What I did not discuss is the other side of the dynamic--that the stances politicians take can cause insecurity, which leads to violence. My omission is being corrected today because some Muslims in Canada have been assaulted in recent days as Canadians are now living in a more fearful/angry environment.
I tweeted thusly:
That Stephen Harper is causing crime via inspiring the haters. I don't this is hyperbole or exaggeration at all. Leaders seek to inspire, using symbols, policies and stances to attract support. To mobilize people to vote for themselves and against others. Harper is clearly trying to drive a wedge between Mulcair and the Islamophobes, and it is working. But that wedging also creates friction--encouraging haters to see their views as legitimate and worthy of more than just voting--worthy of action. So, Muslims get targeted.Leadership is really important, setting the mood, defining the limits. Harper's full on Islamophobia is now, dare I say it, dangerous.— Steve Saideman (@smsaideman) October 6, 2015
Any increase in hate crimes against Muslims in September-October of 2015 is clearly on Harper's hands. The good news for him is that he can suppress the reports if he stays in office, because transparency is pretty much his enemy in all circumstances.
With the new stance of possibly kicking out of public service positions women wearing niqabs, my opinion of Harper now moves into the category of contempt.