At a conference to combat radicalization held last week in Toronto, a prominent local imam called on the federal government to stop using language linking Islam to terror.
“Lead by example, change the rhetoric, and stop saying these words. They hurt,” said Dr. Hamid Slimi, former chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams and current chairman of the Muslim seminary, the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies.
The plea, met with overwhelming applause, referred specifically to remarks made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper weeks before that characterized mosques as potential spaces of radicalization.
Several days later, U.S. President Barack Obama, whose government has refused to use words such as “Islamic” or “jihad” to characterize violent extremism, found himself under fire for taking the opposite side of the semantic battle.
“What’s wrong with this man that he can’t stand up and say there’s a part of Islam that’s sick?” former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani reportedly said, after the president defended his government’s position this week at a White House summit on combating extremism.
“We are not at war with Islam,” Mr. Obama said. “We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
While the commitment to combat extremism is undeniable on both sides of the border, the debate over just what language to use — and whether or not it contributes to the problem — is raging as fiercely as ever.
Many Canadian Muslims are unnerved by the government’s use of the language of Islam to describe terror and see it as stigmatizing.
In the Qur’an, the term “jihad” means exerting oneself in a difficult task such as debating, family struggles or armed conflict, says Sheik Aarij Anwer of Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke.
He calls the use of the term jihadism to describe terror “careless,” saying it draws an inaccurate link from “irrational violence” to theology — and implicates all Muslims in violent extremism.
Clothing terror in Islamic terms “has skewed the public’s perceptions of Canadian Muslims as some kind of dangerous and ‘un-Canadian’ group and reinforces stereotypes of the Muslims as some kind of fifth column and whose loyalty is suspect,” said Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
But overlooking the religious roots of groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq & Al-Sham (ISIS) poses another serious problem, say others.
“By trying to de-link Islam from Islamic terrorism, [Mr. Obama] is engaging in an act of deception and self-deception,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Ethics & Public Policy Center and a member of three past Republican administrations. “In order to defeat an enemy you need to understand the nature of the enemy you face.”
Michael Jackson Bonner, a historian of Iran at the Paris-based research group Projet CTESIPHON, agrees.
“Disguising the threat of militant Islam under the cover of ‘violent extremism’ makes Obama seem soft on [ISIS] and its allies,” he said.
“[ISIS] calls itself Islamic; its territory is called a ‘caliphate;’ its leader is a ‘caliph.’ ”
The group also draws on the Qur’an and other texts of Islam to justify its actions and convince new recruits its version of Islam is more authentic than the rest, Mr. Jackson Bonner points out.
While Canadian government officials haven’t shied away from using the term jihad — in a statement before the White House conference, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said, “The international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and its allies” — a 2012 report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police questioned its use.
“Terms like ‘Islamic terrorism,’ ‘Islamist terrorism,’ ‘Jihadism’ and ‘Islamo-fascism’ succeed only in conflating terrorism with mainstream Islam, thereby casting all Muslims as terrorists or potential terrorists,” said the report, Words make Worlds.
However, the RCMP has never issued an official directive on the language. It said in a statement it has a “bias-free” policy, but does not “issue specific guidance about such language use.”
As for the government’s approach, Mr. Jackson Bonner says Mr. Harper’s choice of words indicate he has been “firmer and more realistic” than Mr. Obama’s, avoiding the traps of political correctness.
“We simply cannot portray [ISIS] as anything other than a fanatical Muslim group whose doctrines must be understood in order to be defeated,” he said. “Right now what matters most is destroying it.”
tax dollars at work funding mental illness.
Professor Paul C. Gorski, who believes meat producersperpetuate racism and that a powerful dairy lobby is responsible for the idea that milk promotes health, will be teaching a course about “mass food production, mass clothing production, pharmaceutical and medical testing.”
According to the course syllabus, students are required to write about how animal rights relates to “sexism, racism, heterosexism, imperialism, and poverty.” He asks students to consider questions such as:
(1) How is pig farming abusive to low-wage workers and the environment? Who feels the greatest impact of the environmental and worker exploitation (across race, class, etc.?)
(2) Who are the beneficiaries of this exploitation and abuse? How do they justify it? How do they create the conditions that allow it to happen?
(3) Beyond abuses during production, what are other ways in which the products of industrialized pig farming are harmful? What impact does it have on community health? Whose health is at highest risk and why?
In the course, students are commanded not try to justify the ways they “exploit” animals.
“Animal Rights as Ecofeminism” students must also create their own animal rights campaign which includes an “action” portion — for example, Gorski suggests staging a protest.
Feminist Frequency, the website/YouTube channel run by Anita Sarkeesian, has recently removed their donor list from public view. This was discovered a few days ago byr/KotakuInAction user ac4l. This was the old donor page as archived by the Wayback Machine:
And here’s what you’ll find if you look for the donor page today:
Given Sarkeesian’s sleazy operations thus far, we shouldn’t be too surprised at this move, but it still represents a new low for her.
It’s likely that Sarkeesian and company will claim that they removed their donor list in order to shield their supporters from potential “harassment” by #GamerGate, as one commenter at r/KotakuInAction has claimed. As is typical with Sarkeesian, though, the removal of the donor list was almost assuredly for more sinister and unethical reasons.
For starters, with the donor list gone, SJW video game journalists and other figures in the industry can now donate to Feminist Frequency in complete anonymity. This creates the potential for conflicts of interest: namely, journalists who donate to Sarkeesian subsequently writing about her for news publications. It was this kind of unethical behavior—journalists being too close to their subjects—that inspired #GamerGate to begin with. With the donor list gone, there’s no way for third parties to investigate reporters who provide positive coverage of Feminist Frequency.
Another potential reason for removing the donor list, as mentioned by a r/KotakuInAction commenter, may be related to Feminist Frequency’s support from Intel. When Sarkeesian was just starting out, she relied on individual donors in order to fund her operations, as most gamers are well aware. With the huge amounts of grant money she’s now receiving from Intel and other major corporations, she no longer needs to suck up to individual SJWs in order to keep the lights on.
This is not the first time Sarkeesian has removed something from the Internet in order to make herself look good. She pulled her master’s thesis, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You: Strong Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television,” offline after it was criticized and mocked for its childish language and nonsensical arguments. This is on top of every other lie or scam she’s been caught in, from lying about being a gamer to her prior work managing seminars for a pickup artist who called women “sluts.”
It’s beyond indisputable that #GamerGate has seriously injured the corrupt, cronyistic video game media. Beyond SJW media outlets such as Gawker Media losing millions in ad revenue because of #GamerGate, a significant number of SJW game reporters havelost their jobs due to ethical scandals. However, the continued breathless coverage of Anita Sarkeesian from the media shows that there is still a long way to go.
While Sarkeesian is not a journalist, the extent of her operations—and the uncritical coverage she receives from the media—makes her one of the biggest enemies of gamers.Her depravity and mendacity know no bounds, and the fact that the press continues to fawn over her is evidence that they are just as bad. Whether it’s because of ideology, money or friendship, expecting the media to police itself is like handing the keys to the asylum over to the inmates.
#GamerGate supporters need to continue to put pressure on video game journalists in order to ensure that scammers like Sarkeesian get their just desserts. Continue contacting advertisers and exposing SJW perfidy. Only by punishing lying, unethical reporters and the websites that employ them will the truth become known.