Originally published under the title "Quebec Law Would Stifle Free Speech."
While the rest of Canada is being force-fed the Duffy Senate "scandal," in Quebec a proposed law that will label any criticism of Islam or Islamism as "hate speech" is being quietly pushed through the National Assembly.
Bill 59 will permit Muslims to make complaints to the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) against anyone critiquing Islam or Islamism, triggering lawsuits for hate speech.
As if that wasn't enough of an attempt to silence Muslims like me, who have struggled all of our adult lives to expose the perils of Islamism, Article 6 of Bill 59 would "give the QHRC the power to initiate legal proceedings before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal without having to wait for complaints from the public."
The leaders of Canada's political parties have so far kept mum on Bill 59.
While this serious encroachment on freedom of expression and speech is being pushed through the legislative process in Quebec, none of the leaders of Canada's political parties have uttered a word on the issue. Not Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who still has not disclosed what he discussed in his recent closed-door meeting with Islamic leaders in Regina. Not NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, whose party has a strong base in Quebec and who has acted as if the implications of Bill 59 are of no concern to him. Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has identified Islamism as a threat to Canada, has so far kept mum on the proposed law.
Muslims in Quebec are divided on its merits, with some in favour and some against.
But ironically, some Islamist-promoting organizations and mosques have welcomed Bill 59, notwithstanding the fact they violate it every week when they start their Friday prayers with a ritual invocation that asks Allah to "give Muslims victory over the 'kufaar' (Christians, Jews and Hindus)."
The hypocrisy of Islamists invoking victimhood when it comes to hate speech is laughable.
The hypocrisy of Islamists invoking victimhood when it comes to hate speech is laughable. Multiple times every day, Islamists have no problem depicting Jews as "those who have earned Allah's anger" and Christians as "those who have gone astray" in their prayers, both at home and in the mosque. Then they cry foul when their man-made Sharia laws written in the eighth and ninth centuries are critiqued, sometimes by their fellow Muslims.
Here is how the online Islamic site SunnahOnLine explains the opening verse of the Qur'an that is part of the mandatory Islamic prayers in mosques across Quebec and Canada, and which define the characteristics of Christians and Jews as essentially untrustworthy. SunnahOnLine quotes the 14th century Islamic scholar At-Tirmidhi explaining the opening verse of the Qur'an this way:
The Jews and the Christians even though both of them are misguided and both of them have Allah's Anger on them -- the Anger is specified to the Jews, even though the Christians share this with them, because the Jews knew the truth and rejected it and deliberately came with falsehood.
It seems the Islamists want to have their halal cake and eat it too. The trouble for them is that Canada still has Muslims who have the courage to expose their double standards.
Let me assure them that we will do everything we can to make sure Quebec's Bill 59 does not pass. But if it does become law, the first complaint to the QHRC will be against Islamist mosques for spreading hatred against Jews and Christians.
That is a promise.
Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at the Toronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.