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$21.95 hardcover · 224 pages
9978-1594037641-January 2015

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The theme of The Great Divide is that the populations of the democratic world, from Boston to Berlin, Vancouver to Venice, are becoming increasingly divided from within, due to a growing ideological incompatibility between modern liberalism and conservatism. This is partly due to a complex mutation in the concept of liberal democracy itself, and the resulting divide is now so wide that those holding to either philosophy on a whole range of topics: on democracy, on reason, on abortion, on human nature, on homosexuality and gay marriage, on freedom, on the role of courts … and much more, can barely speak with each other without outrage (the favorite emotional response from all sides). Clearly, civil conversation at the surface has been failing -- and that could mean democracy is failing.

This book is an effort to deepen the conversation. It is written for the non-specialist, and aims to reveal the less obvious underlying ideological forces and misconceptions that cause the conflict and outrage at the surface -- not with any expectation the clash of values will evaporate, but rather that a deeper understanding will generate a more intelligent and civil conversation.

As an aid to understanding, the book contains a handful of Tables directly comparing modern liberal and conservative views across a range of fundamental moral and political “issues” so that curious readers can answer the book’s main question: “Where Do You Stand?” An interesting result in testing this exercise has been the number of people who find they “think” one way, but “live” another.    

 

Good Reading
Essays (37)
« Islamist Terrorism in Canada, Against Canada, & Against the West | Main | How To Fix the Multiculturalism/Immigration Problem »
Friday
Mar172017

Historical Examples of Inter-cultural Violence in Canada 

    Some Historical Examples of Canadian Inter-Cultural Violence Prior to 9/11 

. * In April 1868 Thomas D’Arcy McGee was assassinated in Montreal by an Irish terrorist who was continuing the Irish Fenian conflict on Canadian soil.

*  In the 1920s the first organized terror threats against Canada came from “The Sons of Freedom,” a minority sect of the Doukhobors, a Russian religious community dedicated to … non-violence. Over four decades this sect was responsible for “over a thousand arson and bomb attacks” (Bell, Cold Terror, p.21). They burnt many Doukhobor villages, planted dynamite bombs, attacked schools, and paraded naked. In October 1924 they blew up a train, killing six people including the main Doukhobor leader. Canadian police stopped them only by the early 1960s.

* Beginning in the early 1960s Cuban exiles from Fidel Castro’s island socialism attacked Cuban interests in Canada, mostly in Montreal; Serbs and Croats angry over ethnic tensions in what was then Yugoslavia attacked each other in Canada; and the Arab-Israeli conflict (ongoing) became violent in the 1970s (then mostly aimed at diplomats in Canada).

* In October 5, 1970, British Diplomat James Cross was kidnapped, and on October 17, Vice-Premier of Québec Pierre Laporte was murdered by French-Canadian terrorists of the FLQ (Front de libération du Québec). They were fighting to separate Québec from Canada and form a new French nation. The men responsible served jail terms of only seven to eleven years.

* Beginning in the late 1970s, Armenian terrorists bent on revenge for what Turkey had done to their grandparents in World War I, targeted the Air Canada baggage center for bombing, murdered a Turkish Military Attaché (Colonel Altikat) on an Ottawa street, then murdered a Canadian security guard (Claude Brunelle) during an armed takeover of the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa.

* In 1982 “The Squamish Five” bombed a hydro-electric station in B.C., and a Litton Industries building in Toronto. They were protesting the “American War Machine.” They were eventually caught and jailed.

* A videotape of dozens of turbaned Sikhs at the Toronto airport on July 6, 1984, shows them all standing with their swords raised in the air, chanting “Death to Indira Ghandi!” On October 31 of that year she was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguard. Hindus retaliated. CSIS warned that this would lead to “serious animosity between the two groups in Canada.”

* In 1985 Sikh terrorists belonging to the Canadian branch of Babbar Khalsa, a radical group fighting for their own Sikh State (Khalistan) succeeded in blowing up Air India flight #182 killing all 329 passengers, of which 280 were Canadian citizens. They were also behind the attempted destruction of another Air India flight that failed, when the bomb they planted exploded in Narita Airport, killing two Japanese baggage handlers. The court case over this attack took over twenty years to conclude at a cost of $130 million. Neither of the two Sikh-Canadians charged was ever convicted. One witness prepared to testify against them was murdered. Only one man, Inderjit Singh Reyat was convicted - for making the Narita bombs. He received a five-year sentence in 2003. In 2003 Babbar Khalsa was finally listed as a terrorist organization, eighteen years after the Air India tragedy. Prior to this it was given charitable status and gave Canadian tax receipts for its blood money until 1996 when this status was revoked. Canada’s Air India terrorism attack was the largest mass murder in Canadian history, the largest attack in history prior to 9/11, and for Canada was proportional to the American 9/11 attack in which around 3,000 innocents died. But in contrast to the American public reaction, neither the Canadian reaction was muted – perhaps for racial reasons: the victims, though all Canadian citizens, were ethnic Indians. Prime Minister Mulroney embarrassed himself publicly by expressing his condolences to India. The separatist Khalistan movement has mostly fizzled in India, but “maintains a small but loud presence here in Canada.” (National Post, October 28, 2009).

* In 1997 Canadian Sikh radicals attacked Sikh moderates with knives and swords over Temple policy and control.

* In 1998 the Publisher of the Indo-Canadian Times, Tara Singh Hayer, was attacked and left paralyzed from the waist down; later the same year, he was  murdered. While no one has ever been charged, it is widely believed that this crime was carried out by Sikh extremists since he was prepared to provide incriminating evidence in connection with the Air India case. 

* Canadian terrorists are known to have taken part in: the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, bombings in Israel, political killings in India; the murder of tourists in Egypt; the 1995 bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad that killed seventeen; a 1996 truck-bombing in Sri Lanka that killed almost 100 civilians; 

Reader Comments (2)

Black pages of history. But we must know this. Thank you for sharing
You are welcome, Darren. I don't think clear action against any kind of evil is possible unless we begin by describing it accurately and facing it.
March 22, 2017 | Registered CommenterWilliam Gairdner

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