Kay fisks a “moderate Muslim’s” op-ed in the Gazette, one I’d read too but was too annoyed about to tackle:
“But trust me, these boilerplate, chest-thumping pieties do not reflect Mr Lotayef ‘s real feelings. For like so many ‘apologias’ one sees in the media these days, the overwhelming bulk of the op ed is dedicated to mitigating the guilt of violent Muslims by leveling the problematic playing field and assigning equal blame to perpetrators and victims.
“In the case of the Jewish school that was firebombed a few years ago by anti-Zionist Arabs, Lotayef says that ‘The teenager involved in the firebombing might have felt frustration toward the indifference of society to the death and suffering of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli army…’ If only he had been ‘offered’ a ‘forum to express his frustration or a productive way to influence that indifference…,’ he might never have thrown that bomb.
“Forum? This boy had no tongue? Could not write a letter to the editor or picket the Israeli embassy, or join a political action group, or react in any of the hundred other ways in which Canadians protest political situations they disagree with? In a democratic society, one is not ‘offered’ a forum, one is living in a forum. One simply speaks out when one has something to say.
“The firebombings and Aqsa’s death, let’s be very clear, are the product of attitudes brought to this country from places whose values Canadians have no use for. ‘We’ are not responsible for either of these crimes. If Mr Latoyef is representative of the ‘moderate’ voice in the Muslim community, I find that a very discouraging proposition…”