How lovely to discuss books over brunch! You need to live in Toronto to join Matchbook Book Club. November 30, 2017

Any Calgarians interested in joining a bookclub? For a variety of discussion tones, visit The Vine & Verse. November 27, 2017

Montrealers needed for Women Fiction Wine bookclub. Being a wine drinker is optional! August 10, 2017

Reading selections for this coming season at Northern Escape Book Club, located in Chapleau, Ontario. June 1, 2017

Updated book list at The Bent Pages. December 20, 2016

Bookclub friends in Ottawa looking for new bookclub friends at the social book clubNovember 3, 2016

Bringing together intellectual fellowship during the day, the Ottawa South Town Readers is looking for members.  November 2, 2016

Mystery Lovers of Toronto welcomes anyone who just loves mysteries. September 5, 2016

Looking for a few more people to join the Women from Orleans book club. Located just out of Ottawa, we are an open-hearted group. February 1, 2016

Book review completed for The Humana Chronicles and The Dream Nation by Michael Bellusci. July 20, 2015

Book review completed for Guts: Get Uncomfortable to Succeed by Betty Franklin, RN. May 7, 2015

The Aurora Women's Book Club will accept women of any age, interested in classics to guilty pleasures! April 24, 2015

The Unputdownable Book Club appeared on The Social! March 7, 2015

Book review completed for "Finding Matthew: A Child with Brain Damage, A Young Man with Mental Illness, A Son and Brother with Extraordinary Spirit" by Donna Kirk February 23, 2015


Featured Book Club

The Rimbey Library Book Club

Located in Rimbey, Alberta this book club meets the last Thursday of every month (except in December) from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. The members generally pick one book to read and discuss each month. Please call the Rimbey Library at 403-843-2841 for more information or visit more...

Digging into petition 411

Let's look at petition 411 with close to 70,000 signatures which the Liberals are showing as proof that Canadians need to study Islamophobia. Whatever the hell that word is. Racism against Islam is not a medical condition. So this word is so wrong in so many ways.

The petitions says basically that
a) Islam is a religion of over 1.5 billion people worldwide. Since its founding more than 1400 years ago, Muslims have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the positive development of human civilization. This encompasses all areas of human endeavors including the arts, culture, science, medicine, literature, and much more.
Muslims have contributed to human civilization blah, blah, who hasn't? And you are 1.5 billion people? Originating in the Middle East? How is that going for you in the Middle East right now? Crops look good this year? How high are Middle Eastern countries on the Happiness Index scale?

This is my favourite part
b) Recently an infinitesimally small number of extremist individuals have conducted terrorist activities while claiming to speak for the religion of Islam. Their actions have been used as a pretext for a notable rise of anti-Muslim sentiments in Canada.
Wonder why those conducted activities provoke fear? How "infinitesimally small" is this number? Check out the terrorism index, good article!

And finally, we have
c) These violent individuals do not reflect in any way the values or the teachings of the religion of Islam. In fact, they misrepresent the religion. We categorically reject all their activities. They in no way represent the religion, the beliefs and the desire of Muslims to co-exist in peace with all peoples of the world.
But what is considered not violent in Sharia Law? What about female genital mutilation? Is that considered not violent? Could female genital mutilation be considered a terrorist act? Is that an infinitesimally small number? Good questions!

Who would have signed this petition? Muslims and friends would have signed this to distance themselves from radical Islamic activities across the globe. So one interest group is complaining to the Canadian government, and all of a sudden there is a study that the House of Commons has decided to spend tax dollars on to understand why Canadians could be anti-Islamic.

Are you saying the fear against extremism conducted in the name of a political ideology like the Westminster tragedy, kidnapping and killing of Canadian Robert Hall, sexual assault of an American reporter Lara Logan (they thought she was an Israeli ... she is a woman...they are racist + misogynistic =fear/phobia,... the list goes on and on is phobic?

What really bothers me when I watch videos from the Middle East is where are the women? Where are the children? Why aren't these men working and providing for their families? Gosh, they need some snow to move, or grass to work, how about planting some vegetables or crops? There must be something these men can find to do besides congregating in huge masses, waving their arms in the air, and shouting at the camera.

So you are saying that Islamophobia is a medical condition that Canadians are suffering from? How do you keep this fear away from Canadians. One way is to ensure that fear is dulled with alcohol, opiods, marijuana. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against legalizing marijuana as I see a need for marijuana for real medical conditions like the suffering from cancer, and now the study for epilepsy.

But what pisses me off is this petition is used as the reason for this motion M103. But then to make it palatable for Canadians, you see, after we study this anti-Islamic thing, we are also as an afterthought, going to study other forms of racism. Yeah, right, you are. You are going to do all that in 240 days, and come up with recommendations on how Canadian laws and institutions should be changed to deal with anti-Islamic thought. Well, since you think anti-Islamic comments indicate "phobia" which is medical condition, then I think you should recommend more money for mental health.

And who are these people who are going to study and recommend how to change this for Islamic people? What is your background? When you study the voting on the motion M103, you can see how this has become a partisan issue. And how can it have become a partisan issue? All of a sudden a tiny minority in our country is dominating our House of Commons. Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb has warned people about those tiny minorities and how they can change your society. Well, Mr. Taleb, you are right. 70,000 people in Canada have petitioned, and now we are having a study to see why we don't like their ideology.

And is Islam an ideology or a religion? That is a good question. The best person I have found so far that can give me an informed overview is Stanford researcher Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She released a new paper which is free in pdf format, just click on that hoover.org link.

Do you really believe if we let in immigrants into Canada who believe in Sharia Law, that they will moderate and become more like us. Just look at Europe for Christ's sake (notice what I did there? I can swear against a religious figure and not be whipped here for blasphemy... sorry Mom!) and see what is happening there. Sweden, yes Sweden is the primary example of what not to do. No go zones abound in many countries in Europe. Good intentions to moderate extreme fundamentalism has gone extremely wrong, maybe because Sharia Islamists don't want to moderate.

Now turn that to Canada. Do you think Canadians are going to work well with the concept of a no-go zone being created in Canada? Have you ever told a Canadian that they can't go there? "What do you mean I can't go there?" But I'm going too far into the future, one that I hope is never going to exist in Canada.

But what really ticks me off is the racism that other actual races experience in Canada and that is merely an afterthought. Family stories can attest to racist comments and hatred. Let's just throw some out there:
1) First Nations and Metis - this is a huge part of our society that has experienced racism on so many fronts that it is truly mindboggling. There are the 122 missing and murdered women register that I must make mention.
1) First Nations and Metis - this is a huge part of our society that has experienced racism on so many fronts that it is truly mindboggling. There the 122 missing and murdered women registered that I must make mention.
2) Germans - try being a German in Canada during World War II and afterwards
3) Jews - try being a Jew in Canada during World War II and afterwards
4) Jehovah Witnesses - now those people are so weird, standing on the street corners. And they keep coming to our doors trying to help us find heaven.
5) Hungarian - have you ever seen Hungarian immigrants try to fit in with British immigrants. It ain't pretty.
6) Norwegians and Swedes - how about some Norwegians fitting in within a community of Swedes, or vice versa. Now try that one. Jokes abound in those communities about the inadequacies of each race.
7) Japanese - try being Japanese during and after World War II.
8) Chinese - yeah, how about that one, which side was China on during World War II? And can you imagine being a Chinese immigrant and being accused you are Japanese. Don't these white people know the difference you ask?
9) Black immigrants - came to Canada to get away from the American slave trade. How about in Halifax when their community was demolished in the 60's to make way for new developments? How about being a black family in a small community in other parts of Canada?
10) Quebecois and the rest of Canada - who can forget that one.
11) Vietnamese

Well you get the idea. And if there is some culture I missed, then I'm sorry about that (how Canadian is that?). Every family in this country can point to racism for a period of time in their family history. And so we have gone through racism and some still are experiencing it.

Now, some muslims are feeling racism because of the horrors of how Sharia Law treats women, children and homosexuals; and treats muslims who renounce islam (apostasy); and treats muslim bloggers who criticize islam (blasphemy) and have been imprisoned; and how extremists in the Islamic ideology kill people; and these muslims in Canada are trying to distance themselves. Well, all of us immigrants can only tell you. It is time to become more Canadian and learn how to stand up for yourself and distance yourself from Sharia Law and extremism. It starts by telling a Canadian what you do and don't believe in.

Canadians sign this petition.

©Gayle Knutson
March 31, 2017