Rants and Raves

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Free Speech: Where's the Outrage?

*I reviewed Mark Steyn's America Alone here: http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2006/12/review-america-alone.html

If you go to Mark steyn's web site here: http://www.marksteyn.com/ you'll see that he, and MACLEAN'S, a Canadian mag he publishes in, are in a spot of legal bother.

Steyn says:

The Canadian Islamic Congress and a handful of Osgoode Hall law students have complained about the article in Maclean's to (at last count) three of Canada's many "human rights" commissions, two of which have agreed to hear the "case." It would be nice to report that the third sent the plaintiffs away with a flea in their ears saying that in a free society it's no business of the state to regulate the content of privately owned magazines. Alas, I gather it's only bureaucratic torpor that has temporarily delayed the province of Ontario's en­­thusiastic leap upon the bandwagon. These students are not cited in the offending article. Canadian Muslims are not the subject of the piece. Indeed, Canada is not mentioned at all, except en passant. Yet Canada's "human rights" commissions have accepted the premise of the Canadian Islamic Congress--that the article potentially breaches these students' "human rights."

Since the CIC launched its complaint, I've been asked by various correspondents what my defence is. My defence is I shouldn't have to have a defence. The "plaintiffs" are not complaining that the article is false, or libellous, or seditious, for all of which there would be appropriate legal remedy. Their complaint is essentially emotional: it "offended" them. And as offensiveness is in the eye of the of­­fended, there's not a lot I can do about that. (Emphasis added.)

In case it matters, and it shouldn't, what the CIC found offensive was a remark that "The number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes" - which was in fact a quote from prominent Scandinavian Muslim, Mullah Krekar, in an interview with a Norwegian newspaper.

In context, what Mullah Krekar said was, "We're the ones who will change you . . . Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children."

I haven't seen the CIC's side of the argument - I don't think there is one. Plain and simple, the Canadian Islamic Congress is trying to surpress the free speech of Canadian citizens because they find what they say to be inconvenient for their agenda.

There way of thinking justifies this, ours considers it in no way justified. There can be no argument or compromise in this, opinion is either free, or it isn't.

The fact that a Canadian government body has even agreed to hear this case is a sign that they are on the defensive.

Now what I'm wondering about is, where's the outrage?

I don't mean to sound conspiratorial about this, I'm honestly puzzled.

Of course the Multi-culti Left part of the media is prone to downplay such things, but this isn't getting much attention among conservatives and libertarians either. So far I've only found it on National Review Online and Steyn's own site.

Why isn't Bill O'Reilly screaming his his head off about it, and why aren't the libertarians?


  • At 10:53 PM, Blogger Saint in Exile said…

    Mullah Krekar is mentioned a "prominent Muslim". He is also a prominent terrorist whom Norwegian authorities have been trying to prosecute on terror-related charges. Before fleeing Iraq, he was leader of Ansar al-Islam, now known as Ansar al-Sunna, which is one of the most hardcore, whackjob terrorist organizations in Iraq. It has been around for nearly 20 years, frequently changing its name, its alliances, and often disappearing and reappearing. It has/had ties to al-Qaeda, IRGC-Quds force, and al-Qaeda in Iraq - specifically Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It is fortunate that the Ansar al-Sunna kooks are not as great in number as AQI, in my opinion, because they are crazier, smarter, and more ideologically motivated.

    Though it would lend zero substance to their argument, the CIC could rationalize their offense by saying that Steyn took the mosquito quote from Mullah Krekar - a nutbar terrorist - and used it as representative of mainstream opinion (a stretch) or somehow attempted to associate Krekar with mainstream moderate Muslims and thus associate them with Krekar, thus defaming them.

    Again, it would not lend much substance to a legal case, but if anyone in CIC has a shred of integrity then this is the only possible angle that I can see where they might be able to make a somewhat legitimate case for saying that Steyn was slightly out of line.

    Regardless, the Canuck Islamic Congress sounds like a bunch of hosers, eh.

  • At 5:04 AM, Blogger Jim Sullivan said…

    I think too many people don't know about it and the ones that do, (that are outraged) are too busy trying be reasonable against an unreasonable opponent.

    You mention conspiracy and half the time, I'm inclined to think of that first(it might be the years of being an X-Files fan) but in the end, I think it comes down to the old Malice/Stupidity rule. And being "reasonable", in the good manners sense of the word, against the unreasonable could be called stupid when survival is at stake.

    I think they bow to the Islamic pressure because they see themselves as the good, reasonable people. But I could be wrong.

  • At 6:35 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Or perhaps Churchill's definition of an apeaser is relevant here, "one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last."

  • At 12:19 PM, Blogger gun-totin-wacko said…

    The most interesting fact about it all is that, according to Steyn, *EVERY SINGLE CASE* that has EVER been heard by one of these Star Chambers has found for the person who filed the complaint.

    So he's bucking an awful lot of history here. My guess is that the magazine-Macleans, I think- is gonna be hosed. All because, several months after the article was published (an excerpt, btw from Steyn's book), these 3 jokers contacted the magazine and demanded it print their rebuttal. Oh, and fork over some money. And the magazine, in best fashion. told them "Take off, hosers".

    A few days ago Steyn posted on his website a quote from some Canuck official in an old court case. Apparently free speech is an American idea, and therefore not relevant in The Great White North.

    Hooray for socialism!

  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    You forget there are precious few old-school Reagan conservatives (libertarians) out there anymore, or atleast few that aren't scared what the enemies of liberty might think or say were they to stand up for it.
    What passes for Americanism today is "hug everybody and put up with everything in order to be popular/get elected" and it's the philosophy of cultural and national suicide!
    How quickly we have forgotten that positive commitment to American principles destroyed an evil empire and made our way of life available worldwide to all who wanted it - in less than 20 years to boot!

  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger Paardestaart said…

    Ezra Levant from Western Standard is lecturing the Canadian Human Rights commission who summoned him to appear for a hearing and to explain why he placed 'the cartoons' in his magazine..The way he tells her that she is out of line, and that he deeply resents being summoned to a kangaroo court is priceless, and a l;esson to all of us, who seem to have forgotten our basic rights as free westerners..



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