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You see some interesting paradoxes in politics around here..

As you may know, Naheed Nenshi is Calgary’s new mayor. There were a few headlines in the newspapers trumpeting that he was the first ever Muslim-Canadian to be elected as a mayor. I saw some people write in to those media outlets, and take some exception to the fact that the newspapers were doing this; why should it matter, they said, whether Nenshi was a Muslim or not, and why would the media seize on that aspect?

On the other side of that coin, we have the Blogging Tories co-founder wondering aloud why no one ever told him or anyone else beforehand that Nenshi was a Muslim – he thought he looked like a Hindu! (These guys over here apparently knew he was a Muslim, and none too happy about it).

I don’t know about national media, but I had known Nenshi was Muslim prior to the election, and I’m not normally one to follow local municipal politics closely, let alone Calgary’s. I’m sure most of Calgary’s voters did as well – and for a plurality, it didn’t bother them.


26 comments to You see some interesting paradoxes in politics around here..

  • Derek

    ferret – the obvious objections people are raising over your post is that you -assumed- he was Indian/Hindi as a result of his skin colour when you should have simply taken the time to do a brief biographical check. I thought people who criticized people on the sole basis of colour or creed were racists or are you suggesting – politely- that new rules be created for Muslims aiming to serve their country?

    • Redrum

      @Derek, don’t expect a rational response from him. I looked at some of the sites on his _short_ blogroll list, and most of them are dedicated to showing what dangerous, vile creatures Muslims are. It’s good ol’ boys like him who got the Reformers to where they are — and are keeping them at that ceiling, despite the best efforts of Jason Kenny, who’s been running around trying to ingratiate the Party to immigrant communities, and is insisting that Calgary is colour & religion blind. (And who pointed out, snicker, that AB & the Cons. already had a Muslim MP: Rahim!)

      www +

      • Derek

        @Redrum, What I would most like to know is how (this is still directed towards ferret), Nenshi’s Muslim background would serve to the detriment of Calgarians – given that your (ferret) post is not so much a summation of various arguments serving to caution or temper public support for his candidacy, but a short list of personally drawn criticisms about the newly elected mayor of Calgary. Leading off with “righteous” indignation that the media may have mislead you (and surely countless others) about Naheed Nenshi’s Muslim heritage.

        I just don’t understand the relevance of making these sorts of comments and would really appreciate some clarification by ferret as to what he/she was trying to suggest there.

  • Sorry Ferret… Can’t accept that online dic definition (because they also define “slang” expressions and uses of phrases). Besides, being one, I kinda know how people of the culture are referred to. You may correctly say “Hindi speakers” (and this is quite likely the usage any definition would be referring to).

    Still, this doesn’t change your incorrect use and wrongful slant in this whole discussion. Your assumption (to agree with the Con member) of a person’s skin color dictating their nationality is just wrong. Otherwise I really should be of some South Asian nationality – and not a born/bred Canadian with strong Prairie roots.

    Many people don’t know the definition of bigotry either – often playing ignorant to being so. Your observations are bigotted at best…

  • And here is the hilarious part. All of you idiots acting superior because you think you know the definition of Hindi…

    Hindi [ˈhɪndɪ]
    1. (Linguistics / Languages) a language or group of dialects of N central India. It belongs to the Indic branch of the Indo-European family and is closely related to Urdu See also Hindustani
    2. (Linguistics / Languages) a formal literary dialect of this language, the official language of India, usually written in Nagari script
    3. (Social Science / Peoples) a person whose native language is Hindi

    So who exactly is the ignorant one?

    It was fun schooling you liberal tools 🙂

    • Redrum

      @ferrethouse, To the rescue w. a dictionary, that “Hindi” might apply to a whole GROUP of language speakers, then, eh, to try to salvage your misuse? I guess yours must be a one-room school: the closet, where you play with your ferrets.)

    • Redrum

      @ferrethouse, Ok, I reread the df, & acknowledge that it does sanction that slightly bizarre usage of referring to a person via the language they speak rather than their through their nationality (or just as oddly, I guess, their religion: “Hey, look, over there: an Episcopalian!).

      So, how long have you been… you know… _English_, then?

      BTW, even if Nenshi’s folks did hail from India (which they didn’t), they may have been among that country’s 22.6 million Sikhs, or 27 million Christians, or 160 million Islamic people (projecting the 2001 Census fig’s to the 2010 pop.), plus, of course, he could have converted to any of literally of dozens of religions having grown up here in Canada,

      and then there’s the whole thing about your being oblivious of the media coverage around you,

      but if you want to feel vindicated by that wondrous “Free Online Dictionary” escape-clause, by all means, I’ll grant you this:

      You weren’t actually linguistically incorrect in assuming he was Hindi because he looked like an Indian to you, after all: just hopelessly ignorant and bigoted.

  • They all look alike to a ferret. I love how he corrects his post without any acknowledgement of the change. Typical Con ethics.

    • Redrum

      @Jymn, I’m not sure about that: in all fairness, his original post was indeed, “He looks Indian so I assumed he was Hindi.” But I understand his distraction, now: with so many ferrets in his house, he’s clearly got other things on his…hind.

    • @Jymn,

      I didn’t correct my post jackass.

      God I love how you guys go on and on about my supposed misuse of the term Hindi and you assholes are the ones who are too lazy to actually look in a dictionary. LMAO

      • @ferrethouse, I would be careful who you’re calling lazy; there’s been plenty of references listed that show the media “peeping” about Nenshi being a Muslim, yet which you apparently missed.

        What do you do.. only read the Blogging Tories aggregate and in order to get your “news”? Is the Sun too “liberal” even for you? 🙂

  • How elitist. You folks know everything don’t you. Oh no – I said “Hindi” instead of “Hindu” – I’m soooo ignorant. What a joke. Don’t you folks have a census to complain about – lol. Or are you too busy defending the most regressive and oppressive religion on the planet? I guess you are only “progressive” when it doesn’t cost you votes 🙂

    • Redrum

      @ferrethouse, it’s not just your spelling, it’s that you’re such a maroon you obviously didn’t pay attention to the media that was going on around you, which, sorry, often made reference to his faith, or even google or ‘wiki’ him, in which case you’d find out his family hailed from Tanzania, which is, um, not only a different country than India, but on a different CONTINENT. But, hey, “They all look alike,” eh?

    • Redrum

      @ferrethouse, given your evidently “special” status, let me help you with the research:

      Vandalism at Calgary mayoral candidate’s office an anti-Muslim attack: officials, Postmedia News September 12, 2010

      www +

      Muslim mayoral candidate’s HQ vandalized
      Last Updated: Monday, September 13, 2010 | 6:02 PM ET

      www +

      Background, experience readied Nenshi to take on challenges of Calgary’s mayor, By Kelly Cryderman, Calgary Herald September 28, 2010

      www +

      Ladha: So what if he’s Muslim? Nenshi would make a great mayor, By Mansoor Ladha, For The Calgary Herald October 14, 2010

      www +

      (copy & paste the links, removing the first + and spaces, which are inserted so the post doesn’t go in spam filter)

      • Redrum

        @ferrethouse, also, re: “prior to the election there wasn’t a single peep from the media or anyone else about Nenshi’s faith” — turns out even the Calgary Sun mentioned it at least twice: once after the vandalism on his HQ:

        Campaign HQ vandalized, By DAVE DORMER, Calgary Sun, Last Updated: September 12,
        www +

        and once just before the vote:

        This race isn’t about race, By Michael Platt, Calgary Sun, Last Updated: October 17, 2010

        www +

    • @ferrethouse,

      You do realize that there’s more than one kind of Muslim, do you not? Nenshi is, as I understand it, an Ismaili. That IS one of the more progressive sects.

      Here, have a towel. You need it to wipe that self-splattered egg off your face.

  • Holly Stick

    Yes, he is also too ignorant to realise that people living in India may follow various religions.

    I like trumpeting that my new mayor is Muslim, just to see the Islamophobes’ heads explode. There again, Calgary’s longest serving mayor was a socialist, Andrew Davison, 1930-1945.

  • zia

    Short list of important languages in India:
    Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Chhattisgarhi, Dogri, Garo, Gujarati, Standard Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Khasi, Kokborok, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Mizo, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu

    from a total that is greater than 1000.

    • Redrum

      @zia, Over 1,000? Wow.

      Ahem (recovering), I mean: So, they think they don’t have to make do with just two official languages, just cuz they’ve got over 1.1 Billion people? Hmmph… show-offs.

      Mind you, apparently there were about 50 First Nations languages here (tho’ lots are dying out).

      www +

      So I guess that means we are/were actually about 70% as linguistically diverse as India, then, proportionally speaking. (35 millionish/52 vs, um, 1140 millionish/1100ish)

      Yeah, for us English, then – we’re almost as multicultural as the Hindi.

      • zia


        Earlier this month another language in India has been discovered by linguists … this is far from the topic of Naheed Nenshi. He was born in Canada and his parents are from Tanzania. But the information about languages is very interesting. It seems to be too easy to overlook the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada.

  • Ahhh Michael, you beat me to the punch… I too am not surprised at the ignorance of the “party of stupid”. Too ignorant to know the correct term is “Indian” – period. To refer to someone as “Hindu” (or “hindi”) based on skin color is like referring to someone as “Catholic” because of theirs’. Fact is, you can’t imply religion (which is what Hinduism is) based on how someone looks. Heck, hundreds of Hollywood celebs practice Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. You certainly can’t define them as a language…

    I watched the film “Idiot Nation” (about the US under Bush) and was laughing… Not so much now. Oh, the ignorance…

    And it’s not a “typo” either (as they’ll hope to establish). I’m brown, and have been called a “Hindi” to my face several times on the bald Prairies by NeoCon reactionary types… I was always shocked into trying to figure out what the morons meant… Lol…

  • Michael

    I love how the Blogging Tories co-founder also says he thought was Nenshi was “Hindi”, which is, of course, a language. Someone can be “Hindu” but not “Hindi”.

    Perhaps I’m nitpicking, but it just a further showing of ignorance IMO.

    • Redrum

      @Michael, yeah, and he also notes, “it peeked my interest,” which, again, either means he’s a maroon, or a latent Peeping Tom (Judeo-Christian values, indeed: covet thy neigbour’s bod).

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