Editor's Note: Salim Mansur's op-ed describes the control exerted on our society by the totalitarian left. Mansur is responding to an article by Evan Balgord of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, who promotes the silencing of political views not to his liking through accusations of hate. All it takes to be labelled a hater these days is to believe in protecting Canadian culture, to advocate for reduced immigration or to say that criticizing ANY religion is OK. The thugs of Antifa, ever willing to use violence or disruption, are the anti-hate enforcers. Mansur's article should be a warning to any Canadian who still believes in free speech. With Big Brother Evan Balgord watching you from his Ministry of Anti-Hate Truth, and Antifa ready to enforce their edicts even as the so-called authorities and our political leaders are notable by their silence, George Orwell's "1984" is closer than you think.
Opinion: I am a PPC candidate and I am not a racist I am a member of the People’s Party. In fact, I am likely more “evil” than most. You see, I worked on the PPC immigration policy and I am a PPC candidate in London, Ont.
People's Party Cambridge candidate David Haskell, left, poses with author Salim Mansur, middle, and party leader Maxime Bernier, right, during a private party rally in a home in Cambridge last month.
On Wednesday an op-ed appeared in the Spectator's opinion section. Written by Evan Balgord, Executive Director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, it called for Mohawk College to cancel an event at which Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People's Party of Canada, and YouTube talk-show host, David Rubin, were to discuss the erosion of freedom of expression in Canada. Reacting to Balgord's call to arms, a local group of Antifa activists has vowed to cause mayhem should the event at Mohawk College go ahead as planned. Their name, incidentally, is short for anti-fascist; a paradox given their totalitarian behaviour. Of course, Balgord's insistence that the free expression rights of a federal party leader be quashed underscores the importance of this topic and the scheduled talk. I'll return to that in a moment. But first I want to examine the justification Balgord gives for employing the methods of totalitarian regimes. He makes the claim that freedom of speech and freedom of assembly must be quashed because Maxime Bernier and the People's Party promotes racism. By that kind of fractured logic, I must be a racist too. I am a member of the People's Party. In fact, I am likely more "evil" than most. You see, I worked on the PPC immigration policy and I am a PPC candidate in London, Ont. Does this make me a racist? In Balgord's logic it does. But the Senate of Canada considered my years of effort in reconciling people of different faiths, especially Jews, Christians and Muslims, and together promote peace, as worthy to award me in 2017 with the Senate Sesquicentennial Medal celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of our Dominion. I am professor emeritus, political science, at Western University where some of my work was dedicated to defending Canada's liberal democratic values of rights and freedoms against those seeking to erode them. I am a survivor of genocidal war in Bangladesh, former East Pakistan, waged by the Pakistani army and Islamist collaborators, who have weaponized my faith-tradition for political purpose, causing havoc across the world. I came to Canada as refugee. I am Muslim. And now I see the ideology and people that wrecked my homeland ensconced in my adopted country. They have become embedded in our mainstream political parties, pushing their antimodern values into the bloodstream of Canadian culture and politics. Yet, Balgord insinuates members and supporters of PPC, including me, are racists. It is far-left ideology that motivates Balgord's totalitarian behaviour and it's now promoted in our universities and condoned by many in the media. Under this worldview, one must worship at the altar of identity politics. Heretics will be "burned at the stake" (increasingly, the threats and violence are becoming more than just figurative). They want to stifle free speech in the name of fighting racism. The irony is the activity of Balgord and his Antifa supporters are vulgar, un-Canadian and, plainly stated, racist. It was the Chinese dissident and prisoner of conscience, Liu Xiaobo, who stated in his 2010 Nobel Peace Prize address that he could not deliver in person: "Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth. To strangle freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, stifle humanity, and suppress truth." Liu Xiaobo died in hospital in 2017 after spending years in Chinese Communist prisons and just being released from his latest sentence. If we allow Balgord and his people to stifle our free speech, we are then heading down fast on a slippery slope toward a state of affairs against which individuals like Liu Xiaobo, Vaclav Havel, Solzhenitsyn and others struggled at the risk of their lives. I found freedom in Canada. Balgord wants to take away that freedom from me on the false argument that allowing PPC to hold a free speech gathering in Hamilton will stoke racism. I will speak on Sunday night at the event in Hamilton. I will talk about freedom and that without free speech there is no freedom. Canadians fought and sacrificed twice in the last century defending freedom and saving Europe from totalitarian serfdom. Children of those Canadians who died in Dieppe and Normandy will not be bulldozed into silence by Balgord and his Antifa thugs. Salim Mansur is the PPC Candidate for London North Centre
This article was originally published by The Hamilton Spectator on September 27th, 2019, and can be viewed on their website by clicking here.