Darrell Furgason responds to Chilliwack Progress article

Trustee candidate says he wants to ‘develop robust thinking through critical thinking skills’ in Chilliwack students

I wish to respond to the inaccuracies and philosophical errors in Paul Henderson’s article about me in The Progress Sept 7, page A17 (“Creationist educator joins school board race”).

• According to Henderson, postings on my Worldview Studies Center pages express “Islamophobia”

My MA thesis at the University of Sydney (1991) is a study of the Political IDEOLOGY of Islam and its application and expression globally. My PhD (2001) is a study of the political and religious views of Muslim students. Henderson’s use of the phrase “Islamophobia” to describe my philosophical position on the politics of Islam is almost laughable. Would Henderson accuse the University of Sydney of Islamophobia for passing my MA thesis and PhD on an academic examination and critique of the political ideology of Muslims! Islamism is a well-studied political ideology, and one that our own Canadian troops are engaged in fighting right now in several areas of the world, including the Middle East and Africa. In a Vancouver Sun Editorial, Sept 3, 2004, the writer makes it very clear when he says, “…Islamism is a totalitarian political ideology. Islamists want to establish, by force, ‘Allah’s rule on earth’ “. Surely Henderson would not also accuse the Vancouver Sun editor of “Islamophobia” for stating an obvious truth about political Islam?

Criticizing a political ideology is the business of political science. Writing about/and criticizing Communism is not expressing “Communo-phobia” (my phrase) nor is writing about Nazism expressing “Nazi-phobia” (my phrase) …. nor does it reveal a “hatred” for Germans. Let’s get the meanings clear.

• Henderson asserts that my postings on social media are “inflammatory”.

Using emotive terms like “inflammatory” is a common tactic of media today to marginalize a viewpoint, or ridicule a person, idea, or position on an issue. Who is being “inflamed? Why is my analysis of current global political events “inflammatory” while Henderson’s many articles about Chilliwack’s political developments are not, for example? Using terms like “inflammatory” to describe an idea encourages university students today to feel justified in shutting down professors (e.g., Jordan Peterson) who present ideas they cannot stand to hear……i.e. ideas contrary to their own. One of my aims as a School Trustee for students in Chilliwack is to develop robust thinking through critical thinking skills, so that Chilliwack graduates will become the social and political leaders so needed in our nation today.

• Henderson asserts that when I speak of a “Clash of Civilizations” this is somehow an “alt-right conspiracy”.

One of the most well studied – and respected – political analyses of contemporary global developments in the 1990’s was a book by Samuel Huntington called “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” (Simon & Shuster, 1997). It was part of my MA curriculum. In his book, Huntington described what he saw as a coming clash of the Islamic world with the West. And what we are experiencing today with Islamic terrorism and Middle East turmoil is very close to Huntington’s analysis. This book was not considered an “alt-right” conspiracy, but rather became an important resource for many political science departments in Western universities. How is it that when I used the term, according to Henderson, I somehow became a promulgator of alt-right conspiracies?

• And finally, Henderson accuses me of “homophobia” and “transphobia”.

Analysing and critiquing the political views and subsequent political activities of ANY GROUP in Canada or elsewhere is a normal, accepted, and promoted activity of academia. I am running for School Board, which is an EDUCATIONAL position. I am therefore concerned with FACT BASED approach to the ideas being presented in curriculum, policies, and practices. Our poorly defined “hate speech” laws have been/and are being used as a weapon today by LGBTQ activists in political activism. To examine, critique and criticize the political position and/or activities of a group (like Transgender activists) is not “transphobia”. Free speech is not ipso facto “hate speech”. Just because a person opposes judicial activism does not mean they “hate” judges.

In conclusion, Henderson’s article about me exposes a philosophical bias, leading him to mis-characterize discussions on my FB pages about important issues such as Islamic politics, LGBTQ activism, and the social and political impact of Trans activism. As a School Board Trustee, I would promote the development of critical thinking and writing skills in Chilliwack schools. These are important for the analysis of global events. Let’s get the FACTS straight.

Darrell Furgason PhD

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