Have the winners of the “oppression Olympics” changed this year? Stay tuned and you may find out. At the very least, we may have the (Justin Trudeau’s) Canadian take on the subject.
Last year, when a Somali police officer in Minnesota shot and killed a white woman in her pajamas reporting a crime, the usual voices against police brutality were noticeably silent.
In fact, most of the press worried about a backlash against the Muslim community in Minneapolis. Vigils for the victim were few and far between, unlike in other cases of suspected police brutality.
In Canada last year, we saw the passage of M103 – the motion against Islamophobia – which mainly serves to shut down dialogue, discussion and free speech.
We also saw the prosecution by a human rights tribunal of John Alabai, a black, Christian immigrant from Nigeria who became a citizen, worked his way up to becoming a homeowner but was subsequently fined $12,000 for allegedly discriminating against his Muslim tenants on the grounds of their faith.
Alabai, who owned a rental unit, had leased the unit to Muslim tenants. When they decided to move, he needed to show the property to new prospects. Instead of removing his shoes as requested by the Muslim tenants when entering the apartment, he covered his shoes when walking outside so that when he wore them inside, they were clean.
That act was considered religious discrimination by the tribunal who ruled that Alabai failure to accommodate the Muslim couple’s religious needs.
Now we have an interesting case, where Muslim religious sensibilities are colliding with the needs of another group that seems to have favored political status – transgenders. The case involves a waxing salon in Canada. When a transgender woman (biological man) came into the salon asking for a wax job, the only worker in the salon at the time was a Muslim woman.
The woman declined the job due her religion, which forbids a woman from having physical contact with a male to whom she is not related. The transgender woman subsequently sued the salon for $50,000 as for “immense harm to her dignity.”
The case is now in front of one of those Canadian human rights tribunals.
The owner of the spa, Jason Carruthers sensibly stated, “All clients regardless of sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation are welcome; however, we also welcome staff members and respect their religious beliefs and feelings of safety and dignity in regards to the right not to perform waxing services on males or male genitals.”
Sensible, here is a key word. Intersectionality and identity politics play a big part in our political landscape these days, usually pushing “sensible” opinions out the door. Nowhere is this more evident than in issues having to do with freedom of religion, conscience and speech. And nowhere is it more contradictory than the Left’s support of Islamists whose beliefs go against everything they stand for.
What’s the common denominator that binds today’s causes together? Perceived oppression. On a common sense level, the waxing case should be a clear cut example of the right to respect religion beliefs.
The transgender woman simply went to another salon where the waxing was done. Not so difficult (or undignified). Meanwhile, by declining the job, the Muslim woman was able to uphold her religious values. Last time I checked, Islam wasn’t illegal in Canada.
But as with the case of Mr. Alabai, we will await the decision of the unnaturally empowered “human rights” tribunal.