Saturday, March 10, 2007

Moderate Muslims Silenced in Canada

Earlier this week, CBC's The National ran an excellent report on how moderate Muslims in Canada face violence and harassment at the hands of Islamists after speaking out against extremism. The report is available online, via this post at Jihad Watch, and is well worth watching.

The second half of the program is especially interesting. It notes that moderate Muslims, under the rubric of the Muslim Canadian Congress, are asking the Canadian government to ban the efforts of Islamists to label them as "apostates".

Normally, I am opposed to "hate speech" laws, even when applied to Islamists. However, this is one instance where an exception should be made. Apostasy, according to the Islamist interpretation of Islam, is a crime punishable by death. Therefore, when Islamists label a moderate Muslim as an apostate, they are in effect inciting for that person to be murdered. Such accusations have become a common way for Islamists to silence moderates and reformers. This is not free speech, and should not be tolerated in a democratic society.

Empowering moderate Muslims to speak out is essential to both the protection of intellectual freedom and the defeat of jihadist terrorism. The Canadian government must protect Muslim reformers from Islamist violence and intimidation.


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