We think we have spotted a trend.
A couple of weeks ago we noted how freshly-elected Arif Virani, appearing on Power & Politics, inferred ungraciously that in the new world the government would not – other than gays and lesbians, be singling out “groups” (and we all know who they are) of refugees for special treatment. As we noted then, “this bristled the feathers of Conservative MP Michel Rempel who demanded to know what was wrong with protecting people from genocide but even she could not actually spit out the words “Christians” or “Jews,” leaving the average viewer confused. Obviously the new political rules are in place. There are faiths that dare not speak their name.”
More affirmation came Monday when Supriya Dwivedi of Crestview Strategies, when speaking on Power & Politics about the politics of the refugee issue, said this:
“(Stephen Harper) tried to come across as emotional but then it was lost in all the Conservative talking points of you know Canada being the number one accepter of refugees which we know is obviously not true and it was lost in all the wink-wink, nudge-nudge of ‘we’re only accepting those who are most vulnerable’ which as we know were really code for Christian refugees and I think that that probably put a bad taste in a lot of Canadian’s mouths.”
Now, let’s set personalities aside. Both Virani, a former human rights lawyer and Dwivedi, who was accepted into both medical and law school only to choose the latter, appear to be well-equipped when it comes to intelligence. How, then, can they be in possession of thoughts that so clearly portray an ignorance surrounding the outright genocide of Christians in Iraq and Syria? Is there something in their partizane DNA that permanently suspects conservatives are conspiring to give preference to “their own kind?” We are troubled by such an expection. Yet the war on Christians, Jews, Yazidis and other infidels in the Middle East is well documented
Perhaps this is because for Canadians, it is impossible to conceive of Christians as a minority, let alone one that is persecuted. That is the most gracious assumption, best made lest someone mention dogwhistles other than those already blown by these statements. But we don’t care. It is wrong – horribly wrong – and should be challenged and corrected by moderators and panelists if repeated (it is obviously politically incorrect, given the absence of objection, to speak in defence of Christians even when they are being slaughtered).
For one last time, dear diary, we ask that this stops. Simply replace the word “Christian” in Dwivedi’s statement with any of the following – Muslim, Jewish, Gay, Black, Hindi, Buddhist – and you realize what a terrible thing it is to say – particularly when every time it’s spoken it assures the public’s ignorance of genocide continues. Worse, and as noted previously, this time the statement went completely unchallenged. It is 2015, after all, not 1939 when a similar denial of the plight of Jews under Nazism is a moment of shame in our history.
As for Dwivedi’s also unchallenged assertion of untruth that Canada is the number one “accepter” of refugees, all the rest of us have to go on is the UNHCR global report.
There are a number of different categories. Obviously there’s a big difference between being Canada vs Jordan or Turkey where millions are housed in temporary camps and ranking the nations that accept refugees as citizens. The UNHCR report states that only 31 countries retain such differential data, noting that in Canada the “Government shared statistics on naturalized refugees for the first time in 2013.
“The limited information available to UNHCR shows that, during the past decade, at least 716,000 refugees have been granted citizenship by their asylum countries. The United States of America alone accounted for two-thirds of this figure. As noted, for 2013 UNHCR was informed of refugees being granted citizenship in 31 countries, including Canada (14,800), Benin (3,700), Belgium (2,500), Ireland (730), and Guinea (300). “
We don’t know what that means, but if the average number of refugees nationalized worldwide in a given year is 71,600 and Canada, with 0.48 of the global population was responsible in 2013 for more than 20 per cent – 14,800 – of those it appears , we were, um, pulling our weight even if we weren’t number one (the report shows that during the year the USA accepted 66,200 refugees for resettlement, Australia took in 13,200 and Canada 12,200 followed by Sweden and the UK at 1,900 and 970). Still, even while the eminently well-regarded Dwividi’s comments hinting at bad, pro-genocide victims behaviour went unchallenged by the trembling apologists of political correctness, the UNHCR said “The United States of America, Australia and Canada together admitted 90 per cent of resettled refugees in 2013.”
While on the topic of Christians, we note that Trinity Western University’s efforts to establish an accredited law school marched a little closer to the Supreme Court Friday when B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Hinkson ruled that the province’s law society members, by launching a referendum to which their benchers delegated their authority on this matter that:
“I find that the Benchers improperly fettered their discretion and acted outside their authority in delegating to the LSBC’s members the question of whether TWU’s proposed faculty of law should be approved for the purposes of the admissions program. Even if I am wrong, and the Benchers had the authority to delegate the Decision to the members, I find that the Decision was made without proper consideration and balancing of the Charter rights at issue, and therefore cannot stand.”
No matter one’s view of the debate, it is troubling, dear diary, when the legal profession itself argues, as the LSBC did in this case, that it owed TWU no duty of procedural fairness in the matter. One assumes this is because they assumed majority referenda outcomes – regardless of that silly Charter – trump minority rights, which means there is no such thing as minority rights.
Anyway, all this talk about Christians has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. So, off we go to fight the good fight against Islamophobia.