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Last year the minister responsible for Canada Post issued what a prohibitory order to stop delivery of a disgusting hate rag known as Your Ward News by Canada Post carriers. Defenders of Your Ward News say this is a free-speech issue, and their rights are being denied. They are completely wrong on both counts.
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On January 20, 2017, producers for the CBC program Marketplace printed t-shirts containing racist logos and mottos, including "white power" and "white pride world wide [sic]," and hired a middle-aged white man to stand on a Toronto street to peddle the t-shirts and yell racist slogans. Not only is this episode the epitome of so-called "fake news" -- fabricating a story in order to report it -- it's also deeply ironic. By broadcasting this content in Alberta, the CBC likely violated Alberta's hate speech law.
When Rebel Media sent out emails claiming that "Canada is on the verge of passing a law that would prohibit criticizing Islam" and that "If this motion passes, Canadians can be persecuted for expressing any criticism of Islam, even when warranted," I pointed out that M-103 is a motion, not a law, and that it will not change a single comma of existing speech legislation. Apparently, Prime Minister Trudeau disagrees.
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Acknowledging this fact is one of the first things you could have done to protect the Muslim community in Quebec City. To fight and prevent hate speech that comes from the far right, you also need to fight and prevent its counterpart. Otherwise, all your efforts would be useless.
Yusra Khogali has made a habit of directing violent, hateful language towards people with white skin, so much so that I feel comfortable calling her out. When an individual at the helm of what could be a transformative movement distracts the public with hate, it is time for that individual to go.
We may never know what drove the attackers to murder six people praying in their Quebec City mosque this past weekend. However, we can be certain that fear-mongering language from our politicians can only be dangerous and counter-productive to a healthy and unified Canadian society.
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The world is changing rapidly. We have witnessed the success of the Brexit campaign in the UK, and the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. Amid the social and political turmoil, some political groups and social movements are emerging to exploit this climate of tension and fear and make political and financial gains out of it. Canada has not been immune of this.
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In a time when hatred appears to be everywhere -- on Facebook and Twitter, in the suicide bombs of terrorists and the ugly politics of the United States -- I find solace in knowing we have the power to change. We have the power to erase hate, and instill understanding and acceptance, in the same way my mother did.
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Alt-right calls it a coordinated attack on users with certain viewpoints.
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This is a wonderful idea with great symbolic and even practical value in this day and age of rampant Islamophobia. I urge everyone to sign this petition. I also encourage your family and friends to do the same. Yet some of the people contacting me believe that the petition will create a new hate offence of Islamophobia
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Like it or not, Canada is a country that celebrates freedom of expression. Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that "Everyone has freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication." That "Everyone" includes people who say objectionable, false, foolish, misguided, or even ugly things.
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Free speech, we say, is a principle we will defend to the death. Until perhaps we don't agree with what has been said. Then, suddenly, we are able to find very valid reasons to rationalize ourselves away from a supposed absolute value. Cases like Yiannopoulos' push our proclaimed moral positions up against the wall, compelling us to confront our human tendency towards personal bias. And that's why they are so interesting.
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Since the 1980s, it's been used to diminish and discredit efforts to reduce racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, ableism and other forms of discrimination. But despite people like Donald Trump declaring "I'm so tired of this politically correct crap," the efforts remain because the issues have not gone away.
Should York University accept funding that is contingent upon agreeing to remove a controversial piece of art? Without the ability to explore and express ideas that are troubling and even transgressive, universities would become mills that deliver pre-approved doses of information in community sanctioned packets.