“A prominent synagogue in Toronto,” reports the Canadian Jewish News, has pulled out of a controversial event that it was scheduled to host in March.” The conference was set to focus on three threats to freedom: “[T]he radical left, radical Islamists and the radical right.” However, “after the event was criticized due to some controversial figures who were scheduled to speak at it, the congregation withdrew, citing security concerns.”
Toronto’s Beth Tikvah Synagogue has provided yet another example of the fact that speaking about the jihad threat today is the last taboo: It simply isn’t allowed in polite society.
The conference has not been canceled, but it will not be held at Beth Tikvah Synagogue. Reportedly this was because there were not only “security concerns” — which is bad enough, as kowtowing to violent intimidation only invites more violent intimidation — but there were also charges of “Islamophobia” from Michael Coren, the ex-Catholic author of Why Catholics Are Right.
Maybe one day the establishment Leftists whose favor Coren is so assiduously courting will forget that one of his other books is entitled Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity. Coren has become much more enlightened since the days when he featured me weekly on his Sun TV show. Now Coren knows there is no jihad threat, only one of “Islamophobia,” and he has joined the fascist ranks of those who believe that dissent from his views should be denied platforms and forcibly silenced. It’s an odd position to take for someone who has shifted sides as often as Coren has.
Coren does have the residual decency in his hit piece to omit any comment on one of the featured speakers: Jihad Watch writer Christine Douglass-Williams, his former colleague at the Canadian Television System. He likely knows that charges of “bigotry” against her are even more ludicrous than the charges that he did include in his article against others who were scheduled to speak at this conference.
Note this passage: “Also slated to speak is broadcaster Christine Douglass-Williams, who last year was fired from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s board of directors over comments she made about Islam.” The Canadian Jewish News conspicuously fails to mention what exactly Christine Douglass-Williams said about Islam, inviting the reader to imagine lurid “fear-mongering” and “hate speech.” In reality, she was fired for writing for Jihad Watch, and for warning about false moderate Muslims, who manifestly exist.
The fact that she was fired, and that this synagogue has refused to host this conference after the “Islamophobia” charges were published, are two more indications that any critical word regarding Islam, no matter how accurate, is denounced as “Islamophobic” nowadays. No matter how genuine the jihad threat, Leftists endeavor to silence it forcibly.
As far as the Left is concerned, there is no jihad threat. There is no reason to be concerned about the elements of Sharia — the denial of the freedom of speech, the denial of rights to women — that are incompatible with Western laws and principles. Any such concerns are simply manifestations of “Islamophobia,” and must be ruthlessly stamped out.
This assumption sits comfortably in Leftist brains next to “security concerns,” i.e., the fear that if anything critical of Islam is said aloud, Muslims will murder innocent people. Such cowardice is pandemic today. No one seems to remember what we all learned in fifth grade: that giving in to bullies only encourages more bullying. But no one, of course, will come out and say “I’m a coward,” so instead the cowards say things like what Daniel Bordman, author of an article about the controversy, recounted:
Rabbi Grover said something interesting to me. He said “I’m not Pam Geller”. To explain, Pam Geller hosted a draw Mohammed contest, and as a result two armed Islamists attacked the event. Rabbi Grover meant that he was not willing to put the lives of his congregants in danger to prove a point.
It would have been more accurate, albeit self-incriminating, if Rabbi Grover had said that he didn’t have the courage to stand in defense of the freedom of speech, whatever the risks.
And so, in the West, since so very many people are just like Michael Coren and Rabbi Grover, we are in very real danger of losing freedom of speech and our free societies as a whole.