Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Reality Check memo to Jason Kenney:

The ideologically-laden term *christian* is ∧NOT∧ the opposite of the weasel-word *barbaric*.

There's a colloquial expression - s'enfarger dans les fleurs du tapis - that perfectly describes the LPC blunder with regard to criticism of the Harper Regime's revised immigration & citizenship guide. From here:
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau said the government should not call honour killings "barbaric" in a study guide for would-be Canadian citizens.
This is the contentious section: "Canada's openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, 'honour killings,' female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence. Those guilty of these crimes are severely punished under Canada's criminal laws."

Many fundamentalist gynophobes justify traditions of violence against women and girls by using religious tirades inspired by man-made exegetic ideology, which is based on old testament, gospel or qu'ran texts.

It would be more precise to state in the citizenship guide that crimes against women will be prosecuted and none can be justified by using religious beliefs.

But that might be offensive to the ReformaTory evangelical supporters so MinJKenney pre-emptively charges all newcomers' foreign "cultural practices" by comparing them to the *barbaric* carnage perpetrated by Crusaders and Inquisitors in medieval Europe.

Oh. Wait.

And in other MinJKenney news, here:
According to [No One is Illegal] "Approximately 25 of us, including many recent immigrants, came to protest and challenge this repressive Minister of Censorship and Deportation. It is clear that he only wanted a photo-op as part of his so-called ethnic media strategy. He hid out the whole time while we waited and surrounded the door in anticipation of his arrival. Instead, he had over ten police officers violently remove us and two people were repeatedly threatened with arrest. Apparently we have the right to protest outside but not to actually challenge and question him to his face"[...].
After the ceremony, MP Kenney described No One Is Illegal as a "bunch of extremists who don't think we should deport criminals from Canada."
That's quite amusing, MinJKenney©™, since your obfuscating Harper Regime colleagues Cannon and Nicholson seem reluctant to charge members of the Ben Ali clan and freeze their assets which is money stolen from the Tunisian people. Or unwilling to deport those criminals, as required.


JJ said...

The only problem I have with the descriptor "barbaric" is that it's a little over the top for a government document.

The practice of honour killing does go on, by a small minority of religious nuts, and it is barbaric -- whether it's done in Sicily, South America or Saudi Arabia. Calling it "barbaric" in a government document is a bit out to lunch, but it was a mistake for Trudeau to make it an issue. I bet the CPC already has the TV commercial made.

deBeauxOs said...

Agree, the Harper Regime and MinJKenney didn't intend it as a trap but now that they've caught Trudeau in their weasel language, the PMOpolitburo is juicing the lemon as best it can.

fern hill said...

How about polygamous child sex abuse? Is that a 'cultural' practice? Is it 'barbaric'?

JJ said...

fern hill: Since it seems to be practiced more by certain religions/cults (ie. latter day saints or whatever the Bountiful folks call themselves), maybe it could be described as a "cultural practice" -- but that doesn't in any way legitimize it. All child sexual abuse is odious & sick, and in the context of a cult like Bountiful, even "barbaric" (although "barbaric" is probably an ineffective descriptor because it conjures up visions of people killing each other, rather than systematic abuse).

Polygamy (or polyandry) I have no problem with; provided it's among consenting adults it's none of my beeswax.

deBeauxOs said...

Yep - it's enforced, arranged marriages between adolescent women - who, because of community and family pressure don't have any true freedom to negociate a contract, and much older men that I find objectionable.

Polygamy, polyandry or polyamory are not other people's business when agreed upon by consenting adults.

Niles said...

"Barbarian" was used as an Othering propaganda from first utterance and should be avoided like the plague.

The agreed upon definition is that it came about to mock (by the dominant Western civilization of the day) all 'foreign' cultures whose linguas might as well be barbarbar for all the comprehension a 'real' person makes of it.

These days the word *does* have a strong barbarian/Christian overtone among the common weal, but parallel to that an Imperial overtone, because it's been ground into the Christian propaganda of the present Western civilizations that 'barbarians' destroyed the Roman Empire and its genteel efforts to Christianize the Known World.

Part 2 of that tale is always how the Church mice remaining, girded their humble loins and wreaked Great and Ironic Rewengee upon the brutish unwashed by convincing them they'd done an oopsie; making the new Roman Empire of the Church lemonade out of barbarian lemons, because God Did It.

The real irony is of course that pretty much every society historically labeled 'barbarians' were no more wildly cruel than the supposed 'civilized' society and often less deliberately maliciously cruel. And that the 'civilizing' influence to undo said barbarity was Christianity and Imperial colonialism. No conflict of interest in the least. nopenopenope.

Using the word barbarian is pretty much dogwhistle code of privileged whiners against anyone they want labeled as a homogenous mass of incomprehensibly cruel Enemy, unfu** the facts.

The double twist with a half loop irony is when it's used in entertainment sops like "300" to make the fantasy Spartans look nobility's apex and the *Persians*, with their degenerately French fashion runway foreign beliefs, the barbarians. And *then* having a sessile clot of pampered, aging white Euro-American Christian males pining for the Fjords of adamantine Spartan muscle - I mean martyrdom - just to complete the appropriation once more by Christianity.

Orwell's Bastard said...

Maybe we could stop using the expression "honour killing," since it's such an obvious dog-whistle excuse to keep demonizing dangerous brown people with funny names?

How about we just agree that misogynistic violence is brutal, stupid and cowardly, regardless of who does it?

Anonymous said...

Brown guy beating his wife? Barbaric.
White guy beating his wife? Perfectly normal.
Anyone beating an aboriginal? She's just an aboriginal! Who cares?

Welcome to Canada.

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