Banned from campus, groups fight back

In the padded cells that are our current universities, there’s no room for clubs who are anti-abortion or who refuse to acknowledge “the patriarchy.”

There’s no room for debate. No place for divergent views contrary to their own orthodoxies.

The student unions at Ryerson, UofT Mississauga, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College refused to authorize three clubs who run afoul of current delicate political correctness: two are pro-life and a third is a men’s rights group. Now these banned heretics have gone to court, backed by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, to fight the “bad faith and bias” that has denied them official status on campus.

Justice Centre lawyer Marty Moore was in Superior Court Wednesday to argue the student associations keep changing the rules of entry to block these groups over their currently unpopular views. He urged Justice Paul Perell to order the associations to accredit the three clubs as a matter of “natural justice.”

“Student unions’ actions against students with differing ideological perspectives is stifling democratic discussion and debate on campus, where diversity of opinion is supposed to flourish,” he argued in a factum filed earlier with the court.

Without official sanction, clubs can’t get student union funding and can’t advertise, book rooms and information tables, or host speakers and debates on campus, he said. They’re essentially pariahs without a voice.

Ryerson’s Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) was created in 2015 to deal with issues that disproportionately affect men and boys, “such as higher rates of suicide, homelessness, workplace injuries and failure in school.” Nearly half of MIAS’ members are women.

But the club has repeatedly been denied recognition by the Ryerson Students’ Union. The RSU claimed the group could cause an “unsafe” environment for women on campus and has purported links to anti-feminist groups, which it denies. The biggest strike against them, it seems, is that they haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid: they were told it was an RSU requirement to acknowledge the “systemic privilege that men have.”

“They have to acknowledge there’s a systemic suppression of women?” the judge asked incredulously.

He was told that they must.

“Isn’t there something wrong in making someone take an oath on what they believe or don’t believe?” Perrel asked. “Isn’t there something offensive requiring someone to acknowledge someone else’s belief systems?”

There certainly is.

On Oct. 27, 2015, MIAS was informed its application for club status had been rejected.

“The reasons they gave us were ridiculous,” the group’s former president Kevin Arriola recalled in an interview. “They claimed that we would bring violence and misogyny against women on campus, which is not true. Half our members were women. If you look at our mandate, our constitution, as well as the events that we held, none of them were in any way directed negatively towards women. ”

UTM Students for Life used to have club status at UofT Mississauga but the students’ union refused to renew them because of their “stance on abortion.” Then they changed tack and said it was because of technical problems in their constitution. Yet when SFL tried to make the required changes, Moore claimed the student association stacked the meeting with people opposed to the group and the motion failed.

These “shenanigans,” he said, are examples of the bad faith these clubs have endured. Perell conceded it seemed rather “kafkaesque.”

The third group, Speak for the Weak, was told it was denied club status because it’s pro-life and allowing the club on campus would run counter to “building an environment free of systemic societal oppression and decolonization.”

For heaven’s sake.

Meanwhile, the lawyers for the student unions insisted they are private corporations making private decisions and the court has no right to interfere. The Charter, they argued, doesn’t apply to them.

But they operate in public institutions funded by tax dollars – why do they get to silence voices that have a right to be heard?

The judge has reserved his decision.

http://torontosun.com/news/local-news/mandel-banned-from-campus-groups-fight-back

 

L’OREAL SEVERS TIES WITH MODEL AFTER ANTI-SEMITIC TWEETS REVEALED

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269114/loreal-severs-ties-model-after-anti-semitic-tweets-ari-lieberman

French Cosmetic giant L’Oréal fired hijab-clad Muslim model, Amena Khan on Monday following revelations that Khan posted several anti-Semitic memes and rants on social media. Most of the postings were from the summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, while Israel was in the midst of a difficult counter-insurgency campaign aimed at stopping indiscriminate Hamas rocket fire and destroying Hamas terror tunnels that the group hoped to use in the commission of mega attacks against Israelis.

L’Oréal had initially hired Khan to feature in an ad campaign for hair products. Khan attempted to frantically delete the damning tweets but soon learned to her chagrin that what’s posted on the internet stays on the internet like a stubborn rash that won’t go away.

In a statement, Khan said that she “deeply regret[ted] the content of the tweets,” and decided to step down because she didn’t want to serve as a distraction from the positive aspects of L’Oréal’s message of inclusivity. L’Oréal released its own message stating that it agreed with Khan’s decision to step down.

Reading between the lines, it’s easy to discern that Khan’s decision to step down was anything but voluntary. L’Oréal fired her and had no choice in the matter. The backlash against L’Oréal was instantaneous, and the company had its reputation to protect, and of course, the bottom line.

Khan’s tweets were indeed vile and rabidly anti-Semitic. She called Israel a “sinister state” and an “illegal state.” She accused Israel of committing genocide, massacres and deliberately targeting children for murder, and for good measure, added rape and torture to the mix. She then went on to compare the Israel Defense Forces with Nazi henchmen. When another twitter user pointed out the absurdity of the comparison by utilizing biting sarcasm, Khan ignored the pointed criticism and doubled down on her absurd comparison.

No one is punishing Khan for criticizing the Israeli government or its policies. No country on earth should be exempt from criticism. But often times, Israel’s shrillest critics, many of whom are deeply anti-Semitic, cross the line veering squarely into overt Jew-hatred. Khan clearly crossed that line with her inflammatory and patently absurd rhetoric.

Famed human rights activist and refusenik Natan Sharansky postulated a simple test, called the 3D Test, to determine whether criticism of Israel crosses the line. If the criticism demonizes Israel by comparing the nation, its government and its armed forces to Nazis, that constitutes antisemitism.  If the criticism delegitimizes Israel by questioning Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, that constitutes antisemitism. If the criticism subjects Israel to double standards, whereby only Israel is criticized and nations or entities committing far more egregious transgressions are insulated from criticism, that constitutes antisemitism. The United States State Department incorporates elements of this test into its definition of antisemitism.

Under the 3D paradigm, Amena Khan clearly crossed the line and in fact, violated all three at once. She compared Israel to Nazis thus engaging in demonizing calumnies. She called Israel and “Illegal state” thus questioning the legitimate right of Israel to exist. Finally, she directed scathing criticism against Israel while ignoring Hamas transgressions – indiscriminate rocket fire, cynical exploitation of human shields, terror tunnels – and even acted as an apologist for the terror group’s activities.

The double irony is that L’Oreal, maker of Lash Architect 3D Mascara, hired a bigoted individual who was guilty of practicing 3D antisemitism to feature prominently as the company’s representative in its inclusivity and diversity ad campaign. It goes without saying that a figure as odious as Khan would make for a rather poor spokeswoman, a PR disaster.

L’Oréal’s past is sullied with the stench of antisemitism. Its founder, Eugène Schueller, was deeply anti-Semitic and despite the fact that his country was conquered and occupied by Germany, was an admirer of Nazism and Hitler. But his pro-Nazi attitudes went beyond admiration. He actively collaborated with the Nazis supplying paint for the Reich’s naval fleet and forging a close relationship with a German official named Helmut Knochen. Knochen was responsible for rounding up French Jews for deportation and murder and following the war, named Schueller as one of his “voluntary collaborators.”

But it would be unfair to blame L’Oréal for the sins of its past. In fact, L’Oréal currently has a major presence in Israel, and with its headquarters in Netanya, its logistics center in Cesarea, and its plant in Migdal HaEmek, employs some one-thousand Israelis. More importantly, while L’Oréal can be accused of negligence for failing to perform the requisite background checks, it acted appropriately when the offending tweets came to light and terminated its relationship with Khan in relatively expeditious fashion.

The lesson for large companies with reputations to protect like L’Oréal is obvious; have your HR people exercise some simple due diligence before taking on a high profile hire. The lesson for Khan and those of similar ilk is equally obvious; learn to break the chains of mindless hate and ignorance, and if you’re incapable of doing so, don’t broadcast your vile, xenophobic ignorance to the world via social media because your words will undoubtedly come back to haunt you.