There is a video doing the rounds on the Internet this week showing the MP for University–Rosedale, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s new Minister for International Trade, floundering as she tries to match wits with comedian and political satirist Bill Maher on his Real Time TV show that aired last Friday.
Ms. Freeland appeared on a panel with Maine senator Angus King and the publisher of The Federalist Ben Domenech. She challenged host Maher after he quoted a poll that suggested 56 per cent of Americans don’t feel that Syrian refugees share their values and commented that it is nonsense to suggest that all religions are alike and share values. Mr. Maher specifically mentioned the values implied by Sharia law and the practices of forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour killings that some Muslims seem to condone.
To this Ms. Freeland countered that it’s important to stand up for diversity, and it’s important to recognize ISIL doesn’t represent Muslims. “Our diversity is our strength,” she said.
Coming right after Mr. Maher’s references to forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour killings, doesn’t Ms. Freeland’s comment about diversity seem to imply that these practices are acceptable under the heading of “diversity?”
Furthermore, up until then, Mr. Maher had not implied ISIL did represent Muslims. But, apparently, Ms. Freeland believed multiculturalism and diversity had to be defended, even if it was not being attacked.
Mr. Maher then went on to say that there is a small percentage of Muslims who support ISIL and practices like honour killings and forced marriages.
To which Ms. Freeland responded, “I think now it is incredibly dangerous and very wrong to persecute Muslims and say there is something wrong with being a Muslim.”
Mr. Maher, of course, had said nothing of the kind, he was simply quoting from a poll. In the exchange that followed, Freeland went as far as to accuse Mr. Maher of “demonizing Muslims,” a charge he quickly denied. He did, however, say Muslim ideas need to be changed. As he put it, “Killing women for being raped, I would say is a bad idea. I do. Hang me for it.”
Ms. Freeland does as so many others who identify as progressives. She quickly dismisses and attempts to shut down debate of any criticism of protected issues, causes or groups. If one questions any aspect of Canada’s unrestricted-abortion-on-demand policy, one is said to be making war on women. Should someone suggest that some ideas and practices of some Muslims are not appropriate, they are immediately branded as “racists” or that they are condemning or demonizing Muslims.
I have read the Wikipedia entry for Chrystia Freeland. Apparently, she is a very accomplished individual. According to that source, “She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian history and literature from Harvard University and a Master of Studies degree in Slavonic Studies from St Antony’s at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1993.” No intellectual lightweight has those sorts of academic credentials.
Why then could our minister of international trade not, at least, hold her own with Bill Maher? Perhaps the National Post’s Barbara Kay has the answer when she suggests, “Freeland was obliged to channel her boss Justin Trudeau’s beliefs and policies, no matter what her personal views are.”
Or perhaps Ms. Freeland is simply being what she considers to be politically correct. You know the same nonsense that saw former prime minister Stephen Harper sneered at and ridiculed by many leftists when he referred to “old stock Canadians” in the September 17 Globe and Mail TV leaders’ debate.
As I see it, Mr. Harper was simply using the term to distinguish between newly arrived Canadians, like this writer, and those whose parents or ancestors arrived at an earlier time and have had longer to establish their Canadian roots. But to too many leftists, everything seems to be some evil code for something else.
I get the distinct feeling that Canadians, old stock and new, who believe in frank, straightforward talk are in for a rough time in Justin Trudeau’s Canada. I hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t bet against it.