Quebec's muslim moderates fight back (National Post April 16, 2008)

A new Web site--Point de Bascule, or 'Tipping Point' --provides a rallying point for French-speaking Islamic thinkers who reject extremism

Barbara Kay, National Post

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2008

David Boily, AFP, Getty Images
A protester in Montreal waves a Hezbollah flag on Aug. 6, 2006.

If nothing else, the publicity generated by the human-rights-commission show trials of journalists Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn proves that a new word is needed to define good-faith critics of ideological Islam -- something other than the incorrect and chilling, but increasingly reflexive, "Islamophobic."

By coincidence I just discovered one on a Quebec-based Web site -- a nicely inclusive word: " Islamolucide." A clear-headed Islamolucide can be a liberal Muslim, such as Canada's outspoken university professor and pundit Salim Mansur; an ex-Muslim, such as Ibn Warriq, author of Why I am Not a Muslim; or anyone else who accepts Muslims as citizens equal to all others, but who condemns bids for Islamic entitlements that conflict with western values.

Islamolucides defend and more importantly promote the separation of church and state, individual rights, respect for all religious (or non-religious) choices, and a common legal system as beneficial for everyone, including Muslims.

Canada's only well-known institutional example of Islamolucidite is the Muslim Canadian Council, which last week lambasted the Ontario Human Rights Commission and chief commissioner Barbara Hall, characterizing their moral support for the Canadian Islamic Congress' vendetta against Mac-lean's magazine as "coming out to bat for Canada's Islamists," as well as "sending a very dangerous message to moderate Muslims."

The Quebec Web site's name -- " Point de bascule" (PdB)--means "tipping point." PdB defends Western values -- particularly the right to freedom of speech -- and provides a rallying point for Islamolucidite as a francophone bookend to the anglophone Muslim Canadian Council.

On Monday, PdB's director, Marc Lebuis, filed a complaint of "hate propaganda" with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against Montreal Salafist Imam Hammaad Abu Sulaiman Al-Dameus Hayiti, who officiates at the Association Musulmane de Montreal Est mosque.

The complaint relates to the imam's book, downloadable in pdf format on the Internet, L'Islam ou L'Integrisme:A la Lumiere du Qor'an et de la Sounnah, as well as his Web-based extremist preachings. In both, the imam's supremacist, misogynistic and West-loathing epithets often target Quebecois, whom he characterizes as " khoufars" (infidels, impious), "stupid and ignorant" and --Quebec's women-- "perverse."

As a classic liberal, Lebuis believes this repugnant segregationist (who has also urged the destruction of such "idols" as secularism, democracy, human rights, freedom and modernity) should be perfectly free to spew his phobic bile. Short of the usual strictures against direct incitement to violence, Lebuis deplores any opinion censorship.

But Lebuis has become alarmed by the Orwellian thought-control creep we've seen lately in the name of human rights. His complaint, he explained in an interview, plays the minority politics game as a means to "test the CHRC's standard in tracking hate and propaganda."

Lebuis adds, with candid scorn for the near-complete journalistic silence on the especially virulent strain of Salafist Islamism in Quebec: "I would not be doing this if the [francophone] mainstream media were doing their job."

The Algerian-Canadian Islamolucides who frequent PdB are especially bitter abut the francophone media's willed blindness to the jihadism in their midst. In Algeria, these Islamolucides were the victims of the very Islamism that parades so

freely here, not only without media censure, but with the complicity of useful idiots like Barbara Hall and other Islam-besotted enablers.

A frequent PdB site visitor called "Jugurten" writes (my translation): "The Algerian Muslim Islamolucides that I know and who have succeeded in surviving [the Algerian conflicts] are full of resentment … Many [of us who survived Algeria's civil war in the 1990s] travelled [to Canada] in the same airplane as those who threatened them with death, who burned their children and raped their wives."

Via a diversity of media, anglophone Canadians have access to a

slew of Islamist specialists: To name but a familiar few: the Post's international terrorism expert Stewart Bell, radical-Islam observer Daniel Pipes, and the Middle East Media Research Institute.

No such dedicated Islamist critics grace the francophone media. In particular, while hostile francophone Islamists such as Imam Al-Hayiti exploit the Internet to the hilt, there is a dearth of francophone Web-based sites that expose Islamist agitprop. So PdB fills a significant gap in francophone Canadians' knowledge of the multiple threats Islamism poses to Quebec.

PdB attracts 50,000 hits a month (and rising), a mere bagatelle by the standards of popular English-language Websites, but a tsunami by francophone standards. Half PdB's visitors are Quebecois, half European and North African. Relevant borrowings of their material by Le Monde's blog confers additional credibility.

If the CHRC approves Lebuis' complaint, it won't mean human rights commissions are a good thing, but at least it will help level a contaminated playing field. If they don't, it will confirm what Islamolucides have been saying all along: In Canada, all cultures are equal, but one is more equal than others.