Freedom of ignorance. Attack on Yellowknife Muslims by CBC commenters is disgusting.

I have been debating whether to write this post, but I am so appalled by the crap people choose to spout in the name of their right to free speech I have to vent.

It has been a week since CBC posted a story on its website about a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad glued to the door of the Islamic Centre in Yellowknife. First of all, CBC should be ashamed of itself for some of the comments it has allowed to stand and even more ashamed it has allowed the same hateful comments to continue for nearly a week.

Second, the people who have chosen this forum to spew their hateful remarks are among the most ignorant and racist I have seen in a long time. Freedom of speech is a right in this country but their should be a law that states: if you’re an ignorant sack of shit, you should not be allowed to speak or mash your ideas out on a keyboard.

Here we have a religious group whose place of worship was debased by a person with enough understanding of the religion to strike a chord. Is it a hate crime? Probably not. But it was definitely hateful. I don’t blame Nuir Ali for going to the police and if his reaction was severe that is also understandable. It amazes me some people have the audacity to cast the blame for this vandalism on the people whose property was vandalized.

The disgusting comments on CBC’s comment board demonstrate the bias Muslims in North America have to put up with on a daily basis. The comments calling every Muslim a terrorist come from people brainwashed by the media and U.S. wartime propaganda machine. Think about it; in times of war governments can’t have their people doubting the evil nature of the enemy so all are coloured with the same brush. People of all walks of life and races practise the religion which condemns millions of innocents to become victims of hate. My hope is these propaganda puppets are people too stupid to think for themselves; people whose travel experience consists of their trips from the trailer park to the liquor store. Sadly, that is likely not the case. I am sure a lot of decent and well-educated people have joined this hate-filled mob. I guess that’s what fear does to a person. Cowards love the mob, it frees them from responsibility.

I am not going to claim that I am an expert on the Quran or the Muslim faith. But my experiences have taught me that, as in any demographic, there are good people and bad people. Actually, the only Muslims I have seen who would fit the “evil-doer” label have been on TV.

I remember being on a bus in Malaysia. A friend and I were stuck in the worst traffic jam I have ever seen. It actually took us an hour to go a block. On this bus were three Muslim women, a mother and her two daughters. The eldest daughter was 19 and exotically beautifully (exotic from my western perspective anyway). I know all the ignorant fools out there are already confused. How could I tell what she looked like clad in her oppressive garb that hides her from public view. Oh wait, that’s cause not all Muslim women cover their faces. In fact, during a tour of a Mosque later in the week the man who showed us around explained that the Quran actually doesn’t say women should hide their faces. It only says they should wear modest clothing that covers to their hands and ankles as well as head scarves. It is by no means the only religion with such conservative beliefs. Try being a woman and getting into the Vatican wearing shorts or a tank top. There is also a passage in Corinthians (oh yeah that is the Christian Bible by the way) that says women should cover their heads during prayer. The man at the mosque added, apparel such as the all-shrouding burqa are tribal interpretations of the Quran.

The mother and eldest daughter on the bus wore headscarves while the youngest daughter wore jeans and a T-shirt. At first I thought they were from Canada or the U.S. because they spoke perfect and unaccented (to my Canadian ears) English. It turns out, however, they were Qatari (side-note Qatari is the greatest name for a people ever). Anyway, Qatar is among the more liberal Muslim nations (others being Jordan, UAE, Turkey, Kuwait and the list goes on). The eldest daughter, whose name escapes me now, was studying neurosurgery (hmm I guess Muslim women are allowed to be educated).

If we were to cast all peoples into the same basket as their extremist counterparts the world would fall into chaos. We would be too afraid or hateful of each other to get things done.

As much as I embrace our right to freedom of speech sometimes the things people choose to say makes me sick to my stomach. Maybe one day we will be better than animals.

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