By Michael Coren
Michael Coren has had a number of conflicts with Muslims over things he has said on his Sun News Media show, "The Arena."
So, I've made it. I'm in the big league, I'm a player. It's like being awarded the Order of Canada, but more important. I've got a major death-threat. I've had a few in the past, but this one is serious.
Here it is: "Islam doesn't allow honour killings, but yeah, people like Pamela Gellar and Coren, oh yeah, totally allowed. Aren't there any Muslims in the U.S. and Canada who can kill these pigs? Any Muslim? Please, for the sake of Allah, can someone plz kill these pigs."
And then, "Guns can be bought in sports shops in the U.S. and Canada. People get mugged and even killed in the cities; can't any Muslim kill these pigs? Ayan Hirsi, Pamela Gellar, and Coren?"
So there it is. The religion of peace calls for me and some much braver and bolder people to be killed. Why? Because I allow Islam to speak for itself, expose itself, explain itself.
The police have been informed, the FBI alerted, but I'm not losing any sleep about it. Frankly, I've been threatened by better people than this. But it speaks of far more than its mere words.
It's self-evident, and it's almost redundant to say that venomous and vile things are said about Christians, and in particular Roman Catholics, daily. In the past months alone, two Canadian Catholic churches have been firebombed and a convent vandalized. This wave of hatred was given hardly any publicity at all.
This is not to say that I think non-violent criticism, and even abuse, should be silenced. All I ask for is a level playing field, where we are given room to defend ourselves. As for anti-Muslim comments, they are similarly repugnant, but an informed criticism of Islam is something entirely different, and this is seldom heard or even allowed in mainstream media.
I write and say things about the history and teaching of Islam because I appear on Sun News, a station that refuses to be intimidated. But I am part of a small group, and I could not speak and write this way in any Muslim country, and probably couldn't say much or most of it even in Europe.
In France, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Norway, Belgium, and many other countries I'd be probably be physically attacked and likely have my career terminated.
But it's not about me; it's about free speech. Free speech not as some woolly, philosophical concept but as one of the bricks in the wall that provides the defence of our values and dignity against the barbarism that is beyond it. We have long taken it for granted because it seemed so obvious.
We refrain from abusing and insulting because we're civilized; we speak truth, even it offends, also because we're civilized. But today we've reversed the equation. We insult and abuse and think it adult and sophisticated, but flee from bold, authentic speech because we're frightened of being accused of political incorrectness, racism, homophobia, or Islamophobia.
Let's speak briefly about the separation of church and state. We don't have it officially in Canada, but most of us assume that the relationship between the secular and the religious is a tenuous one, and one that we know has to be handled with mutual respect.
Neither state nor church should dominate. But this is a Christian or a Jewish idea, even a Hindu or Buddhist idea, not an Islamic one. It is intrinsic to genuine Islam that there is and can be no separation; the state is Islamic, just as every aspect of one's life is Islamic.
In some ways this is admirable, but it does suggest that western, Christian-based pluralism and democracy is incompatible with Islam.
You may hear gentle, compromising talk from some Muslim leaders about this, but look to those countries with an Islamic majority, or even a substantial Muslim minority, and see that Islamic actions speak louder than liberal words.
As the left folds and atheism surrenders, the Roman Catholic Church is left as the sole institution that can provide a wise, firm, and compassionate opposition to Islamic aspirations. Death threats against me are mere symptoms.
The cause is much deeper, and the remedy Christian, papal, and with roots deep in Christendom, Rome, and the Church.
Coren's new book is Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity. He can be booked for speeches at www.michaelcoren.com.