Friday, December 07, 2007


By Stanley Kurtz

Late yesterday I stumbled across an article about a "human rights complaint" filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) against Maclean’s, Canada’s most widely-read news magazine, for running a "flagrantly Islamophobic" excerpt from Mark Steyn’s book, America Alone. At least two Canadian Human Rights Commissions have agreed to hear these complaints. Only then did I find Styen’s too-easily-missed late-night
post from Wednesday on the controversy:

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Dead Man Writing

One of the critical differences between America and the rest of the west is that America has a First Amendment and the rest don't. And a lot of them are far too comfortable with the notion that in free societies it is right and proper for the state to regulate speech. The response of the EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security to the Danish cartoons was to propose a press charter that would oblige newspapers to exercise "prudence" on, ah, certain controversial subjects.

The response of Tony Blair's ministry to the problems of "Londonistan" was to propose a sweeping law dramatically constraining free discussion of religion. At the end of her life, Oriana Fallaci was being sued in France, Italy, Switzerland and sundry other jurisdictions by groups who believed her opinions were not merely disagreeable but criminal. In France, Michel Houellebecq was sued by Muslim and other "anti-racist" groups who believed opinions held by a fictional character in one of his novels were not merely disagreeable but criminal.

Up north, the Canadian Islamic Congress announced the other day that at least two of Canada’s “Human Rights Commissions” – one federal, one provincial – had agreed to hear their
complaints that their “human rights” had been breached by this “flagrantly Islamophobic” excerpt from my book, as published in the country’s bestselling news magazine, Maclean’s. Several readers and various Canadian media outlets have enquired what my defense to the charges is. Here’s my answer:

I can defend myself if I have to. But I shouldn’t have to.

If the Canadian Islamic Congress wants to disagree with my book, fine. Join the club. But, if they want to criminalize it, nuts. That way lies madness. America Alone was a bestseller in Canada, made all the literary Top Ten hit parades, Number One at Amazon Canada, Number One on The National Post’s national bestseller list, Number One on various local sales charts from statist Quebec to cowboy Alberta, etc. I find it difficult to imagine that a Canadian “human rights” tribunal would rule that all those Canadians who bought the book were wrong and that it is beyond the bounds of acceptable (and legal) discourse in Canada.

As I say, I find it difficult to imagine. But not impossible. These "human rights" censors started with small fry - obscure websites, "homophobes" who made the mistake of writing letters to local newspapers or quoting the more robust chunks of Leviticus - and, because they got away with it, it now seems entirely reasonable for a Canadian pseudo-court to sit in judgment on the content of a mainstream magazine and put a big old "libel chill" over critical areas of public debate.

The "progressive" left has grown accustomed to the regulation of speech, thinking it just a useful way of sticking it to Christian fundamentalists, right-wing columnists, and other despised groups. They don’t know they’re riding a tiger that in the end will devour them, too.

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This is a big deal. The blogosphere has so far largely missed it, but this attack on Mark Steyn is very much our business. There may be an impulse to dismiss this assault on Steyn, on the assumption that it will fail, that Steyn is a big boy and can take care of himself, and that in any case this is crazy Canada, where political correctness rules, rather than the land of the free. That would be a mistake. The Canadian Islamic Congress’s war on Mark Steyn and Maclean’s is an attack on all of us. I’ll say more in a moment about how a Canadian case can reach into America, but let’s first take a look at the goings on up north.



Blogger The Merry Widow said...

It's closing in on us...and the writer is correct. Yesterday little blogs and Christian letter writers, today Mark Steyn, tomorrow...The NAU announced today that if any approved party is aggrieved by what you THINK, can sue you into bankruptcy, force you out of a job, lose your children and you can just go die...or we will put you in jail if you won't knuckle under and grovel for forgiveness!


3:23 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Hamas just outlawed making any concessions about Jerusalem. To negotiate in any way would equal high treason.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is worrisome indeed. Mark Steyn is a brilliant writer and I understand why the muzzies want him silenced.


4:27 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, this is a VERY big deal! Mr. Steyn won't shut up voluntarily, so he's facing litigation jihad.

Right now, I'm not posting much because of my achin' back, but I think I just might have to put something together and plaster it wherever I can.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Sonny Lykos said...

In the past, it was Socialists and Communists that were successful in controlling speech elsewhere. That "elsewhere" has become the USA but now they are joined with the Islamists, and of course our Democrat party, now owned by the far left. And I say "joined" because the enemy of their enemy is their friend.

Bottom line is that it matters not "who" takes the USA (and other free nations) apart, as long as it's done, and the elitists still retain their own power and influence.

And IMO they will succeed, as long as our ignorant masses keep their noses in front of a TV. Typical of our masses, I recently saw a mature woman on TV who never heard of Turkey and thought Europe was a country.

Even though we don't deserve it, God help us!

8:22 PM  

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