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Canadian progressive and former President of the Muslim Canadian Congress Farzana Hassan spoke about the burqa as a  symbol of religious expression or a tool of oppression. at the 2011 UBC/Laurier Institution Multiculturalism Lecture in Vancouver. Listen to the entire podcast at the CBC. Here is an excerpt:

The burqa inspires a number of emotional responses. I personally got involved in the burqa debate soon after I took charge of the secular Muslim Canadian Congress, an organization which stands for secular governance and the full equality of Muslim women. The year was 2006 and the air was ripe for a spirited debate on the place of the burqa in the 21st century and in 21st century Canada. Now, there were many issues to consider before formally launching a campaign to outlaw the oppressive ban: the constitutionality of a burqa ban, the choices of women to wear the burqa, religious freedoms, the threat to public safety and security, the physical health of burqa-clad women, patriarchal control, political Islam and how the burqa is a tool in the hands of individuals with an indisputably political agenda...

 

I reviewed them at length and proceeded to call for

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Every few days, I am told of some wonderful new ‘interfaith’ initiative on some campus led by some wonderful diverse potpourri of students. I am told that these efforts will reduce tensions between different religious communities and that if we all understood each other more there would a greater chance of peace, harmony and prosperity. I am also told that anyone who does not support ‘interfaith dialogue’ is part of the problem rather than the solution.

I am not part of the problem, and interfaith dialogue is not part of the solution. I despair at the obsession with ‘interfaith’ activities. The notion has become so unquestioningly engrained into the (mostly) well-intentioned agendas of student organisations and Government initiatives, that to question its efficacy results in accusations of heartless apostasy. The adherence to interfaith dialogue is now so ubiquitous that the entire concept has transformed into a single word – ‘interfaith’.

I am one such interfaith apostate. I firmly believe that this new co-operative religion is deeply self-destructive for three reasons. To understand the first, one must first know that interfaith on campuses is a direct response to hate speech and radicalism, in particular the threat of Islamism....More >>

Yet another Islamist group promotes hatred and conspiracy theories. It's hard to keep track of them all -- H/T to BCF. This group is called CASMO, and they claim to speak for all Shia Muslims from coast to coast across Greater Canuckistan (Though of course, they don't...).

Their featured video on their home page is called Mubarak And The Fall Of The Zionist Running Dogs! -- which includes an insightful presentation by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. So much for fostering a tolerant image of Islam for their fellow Canadians.

By the way, we don't use the term "Islamist" lightly. H.I. Sayyed Muhammad Rizvi, based out of Toronto, says on their home page: 

I believe that the Shi'a Muslims in Canada, in the process of their settlement in this land, have reached the stage where they should get involved in the socio-political issues of this country. This can only happen if there is a

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The leaders of political Islamist movements in Egypt and Turkey like to associate themselves with the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP).  Erdogans Islamist party is seen (by outsiders, at least) as a model for democratic Muslim statehood.

However, Turkish reality seems to shatter the dream of supposedly democratic Islamists. The political Islamists seem to have a problem with secularism, independent judiciary and free press.

Ahu Ozyurt writes in the Huffington Post:

One of Turkey's most prominent opposition news websites, ODATV.com, and the homes of its editors were raided by the Turkish police. The site's founder, Soner Yalcin, a columnist for the popular Turkish daily Hurriyet, was detained along with other editors for allegedly having links with an 'underground terrorist organization.' 

The existence of a supposedly conspirational terrorist gang, "Ergenekon“, is not yet proven.

As with "Operation Slegdehammer“ a police operation against the military, Islamists are now targeting the media.

Every day, bit by bit, slowly but surely, freedom of the press is being axed in my country.

A couple of AKP-critical journalists face court trials or were removed by pressure of Islamist-friendly media.

Islamists are content to work...More >>

erdogan turkey democracy military army revolution islamist politcsA Turkish court filed arrest warrants against 162 former and current officers last Friday. The officers are are accused of having participated in a conspiracy against the Turkish government in 2003, formerly known as “Operation Sledgehammer”.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been working on removing the army´s secular forces in order to replace them with pro-AKP officers. This seems to be part of that effort. The charges against the players in "Operation Sledgehammer" may be trumped up.

In September 2010, the Turkish government, led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), won a national plebiscite on constitutional amendments. It was designed to remove obstacles to consolidating power.

The military and the independent judiciary used to be secular stumbling blocks against Islamist ambitions. But now it seems Turkey's democracy is failing in this objective.

Niklas Anzinger is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist...More >>

arab middle east politics war revolution tunisia islamist revolt westernWhen talk turns to the possibilities of revolution through the Arab Middle East, critics will often point out that the cure seems worse than the disease. Islamist thugs lurk in the shadows, ready to pick up the pieces almost everywhere throughout the region.

Replacing brutal and sclerotic dictatorships with Khomeinist or Taliban-style revolutions hardly seems to be an improvement. Where modern police states now hold sway with torture chambers and medieval dungeons, who is to say that the revolutionaries who take over the state will not use such infrastructure to their own purposes? Throughout the Arab Middle East, strongest opposition comes not from liberal democrats but from those who seek to impose the most brutal form of Shariah law.

But what if we've all got it wrong? Well, not precisely wrong. Just a little off.

We can all agree that individual jihadist revolutions are awful and naturally ought to be opposed. Fascists must be fought. But let's assume a supposedly worst-case scenario, an overnight fait accompli of simultaneous Islamist revolutions stretching from Libya eastward to the borders...More >>

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