If video fails, click here or go to http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2011/12/coren-on-soharwardy-muslims-arent-new.html
As Kathy Shaidle always says, muslims aren't the new Jews, they're the new Nazis.
There's the old line we all know. When you're in a hole, stop digging.
But the digging does not stop.
It's Friday afternoon and the media go to hear Muslim imam Syed Soharwardy.
He promises he will "clarify" his recent statements.
His words come earlier this week after Jason Kenney, the federal immigration minister, rules Muslim women cannot wear any face covering while taking the oath of citizenship.
Kenney says he's heard from judges, MPs and others at citizenship ceremonies who maintain it's hard to tell if the veiled individuals are actually reciting the oath.
Kenney finds the idea of taking an oath of citizenship behind a veil "bizarre."
Interviewed by the press, Soharwardy is quoted saying: "Muslims are going through that situation right now where the Jews faced before the Holocaust."
"Because of intimidation of their faith, badmouthing about their faith, badmouthing about their book, badmouthing about their beliefs — that was going on in Germany before the Holocaust."
"The same thing is happening now about Muslims."
What does this sound like to you, the reader?
Probably the same as many others since the words set off an outcry from Jews, from Muslims, from Canadians of all creeds and no creeds.
There's nothing like a comparision between the treatment of Canadian Muslims and what Jews in Germany faced before the Holocaust. It's so wrong.
And Canadians fought the Nazis and many of our boys didn't come home.
Yes, it is true there is the bonehead chorus of hate-filled idiots who spew their anti-Muslim garbage behind the anonymity of the Internet.
Thankfully they stay largely in the shadows and their vitriol is discounted by all but the axe-grinding stupid among us.
With all this in mind, on Friday, Soharwardy has a choice.
He can recant, apologize, express regret. He can choose whatever act of contrition he likes.
He can even say he misspoke.
But he does not.
He takes another defence, used often in the past but hard to get past a public these days who have heard it all.
It's the Taken Out of Context defence. You know, it's where the words are said to be misinterpreted by the hearer. It's just what you thought I said, not what I said.
So Soharwardy begins down that road.
He says he never compared to the Muslim situation to the Holocaust.
No, he says he compares the condition of Muslims here today with a moment in the past when some people started hating Jews which the imam says could be 50 years or 70 years or 100 years before the Holocaust.
Oh yes, he says what he means by "before the Holocaust" is really some undefined time long before the Holocaust but not just before the Holocaust.
If your hear hairs splitting, don't grab for the conditioner.
The cleric, who maintains he is related by blood to the biblical Abraham, says he's "very sensitive to Jewish miseries" and has an excellent relationship with the Jewish community in Calgary.
He insists Canada is the best place on Earth and not a Nazi state. Gee thanks.
Soharwardy then says what he really means is there's a "very negative and very hateful and alarming" trend of treatment towards Muslims here and if it continues they will have a "major hard time" in Canada soon and face "a situation that will be very, very horrible."
This is where the veil comes in.
He attacks Kenney's show-your-face decision as "absolutely unnecessary."
Soharwardy figures only 1 in 200 Muslim women cover their faces so it's no big deal but Kenney's move put all Muslims "in a hot seat" and some Canadians will view adherents of Islam as "very backward, uncivilized, inhuman and misogynistic."
A persistent scribbler keeps asking the Muslim cleric whether he will simply retract, apologize or express regret as we don't seem to be getting anywhere.
"I regret the interpretation," he says.
He regrets many Canadians misinterpreted him. That is his final offer. He will be meeting with a local Jewish group.
Interesting aside. Soharwardy actually reserves his most impassioned words for those Muslim critics who denounced him this week.
Soharwardy says their words come from "animosity and jealousy." Islam is divided and the imam says a majority of mosques are under the Wahhabis.
The Wahhabis are a branch of Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia.
"All Wahhabis are not terrorists but every terrorist, every suicide bomber has been a Wahhabi."
Wonder how they'll interpret that?
- Calgary Sun
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