Skip to comments.Canada Goosed [Steyn being silenced in Canada]
Posted on 01/08/2008 10:44:19 PM PST by GratianGasparri
By Pete Vere January 9, 2008
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario
An attempt to have a Canadian panel stifle Mark Steyn poses a threat to American freedom of speech, the conservative columnist says.
The Canadian author told The Washington Times in a telephone interview that the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) agreeing to investigate a Muslim complaint against him opens a new front on threats to Canadians' press and religious freedom: speech that originates in the United States.
"There are attempts to circumscribe the First Amendment, and certain groups have become very adept at using legal and quasi-legal methods to restrict discussion and what's discussed," said Mr. Steyn, who spends half the year living in New Hampshire and writes for several U.S.-based publications.
Under Canadian law, the CHRC investigates purported incidents of hate speech and discrimination and refers some to the quasi-judicial Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which can impose fines or issue restraint orders.
Mr. Steyn became subject to a CHRC investigation last month when the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) complained about an excerpt Mr. Steyn had reprinted from "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It," Mr. Steyn's best-seller published by U.S.-based Regnery Publishing.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
It is interesting to see for me and no doubt a number of Canadians a new name,Pete Vere. I listened to an audio of his statement but it seemed to cut off at about 3.45 minutes. I know he was brought up in Northern Ontario by his biography. A little puzzle though and perhaps I am slow this morning.
The byline states SAULT STE MARIE . This is where I live. Perhaps there will be some sort of hearings here. I could then go and observe. Pete has the pronunciation a little off. (SOO SAYNT MAREE) phonetically. No matter.
This is one of the most important test cases yet. Again and again the CHRC has clamped down on an apprensive citizen. The effrontery of this body boggles the mind. For some wicked criminals - thugs, drug peddlers and cheaters, can get certain bleeding heart lawyers and sometimes a hostile judge. The judge will turn around and declare the accused did not get this warning, did not get that legal procedure. Therefore case dismissed.
I am pleased to see Kathy of SDA in the thick of it. Again, thanks for the heads up, in particular the information of the old adopted home town somehow being used.
Thanks for the ping; thanks for posting...educational.
I miss Stan. He is a true Canadian hero. Most people do not know about that.
A famous author like Steyn has a better chance to win and get public sympathy to change these laws. What you hear about with these commissions are cases with Holocaust deniers, racists or cranks of various types. Nobody much cares about them and the Tribunals continue.
First They Came for the Jews
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller
Replace Jews with whoever and that is what happens in Canada. Steyn proves the Slippery Slope argument is no fallacy in this case. It is also most important to note that Steyn is facing an instrumentality of law, not a boycott, mere public criticism or being fired by a private enterprise or thrown out of a club.
I am against hate speech laws because of what you see in Canada today. Laws like this always end up being used to suppress dissent in a way much more pervasive than private "Get off my property"or "I choose not to buy from you" action.
If Mark Steyn's way of life is compromised because he can't sell the pieces he writes in the US to Canada as well, then tough toenails.
National sovereignty trumps individual income potential all the time.
Yes. All humans should spend some clock cycles educating themselves about these anti-free-speech councils in Canada and doing what we can to encourage Canadians to get rid of them.
But in the meantime, if Mark Steyn makes less money, or if he can no longer go to Canada for fear of prosecution, then that is something he will have to live with so long as we all live in a world where every nation gets to set its own rules.
Would you all prefer a world government that would most likely replicate these anti-free-speech councils throughout the world?
Or maybe you like the system where a few global organizations such as the WTO and IMF set rules such that their big business buddies get to sell whatever crap they want all over the world, but the little guy has to scrape by on his own to sell products on a country-by-country basis?
So you are a supporter of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's ideas that we should look to other countrys' laws for insight into how we should interpret our own?
In which case it would be Canada that would be annexing us by decree of the European Union.
CAIR is suing Savage in the US (actually he is one of about a dozen, including US Airways and the founder of "anti-CAIR"). In Canada, it is these absurd boards going after Steyn. Fallaci was first sued in Switzerland and a Swiss judge issued a warrant for her arrest through interpol. When Italy said it would not recognize that because it believes in freedom of speech, so they sued her directly in Italy. Those doing so defamed Christianity more than she ever did Islam, and also directly called for her death, but the judge ignored all that and demanded she stand trial. She died in exile in New York. Islamic groups expressed "relief".
Pretending this is about sovereign nations doing as they please is just that, pretending. It is organized Islamic radicals and their leftist supporters playing western legal systems like a fiddly, to enforce a PC code that will have no one speak ill of anything about Islam. It is Sharia on the installment plan.
As long as you have the right to state that, it is perfectly ok. bbbb.....but, I humbly submit Canadians did not determine these laws. Canadians per se do not get a look in. Stentorian voice of the law makers here.
The public will be consulted .
Anyone for the faint hope clause? (Chuckle)
If the laws are written clearly and correctly then Islamic Jihadists would be kicked out of the courts immediately upon filing these suits, wherever.
Unfortunately the laws as written in Canada are neither clear nor correct.
But this is the way it should be: the Canadians are conducting an experiment in trying to protect peoples' feelings at the expense of other peoples' freedom of speech.
Hopefully the western world will wake up soon and realize that the experiment has failed and every country should adopt laws closer to what we have in America.
If our US government can use international trade agreements to get the other countries to modify their laws, e.g. if you want to be able to sell Canadian published works in America, then you have to allow us to sell our works in Canada without fear of litigation, then that would be OK.
But if the other countries decline to do so, then that's what happens.
Nobody is born with the right to sell whatever they make to whereever they want to sell it. If our government is too wimpy to project our values to other countries, then our businesses will suffer the consequences.
BTW, we at FreeRepublic all agree that everything that comes from the pen of Mark Steyn is the exact opposite of offensive. However, there is much disagreement here about whether something like "Deep Throat Part 23" is offensive. If a company makes such a movie and successfully sells it in America, I will not be one of those fighting for them to also be able to sell it in Saudi Arabia or China. If those countries want to ban such material, more power to them.
And if they want to sue the makers in the case that they accidentally get away with selling a few copies to the Saudis, then we should allow the Saudis to file the papers and let the courts deal with it.
Whether the councils are there because of a sin of commission by the Canadians (i.e. they voted for it) or a sin of omission (i.e. they woke up one day to find these councils running and didn't run the council members out of town on a rail) it amounts to the same thing.
There is simply no way to square this circle, try as you might. Nothing the multiculturalist left or the Islamic radicals using them are doing, is in any way a matter of legitimate freedoms, nor does any the opposition to them stem from claiming non-existent economic rights. Nor is any of this confined to their borders, sovereign style - Canadians have been ordered by these commissions to remove content from US based websites, and as already mentioned Islamicists in Europe have sought international arrest warrants against those whose speech they dislike.
They are just utter goons and do not have a leg to stand on. But their enablers do not want to stand up to them, because it is not a multiculturalist PC thing to do in their book. Those supporters, including sitting judges in several countries issuing coercive orders, want to let their mascots run roughshod over the rights of others, just by pretending to "be offended". It is obscene, and you should not be defending it, in any shape matter or form.
All I am arguing for is that the cure not be worse than the disease.
I want American sovereignty to be respected around the world. I believe that the best way for that to occur is for us to defend our sovereignty intellectually, economically, and militarily. One component of the intellectual defense is not to be hypocritical with regard to the sovereignty of other nations.
I am not a big fan of much of what is referred to as "international law", but it is what it is.
If we have signed treaties or agreements with other nations that allow their citizens to sue our citizens when all they do is express their views, then those agreements need to be modified or voided.
These things work both ways. We want to be able to sue the Libyan terrorists responsible for the Lockerbie bombing and we want to be able to sue the government of Iran for the costs and trauma associated with the kidnappings. In order for this to be allowed, citizens in other countries need to be allowed to sue us when we do wrong such as what happened at Bhopal.
If the Islamofascists are having to attack us with frivilous lawsuits rather than WMDs, then I believe this is a sign that we are winning the long war.
Islamicists are suing in the US under US law, they don't need foreign ones. They also sue people elsewhere. Others blow people up and shoot off rockets, it isn't an either-or thing. As for WMDs specifically, Iran is developing them and being feted for it at Columbia, fawned over by our professors, and has flack run for the effort by the intelligence community (whitewash NIE) and politicians (Biden promising impeachment proceedings if Bush touches Iran). Meanwhile not a single presidential candidate has expressed a willingness to use force to stop them from getting nukes. Russia meanwhile is actually giving them enriched uranium.
Your touching idea that fair standards equally applied will be the result of any forebearance or example on our part, is delusional. The bottom line of the western left is never to confront any external critic or internal minority critic of the west. And the bottom line of foreign powers is anything that reduces US power in the world. Respect for law of any kind, by anyone but us, has precisely nothing to do with it. Nobody else involved has any.
Any loss of speech, makes it easier for the next country to take it away.
I have been a fan of the Lionheart Blog and now he has a warrant out for telling the truths, in England.
Blogger Lionheart in UK in trouble for webpage
Blogger Lionheart UK is at risk of an investigation for writing about Islam. See the following. http://lionheartuk.blogspot.com/2008/01/british-police-have-been-charged-with.html
Good, I am glad that you put up the thread, thank you.