On Trial - Freedom of Speech in Canada

Canadian Muslims are using Canada’s democratic principles to further their own non-democratic agenda.

Responding to complaints by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and the British C0lumbia Human Rights Tribunal have launched proceedings against author Mark Steyn and Maclean’s Magazine over an excerpt from Steyn’s book “America Alone” which appeared in the magazine.

The “offending” article can be read here.

According to the CIC, the article was “flagrantly Islamophobic” and “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt.”

Flagrantly Islamophobic? Based on demographic studies, the article forecasts a number of possible results - some of which have already begun to become apparent - of the declining world population of those with Western values while the same studies show that the Muslim population is skyrocketing.

“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."

That Islam has a non-democratic agenda is clear and has been expressed quite succinctly by many Muslim leaders including Libya's Colonel Moammar Gadhafi.

“There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe -- without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades."

This is exactly Steyn’s contention.

As for "hatred and contempt," one has only to open a newspaper or turn on the television news to quickly realize that Muslims the world over are doing a superb job of bringing hatred and contempt upon themselsves. Nothing Steyn writes could make a more negative impression.

The problem lies not with Steyn or Maclean’s. The problem lies with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The mandate of the CHRC is not to prosecute hate crimes. It was originally set up to investigate complaints regarding infractions of laws regarding unfair employment and rental practices etc. based on race or colour. That the Commission sees the CIC’s complaint as having merit and has accepted it is absurd. Nonetheless, should they stupidly go through with the case and convict Steyn, the conviction will no doubt be overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada on appeal as a violation of section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Freedom of Expression.

Even the 1985 conviction of the infamous anti-Semite and holocaust denier Ernst Zundel for publishing “a statement or tale, namely, "Did Six Million Really Die?" that he knows is false and that is likely to cause mischief to the public interest in social and racial tolerance, contrary to the Criminal Code." was overturned by the Supreme Court as a violation of the Charter.

All this is not to say that we should ignore Steyn's situation. The use of hate and human rights laws to stop honest comment regarding any identifiable group is a perversion of the law’s intent. Protests regarding the CHRC action should be lodged in the strongest possible terms with the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament as well as the Human Rights Commission itself. Freedom of expression is too precious a right to ignore.

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