Statement about ACT! For Canada’s objectives and why I lead this organization that fights for Canada
I am a Canadian patriot and I believe in the freedoms guaranteed under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These freedoms include freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of expression. All of my fellow citizens enjoy the same rights and freedoms that I have.
But these rights do not include the right never to be offended by what others might say and write. Increasingly, however, opinions that are offensive to some people, in particular to those on the Left and of the Islamic faith, are deemed to constitute hate speech and efforts are made to shut speakers down and "deplatform" them.
It has come to the point where expressing unfavourable opinions about certain ideologies or religions is deemed to be hate speech - even if there is a total absence of promoting violence or advocating harm to those who adhere to the ideology or religion in question.
Note that I said "certain" ideologies or religions. No one bats an eye if anyone criticises the Vatican or Christian fundamentalists. It is quite a different story with Islam, however. The very term "Islamophobia" implies that any concern about that religion is irrational. Under Islamic law (sharia) to criticize Islam is illegal. And the term "Islamophobia," invented by Islamists, is designed to conflate criticism of Islam (which in a free society should be fair game) with discrimination against or violence toward Muslims (which is of course illegal, as Muslims have all the constitutional rights and protections as any other citizen). In Motion M-103 that Parliament misguidedly passed in March, 2017, special mention is made of "Islamophobia," while no other religion or belief system is mentioned by name.
Under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there is one law and only one law for each and every citizen. I believe in the rule of law under which everyone is treated equally. There can be no parallel legal system in Canada. That, however, is exactly what some are trying to establish. In 2003 - 2005, there was an attempt to establish Sharia law for family matters in Ontario and Quebec. Sharia law discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is not compatible with Canadian law. To oppose it may be "Islamophobic" as defined by some, but certainly does not go against our Charter.
Similarly, I am against the special status accorded to Muslim students who are allowed to pray in public schools. These same public schools, in the name of secularism, abolished the Lord's Prayer. How is it that Muslim prayer is held every Friday in many schools across Ontario? In Valley Park Middle School in Toronto, the cafeteria was even turned into a prayer room (nicknamed the "mosqueteria") and girls were segregated from boys (behind them of course) while menstruating girls sat at the very back and were not allowed to pray. How's that for gender equality?
I am of course against FGM, honour killings, and child marriages, which presumably requires no explanation. I am against Hijab Day, which honours an article of clothing that both oppresses women (remember Aqsa Parvez, strangled in Toronto for not wearing her hijab, and the Shafia women, killed for being too Western) and is a flagship of political Islam.
I am concerned about the spread of halal food, especially when it is sold or served without the consumer being informed that it is halal. Food that is halal should be clearly labelled as such. Restaurants that serve halal meat should make that information readily visible on their menus or elsewhere. Not only is halal slaughter unnecessarily cruel, in my opinion, it is also used to fund terrorism. Fees received by halal certifying agencies can be directed to unsavoury causes. In addition, halal is sometimes a scam in that items that are halal by nature according to Islamic law (milk, vegetables) can be certified halal.
I want to emphasize that all of my concerns above are with Islam as a political ideology - an ideology that views me and you as kuffar (non-believers) and unequal to Muslims. I am not against Muslims as human beings. In fact, I work closely with Muslims, including Raheel Raza, Tarek Fatah, and Salim Mansur.
The Muslims I work with view Islam as a personal religion. Like me, they are opposed to political Islam, which advocates for the establishment of sharia law and the subjugation of the kuffar. And it is these Muslims who have pointed out the hatred toward the kuffar, and toward Jews in particular, that is expressed regularly in Friday prayers at Canadian mosques and in events such as Al Quds Day. I fight against anti-Semitism and therefore believe that such expressions of hatred should be made public. To do so is not to engage in "hate speech."
With regard to immigration, I believe in legal immigration and that immigrants who come here should embrace our values, work like the rest of us, and learn at least one of our two languages. But I do not believe the topic should be a "sacred cow." Rather, people should be free to express concerns about levels of intake, which per capita are one of the highest in the world, whether for environmental, economic, or social reasons.
Because above all else, I believe in freedom of speech.
Valerie Price/National Director
ACT! For Canada