Political correctness and identity politics undermine efforts to protect national security

Further proof has surfaced that political correctness and “woke” politics clouds judgment when it comes to formulating policy. Perhaps most dangerously when it comes to our national security.

Shane Miller Montreal QC

Further proof has surfaced that political correctness and “woke” politics clouds judgment when it comes to formulating policy. Perhaps most dangerously when it comes to our national security.

The Trudeau government is meticulous when it comes to not offending groups it sees as beleaguered, even if hinders its ability to tackle issues honestly. The political gains and social currency it garners from this are copious. And with the election quickly approaching, they might as well stay the course in order to maintain the approval of useful voting groups.

The government has published a newly revised Public Safety report on terrorist threats to Canada that has some interesting omissions. References to Islamist extremism are now nowhere to be found.

The report discusses Islamist terrorist groups like the Islamic State and Hezbollah, but there is no mention of the Sunni and Shia ideologies of which they’re expositors. Nevertheless, it still claims that the principal terrorist threat “continues to stem from individuals or groups who are inspired by violent ideologies and terrorist groups, such as Daesh or al-Qaida.”

Such omissions are embarrassing, and clearly just an attempt to mollify members of the Muslim community or the social justice movement. What’s more, when first published, the report included a relatively satisfying explanation of radical Islamic ideology. And section headings for its Sunni and Shia variants were included to highlight their importance.

As Stewart Bell of Global News points out, these were all cut out and any passages were modified to avoid saying the terms. For example, the description of the “principal terrorist threats” initially read: “The principal terrorist threat to Canada and Canadian interests continues to be that posed by individuals or groups inspired by the Sunni Islamist ideology and terrorist groups, such as Daesh or al-Qaida.”

This is a much more lucid description of the threat with which we are forced to grapple. And it should be a rule of security policy that identifying the ideological nature of the threat should be the first step in developing a clear-minded plan of action.

So what’s the government’s rationale? Something we should be used to by now, and it’s hogwash.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale explained that he wanted to ensure the report used language that wouldn’t “impugn or condemn an entire religion.” Continuing on, he claimed that language needed to be “precise” and report on the issue “in a clear and accurate way that does not impugn an entire community or an entire religion that is not responsible for terrorist behaviour.”

It does indeed. But perhaps in being so precise, we can acknowledge that radicalization still permeates certain corners of the Muslim community, while also conceding that not every Muslim will act upon the more aggressive passages of the Qu’ran.

The report dedicates a lot of space to explaining white nationalism and what must be done to confront it. It explicates how these right-wing ideologues are active online, and create “an online culture of fear, hatred, and mistrust to exploit real or imagined concerns.” In doing so, they diffuse an ideology of which the main components are said to be anti-government sentiment, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, male supremacy (misogyny), and homophobia. It can sometimes result in violence; however, the report surmises that racism, bigotry, and misogyny don’t “usually result in criminal behaviour.”

The summary is pretty broad and contradicts itself, and the fear has evidently been precondition for censorship that is only bound to become more intense. And may be broadly applied to those who are manifestly not white nationalists, but whose concerns over Islamism may appear to be comparable to those of white nationalists in the eyes of the ignorant outrage-seeking and social justice types.

Intersectional style thinking is also present in the government’s reasoning for the superfluous revisions. Scott Bardsley, Goodale’s spokesperson, said: “The impact of these terms may not be readily apparent to some who come from places of privilege, who seldom experience judgment based on skin colour or religion alone.”

Matters of national security are also best construed through the lens of power dynamics and the victimhood hierarchy, I guess. This is absurd, and illustrates a belief in the idea that Islamism is rooted not in ideology, but in some social or economic grievance that hasn’t been redressed.

Trudeau himself attributed the Boston Marathon bombings to someone “feeling excluded,” and emphasized the need to not marginalize people who already feel like they’re “enemies of society.” This is a popular belief, but it’s indisputably false. The backgrounds of many jihadists confirm they were positioned to be among the most privileged in their societies, but were seduced by religious fervour and the chance to achieve one’s martyrdom through terrorism.

Political correctness and our love affair with multiculturalism have allowed the sensation-seekers to dictate the way in which we conceive of security threats and policies. Obviously, this doesn’t bode well for citizens; and it shouldn’t bode well politically for the government, whose members would rather stay subservient to politically correct orthodoxies instead of carrying out their duties. Come this autumn, hopefully we can return to having moral clarity when it comes to Islamism and threat that emanates from it.


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