"Les faces cachées d'Amir Khadir" The new faces of the old fears

Par Beryl Wajsman le 26 juin 2012

Quebec playwright and novelist Pierre K. Malouf has recently published an explosive book on one of the most controversial and divisive figures in the Quebec political scene. "Les faces cachées d'Amir Khadir" - "The Hidden Faces of Amir Khadir" - examines the Québec Solidaire MNA from Mercier from several perspectives.

The book, brought out by the independent publishing house called Accent Grave, is divided into two parts. The first examines Khadir's involvement in the boycott of a St. Denis St. shoe store called "Le Marcheur" because that store had the "audacity" to sell Israeli shoes among its products. Readers may remember this paper's leadership in supprt of Le Marcheur. Eventually, the street was taken back from Khadir and his cohorts, but they moved further down St.Denis to boycott a store selling exclusively Israeli producs called Naot.

les_faces_cashes.jpgKhadir came in for almost unanimous condemnation in the Quebec media and political circles. There were two reasons for it. The first was his support for a boycott of Israeli goods. But just as important was the rejection by Quebecers of the sight of an MNA actively seeking to cripple the business of merchants, the Archambaults, in his own riding. The book takes a searing look at what may have been Khadir's motivations. The thoroughly researched and footnoted thesis is troubling not only for our conceptions of misplaced tolerance in Quebec society, but also for what it magnifies about the knee-jerk prejudices of the extreme left in Quebec represented by Québec Solidaire and some of its sketchiers allies.

Khadir's  approval ratings plummeted when his involvement was highlited in the press, and it has dropped even further since the publication of this book. Some ten days ago Le Devoir wrote that further to a poll, Khadir's popularity was in "chute libre" - free fall. It has been said that the book destroys the "mythology" around Khadir. Perhaps too about Quebec's left.

One of Malouf's gatest contributions in this book is unmasking what Khadir, and the radical "gauche caviar" say in public and what comes out in the protection of the shadows. He demonstrates that Khadir's extreme and virulent actions and statements in the St.Denis St. Incidents can only be understood in the context of what Malouf calls the "alliances douteuses" of this MNA , who and what he is really "solidaire" with, and the troubling consequences for all Quebecers of these alliances.

The book also examines why Khadir has an almost fiery obsession with Israel while having remained practically mute about  Islamist dictators and the tyrannies and hypocrisies of the left. How he goes as far as repeating the lie of Israeli "apartheid" against Palestinians and then overlays it with accusations of Quebec "apartheid" against first nations.

No one can accuse Malouf of having an axe to grind. He has always been a political independent, never being a militant for or against any political party or movement in particular. But power of this work cannot be denied.

It is instructive to note that within days of its release  Khadir was arrested for participating in an illegal demonstration - which he had done before the book's publication with impunity - and the arrest of his daughter for allegedly, among other things, being involved in the metro smoke bomb incidents. Maybe there was some de-mythologizing after all.

Malouf makes an eloquent and concivncing indictment Khadir who while ardently painting himself as a compassionate doctor at the service of humanity, has a much less flattering side of service to many causes that reasonable people would consider deliterious to a liberal, pluralistic society.

The second part of the book will open the eyes of many who consider the role of Québec Solidaire to be a "progressive" one on the political scene. It opens a much needed  debate on just what progressive really means in today's terms.  It examines the behind the scenes alliances of Quebec's extreme left and some of it's connections with sympathizers of Hamas,and puts the lie to the image of Hamas as the "humanitarian" organization it -  and it's sympathizers here - would like to portray it as.

It also closely examines the chasm between what Khadir and the "gauche caviar" say they do for the defense of the unempowered and the relief of the vulnerable, and what in actual fact they occupy their time with. Malouf destroys with hard-hitting prose, unimpeachable references and even some humour the ideological falsehoods and historic revisionism with which the archetype Québec leftists have armed themselves with for most of a generation.

Malouf brilliantly uses Khadir's involvement in what Malouf calls the "intifada on St. Denis St." as a case study in how the left uses the demonization of Israel through the sophistry of anti-Zionism as a bludgeon to push forward an ideological agenda of a centralized command state they seek to achieve here.

Malouf quotes copiously not only the words of Khadir, but also from the texts, declarations and program of Québec Solidaire, to unmask the real "projet de société" the left would impose on us all.  It is not a pretty picture.

An axis of radical éco-theocrats, extreme socialists  and bitter nationalists whose beliefs lead to the inescapable conclusion that our "odious" consumer society in this "sacred earth" must be re-educated at best and eliminated at worst.

It is a tough read but a necessary one. It is a book of generational importance. It will immunize you from any false notions of altruism in the left, the Islamists or the radical eco-theocrats. The book is delightfully not politically correct. But so liberating that it can cause a revolution in our public discourse.

So many today  are so scared of calling out the hypocrisies and lies of those who call themselves progressives. We lived through another period like that in the 1930s and 1940s called "La Grande Noirceur" when the same fear existed. But that fear was of speaking truth to the power of the retrograde and revanchiste right-wing nationalism of a political and clerical establishment that sought to keep Francophones prisoners in their own home. And then a brave editor named Jean-Charles Harvey who ran a paper called Le Jour published a little novel called "Le Peur." And that book changed everything. It gave people courage to speak, not just see, the truth. It was the intellectual parent of the Quiet Revolution. Pierre Malouf's book has the power to do the same and give courage to "les lucides" to finally begin putting an end to "les solidaires."



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