Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Gerald Caplan rightly asks what media outlets think they have to gain by promoting anti-Muslim bigotry:
The goal of the Muslim-haters is surely clear enough. By lumping all Muslims together as terrorists, by equating a violence-prone Muslim lunatic fringe with all Muslims, by insulting the hundreds of millions of moderate Muslims everywhere, they alienate all Muslims and create among non-Muslims an irrational fear of and hostility to all Muslims. What purpose can this serve other than to provoke a clash, possibly a violent one, between Muslims and the rest? Anders Breivik didn’t come from nowhere, nor will the next Breivik.

But what’s the interest of certain media in enabling these haters to spread their gospel, to fan the flames of intolerance? What audience are they after? What do they expect their audiences to make of all this sympathetic exposure to rabid anti-Muslim feelings? Why are they inciting ordinary people to hate other ordinary people? Why?
- Though in fairness at least a couple of outlets are instead looking for other ways to divide Canadians as well - with Postmedia looking particularly unsubtle in having the nerve to criticize NDP MPs for not participating in what it explicitly describes as a hunt for "political skeletons".

- Chantal Hebert is right to note that this fall's provincial elections figure to have massive implications when it comes to other levels of government as well. But I'll reiterate that the issue isn't Ontario alone: instead, it's the real danger of a Con-friendly sweep in all of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario that could open the door for Stephen Harper to ram through constitutional changes on an ideological basis.

- Finally, Karim Bardeesy profiles Rathika Sitsabaiesan as the new face of the NDP. And those interested in joining in the festivities from her busy Regina trip (including a Q & A at the U of R this morning, a barbecue at noon and a wine and cheese social this evening) can get the details here and here.

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