Dr. Dawg

Canada's Völkischer Beobachter

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As I was once strolling through the inner city, I suddenly happened upon an apparition in a long caftan with black hair locks. Is this a Jew? was my first thought. They surely didn’t look like that in Linz. I observed the man stealthily and cautiously. But the longer I stared at this alien face, examining it feature for feature, the more my first question was transformed into a new conception: Is this a German? —A.H.

The Toronto SUN, guardian of our racial and cultural purity, is at it again. This is the “newspaper” in whose pages the mass-murder of Tamils was once advocated. Where an editorial cheer went up because the new Governor-General, at last, would be a white man. Where one of their resident “journalists,” David Menzies, deliberately provoked anger in a Muslim family trying to enjoy refreshments in peace, leading to a SunTV story called “Menzies Mauled by Muslim Matron.”

Indeed, the SUN crowd, whether in TV or print mode, tends to manufacture stories out of thin air; their “journalists” spend a lot of time interviewing each other, especially when a sense of grievance is to be nurtured and cultivated.

Menzies, stunting again as SUN journos are wont to do, decided to have a further go at the Other, this time dressing up a fourteen-year-old boy in a long caftanburka,” (actually niqāb, but they all look alike, right?) and sending him into liquor stores to buy booze.

Menzies said the unopened bottles — totalling just over $80 — were promptly taken from the teen at the day’s end but suggested the fact the boy was never asked to uncover his face or show photo identification at multiple store locations reveals a deeply ingrained reluctance on the part of Canadian institutions to challenge cultural practices, even when they conflict with broader societal goals such as preventing underage drinking.

“The reason why you have to unveil is that photo ID is absolutely useless if you don’t see the actual face of the person,” Menzies said, adding he came up with the idea after an acquaintance told him he had seen this happen at various LCBO locations.

A spokesperson for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario responded a little defensively:

LCBO spokesman Chris Layton said in an e-mail that employees have a responsibility to view customers’ faces as part of the age-verification process, and if a customer’s face is covered, “staff are required to ask the customer to remove the covering.”

This includes religious face coverings, as well, Layton said in a later phone interview.

“Maybe we need to remind our staff of their obligations under the Liquor Licence Act,” Layton said, insisting that the employees may have been trying to be “culturally sensitive” in each situation.

Consider first the utter absurdity of this manufactured situation. Being “culturally sensitive” would, in this instance, lead an inquiring clerk to suspect that something was amiss. An ultra-orthodox Muslim purchasing alcohol would be somewhat like our friend in the long caftan picking up a package of pork chops from a butcher shop—not impossible, certainly, but highly unlikely.

Then take a step back to view the sheer nastiness of this non-story. The purpose is to stigmatize the small handful of niqābīah women (more properly, muntaqibāt ) in Canada, and, by extension, Muslims as a whole. The mysterious, threatening Other who will not reveal herself is now a public enemy, enabling underage kids to buy liquor.

As noted, this sort of thing is hardly out of character for the SUN. And in case anyone raises here the spectre of Godwin, let me note that AH’s observation was made when he was a young man and no such thing as a “Nazi” existed. Yet we know where such an observation, very shortly to become an obsession, happened to lead.

The deliberate cultivation of intolerance does not, of course, inevitably bring about world wars and genocide. Yet the media, as the example of Rwanda shows, are not merely reporters but social actors. Canada is far from being on the brink of the catastrophic madness experienced by Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and more recently in Rwanda and the Balkans. But we should remember that, once upon a time, these countries were far from the madness as well. Is it too much to suggest that the media have a responsibility not to help create the conditions that might conceivably give rise to it?

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on July 24, 2012 12:08 PM.

Leona Aglukkaq: malfeasance in public office was the previous entry in this blog.

Jason Kenney's idea of a "safe country" is the next entry in this blog.

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