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Putting a Gag on Free Speech and Rule of Law

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Our very own Clarion Shillman Fellow and National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro is among those facing a gag on free speech.
Our very own Clarion Shillman Fellow and National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro is among those facing a gag on free speech.

In this post, Raheel Raza shares her thoughts on the gag on free speech…

 

Two things form the bedrock of any open society – freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don’t have those things, you don’t have a free country.

Salman Rushdie

 

Barbara Kay just wrote an op-ed about a gag on free speech in Canada’s National Post.

Ms. Kay refers to a conference being hosted in Toronto on March 17 by a group called Canadians for the Rule of Law (CFTRL), which is hosting a full-day “National Teach-in” in Toronto entitled, The New Taboo: Respect for the Rule of Law in Canada. The topics this conference is supposed to address are all issues of real concern for Canadians at large.

Unfortunately, the conference is under scrutiny and criticism and the organizers have had to change their venue due to security concerns. It appears that those on the regressive left don’t wish for Canadians to engage in dialogue and discussion about security, safety, rule of law and hate speech.

It’s ironic that I migrated to Canada 30 years ago from a land where women are supposed to be seen and not heard (and these days preferably be seen behind a full cover!). So rule of law and freedom of expression are sacred to me. Over the course of three decades I’ve seen that Canada, a country that championed itself on free speech has slowly positioned itself to stifling freedom of expression and speech.

So where do I see us today?

  • Unless you use politically-correct terminology you won’t be published or appear on mainstream media
  • When you use alternate media, you are immediately slammed as being a racist
  • There are certain entities that you can bash freely i.e. Israel, Jews, white privilege, Donald Trump and reformers and you will get applause. In other words truth can be freely bashed with efforts made to shoot the messengers.
  • However, other important issues are a no-no. Terrorism, extremism, radical jihadist ideology, oppressed women in Muslim majority societies, returning ISIS fighters, radicalization of youth and ultra left wing antics. You can’t discuss and debate these issues openly.

For those who wish to have an earnest dialogue and discuss the current situation where we live and in the world at large, the opportunities and venues are becoming scarce as more and more restrictions are placed on freedom of expression.

The tools used by the regressive left and those that it influences to put a gag on free speech are:

  • Lawfare: When those supporting Islamism fear exposure, they use libel because they have the funds to entangle those who are bringing their activities to light, in frivolous lawsuits
  • Labels: Islamophobe (the most popular coined term), racist, bigot, anti-Islam are the terms used to label critics
  • Intimidation: a tactic used to ostracize individuals at a community level. Case in point, Ensaf Haidar (wife of jailed blogger Raif Badawi) has just been slammed for appearing in a photo with Robert Spencer. There is a push for Amnesty to distance her.
  • Victimization: They will go crying to the ‘nanny state’ for help. One example is motion M013 in Canada which has intimidated ordinary Canadians into silence over what is happening in their own backyard
  • When all else fails, there can be physical threats to safety and security by using thugs like Antifa

 

I defend both the freedom of expression and society’s right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.

Naguib Mahfouz

 

RELATED STORIES

Why the First Amendment Is the Best Amendment: Part 6

Hey ACLU, Now You Only Defend Free Speech You Like?

Politicians, Free Speech & Bigotry: Where to Draw the Line?

 

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Raheel Raza

Raheel Raza is ​an adviser to Clarion Project. ​She is an award-winning author, journalist and filmmaker on the topics of jihad and sharia. She is president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and an activist for human rights, gender equality, and diversity.