While Western nations will generally preach “separation of church and state,” are they now combining mosque and state? Certain critics say yes, citing as a case in point Canada’s fining of a man $12,000 — for failing to remove his shoes upon entering an apartment he rented to a Muslim couple.
The fine was levied by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) on 53-year-old father of three John Alabi, a Christian and an immigrant himself. The charge? “Religious discrimination” against Egyptian-born couple Walid Madkour and Heba Ismail. WND.com provides more detail:
The tenants were planning to move out of his rental home, and he says he gave the couple the required 24-hours notice that he would be showing the apartment to another tenant.
They told him not to come while they were praying, and to text first. He agreed. But when they stopped answering his text messages, he showed the apartment.
The Muslim tenants waited eight months before filing their grievance with the human rights tribunal, where they receive free representation, the Toronto Sun reported. The couple even searched his Facebook page and found a joke they considered offensive and used [it] to bolster their case. The tribunal agreed he harassed them and failed in his duty to accommodate their religious needs — and awarded them $6,000 each — plus interest.
Unsurprisingly, there are conflicting stories here. According to the Huffington Post, OHRT adjudicator Jo-Anne Pickel stated that the Muslim couple’s request that Alabi go beyond the law to accommodate their religious practices was reasonable and that a video showed he was insensitive to their no-shoes demand. Alabi maintains that the couple was unreasonable and that he bent over backwards to satisfy them.
As for the shoes, “Alabi claims the couple never had a problem before when he wore his shoes to make repairs in the apartment,” reports the Toronto Sun. “And he wasn’t wearing outside shoes, but the shoes he wore in his own home. He’d come around to their apartment wearing rubbers over them and then take them off at the door. For that, he was accused of being racist.”
The paper continues, “‘I have been victimized,’ Alabi says. ‘They are using their religion to victimize me.’”
Whatever the case, is it the government’s role to involve itself in such matters and levy a draconian fine? It’s behavior some critics have likened to Sharia (Islamic law) statism. As Christian writer Ralph Sidway put it, “Canada is now blatantly implementing Sharia law … [and] is in essence behaving like a conquered, dhimmi state, extracting jizya from its citizens to appease its Islamic masters, who rank highest in the Canadian Human Rights Hierarchy.” “Jizya” is a special punitive tax non-Muslims may be required to pay in Islamic lands.
If Sidway’s statement seems an exaggeration, note that punishment for violating Sharia norms (such as not removing shoes in mosques) is common in Muslim lands; a current example is some Tanzanian Christians under arrest for frying fish during Ramadan.
Of course, what’s being enforced on Alabi falls not under Sharia but Canadian “human-rights” law. The critics’ point, however, is that the effect is the same: A non-Muslim is punished for violating Islamic norms — and consequently must pay money to Muslims.
Moreover, such actions are now common under Western governments. Just consider some recent and not-so-recent examples:
• In New York, a large painting of Jesus left on a fence at a mosque is being investigated as a hate crime.
• A United Kingdom cafeteria worker has been suspended for attending a “UK Against Hate” anti-jihadism rally.
• Islamic immersion courses have been taught in California and Oregon public schools; this involved students learning Muslim prayers, donning Islamic garb and being taught the “five pillars” of Islam.
• Australian parliamentarian Susanne Winter was convicted of “incitement” and fined $31,000 in 2009 after making statements critical of Islam and its founder, Mohammed.
• UK political leader Paul Weston was arrested in 2014 after publicly reciting a Winston Churchill passage critical of Islam.
• As anti-Sharia activist Pamela Geller points out, American cultural pressure already enforces the Sharia imperative of rendering it impossible to depict Mohammed in a publicly visible way — no one chops off your head, or your career, if you show Jesus immersed in a jar of urine, though.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government just quietly paid $10.5 million to jihadi Omar Khadr, prompting the American ex-soldier blinded by a grenade allegedly thrown by Khadr to state that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be charged with treason.
But there’s plenty of treasonous spirit to go around. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron said in 2007 that “it is mainstream Britain which needs to integrate more with the British Asian [Muslim] way of life, not the other way around.” Swedish Democrat politician Mona Sahlin was even bolder in 2001, stating when addressing Muslim influence that “the Swedes must be integrated into the new Sweden; the old Sweden is never coming back.”
Of course, no Western leader will overtly say that the “New West” includes a Sharia future. But cultural battles are like all others: Victory goes not to the apathetic, but the passionate.