, or have some social insecurity.”

So what are you insecure about Geert?

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Today’s topic is the Origins of Islamic History Month in Canada In this show, we are interviewing Dr. Mohamed El-Masry a professor at the University of Waterloo

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