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Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Anti-Free Speech, Pro-Radical Islam Reporting

Attention Canadian Broadcasting News Agency (CBC),

My name is Shabnam Assadollahi. I am a Canadian of Iranian origin, an award winning human rights advocate and freelance writer.

Reference your February 18th article “Protesters outside Masjid Toronto call for ban on Islam as Muslims pray inside.

As an Iranian, a former refugee and former child prisoner of Evin for 18 months by the Islamic Republic of Iran who has been advocating for democracy and woman’s rights, I am strongly against the Political and Radical Islam and openly have shared my views about Motion-103. I am also appalled by a small group of people protesting in front of the mosque on Friday, some held hateful banners while ordinary Muslims were in and out and praying. IMHO, what that minority small group did yesterday was NOT activism but another form of hate.

I read your bias coverage of the demonstration at the mosque in Downtown Toronto and the connection you made between the demonstration and the controversy over Motion-103 which reminded me of what Muslim Brotherhood’s frequent cover up in Egypt and Iran’s Qods Forces propaganda in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria.

Religious freedom is part of our Canadian values and such small group’s hateful rally will only harm our Free speech but we already have laws to protect Every member of our nation. Shouldn’t your remind ALL Canadians to take pride to know that in 1982 the Charter of Rights and Freedoms made all Canadians equal? Don’t you think that this is the most important value that has been holding us together as Canadians?

As a former radio producer working for over twelve years knowing the ethics in journalism, I have observed that you frequently give a disservice to all Canadians by not sharing the complete information which can have an effect on one’s response to an issue. The last thing any of us should do is promote divisiveness because of lack of information especially coming from taxpayers funded media outlet.

This well documented article by CIJNews-Canada shows the supplications at Masjid Toronto Mosque located in downtown Toronto which is affiliated with the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). According to this investigative journal, the mosque operates in two locations in downtown Toronto: Masjid Toronto at Dundas (168 Dundas St. West) and Masjid Toronto at Adelaide (84 Adelaide St. East).

Dr. Wael Shihab was appointed in April 2014 to a full-time resident Imam of the mosque Masjid Toronto. Shihab has a PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and he was the head of the Fatwa (Islamic opinion) Unit of IslamOnline.net (English website) and the Shari’ah (Islamic Law) consultant of the Shari’ah department of OnIslam.net. Shihab is also a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) headed by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who played a major role in launching both aforementioned websites.

Shihab’s views as presented in articles and Islamic rulings posted on Onislam.net:

“Slay them one by one and spare not one of them; The solution to the global violence, extremism and oppression is Islam; Qaradawi’s book “Jurisprudence of Jihad” should serves as a guidance to Muslims; Thieves’ hands should be chopped off no matter their social status; Person who underwent gender reassignment surgery should return to his original gender; Muslims should avoid gays as homosexuality is evil and succumbing to the temptations of the Satan; Wife should not reject her husband’s call for having sex”

The above preaching is also against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms which ONLY creates hate and spreads radicalism among the worshipers, especially the youth. At the same time, a group of protesters rallying in front of this mosque and shouting for banning a religion in Canada is no difference from what the Islamic Republic of Iran is doing to atheists, Sunnis, Bahais Christians, and Jews, to name a few. Islamic republic of Iran also does not recognize Bahai as a religion/ faith. What is the difference between this small group of protesters, the radical Imams as such and what Iran regime is doing to Bahais? IMO: No difference.

Going in front of a place of worship calling to ban the worshipers’ faith on a “FRIDAY” especially a few weeks after a mass shooting happening in a mosque is NOT Canadian and it is not defending Free speech; but IMO is Hate Speech. The acts of radicalism by the small group of people is absolutely unacceptable. What they do will only assist the MSM and the Muslim Brotherhood to take advantage and to attack Freedom loving Canadians and to silence Freedom of Speech.

It is very sad that some Canadians from Islamic faith express that they don’t feel safe under Canada’s Charter of Rights and equality laws. When government and the media choose one group over another in a country that is diverse, they attack the very fabric that holds all of us together by saying that we are failing at diversity. If we do not treat all groups equally and say no to hatred to all; not singling out one group over another, then would only degrade our Charter.

It is appalling that when NCCM calls Canada to pass M-103, Canadian MSM such as yours cries for their call and yet QC imam Sayed AlGhitawi calls for the annihilation of the Jews and CBC and the rest of Canadian MSM won’t give any coverage on his hate speech.

It is the responsibility of our officials, educators and the media to remind all people living in this country that we are all equally protected-that no one needs an extra motion or extra protection-for that would make some “more equal” than others.

I have a reasonable fear of radical Islam” which I sent to MPs, and Senators Thank you.

Kind wishes,

Shabnam Assadollahi

RELATED ARTICLE: Quebec legislature adopts sharia blasphemy motion condemning ‘Islamophobia’

EDITORS NOTE: According to Wikipedia CBC News.

In 2009, CBC President Hubert Lacroix commissioned a study to determine whether its news was biased, and if so, to what extent. He said: “Our job — and we take it seriously — is to ensure that the information that we put out is fair and unbiased in everything that we do”. The study, the methodology of which was not specified, was due to report results in the fall of 2010.

In April 2010, the Conservatives accused pollster Frank Graves of giving partisan advice to the Liberal Party of Canada, noting his donations to the party since 2003. Graves directed a number of public opinion research projects on behalf of the CBC as well as other media organizations, and also appeared on a number of CBC television programs relating to politics. An investigation conducted by the CBC ombudsman found no evidence to support these allegations, stating that personal donor history is not relevant to one’s objectivity as a pollster.

In March 2011, the Toronto Sun accused Vote Compass, an online voter engagement application developed by political scientists and launched by CBC during the 2011 federal election campaign, of a liberal bias. The accusation centred on the observation that one could provide identical responses to each proposition in Vote Compass (i.e., answer “strongly agree” to all propositions or “strongly disagree” to all propositions) and would in each case be positioned closest to the Liberal Party in the results. This claim was directly addressed by Vote Compass representatives, who noted that the propositions in the application are specifically constructed in such a way as to avoid acquiescence bias and that the result described by the Toronto Sun was arrived at by gaming the system.[11] Vote Compass also released analyses of the data it gathered from the federal election, which have further negated efforts to discredit it. It is widely speculated that suspicions of bias were fuelled by Sun Media in an effort to promote its anti-CBC agenda and the concurrent launch of its cable news channel. The criticism appears to have been isolated to the 2011 Canadian federal election edition of Vote Compass and has not re-emerged in any subsequent editions of Vote Compass, either in Canada or internationally.

In February 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made comments relating to the allegations. Speaking to Radio-Canada, the outlet’s on-air Quebec division, Harper commented saying he understood that many at Radio-Canada “hated conservative values”. Radio-Canada did not deny the allegations.

During the 2015 federal election, CBC was again accused of bias by some viewers and outlets. The majority of these claims spawned from a promise by the Liberals and New Democratic Party of Canada after the two groups promised to increase funding for CBC. The pledges came after the then Conservative government had cut $115 million from the CBC in the 2012 budget. Shortly before the pledges were made, CBC president Hubert Lacroix complained of the Conservative cuts, saying “the cuts make us weaker and affect morale, critics, key stakeholders and even some of the citizens we serve.”

Montana is an example of anti-refugee sentiment spilling forth in wake of Trump victory

This is an Associated Press story that ran on Christmas day so not sure how many of you saw it.

sk_rossi

S.K. Rossi

For background, Montana had a small refugee program many years ago, but up until this year it was alone with Wyoming in not having one at all.  That changed in 2016 as Missoula ‘welcomed’ its first African and Middle Eastern refugees. I traveled to the state this summer and can attest to the sentiment outlined in this story.

For new readers you might like to see our Montana archive, here.

S.K. Rossi, advocacy and policy director for the ACLU of Montana: “It’s pretty widely known that this is going to be a hard year…”

From AP at The Seattle Times:

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The push to restrict refugee resettlements and immigration in the U.S. that figured so prominently in Donald Trump’s election is now headed to states that are preparing to convene their legislative sessions early next year, immigration advocates said.

In Montana, which took in just nine refugee families from January to early December, about a dozen bill requests related to refugees, immigration and terrorism have been filed ahead of next month’s session. The measures include requiring resettlement agencies to carry insurance that would defray the cost of prosecuting refugees who commit violent crimes and allowing towns and cities to request a moratorium on resettlements in their communities.

Refugee rights advocates say those measures are a sign of what is to come as the anti-refugee rhetoric that featured prominently in the presidential election spills over to statehouses and local governments.

“It’s pretty widely known that this is going to be a hard year for those of us who are seeking to protect the rights of refugees and immigrants,” said S.K. Rossi, advocacy and policy director for the ACLU of Montana.

The president-elect campaigned on building a border wall with Mexico to stop illegal immigration, deporting immigrants who are in the nation illegally and halting the resettlement of refugees to strengthen the federal program that vets them.

[….]

“It absolutely does not end with the presidential election,” McKenzie [Michele McKenzie, deputy director of the Minneapolis organization The Advocates for Human Rights] said. “It’s a national strategy by a small but organized group of anti-immigration advocates and anti-refugee advocates.”

[….]

“We need to get serious,” said Nancy Ballance, a Republican state representative from Ravalli County.

Ballance said refugees are a “gigantic issue” in her southwestern Montana county, just south of the liberal college city of Missoula. “People expect to see some legislation brought,” she said.

It is pretty clear that legally state legislators can’t do much to change the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), but here we have the ACLU lobbyist making the crucial point about efforts in the Montana (yours too!) legislature.

“Filing this and making it a public conversation automatically undermines the refugee process,” Rossi said.

“They can’t legally undermine the process, but they can socially undermine the process.”

Continue reading here.

Trickle up!

You have a right to ask questions and demand that your elected officials at all levels of government be transparent, and consider your economic worries and your safety concerns when the federal government targets your communities.

Efforts like these in the Montana legislature are important to help create controversy because the ultimate goal is for the controversy to ‘trickle up’ to Congress and to the new Trump Administration. There is no doubt that the USRAP must be trashed or reformed, but that pressure must come from the states (and local governments) to Washington.  Politicians hate noise and so it is your job as grassroots activists to make political noise!

To that end, since Montana’s lone House member is likely going to the Trump Interior Department, it is critical that you, in Montana, make the selection of his replacement a referendum on the refugee program. See The Hill (scroll down to Rep. Zinke).

Endnote: I am off to jury duty, be back later!

Emote, protest, get naked for your professor, and get credit

Pity poor Emma Sulkowicz lugging a mattress around the Columbia University campus now for almost a full academic year.

This act, recalling Christ carrying his cross (that is if any on our college campuses know about this part of our Judeo-Christian heritage any more) has drawn attention to her alleged rape by fellow student and one-time lover, Paul Nungesser, who in turn has filed a Title IX suit against the university for allowing the campaign of harassment against him. Nungesser was cleared by a “campus court” (itself a disturbing extra-legal development).

Sulkowicz’s back-bending activity, however, is actually her senior thesis, “Carry That Weight,” directed by Jon Kessler, a professor in the School of Visual Arts. Kessler, who has received several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, in the 1980s and 1990s made “kinetic sculptures,” and used video and surveillance equipment in his work to express “political urgency” after 9/11.

Sulkowicz seems to have learned from her professor about the new academic requirements and purposes of art, as her words in an email to AP reveal:

“I think it’s ridiculous that Paul [Nungesser] would sue not only the school but one of my past professors for allowing me to make an art piece. It’s ridiculous that he would read it as a ‘bullying strategy,’…when really it’s just an artistic expression of the personal trauma I’ve experienced at Columbia. If artists are not allowed to make art that reflect on our experiences, then how are we to heal?”

Sadly, Sulkowicz’s performance art project reflects a growing trend of professors giving students assignments that have little to do with real academics. Most colleges now require (or at least allow students to get credit for) service-learning, a sort of charity for liberal causes that garners academic credit. The exercises typically require work in homeless shelters, inner-city schools, parks, and even prisons.

For example, at Boise State University students taking Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition (SPAN 303) last month went to Idaho Correctional Center in order to translate letters by Hispanic inmates for the American Prison Writing archive page. Students also learned about the collection in the prison library and job training programs for the inmates.

Predictably, the students’ “reflection papers,” many handwritten and on posters interspersed with photos, testified to how the program succeeded in changing stereotypes they held about prisoners. No doubt, the professor, Doran Larsen, whose c.v. includes a collection of prisoners’ writings, was pleased.

In this advanced Spanish language course, discussions with inmates and casual writing (in English) pushed aside hours of study that could have been devoted to Cervantes and Marquez. Likewise, the assignments accompanying service-learning projects are a degraded form of academics. “Reflection papers” replace traditional essays and research papers. One handwritten reflection paper on a poster board display paper looks like a third-grader’s journal. In the past, it would have been their language skills and knowledge about Spanish that mattered. Today, however, students are judged by their attitudes, not their knowledge.

Even in composition classes, reflection papers and participation in preselected protests, such as “Take Back the Night,” take the place of writing formal essays. Composition teachers, as I learned at the 2011 Conference on College Composition and Communication, take students on protests to study the “rhetoric” of slogans and “bodies,” instead of having them read classic works.

Such ideological and emotional assignments, and “performance art,” grew out of the 1960s protest movement and the rejection of Western standards. The radicals who went into academe embraced the new standards and have passed them on.

Performance art has become a favorite of feminists, who follow theorist Helene Cixous, who insisted, “Women must write through their bodies, they must invent the impregnable language that will wreck partitions, classes, and rhetorics, regulations and codes….”

One of the most famous purveyors of this mode is Karen Finley, who in her younger days famously smeared chocolate and honey over her body to express her feelings about the objectification of women. She then took her outrage over the revoking of funding by the National Endowment for the Arts to the Supreme Court, where she, along with her three co-litigants, lost. What is such a transgressive artist going to do without public funding?

She soon found a teaching position at New York University.

She landed there after she was denied a position at Georgia State University (where I earned my master’s degree) as a visiting professor after she refused to sign Georgia’s loyalty oath (requiring that applicants promise not to overthrow the government by violent means). At a 2009 South Atlantic Modern Language Association meeting, English department co-chair Matthew Roudané introduced her and related the story about how he had offered her the position after her NEA difficulties.

In her presentation, Ms. Finley recounted going into “a subtle form of body trauma” after seeing Georgia’s loyalty oath.

“You have to start with an individual, emotional place,” she insisted, describing her principled resistance and her form of art.

She would have fit in at Georgia State. One of my professors allowed another graduate student to write her final paper in the form of a “quilt” of colored paper. A feminist, she was defying the linear, patriarchal form of writing, i.e., organized with a thesis statement and argued logically.

Students are now being asked to follow the lead of performance artists like Finley and do assignments in the nude. This is the case of a visual arts class at UC-San Diego taught by Roberto Dominguez, who famously concocted an electronic Transborder Immigrant Tool, winning awards from the Endowment for Culture Mexico-US. In 2010 he used students to conduct a virtual sit-in to protest cuts in the budget for the California state university system.

Dominguez, naturally, has given a different version to the original complaint by a parent. He told Inside Higher Ed that students have two “clothes-free” options for the class: “The students can choose to do the nude gesture version or the naked version (the naked gesture means you must perform a laying bare of your ‘traumatic’ self, and students can do this gesture under a rug or in any way they choose—but they must share their most fragile self—something most students find extremely hard to do).”

In contrast, “’The nude self gesture takes place in complete darkness, and everyone is nude, with only one candle or very small source of light for each individual performance…. A student may decide to focus on their big toe, their hair, an armpit, as being a part of their body that is ‘more them than they are.’”

Presumably, this should alleviate parental concerns. But a room with naked (in distinction from nude) students in front of their nude professor blubbering about how they feel about their armpits illustrates vividly the decay of academe.

Such assignments do not prepare students for the world of work and adult responsibilities, where their emotions do not factor in performance reviews, where they are expected to communicate in a clear and logical manner, and where they will have to know certain facts in order to build a bridge, argue a legal case, treat a heart attack victim, or teach children to read. Nor do such assignments prepare them to participate as free and literate citizens in a constitutional republic.

So where is the oversight? In the case of the Boise State prison service-learning program, we can see that the inmates are indeed running the asylum. Sadly, this is happening in most of our institutions of higher learning.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the John Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Second Florida hotel cancels anti-Common Core conference

Laura Zorc, SE State Coordinator for Florida Parents Against Common Core, in an email states that the Rosen Hotel, Orlando has cancelled the contract for an anti-Common Core conference. This comes on the heels of the Ritz Carlton/Marriott cancellation.

Billy Hallowell from TheBlaze reported on June 19th, “The Common Core State Standards Initiative has created a fair bit of angst among critics who view it as a poor — or even dangerous — plan to amend the nation’s educational schema. Considering this dynamic, it’s no surprise that some concerned Florida parents are planning to protest a national Common Core conference that is slated to be hosted later this month by The Center for College & Career Readiness.”

“But when FreedomWorks, a non-profit organization, agreed to help these parents by providing a grassroots training to accompany their protest, the conservative organization charges that a hotel abruptly canceled its reservations. The hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, however, is denying these claims, stating that the anti-Common Core initiative’s goals had nothing at all to do with the decision — and that the decision was based on crowd-control concerns,” writes Hallowell.

Whitney Neal, director of grassroots initiatives at FreedomWorks, told TheBlaze that the Ritz, a hotel nearby the venue that is hosting the national Common Core conference (the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes Resort and Spa), cancelled the conservative group’s reservations — and after the group had already paid for and booked the space.”

Both the anti-Common Core training and protest of the National Conference on College and Career Readiness and Common Core State Standards will take place on June 28-29, 2013 as planned according to Zore.

Zore states in an email to supporters, “[This] Protest is a legal protest Thank you to a commissioner from Orange county. We have insurance, permit, and police depart has been notified.   The Ritz cannot stop us from being on public property. Since we are in the spotlight now we really need all the parents we can get to come out for this 2 hour protest [against] this National CC conference.”