If you are a regular reader of YWL, you will notice that I mention Pamela Geller often. She is not only a good friend but a GREAT blogger.
There are people in the world who see a wrong in the world, give a quick “oh that’s Sad” and get on with their lives. Then their are people who see a wrong and go all out to right it. Pamela aka the Famous Atlas Shrugs is the second kind of person. Her heart is the size of a skyscraper. She will grab a wrong by the neck and and do whatever she can to eradicate the evil.
Aqsa Parvez, a Toronto teenager, was strangled to death by her father in December2007 because she refused to wear a hijab. This was a classic dis-Honor Killing. A year later, Pamela read an article talking about Aqsa being buried in an unmarked grave. Pamela sprung into action. She raised money (including her own) to give the murdered girl a Stone by her grave. So people would remember Aqsa, whose life was snuffed out, way too young, by her daddy.
There is the old saying, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished,” Pamela’s efforts fit right in with that saying. Last week, Chris Selley of the National Post BASHED her efforts and her motivation. Selly basically described Geller as one of those right-wing, Anti-Muslim crazies whose efforts to memorialize Aqsa was motivated by a quest for Anti-Muslim publicity. Knowing Pamela as I do, having talked to her about Aqsa, it is clear that Selley must have forgotten to take his last few brain booster shots. Ms. Geller is motivated by nothing but her relentless desire to correct wrong done a girl who was killed twice, once by her father, and once by the rest of her family who are trying to blot out her memory.
Aqsa to grind
For reasons best known to himself, The National Post’s Chris Selley chose to pick a fight with the few people who want to ensure that Aqsa Parvez’s short life is memorialized by something more than the plot number of an unmarked grave. Pamela Geller and Kathy Shaidle can take care of themselves, and have done, but the reality is that if it weren’t for the frothing loony ranting wackjob haters of the blogosphere a 16-year old girl murdered for not wanting to be imprisoned by her family’s culture would be entirely forgotten.
So what’s more offensive? The moral outrage of Pamela Geller at the westernization of “honor killing”? Or the mainstream coverage by a politically correct media? Here’s what the lunchtime poll at Toronto’s CITY-TV thought was the big issue arising from Aqsa Parvez’s murder:
Do you think society discriminates against women who wear a hijab?
Gotcha. It’s our fault.
Here’s the weirdly contorted lengths Canada’s Number One news anchor, CTV’s Lloyd Robertson, went to to avoid telling his viewers Aqsa Parvez had been strangled?
Her neck was compressed, to the point she couldn’t breathe.
Here’s the Montreal Gazette’s editorialists insisting that Mr Parvez and every pur laine papa in la belle province are merely different points on the same continuum:
Muhammed Parvez might have been fighting a losing battle trying to make Aqsa wear a hijab, but that hardly sets him apart. Few are the fathers, of any faith or none, who have not clashed with their adolescent daughters over something…
So which response to this issue is, in Chris Selley’s words, “a few chick peas short of a falafel”? The Misses Geller and Shaidle? Or the sensible, reasonable, moderate, measured approach of the PC eunuchs at Canada’s most-watched TV stations and major metropolitan newspapers?
When Ezra Levant went nuclear on the “human rights” regime’s medieval ass, wise old birds like Catsmeat Kinsella cautioned that Canadians wouldn’t put up with some bezerk loon trashing “their” beloved human rights commissions. Really? Whether or not we achieve the repeal of Section 13 and its provincial equivalents, I doubt The Globe & Mail, Professor Moon, and even very tentatively the House of Commons would even be considering the question had it not been for Ezra going ballistic. That’s what it took to drag the debate even half-an-inch in the direction of sanity.
I have no views on Chris Selley one way or the other. But I note his response to the Prime Minister’s interview with Ken Whyte:
Principal Harper Ends The Free Speech Food Fight.
Each to his own. I don’t happen to think of the Queen’s first minister as the “principal” with me and the rest of the citizenry as his charges. The head of government is no more or less than just that: He is not my “leader”, and certainly not on inalienable rights. But the headline seems to sum up Mr Selley’s approach: the judicious arbiter settling midway between two extremes.
Not for me. As I’ve said re the so-called “global consensus” of the UN, if you mix half-a-pint of vanilla ice cream with half-a-pint of dog feces the result will taste more like the latter than the former. Likewise, if you split the difference between me and Commissar Barbara Hall, or Ezra and Jennifer Lynch, QC, you’re still quite a long ways down the road to tyranny. “Moderation” – of the CTV/Gazette school – is a euphemism for drift, for letting the culture be tugged gently, imperceptibly, remorselessly into darkness:
I like the way Deborah Gyapong puts it:
You know why I want to defend Kathy Shaidle? Because she helps keep me honest about whether my civility really is a choice and not a blind or fearful conformity to the pressures of political correctness. She helps me to think about where I might be influenced by group think and the progressive air we breathe in Ottawa. She reminds me of where the line is between kindness and weakness.
Just so. Self-suppression is the most cost-effective form of tyranny. Or as Andrew Klavan says:
The whole way liberals work is to redefine manners and morals in such a fashion that conservative common sense automatically becomes hateful. If you note that women and men are different, you’re misogynistic. If you denounce the destruction of marriage in black communities, you’re racist or moralistic. If you call for the defense of America against the world-wide Islamist menace, you’re a bigoted warmonger. If we take this garbage seriously even for an instant, we spend our whole lives playing catch-up, saying sorry, going on defense.
Just so. Mr Selley specifically objects to Kathy Shaidle calling Arabs “violent retards”. Well, to revive an old device that availed me nought at the British Columbia show trial, “of course” not all Arabs are violent retards, but Arab culture is certainly both violent and retarded. It’s politically retarded, intellectually retarded, scientifically retarded, judicially retarded, economically retarded, retarded on almost every objective measurement, from women’s rights to free speech. The famous statistic from the United Nations’ Arab Human Development Index (2003) – that more books are translated into Spanish in an average year than have been translated into Arabic in the last millennium – is itself a good working definition of “retarded”, of a culture that recoils from inquiry and curiosity about the other.
And, as I know from many conversations in London and Paris and (more covertly) in Amman and Cairo, those individual Arabs who are not “violent retards” well understand that – even if the PC eunuchs don’t. When Robert Kilroy-Silk made some observations about the Arab penchant for amputations, repression of women and a generally celebratory attitude to 9/11 – none of which is factually in dispute – the BBC fired him.
So what’s the greater sin? That Miss Shaidle fails to draw a clear bright line between a generally observable phenomenon and a statistically 100% universal phenomenon? Or that even raising the generally observable phenomenon is now beyond the pale?
Oh, and by the way: If accuracy is the issue, what are we to make of Cheri DiNovo’s assertion that most Canadian men are “violent retards”? Is that true? Or is Ms DiNovo (as several readers have suggested to me) “falsely shouting ‘Fire!’ in a theatre”?
I don’t want more Aqsa Parvezes to be murdered in Toronto or Buffalo, Sweden or Germany. But I can see why some uptight Muslim might not appreciate why the urge to behead your womenfolk is necessarily any kookier than the urge to bebollock your own balls in the cause of multiculti squeamishness. Shaidle, Klavan and Gyapong are right: The pressure to self-neuter will lead to catastrophe.