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Mar 26, 2006 2:23 pm


DEMOCRACY BREEDS BRAVERY



That is the title of Salim Mansur's perceptive article in the Toronto Sun. He comments on the so-called peace rallies which proliferate in democratic countries:

The core constituency of these crowds in Paris, London, Rome, New York and Toronto, has remained the same over the years. Their protests against war and for peace have always tilted alarmingly in favour of such monstrous regimes as those of Stalin and Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro, in support of gnome-headed members of the politburo in Beijing or Havana or their cruel caricatures in Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran.

And predictably for this constituency, the enemy invariably remains the same: The democratically elected leaders of free and open societies in Washington, London or Ottawa.

In my years of folly -- when youthful ignorance, I recall now with embarrassment, made me think Noam Chomsky to be wiser than Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan -- I, too, on occasion walked with the crowd to protest the seeming perfidy of the United States and its allies.

It does not take knowledge, reflection or, most importantly, courage to join such crowds in democratic societies where the right to protest, to insult, and throw insidious labels at elected leaders is constitutionally protected.

Courage is the conviction to stand alone and, knowing the peril, to speak against evil and evildoers.

I found such courage recently in Paris among some remarkable Muslim women who came together to expose the cruelties of radical Islamism that maim, kill and silence individuals in the societies from which they fled to freedom.

Samia Labidi is of Tunisian origin and resides in Paris. She is a writer devoted to exposing al-Qaida as a cult of criminals and killers. She published an account of how her younger brother was recruited by al-Qaida and taken to Afghanistan -- and eventually escaped the entrapment of those who make of Islam an ideology of suicide bombings.

Read the whole thing and note, slowly, hesitantly that the voices of brave moderate Muslims are beginning to be heard.




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