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O, Canada! Puh-leeze!

When a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, published a series of cartoons depicting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in a "disrespectful" fashion in 2005, a radical Muslim cleric incited protests which erupted into violence in Pakistan, among other places, and resulted in a number of deaths to innocent civilians. The incidents provoked a clash of values: western freedoms of speech and press against strict Islamic law, or Sharia. Many publications reprinted the cartoons to show they could not be intimidated and to show solidarity with the Danish publishers.

One who printed the cartoons was Ezra Levant in Alberta, Canada. Radical Muslim leaders entered a complaint against him with the local "Human Rights Commission," not unlike the charges brought against columnist Mark Steyn (whose "crime" was directly quoting a radical Imam in his book).

Here are some videos from Levant's Inquisition - I mean, "hearing" - before the Alberta Human Rights Commission, found via Little Green Footballs. The first is Levant's opening statement:



Here, in a truly Orwellian turn of events, the Commissar - I mean, "Commissioner" - asks about Levant's intent when he published the cartoons, setting him up for "thought crime" charges:



Here Levant addresses the "threat of violence" against religious institutions:



Our Canadian friends need to reel in their out-of-control "Human Rights" Commissions while they still can. If they don't do so immediately and effectively, we should consider building a fence along our northern border as well.

UPDATE: It turns out that Mark Steyn used to write for Levant. He comments on the "hearing" at The Corner:


Ms McGovern, a blandly unexceptional bureaucrat, is a classic example of the syndrome. No "vulnerable" Canadian Muslim has been attacked over the cartoons, but the cartoonists had to go into hiding, and a gang of Muslim youths turned up at their children's grade schools, and Muslim rioters around the world threatened death to anyone who published them, and even managed to kill a few folks who had nothing to do with them. Nonetheless, upon receiving a complaint from a Saudi imam trained at an explicitly infidelophobic academy and who's publicly called for the introduction of sharia in Canada, Shirlene McGovern decides that the purely hypothetical backlash to Muslims takes precedence over any actual backlash against anybody else.

Jay Tea adds: Mr. Levant keeps adding more and more video of his "Horatius At The Bridge" stand, and I'm going to keep adding them to Jim's piece here as they go up.

Part 4:

Part 5:


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Comments (5)

This is a slam dunk free sp... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

This is a slam dunk free speech issue and Canada looks ridiculous attempting this. But you know what I noticed more than the absurdity?

Several times in the past few years Canadians have been brought up, found guilty, fined and banned from committing "further violations" for criticizing gay sexuality. In one case a minister was fined thousands of dollars and banned from calling gay sex a sin in his church or out, from his pulpit or not, in other words as a citizen or a minister. You don't have to believe that gay sex is a sin (I don't) to be outraged by that result.

A few noticed, mostly Christians of course, but most of the big name bloggers, especially the libertarian biggies who are so outraged (rightly) at this offense didn't think it was an outrage when it was a Christian preacher being silenced for his free speech AND his religious beliefs.

Ezra Levant will win, if not in the HRC hearing then certainly in the court of public opinion. He deserves to. But think how much of a real public service he and others could have performed if they had not been relatively silent when other's free speech rights were even more violated.

To my way of thinking, even... (Below threshold)

To my way of thinking, even if Levant "wins," Canada loses. That they even called him in for questioning on the "merits" of what he published is an affront to liberty.

The phrase, "chilling effect on free speech" is one which is decided overused, but which applies perfectly in this case.

A magnificent defense of th... (Below threshold)
Fred M:

A magnificent defense of the human rights of free speech & expression. The HRC is an outrage against intelligence and predictably has become a weapon for those who would have the world under sharia clerics. Mark Steyn also is being persecuted by this embarassment to Canada. Canadians, get rid of it.

By the way, descriptions & images of Mo are even part of the history of Literature and Art:

http://archief.retecool.com/mirrordir/Mohammed%20Image%20Archive.htm

Dante has Muhammad sliced open in Hell (Canto 28). Should Dante be banned by the HRC?

Canada, don't let your Judas politicians sell you out for Muslim block votes!

I've made a youtube playlis... (Below threshold)

I've made a youtube playlist of all these videos - and I'll add the rest as Levant adds them - so they can be conveniently embedded in blogs.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1C0BA528800C4AE5

These shocking videos should be disseminated as widely as possible.

How can we get this on publ... (Below threshold)
linda Tarricone:

How can we get this on public television? I am still numb from viewing these videos. Ezra Levant does a wonderful job in standing up for free speach.That he has to do so before this commission is sickening. We must all be willing to stand up as Mr. Levant has done whenever these situations occur. I am certain we will be seeing many more of them.




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