E-Street: What do you think of Ujjal Dosanjh's comments?
April 24, 2010
B.C. MP Ujjal Dosanjh, who faced an online death threat this week, is saying Sikh extremism is on the rise in parts of Canada.
Dosanjh blames, in part, Canadas political correctness for letting it happen in the name of diversity.
“My worry is you have a level of political correctness that has been ailing us for some time and you combine that with this multiculturalism that is sometimes misused to hide all kinds of inappropriate behaviour or values,” Dosanjh said in an interview.
What do you think of his comments?
While I dont often agree with Dosanjh, in this case he is bang on. This terrorism has been imported from the homeland and has no place in Canadian society. The moderate majority MUST speak out against this or they are no better than the vocal minority.
Jim Reid, Langley
The practice multiculturalism/political-correctness is the issue. Dosanjh is feeding a vacuum of anti-immigrant sentiment in this country by performing the role of a good immigrant through condemning political-correctness/multiculturalism. Tying extremism to multiculturalism allows us to believe that extremism is imported. It perpetuates an ethnic othering that betrays an unchanged norm of Anglo-Christian whiteness that good immigrants ought to aspire to. Extremism must be confronted everywhere, but not in a way that recklessly colludes with racism.
Ajay Parasram, Vancouver
I think he is quite correct. I think he is a brave man for saying it. My father lived and fought alongside Sikh soldiers and he had a great regard for them. It is not only Sikh extremism that is rising but extremism from many groups of people. I think that political correctness, Trudeau's idea of the ethnic mosaic and our Parliament trying to appease all the different groups, is to blame.
Stan Hutchison, Maple Ridge
I agree with Ujjal. As an immigrant myself I expect Canada to welcome newcomers and diversity as it makes our country interesting and rich. Surely, though, we don't want religious fanaticism or extremism that incites violence.
Sharon Gregson, East Vancouver
Ujjal Dosanjh is doing a disservice to human rights in Canada by using the ignorant phrase “political correctness.” He needs to deal with the issues without rallying the racists by using their pet phrases. He does more harm than good, which is not surprising from such a political opportunist. However urgent the issue, he has done great harm by the use of this phrase.
Sue Stroud, Brentwood Bay
Sikh extremism isnt on the rise any more than numerous other groups who have political problems in their countries of origin. However, any group of people who have problems with things outside our borders should leave those things where they belong . . . outside our borders. You could be from Ireland, Palestine, Pakistan or elsewhere but, you must make the choice to be Canadian first. Leave the fighting in the old country.” Celebrate diversity without the violence.
Jason McGill, Burnaby
Evidently Surrey has become the heart of militant Sikhism fighting for a Khalistan homeland. If we are to believe these Sikh scholars, this is against the basic teachings of the religion. It was here, however, that the plot to commit the greatest mass murder in aviation history was conceived and carried out. Only the bungling of our law enforcement agencies and judicial system kept it from being prosecuted. This is not the Punjab. If you feel it necessary to fight a war over a problem with the Golden Temple, go home. To paraphrase the Australian Prime Minister, you are in THIS country, adapt to OUR way of life, or leave. For whatever reason, you have come to this country, as did my forefathers. You are welcome here if you contribute to the betterment of all Canadians. If you wish to fight a war, join the Canadian military or go home.
Gordon E. Swanson, South Surrey
Finally, someone in power with the courage to state the obvious: That political correctness is running amok. If I moved to another country and immediately began demanding changes to their way of life to accommodate mine they would probably tell me to go home.
Michelle Carduner, Langley
I completely agree with the remarks by Ujjal Dosanjh, in particular the “political correctness” has weakened our stature as a sovereign nation.
George F. Evens, Mission
As somewhat of an “insider” Mr. Dosanjh has seen firsthand the insidious nature of Sikh extremism becoming more and more of a problem in our culture. Too many radical Sikhs and Muslims as well, come to Canada and do not want to adapt their ways to fit into their new chosen homeland. They demand that they be allowed to retain certain aspects of their culture, even though these are quite often more traditional alone, rather than part of their religion. This will continue to cause problems with not only their neighbors, but in some cases also with the law!
Sandra L. Wittrin, Mesachie Lake
I have to agree with Mr. Dosanjh political correctness has gone too far and not just with Sikhism [but] with all those who come to Canada. The Canadian lifestyle, our way of life, our values, our freedoms it's what brought them to our shores to start with. They are welcome to bring customs and traditions to Canada it's what made Canada … Canada but not to change Canada to suit them.
Cheryl Leask, Sardis
MP Dosanjh is right. We allow thugs and bullies to hide behind the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They use their rights to infringe the rights of victims like Dosanjh and like MLA Dave Hayer. It's completely unfair that these two politicians are made to feel threatened in the country and in the province they as politicians represent. This isn't the first time, won't be the last either.
James Plett, Surrey
Ujjal Dosanjh is quite correct in his comments on political correctness. As a country we have been so afraid to step on toes in our quest for a multicultural nirvana, we have forgotten what Canada is. There are those who have learned how to take advantage of Canada's complete lack of backbone and propagate their own violent agenda under the guise of multiculturalism. Canada should have no place for people such as these.
Brian Dycke, Kelowna
I agree 100-per-cent with Mr. Dosanjh. I truly believe that multiculturalism separate nations/states or preferential status for some races or religions within Canada and the racism that it fosters will much sooner rather than later lead to increased violence within and against those that adopt a separatist stance if not immediately squelched will eventually lead to civil war, perhaps sooner than can be anticipated.
Don MacKay, Burnaby
I agree with Mr. Dosanjh's comments. I personally would not know if Sikh extremism itself is on the rise, but I feel that any religious or political movement that is violent in nature is not to be tolerated in Canada. We as Canadians should be above this, and can solve any of our issues in a peaceful manner.
Rob Collins, Prince George
The reason people come to our great country is because we have a great system that rides the line of allowing anyone to believe what they want, and still protects us. The second we change any of our laws to suit another culture, we are essentially becoming the place they ran away from. It is time to say “This is how we do things here, and these laws ensure it stays a wonderful place to live. If your beliefs aren't going to make it possible, this may not be the place for you. Thanks anyway.”
Dean Pilling, Nanaimo
Well Im pleasantly surprised that Dosanjh made such a comment. I would have thought that he, being a member of a minority, would want to enhance political correctness. This is very refreshing considering that political correctness not only in the name of diversity but in other facets of our society infringes in our freedom of speech, rights to employment and education, and to some of our basic civil rights.
Ed Braun, East Vancouver
His comments sound reasonable. The root of these problems is not something “reasoned” discussion or debate will respond to, though. Only radical change, primarily in the way nations deal with one another, will radically alter the radical agendas of the militants, whatever their affiliation.
John Daly, Burnaby
I believe Mr. Dosanjh's comments are very much reflective of our current Canadian political correctness. Whether immigrant or visible minority, too many times when one of these groups is criticized, the race card gets pulled out to defend themselves. To truly eliminate racism, we must all abide by the same rules and principles and apply to all Canadians equally. Canadian citizenship means abiding by Canadian laws, regardless of gender, colour or creed.
Walter Bramsleven, 100 Mile House
As an Italian immigrant from the early '70s, I had my share of harassment. Political correctness did not exist those days, but the pendulum has gone too much the other way. It's ridiculous! You cannot make a joke any more without the fear of being sued!
Tony Paone, Port Coqutlam
Mr. Dosanjh is correct insofar as there is always going to be a few bad apples in every barrel. Not every immigrant totally embraces our ways, nor should they, as that is what makes for a multicultural society. But those that hide behind Canadas political correctness to bring old world grudges to our land are no different than the criminals who attempt to manipulate the charter of rights to mitigate their criminal behavior.
Andrew Tablotney, Richmond
I completely agree with Mr. Dosanjh, but wonder if he would back up others in similar positions he found himself in.
James Mark Beckett, Maple Ridge
Three loud cheers for Mr. Dosanjh! Political cCorrectness has been the bane of our Canadian society for years. For the sake of diversity Canada has gone soft on its values. It is about time that someone stepped up to the plate and spelled it out to Canadians. Im all for diversity and acceptance but when it comes to defining ones so-called Canadian identity [built on Canadian values] it is difficult to define any longer what being Canadian means.
David Horvath, Delta
Mr. Dosanjh is, unfortunately, absolutely correct. It is one thing to bring one's cultural or religious practices to Canada. It is quite another to bring political and sectarian conflicts and pursue them here. Those who want to fight foreign political wars can leave and go do so. It is totally unacceptable to do so here, or glorify those who do so. It is not hard to determine the depth of this problem. There is still a great hue and cry concerning the dastardly Air India bombing. It centered around who did it, and who didn't find out they were doing it. But nothing was done to determine who is responsible for that cancer entering the body of Canadian society in the first place, and for setting up an environment where it could grow and metastasize. And to this day nothing is, so there should be no surprise that things like this, like honour killings, and other “cultural” practices, beset us.
Gerry Hunter, Burnaby
I have to agree with most of Ujjal's comments. We are too concerned about political correctness and diversity that minority issues are always front and centre. In so doing, we are more apt to accept others behavior although stepping outside Canadian values, culture and result is always bending laws to accommodate. We need to stop this and ensure our Canadian values are foremost and laws and sentencing must be upheld to discourage violence and threats.
Elwin Mowry, Coquitlam
I totally agree with Mr. Dosanjh. If you come to Canada you should be willing to accept the Canadian way of life and not expect Canada to change our ways and values of life.
Madelaine Lawson, Salmon Arm
I completely agree with Ujjal! It is the religious, political or social extremists who are the real danger in our modern society. Any group who threatens or uses force to achieve their goals should not be protected by political correctness for the almighty vote! Every country in the world has these fanatics in some of their cities. The worst scenario is groups of these fanatics who dominate a complete area or neighbourhood. Mayor Dianne Watts of Surrey has stood up to their threats in Surrey but is being chastised by the civil rights do gooders. If we dont stop this extremism here and now we and our children will pay the piper tomorrow. It is time to change some of our laws and lay legal charges for the threats or deport the extremists to their promised land!
Jim Enos, Surrey
Another person's freedom stops where mine begins. Displaying the offensive and malicious signs at the Surrey Vaisakhi was intended to goad the community and it was successful. That behaviour flies with such extremism as the Ku Klux Klan and similar hate groups and should be rejected as inappropriate. Attempting to appeal to all by accepting such behaviour further divides the country. Next year's parade should disallow the offence and if organizers don't like it, cancel the parade permit.
Jon McCormick, Lone Butte
It is a bit rich that Dosanjh and the Liberals the epitome of diversity and political correctness … are now the targets of intolerance.
Ted Shandro, North Vancouver
I totally agree with Ujjal Dosanjhs comments. It is time for all Canadians who are not members of the Canadian Armed Forces to only observe foreign conflicts we should not get involved in any threats of violence here or abroad. We and our parents came to Canada for a new way of life and to get away from old prejudices and hatred.
Doug Pinkerton, Port Coquitlam
I agree with Mr. Dosanjh and his comments. We spend far too much time trying to appear a tolerant nation and not near enough time concerning ourselves with what is happening in our own home. When you come to our country, as it is when we go to other countries, our cultures are something that we maintain in our own home but conform to the society that is established in general society.
Mike Dunbrook, Oliver
I applaud Ujjal Dosanjh's stand on this issue. He is putting into words what the vast majority of “True Canadians” feel. If ones mother country's values and beliefs are at odds with their adoptive country's values and beliefs then an attitude adjustment is in order.
Ron Bennett, Delta
Dear Sir, I have to agree with Mr. Dosanjh. Political correctness has become so pervasive in our society that we condone human rights commissions. Any comments that might upset a minority can be a costly endeavour when they come out in support of PC. Free speech has been attacked. Minority interest groups, for the sake of political correctness are being given free license to trod upon the majority.
Ernie Hildebrandt, Chilliwack
It seems we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. We have been brought up to be politically correct at least my generation was. I don't believe it has anything to do with what someone wrote on Facebook. Whoever took it upon themself to put that out there was for their own gratification. They cannot put the onus on us.
Barbara Moxin, Campbell River
I agree with this statement. We have never had the issues we have now with past groups of immigrants the Japanese, the Polish, the Dutch, etc. All these immigrants were happy to conform with existing Canadian laws. We didn't bend over backwards to change our laws for them and they were happy to be here and be Canadian. We in the name of anti-racism have gone too far now. We have reverse racism we cater to certain groups, laws are changed just for these groups. I am sorry but you came to this country and wanted to live here, why should we change our laws and customs if you do not like it here and cannot conform to these laws? You should reconsider immigrating here.
Rose Ginther, Abbotsford
What an incredibly courageous statement. Mr. Dosanjh is correct that some very dangerous behavior has long been tolerated if a “label” is applied (i.e. it's in their (any) culture, this person had a bad upbringing, they're too young to understand…). I blame the glamourization of anti-heroes in movies, TV, etc. All persons should be held accountable for their actions towards society and amends made.
Beryle Chambers, Vancouver
I agree with Mr. Dosanjh totally!!!! And I worry about us losing our identity completely. What happened to the immigrants who used to come to Canada wanting to become Canadians and were more than happy and even grateful to adopt our way of life????
Lillian Webb, Maple Ridge
If Sikh extremists believe that summary execution and violence should be imported into Canada from the old country, then I suggest they have it backwards and should return to Khalistan to engage in these practices if that is their violent political bent.
Lance Read, Vancouver
I agree completely with the comments of Mr. Dosanjh and would even take the issue a step further to the blurry line between “freedom of speech” and hate mongering. I believe there should be a very distinct line which stops well before remarks become dangerous and harmful. Anyone crossing that line, such as this cowardly individual calling for the assassination of another, should be severely dealt with.
I believe Mr. Dosanjh is bang on with his criticism. Allowing newer Canadians to bring their old country attitudes and feuds and lack of civility into the fabric of our peace-loving country is unwise and these individuals are unwelcome. I heard an interview this week by a leading Sikh who was very defensive about the Sikh parade and all the floats being approved by the RCMP; I didnt believe what he had to say. Im all for freedom of activity in Canada, but I am against those who choose to fight old country fights on Canadian soil.
Gordi Moore, West Vancouver
Mr. Dosanjh is right on the money, there is far too much tolerance for political correctness in this country and it must be stopped if the rights of all are to be respected equally. The last thing this country needs is to harbour terrorists under the guise of liberal rights. This country has put our soldiers in harms way fighting these kind of people and for this government to allow these people free reign to practice terrorism right here at home is simply outrageous. Such policies only encourage others to disregard the rights of others and soon we'll be using our soldiers to fight this terrorist element right here at home.
Fred Hawkshaw, Terrace
MP Dosanjh is exactly on the mark in this opinion. Extremism of many types is on the rise all over the world, of course: Sikhs are no exception. Perhaps it is a side-effect of this “kinder, gentler”, more tolerant society in which we live.
Mark Zambrzycki, Surrey
Finally, somebody speaks the truth. We need to put the law and safety of the public first. There is nothing that says we cannot practise our faith, but there is no room for terrorist activities or threats on anybody's life.
Cheryl Blaschuk, Surrey
Although I agree with B.C. MP Ujjal Dosanjh that political correctness has been ailing us for some time, I cant agree with the rest of his statement. Sikh extremism is the problem, not Canadas political outlook. Any inappropriate behavior or values demonstrated by extremists of any nationality is caused by their hatred and intolerance of different points of view or beliefs. This selfish, narrow minded intolerance of any opinion other than theirs is bringing the world into a time of unrest, fear and hatred. Mr. Dosanjh should quit blaming Canada for the problems created by his countrymen.
Gordon Bader, Surrey
What he said is exactly correct, not politically correct. If a white person said that, there would be cries of racism from the politically correct fascists. Resist or Serve.
Brian Price, Vancouver
We have gone mad with multiculturalism. How dare these people come here and try to fight old battles from here. Cancel that parade and prosecute those threatening Ujjal Dosanjh. The Khalistan thing is none of Canada's business, and if they don't want to be Canadian, let them go back. Soon.
Wendy Semko, Coquitlam
I agree with B.C. MP Ujjal Dosajh. Political correctness has gone to the extreme. Words like discrimination we are a people afraid to express our thoughts for fear of ruffling someones feathers so to speak, and they in turn can walk all over us daring us to speak against them. We Canadians have our heads in the sand. We are like the three monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil and say no evil. Politicians are to blame for a lot of our problems in trying to change our country to suit our new immigrants. This is Canada: people get your heads out from the sand. We just had a taste of what Canadians are like. It was heart warming as we stood tall when we sang “O Canada” in the streets of Canada. Let's not allow extremists and people who come here to change us. Again, politicians stand up and be counted as a Canadian willing to be strong in keeping Canada as Canada. Politicians, stop going for the almighty vote and be true to yourself and your constituents. In another country, people are severely mistreated and come here to live, but it seems they want to change our ways to suit them. Politicians take heed and do not change our beautiful British Columbia or our Canada. Protect and Serve should be your motto as well.
Lillian Bodner, West Vancouver
I think Mr. Dosanjh is on the wrong side of the fence here. His political position has always been with the NDP or the Liberals which champion more freedoms and rights for minorities. If this is actually the case then I would suggest this to be a self-inflicted problem. As an immigrant to this country, although in a non-visible minority, I do not think that our policies promote extremism.
Hans Fuller, Surrey
I don't believe that extremism is on the rise. What we saw this week was a single incident that is hopefully an isolated departure from how Canadians normally act. To extrapolate that a single event is the beginning of a surge in extremism is simply fear mongering. I do hope that Mr. Dosanjh is safe and that nothing happens to him, but scare tactics aren't called for.
Trevor Ritchie, Burnaby
Dosanjh is absolutely correct in his statement. Canada should not be a place where any group can come to and force their beliefs on the law abiding citizens no matter how illegal, violent or extreme they are. But our government has allowed this to happen out of fear. We need a government with a spine who for once would stand up and stop Canada from becoming a battleground.
John Kenneth MacLeod, Vancouver
I couldn't agree more with Ujjal Dosanjh! There are far too many terrorist-type organisations that want to bring their wars to Canada. If you have something you want to change in your country of origin, then please go back there and stop bringing your violence to this beautiful country.
Audrey Hill, Lund
It is just about time that we get rid of any extremist. They should go to their home country and try it there. I'd like to see what will happen to them over there.
Horst Schwuchow, Surrey
How totally accurate can one person be on such a volatile subject? We in this country have spent way too many years trying to be politically correct, polite and understanding of our new citizens while being taken to the cleaners by immigrants who cry “racism” for every perceived slight or inconvenience, while at the same time using our naivete to further their goals and objectives.
Robert Hill, Kimberley
I think Mr. Dosanjh is right. Political correctness sometimes is like reverse racism and allows freedom of speech to become a tool for a small number of people to express views that are contrary to Canadian values. Canada has always welcomed diversity of cultures to enrich the melting pot that we have, but not to poison it with hate.
Bette Chadwick, Sechelt
The fact that Bains feels he can make these public statements against a respected MP and MLA shows their extremism is on the rise. Their lame apology was conveniently delayed until after the parade with their so-called martyrs (terrorists) displayed. Surrey should make it clear that there must be a full formal apology, including directly to Dosanjh and Hayer, or no licence for the parade next year.
Peter Marshall, New Westminster
I agree, Mr. Dosanjh is completely correct. We have gone to the extreme as to not wanting to offend anyone that we have forgotten what made this country what it was. People immigrated to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families. By doing so, they tried (and succeeded) for the most part to integrate into the Canadian lifestyle. Now, we are so afraid to offend anyone by saying “youre Canadian” now, you take our laws as your own now. The absolute arrogance, and by watching the organizers of the parade from last weekend, the ignorance they have for what we hold dear. Obviously the extremists in the Sikh community have forgotten why they left their homeland. To get away from this kind of crap, but no, they think they can bring this garbage with them and force us to accept it. We must speak up and communicate to everyone who believes they can spew their extremist views, “Ppack your bags and go back to wherever you came from, we don't want your troubles here.”
Tim Jantzen, North Vancouver
I agree with Mr. Dosanjh. His comment is spot on. I'm glad he took a stand and didn't attend the parade. I think others should do the same before it escalates to war among the Sikh population! This is Canada shouldn't immigrants live by our laws, rules and regulations? Why do our politicians bend over backwards to please every nationality?
Pennie McNutt, Squamish
Bravo to Mr. Dosanjh for casting some light on the tyranny of political correctness and the cultural relativism that tends to be one of its byproducts. A mature and enlightened society makes a place for open, objective and educated analysis and debate because it is understood that without such transparency and willing, open-minded participation mistakes can never be corrected and problems can never be solved. If we acquiesce to those who cynically demand that political correctness be the overriding principle in how we relate to each other or in how we go about building and maintaining a truly viable democracy we would deserve the alternative: a frightened society, unable and unwilling to speak out and protect itself from those interested in satisfying their own goals at the expense of the welfare and rights of others.
Ray Arnold, Richmond
Sirs, I could not agree more with Mr. Dosanjh. Our naive attitude towards multiculturalism encourages the extreme fringe to bring their poison with them when they come to this country. They are then given free reign to bully the silent majority into allowing them to indoctrinate their children into their violent philosophy. If immigrants to Canada want to see things changed in their homelands they should go back and fight for change at home.
Bill Wolokoff, Delta
Dosanjh is an enlightened immigrant, i.e, When in Rome . . . But the rest of us have a skewed concept of multiculturalism. Sure, bring us your ethnic foods, sports and music which enrich our culture but not your laws or religious fetishes which contravene ours.
Eldon Janzen, Surrey
By using the phrase “this multiculturalism” he makes it sound somehow dirty. What makes him an expert on political correctness?
Bill Richardson, North Vancouver
Sirs: Canada and Canadians spend far too much of their time being apologists, which emboldens specific groups to ask for more and more, abusing our immigration system and the generous packages provided by Ottawa in the naturalization process. Encouraged by the fact that in some areas of our city these extremist groups have actually become part of a visible majority, creating a microcosmic atmosphere where they think they have their own autonomous identity. Unfortunately, creating their imaginary country, Khalistan, within the confines of Canada is a dream that should not be tolerated by any Canadian.
Paul Davey, Vancouver
In an attempt to place the Surrey Vaisakhi parade controversy into a “Canadian context,” consider if Mallardville's Festival du Bois feature[d] a float containing pictures of the notorious FLQ terrorists of the October Crisis of the 1960s, such as Jacques and Paul Rose, as “martyrs.”
Mac Savage, Surrey
I am not a Liberal supporter, however I back Ujjal Dosanjh 100-per-cent on his stand against these sick extremists! Why won't Gordon Campbell get off his butt and support Ujjal against these terrorists? Because he will lose a few thousand votes from the South Asian communities, thats why.
Randy Gibbens, Port Coquitlam
This is actually a surprisingly bold and brave statement which I believe reflects the sentiment of many Canadians who have become quite exhausted and embarrassed by the use of “political correctness” as excuse to persecute and crucify others in a variety of ways while also providing immunity to others (like children abuse “home-free” on a playground).
Jorge mai Kelly, Burnaby
We are stuck in a conundrum where constitutional rights like the rights to religious freedom and expression are unclearly defined and often abused. In this context of the debate, it is important to remember that this kind of extremism comes just at least as much, if not more, from non-immigrant communities such as Christian fundamentalist groups on anti-gay, anti-women and anti-abortion issues as it does from immigrant ones. What is needed is a thorough, thoughtful re-evaluation of Canadian priorities when it comes to rights and values.
Jillian Oliver, Vancouver