Skip to comments.Free Steyn! (National Review: Stop The Canadian Fatwaists Now Alert)
Posted on 12/19/2007 4:12:09 AM PST by goldstategop
Our readers know Mark Steyn well. His witty and learned commentary appears in every issue of National Review, and in many other English publications across the world. What Steyns American readers may not know is that a Muslim advocacy group in his native Canada is doing its best to muzzle him.
On December 4, the Canadian Islamic Congress announced that it had filed a complaint with three of Canadas human rights commissions over an October 2006 article that Steyn had published in Macleans, Canadas leading news weekly. This article completely misrepresents Canadian Muslims values, their community, and their religion, said Faisal Joseph, an attorney representing the complainants, in a press release. We feel that it is imperative to challenge Macleans biased portrayal of Muslims in order to protect Canadian multiculturalism and tolerance.
The article in question was adapted from Steyns recent book America Alone, which argues that Western society may be irrevocably altered and not for the better by unassimilated Muslim immigration. Its no surprise that this thesis is controversial, probably in part because Steyn makes his points so well. But the real threat to tolerance here is the CIC, which would have the state impose penalties on those whose writings it disagrees with.
In doing so it only provides evidence for Steyns thesis. Another group of Canadian Muslims the Muslim Canadian Congress has said as much, denouncing the CICs complaint for affirming the stereotype that Muslims have little empathy for vigorous debate and democracy. But at the moment, the CICs push for censorship advances. Of the three human-rights commissions to which it submitted its complaint, two have agreed to hear the case. (The third has yet to decide.)
Since their founding, Canadas human-rights commissions have done less to protect the rights of minorities than to undermine the liberties of everyone. To get an idea of what theyre like, consider the recent case of Stephen Boissoin.
Boissoin, a Baptist minister, learned that the Alberta Human Rights Commission was funding an initiative that described homosexuality as normal, necessary, acceptable and productive. Boissoin objected to this and wanted to make his views known. As he put it to a Canadian Internet publication: [I] felt that as a taxpayer, and indirect funder of this initiative through my tax dollars, I had a right to communicate my opinion which is reflective of my religious beliefs. In an attempt to do so, I decided to potentially share my opinion at large by submitting letters to the editor in newspapers.
The publication of one such letter brought a complaint from a social justice advocate, and Boissoin was dragged before the very body he had complained about the Alberta Human Rights Commission. That was 2002. It took five years of anxiety-filled and expensive legal proceedings for the commission to rule against Boissoin. They determined that he had violated Albertas laws because there was, as one commission member put it, a circumstantial connection between the publication of the letter and an incident of gay-bashing. Circumstantial connection is of course another way of saying that Boissoin had nothing to do with it. One wonders in passing whether the same can be said of the Koran, and which side the commission would take if Macleans published a few choice Koranic passages on homosexuality.
Even if the human-rights commissions eventually rule for Steyn and Macleans, the proceedings will be costly, and will intimidate others who wish to express controversial views. To his great credit, one conservative Canadian cabinet minister, Jason Kenney, has spoken in defense of Steyn. Some of the Canadian press is coming to Steyns defense as well. We hope the chorus swells.
And we hope Americans raise their voices too. So far the U.S. media have paid little attention to the case, but it should matter to us. Steyns writings even those in Canadian publications have a large and influential American readership. We trust those readers prefer that Canada remain free.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
F jihad & dhimmis
I’m surprised they even sold his book in Canada. According to a friend there, bookstores frequently refuse to sell books that aren’t PC - IOW too conservative - and aren’t ashamed to admit it.
Canada is a preview of coming attractions for America.
Maybe so, but the First Amendment changes the equation a bit doesn't it?
As does the second.
Too late for THAT.
When religion is involved in a story the Canadian media, and politicians in general, aren’t interested. Unless, of course, they can slam Christians in some way.
During the course of an election, religion is never mentioned.
The big stores in Canada pretty much DID refuse to sell, or even stock, his book.
Ahh, book banning and censorship. Only the Liberals are allowed to do it - for ‘the common good’, of course.
Something Hitlery knows all about.
Thanks for posting this! It is unbelievably tragic that the very alarm bells sounded in “America Alone” and “Londonistan” are playing out in national politics on our side of the pond. Canada has a choice if it will be a truly free nation, or if it will knuckle under to the perpetually offended religio-political greivance-mongers.
I wonder if Mark Steyn has a fund to which we could contribute to help with his expenses? That’s a good cause I would support financially.
You think we will end up with a bunch of stinky french?
Canada is famous for this. A pamphlet, some years back, from the Ayn Rand Institute, called “In Defense of Israel” was stopped at the Canadian border, for fears that it was “hate” material.