UPDATES

 

Updated book list at The Bent Pages. December 20, 2016

Bookclub friends in Ottawa looking for new bookclub friends at the social book clubNovember 3, 2016

Bringing together intellectual fellowship during the day, the Ottawa South Town Readers is looking for members.  November 2, 2016

Mystery Lovers of Toronto welcomes anyone who just loves mysteries. September 5, 2016

Looking for a few more people to join the Women from Orleans book club. Located just out of Ottawa, we are an open-hearted group. February 1, 2016

Book review completed for The Humana Chronicles and The Dream Nation by Michael Bellusci. July 20, 2015

Book review completed for Guts: Get Uncomfortable to Succeed by Betty Franklin, RN. May 7, 2015

The Aurora Women's Book Club will accept women of any age, interested in classics to guilty pleasures! April 24, 2015

The Unputdownable Book Club appeared on The Social! March 7, 2015

Book review completed for "Finding Matthew: A Child with Brain Damage, A Young Man with Mental Illness, A Son and Brother with Extraordinary Spirit" by Donna Kirk February 23, 2015

Update complete on the Book Review section. We will soon start to review books once again! December 12, 2014

Some open spots for a few more members in the North Vancouver Book Club. September 10, 2014

The B.L.A.C. Party is more than just reading books. Toronto members needed! April 26, 2014

more...

Featured Book Club

Grand River Readers Guild

Librarian and experienced book club member looking to start a book club in her new hometown! I live in Paris, Ontario, but would welcome members from the surrounding areas. I envision a focus on contemporary literary fiction, but would happily read the classics and literary nonfiction, as well as the occasional work of genre fiction if it is thought-provoking and favourably reviewed (e.g. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). more...

Where does discussion lead us?

Books lead us into realms we are either familiar with or would like to explore. Honouring that, we take it further with book discussions. If we carefully build our bookclubs, our discussions can be enlightening with the width and breadth of wide-ranging opinions. The trick is to learn how to be respectful and open-minded while engaged in dialogue. But that skill, and it is a skill -- on learning how to hear negative things about our viewpoints -- helps to challenge our biases.

It is with dismay that I see a current motion before our Canadian House of Commons that threatens to limit discussion on one religion, Motion M103. When MP David Anderson suggested that Islamophobia be removed and all religions be the focus, Iqra Khalid who proposed the motion thought that would water down the motion!!!

I don't think she understands what Canada is all about. We have our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Our country's history shows mistakes we have committed. In striving for a generalization, the well meaning white people who governed Canada in the past have brought residential schools, internment camps for Asians during World War II, the elimination of a black neighborhood in Halifax in the 1960s... Gosh, there is a lot of stuff we can feel guilty about.

But in all that "regretful and guilt-ridden" past, we have always been free to discuss and argue the ethnic, religious, and cultural issues around our mistakes. This motion wants us to make another mistake. If this motion is passed we will be freezing the ideology/religion of Islam in time. A bunch of well-meaning white people will make it an offense to talk about Islam, to discuss it, to point out the negative things like the extremism, the religious laws that discount and degrade women, children, and homosexuals. Those are all real, rational fears. So who decides when those fears are part of Islamophobia? And what qualifies those deciders?

The Christian Old Testament has some horrific ideas about women and children which have thankfully evolved into the New Testament. For that evolution to happen, discussions had to occur, slow in the dark ages but Christianity did progress. Still to this day, people argue and dispute Christianity, especially the extremely fundamentalist views.

M103 threatens the evolution of Islam, forcing it into the Dark Age of restriction. If this motion passes, we will be saying that the current view of Islam is correct, that anyone who disagrees with an irrational fear, including past adherents who no longer believe cannot discuss the issues around Islam. The current school of thought says that the moderate Islamic must dispute and say no to radical viewpoints within their communities.

So what should a bunch of white liberal people in the Canadian House of Commons do with M103 when the secondary recorded vote happens in early April? It must not pass. We must allow Islam to evolve through discussion, criticism, and yes there will be some racism. We need to do better than giving into white people's guilt and passing a motion that restricts our fundamental freedom to discuss. The passage of M103 would protect Islam enough to allow inroads for radical Islam and Sharia Law. The Islamic moderates who are trying to modernized their religion will be stopped. The women who don't want to adhere to Islam will be pulled back into the religion, unwilling participants. By passing M103, we would create a fear of talking and a culture of silence.

Remember, you live in Canada. Let us not make the same reoccurring mistake of being patriarchal and thinking one small segment of society who supports motion M103 knows best for all of Canada. Many historical immigrants to Canada have experienced racism but we all survived. You will survive without M103 as you are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We will survive without M103 and will be better off for allowing the hard truths of Islam to evolve inside Canada's democracy.

Actions:

Read M103 and who voted for it

Contact your MP and the governing Liberal MPs

Sign the e-petition against Sharia Law

No need to login when viewing twitter:

For the latest on M103

For the latest in Canadian political news

Canadian activist Sandra Solomon

Check in on the University of Toronto Professor

Check in on human and women's rights activists:
British activist Anne Marie Waters
American activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali

©Gayle Knutson
CanadianBookClubs.com
March 24, 2017

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