No one can argue that right now is indeed a very strange point in time. We have polarization on a level not seen for a very long time. It is disturbing to see both terrorism and populists take power and so much of the media’s spotlight. Adding to the problem is the huge ‘us vs. them’ mentality on social media. Where is the peace movement? Where is the unity? Canada’s controversial new motion, M-103, outlawing Islamophobia has caused huge polarity too.
There is a real problem right now. It appears moderates of all beliefs are being forced to choose sides. M-103 is a well-meaning reaction to the brutal murder of Muslims in a Mosque in Canada in January. But the issue is, when you try to legislate on matters such as what people are and are not allowed to say, many problematic questions pop up.
It is already illegal for any group to be discriminated against, and many people who object to the bill make this point, why single out Islamophobia? Why not all religions?
There is also the question of whether it only applies to how you speak to/about people who follow Islam, but what about Islam, as a set of ideas? There is a difference between an idea and the people who believe that idea. Are people in Canada still allowed to criticize the religion of Islam? Secularists criticize basically every faith — are we now silenced on this particular religion? Free speech is essential. Of course, hate speech is not okay, but surely it is not okay across the board? Where is the line and who even gets to drawn that line?
Most people don’t want anyone for any reason to walk into a public place and shoot people dead – for any ideology.
Will stopping people from saying things in public make the current situation better or worse?
How have we arrived here?
Controversial lecturer Jordan Peterson was moved to make this video on the subject. Watch here: