Sunday, January 13, 2008

OH. MY. GOD! This guy is a hero!

Ezra Levant is a publisher in Alberta, Canada. He aroused fury by republishing the Danish cartoons that mocked Mohammad, portaying the alledged prophet and his followers as terrorists. For this crime Levant has been dragged into a court. Not a real court, of course. Nope, he has been dragged in front of something calling itself the "Alberta Human Rights Commission." Here is his description of the commission:

The commission was meant as a low-level, quasi-judicial body to arbitrate squabbles about housing, employment and other matters, where a complainant felt that their race or sex was the reason they were discriminated against. The commission was meant to deal with deeds, not words or ideas. Now the commission, which is funded by a secular government, from the pockets of taxpayers of all backgrounds, is taking it upon itself to be an enforcer of the views of radical Islam. So much for the separation of mosque and state.

I have read the past few years’ worth of decisions from this commission, and it is clear that it has become a dump for the junk that gets rejected from the real legal system. I read one case where a male hair salon student complained that he was called a “loser” by the girls in the class. The commission actually had a hearing about this. Another case was a kitchen manager with Hepatitis-C, who complained that it was against her rights to be fired. The commission actually agreed with her, and forced the restaurant to pay her $4,900. In other words, the commission is a joke – it’s the Alberta equivalent of a U.S. television pseudo-court like Judge Judy – except that Judge Judy actually was a judge, whereas none of the commission’s panellists are judges, and some aren’t even lawyers. And, unlike the commission, Judge Judy believes in freedom of speech.

I am not here passing judgement on the content of the Danish Cartoons and the rest of Levant's publications. What excites me is the passionate defense of freedom of speech and the propper respect for the limits on a limited government.

Opening Statement

Levant is given a chance for an opening statement in his interrogation by the Human Rights Commission, and uses the opportunity to point out the irony that a government organisation calling itself a "Human Rights Commission" funded by taxpayers under a secular government, should be having a hearing to decide whether or not a Canadian should get to speak freely.

What was Your Intent

The commissioner asks Levant what his intent was in republishing the Danish cartoons. Levant responds by asking why the commissioner would want to know that. He gets her to admit that any answer is irrelevent in law - in law, it doesn't matter what his intent was. So, despite having given reasonable reasons for publishing the article in other interviews, when interviewed by the government, when asked by the government what the reason he exercised his right of free speech, he heartily accepts that it was to offend precisely the people that were offended in precisely the manner he offended them... AND TO DO SO IS HIS RIGHT! There is an exellent line where Levant points out that someone had accused him of offending the prophet Mohammad. Levant's response: "and he's dead, by the way, so I don't think I've offended him much".

The Real Violence in Edmonton

The judge claims that the republishing of the Danish cartoons contributes to an atmosphere of hatred for Moslems, and so puts them at risk of violence. Levant Makes the excellent and quite correct response that what actually creates hatred for Islam and Moslems is fundamentalist nuts fire bombing people's synagogues in liberal countries, launching nuisance suits against magazines critical of Islam and Moslems, and using government kangeroo courts to try their publishers. The Moslem showing of outrage in response to the cartoons contributed more to an atmosphere of hatred for Moslems than the cartoons themselves did.

I Don't Answer to The Government

Again, Levant decries the Kangeroo Court he is being interrogated in. He suggests that it is quite proper for him to be judged in civil society, for society to punish him through ostracism for his views, for advertisers and doners to stop funding his magazine, etc. But the government has neither the legal nor the moral authority to censor him and it is outrageous for it to attempt to do so.

You're Entitled to Your Opinions

This bit is hilarious. I'm not sure what the context is, but after Ezra makes some point that McGovern clearly disagrees with McGovern retorts "well, your'e entitled to your opinions"!!! DUH! Why is he being interrogated by a "Human Rights Commission" as a response for publishing images and views offensive to some people if he is entitled to his opinions, then? He replies, "I wish that were the fact," since Levant is plainly only entitled to the opinions that the Human Rights Commission will let him hold.

Levant's website is here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canada: Freedom of Speech succumbing to Kangaroo Courts of the Human Rights Commission

Proceedings against Ezra Levant are nothing short of ridiculous, but let's consider the implications for moderate Muslims. This "investigation" will further divide Muslims and non-Muslims in Canada. It will give credence to radicals' claims that the West is at war with Islam. It will antagonize non-Muslims and moderate Muslims will be pushed towards radicalization. Regardless of the outcome, once again Islamists skillfully manipulated Dhimmi justice system and came out as clear winners. Thank you, Human Right Commission!

4:56 AM  
Blogger Enemy Of The State said...

It's spelt 'alleged' not 'alledged'. Tut tut. Don't you work in a book store, Richard?

3:59 PM  
Blogger mrlukeduke said...


1:45 PM  

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