I was born and raised in Pakistan. Later in life, my husband and I lived in at least three Arab cities. We have also traveled extensively through most of the Muslim majority countries. As a young couple, our goal was to establish our careers and gain financial stability.
We quickly learned that in order to achieve these goals, there were certain things we could never discuss publicly. This included absolutely no criticism of the ruling family in any given country or any aspect of religion, government, laws, gender inequality or human rights aberrations (all of which we saw).
In short, there was no freedom of expression.
At the end of 1988, already a young family, we moved to Canada to embrace the values of freedom of speech, freedom of (or from) religion, gender equality and a healthy respect for debate and discussion.
It took some time to absorb all this and feel empowered to speak out. I started by writing in the local newspaper. I could now freely critique and question the status quo – especially gender issues and the growing Islamist agenda I saw.
Thirty years down the road, can I do this in Canada today? The answer is a resounding “no!” Is Canada beginning to resemble the theocracies we left behind? Yes, because Canada is starting to show signs of totalitarianism.
The freedoms that we came here for are at stake, with the most important of all being freedom of speech. It started with a wave of political correctness leading to Motion 103 (M103) which does not allow for any critique of Islam or Muslims.
M103 has petrified Canadians into silence so much so that they can’t even question extremist attacks on our soil or the rise of hate-speech in places of worship.
Then we have Bill C-25 which seeks to impose “diversity” within all corporations, complete with financial penalties against organizations that do not comply with these government standards.
This has resulted in people routinely running to the Human Rights Commission with complaints if they happen to be a minority and did not get their coveted job (forget about the fact that they might not have the proper credentials).
Diversity has become the buzz word for the Human Rights Commission. I’ve always held that diversity can only happen organically (without being imposed), but it seems that now it is being forced.
In addition, there is Bill C-16 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. The bill mandates all citizens must address others by their preferred pronouns and transgender fantasies … or else!
It’s “zir,” “ze,” “zem” or “zeir.” The keyword here is “mandate” which means that at places of work or academic institutions if this choice is not followed, there is trouble.
An example of someone who has suffered terribly due to these totalitarian laws is Canadian Professor Jordan Peterson, who received massive backlash for refusing to adhere to the gender pronouns which he called “compelled speech” and for speaking out against political correctness. I agree with Professor Peterson that these expressions can’t and should not be mandated by the government of a “liberal” democracy.
David Solway in a piece in American Thinker writes “To describe Canada as a totalitarian state-in-progress sounds like a gross and indeed absurd exaggeration. Yet many premonitory signs are present.”
He goes on to say “There are other laws on the books, bills such as C-59, C-75 and C-76 that reduce and even criminalize freedom of expression, infringe on privacy rights, compromise due process and render government transparency a thing of the past.”
Are we headed down a slippery slope? It sure looks that way.
Fear of being called a racist or a bigot does not allow for any exchange of ideas. And in that fear, freedom dies.