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Religious and Philosophical Dialogue is Vital

Tue, April 23, 2019   |   Author: Ron Gray   |   Volume 26    Issue 16 | Share: Facebook | Twitter   

Leader’s Note: This excellent piece by former CHP Leader Ron Gray comes on the heels of the terrible Easter tragedy in Sri Lanka, the massacre of over 300 by terrorist suicide bombers, mostly Christians attending Easter services and foreign tourists at high-end hotels. The number of injured—many seriously—is said to be over 500. As of Monday morning, 24 individuals have been arrested and some of the suicide bombers have been identified by their DNA. Police theories at this early stage attribute the attacks to a small but radical Islamic sect, the National Thowheed Jamath, not known in the past for violence but possibly connected to other international groups. Raising public awareness of the dangers posed by radical Islam is important here in Canada as we grapple with philosophical issues such as religious freedom and freedom of speech as well as the pragmatic issues of border security and public safety.—Rod Taylor

Freedom of thought, opinion and expression are hallmarks of Western civilization, for which we are all indebted to historic Jewish and Christian biblical values. The line of demarcation between those values and bigotry is the use or advocacy of violence to suppress such freedoms for others.

Magna Carta established the biblical principle that all—even the Crown—must be equal before the law. That laid the foundation for what we know as democratic self-governance.

The Crusades, which began as a defence of the right of pilgrims to visit shrines in the Holy Land unmolested, soon degenerated into mindless violence against innocent Jews and Muslims. Christians must recognize that this was wrong, and must never repeat it.

The extremely rare instances of Christian, Jewish and Sikh violence today must also be condemned. And so must the rising tide of Islamist political violence that is engulfing the world; Salafists, Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ayatollahs of Iran—all of whom advocate violent or stealth jihad—must be called out as international criminals.

Experts estimate that 85 percent (PDF) of the world’s Muslims are not violent; but the 15 percent who advocate violent jihad represent a “nation” of about 225 million criminals. They must be denounced, as must their allies, like the BDS movement and the Sabeel Centre for Liberation Theology—who, in their rabid hate, exploit economic violence to try to destroy the only truly democratic and tolerant nation in the Middle East. They are the reason Professor Samuel Huntingdon wrote that “Islam has bloody borders;” and they are the cause of many thousands of acts of international terrorism.

Also to be condemned are cowardly European politicians who have allowed the invasion of their countries by radical Islamists, who hive themselves into unassimilated, Shariah-compliant “no-go” zones, and then motivate and endorse acts of terrorism; as well as imams who openly pray for the extermination of all Jews and Christians who refuse to accept less-than-second-class dhimmi status.

There are a few brave Muslims who risk their own safety to openly oppose this rising tide of Islamist violence—names like Prof. Salim Mansur, Raheel Raza, Tarek Fatah, Irshad Manji and Ayan Hirshi Ali come to mind. They are to be commended for their courage.

There are also a few boors, like the placard-carrying platoons of Westboro “Baptist” Church (I put the word “Baptist” in quotes, because no true Baptist church I know of supports their campaigns of hatred and vilification); they stop just short of violence; but their tasteless expressions of hate are definitely unchristian.

And the falsely-named “Antifascists”—who mask their faces and destroy property in a modern-day imitation of the Leftist Nazi Brownshirts of the 1930s—must be vigorously prosecuted for their criminality.

To openly express any of these concerns—to “speak the truth in love”—is an heroic act of patriotism, and is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We all have the right to agree or disagree with one another; but if we express disagreement, we should also be prepared to defend our opinions with facts—and we should not be prevented, as is so common on university campuses and in the media today, from articulating those facts and arguments. Each of the statements of approval or opprobrium above can be defended by logic and reason; I invite anyone who disagrees to enter into a dialogue:

It is only from such open and free dialogue of ideas that understanding increases.

Ron Gray was the National Leader of the Christian Heritage Party from 1995 until 2008. He continues to write, inform and mentor members of the CHP and is a voice of reason in the public sphere amidst a social environment increasingly squeezed by a cabal of media outlets and political interests intent on seamless state control. We thank him once again for his diligent efforts to shine the light of truth in a dark world. To all those who value truth and freedom and are willing to sacrifice to preserve them: we invite you to join CHP Canada, make your voice heard and help us get the message to the world.—Rod Taylor

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