Homa Arjomand appeared before Senate
February 2nd, 2015
Date of appearance: Monday February 2nd’, 2015
The prevention of radicalization
I would like to thank Senate committee for giving me this opportunity to address some of problems I witness first hand as a transitional support counselor for abused women and children.
The focus of today’s meeting is the prevention of radicalization in Canada. In order to address this matter, I have divided my discussion into the following parts. First I will briefly talk about the problems within the communities so called Islamic. Then I will concentrate on issues that members of these communities face with society at large. At the end I will focus on suggestions that I am sure will prevent radicalization in Canada.
First the setback within the communities so called Islamic:
• Gender apartheid, segregation of men and women.
• Oppression of women takes the grossest and most outrageous forms in these communities –polygamy, arranged marriage, child bride, Child trafficking for the purpose of marriage, Seegheh (Islamic rent-a-wife), honor killing have become a practice in these communities.
• Men are considered to be the head of house hold (sometimes the second God), men control and run family’s financial, choice of residence, inheritance, employment, divorce, custody of children, and division of properties according to their own backward tradition.
• Imposing housework or housekeeping duties on young girls and women.
• Imposing severe penalties, intimidation, restriction of freedom, and degrading women and girls in family,
• Imposing head cover on children as young as 4 or 5 years
• Preventing children to attend recreational courses such as sport, dance, music and swimming.
• Forcing children to attend Islamic schools, and encouraging them to follow religious dogmas and backward tradition as result promoting hate towards the followers of other religions, or none religious people, promoting hate towards gay and lesbians and all westerners.
• Forcing children to attend or participate religious’ ceremonies, which are incompatible with the laws and regulations regarding health, hygiene, environment and Western values.
• Imposing cruelty to animals
The members of this so called Islamic are living in Canada but are strictly influenced by sharia law and regulation.
But let’s focus on problems that members of communities specificity youth face with society at large
• Under valued
• No validation from main stream society
• No hope for better future
• Lack of social support,
• Lake of state support
• Jobless & poverty
Unfortunately the policy of Multiculturalism has escalated the above problems. This policy has divided the Canadian society into various religious and ethnical communities. This policy has promoted tolerance and respect for so-called minority opinions and beliefs, instead of promoting the respect of the rights of those individuals of that community. These individuals especially women and children are left with no rights of immunity of body and mind, with no guarantee of the necessities of a normal life in present-day society, with no assurance of individual independence, with no ability to seek the truth about all areas of social life, and without equal status in the family. The policy of multiculturalism provided religions with many opportunities to impose their own rules on a specific community within the greater society. It allowed Islamists to grow and penetrate in Canadian system. It was not long ago when political Islam tried to establish Sharia court in Canada. If it was not for the voice of the International campaign against sharia court in Canada and thousands of activists cross Canada and world demanding for one law for all and that must be a secular law, political Islam now was part of Justice System. It was the force of secularism that pushed back establishment of Sharia Court in Canada. In addition to multiculturalism, implementing cultural relativism caused a huge barrier for women, children and youths to integrate. This policy left people in these communities at the mercy of religion and backward culture. Culture and religion have become a primary issue dictating people's lives. Culture has become more important than equality of men and women, more important than the rights of the individual, and more important than children's rights. Only in these circumstances Aqsa Parvez and Shafie family can be tried and sentenced to death by their own family’s belief, for not honoring the backward culture and traditions which are promoted and guarded by religious movements in particular Islamic movement globally. Cultural relativism has become another means to increase religious schools and centers. Under the notion of freedom of religion, states have legally funded religious schools and center and placed the children under religious dogmas, and traditions. With money pouring from, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Emirate and Iran, with Moola and Imams being imported to Canada the result is very obvious, states have paved the path for more segregation, isolation, and discrimination, denied children the opportunity of associating with others, prevented children and their families from progressing in a modern society. bear in mind that Canada is not an isolated country away from all these mess that is happening globally, in fact Canada is directly and indirectly affected by it. I am not talking about the military action against ISIS or economical and political Sanction against Islamic state of Iran; I am talking about permitting the key personal of political Islam i.e Islamic regime of Iran, the ones who directly involved on execution of political opponent, oppositions and followers of other faith to become citizens of Canada. These key individuals soon or late with financial support they receive from Islamists will push to become active member of Canadian system. We should not get surprised, if we see these key personal become active members of various parties in Canada or even PM’s. Right now they are building, organizing and leading their agenda in Canada and expanding their political move not only in Canada but globally.
Dear Senates, radicalization in Canada or elsewhere could not happen, if Islamists could not count on their followers. Unfortunately Canada with its policy of cultural relativism has created enough division, isolation, and segregation. Creation of an environment of youth who are confused, brain washed, lost, and hopeless, these vulnerable youths are now become perfect targets for Islamists. It is enough if Islamists address them as brothers and sisters, assist them or their family financially, or provide them with some types of education in their centers or abroad such as England, Franc or Germany. What are these youth going to lose, if they are not awarded now they will be awarded after dead that is how they been raised and educated with no influence from society at large.
Whom to blame?
I start from myself among all other women, children, and human rights activists for not pushing harder for one secular school system for all, for integration, for separation of religion and state, for religion to become private matter of adult individuals. The next I blame the system for not protecting these vulnerable, precious children and youth, for not defending women’s right and for compromising children’s rights; for not enforcing one law for all citizens of Canada.
can we prevent radicalization?
Unfortunately, it is not a quick fix. But I believe radicalization can be stopped with the combination of public education and legislation
• Our society must accept one set of progressive laws and regulations for all, irrespective of sex, race, and ethnicity or country of origin. One progressive law for all must be enforced. It is the government’s duty to protect the individual, there must be no state within a state. Only a secular state and a secular society that respects human rights can ensure women’s liberation and safety of children.
• Canada needs to focus on integration rather than multiculturalism and put more afford towards individual rights rather than minority rights as whole. As if all members of one community are homogeneous.
• Canada needs to stop the policy of cultural relativism. Cultural sensitivity has caused enough damage to women and children living in communities so called Islamic.
• Make sure religion stays totally separate from justice system and education.
• Stop funding religious schools and centers instead pay more attentions to schools’ needs. Creation of more sports, music, art centers and make them free and accessible for all children under the age 18.
• Excuse my language but Canada needs to stop flirting with political Islam. They are not simply Jihadist or gangsters. They are not cult or sects. Political Islam is a political movement and is seeking for more power and validation from the West. And for it they are willing to do all they can to be recognized. From harsh, inhuman act such as kidnapping girls from school and forcing them to marriage or recruit youth from these so called Islamic minority community who have thirst for validation and achievement of heroism.
• Focus on public education towards equality of man and woman, against domestic violence, through comic books, computer games, TV programs, standup comedians, and all other children’s program. Encourage creative writing focusing on humanity rather that religious heroisim.
• we need more writers and poems who can substitute Islamic Heroism with heroes who put humanity at the center of universe with passion and love.
• Defending unconditional freedom of expression, religion is never exceptional.
• On international level, not to have diplomatic relationship with political Islam that means closing down their embassies. Not associate with any of its political leaders.