Re: Mistaking Islamism For Islam, Jan. 28.
Valerie Price (ACT! For Canada) and I are bringing British lawyer Gavin Boby to Ottawa to discuss his legal initiative to resist the spread of mosques in British neighbourhoods.
Contrary to Fred Litwin and Salim Mansur’s charge in their opinion piece that he is a misguided man making war on “all Muslims and Islam,” Boby is a reasonable person concerned about community safety; he acts not from prejudice but from knowledge of the intimidation and violence that the mosques regularly bring in their wake.
The people who suffer when such mosques go up are overwhelmingly not the privileged elite like Litwin and Mansur, but ordinary working-class people: why should their neighbourhoods be ruined so that intellectuals can affirm their commitment to liberal values?
As Boby has discovered, such mosques are unlike churches or synagogues in that they traditionally and commonly do not operate solely as places of benign worship. Many are centres of jihadist activity in which the faithful are indoctrinated to support and commit violence against infidels.
Mansur and Litwin charge that it is “counter-productive” for communities to prevent mosque construction, but this is far from evident: people have a right to legally oppose the transformation of their neighbourhoods into Islamic no-go areas – as has happened in many European cities – where the national law has ceased to operate and where campaigns of harassment and bodily attack are directed against non-Muslim residents, especially Jews, homosexuals and women who refuse to veil.
This has nothing to do with denying to Muslims “the space and legitimacy to oppose Islamism.”
Muslims are free to oppose Islamism in many places (and we warmly applaud those who do). This has to do with resisting a growing problem before it leads to mass social breakdown. Boby will speak today at 7 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library, Main Auditorium.
Janice Fiamengo, Ottawa
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