Would not you know? In utterly safe Saudi Arabia knowing I would be homeward bound soon ,, accidentally found an online article Toronto Star, very well written, but so scary to a Muslim woman, which I am. A brand new report uncovered a well-funded and orchestrated matrix: “The Canadian Islamophobia Industry: Mapping Islamophobia’s ecosystem in the Great White North.” Wilfrid Laurier, interviewing professor Jasmin Zine “likens the four years she and a group of graduates spent investigating the networks of hate and bigotry that purvey Islamophobia to playing whack-a-mole” .Islamophobia has had an insidious and deadly impact in Canada, leading, in just one example, to the murder of Muslims in Quebec City in 2017 and in London, Ont., in 2021. But these were not just one time isolated incidents coming out of no where – unfortunately, terribly unfortunately.
With dread in my heart, read this “Her recently released 240-page report, based on a four-year study unveils an ecosystem that comprises media outlets and Islamophobia influencers, white nationalist groups, fringe-right pro-Israel groups, self-professed “Muslim dissidents,” think-tanks and their designated security experts, and the donors who fund their campaigns.”
The article continues:
While studies such as “Hijacked by Hate” or “Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” and the book “The Islamophobia Industry” have shown the co-ordinated and monetized nature of Islamophobia in the United States, Zine’s report is the first to show the links between various actors in Canada that target and vilify Islam and Muslims here. It adds urgency to act on the recommendations of the Summit on Islamophobia last July.”
The article, taking examples and illustrations from the study, shows some of the various forms that this sophisticated Islamophobia appears, rather like an insidious fatal cancer attacking a seemingly robust Canada.
Robust is a strong word. It has more than one meaning but they are interconnected. The first: strong and healthy. Then; (of a process, system, organization, etc.) able to withstand or overcome adverse conditions. Used in a sentence: California’s robust property market. It can also mean uncompromising and forceful. Used in a sentence: “Israel’s decision to bow to UN pressure was preceded by a robust defense of its politics. (That tragically is just the use of robust in a sentence – when ever will the UN do anything except NEVER enforce its own resolutions). The UN has been described as a bunch of toothless old senile men – a truly accurate description. But I do digress and now back to examples of the form that the attacking, possibly lethal cancer takes.
Propagations of an us-versus-them rhetoric show up in memes, in anti-Trudeau conspiracy theories and in connection to Muslim women wearing hijabs, niqabs and burqas.
Crusader imagery is a popular symbol for these groups. A photo of Canadian Islamophobia influencers Faith Goldy and Lauren Southern wearing hoodies with the term “Deus vult,” Latin for “God willing” is one example. Deus vult was a rallying cry against Muslims during the First Crusade. “Reviving the tropes of this centuries-old battle, they invoke moral panic about Muslims and ignite Islamophobic fears and fantasies,” Zine writes.
The effect is insidious: “Repeatedly circulating the idea of Islam as an existential threat primes people to accept blatantly anti-Muslim policies, including heightened surveillance of Muslims in the name of “counter terrorism.” And a law to ban head coverings by Muslim women, as Quebec did, under the guise of banning all items of overt religiosity.
This portion of the article comes dangerously close to home as well be illustrated at the conclusion of this blog.
This is but one example of the transnational reach of an ideology where tropes about deceptive and dangerous “Muslim invaders” and an oncoming “jihad” against the Western world intersect with xenophobia about migrants and fears of “white replacement”. The replacement theory views policies that welcome immigrants of non-European backgrounds as being part of a plot to push out the political power and culture of white people.”
But that is not all, we have a gang of those who falsely label themselves as “Muslim dissidents’ and ‘ex-Muslims” They have a toxic effect, Zine found.
“To this matrix of bad faith players, Zine adds the category of “Muslim dissidents” and “ex-Muslims” — who she can occupy a central role in the Islamophobia industry and sometimes publish pieces in mainstream Canadian media.
While debates within communities are normal and common, some of these individuals are not mere enablers. “Bolstered by their ‘insider’ status, they act as instigators and propagators of anti-Islamic narratives as well as validating and authorizing the circulation of these tropes,” Zine writes.”
At one time during my blessed days in Saudi Arabia, my Mecca moments to be exact. , I donned full Saudi woman attire, the abaya, the hijab and the hajib and the niqabs. A similarly attired woman had the sheer audacity to say this to me.
She: You must always dress this way.
Me: Are you joking? Do you realize what you are saying? If I dressed like this in Canada (or the US) I would be killed!
Two photos of me appearing in Saudi attire will be attached to the end of the blog. One posing and the other attempting to drink a Pepsi. It was MOST difficult, if not impossible. A helpful young Saudi man told me that I looked like his mother (also called Fatima) but said his mother removed her niqab when drinking Pepsi. Thank you Aziz Two.
This is why it is far to close to home and my fears are well-founded. This is what I came home to. It actually was a shock, just discovered as I wrote this blog. This from a reliable news source: “A new law in the province of Alberta radically circumscribes federal authority, advancing the agenda of the province’s far-right secessionist movement.”
Premier Smith’s supporters are all of the Islamophobia bunch. I know as I have spoken to many of them who attended a Public Education rally – they insidiously invaded it with their babble of negativity and ignorance. One man I spoke to spouted replacement theory doctrines. Prenier Smith is anti-science and the Islamic faith has at its very core, science. I shall blog about that aspect later. is scientifically based.
The article from The New York Times continues: “Holding views considered extreme even among Canadian conservatives, Ms. Smith has opposed all pandemic measures, including vaccines and masks. Her government has suggested that Alberta’s law could be used to reject federal authority and laws in several areas, including public health, the environment and firearms.“Critics, however, say that the law is a constitutional overreach by the province that is unlikely to survive a court challenge. They also say the legislation will create uncertainty that may cause investors to shy away from Alberta and could jeopardize Indigenous peoples’ rights and treaty obligations.”
The New York Times counters Premier Smith’s feeble justification for the Act in the following manner. “But political scientists and analysts said the law is less about constitutional jurisdiction than it is about attracting the secessionist and anti-vaccination movements by tapping into a strain of anger and disenchantment toward the federal government and toward Mr. Trudeau in particular.”
Prime Minister Trudeau is acting in a very clever manner! (I have not been a fan of Prime Minister Trudeau in the past so I am MOST impressed.)
“This is coming from a deep-seated anger at the federal government and Justin Trudeau,” said Duane Bratt, a professor of political science at Mount Royal University in Calgary. “She clearly wants to fight with Trudeau.”
“Mr. Trudeau, for his part, does not seem interested in taking the bait. While the federal government has the power to override the law or to take it directly to Canada’s Supreme Court for a constitutional review, there is no sign that he plans to pursue either move.
After the law was adopted, he told reporters that he was “not interested in fighting with the Alberta government.”
There is much opposition to the so-called Act by the most important Canadians of all.
The new law has also provoked anger among Indigenous groups in Alberta who say that it will undermine their rights under treaties they signed with Britain before Canada’s formation and that are now administered by the federal government.
The law “is just another unlawful attempt to continue the province’s deliberate abuse and exploitation of our peoples, lands, territories and resources,” Grand Chief Arthur Noskey of the Treaty 8 First Nations said in a statement.
The Onion Lake Cree Nation, which straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, filed a lawsuit this month in Alberta’s superior court asking it to strike down the law because, the community said, it violates or endangers a variety of treaty rights.”
One needs humour in the midst of this mess. Premier Smith does perhaps have a cause that is more suitable to her skills. She is fighting for plastic straws. “How many people love the fact they are now having to use paper straws?” Ms. Smith said. “When you’re trying to give a kid a root beer float, you have to plan to give them four paper straws because they get so destroyed.”
Go for it, Girlfriend. Protect kid’s unassailable rights to drink root beer with a paper straw. This is more within your purview.
However, I know something that The New York Times does not know. Do admit that I am not entirely familiar with the parliamentary system as I have been absent from Edmonton for fifty-five years, went to law school at night in California, was employed by the County of Marin a governmental entity. Thus, I know American Constitutional Law but not the parliamentary system. But as I understand the process, the so-called Sovereignty Act must be signed by the Lt. Governor of Alberta, King Charles’ representative in this country. Months ago, when glimpses of the atrocious proposed act first appeared, the Lt. Governor said that she would not sign it. She strongly asserted that she was not afraid of Smith’s rabble rouser supporters, saying she lived safely in her own residence. I am ecstatically happy to report that the Lt. Governor of Alberta is Her Honour, the Honourable Saima Lakhani. She became Alberta’s 19th Lieutenant Governor on August 26, 2020. She is Canada’s first Muslim Lieutenant Governor. She a Muslim woman, born in Uganda, is smarter, tougher, more accomplished, and more religious than bigoted Premier Smith, seemingly Islamophobic to the core.
This battle is incredibly important world wide – to the Islamic faith. If the world were practicing the Islamic faith there would no wars, no environmental disasters etc. etc etc.
“Rebel Media and the Toronto Sun, once wrote “Muslims, in general, are a ‘third-world’ people whose understanding and practice of Islam remain fixed in their pre-modern cultures.”
These “voices of dissent” claim Islam needs reforming.
But Islamophobia keeps Muslims on the defensive, steals their ability to challenge hierarchies or to have frank internal critiques that the dissidents say are needed.”
I have publicly stated on more than one occasion that I am the new Muslim woman. But in order to bring the understanding and practices of Islam into this world what must be done at the onset is to destroy Islamophobia at its very core. So let us get with it everyone.
Three photos accompany this blog. One of me posed in traditional Muslim garb, one drinking Pepsi and the other a photo taken this very morning of the Legislative Ground Christmas lights, the place where Premier Smith presently reigns. May she be gone before Ramadan as I am going to practice my faith freely, fasting in Saudi Arabia.