Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fear Factor: Are Canadian MPs afraid to speak out against radical Islam?

This week, a Canadian blogger obtained talking points that were supposedly sent to some Conservative MPs from Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's office basically not taking a position on a private member's motion to remove the hate speech clause of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The issue has raised attention after Islamic groups have filed human rights complaints against Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn.

Keith Martin, the MP who introduced the motion is a Liberal. So the complete silence from Conservative MPs on his motion the and alleged evasive government talking points has angered grassroots conservative supporters who feel Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his insiders are more concerned about avoiding a fight with Canada's left wing establishment than standing up for fundamental conservative principles, such as freedom of expression.

However, another theory has emerged from Parliament Hill reporter Deborah Gyapong. Call it the Geert Wilders Effect.

Here's Gyapong's latest post.

Last week when I was on the Hill mingling with some MPs from both the Liberal and the Tory parties, I asked an MP for an opinion on the freedom of speech/ Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn human rights complaints. This particular MP was appalled by it. I asked this individual for a public comment. After a few moments thought, the MP decided not to. Then this person mused--alas, I did not have a notebook or my recorder out so I can't recall the exact words--that some MPs might be afraid to speak out on this issue, afraid their families might be targeted.

This was said in a casual manner, as social chit chat, so it didn't register with me perhaps as much as it should have at the time. But the conversation keeps coming back to me. I haven't been able to get away from a gnawing sense of unease. Is this possibly the case? Are some MPs not speaking out on Parliament Hill out of a sense of intimidation when it comes to any form of criticism of radical Islam?

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