We are pleased to announce the arrival of a brand new event that allows YOU, your favorite person on earth to participate in called CAFÉ HITCHENS. That’s right, this is our very own small debate group that will be taken place in a scotch bar and not an actual café because nothing brings out the master debater in all of us like a little alcohol. As I have mentioned before, at this café (which is not an actual café at all, once again it’s a scotch bar) we will carefully examine contemporary and contentious criteria that is sure to make the P.C. police quiver with rage. At each café we will set the debate up like a meal, there will be three subjects raised an around a half an hour (only as a guideline) for each topic. So, what is for dinner at this months café?
Appetizer: “Why would Canadians, contrary to our own values, embrace a practice at that time (of gaining citizenship) that is not transparent, that is not open and, frankly, is rooted in a culture that is anti-women?”
This is a recent statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper when speaking on Muslim women wearing a niqab during the ceremony to be sworn in as a Canadian citizen. The Liberals and the NDP, call him a fear monger and an Islamaphobe. Do you agree?
See Video Below.
Main Course: Recently we have seen many public speakers who have been invited to major universities who harbour “controversial” ideas be shouted down or denied entry into the schools by student alliances and protestors.
Question 1) Are todays universities a place where all ideas controversial or not be voiced, debated and argued?
Question 2) Do modern western Universities hold a specific set of approved political and social principals and decent from these principals is not tolerated?
Question 3) Where do we draw the line for who does and does not get to speak at a University?
Desert: The Pegida movement. Originating in Germany as a patriotic movement of European peoples against the Islamization of their culture has come to Montreal. Depending on when you read this post, the march has either happened or is set to happen on Saturday March 28th 2015. The group claims not to be anti-immigration but anti Islamization. They believe that western values and culture has been jeopardized in order to accommodate Muslim people with radically different values. In the Media across Europe that have been given the label as racists, neo nazi’s and islamophobic biggots. However, they claim to be none of these things. I have attached a copy of their mission statement from Pagedia Canada:
PEGIDA POSITION PAPER
1. PEGIDA is FOR the admission of war refugees and political refugees or those who suffer religious persecution. 2. PEGIDA is FOR the INTEGRATION of refugees into our land and culture.
3. PEGIDA is FOR the utilization and implementation of existing laws on asylum and deportation!
4. PEGIDA is FOR a zero-tolerance policy against delinquent asylum seekers and migrants!
5. PEGIDA is FOR resistance to misogyny and violent political ideology.
6. PEGIDA is FOR preserving and protecting our Christian-Judeo based culture.
7. PEGIDA is AGAINST arms sales to unconstitutional, illegal or terrorist organizations.
8. PEGIDA is AGAINST allowing parallel societies in our midst, such as Sharia law, Sharia police, etc.
9. PEGIDA is AGAINST radicalism whether religious or politically motivated!
10. PEGIDA is AGAINST preachers of hate, no matter what religion you belong to!
I want to know your opinions.
Q1) Is this a movement that sounds racist? Does this movement interest you?
Q2)Is marching to raise awareness of the Islamization of the western world helpful or harmful?
Q3)Is there such a thing as Islamophobia?
see clips/articles below.
I have recently reached out to members of McGill University and Concordia as well as Muslim groups in Montreal to join us in this dialogue so everyone will get a chance to have their voices heard. So far from the Muslim group… *crickets* But stayed tuned I will keep trying.
To RSVP on Facebook, click here.
To RSVP on Meetup, click here.
Spelling mistakes are Andrew’s.
The illustration of Christopher Hitchens is used with permission from its amazing artist, Yuliya Kashapova.