The Premier of Ontario visits a mosque, revealing much about our society

Summary: Small incidents in the news often reveal hidden but large trends in society, if we examine them carefully. Such as a recent visit by Ontario’s Premier to a local mosque. Her political allies cheer; her political foes laugh and mock. But it tells us so much more. {Also, see yesterday’s post: Trump points to Sweden’s problems with migrants. Then they riot, again.}

Kathleen O’Day Wynne, Premier of Ontario.

Kathleen Wynne

Kathleen O’Day Wynne is the first female premier of Ontario and the first openly gay head of government in Canada (see Wikipedia). To build bridges with the local Christian community, she visited a fundamentalist church — and followed the appropriate Scriptural guidance. She sat quietly, head covered — even going beyond the Paul’s advice, to sit in the back of the church.

“Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head — it is the same as having her head shaved.”  (1 Corinthians 11 4:5.)

“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14 34:35.)

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (1 Timothy 2 11:12.)

Of course, this is impossible. If Premier Wynne visited a church and was asked to sit quietly, head covered, her tirade would have blown the roof off. But, as most readers know, she visited a Toronto mosque on January 30, the day after six died during an attack at a Quebec mosque — and, as the Toronto Sun reported, she obeyed.

“While the men prayed, she sat patiently in the back corner of the mosque waiting to {speak}.”

Wael Shehab

Wynne’s choice of Imam Wael Shehab’s mosque was piquant, or perhaps ironic, given his statements about women like herself.

As quoted in the CIJ News in 2015 …Imam Wael Shehab said “homosexuality is a sinful act in Islam … I’d cite the following fatwa of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America:

‘We should consider them people who get themselves engaged in a sinful act. We should deal with them in the same way we deal with any people who are involved in alcoholics, gambling or adultery. We should have deep repugnance to their acts and we must remind and warn them.’

“If they persist he said ‘we should certainly avoid those people.’”

 

It is easy to mock the Premier for this episode, most notably for inconsistent application of her values — and hypocrisy. But there is a kind of logic that in a world of strong, independent women, women’s preferences shift to prefer extreme strength of character in men — even if it is outright misogynist. That is a key lesson of Game. Perhaps Imam Wael Shehab knew this by cultural instinct. Trump demonstrated his understanding of this in the election, with women’s votes giving him a  microscopic margin of victory (the 85 thousand votes in key states that won the electoral college).

Life on the streets provides daily examples, as shown in this funny but exaggerated and misogynist video. The slowly spreading understanding of this among men is the kind of event that changes the course of nations. It is like lead in Rome’s water, a poison unseen and beyond their understanding — but with powerful effects rippling throughout their society.

 

 

About Dr. Wael Shehab

Dr. Wael Shehab has a PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University. He is currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada. For more about Islam’s view of women see his answer to the question “Are women inferior?“, and his video “Islam and the Role of Women“.

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12 thoughts on “The Premier of Ontario visits a mosque, revealing much about our society

  1. I don’t understand the “game” connection here. I will admit to unfamiliarity with the fine details of the situation, but this seems like a demonstration of respect on the part of Wynne to the Muslim community shortly after the killing of their co-religionists, not something sexual.

    The quote from Shehab doesn’t seem much different from “love the sinner, hate the sin” among a lot of Christians, either. There’s a certain irony there, of course, but we all operate in multiple spheres simultaneously.

    Like

    1. Dana,

      (1) Game is a form of gender dynamics (ways in which men and women interact). It is not sexual, although obtaining sex can be one of the goals for which it is applied (the same can be said of war).

      (2) “The quote from Shehab doesn’t seem much different from “love the sinner, hate the sin” among a lot of Christians”

      Yes, both Islam and Christianity have a substantial overlap. The quotes I gave from the New Testament about women similar in some respects to those of Islam. As for homosexulaity, there are Islamic authorities who said things similar to Leviticus 20:13 — “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” But that’s not my point.

      (3) “There’s a certain irony there, of course, but we all operate in multiple spheres simultaneously.”

      You can’t be missing the relevant point, which I stated quite explicitly. She would never have acted so deferentially to a Christian leader who wanted her to follow Paul’s precepts in a church.

      Like

    2. Dana,

      The short version: Game is a set of methods by which betas can emulate alphas. It has become valuable for millennial-era men since the combination of women’s later age of marriage plus unconstrained behavior (i.e., few family or other social controls) has unleashed the full force of hypergamy (desire for high-status men). Like all “short versions”, this is a simplification — but captures the essential elements.

      Like

    3. OK, I see what you’re saying. I have mostly encountered the topic discussed – and encountered it once or twice in the field, so to speak – as “These are the manipulative tricks that will get you the sex you are owed.” Sometimes down to specific routines!

      I can see how it can be generalized outwards, of course, and I’m sure it does work at least some of the time. The analogy just didn’t seem to carry to a socio-religio-political situation very well.

      Like

    4. Dana,

      “I was just thinking that if people use “game” as a way to build confidence and their own approaches to life”

      That’s only a tiny fraction of Game. The majority of it is understanding what women want — which is quite dark these days — and providing it.

      Like

  2. Larry, just a point of order here … Wynne’s title – and that of all her counterparts in other Canadian provinces – is “Premier”. Prime Minister is reserved for, well, the one and only “Prime Minister”, currently a know-nothing twit who has good hair – and who’s very fond of selfies. When he’s unscripted, he utters more self-serving balderdash than Obama.

    It’s perhaps also worth noting that Imam Wael Shehab is even less favourably inclined towards Jews than he is towards women of any persuasion. See Toronto Sun columnist, Joe Warmington’s:column for details, but here’s a quote to ponder:

    “O Allah! Give victory to Islam and raise the standing of the Muslims and humiliate the polytheism and polytheists … Infidels and the atheists and destroy anyone who killed Muslims. Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them, O Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews.”

    http://www.torontosun.com/2017/02/21/double-standard-surrounds-m-103-motion

    When this became public, the Imam showed his Western style “political” mastery by claiming that he was quoted “out of context”. Amazing, eh?!

    Like

    1. Hilary,

      (1) Thanks for the correction! Fixed! Every day I learn something.

      (2) The Imaan’s remarks about “filth of the Jews”

      That’s interesting. As mentioned in the post, the Toronto Sun article about the Premier’s visit cited the Iman’s remarks in 2015 about homosexuality. I didn’t include his rebuttal, which was the same as when confronted about his anti-semitism (he relies on what works):

      “They are taken out of context,” he told me gently. “They are not my views. My views are clear on my Facebook page. We stand for freedom, equality and justice for all. I support for human rights for all.”

      Like

  3. “Life on the streets provides daily examples, as shown in this funny but exaggerated and misogynist video. The slowly spreading understanding of this among men is the kind of event that changes the course of nations. It is like lead in Rome’s water, a poison unseen and beyond their understanding — but with powerful effects rippling throughout their society.,”
    ……..
    The course of Nations(this one in particular)
    ….powerful effects rippling…
    Terrific Post. Short but quite a snapshot into much of what is playing out today in the West and even more so in NA. I find the comments to be perfectly reinforcing of the Post, in and of themselves.
    Her tirade would have blown the roof off, no kidding!
    GAA video is exaggerated? Ah, maybe and just barely, if at the edges. Mansplaining at its best per Girls.
    Was sent a recent piece from MEDIUM by a 36 year old women. Strong, independent, angry, determined, talented, successful, single, professionally successful and a very unhappy women. It was a Rant by a similar women who recently was trying to curb her alcohol consumption. The writer was certain that Society had coopted “Feminisim” and she and all her friends were always socializing together with a Martini glass or Wine glass in their hands because of that. And that was a problem. She had a vague sense ….but it was society’s fault that caused their dismay and such. And she hinted maybe it was another Women who betrayed them!

    I think the photo of the Premier shows her with her shoes off, too!

    Breton

    Like

    1. Hi Breton,

      B> Terrific Post. Short but quite a snapshot into much of what is playing out today in the West and even more so in NA.

      Agree! Concept density is very high. The line between PC and respectful become both blurred and contrasted.

      B> I think the photo of the Premier shows her with her shoes off, too!

      I take my shoes off when I go into a mosque, I decline to take communion where it’s closed, I wash before approaching a Shinto shrine, and I wear a yarmulke when I stand in front of the Western Wall, etc., and in all cases stay in back if it would distract from the worship of the faithful. But the situation is that of a private observer and I have the luxury of simple respect. When a public figure goes into a similar situation, it gets interpreted as a statement, and rather than the rules of curiosity, exploration, or respect, must inevitably be focused through the lens of opportunistic PC (thus the thought experiment of jumping through a similar hoop at a synagogue, church, or shrine).

      That said, I find the composition of the picture interesting as propaganda (in the narrow sense of making a statement) in that it’s the Premier alone, covered and unshod, in the back of the room rather than covered and unshod, but sharing a laugh with the Imam and others at the mosque (wasn’t there but not hard to imagine that being possible).

      Without wanting to sound alarmist, it seems individual/human rights, multiculturalism, and religious dogma cannot coexist indefinitely without coming into conflict.

      Bill

      Like

    2. Bill,

      “When a public figure goes into a similar situation, it gets interpreted as a statement”

      I give her a pass on the statement. More interesting, imo, is that she was deferential in a mosque when I’m certain she wouldn’t be in a church. Asymmetries like that are usually significant windows into a persons’s core values.

      “Without wanting to sound alarmist, it seems individual/human rights, multiculturalism, and religious dogma cannot coexist indefinitely without coming into conflict.”

      As Allan Bloom said in Closing of the American Mind, Western culture is all about paired dualities — which are in perpetual tension. Human values and multiculturalism, secular and sacred sources of knowledge & values, church and state. There are no answers, and even balance is difficult to maintain.

      Like

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