Heeding the Times from Harry Antonides' Desk

Why Words no Longer Mean What You Think They do

April 2015


The core of ISIS’s belief is to establish Allah’s rule, with death to all who refuse this rule.

On the contrary, Jesus called for the kingdom of God by giving life. The kingdom of God

is to be accepted, not imposed. This is the vast distinction between Jesus and ISIS.

 ( Ravi Zacharias,”ISIS, Murder, and Martyrdom: A Reflection from RZIM in the Middle East,”

RZIM Blog, March 23, 2015)


Hassan Al-Banna (1906--1949) -- founder of The Muslim Brotherhood -- wrote in 1934 that

 it is the duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every

 people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter

over the earth and the call of the Muezzin can resound in all the corners of the world:

 God is greatest [Allahu akbar]. (Quoted in Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad, 2008, pp. 14-15)

 The speed and violence of current world events is overwhelming. It seems that the world is being turned upside down. How to make sense out of the bewildering, even surreal happenings that are reported on the daily news available at our fingertips. Who and what is behind the convoluted crisis in the Middle East and elsewhere?  What’s going on with the sudden appearance of the ISIS genocidal murderers? Why is the still-free West reduced to handwringing helplessness in the face of unmitigated evil perpetrated by Islamic jihadists?

 A World Turned Upside Down

Where are the leaders; men and women of the stature of a Churchill or Thatcher, now that we need them? Could it be that we are witnessing the gradual enfeeblement of a once promising and great Western civilization?  We are facing many seemingly intractable problems. How did we reach this impasse?

 It seems to me that one core problem is the widespread corrosive effect of the lack of plain, everyday honesty.  This lack of honesty, or rather, the unwillingness to speak plainly and honestly, is how I would define the term “political correctness.” The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines political correctness as “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that exclude, marginalize, or insult certain racial or cultural groups.” Try to think about this definition, and you will be at a loss for its meaning.  Every verb and noun is totally subjective and can be and is used to mean what the speaker wants it to mean.   

 All language should be used to convey truth, but this definition has nothing to do with speaking the truth. Instead, it leaves the field wide open for charlatans with evil motives who want to silence their critics, even though they speak the truth – in fact, they are denounced because they speak the truth.

 And so we get to the absurdity that instead of promoting honest speech political correctness is used to “marginalize “and “exclude” the person who is telling the truth. The result: many people in public life, especially in politics, education, and the media are careful not to offend anyone who could  claim that he/she has been discriminated against because they belongs to a certain race, gender or other identifiable category. (Fundamentalist Muslim immigrants to the West have become adept at silencing their critics by denouncing them as Islamophobes.)    

 Everywhere in the West political correctness distorts all public discourse.  For good measure, many countries have effectively banned certain topics or opinions by means of so-called hate speech legislation. There are many instances where people have run afoul of laws that ban all criticism of Islam.

 The U.N. plays a major role in the attempt to control speech, prompted particularly by the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation. This organization has been very active in promoting legislation that criminalizes all criticism of Islam, whether truthful or not. (This is why Geert Wilders, the member of   Dutch Parliament who lives under threat of a death fatwa, was told by a jurist at one of his court attendances that truth was no defence of his speech.)

  Islamic believers who are convinced that they must spread the rule of Allah (caliphate) across the entire world have succeeded in curtailing the free speech of their critics. In other words, they have managed to impose political correctness, which they have renamed “Islamophobia,” as a major tool to deprive their critics of their freedom of speech.

“Islamophobia,” which means fear of Islam, raises the questions, who is afraid of Islam and what are they afraid of?  Obviously, there is no reason to fear peaceful Muslims, especially not those who have immigrated to the West to escape the backwardness and lack of freedom in many Islam-ruled countries. But there are plenty of reasons to fear those Muslim believers who are convinced that they are called to spread the rule of Allah over the entire world. Prompted by their radical leaders, such Muslims believe that  the world is divided into a house of peace ruled by sharia law versus a house of war that is ruled by infidels.

 This is how Islam is transformed into a political ideology that serves as the breeding ground for the terrorists (jihads) such as the Muslim Brotherhood, BOKO Haram, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, ISIS, al- Shabaab, and many others.

 In the West, where radicalized Muslims are in a minority position, they do not operate with brutal severity as ISIS does, though they do not shy away from isolated acts of murder and violence. Think 9/11 in the U.S., the Boston bombers, and the attacks on the London and   Madrid public transit systems.  But their main strategy in the West is via infiltration, especially focused on the media, education, politics, and the courts. Following are examples of this in Canada and Sweden.  

“Battle Fatigue” in Canada

 The Canadian Islamic Congress charged Ezra Levant, then editor of Western Standard, and Mark Steyn, columnist for Maclean’s Magazine with hate crimes. These cases were heard by Human Rights Commissions who exonerated the accused, but not before the latter spent untold hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in their defence.  They won, and yet they lost because this case sent a chill through the ranks of writers and publishers in Canada, who are now reluctant to publish anything that can be interpreted as criticism of Islam.

 This is how self-censure does the work of the enemies of freedom. Writing in the Maclean’s of January 26, 2015, Barbara Amiel commented on the murder of twelve people in the brutal attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. She pointed out that we do not have such murderous attacks in Canada because such a magazine would never be allowed here. She thinks that there would not be a media outlet brave enough to publish a full discussion of Islam.

 Referring to Maclean’s previous encounter with the human rights commissions, Amiel mentioned that in 2011 she had the only column refused in 37 years of writing for that magazine.  She had written about the Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders in a rather restrained manner since she was self-censoring and pulling her punches, but she really could not blame Maclean’s. She explains:

 They are suffering from battle fatigue: nothing is more enervating and time-consuming than filling out the endless details that human rights complaints require. Not to mention the legal fees. “You’d win,” said one of my editors. “We know that, but we just can’t go there again.” Amiel concludes:

 The West has been ready to give up on itself for some time now. We have no idea of what we stand for and seem to have no faith other than lip-service in the superiority of our institutions…. It’s so comforting. Fundamentalist Islam is on the march and all we can do is worry about giving offence.  When the blood of journalists can only be expunged by denying other journalists the right to say or show what they died for, we are hemorrhaging freedom. I have no children but some coming generation will pay the price for their parents’ cowardice. (Barbara Amiel, “Islamists Won’t Kill Free Speech – We Will,” (Maclean’s Magazine, January 26, 2015.)

 Sweden: Where Politically Correctness Rules    

 Like most Western nations, Sweden has been very generous in its treatment of Muslim immigrants.  But this generosity has not been received with respect and gratitude. On the contrary, the level of crimes, riots, destruction of property, anti-Semitism, assaulting and raping non-Muslim women and girls, declaring some sections of cities, including Malmo, no-go zones, even for the police and fire fighters, are disproportionally perpetrated by Muslims.

 But anyone who has the courage to report these facts is soon told that he is a bigot and will have hard time finding or keeping employment in Sweden’s media. In 1975, the Swedish parliament decided to change traditional Sweden into a multicultural country. Hence the refusal of the government and media to investigate the high level of crime and lack of integration of Muslim immigrants. They would have to admit that their vaunted experiment in diversity and multiculturalism is an abject failure. Here are three instances where honest reporting was met by harsh criticism or deliberate cover up.

1. Michael Hess, a member of the Sweden Democrat Party tried to persuade Swedish journalists to understand the reasons for the many rapes that took place at Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the so-called “Arab Spring” demonstrations. Hess pointed out that they should realize that rape and brutalizing women who refuse to comply with Islamic teachings is rooted in Islamic culture. This remark led to his trial where he was charged with “denigration of ethnic groups.” During his trial he provided evidence for his statement. However, the court decided that facts were irrelevant, as follows:

…that the question of whether or not Michael Hess’s  pronouncement is true, or appeared to be true to Michael Hess, has no bearing on the case. Michael Hess’s statement must be judged based on its timing and context…. At the time of the offense, Michael Hess referred neither to established research nor to Islamic sources…. The court therefore notes that Michael Hess’s pronouncement was obviously not a part of any reasoned or trustworthy discussion. Michael Hess’s pronouncements must therefore be viewed as an expression of disdain for immigrants with an Islamic faith.” (Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard, gatestoneinstitute.org. February 14, 2015, p.4)

2.  In 2013, a 15-year-old girl in the Stockholm suburb of Tensta was locked up by six men of foreign extraction who had sex with her. The lower court convicted the six men but the court of appeals acquitted them because it determined that no violence had occurred and that the girl “had not been in a defenseless position.” Sure, one little girl is able to fight off six men.  

3. The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom in early March stated that Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women and sentencing of blogger Raef Badawi to a thousand lashes and ten years in prison, for insulting Islam is “medieval.” She did not realize that such criticism is considered a direct attack on Islam itself.  The Swedish national daily Dagens Nyheter on March 19 reported that some thirty Muslim countries had taken offence to Wallstrom’s comments. The Arab League cancelled her planned speech  in Cairo about women’s rights and achievements.

The foreign ministers of the Arab  League issued a statement that included the following : “Saudi  Arabia’s  Constitution is based on the Shariah  that protects  the right of people  and safeguards their blood, wealth and honor”  The  Organization of Islamic  Cooperation  accused  Wallstrom of  having “degraded Saudi Arabia  and its social norms, judicial system  and political institutions.”

The Saudi government recalled its ambassador to Sweden in protest against the Foreign Minister’s remarks.  (He has been reinstated.)  Wallstrom called a crisis meeting with representatives of some thirty Swedish companies that have relations with several Muslim countries in the Gulf region.

 It is not known what caused Saudi Arabia’s king Salman to resume diplomatic relations with Sweden. What is known is that Minister Wallstrom and the Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have stated that they never intended to slight the Saudi kingdom nor Islam, which they now claim has made great contributions to human civilization. The March 28 Expressen quoted the Prime Minister as saying that they have never criticized Islam and “have the greatest respect for Islam as a religion.”

  What is also known is that King Salman received three letters hand-delivered by a high–ranking Swedish emissary. One was  from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, and two from the Prime Minister Lofven. The daily Expressen has reported that Saudi Arabia had demanded concessions from Sweden, including an apology. The Swedish foreign office denied that any apology has been given. It declared these letters to be classified as secret.

 Meanwhile, Sweden’s Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, has announced that she will initiate a “national strategy against Islamophobia.” It is safe to assume that  any criticism of Islam and the impact of mass immigration will be on the forbidden list.

 These few instances of craven surrender to the supremacist Muslims in Canada and Sweden are replicated all over the Western world. There may still be time to reverse this drift toward Islamization, but that requires that we honestly face reality. Christians have a huge advantage in that they are given the standard by which to distinguish truth from the lie. 

. Let us at least work hard at discovering and  witnessing to the real meaning of the term ”Islamophobia.” Barbara Amiel is right in reminding us that our children and following generations will   bear the consequences of the choices we now make.   

 Harry Antonides


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