Saturday, October 17, 2015

When Conservative Pundits Go Awry

I saw this today:
and responded thusly.
No Liberal or liberal is saying that the niqab wearers are most authentic.  They are mostly saying:
  • that it would be mighty arrogant to say that we outsiders know better than those who wear them why they are wearing them and whether their beliefs are authentic. 
  • that liberal democracy means respecting the exercise of rights up until such exercise does real harm to others to society at large.  Hence the difference between niqabs and vaccines.
  • that tyranny of the majority is something that one must fear far more than the religious beliefs of a tiny minority
  • that any pretense that this is a feminist stance--that these poor Muslim women are being oppressed--is utterly undermined by the record and positions of the Conservative Party and of Stephen Harper on women's issues, from abortion to the murdered/missing indigenous women to representation in their party, and on and on.  
  • that this entire campaign has been tainted by appeals to fear and to hate.  
    • The clearest example of a barbaric cultural practice is the promise to create a tip line to report on the barbaric cultural practices of others.
  • that this use of religious differences for political gain risks real harm as it incites violence against Muslims. 
While politics is multidimensional and people should consider all of the issues at stake, the pandering to the worst instincts by the Conservative Party should be reason enough to vote for any of the alternatives.  Nothing in this campaign has done more to show that one of the leaders and one of the parties is "not ready", not fit to serve than the combination of stances that seems to single out one group.

So, on Monday, do vote and vote for someone other than the Conservatives.  They have had enough time, and they have done more damage in the two months than perhaps in the previous nine years.


Dan said...

So does your concern about discussion of covered-face ID photos supposedly inciting hypothetical violence against Muslims also extend to the way discussion of Israel policy routinely incites real violence against Jews? Asking for a friend...

Anonymous said...

First, it's not "supposedly inciting hypothetical" violence - read the news lately? This is probably the worst time to be a Muslim of any inclination in some time in Canada, and it appears to be driving Jewish votes back to the Liberals (e.g. see the projections in Thornhill). And yes, the tendency for criticism of Israel to descend into anti-Semitism is just as bad. Two wrongs don't make a right.

P.S. It's quite entertaining to see Frum, famous for his break from the Bush-era GOP, completely revert to his anti-intellectual ways.

Steve Saideman said...

Obviously, we need to engage in respectful political debate wherever/whenever we have any of these conversations so that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians, etc are not targeted for violence.

The keys in this case are "discussion of covered-face ID photos" is not what this is about and it has been a part of a pretty systematic effort by Harper/Conservatives to use fears/intolerance to divide support for his opposition.

Dan said...

Steve, do you have any evidence that "'discussion of covered-face ID photos' is not what this is about"? That's not a rhetorical question--I haven't seen any such evidence, but I'm willing to be persuaded. On the other hand, it is routine for hyper-partisans to throw around unfounded claims that a particular moderate proposal by their opponents is mere code for far a more extreme position. (Gun rights advocates in the US, just to pick a random example, are inclined to treat all firearms regulation as a prelude to blanket bans.) So I think it's fair to ask for a case to be made whenever a particular policy position is claimed to be a disguised version of a far more extreme one.

Steve Saideman said...

There is no ID problem. The Citizenship ceremony process involves a reasonable accommodation: the niqab wearer goes into a room with a female official and removes her veil. Her ID is confirmed.

So, there you go. Issue settled. Courts have ruled. The only reason why this and other stuff (barbaric cultural practices tip line) have come up is that the Conservatives have made it a political issue.