Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Bait and Hate

On March 8 2015, International Women's Day, the Harper government's Minister for Defence and Multiculturalism tweeted this:

Journalist Glen McGregor caught the mendacious tweet and investigated whether the misleading images were duplicitously used.

An article in La Presse has an interview with a scholar based at l'UQUAM, regarding the authenticity and provenance of images used in Jason Kenney's tweet. He deplored the lack of rigour shown by this tweet as well as the misrepresentation of what the images actually portray: the dramatization of a religious historical event (much like Catholic Good Friday re-enactment) and the public recitation of Coranic verses.
The press secretary to Minister Kenney, who is also responsible for Multiculturalism in the Harper government, declined to respond directly to requests for clarification regarding the choice of photos.

"This type of question obscures the real issue: [Daesh/IS] is a threat to women and minorities; it is a genocidal terrorist organization, a threat to national and international security," wrote Lauren Armstrong in an email sent to The Canadian Press.
That photo in the upper right hand corner is a still shot from a short video that Karren Brown found:

Kenney's tweet implied that the tearful girl is a terrified child bride of a Wahhadi Daesh fighter.  She isn't.

Watch the video. The girl is competing in a contest of memorization of religious text.  Her head is not covered.  Her audience is composed of supportive community members who encourage her.

Though there are other religions who do justify potential endangerment and harm to children because ... their ideology rules. Three years ago we wrote about the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board and how it facilitated such activities.

Yes, it's April and those three boys are exposed to the elements.  The board has now removed the photos from its Brampton school's website (child pornography?) but Andrea Houston got a screen cap which she kindly provided.

Kenney is a fundamentalist Catholic. My co-blogger is very fond of this video of a young and rabidly zealous Jason.  He didn't complete his undergraduate program.  We suspect that the Jesuits were far too liberal for his proclivities.

Need we remind our readers, as well as befuddled Harper Cons, that the Catholic Church facilitated, tolerated and enabled mental, physical and sexual violence exerted against thousands and thousands of children for centuries.  In countries like Ireland, the Philippines and El Salvador, women are still struggling to cast off the oppressive control of the Vatican's misogynist ideology.  They have uncovered great injustices and loudly demanded accountability from the Church.

Nonetheless, Harper Cons are putting all their communication eggs into one basket: systematically deploying fear mongering tactics to incite hatred and fear of Muslims as they ramp up to a fall election campaign. Also: fundraising!!!

On Monday evening, the leader of the Liberal Party
[..]accused Harper's Conservative Party government of blurring the line "between a real security threat and simple prejudice." In particular, he criticized the decision of a judge in Quebec to refuse the case of a Muslim woman who wore a hijab to court, arguing that it was a "troubling trend that Mr. Harper seems keen to accelerate and exploit" and linking it to the Conservative government's proposed ban on the wearing of Islamic face veils during the oath of citizenship. 

Trudeau told his audience. "So we should all shudder to hear the same rhetoric that led to a 'none is too many' immigration policy toward Jews in the 30s and 40s, being used to raise fears against Muslims today."

On Tuesday Harper's dog-and-pony show continued in Parliament, as his Minister for Public Safety obliquely referenced Islam during his presentation on Bill C-51 in committee.  Blaney justified this, claiming that "hate speech" sows the seeds that culminate in horrific events like the Holocaust. He rambled on, even alluding to the mass slaughter of Tutsi by Hutu.
The minister compared jihadist declarations to Nazi propaganda, saying "the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers, it began with words." 

"Violence starts with words," the minister repeated. "Hate begins with words. I can talk to you about the genocide in Rwanda that began on the radio."
He was taken to task by NDP MP Randall Garrison who suggested Blaney was trivializing the Shoah. Later, the minister's office denied that he had paraphrased verses from the Qur'an. 

Since we're on the topic of hate speech, biblical text are still used to justify violence against women. The actions demanded in Deutoronomy 22:21 that Gary Pearson partly cited above may no longer prevail in law, but they persist in the stigma attached to sex work and in the shaming of women who refuse to let their sexuality be controlled by religious ideology.
"then they are to take her out to the entrance of her father's house, where the men of her city are to stone her to death. She has done a shameful thing among our people by having intercourse before she was married, while she was still living in her father's house. In this way you will get rid of this evil."
None of this is happenstance. Ordinary secular political parties are not seized by urgent, totalitarian needs to foment ethnic fear and religious hatred against muslims in order to stay in power.  But a party that is in thrall to Evangelical christian religious fundamentalism and bankrolled by foreign interests, as Harper's CPC is, certainly would be. 

The last words belong to Jed Bartlet, _The West Wing_ fictional president inspired by Jimmy Carter with some daubs of JFK.

Deploying religious text to expose the ugliness of religious fundamentalism.

Of interest to those with no particular religious adherence: the word TERROR entered the political vocabulary during the French revolution as these events unfolded. A demonstration that any ideology, even anti-religious, can be used to justify violent government repression.  

UPDATE: The hoax photos that Kenney deployed misrepresent their original use. Taken from an anti-Muslim hate-inciting site. Thoroughly deconstructed here.


Alison said...

Damn, he did it on International Womens Day - I completely missed that connection.

Great post.

johndoe124 said...

So one tweet by some over zealous CPC employee is equivalent to centuries of alleged Catholic abuse? Crazy, man!
I take it then, that you are perfectly willing to shack up with an ISIL jihadist?

In the meantime you slander all good Catholics with your bigoted and intolerant post. Good for you! The left never fails to lower my expectations.

lagatta à montréal said...

All that is true, but we know well that the so-called Islamic State, like the Catholic Church not so long ago, has done things that are far less benign.

deBeauxOs said...

Effectivement, lagatta.

deBeauxOs said...

*alleged* abuse, johndoe124?

You've been living in a bubble that shields you from the documented evidence as well as disclosures about recent and historic violence the Catholic Church has done to women, girls and boys? Or are you just giving these thousands of pedophile and sexual predator ordained priests, and clergy the benefit of your doubt?

Must be comforting for you to have a belief system and religious ideology that supports your pathological inclinations!

e.a.f. said...

I didn't know that about Jason kenney. That explains a lot. it also explains why he is so close to harper, the one of the Christian Alliance and missionary Church, which believes the bible is "iNERRANT" and the second coming is "imminent".

Just wonder why these two "good Christians" decided it was o.k,. to cut the RCMP anti-child porn budget.

Beijing York said...

The juxtaposition of Jason Kenney's two portfolios - Defence and Multiculturalism - is pretty telling of the Harper CONservative mindset. Their aggressive militarism is targeting scary, dark hued immigrants - ones already here and those potentially seeking safe haven in Canada.

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