Monday, May 19, 2008

Sibley on Intolerance

Ottawa Citizen "deep thinker" Robert Sibley writes a near-unreadable defence of nativism in today's Ottawa Petfinder. Sibley strings together a rather sad-assed case with second-rate sources. Knowing Sibley's earlier troubles, I can see why he wrote a bibliography, but it still isn't very good research.
The mess could have been whittled down to a quarter of its length, but what the hell.
My own critique: George Grant's world, the provincial life of Queen's University, is not the world of today. And I note Sibley is so poorly versed in Canadian history that he missed the fact George Grant was Michael Ignatieff's grandfather.
What Sibley and so many other hacks seem to fail to understand is that there are as many types of Muslims as there are Christians and deep divisions with the Muslim community. Some Muslims are quite Orthodox. Some come to Canada and adopt Western culture and values as quickly as they can. The main squawk in all this Muslim bashing has come from non-Muslims. It wasn't Muslims who recommended sharia civil law in Ontario, it was big-hug NDPer Marion Boyd. Muslim women were the most vocal group in opposition to it. One big blowhard like Elmarsy gets more ink that 500,000 Muslims working and paying taxes and making car payments. Whatever would happen without him? Mark Steyn would certainly sell fewer books. And what about domestic Muslim terrorists, all those al Qaeda moles hidden in Canadian cities? So far, we have a couple of people under house arrest, precisely one guy in the "Guantanamo North" in Kingston, and a rather ludicrous "plot" involving the storming of Parliament and the beheading of Paul Martin. How many actual attacks in Canada? Er, none.
We need to have a serious talk about Canada: what we want it to be, how to make education and employment opportunities truly equal for all, how to re-develop manufacturing, instill national values in all parts of the country and establish a real, transparent democracy. But twaddle -- whether a few hundred words of it or several thousand -- is still twaddle. Robert Sibley is what passes for an intellectual at the Ottawa Citizen. It's like being the smartest kid in summer school.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The George Grant, the political philospher, referred to in Sibley's article was Ignatieff's uncle and rather distant one according to Grant's biography.
Grant was a professor at Dalhousise, U. of T., York and, for most of his career, McMaster. But never at Queens which was ironic since George Monro Grant, the 19th century principal of Queen's university, was Ignatieff's great-grandfather and George Grant the philsopher's grandfather.
Accurate enough about diversity in the Muslim comunity as rift with class and ethnic distinctions as any other group.