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Liberals are wrongly supporting a Muslim victimhood narrative

Sixteen years have passed since that horrific day in 2001, and we must still wrestle with the scourge of terrorism. The Muslim world had already been exposed to terrorist atrocities for decades, but in recent years the Western world has also witnessed carnage at the hands of terrorist cells or lone wolves usually inspired by the rhetoric of articulate and ruthless demagogues. In the Muslim world it is long-established sectarianism that claims lives through terror attacks. In the Western world, it is those old animosities coupled with current political conflicts that have sparked the recent waves of terror, inspired largely by the likes of ISIS and their supporters. What exactly are the dynamics that stir the radicals in the West? In part, it is the broad political issue: the Islamic world cannot help seeing every Western action as yet another attempt at hegemony over Islam. However, at the micro level something even more pernicious is taking place. It is the perception of personal victimhood that feeds right into the jihadi mindset. The inflated victimhood narrative is common. Some Muslims are convinced they face systemic hatred even here in Canada, that they are barred from practicing their faith, that they face social discrimination and censure in the media. To the radicals, revenge is a justified response. Motion M103, introduced by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, is a product of the victimhood narrative. It has been supported by most orthodox Muslim organizations as well as the left. In fairness, the more progressive Canadian Muslim groups have opposed it vehemently. The Rohingya in Myanmar clearly suffer violent persecution, and it could be claimed that Muslims in countries like France live on the edges of society. But Canada? Our laws protect all citizens from racial, ethnic and religious discrimination. These ideals are enshrined in our Charter Rights. Whenever minority groups face discrimination — and they do — they can seek redress in court. There's no denying that there are pockets of bigotry everywhere, toward Islam and other minorities as well. But the systems and laws in Canada do not promote such attitudes, and most Canadians advocate interracial harmony. Canada displays tolerance at a personal and state level. There is sympathy and support for Canadian Muslims even among ordinary Canadians who do not identify with any movements, and let us not forget that many refugees coming into Europe and Canada are Syrian of Muslim background. There is anti-Muslim sentiment, but there is also massive sympathy for the Muslim community from the left, which in its naivety also often supports the fundamentalists and diehard Islamists who would love to turn Canada into a sharia state. The Liberal government is reckless to support Khalid’s motion, which does not take into account many of the possible subtle and long-term repercussions. M103, which will soon be discussed by the House of Commons heritage committee, facilitates the victimhood narrative. The Liberal government should see that supporting actions such as M103 gives official sanction to a persecution complex which is already widespread, despite the fact that Muslims face no more discrimination than any other minority group.

This article was originally published on the Toronto Sun website on September 14, 2017, and can be viewed on their site by clicking here.

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