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Canadians sends a strong message to Postmedia: Diversity requires trust


An Opinion piece published by Vancouver Sun in their Saturday September 7th edition just confirms what Muslims have been saying for years -the medias inherent bias and propaganda against Islam and Muslim.   As the law of propaganda attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels says, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, this particular articled had a perception of academically sound and peer reviewed analysis that Immigration is bad, and Immigrants in particular Muslim cannot be trusted.   

The online version was titled “Mark Hecht: Ethnic diversity harms a country's social trust, economic well-being, argues professor” while the printed paper version asked “Can Social trust an diversity co-exist?.” Above the article was a quote, “Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and co-authors of a paper titled Fractionalization argued that greater diversity leads to stunted economic growth. In other words, diversity is a weakness as far as the economy is concerned. Mark Hecht, Mount Royal University.”

The quote starting with “Harvard economists” and ending with “Mount Royal University” would entice anyone to read and believe if not at least make a perception that the article is an academic piece and would certainly be worth the paper it is printed on.

Vancouver Sun has since taken the article down but is available in the archive and the author’s website.

Mark Hecht is an instructor, not a professor; a commentator, and certainly not an expert on immigration. Arguing that Canada’s diversity – i.e. Immigration will depreciate high social trust, which is lead to less economic productivity and happiness and using Denmark as an example for his thesis.

He states, “Instead of diversity being a blessing, many found that they’ve ended up with a lot of arrogant people living in their countries with no intention of letting go of their previous cultures, animosities, preferences, and pretensions.”

“Scandinavian countries are becoming even more trusting. Canada, Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia are all going in the opposite direction. In Canada, we are becoming less trusting of one other.”

“Denmark recognized this problem long ago, and is now finding practical solutions. It knows what it was — a country that worked very well when it was homogeneous, where everyone wanted to be and was a part of the society. They spoke the same language, understood the same customs and traditions, and held the same beliefs. The result was that people trusted each other and the economy flourished.”

He also suggests a solution calling Canada to “Say goodbye to diversity, tolerance and inclusion” and to support his conclusion Mark States, “Switzerland is a good example of this paradox in action. With four recognized ethnicities — German, French, Italian and Romansh — they also have high levels of social trust. How? It’s simple. Each ethnicity has its own geography and government. It does not mix ethnicities, nor does one try to control the others.”

Indirectly the Mark spokes fear of Muslims, “Shariah law is more important than national law” by citing a poll done Gatestone Institute- A deeply Islamophobic Organization.  The Council on American-Islamic Relations states, “The Gatestone Institute employs false information regarding Muslim refugees in Europe to stoke fear and hatred of Muslims in the West, including the fabricated idea of “no-go zones”, “The Gatestone Institute publishes “an online daily report” on their website, in which previous editions have featured articles from Geert Wilders, who has stated “I hate Islam,” and David Horowitz, a prominent anti-Muslim figure.”

The CAIR suggests Gatestone’s founder, Nina Rosenwald promotes Islamophobia through the William Rosenwald Family Fund.  “In fact, a report titled “Fear Inc.” by the Center for American Progress found that the fund is one of the “top seven contributors to promoting Islamophobia in our country” and has put forth $2.8 million to “organizations that fan the flames of Islamophobia” since 2000.”

The article got a lot of backlash including some of the employees and writers at Vancouver Sun prompting the editor to issue an apology.

Some questioned the newspapers decision making process.

“I am curious as to what decision making process Postmedia went through in order to post this rather appalling (op-ed piece).  Was it a search to find the most offensive (one) possible? The one most likely to appeal to our burgeoning hard-right collective?” asked Carina Soderlund from Vancouver.


Rob Shaw wrote on his twitter handle,

 “1. What a complete pile of absolute garbage that op-ed is.

2. I have no idea why it was published. IMO it never should have been and is inexcusably wrong.

3. Rank-and-file journos don’t control op-eds, editors do.

4. Let’s not forget reporters/columnists here do great work daily”

By Saturday afternoon, Harold Munro, the Editor in Chief apologized on his twitter account, “My apology to our readers about the opinion article that never should have been published today.”

In the Mondays edition a full apology was published by the Editor in Chief of the Vancouver Sun Harold Munro in page 2 including the online edition as follows;




An opinion article by Mark Hecht published in Saturday’s Weekend Review section and online contained views that do not meet the journalistic standards of The Vancouver Sun and do not represent the views of our editors and journalists.

The Vancouver Sun is committed to promoting and celebrating diversity, tolerance and inclusion. Our vibrant community and nation are built on these important pillars.

We apologize for the publication of the article. We are reviewing our local workflow and editorial processes to ensure greater oversight and accountability so that this does not happen again.

We value the trust that our community and readers place in The Vancouver Sun and we are committed to continuing, every day, to earn that trust.

Robert Falconer, a research associate at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy with a focus on Immigration and Refugee Policy, has written a rebuttal piece, which appears on page A9 of Monday’s newspaper. You will also find a sampling of letters from readers here.

Ravi kahlon, MLA for North Delta also spoke on the issue stating in his twitter account, “I read this oped that was posted last night. I was so angry that I promised myself I wouldn’t say anything till I slept on it. I can’t sleep!!! Given what I heard from communities this summer on anti-racism tour I am sickened that this hate is validated by the  Vancouver Sun.”



While few readers are calling for resignation of Harold, others are just wondering how and why did Vancouver Sun publish this nonsense just before elections.

Randy miles  writes on his twitter handle wrote “I’m calling BS.. I think since federal NDP is Indian, I think this story WAS PRINTED for him to read and to sway voters.”

While we know Vancouver Sun and their Owners Postmedia did endorse in their editorial Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the last election, which was directly targeting Muslims throughout the campaign and the results after the election demonstrated how Canadians far and wide rejected the divisive policies of Pitting Canadians against Canadians, this opinion peace just before another election can be said to be an “accidental mistake” willingly by choice.  The outright rejection by Canadians of all stripes the idea of  “Saying goodbye to diversity, tolerance and inclusion”  defiantly sends a strong message for the paper, their bosses and politicians to stay away from wedge issues for political gains.   

Although some may argue the op-ed’s publication was a free-speech however the editors failed their responsibility to ensure the peace does not promote hatred and racism towards immigrants and minorities. A credible Media such as Vancouver Sun should choose to take a side and it should be for diversity, tolerance and inclusion, not otherwise.