Free speech? It appears guest speakers at synagogues now have to register their opinions in advance with police Ezra Levant, The Toronto Sun
Pamela Geller, author of the book The Post-American Presidency and a opponent of the proposed World Trade Center Islamic Center answers emails inside her home on August 3, 2010 in New York City. (JASON ANDREW/Getty Images
Most Canadians don’t know who she is, but she did something for us that no Canadian did: She arranged for a proper gravestone for Aqsa Parvez, the teenaged Canadian girl murdered by her father and brother in a so-called honour killing in 2007.
Aqsa was murdered for daring to dress like a Canadian, instead of wearing a punishment sack, as women in shariah countries like Saudi Arabia are required to do.
But Parvez was also victimized even after she died. No Muslim cemetery would agree to have her buried there. Nor would they allow a marker of any sort to commemorate her.
It’s almost as if the leaders of the Muslim community blamed Aqsa and tacitly agreed with her murderers, that she was dishonourable.
For two years, until her family arranged for an inscribed stone, Aqsa was buried in an unmarked grave, in a public cemetery.
For two years, all that was on her tomb was a number, 774. Her murderer father must have been pleased; he got his wish, didn’t he? His daughter was erased from life and, for a time, erased again in death.
This did not sit well with Geller. She set about raising funds for a proper memorial for Aqsa.
Once the Muslim cemetery refused, she proposed to have a small memorial built at the University of Guelph’s arboretum, with the simple inscription: “Aqsa Parvez: Loved, Remembered, Free.”
Tasteful and understated. A small gesture of justice and freedom for a murdered girl. Paid by donors.
And the university refused.
Eventually, Geller found the one place that would accept a memorial — not in Canada, but in Israel.
Geller has a tough side, too. She organized New Yorkers, especially firemen and cops, to oppose a massive Ground Zero victory mosque proposed for the site of the 9/11 attacks. And she raises funds for ads on American subways and buses warning against jihad and terrorism.
She’s an enormously popular speaker — partly because she’s an energetic doer, too.
Which is why she was invited to speak in north Toronto next weekend, at a Jewish synagogue.
But then Insp. Ricky Veerappan of the York Regional Police got wind of Geller’s speech. Veerappan is with something called the diversity, equity and inclusion bureau of that police force. You’d think he’d want to meet Geller, to learn about honour killings
Geller’s a bit of an expert in that.
But Veerappan didn’t want to meet Geller.
Nor did he want anyone else to meet her. He contacted the rabbi at the synagogue, and told him to cancel Geller’s speech — and that if he didn’t, the rabbi would lose his position as a police chaplain. The rabbi caved.
What crime did Geller commit?
Veerappan was happy to tell QMI Agency: “Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities.”
Really? Like what — offering a proper burial for girls killed in honour killings? Standing up for women’s rights, against shariah law? Warning against terrorism? But even if her values were “wrong,” what business is that of a cop? Do guest speakers at synagogues now have to register their opinions in advance with the police?
So that’s who’s banned. But who’s welcome?
As I write this, a student group not affiliated with the University of British Columbia is scheduled to host a conference on campus with a guest speaker, named Leila Khaled, appearing via Skype.
Unlike Geller, Khaled doesn’t believe in peace and security. Khaled is a Palestinian terrorist, convicted of hijacking planes, twice.
That’s Canadian “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Our police will bully a Jewish rabbi into cancelling a speech from a Jewish New Yorker whose chief contribution to our country was to give Aqsa Parvez a proper gravestone.
But a convicted terrorist? No problem! Help yourself to our leading universities, paid for by public tax dollars. Maybe police will even provide security — to keep out any troublesome Jews.