Last November 12th an ostensible “Large Demonstration Against Hate and Racism” was held in Montreal, organized by a coalition of more than 165 organizations. The demo organizers also denounce Bill 62, the so-called “religious neutrality” law recently adopted by the government of Quebec, as well as what they refer to as the “far-right.”
Fortunately this very dubious event was not a great success. An account in Le Devoir reports only a few hundred demonstrators. Nevertheless, there is reason for concern given the large number of associations which endorsed the march and especially because the political orientations which are evident in the Call to Action are precisely those present in mainstream media and among the majority of politicians. In fact, those orientations are drearily conformist, reflecting an intellectual orthodoxy which is imposed upon us ceaselessly, both by media and politicians.
The Call to Action for the demo is a remarkable example of dogmatism and hypocrisy. Here are some quotes:
For several years we’ve seen the rise of racist hate speech in Quebec. The Parti Québecois’ “Charter of Values” in 2013, the election of Donald Trump in the USA, and the rise of populist, xenophobic political parties in Europe have galvanized the development of the far-right here. These forces have made a splash with their racist polemics. Far from cooling down this process, the Quebec City mosque massacre seems to have propelled this hateful discourse, normalizing it in the public imagination. […]
Oppose racism, Islamophobia, colonialism, sexism, transphobia, and all forms of hate encouraged by the far-right.
Support a society without borders, based on solidarity and inclusiveness.
Denounce capitalism and austerity, which are the causes themselves – not immigrants or people of colour – at the root of poverty and growing social insecurity.
This collection of inconsistencies begs to be deconstructed. Here are a few points:
- The Call to Action speaks of “Hate and Racism” but it specifies neither what races are targeted, nor the targets of the alleged hatred.
- The Call to Action conflates the “Charter of Values” (sic)—i.e. the Charter of Secularism proposed by the previous Quebec government—with the election of Donald Trump. These two issues are completely unrelated. The secularism which the Charter proposed is a left-wing measure, an excellent means of managing religious diversity, inspired by the political history of France. Trump, on the other hand, is an incompetent American right-wing politician, allied with the Christian American far-right, who succeeded in getting elected to the presidency thanks to the extremely corrupt electoral system in that country and thanks also to the neoliberalism of his main rival which was very unpopular with a large portion of the electorate.
- Worse, the Call to Action conflates the Charter of Secularism with the European far-right, which is total nonsense.
- The Call to Action is itself an expression of hatred because it promotes hatred of secularists. This hatred has been a very serious problem for years. The Liberal Party of Quebec, Islamists and a certain fake “left” have propagated it assiduously, defaming anyone and everyone who supports secularism, including secularists from Muslim backgrounds, by gratuitously associating it with racism and xenophobia.
- The Call to Action commits the horrific gaffe of denouncing so-called “Islamophobia,” that imaginary racism, a tendentious buzzword used by Islamists to stifle any criticism of their ideology. Even worse, the text places “Islamophobia” on an equal footing with sexism and transphobia! Try asking women and trans persons in countries where Islam is the state religion whether their rights are adequately protected!
- The Call to Action denounces capitalism and austerity—thus it opposes neoliberalism—while at the same time promoting a “society without borders” which is precisely what neoliberalism aims to do in order to weaken or destroy the ability of nations to defend the interests of their citizens.
What we have here is a collection of important aspects of a mentality which has become known as the “regressive left,” i.e. that fake left which is strongly imbued with the values (or lack of values) of postmodernism and which displays a shameful complacency with respect to Islamism. In particular, this pseudo-left, instead of criticizing the Islamist veil, that banner of the Islamist far-right and odious symbol of the enslavement of the woman, actually promotes it! The stupidity of this position is unfathomable.
If there is a “hateful discourse” which is currently being normalized “in the public imagination,” it is in fact the discourse conveyed by this fake left, a movement which will not tolerate anyone who does not slavishly parrot its dogma.
Instead of combatting the far-right as this demonstration pretended to do, its Call to Action indicates that its organizers and signatories play into the hands of the far-right, helping to strengthen it. They do this in at least three ways:
- They are objective allies of the Islamist far-far-right and enable its program. Yes, I do mean “far-far-right” because Islamism is to the right of other far-right movements such as the Christian far-right or “identitarian” nationalists. Nothing is more identitarian than the Islamist ideology.
- Because of their inconsistencies, they discredit the left, thus granting legitimacy to the right in general.
- They create great resentment in the general population which, while not duped by the Islamists’ tactics, find themselves the targets of a myriad of accusations (e.g. racism) for their “sins” condemned by the fake left. (Moreover, in the absence of more precise information, I am convinced that this phenomenon can explain the massacre at the Quebec City mosque in January of 2017.)
The political direction promoted by the November 12th demonstration is disastrous for Quebec. The groups which supported the demo have a duty to reconsider their priorities and to break with this regressive pseudo-left.