Saturday, July 03, 2010

Multiculturalism and Salim Mansur

When racists usually begin a rant against a group they love to hate, they usually begin with "I have many friends who are [blank], so it's clear I am not a racist, but [insert racist rant here]."

Better still, if you can find a spokesperson against the group who also happens to be from that group. "After all, he or she is a member of [insert race group], so they can't be racist against their own race, can they?". The States therefore has Michelle Malkin, who despite being of Oriental origin said it was right to intern innocent Japanese during the WW2, and we in Canada have Salim Mansur.

Apparently he is a professor in Western Ontario. I feel sorry for his students who must listen to rants that make no logic. For evidence, I refer to his latest column in the Toronto Sun, titled "Multiculturalism has undermined unity".

I read his article for any evidence to the fact that he refers in the title. First, he himself is an immigrant to Canada in the 1970s, so he is a beneficiary of Canada's multicultural immigration policy. Having gotten entry to an exclusive club, he now wants to shut down that door to newer entrants who play by the same rule. In my book, that's called being selfish.

Mansur writes of Wilfred Laurier (one renowned Canadian) that "Laurier belonged to an age not too long ago when a people could readily, as Scott did a century earlier, unashamedly express love for the country that was their home." Apparently we now live in times where people do not do that, due to multiculturalism.

I was on Parliament Hill on Canada Day. I saw people of many languages and places, all dressed proudly in red and white, unashamedly proud of being Canadian. We love what Canada is and what Canada symbolizes. I saw hijabis in white hijabs and red dresses, I saw French Canadians exchanging high fives with Latino Canadians, and I saw a huge crowd of diverse people that celebrated with gusto the fantastic fireworks over the river Ottawa.

"However charitably we consider the good intentions that launched multiculturalism as a policy for Canada in its second century, the consequences — especially when examined since the events of Sept. 11, 2001 — have increasingly undermined the ideal of Canadian unity."

How? And how does Sept. 11 figure into a discussion about Canada? What specific consequences of multiculturalism has divided that unity?

"Multiculturalism demonstrably promotes politics based on ethnic loyalties in a multiethnic country — countries built by immigrants arriving from different parts of the world are by definition multiethnic and not multicultural — and, thereby, sharpens ethnic quarrels it was supposed to dissolve."

First of all, what does this mean? Second, when have people of different ethnicity quarreled in a similar fashion in Canada? Serbians protested when Canada bombed Serbia, Arabs protested when Israel did something to Gaza, Tamils protested actions in Sri Lanka, and then everyone went home and continued their lives. Should people not protest? All protests were mostly peaceful. Moreover, no Serb, Arab, Tamil, etc. remain consumed by the quarrels in their country of origin. Rather, as Canadians, they all share common concerns such as mortgage, taxes and why the Maple Leafs suck as a hockey team. As a rebuttal of this psuedo-argument, you can take Toronto. A great city built by immigrants from all corners of the world that remains at peace. Despite some bitter obstacles placed in their path by the Canadian system, immigrants come out shining in Canada and have always helped make it better.

In his whole article, not one time does Mansur say WHY multiculturalism is bad. He just says it is. He never says how it undermines unity. Only that it has.

Frankly, what undermines unity in Canada is pure hate mongering drivel sprouted by the likes of Salim Mansur.


'liya said...


We stopped by Dundas Square before heading to the lake on Canada Day and honestly it was just a sea of different people all walking around displaying their free Canada flags (they were giving them out). There were just as many brown people as there were Chinese and white. Some had their flags tucked in their ponytails and some girls had stuck them artfully into their hijabs. Everyone was having a good time.

mezba said...

Liya, I am going to do a post on my Ottawa trip soon, as soon as I get the pictures from my siblings. I think multiculturalism (especially as seen during Canada Day) is a good thing.

Abu Pokemon said...

People just need to chill out. There should be mandatory class for teaching this I were to make the curriculum.

Lat said...

I agree with your arguements.Personally don't know who Salim Mansur is.But no doubt,there are Salim Mansurs in every country in the world.

Many countries have diverse ethnic people living and sharing lives together.There's diversity in unity.But this setup can very fragile and it lies with govt bodies to put things right all the time.

I've always asked myself how I would feel if I'm taken out of my colourful country and put into an ocean of Indians all like me.I'll be so totally out of place :) Because that's not me!

mezba said...

Abu Pokemon, hahaha that is quite funny! A class to teach people how to chill... should be a hit!

Lat, well I lived in Dubai and it was pretty much an Indian city! I have to tell you, not that fun with the narrow mindedness of people when they are all the same (be it Dubai or Alabama).