Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ezra has a point. But only to a point.

“. . .These riots are scary. They're scarier than any letter-writing campaign or boycott or protest rally that has occurred in recent memory,” says Ezra Levant, the publisher of Calgary’s far-right Western Standard. Indeed yes. But in the next breath, Ezra proves himself guilty of the same transgression he accuses the "liberal" media of committing: “The media doesn't care about religious sensibilities -- it is militantly secular. But it has made an exception for the sensibilities of one religion that is quick to riot and behead its critics.”

Ezra resorted to similar stereotyping during his shouting match with Tarek Fateh of the Muslim Canadian Congress yesterday, and in so doing, he engaged in the same intellectual slovenliness that he properly assails in that quarter of the liberal and “left-wing” punditocracy when it insists that a foremost consideration in all this is that “we” should take care not to offend “them.”

There is a big difference between unnecessarily hurting the feelings of the harmlessly devout and taking a brave stand against the jihadists who prey upon them. The breadth and range of opinion among Muslims in Canada and around the world is as vast as it is among among gentiles, nonbelievers and infidels of all shapes and sizes. Let’s please not forget that.

Let's not forget, either, that there are progressive Muslim journalists fighting this fight all over the world from rather less secure redoubts than Cowtown. And there are also Canadians of all religious inclinations on the front lines against fascism. We should keep them in mind, particularly, because what they’re up against is indeed much “scarier than any letter-writing campaign or boycott or protest rally” you could imagine.

In happier news, the unimpeachably sensible Norm Geras (voted Britain's best blogger for 2005) has seen fit to include on his Writers Choice page an essay of mine on the reasons I write. It would be happy-making enough to be in Norm’s company. It’s especially an honour to be in the company of those other writers who have contributed to Norm's Writer’s Choice, such as Frances Wheen, Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen, Linda Grant, David Aaronovitch, Jonathan Freedland, Pamela Bone, George Szirtes.


Blogger whisper said...

There's a big difference between freedom and free-to-be-dumb. That seems to be the big problem in our consumptive "developed" societies. We don't know when to stop. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

By the way, Terry. Nice to see you posting so much more regularly. Write on!

8:38 PM  

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