The Conservative Party should be focusing their attention on Khalid, not attacking Bernier for saying something almost all Canadians agree with.
In the wake of his popular, common-sense comments, Maxime Bernier is facing criticism from much of the out-of-touch political elites.
And now, some of that criticism is even coming from the upper echelons of the Conservative Party of Canada.
As noted in a recent report, “Maxime Bernier received an official rebuke from his boss, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, and a broadside from a Pakistani-Canadian Conservative senator today as the party moved to distance itself from the former leadership contender’s opinions on multiculturalism on the eve of its national convention.”
Scheer said “personally, I disagree with politicians on the left and the right when they use identity politics to divide Canadians. I will not engage in this type of politics. Conservatives celebrate Canada’s diversity and a Conservative government will continue to welcome those from all over the world who choose to come here because of the society we have built.”
Here’s what Conservative Senator Salma Atuallahjan – who is Pakistani-Canadian – said on Twitter:
“. @MaximeBernier As a caucus colleague and a proud Pakistani-Canadian parliamentarian, I’m incredibly disappointed with this tweet. This kind of rhetoric creates division. Is that your aim? If so, what is your end game with this sort of identity politics? #Pakistan #Canada”
. @MaximeBernier As a caucus colleague and a proud Pakistani-Canadian parliamentarian, I'm incredibly disappointed with this tweet. This kind of rhetoric creates division. Is that your aim? If so, what is your end game with this sort of identity politics? #Pakistan #Canada https://t.co/i9t3E5jOpE
— Salma Ataullahjan (@SenatorSalma) August 15, 2018
Of course, both Scheer and Atauallahjan are wrong on this one. As I pointed out, Bernier is not engaging in identity politics. In fact, he’s doing the exact opposite:
“Is the world upside down? Maxime Bernier was criticizing identity politics, & now some politicians – even some conservatives – are accusing him of identity politics? What the hell are they talking about? Unifying people around common values is exact opposite of identity politics.”
Is the world upside down? Maxime Bernier was criticizing identity politics, & now some politicians – even some conservatives – are accusing him of identity politics? What the hell are they talking about? Unifying people around common values is exact opposite of identity politics.
— Spencer Fernando 🇨🇦 (@SpencerFernando) August 16, 2018
Yet, while the Conservative upper echelons foolishly focus on Bernier (even though Bernier’s comments have widespread support among Canadians), they aren’t mentioning that Iqra Khalid is facing accusations of giving an award to a man who uttered vile anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Here’s what the CP reported:
“A Liberal MP is under fire for presenting a “certificate of appreciation” to a man one Jewish advocacy group labels a purveyor of anti-Semitism.
B’nai Brith Canada has started a petition demanding that Mississauga-Erin Mills MP Iqra Khalid apologize and rescind the federal certificate she presented last week to Amin El-Maoued, the public relations chief of Palestine House.
The Jewish group accuses El-Maoued of leading a July 2017 rally “laden with hate-filled and anti-Semitic slogans,” including chants of “Israel and Hitler are the same.”
Palestine House, which describes itself as “an educational, social and cultural centre of the Palestinian-Canadian Community,” lost all federal funding in 2012. The Conservative government at the time cited what it called a “pattern of support for extremism.”
The head of B’nai Brith – Michael Mostyn – said in a letter to Khalid, “It is not only disappointing, but frightening that you would see fit to reward his dalliances with anti-Semitic discourse and incitement, while simultaneously ostensibly working to eliminate all forms of discrimination in Canada. There is simply no reconciling these two worlds. Presenting El-Maoued with official recognition on behalf of the Canadian government both sanitizes and normalizes the anti-Semitic rhetoric and attitudes that he has purveyed and facilitated.”
This is exactly what Bernier was talking about.
This kind of thing is exactly what Bernier was talking about. Anti-Semitism is rampant in Pakistan, and it’s very disturbing to see Khalid give a taxpayer funded award to someone who is accused of spreading anti-Semitism in Canada. Anti-Semitism, and hate of all forms, goes against Canadian Values, and Bernier was making exactly that point when he noted that more ‘diverse’ values could mean including values that are repugnant. So, some diversity is good, but endless diversity that includes anti-Canadian values is not good.
It shows how broken Canada’s leadership class has become that Khalid is facing almost zero criticism for giving the award to El-Maoued, yet Bernier is being ripped by ‘leaders’ in all parties.
It also shows a disturbing strategic weakness on the part of the Conservatives. They are letting the Liberals set the narrative. By being defensive, and attacking Bernier even though he is saying things that most Conservatives and most Canadians agree with, they are letting the Liberals define the terms of the political debate.
Instead of being defensive, they should redirect attention to things like how the Trudeau Liberals are letting ISIS into our country, how they’re letting terrorists keep their citizenship, how they tried to remove condemnation of FGM from the Canadian Citizenship Guide, and how they’re letting our border be treated like a joke. It’s always better to attack than defend, and the Conservatives should immediately stop their criticism of Bernier and focus attention on Khalid.
If they fail to do so, they will only alienate themselves further from many of their supporters, and that will hurt their chances in the upcoming campaign.
Photos – YouTube