Deport all Muslims?
"We have no choice. We have to deport all the Muslims. It’s the only solution.” An old and dear friend is saying this to me over the telephone as we’re deeply into one of our frequent discussions of world events and the current political situation. I should also add that this friend is neither racist nor intolerant (no more so than anyone else, anyway). But, like many Canadians, he is alarmed and fearful. After all, as we’ve so recently discovered, there are home-grown terrorist cells all over the continent just waiting for the opportunity to release some hideous substance or blow something up. Even the most accepting people are questioning certain rights we’ve historically and foolishly allotted to religious orders. And, while I reminded my friend that the majority of our worst terror-related domestic tragedies have been carried out by Christians, I agree something must be done. But not just with Muslims.
The majority of any major religion’s followers are decent. But there’s no denying that almost all religions have their zealots who pick and choose their dogma to support whatever crusade they wish to promote. As always, it’s a case of the crazy few ruining it for the placid many.
It’s not just the jihadists, but all the psychos who use their faith to justify their hatred. They have shown us the worst of religion and all institutions of faith must now be dealt with in a quick and merciless fashion. And the people who must do it are us: you, me and all democratically- minded people who are tired of having our lives placed under constant stress by the teachings of religions we don’t subscribe to. To this end, I have come up with a simple, four-point plan to end these problems.
First, we must speak out with as much volume and conviction as the “chosen ones.” As the American religious right has proven, it is possible for a loud minority to bully an indifferent minority into submission. It’s time we turned these tactics back on their originators. Write to these people and the politicians who sell their souls to appease them, and let them know what you think. Speak back to the media, question their conclusions, challenge their assumptions. Take the time to be heard – it’s not always convenient but, trust me, you’ll feel better for doing it and you’d be surprised what a difference one email, fax or phone call can make.
Second, we need to stop taking these people seriously. Their beliefs, no matter how ancient and revered, are all based on mythology that is every bit as suspect as those who play at seances and have claims of alien abduction. Those beliefs, be they based on Christ, Mohammed, a wild cow or a set of golden plates only one man was able to see, have no place in our school or justice system. If we offend Muslims with political cartoons, if we upset Christians with plays that suggest Christ was gay, let’s not feel bad about it and, most importantly, let’s not stop doing it. They certainly don’t feel bad about offending us. In fact, we should all hold religion up to even more analysis and ridicule than it currently receives.
Third, we must make it clear to all new Canadians that no one’s religious beliefs trump the rules of our secular society. That means no hateful imams or Baptist preachers should be allowed across our borders to spew their garbage into the minds of our young. Each new citizen should be required to swear that they accept, and truly believe, that all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual persuasion or any other modifier, are equal in every way. If they can’t swear to this belief, or if they swear and refuse to follow it, they should be immediately deported. After all, there’s no real shortage of countries in other parts of the world who accept their prejudices – so let them go there.
Finally – and this is the real solution to the religion problem – places of worship must be monitored for hate speech and terrorist indoctrination with the same scrutiny we use for all other forms of entertainment and communication. Some won’t need much policing, while others will need almost constant supervision. Should any religious leader contravene laws, that person should be prosecuted as immediately and ardently as any terrorist.
These rules should allow all Canadian citizens to worship in whatever fashion they see fit without inflicting their subjective morality on others. They should also ensure that religion stays out of all governing institutions. I know religion has been one of my favoured targets in this column but, as better writers than I have already proclaimed, religion is the single biggest threat that our civilization currently faces. Let’s finally put it in its proper place and get to work on solving some real problems.