Dr. Dawg

Trudeau, the ISNA and a curious inconsistency

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As Jason Kenney and the rabid Conservative rabble have quickly learned, there is no memory hole in the Internet.

The intertubes being what they are, this is already old news: the SUN went after Justin Trudeau for daring to speak in front of an audience that Kenney had previously addressed unscathed.

Leading lights in the corporate media have already been reduced to arguing that, gee, that was then, but Justin is now. Seriously. But what on earth has changed since 2008?

In any case, as usual, the journamalists have buried the lede. Allow me to exhume it.

Who authored the original attack on Trudeau? Why, here’s an old familiar face: Tarek Fatah, the fellow who thinks that *Little Mosque on the Prairie” is an Islamist plot.

And here’s Mumtaz Khan, president of the impressive-sounding but miniscule Muslim Canadian Congress—which Fatah founded:

We are deeply disappointed that Justin Trudeau continues to appease known Islamist organizations that not only have a tainted record in the U.S. but who are known proponents of Sharia law in Canada.

The Muslim Canadian Congress claimed only 300 members before it split into factions in 2006. There are presently a million Canadian Muslims in Canada. The MCC is not so much a representative organization as a hobby-horse.

But the media like what they hear from this groupuscule, so they keep using it like a kind of ventriloquist’s dummy. It’s not that everything the MCC says is wrong-headed—far from it—nor do I hold a brief of any kind for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), about which I frankly know very little. But they are rival organizations, and it’s simply lazy journalism to accept uncritically what one group says of the other.

What I do find most striking, however, is that when Kenney gave his warmly-worded speech to ISNA five years ago, not a peep was heard from either Fatah or the MCC. And this address, remember, was delivered by a high-ranking member of Stephen Harper’s cabinet, not the leader of the third party in the House of Commons.

One might think that just about the first question raised by the media would be, How come? Uncovering the political calculus here could prove very interesting. The MCC, for instance, has been fiercely critical of Israel, and equally critical of Harper’s support for the war in Afghanistan, so it’s no Conservative puppet. But we heard not a scintilla of criticism for this:

We really do appreciate this opportunity to get to know each other better and to begin a closer dialogue between the Government of Canada, the Conservative Party of Canada, and the Muslim community in general, ISNA in particular.

I’d also like you to acknowledge the presence of my former caucus colleague and my very dear friend, Wajid Khan. Wajid, thank you for being here.

This is an organization that I’ve known for some time. I first attended an ISNA conference, I think, in the year 2000, and around that time got to know about the good work of your organization, in particular your school here, through my good friend Khalid. It’s good to see you again.

Sounds suspiciously like “pandering to Islamists,” eh? No surprise that Canada’s version of Völkischer Beobachter is running with this. But why have the MCC, and SUN columnist Tarek Fatah, been so inconsistent? Something’s not adding up, and the media, who at least were professional enough to remind us of Kenney’s address to the ISNA, seem to be in no hurry to investigate.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on July 19, 2013 11:08 AM.

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