Monday, February 22, 2010

Bob Dechert, Radical Fundamentalism and Loose Cannons

In 2004 when Bob Dechert was running for the Reform-Conservatives, in the riding of Mississauga-Erindale, according to the B'Nai Brith:

The candidate calls for “better security at our borders, and within our borders.” “We have a problem with our lax security program,” he says. “There is evidence of terrorists in Canada. We have to enforce the [anti-terrorist] laws.”“Every dollar should be scrutinized by the Auditor General,” says Dechert, in reference to CIDA and UNRWA funding possibly being routed to terrorist groups.
A man well known for hyperbole, he also referred to the legitimate 2008 coalition as being; "as close to treason and sedition as I can imagine."

'Treason' and 'sedition'? That quote was published in the New York Times and the Washington Post. What would they take from that?

When Dechert's boss, Stephen Harper formed his coalition in 2004, was he engaged in treason? Sedition? In fact Harper's coalition was with the full support of the Bloc, as recently confirmed by former insider Tom Flanagan.

Is Dechert; a man prone to 'the sky is falling' fear-mongering, really the best choice for Mississauga-Erindale? For Canada?

This brings me to a more recent situation, that should be of concern to us all.

In early January, after attending a Christmas Eve mass, a drive by shooting occurred in the Egyptian village of Nag Hamadi. Six Coptic Christians were killed immediately, as well as a Muslim policeman, who was acting as guard.

Later when the victims were being buried, an organized rally by Copts, turned into a riot as ambulances and police cars were destroyed, and rocks hurled, resulting in several arrests.

Eventually three men involved in the shooting surrendered, and they are currently being held.

This was not an isolated incident as secular violence has been on the rise, since Anwar Sadat made Egypt an Islamic state.

However, I'm not ready to blame either faith, and it is definitely something that the International community should be dealing with, hopefully in a diplomatic manner. What is troubling, are the headlines; including this one: Coptic Christians Murdered in Terrorist Attack Outside Church

This was not an act of terrorism, and my concern is that there may be some who would like this to be included in the so-called war on terror. A drive by shooting, is a criminal offense. An act of terrorism is something else altogether.

University professor Said Sadek, considers this to be part of a tribal culture, found outside the modern city of Cairo:

Said Sadek, professor of political sociology at the American University of Cairo, said the region of Upper Egypt where Nag Hamadi is located has a tribal culture and that crime, or violence, or even sex can often take on a sectarian nature."

In upper Egypt, in particular, they have a tribal culture of honor killing and shame. In many instances you hear about, you will find either somebody had sexual relations with a Muslim or Christian and then the family learned about it," he told the Voice of America (VOA) network. "If you remove the issue about religion, there could be violence," Sadek added.

"But when you add the different religious factor here, this can lead to sectarian violence, because there is a popular belief in many parts of the Middle East that every sect is trying to use sex to dominate and invade and embarrass the other sect."Sadek believes the crime will take on an added political coloring in Egypt, because of the fact that it occurred on a high religious holiday.

"The picking of the date...the Eastern church's Christmas, of course...will carry political and sectarian messages and it can lead to a lot of tension between the communities in Egypt."

In fact, it is believed that this attack, was in retaliation over the abduction and rape of a 12-year-old Muslim girl, allegedly by the Copts. And in fact a local bishop (Kirilos) confirmed that some of his parishioners had received phone calls and threats alleging that Muslims "will avenge the rape of the girl during the Christmas celebrations."

That was probably the reason for the police escort. And remember, one of them was also slain.

Adrain Bradbury also confirmed that for many communities sex is being used as a weapon. He is naturally concerned that Stephen Harper has rewritten our foreign policy, so that they can no longer deal with this, or even talk about it.
While already limited to an unprecedented degree on what they are allowed to say in public, Canada’s civil servants and diplomats are now banned from using certain words ... [terms] once championed by Canada, are in wide use around the world, and represent a wide range of international norms and precedent.

Make no mistake, these semantic changes represent fundamental shifts to Canadian foreign policy. Each of the banned or altered terms carry with it significant policy implications, most related to the international human rights agenda ... For example, when speaking of the war in the DRC, where upwards of 3 million people have been killed, and rape is widely used as a tool of war, the terms "impunity" and "justice" can no longer be used when calling for an end to, and punishment for, sexual violence.

When a protest rally was held in Toronto, to raise awareness for the plight of the Coptic Christians in Egypt, Bob Dechert was a guest speaker. He claimed to be representing Jason Kenney, Stephen Harper and Lawrence Cannon, who were taking this very seriously and apparently holding special meetings.

This is a good thing, as well they should. But they must act through the usual channels. However, given their fundamentalist beliefs, I'm just afraid they may take this too far.

Another concern with this protest was some of the rhetoric being used, with no apparent contradictions by Dechert. As one person on the scene reported:
"Canada, Canada, Wake Up!" was the cry I heard most often at yesterday's Coptic Christian march through downtown Toronto. Their voices raw and sometimes desperate, the marchers cried out to Canada, their beacon of hope and democracy, to put an end to Islamic terrorism and save their fellow Copts in Egypt.

A Syrian Christian woman told me, "I'm sorry, but white people have to wake up." ... with so many Muslims in Toronto, she has to deal with them as part of her job. When her ignorant Canadian boss told her she had to be nice to them, she said she would be polite but he couldn't make her like them.

She said Muslims will be pleasant and get along when they are a minority but, when there are enough of them in the country, they will become forceful and insist on Sharia law. With the ever-increasing number of Muslim immigrants to Canada, she said, it won't take that long: in "24 years" our society will be at risk because Muslims have several children and Christians have only two or three.

I'm sorry, but to me this borders on hate speech. It goes from protesting the drive by shooting in Egypt, to blaming Arab-Canadians. And even worse, suggesting that they are a threat to Canada.

Sadly, this has become part of a broader picture, when it comes to Jason Kenney and his puppet masters Charles McVety and John Hagee. They promote what they call "God's foreign Policy", and support an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

And when Bob Dechert already has the preconceived notion that "There is evidence of terrorists in Canada" and that all CIDA funding should be closely scrutinized, something that is already taking place at dangerous levels; I'm not sure I trust his getting involved with this issue.


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