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Thursday, 13 October 2016

An Open Letter to the Faith and Spirituality Centre at the University of Calgary

by Rev. Russell Haynes

Lennonism at the University of Calgary

With respect to the recent anti-Muslim/anti-Islam posters being placed at the University of Calgary, and within its immediate vicinity, what I am noticing from virtually every news-media outlet, including the "Faith and Spirituality Centre" at the university, is how absolutely no one is addressing or dealing with:
  1. the actual content of this person's anger toward Islamic practice and teaching and
  2. the question of the legitimacy or rationality of the anger or hatred being directed.
All I appear to be seeing so far is a carefully coordinated PC attack in order to silence any discussion, regarding this anger and hatred, and to send a strong message that "any" criticism of Muslims and/or Islam will not be tolerated but will be treated as potentially indictable "hate speech."

Thus, instead of seeing this situation as an opportunity for rational debate, reflection and discussion over the actual content and legitimacy of this individual's grievances and anger, it has been used as a politically correct PR effort mainly by the left-leaning media and institutions at virtually every level, so as to stifle any reasonable debate and to silence any future criticism of Islam. This is not to say that I approve in any way of the method or the manner in which this sensitive issue was broached, but what I am saying is that I am equally disappointed in the way it was handled.

Posters placed at the University of Calgary
The posters placed at the University of Calgary

In examining the actual poster itself, this individual is clearly angry and hateful toward Muslim "beheadings," "Sharia" law, female "genital mutilations," "taqiyya" (i.e. sacred deception) together with "Muhammad" and the "Quran." And by direct implication, or logical extension, one could legitimately add to that list, Muslim "sex slavery," "stoning for adultery," "amputation for stealing," "hanging of homosexuals," "honor killings," and so on and so forth.

Lastly, this individual wants Muslims to "keep these barbaric ways right where they belong." That is "in (their) 7th-century homelands." And with Canada being based upon Western liberal-democratic laws, freedoms and values, I can, at the very least, certainly understand their passionate animosity towards not wanting to bring these non-Western (or "barbaric") values or ways into Canada.

Thus, a rational or reasonable argument could easily be made that if (certain) Muslims do, in fact, want to bring these "barbaric ways" into Canada, is it wrong or irrational then for Canadians to want to passionately tell them to "GetTheF*ckOuttaHere"? Instead of responding with a PC knee-jerk reaction, maybe we should take this opportunity to reasonably debate this question, openly and honestly, rather than just simply concluding due to Political Correctness that there is absolutely nothing to legitimately discuss here.

The fact is that even the leftist multicultural Toronto Star reports that Islamic schools and mosques in Canada are filled with extremist literature.

Moreover, it is easy to assume that whenever strong or coarse language is used that it is always "vulgar." This is not always the case. I once had a seminary professor, with a PhD, give a passionate lecture (from the OT book of Amos) on what happens when a nation breaks covenant with God. During the lecture, he more than emphatically stated that "when a nation or people break covenant with God they inevitably end up f*cking the poor and f*cking their neighbors wives." Needless to say, I never forgot that lecture, along with the non-vulgar, academic-passionate use of the term.

Though I would personally never use the "f" word myself, or advise others to do so, since Christians are to strive toward holiness, it does not in any way take away from the reality that there is, in fact, at times a non-vulgar (and even academic) use of the term, so as to capture, on very rare occasions, I might add, the deeply felt and passionate nuance or force of a point (i.e. a truth) being made. I honestly think that, to a degree, this is what is being overlooked or suppressed here, due to Political Correctness.

Another question that I believe seriously needs to be considered, from a Christian perspective at least, is that the New Testament instructs the "strong" to be mindful of, as well as to bear, the infirmities of the "weak." And so the question that begs to be asked is radically forcing, through legislation or policy, upon all Canadians a (mainly hidden) cultural-Marxist agenda of
  • mass immigration from every country of the world,
  • state sponsored multiculturalism (which has utterly failed as a political experiment in the UK and in Europe),
  • mindless-experimental diversity,
  • mindless-experimental religious pluralism, etc.,
being grossly and dangerously inconsiderate of those Canadians who are "weak"? That is, "weak" with respect to not accepting cultural Marxist principles being promoted and pushed on them without their knowledge or consent, let alone a referendum? I would tend to think that it is! And I would likewise tend to think, especially in light of these recent posters, that it is something that seriously needs to be openly discussed and debated and not suppressed or silenced, rather than having a neo-Marxist, Political Correctness forced down people's throats.

The fact is, as indicated by a recent CBC-Angus Reid Institute poll, that Canadians want minorities to do more to 'fit in'.

Lastly, the University of Calgary President, Elizabeth Cannon, stated that she finds the posters "disturbing, extremely offensive." However, and once again, the question begs to be asked, I wonder if Elizabeth Cannon also finds the aforementioned Muslim beheadings, Sharia law, genital mutilations, taqiyya, stonings, amputations etc. likewise "disturbing, extremely offensive"? So far all I have heard is deafening silence. Might I suggest then that an investigative story or even better yet a public debate or perhaps best an inter-faith discussion in the "Faith and Spirituality Centre" be done by the University of Calgary, discussing and exploring-investigating this topic openly and honestly.

The best and most honest approach that I have seen so far with respect to any real possibility of interfaith dialogue is one that is espoused by Dr. John Alembillah Azumah — who does not shy away from the historical truths and the historical facts — as opposed to those individuals and organizations who, like the FSC it appears, want to subversively impose upon religion a universal-cultural Marxist ideology and agenda instead (e.g. "global citizen"), therefore, knowingly and intentionally avoiding the real issues. On this issue see The Legacy of Arab-Islam In Africa: A Quest for Inter-religious Dialogue.

Finally, I can only hope that the FSC would have the decency and courage to be more open and honest or transparent about what I clearly perceive to be its hidden universal-cultural Marxist agenda. That is, with respect to the very real likelihood that the FSC is knowingly and subversively, not to mention patronizingly and paternalistically, attempting to subordinate and domesticate religion to a cultural Marxist ideology in the name of (or under the guise of) interfaith dialogue."

And so, if the FSC ever decides to have an open and honest discussion, so as to address this specific question, I would be more than happy to participate!


Rev. Russell A. Haynes (Toronto, Canada)

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