Headlines every day proclaim the new religion: political correctness, cultural vandalism and censorship — not from Islamic emirates such as Saudi Arabia, but in Western cities right here.
The Writers Union of Canada, for instance, recently apologized for a magazine editorial that defended the right of novelists to create characters from a backgrounds other than their own.
Just think of that: a writer defending the right to use one’s imagination?! What an insult! At least, to “the new Stalinists” it is.
“In my opinion anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities,” Hal Niedzviecki, who was the editor of the union’s magazine, Write, defended freedom in an editorial. The Union then announced that Niedzviecki had resigned.
Another journalist also fell victim to this new religion. Jonathan Kay also recently resigned as editor of the magazine The Walrus. Defending Niedzviecki’s right to use his imagination cost Kay his job.
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When you hear the quite horrific stories of censorship and dangerous restrictions on expression at universities in the US, the UK and Europe, your first reaction might be to laugh at how infantile the nature of political discourse in the student world has become.
Cardiff Metropolitan University banned the use of the word “man” and related phrases, to encourage the adoption of “gender neutral” language. It is the equivalent of the “newspeak” about which Orwell warned: “Ambiguous euphemistic language used chiefly in political propaganda”.
Currently, longstanding expressions carrying no prejudice are now used as the trappings of often fictitious “oppressions.”
City University in London, renowned for its journalism school, is apparently banning newspapers that do not conform to the current student body’s various political biases. If the Sun, Daily Mail and Express are such bad publications, why not allow students to read them and make up their own minds? Perhaps students do not trust their peers to make up their own minds? What if they make up their minds the “wrong” way? To suggest that the brightest and best at our universities cannot contend with a dissenting argument should probably be at least slightly concerning.
There seems to be a growing consensus among student populations that certain views should not be challenged, heard or — if one does not hear them — even known.
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Political correctness (PC) has been bolstering radical Islamism. This influence was most recently shown again in an extensive exposé by the Clarion Project in July 2017, which demonstrates the practice of telling “deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them in order to forget any fact that has become inconvenient” — or, as George Orwell called it in his novel, 1984, “Doublespeak.”
This courtship and marriage between the Western chattering classes and radical Muslim fanatics was elaborated by Andrew C. McCarthy in his crucial 2010 book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.
Since then, this union has strengthened. Both the United States and the rest of the West are engaged in a romance with forces that are, bluntly, antagonistic to the values of liberty and human rights.
To understand this seeming paradox, one needs to understand what radical Islamism and PC have in common. Although Islamism represents all that PC ostensibly opposes — such as the curbing of free speech, the repression of women, gays and “apostates” — both have become totalitarian ideologies.
The totalitarian nature of radical Islamism is more obvious than that of Western political correctness — and certainly more deadly. Sunni terrorists, such as ISIS and Hamas — and Shiites, such as Hezbollah and its state sponsor, Iran — use mass murder to accomplish their ultimate goal of an Islamic Caliphate that dominates the world and subjugates non-Muslims.
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