Bernie Farber is a self-described “social justice advocate” and former Executive Director of the Mosaic Institute, an organization that defines its mission as a “national platform that amplifies the voices of Canada’s diverse communities.”
A valid question to be asked is: are Christian communities included?
In a tirade published by the Toronto Star, Farber refers to Canada Christian College in a most offensive, non-inclusive manner, unbefitting anyone claiming to respect diversity and inclusion. He refers to the college as “the Bible-thumping home of ultra conservative evangelicals.”
“Bible-thumping”? Would Farber ever use terms such as “Qur’an-thumping,” “Hadith-thumping,” or “Torah-thumping”? The latter is most unlikely, as Farber himself is Jewish. But he uses “Bible-thumping” with impunity.
Imagine how this will add to the injury of Christians from countries where they are persecuted, particularly since the Mosaic Institute emphasizes “imported trauma” in advocating for Syrian refugees and other immigrants from Muslim countries. The Christian persecution watchdog, Open Doors, just released data showing that “215 million Christians faced the most severe persecution in 2017, resulting in 3,066 deaths and 1,020 rapes mainly targeting women.” While While North Korea tops the list of the world’s worst countries for Christians, in second place and occupying every place down to number 14 are majority-Muslim countries, with the single exception of Eritrea.
In the article below, Bernie Farber’s acrimony is palpable as he stereotypes people as “Islamophobic” bigots. Speaking for myself only (whom he mentions), I oppose the “Islamophobia” agenda, but I support fighting anti-Muslim bigotry. To spell it out, anti-Muslim bigotry, like all bigotry, is wrong. “Islamophobia” has a different meaning: it aims to curb the freedom of speech to silence speech that is deemed offensive to Islam.
Farber — who prides himself on being the son of Holocaust survivors — should appreciate more than most the role of Islamic anti-Semitism in the Holocaust, given the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem’s pact with Hitler and ongoing anti-Semitic efforts to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the state of Israel. He should also recognize the deep-seated hatred that Islamic supremacists have for Jews, enough to try to deny them a Jewish state. Instead, Farber is a water-carrier for the National Council of Canadian Muslims (CAIR-CAN), and scapegoats Canada Christian College and “Bible-thumping, ultra-conservative evangelicals.”
Farber also unjustly accuses “a group of parents” who “attended a Peel School Board meeting to denounce a Muslim prayer room established at a local high school. One participant ripped up a Qu’ran.” He lies by omission as he fails to tell the full story of why the parents were upset. To read the story, click HERE.
We can hope that Canada Christian College will challenge this fake on his anti-Christian, openly discriminatory insults to “Bible-thumping” evangelicals, whom he disparaged in the name of diversity and inclusion.
“We must overcome Islamophobia in 2018”, by Bernie Farber & Mira Sucharov, Toronto Star, January 2, 2018:
With the New Year upon us, Canadians are preparing to mark the first anniversary of the Quebec Mosque massacre. Jan. 29, 2017 stands as the only time in Canadian history when a gunman walked into a house of worship to murder those at prayer.
On that day, Alexandre Bissonnette allegedly entered la Grande Mosque in Quebec City, where 58 people prayed. Police have charged Bissonnette with murdering six and injuring 19.
Substitute synagogue for mosque, and, as the former CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress, one of us (Bernie Farber) had spent decades fearing just this kind of event. The next morning, Farber, by then the head of Mosaic Institute in Toronto, picked up the phone to reach out to Muslim leaders across the country.
The other author (Mira Sucharov) taught her Israeli-Palestinian Relations course the next morning about rights-violations and violence across the globe. Stunned by the news of the mosque massacre, only later did she manage to address it properly with her class, a class that included several Muslim-Canadians.
Our work is not complete. Since then, a palpable sense of fear has gripped the Muslim community where it continues to hover.
For a short time after the Jan. 29 massacre, Canadians did the right thing. Politicians, faith leaders and ordinary citizens sent offerings of condolences. Faith groups stood in solidarity with Muslim Canadians, the grassroots of Toronto’s Jewish community held “rings of peace” at local mosques where hundreds formed human circles of comfort.
But all too soon, Islamophobia was back with a vengeance. Barely two weeks after the tragic massacre, the hard-right Rebel Media outlet organized hundreds of individuals at Canada Christian College, the Bible-thumping home of ultra conservative evangelicals, to rail against Motion 103.
This motion was a simple statement that passed later that spring in the House of Commons denouncing Islamophobia and all other forms of religious and racial discrimination. Protesters called M-103 a “blasphemy.” Some shouted “Ban Islam” and “Islam is Evil.” Others carried signs declaring “Say No to Islam.”
A few weeks later, anti-Muslim rallies were held in front of downtown mosques where bigots and Islamophobes spewed hatred.
And then, in March, a group of parents attended a Peel School Board meeting to denounce a Muslim prayer room established at a local high school. One participant ripped up a Qu’ran.
In April, one of us (Bernie Farber), in a column for the Toronto Star, urged faith leaders across Toronto to come together at a press conference to loudly and passionately denounce Islamophobia. That invitation was met by an eerie silence, as Islamophobic actions continued apace.
In June, another group of parents picketed John Fraser Secondary School in Mississauga to denounce Islam and prayer rooms. Children were bullied and intimidated on their way to classes by demonstrators wearing t-shirts proclaiming “Stop Islam,” while others screamed racist slogans.
In mid December, Pamela Geller, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead,” spoke at Toronto’s Canada Christian College under the auspices of the far-right Jewish Defence League.
A couple of weeks before that, the same JDL premiered the viciously Islamophobic film Killing Europe at the Toronto Zionist Centre. The same film had been banned earlier in November from being shown at the Ottawa Public Library. And recently, Christine Douglass-Williams, a board member of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, was ousted for Islamophobic commentary.
It was as though the Jan. 29 killings had never happened.
Peel police have since charged one of the Islamophobic protest leaders, Kevin Johnston, with promoting hatred. Still, not enough has been done.
Facing down this kind of unsavoury opposition, we took to these pages in October to lay out the case for why M-103 is necessary.
Data from Statistics Canada reveals uneven progress. After a rise in hate-crimes against Muslims in 2015, the number fell slightly in 2016. But the mosque attack shows we cannot be complacent.
As the Jan. 29 anniversary approaches, Canadians must be silent no longer. We all know that no gender, sexual, religious, ethnic or racial minority is safe as long as another is not…..