Monday, November 4, 2013

Homophobic Hate Preacher Siraj Wahhaj coming to Winnipeg

Winnipeg has a vibrant and bright Muslims community. There are a lot of good people in the Muslim community that have found a home in this city. And it's wonderful to have a diverse community to celebrate and enjoy. It's wonderful to go around this city and see people from the four corners of the earth, representing all races, ethnicities, cultures and religions.

BUT, I have a big problem with the idea of Siraj Wahhaj coming to Winnipeg to the Winnipeg Grand Mosque on November 10th. Why? Well, although many right wing conservatives attach on to any scrap of evidence that he is associated with terrorism, my concern is his extreme homophobia. It is difficult to get the truth on terrorism connections when a Google search brings up every right wing blog out there that would connect anyone who is Muslim to terrorism. I'm not saying he doesn't have dubious connections or radical ideas in this direction, but I am saying that I don't know. There is talk about some connection to the first World Trade Center bombing, but I can't find much clarification that isn't heavily biased to know for sure.

What I DO know is that he did this lecture which can only be described as extremely homophobic and, in my mind, extremely concerning. In this lecture titled "Masculine Women and Feminine Men" which is readily available on YouTube, the man makes it very clear his disgust in homosexuality, as well as feminism and whatever else he is extremely angry and shouty over. At this point, I encourage you to watch the whole video below to see exactly what he has to say:

Now, I don't think he should NOT come to Winnipeg, necessarily. BUT, I believe that this is a man with some disgusting ideas that deserves to be met with protest. I believe that he should not just come quietly into our community and slip out without people knowing what this man stands for. It is obvious from his statements that he is an extreme right wing ultra social conservative religious man. I have a problem with social conservatism to begin with, especially when it becomes mixed with religion. His statements against LGBTs are not only offensive, but misguided, based on fallacies and religious dogma, prejudiced, reek of a sense of moral superiority, are extremely divisive, and, given his fire and brimstone approach, pretty damn scary. Oh, sure, he redeems himself at the end of this ranting to say that violence should not be done to LGBTs. Great, wonderful! BUT, using extreme rhetoric to fire people up first off, and then toss in a call for non violence makes it pretty darn hollow.

Here are a few points that I wish to make. First off, why is this man coming to Winnipeg? Apparently, this is a big deal with tickets expected to go fast, and apparently he is well loved and influencial and blah, blah, blah. Well, whoa now, this guy, who rails on about gays and how horrible homosexuality is and how there is no place for it in Islam and never will be, etc. etc., is someone that people in this community are looking up to?? And wish to bring him here as a representative of Islam??

Further more, on the poser for the event, he is called "One of the most influential Muslims in the History of North America". Oh great, that doesn't make me feel very good. Here is a guy who spreads horribly homophobic views who is one of the most influential Muslims in the History of North America?? That makes this lecture and these views all that much more repulsive and dangerous.

Here is the deal. As I have said before in previous posts on similar subjects, there are so many good, forward thinking, liberal Muslims out there. This guy doesn't do Islam many favours with his over the top, hateful rhetoric. And the fact that he is being welcomed, open armed into our community as a great man leaves me quite unsettled. Obviously, he is free to come. But, I do wish more knew about some of the things this guy has said. I mean, imagine if the Westboro Baptist Church folks were coming to Winnipeg. The outcry would be tremendous. Given Siraj Wihhaj's remarks, I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between him and Fred Phelps.

Remember back when Anne Coulter came to Canada and the outrage she caused? And, it caused outrage for good reason. She is a vile, horrible woman who has made a pretty penny off of being a vile, horrible woman spreading far right wing ideas. Well, again, I can't see much difference between the lecture embedded above, and the disgusting rhetoric of Anne Coulter.

So, come to Winnipeg Siraj, but I hope that you are met with protest and serious questioning as opposed to just open, loving, adoring arms of people blinded by your influence and whatever greatness they seem to see in you. I hope you understand the danger of your statements and how not just damaging, but how cruel they are. What is different about the rhetoric you used and the rhetoric of a school yard bully? None. None at all. I want you to know that. I want all of these eager people who are snatching up tickets to see you to know that you aren't the great, wonderful man that people seem to think you are. But, you will probably be showered with love and gratitude and your disgusting, deplorable side will be ignore, and you will carry on your merry way to the next engagement where the same garbage will happen again and you will remain unchallenged in your false, dangerous ideas. 

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