harper-nationalsecurity-1.png
harper-nationalsecurity-1.png This article is more than 7 years old

VIDEO: Charles Taylor says Stephen Harper’s divisive rhetoric assists terrorist recruiters

A Canadian giant in the field of political theory says Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s racially divisive rhetoric is undermining national security. Charles Taylor called what the Prime Minister is doing “very dangerous” and suggested Harper’s reckless language could contribute to radicalization by playing into the hands of terrorist recruiters. The world-renowned political theorist made the comments […]

A Canadian giant in the field of political theory says Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s racially divisive rhetoric is undermining national security.

Charles Taylor called what the Prime Minister is doing “very dangerous” and suggested Harper’s reckless language could contribute to radicalization by playing into the hands of terrorist recruiters. The world-renowned political theorist made the comments Saturday after speaking at the Broadbent Institute’s Progress Summit 2015.

“They say, look: they despise you, they think that you’re foreign, dangerous, you’re not accepted here, so why don’t you come with us?” Taylor said of terrorist recruiters. “The more you make it sound like that, the more you’re helping them.”

Taylor added that Harper seems blind to the damage inflammatory rhetoric can do to the country: “How come somebody like that doesn’t see the damage he’s doing? There’s something missing — it’s like they’re tone deaf to what they sound like.”

And it seems like Taylor’s not alone on this one. Here’s what Canada’s own Department of Public Safety’s 2011 Counter-Terrorism Strategy had to say about what Canada can do to prevent radicalization and counter extremist propaganda:

“… focus on providing positive alternative narratives that emphasize the open, diverse and inclusive nature of Canadian society and seek to foster a greater sense of Canadian identity and belonging for all.”

Meanwhile, a handbook on preventing radicalization recently published by the RCMP and Canadian Muslim groups warns of the danger of allowing the “accurate and responsible anti-violence civic-narrative” marked by “voices of reason, compassion, mutual respect and pluralism” to be “drowned-out by loud-mouthed hate-mongers and sensational media headlines.”

They also advise not to “refer to terrorists as ‘jihadis’,” since this “gives them a legitimate status in the eyes of the vulnerable” — though it doesn’t seem Stephen Harper has received that memo yet.

Taylor said Canadians need to fight this kind of “scapegoating”:

“We’ve got to fight it wherever it comes up, no quarter. This is something we can give not an inch to, not a centimetre to.”

Conservatives may be jarred by Taylor’s comments, but perhaps none so jarred as Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

In the fall-winter 2014 issue of McGill’s Alumni Magazine, Alexander listed Taylor as his “favourite teacher” and “the one who had the greatest impact on your life.”

“Charles Taylor is much more than a great teacher. In my opinion, he is one of the world’s greatest living political philosophers – perhaps even the very best!  While throwing off many of the analytical tradition’s worst shackles, he has delved into issues such as identity and the self, philosophy of religion, values and community in ways that are at once profoundly modern and deeply rooted.”

Alexander recently came under fire after an e-mail petition to supporters was criticized as a deliberate attempt at creating divisions.

chris-alexander-taylor-quote.png

Photo: PMO.

PressProgress is powered by readers. Not by advertisers.

We’re not a corporate media outlet. We’re a small non-profit news organization that produces award-winning journalism with support from our readers.

If you see value in ad-free, non-profit journalism that holds powerful interests accountable, please consider making an investment in our work today.

 

Invest in Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-05-013 News

Doug Ford’s Budget Includes a Hidden $1.3 Billion ‘Decrease’ in Education Funding

Related Stories

News

Ministry of Colleges Shut Down Ontario PC Candidate’s Private College After It Ran Unaccredited Program

View the post
New

Ontario PC Candidate David Piccini Endorsed by Instagram Influencer With Ties to Hells Angels, Satan’s Choice

View the post
News

Anti-Union Lobby Group Has Received Millions of Dollars From Doug Ford’s Government Since 2021

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.