Friday, October 20, 2017

Jagmeet Singh needs to get it straight on the Air India bombing: Jonathan Kay

Imagine for a moment if an American politician were asked about Osama Bin Laden, and her response was that she had no idea who was responsible for Sept. 11. She'd become instantly unelectable for dog catcher — no matter what her skin colour, or that of her interviewer. Even here in Canada, Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists have been forced out of politics, though the event was a primarily American tragedy.

Yet here we have the leader of a national Canadian political party telling us he has no idea who orchestrated our own Sept. 11 — the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 — and the response among many is to scold the interviewer for insensitivity. This is insane.
Defenders of federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh claim that he was unfairly ambushed when interviewer Terry Milewski asked him to denounce the glorification of Sikh terrorism on CBC's Power & Politics earlier this month.

Writer Ian Gillespie, for instance, argued that "asking [Singh] to stir up an old, outdated dispute in his community, when no other leader would even be asked the [question], is unfairly divisive." Vice reporter Drew Brown wrote: "It's very hard to shake the impression that the only thing prompting [Milewski's line of questioning] is that he happened to be talking to a newbie Sikh politician and wanted to spring a 'gotcha' moment on him using his ethnic background as a trap."

Singh himself said on Sunday, "I think there was definitely some sort of clear problematic line of thought behind that question, so I'm definitely concerned with it…It was offensive to me that that was even a question."
20/10/17 Jonathan Kay/CBC news

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