Liveblogging the BC HRT, Day Two: A Day That Will Live in Entropy

Lots of good coverage of yesterday’s proceedings, beginning with the mighty Ezra Levant, who had so much fun he’s staying on another day. Also Brian Hutchinson, my old stable mate at the Post, pays appropriate homage to the majesty of it all. Plus the great man himself, of course, and uber-blogger Michelle Malkin and Jay Currie and … well, I better get in while there’s a chance of a seat…

9:32 AM Habemus dongle! The good folks at Rogers — wonderful people, never said a bad word about them — have kitted me out with some sort of external modem thingie, so I will not be forced to type with my thumbs today. KDO, I don’t know how you do it!

9:34 AM The tribunal enters. There’s a little ritual that plays out each time: the two contending sides, and some of the spectators, rise, as you would for a real judge in a real court. The rest of us stay seated, in silent protest.

9:36 AM Faisal Joseph up for the complainants. He’s promising to treat us to a tour of some of the seamier parts of the blogosphere. No guilt like guilt by association. He dumped a bunch of material on the Maclean’s side only last night — and apparently some more stuff this morning — which would ordinarily be out of order but not, as by now you will have guessed, here.

9:40 AM Kurrum Awan back on the stand. Joseph entering a Sept 2006 Ottawa Citizen poll in evidence, showing that two in five Canadians back racial profiling. Aha, clearly the evil hand of Steyn at work: he’s already influencing public opinion even before the Maclean’s piece appeared!

Whoops – not a poll, just a clipping of a Doug Fisher column. (Doug Fisher!? I thought he’d retired by then?) The panel is solemnly studying it… And studying it…. And studying… Now they’re going to “retire” to consider it. In this case that means actually leaving the room — as often as not they just kind of swivel round in their chairs and put their heads together, like kids sketching out a football play, though I’m willing to guess the other two go along with whatever the chair, alpha-commissioner Heather MacNaughton, says.

9:53 AM I remain impressed with Steyn’s ability to influence opinion even in advance of publication. I admit this seems implausible. However, we must always remember, good people of Salem, that when when it comes to witches, all things are possible, natural and supernatural

9:55 AM Here come da pseudo-judges. The Fisher clipping is ruled out of order…

9:57 AM Now entering three reports on racism and Islamophobia in other countries: the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, a UN commission, and a third whose provenance I didn’t catch.

McConchie rising for the defense: “I think my friend’s memory may be a little imperfect.” The documents presented bear only a slight resemblance to the list of docs in the disclosure letter. Points out that the European report was on “potential” Islamophobic responses in the wake of Sept. 11 in the 15 European Union countries. The report, what is more, concludes that not every country is the same – different issues, different concerns.

The report whose name I didn’t catch before is a report on British Muslims, published in 2004. (A witch! A witch!)

The UN Economic and Social Council report, which he received last night, makes passing reference to Canada’s anti-terrorism law, Bill C-36. But nothing relates specifically to the situation in British Columbia, or the impact of the media on Islamophobia.

10:16 AM McConchie still on his feet. He’s wearing them down by attrition! I can’t follow — McConchie speaks at a level below human hearing — but Ezra tells me he’s suggesting to the tribunal that you can’t just accept any old pile of paper as an “expert” study, without reference to the credentials of the supposed experts. At least, that’s how they do things in a real court…

Uh-oh. The chair seems pissed. If you weren’t happy with their disclosure, did you bring an application for further and better disclosure? Well no. {Paraphrasing here.] If they’d given us a list, we’d have looked at whether they were clear enough. But they just said to us, we’re going to enter some documents that you have. As for UN reports, “I’m convinced they’ve churned out five or six in the last half hour. Probably more to come later today.”

Joseph cleverly rebuts: those may be the rules of evidence in a real court, but we’re not in a real court! He’s got a point there… (Well, he didn’t say “real court.” I beleve he said “at the appellate level.”

10:28 AM As for the irrelevance of reports on Islamophobia “across the pond,” well, “Islamophobia does not stop at the waters.” It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Reports were meant to illustrate the impact of Islamophobia, regardless of its precise location. “My friend wants you to judge the evidence before you receive it.” We’re breaking for probably half an hour or so while the panel considers the question.

11:13 AM And we’re back… Chair ruling on McConchie’s relevance and disclosure objections… Admitting the UN report — in its entirety, not the selected passages submitted — but not the other two. The late disclosure is “unfortunate.” Disclosure did not meet rules, and was inadequate. But respondents could have sought further and better disclosure. Respondents’ interests will not be “prejudiced” by it.

11:18 AM Now entering two Maclean’s articles published after Oct 23 2006 Steyn piece. One is a piece by Steyn about the CBC show Little Mosque on the Prairie. The second is a Barbara Amiel column.

Asking Awan (him again) about his reaction to the Steyn piece. Steyn claims (he says) the show is part of a plan to “normalize” Muslims, as gays were normalized a generation before by sympathetic portrayals in movies and television shows. Steyn points out that none of the actors on the show are actually Muslim, and that the moderate Muslims depicted in the show are at odds with more radical Muslim comics such as Omar Brooks, or with the “global security threat” of Islamic terrorism. Awan making the point that Brooks represents the “fringe element” among Muslims, and besides, he’s not in Canada. (Pause for appreciation of life’s many ironies.)

But he’s making an interesting point. Generally, when people have interesting points to make about columnists they disagree with, they post them to their blogs, or write a letter to the editor.

11:38 AM Now we’re off the sitcom review, and on to Amiel’s column, a critique of the teaching of multiculturalism in the schools. She alleges (he says) that this is facilitating a Muslim takeover of western society, cites Steyn’s book, America Alone (the book from which the article that set off this ruckus was excerpted). Put like that, it sounds a little barmy, but the more he reads extracts from the column, a detailed description of how the premises of multiculturalism were incorporated into school textooks, it dwindles into mere contentiousness…

11:45 AM The hearing now turns to readings from various blogs I’ve never heard of: The Brussels Journal, some Catholic blog and… oh, the late Western Standard! Not obscure, just obsolete! (The mag, I mean — the website is still in business.) The Western Standard reference: a blog post by Ezra Levant, the defunct magazine’s former publisher, dated Dec. 2 2007. This is slightly surreal: he’s sitting in front of me as I write this, laptop in hand, writing about being spoken about with reference to something he’d written about … this case. This is getting so meta I’m losing track…

McConchie on his feet. Leafing through some of the other bloggers in the complainant’s file; ConradUSA, Holographic, Templar… I think they left out the Raelians and the guy outside the liquor store who swears he invented Silly Putty, by I’m not sure.

The Catholic blog is run off a server based somewhere in California. McConchie suggesting, not unreasonably, “who knows whether anybody in Canada read any of this?” What relevance is there to present proceedings in what somebody in America says — “under American laws with regard to freedom of speech,” he adds pointedly — even if it’s about a Maclean’s article — which would of course be the internet version, which the tribunal had ruled it had no jurisdiction over.

Now to the Brussels Journal, based in, why yes, Brussels. Not Brussels, New Brunswick, but Brussels, Belgium. Does the tribunal’s jurisdiction extend to Belgium, he asks? In my humble submission, it does not.

12:08 PM Joseph returns fire. The Belgium post is available “on a thing called the internet.”

Commenters on the Western Standard blog, he points out, talk about killing Muslims, doing terrible things to Muslims. It is graphic, he says, and shocking. Direct link to Steyn’s article, he says. He’s on a roll here, voice rising.

The panel will adjourn for lunch to consider the admissibility of the blogs. I will adjourn to write a column.

* * *

1:42 PM … And we’re back. The tribunal has decided to admit the blogs. The whole wide internet is their domain! They can’t hear complaints about blog posts, but they can take them into consideration in assessing questions of “impact.” Ezra is ecstatic.

Mind you, having admitted them, the tribunal is surprised to discover it hasn’t got ‘em. The printouts, Faisal Joseph informs the panel, are “five minutes away.” Not to self: perform Google Maps search on “Kinko’s.”

To add to the sense of general chaos: the tribunal cannot as yet provide counsel with recordings of the proceedings, as apparently the microphone used has been picking up conversations between counsel. Just another day in Mayberry.

1:50 PM Julian Porter begins cross-examining young Awan. He notes off the top that Elmasry’s complaint to the human rights commission was filed April 30, 2007. The meeting with Maclean’s was March 30.

The claim the students have made publicly on a number of occasions, including in their filings to the various human rights commissions to which they took their complaint, is that they had proposed the “reply” to Steyn’s piece be written by a “mutually acceptable” author, the better to show how “unreasonable” Maclean’s had been. Porter rounds on him: “I suggest to you that you never said ‘mutually acceptable’ at that meeting.” He’s caught off guard. He stammers out a concession: they did not.

Kerrannggg!!! As Porter says, “this goes to his credibility.” It’s a peculiarly pointed exchange: Porter was himself at the meeting, as Maclean’s lawyer. So when he says “I suggest you never said” something, the witness is under unusual pressure.

2:00 PM Now we’re looking at a letter Awan wrote in April of 2007 to Brian Segal, president of Rogers Publishing. No mention here of any “mutually acceptable” author, as there had not been in previous communications with Mohamed Elmasry. Likewise at the students’ press conference on December 4, 2007: no “mutually acceptable” mention here. (His defence: we didn’t realize until some days later, when Ken Whyte replied, that Maclean’s disputed his version of what happened at the meeting.) It was only in a letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail some time later that the phrase first appears – the phrase he now admits he never used.

Kerranngg! Actually, more like rinngg: it’s Porter’s cellphone. He’s forgotten to turn it off. (Same thing happened yesterday to Joseph. Twice in one hearing must set some sort of record.)

Now Porter returns to the attack. “When did you first publicly admit that you asked for money for a donation” at the Maclean’s meeting? (The money, to be clear, was not to go to the students, but to a race relations foundation for the promotion of religious tolerance.) When was it? Porter supplies the answer: At a press conference on April 30 of this year, when Joe Brean of the National Post asked him about it. At that time, the group’s lawyer, Joseph, said it was only “a nominal” amount.

Awan now says they were considering asking for $10,000, but never got around to naming a figure. He doesn’t think this could be characterized as a “substantial” sum, given the magazine’s resources. He doesn’t know Maclean’s.

2:37 PM We’re going through an interview Awan gave on Mike Duffy Live. He tells Duffy that this isn’t a case of free speech versus minority rights. Rather, he says, Maclean’s can go on publishing what it likes, Steyn can write whatever he likes, just so long as “the Muslim community” gets a right of reply. (I’m paraphrasing. The video of the interview is here.) So really, what they’re proposing (he explains in the interview) is an extension of free speech.

I think I see his point. Every time Maclean’s wants to publish an article some group doesn’t like, they just have to give them an equal amount of space in the magazine. Double the space, at twice the cost to Maclean’s – but zero cost to the complainants. That’s “free” speech, of a kind.

2:43 PM Porter turns to the Amiel column. The two have a detailed discussion of it. My eyes are beginning to glaze over.

2:54 PM The tribunal’s majestic eye now turns to the important question of Little Mosque on the Prairie. Porter is incredulous. “Are you taking a review of a CBC sitcom comedy, to be judged as to whether it’s politically correct?”

No further questions.

3:24 PM We’re back from a break. The printouts of the blogs have arrived!

Now Joseph is calling Dr. Andrew Rippin, dean of the faculty of humanities at University of Victoria. He looks something like Jesus would, if he were a middle-aged academic. He’s a PhD in Islamic studies, professor of Islamic history. His main field of scholarly work is on the Koran and the history of its interpretation.

Awkward moment: he’s asked if he’s a Muslim. Balks at answering, saying he’s not sure it’s relevant. In fact, he’s not, but Maclean’s counsel doesn’t press the point. Wisely.

They go over his academic credentials. Rippins is asked when he first heard of Steyn’s article. He says it was not until he was called as a witness to this hearing. Yessir, it seems Steyn’s “anti-Islam” piece caused quite a stir here, especially among those with a special interest in Islam.

He and Joseph are now going through the article, with Rippin highlighting what he says are its inaccuracies. To begin: Steyn’s view that Islam forms the “primal core identity” of Muslims is found in the Koran, he says, which talks about religious belief as fitra, as inate human nature. But it’s a religious dogma, not a political statement — it’s Steyn, he says, that connects it to Islam’s alleged “global ambition.” It’s quite clear, he says, that there is no “single primal drive” that animates Muslims’ life, if you look at their history. So Steyn misunderstands this point, he says. And that same misunderstanding is what contributes greatly to fear of Muslims among others.

3:54 PM He says he thinks Steyn’s motive is not so much anti-Islam, but to critique the softness of western society, made flabby by cultural relativism etc. He believes Steyn merely seized upon Muslims as one way to make this larger point.

The other “inaccuracies,” he says, are not really errors, but the use of facts in tendentious ways. He cites an example where Steyn refers to “Muslims” in Linz, Austria demanding that all female teachers, Muslim or otherwise, wear scarves, when in fact, on examination, it turned out to be just three Linzian Muslims making that demand.

Now we’re into interpretations of Mohammed, and whether it is correct to use the term Mohammedan. It’s insulting, because it views Islam through a Christian lens — unless it’s done by Muslims themselves, as in Indonesia, where they (some? all?) call themselves Mohammedia, meaning “followers of Mohammed.”

Good lord deliver us. This is supposed to be a hate trial, and we’re having a graduate seminar on whether Mohammed is “central” or merely “important” to Islam.

4:24 PM “And what can you tell us about the treatment of the People of the Book in the time of Mohammed?”

Next on Court TV!

4:28 PM Porter to cross-examine. Quoting from Rippin’s work to show that not all Muslims share his moderate, flexible view of the religion — particularly, the Wahabbi. Answer: yes, there are many different strands of Islam, from very liberal to very conservative. So we’re all agreed on that – all, except Elmasry and co., who purport to speak for “the Muslim community.”

Reading together from Wahab’s stern proscriptions on various types of behaviour (“10 things that make you not a Muslim”), written in the 17th century. Other Muslims disagreed, saying these were matters best left to God to decide. It’s a perennial debate among Muslims, Rippin says. But given new life by Saudi cleric Ibn Baaz in 20th century. They’re reading one of Rippin’s essays on different types of Islam. Porter suggests Wahabbism is today a “powerful trend” among the Muslim community. Rippin agrees.

This trend rejects the separation of church and state, Porter suggests. Rippin says that’s too simplistic. But, Porter replies, “you’d have to agree it suggests a deep involvement of state powers in controlling the lives of its members… (pause) cause that’s what you said on the next page.” He agrees.

There’s some excitement when they get into the business of the cutting off of hands for various offences.
“Can’t a journalist offer an opinion that this would hurt,” Porter asks. Joseph objects that if this is where he wants to go, he’d like to ask Rippin a lot of similar questions. Porter confesses he’s “just trying to wander through a cross-examination,” and withdraws. It’s getting late.

Quotes from Rippin. “Bin Laden has opened up a rupture among Muslims,” between “the Saudi-exported” strain of Islam and others. What does he mean by “Saudi-exported”? He describes how a great number of mosques have been opened by the Saudis around the world, complete with radical Wahhabi imams. Sorry — this is a witness for the complainants?

However, he says most Saudi-trained imams arrive here and find they have to change their views, because the congregations won’t stand for talk of cutting off hands and such.

Reading from Ibn Baaz on the dire fate that awaits “unbelievers,” most especially those who leave the faith. Porter reads from Rippin’s analysis, to the effect that “the ghost of Salma Rushdie” lies behind these statements.

Porter: “I want to tell you sir you’ve been a very good witness because you’re so intellectually honest.”

4:55 PM There was more in this vein, but the computer ate them, and I’m too tired to retype. Anyway, Joseph closed with a few more questions — how many Muslims in the world? And how many of these are Wahhabi? — to make the point that Steyn/Porter were placing way too much emphasis on a relative fringe group. And, mercifully, we’re done for the day.




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Liveblogging the BC HRT, Day Two: A Day That Will Live in Entropy

  1. I can’t wait… I’m so excited to see my tax dollars at work.

    Anyone know what the carbon output on this money guzzler is? Is it taxed?

  2. Yesterday it was youtube comments. How can they top themselves?

  3. Standing by with a bottle of bromo seltzer to sooth the effects of exposure to indigestible inanity. No reflection on your blogging Andrew, just a physical statement on the nature of the subject matter. ;-)

  4. I would expect the taxpayer is on the hook for the 3 law students flights, meals and accomodation, and in addition, their counsel. Can you imagine what the Professors are charging for their time, upwards of $25G? This is a complete boondoogle and I am happy that it is getting the press coverage that it has, because this waste of money has been going on for years. Onto other matters, I hope AC can get into the small court room.

  5. It’s absurd and yet strangely amusing.

    And it’s a shame, because in terms of the amusement-to- money-spent ratio I’ll get a better bang for my buck going to watch Indy 4 or Iron Man.

    So I say let’s call the whole thing off and catch a movie. It would be just as productive and more conducive to the budget.

  6. This hearing is getting better than Scopes v. State, 152 Tenn. 424, 278 S.W. 57 (Tenn. 1925). Can I be the first to bid on the movie rights?

  7. At least Rogers can afford to fight back. In a way, I agree with Coyne’s first post – it would be nice to see this go to the Supreme Court and see where the Human RIghts legislation stacks up against the charter.

    It is perhaps a comment on us that something so well-intended can get twisted so easily

  8. “the two contending sides, and some of the spectators, rise, as you would for a real judge in a real court. ”

    You only stand for a principle, and there are none in this kangaroo love in.

  9. So nice of BC to hold Ontario trials.

  10. Relevant to the BC Tribunal is the use of three people to hear the case:

    Wikipedia says:
    NKVD troika or Troika, in Soviet Union history, were commissions of three people employed as an additional instrument of extrajudicial punishment (внесудебная расправа, внесудебное преследование) introduced to supplement the legal system with a means for quick punishment of anti-Soviet elements. It began as an institution of the Cheka, then later became prominent again in the NKVD, when it was used during the Great Purge period in the Soviet Union.

    The Russian word troika literally means “threesome” or “triumvirate”.

  11. Another day of the government deciding what is permissible to say despite that no violence has been advocated, no defamation has taken place, no libel uttered, no illegal acts were praised; rather, the opinion of one man and a publisher’s decision to publish is on trial for disturbing the “feelings” of 3 law students who happen to be Muslim.

    What a tragedy for the ancient traditions of justice, democracy, and liberty.

  12. WLMR, Hey! it’s progressive, now the have the entire internet on trial!

  13. I understand that travel arrangements for the 3 sock puppets were paid for by CIC. I’m trying to find where I read that but it was from a friendly (i.e. pro Macleans) source.

    Great blogging Mr. Coyne.

  14. Flipping back and forth between this blog and Ezra’s is almost as good as being there. Great work on the live blogging, and glad to hear you have a new thingy to help with that.

  15. Ezra blogs “Faisal Joseph, the Matlock of our time”. LOL!

  16. comment by dailybayonet on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm:

    “Flipping back and forth between this blog and Ezra’s is almost as good as being there.”

    I’m with you! I also keep flipping to Jay Currie’s for updates.

  17. One question that I’ve never seen addressed is why Mohamed Elmasry has never been made the target of a human rights complaint. Isn’t he a rabid anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli? Isn’t he “tending to expose Jews to hatred, ridicule, discrimination or contempt”? Why hasn’t someone tried to give him a dose of his own medicine by hauling him before a human rights tribunal?

  18. The Fisher clipping is out of order?! YOU’RE out of order! This whole…

    Sorry couldn’t resist.

  19. Can someone explain to me what the prosecutor(?) needs to prove in order for the panel to find Macleans guilty? Is it a connection between the Steyn article and subsequent articles that profess hatred of Muslims?

    As an aside, what is the complaint exactly? Is it that the Macleans article incites hatred or that it offended someone… or something else?

    Also, if you could refrain from sarcasm when answering (though I understand the temptation, this being such an absurd proceeding) I’d appreciate it. I have difficulty parsing it online.

  20. Ted Gerk: the “troika” reference is apt. The Canadian troikas are used to punish anti-PC sentiment, which, with its shifting rules, means practically anything you say, write and perhaps even dare to think can be punished.

  21. Ezra writes: “The three marsupial magistrates have retreated to their chambers to consider the admissability of an Op-Ed, published before the Maclean’s article was.
    What are they considering? Are they even consulting any precedents? What’s going on back there?”

    Probably they just flipped a coin.

  22. Reading Ezra’s posts makes me feel ill:

    They did some Internet surfing, and found an Op-Ed that referred to the poll.

    And they wanted to adduce that.

    Oh — but it gets better. The Op-Ed in question was written before the Mark Steyn/Maclean’s article.

    How I wish this were in a real court, not a court marsupial, just to watch Joseph get smacked down.

    Of course, the troika just stares dumbly.

    They agree to allow the document to be entered.

    My God. Kafka wrote this.

  23. Anyone’s blog who gets mentioned should receive recognition, a sort of campaign medal.

  24. I’ll vote for you BCF ;)

  25. Would the “all-in” cost of this trial be available through some “freedom of information” avenue of inquiry?

    All things considered, and how ugsome this all is, I would prefer a freedom from information act so I wouldn’t have to hear about any of this.

    Bah!

  26. 9:53 AM post by Coyne:
    “…always remember, good people of Salem, that when when it comes to witches, all things are possible, natural and supernatural…”

    LOL – my country is a total global joke. It would be funnier to me if this “witch hunt” was just fiction and not a living reality.

  27. “Now entering three reports on racism and Islamophobia in other countries”

    Where is this trial again??…On planet Aibohpomalsi?..oh well that’s ok then..

    ROTFLMAO!! :-D

  28. “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”

    George Orwell

  29. Does anyone remember Sheikh Younus Kathrada, the Imam who preached that Jews were “brothers of monkeys and swine”?

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2005/07/21/cleric-rcmp050721.html

    Well, what do you know. The good old “monkeys and swine” imam is part of this convoluted Islamist alliance fighting Mackeans.

    How, you ask? Relax. S

    ince none of the esteemed reporters are digging deep enough, let me help them out from Toronto.

    The National Post today suggests that Naiyer Habib, unlike Khurrum Awan, gives the trial a “local flavour.”

    Most B.C. Muslims would beg to differ…

    Naiyer Habib is from Saskatchewan and only moved to Vancouver recently. The Regional Director of the CIC in BC is Luay Kawasme. Where is he? Don’t know.

    I am told Naiyer Habib is the father of Adnan Habib. Adnan Habib is a Vancouver lawyer, and the legal counsel for the BC Muslim Association.

    Earlier this year the BC Muslim Association hired a new Imam. Guess who? None other than the discraced hate-monger Sheikh Younus Kathrada!

    Thee Imam who preached that Jews were “brothers of monkeys and swine” is now lecturing at Masjid al-Iman in Victoria run by an organsiation whose legal counsel is the son of Naiyer Habib!

    Convoluted assoications? yes. Guilt by association? Probabaly, but it is not me who is saying all Muslims are one organic body that weeps whenever the boy-band is insulted.

  30. After watching Maxine Waters lambast big oil executives, I thought nothing could be as humurous or as riduculus. I was wrong, The CHRC trial of Macleans tops even that farce.

  31. Canada is a laughing stock. This is one big joke.

  32. Linear time, a new concept for the BC Human Right’s Tribunal.

    Happily since the BCHRT doesn’t have any fixed rules they can ignore those pesky rules of physics and time-space….watch out gravity, you are next!!!

  33. Well, I for one, was a bit nervous of some Muslims long before I had ever read Mark Steyn. I blame the CBC, CTV and City-TV for showing the Iranian Hostage Crisis on the news when I was a kid. What were they thinking? And all the footage of Muslims burning the American flag. And the British flag. And the Israeli flag. And the Danish flag. And all the screams of “Death to Israel.” And, later, “Freedom Go To Hell, we will take your women” etc. Oh, and those Palestian men showing off their hands covering in Israeli blood. (I sent $100 to the UJA for that one.) Gosh darn that TV news! Oh, and then there’s the history books for mentioning the Armenian Holocaust at the hands of the Turks. And let’s not forget “Persopolis”. Oh, and 9/11, with the nice Palestinian ladies dancing and ululating in the streets. If they’re going after blogs and youtube, they might as well drag in Iranian graphic novelists and one heck of a lot of Canadian newscasters.

  34. comment by Bob Williams on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 1:15 pm:

    “Given the rules of rules of evidence do far, i imagine they’ll throw Steyn in a pont. If he drowns, he’ll be innocent.”

    LOL – I shouldn’t be laughing at this pathetic freak show, but I can’t help myself.

  35. David A., come on…you know the truth is not admissible.

  36. I bet the CIC’s Faisal Joseph will not enter the 2007 Environics survey that found 12% of Canada’s Muslim population saying that if the Toronro-18 alleged terrorists were found gulity, there would be some justifcation for their terrorist attacks. That is, give or take, 90,000 Canadians!

    Five percent of the respondents said something to the effect, the terror suspects were fully justified in attacking Canada.

    Trust Joseph to avoid this Environics poll.

  37. I’d be very interested to know if there are any live-blogging from the other side of this controversy. Any pro-Puppet types we can flip to when we’ve caught up with Levant and Coyne?

    Fox News appears to be ignoring this entirely.

  38. With such an anti-democratic, Orwellian but imbicillic process like this, don’t look for any thing near a fair ruling in this case. Canada is shaming itself for the whole world to see.

  39. Really, it should be the CIC up before the HRC on Section 13.1 “charges”, for if anything is “likely” to expose members of the Canadian Muslim community to contempt, it is Canadian Muslim attacks on fundamental Canadian freedoms.

    Protests across the country by Canadian Muslims, religious and secular, against the CIC (“CIC, don’t speak for me!” would make a great chant (also: “CIC, you let us be, we came to Canada to be free”)and would do much to remove any “islamophobia” (i.e. understandable resentment) inspired by Faisal Joseph and his pals.

  40. I served 25 years in the army to defend what? This circus? Please, someone tell me it wasn’t in vain.

  41. A Matlock, I guess! He’s got Europe on trial too.

  42. Mr. Fatah, that study is quite frightening. I’m sure the percentage would be even higher for similar questions posed to European Muslims. And thanks again for contributing to this forum…I always look forward to reading anything a brave man such as yourself writes.

  43. from Ezra:
    “McConchie is telling them how real courts deal with expert evidence. They bring a real expert, who will discuss its credibility, authority, etc…
    Needless to say, not one of the Troika is paying much attention to him, and panellist Tonie Beharrell has her eyes closed for much of it.”

    I think it’s not just her eyes that are closed.

  44. As much as this witch hunt troubles me, I still have faith that at the end of the day the system will work. With the eyes of the media and public on there actions it is the HRC itself that is actually on trial.

    The HRC will either find Macleans innocent so they can continue on as normal, limiting there harassment to fringe elements of society. Or they can find Macleans guity and continue the process of there own destruction.

    It’s the final verdict at the end of all the appeals process that actually matters.

  45. “A Day that will live in Entropy”. Ha! Love it.

  46. I hope Macleans are found guilty, it will be a pivotal moment in the process of having these marxist social engineering scams either abolished or at the very least scaled back to operate according to their original mandate.

    If you wrote about a kangaroo court like this, no one would believe you.

  47. 10:28 AM by Coyne:
    “We’re breaking for probably half an hour or so while the panel considers the question.”

    Translation: Time for the troika to flip another coin. Or maybe it’s rock, paper, scissors – best two out of three.

  48. This is stuff violent revolutions are made of. The Left imagines some form of justice at play, when it is nothing more “just” than the sort of thing the Reign of Terror brought us.

    The people of Canada are paying the price of not having insisted on a real constitutional bill of rights. Now they will have to extract their rights from their government. And, as we see, governments are not glad to hand over power.

  49. I am really depressed by all this. As a young leftie, I thought that 1984 was about the inevitability of crazy right wingers telling us what we could and couldn’t think. It amazes me that this is now coming to pass from the far left social engineers. I have to get back to work, I am not going to follow this for a while, it’s like staring at a bad accident.

  50. The sock puppets et al are trying to get the government to decide what I can or cannot read!! This is really rubbing me, I love to read anything and everything I can get my hands on….especially Mark Steyn! If the troika rules against him, will he be banned in Canada? I believe that’s what will happen, then who’s next?

  51. Teh people of Canada ar epaying the price for having leftism and multiculturalism to dominate their thinking and set the pattern for the appointment to institutions at all levels. We’d probably have had more regard for our traditional liberties if we’d never had the “Charter”, as lefties regard it as a “living document” intended to serve leftist aims.

    You see how much constitutional protections are worth in the way freedom of speech and freedom of religion have been handled by the courts.

  52. They argue that Muslims are not homogenious, and then bring in studies from other western countries assuming that all westerners are homogenious. I guess if that was the case, we would not have had wars. Sock Puppet No. 1 in the TVO debate lambasted Mark Steyn for quoting Imams over in Norway, Iran, etc. and how this had no relevance to Canada. Funny how things change.

  53. So Mohammed Elmasry, in absentia, wants to chill free speech in Canada on the topic of Islam, by having the British Columbia bureaucracy convict an Ontario magazine of hate-mongering based on evidence of a) studies of Islamophobia in Europe, b) random anonymous blog postings, and c) the testimony of a Toronto law student now in the employ of the prosecuting attorney.

    Only in Canada!

  54. Well said Eric : I too used to believe it was the evil right wingers who you should be scared of however now that I am a little older and wiser I have come to see that it is indeed the left though well intentioned always seem to fall into the trap that gov’t programs or agencies are good and will solve all the world’s problems through collective efforts however that does pan out in history after all Ol’ Adolph and Stalin were lefties (National Socialist and Communist)There is indeed something to be said for the right’s attitude that gov’t often is the problem so maybe just maybe we should evaluate it make sure it’s effective then shrink it down to size keeping it to the minimum of what it needs to be and to spend our tax dollars wisely.

  55. Dear Erik Larsen,
    If you thought that the left was on the side of freedom and the right on the side of totalitarianism, then clearly you have been living in a cave for a very long time. 1984 was not specific about that particular issue, but Orwell as a young leftie had it backwards.

  56. Erik, closing your eyes does not make it go away. Get involved and stand up for YOUR rights. From yesterday morning’s protest: “we are all Mark Steyn”, even lefties.

  57. comment by SK on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm:

    “I’d be very interested to know if there are any live-blogging from the other side of this controversy. Any pro-Puppet types we can flip to when we’ve caught up with Levant and Coyne?”

    I don’t think any lefties are live-blogging, but one anti-Macleans/Steyn site posted “Live blogging by some anti-Muslim blogger?”

    Lots of whining and wailing, signifying nothing.

  58. Man – where are the Marx Brothers when you need them? – as in “A Night at the Human Rights Commission”.

  59. I want a green card. Failing that I am all for the violent overthrow of any government that refuse to reign the HRC monstrosity in.

  60. Sigh, I’m still here at the scene of the accident. I should clarify, I was a leftie, now I’m older. You know the old quote, “He who is not a Socialist at 20 has no heart. He who at 40 is a Socialist has no brain”. I think what I find dispairing is that is you were to ask the opinion of many University students about this issue, they would respond with either “Whatever” or “What’s the big deal?”

  61. Erik larsen–

    “As a young leftie, I thought that 1984 was about the inevitability of crazy right wingers telling us what we could and couldn’t think”

    1984 was never about the Right. It was about totalitarianism. The Nazis were never “right” wingers, despite Leftist propaganda. They were so derided only because they were enemies of Stalin, and the American Left was in bed with Stalin.

    Go back to your premise of social engineering. Human nature does not lend itself to engineering, however well-meant.

    Think in this, please. What is human nature? Is it different today than it was, say, 1,000 years ago? I think not, given that we still relate to Shakespeare and Homer.

    Thus, the aspirations of the Left are doomed to fail. Any workable economic and political system must reflect human nature.

    That means personal freedom and responsibility, which would be “right”, not “left”.

  62. Canada is storing up trouble for later with these laws and its policies of multiculturalism and its hard-left ideologies. There will not be many more chances to get things right if we blow this one.

    It has betrayed its inheritance many times over in recent years, and hitting the delete button on debate and free speech will ensure the road we’re on has no exits whatsoever. If Canadians don’t get it now, they’re beyond redemption through reason and argument, and it will take some sort of catastrophe, economic, political or whatever.

  63. Erik Larsen:

    “I think what I find dispairing is that is you were to ask the opinion of many University students about this issue, they would respond with either “Whatever” or “What’s the big deal?””

    That may be because university students have grown used to living under a regime of speeech codes and attitude policing. This thing makes Canada look like one big hunking American university.

  64. comment by Blazingcatfur on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm:

    “I want a green card. Failing that I am all for the violent overthrow of any government that refuse to reign the HRC monstrosity in.”

    I’m saving up to get the hell out of this country if I have to, but revolution sounds like an excellent idea. After all, why should we have to vacate because we find it unacceptable to live without freedom of speech or freedom of the press.

    And the HRC monstronsity goes way beyond hate speech issues – look at some of their judgments on other cases:
    “Tonie Beharrell…was the human rights tribunal member who punished a bus company for trying to reform bus drivers who had absentee rates of up to 118 days a year
    …bus drivers…had a “human right” not to be corrected by the bus company. Not just that, but the bus company was ordered to pay them four-figure sums for their “pain and suffering” of being told to get back to work.”

    The time has long passed for the need for any of these commission/tribunals – if there ever was any real need!

  65. from Jay Currie’s site:
    “We’re on a break while the Tribunal tries to figure out this law, evidence and disclosure stuff. While they are head scratching…”

    They’re not really trying to figure anything out or scratching their heads. They just wanted a break, and to flip their two-headed coin again.

  66. Wow, continue to be shocked by the attitude of the “bench”. Crown prosecutors have lost cases where their evidence was not provided to the accused prior to trial. Well, I do hope Macleans do not win this case, as even in BC, I believe the a QB justice would overturn this decision due to its violation of natural justice and fairness.

  67. Yes Erik, age brings a certain…perspective and with it a realization on just how precious our freedoms-and all the other things we took for granted (magically refilling refrigerator and the laundry elves)-really are.

    What we are witnessing today is what happens when the rule of law is set aside as ‘too technical’, because it’s all about feelings and a self described victim’s account of what the perpetrator’s ‘real’ intent was.

    McConchie would probably have gotten further with the Troika by accusing Joseph of not showing them proper respect with his attitude towards disclosure, but that’s assuming they haven’t already made up their minds and are just thinking about how they’re going to spend the per diem money they’re racking up for this gig.

    *sigh* I’m inclined to agree with Andrew, BCF and others hoping for the inevitable and foregone guilty verdict so that we can move this out of the shortpants sandbox and into a real court of law. In the meantime, I will continue to support ALL of the parties that have been dragged into this mess.

    Good luck and keep the faith kids!

  68. Yep, bad Mark Steyn, for not liking Little Mosque on the Prairie. “WE RULE, you must like it, and appear in it as an Imam.”

  69. I know it’s belabouring the point that “there are no rules of evidence” that apply at this tribunal – but, having said that, surely the commissioners will have to give some justification to their decision (Guilty!), won’t they?

    If, as I suspect, the MacLean’s lawyers are simply gathering evidence for an appeal (in a real(!) court), wouldn’t they have to disclose how they decided to include or exclude evidence?

  70. We can only hope that enough of us come to our senses in time Sheila. i doubt enough of us will however.

  71. Maybe one of Canadians can answer this: Was “Little Mosque On The Prairie” as bad, as patronizing, as contrived as it sounds?

  72. I think with so many Rogers staff there, it should be videotaped and put on ALL their cable channels. WTFN?

  73. Regardless of the Tribunal’s decision, we (BC) have become the laughing stock of the Free World. I feel so passionate about this frivolous action and injustice to an Iconic Magazine and an outstanding journalist/author, I wish someone could inform me as to what actions I could take as a BC resident, save and except write blogs and my local MP. Are there organizations bent on protests that need support of a few more law abiding citizens? Australia just succumbed. Bardot has lost in France. Be thankful for the Danes.

  74. No Bob Little Mosque was actually worse.

  75. comment by Bob Williams on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm:

    Maybe one of Canadians can answer this: Was “Little Mosque On The Prairie” as bad, as patronizing, as contrived as it sounds?

    Yes.

  76. BlazingCatFur,
    I can be patient and wait for the outcome of Macleans’ appeal in a real court. I think it’s a given that the troika’s two-headed coin flip has already decided that.

    As Jay Currie says:
    “The respondent won’t be prejudiced because the respondent’s goose is already cooked.”

  77. They are allowing a UN report (no relevance) sprung at the last minute (no disclosure) into “evidence”?

    Un-bleeping-believeable. This truely is judicial little league.

  78. Careful Sheila a comment like that could get flagged;)

  79. My opinion of Muslims would be improved if more Muslims came out against censorship and against Muslim lawyers who wish to censor opinions that hurt their feelings.

  80. Bob Williams asks: “Was Little Mosque on the Prairie as bad, as patronizing, as contrived as it sounds?”

    You can find clips of “Little Mosque on the Prairie” on YouTube. You can watch them and judge for yourself.

    F. Carter (Toronto)

  81. Someone shake Andrew, I think he’s fallen asleep.

  82. I swear there’s a hit comedy sitcome here. Who’s with me, we could make a small mint.

  83. If this kangaroo court finds in favor of the offended can the ruling be appealed? If they assess a fine or other punishment what if the parties refuse to go along with it? Will they be forced into a real court with real rules to decide the case?

  84. Terry,

    I agree, it would be nice if more Muslims came out in support of free speech, but it’s good to know there are some – like Mr. Tarek Fatah and the good people at the Muslim Canadian Congress (do not confuse with the CIC) who do actually believe in free speech and freedom of the press. And they are grateful to live in a country that still supports both.

    Well, ok that last point is up in the air right now.

  85. But he’s [Awan] making an interesting point. Generally, when people have interesting points to make about columnists they disagree with, they post them to their blogs, or write a letter to the editor.

    Which can be entered into evidence at a later date to some kangaroo court hearing to prove flagarant islamophobia. baawwwaaaaaa..

  86. How much time will there be, between the end of this show trial and when the conviction is announced?

  87. So what do we do if those guys actually win this travesty of a court?

  88. (Thank you John H for making me laugh re the magically refilling refrigerator)

    With apologies to Kafka:

    “Someone has been spreading lies about Mark S”

  89. Rorschach – yes, but perhaps what Macleans is gathering is lots of ammunition for a real showdown, in a real court.

    I feel bad for McConchie; I hope he’s not developing a nasty migraine from having to deal with such stupidity.

  90. It’s like watching a western and the heroes are in serious trouble, and even though I am relatively sure the U.S. Cavalry (in this case the Canadian Supreme Court) will save the day, right now I’m so anxious I’m worried that I might throw up.

  91. Relevant quotes from one of history’s most successful leaders:

    “Words build bridges into unexplored regions.”

    “It is not truth that matters, but victory.”

    “As soon as by one’s own propaganda even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one’s own right is laid.”

    “It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.”

    “The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.”

    Adolf Hitler

  92. When the Little Mosque episode premiered, we knew immediately it was part of the Islamist media agenda, trying desperately to depict Muslim Canadians as no more than people whose lives are tied to the aprons of mosque imams, with no life otuside that domain.

    This is what we wrote in the Toronto SUN:

    “Little Masquerade on Prairie”
    http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/2007/02/12/3596198-sun.html

  93. Andrew C you need to get out more Brussels Journal is very well known:)

  94. Shiela, by standing and fighting you are admitting that the court DOES have legal jurisdiction even after declaring that it does not, thereby making that assertion moot. You must understand that by giving any credence at all to this travesty, you are throwing away the ability to claim that it is a travesty in appellate court.

  95. Jay Currie just wrote, “Update 8: Apparently Awan is now objecting to Babs having noted that the Muslims sacked the Library at Alexandria. This is, of course, what happens when a Tribunal simply drops the idea that evidence and testimony must be relevant to the matter before that Tribunal. Perhaps Joseph has one of Steyn’s laundry lists up his sleeve ready to spring on an unsuspecting defence.”

    My thought: If evidence and testimony does not need to be relevant, what is to stop Maclean’s lawyers from following the same course? If meanie commenters on rightie blogs can be mentioned by the prosecutors– well, I’d imagine, just maybe, there might be a little smidgen of hatred to be found on one or two (thousand) Islamist Web sites. Is it relevant? Would it be fair? Who cares?!

  96. Rorshach,

    I respectfully disagree. The law system doesnt like it when you thub your nose at it, whether you agree with it or not. The “system” itself is geared to the argumnet that “we tried but we found something fundamentally wrong and here is the evidence”

    Not participating is one of the argumnets that finds the least favour in appellate courts.

    Macleans is doing the right thing…

    1) They might actually be declared innocent, highly unlikely.

    2) They are able to docuent all of the issues, state they raised them and were shut down.

    The danger of staying away, other than as a political statement, is that the courts would say, “if you had used those arguments before you might have won.”

  97. Pity this hearing is in BC and not Alberta as “Little Kangaroo Court on the Prairie” has a sort of ring to it. :)

  98. “You must understand that by giving any credence at all to this travesty, you are throwing away the ability to claim that it is a travesty in appellate court.”

    Not true, or appeals would never be allowed, ever.

  99. Stephen, you are correct. These tribunals are found in Canadian law, and they are the first hoop. Then you get into all those great administrative law rememdies, that, because the Iraq war started on the same night as my adminlaw class, I had to miss the next month, and I have very little recollection of adminlaw.

    Be careful what you wish for…..They went after a party with deep, principled pockets. The Sock Puppets better hope that they lose, because if they win, they will permanently harm their case and we will have positive law on the books.

  100. Will_mot your quote “HUAC was the US Star Chamber of the day, athe direct ancestor to our HRC’s” is patently wrong, HUAC had no power other than that of the subpoena. They could not pass a verdict, impose fines, or force the interviewed parties to actually perform some behavior, it like all other Congressional committees is simply a tool to gain information about what the House or Senate is investigating. Another problem with your scenario is that the HUAC/Yippie debacle was televised showing what a sham both Willis’s (D-LA) committee and the Yippies were.

  101. “The panel will adjourn for lunch to consider the admissibility of the blogs. I will adjourn to write a column.” Ooh, pick me, pick me!

  102. Al Gore invented the Internet. Can he be added as a respondent?

  103. Chief Sock Puppet says: “Commenters on the Western Standard blog, he points out, talk about killing Muslims, doing terrible things to Muslims. It is graphic, he says, and shocking…”

    Has he or any of the other members of the constituency of the perpetually offended ever surfed some of the Islamic sites and read what’s written about Jews and Christians? If hypocricy was a form of currency, the CIC would be renamed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

  104. Catholic Blog! I got all excited but…oh. It’s in California… No special BCF medal for me.

  105. I will still mention you in dispatches Seraphic!

  106. S. Robert, I take the literal corrections you make; however, you’ve not seized my main point. The HUAC was the spiritual ancestor of the HRC because BOTH are essentially instruments of political intimidation. I’m chastened to admit that the Hrc can inflict real legal and financial damage. But HUAC was a witch-hunting venue with formidable powers to destoy dissenters. So is every HRC in the country. I will not debate the Yippie strategies; however, when a witch-hunter calls you into her lair, it’s best to make that as uncomfortable for the witch-hunter as you can possibly make it. We’re far too polite to these monsters. These are not warriors we’re facing. They’re cheezy bureaucrats and whining cowards, who feel “enabled” by the cosy environment of political correctness.

  107. “Human Rights” tribunals are a contradiction in terms. I even see commentary both from the blogger as well as posters giving some credence to the possibility of their being reasonable, or the various charges being reasonable, under some conditions. They are not.

    The right to free speech means you can say anything you want. Not …unless it offends someone. Once you opened the door to “hateful” or “politically correct” as a concept that can negate that right, you created this contradiction.

    The entire purpose of civil liberties is to protect against the government using its power of force against the private citizen. These guarantees were designed to stop laws preventing criticism of leaders or policies, unreasonable searches and seizures, arbitrary rulings, etc.

    By creating a government agency to instead police these things, you have enshrined as a human right the very antithesis of human rights:
    1 – government can now decree what speech is correct
    2 – arbitrary tribunals can enact arbitrary rulings, without due process
    3 – illegal searches and fake evidence has been planted, then used as evidence. Evidence is not gathered, but grabbed by decree.

    There is no right not to be hated. There is a right not to be physically attacked, but I can hate you if I want to.

    There is no right to be free of someone laughing at your absurd, ludicrous religion and its backward ideas. You have a right to believe it anyway, and the government cannot shut down your religion because it wishes to, but you don’t have a right to have your ideas enforced nor to prevent others from commenting on your beliefs.

    Immediately terminate all HRC farcical kangaroo political courts! Leave the kool-aid path you have started down, before it is too late.

  108. A last word on the Yippies. Their slogan was not “debate, debate, argue, quibble.” It was SHUT IT DOWN! and in that, they advanced the struggle for liberty by leaps. End this farce now.

  109. Andrew, you’ll have a great story when Faisal logs on to your blog and submits his blackberry to the troika for real-time evidence.

  110. comment by David on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 3:14 pm:

    Pity this hearing is in BC <<<

    Oh it is wonderful as if they accept it, anyone of us can shop for jurisdiction and file multiple complaints!

    Question = has the CJC asked for intervenor status? I mean, free speech and freedom from hatred does extend to Mark and MacLeans?

    Is “Lucy” and the “Lying Jackel” there looking for extremist Islamic terrorists posing a neo-nazis in the washrooms?

    I am making light of this travesty as I have dual citizenship and MY government refuses to address the corruption and rectify the problem. Back accross the pond!

    The EU has worse numbers but is addressing it’s mistakes (well not the UK). Citizenship,and language tests plus ethics and civic classes.

    The “sock-puppets” and their string puller plus lawyer marrionet have no clue as to the hate and distain they have caused and will cause for the next decade(s) to a group they don’t even represent!

    Thanks Jennifer, Basrbara, Lucy, Dean, Bernie, Len, Karen and others for showing them the free way to justice.

  111. Can anyone enlighten me regarding civil disobedience in Canada? Is there a Boston Tea Party or some equivalent that might be a precedent for action in this situation? Can Maclean’s say, “Go to hell,” to the tribunal and refuse to participate in any “remedy” that might result when they are inevitably found guilty?

  112. Every comment here has a little “Report Abuse” tag.

    Too bad I can’t report the abuse of the Human Rights Commission and have the entire proceedings moderated out of existence.

  113. I feel sick – this is just so “overdone” it’s pathetic. The problem isn’t free speech – it’s that you can regulate sensitivity and good taste and that’s what’s lacking.

    Maturity, sensitivity and good taste would have saved all this hoopla.

    Unbelievably stupid, overhype if I ever saw it. Ezra, we know, needs to keep in the spotlight, but this is so way over the top it’s shameful.

    Carry on folks – get your jollies.

  114. You know what is really weird : there are a few people who got really upset with Harper and how he has stuck it to a couple of these so called but realy quasi-judicial Tribunals (see Nuclear, Elections etc) however on closer inspection maybe just maybe now he is way ahead of a lot of us and maybe we should really look at how we setup and manage these wannabee courts of last resort! After all folks there is nothing in these tribunals that can not be managed by a court of law and if a court of law can’t take care of it maybe and just maybe now it doesn’t need taking care of!

  115. whoops – meant to say you “can’t regulate sensitivity…..

    Sorry

    Carry on – rant and applaud each other – keep Ezra in the news – he likes that.

  116. SK: you’ve asked the right question re: civil disobedience, and whether anything in the charter of rights might cover that. Is there any constitutional/legal advice on this blog?
    By definition, though, civil disobedience means not obeying an unjust law or unjust rulers. It is understood to involve non-violence, and is means resistence as opposed to rebellion.
    Non-violent resistence at the HRC might mean boycotting the show trials. Better, though, in my opinion, would be to form a demonstration, go into the tribunal, and offer noise or silence to “resist” it. For example, you can turn your back in silence or repeat a stock phrase such as “this board is unconstitutional, and I do not acknowlege your authority.” or just SHUT THIS DOWN.

  117. Apart from being really irritated that my BC taxes are paying for this rubbish, I do have other concerns and thoughts. The ‘sock puppet’ is not a complainant, certainly not an expert witness and he is beholden to the prosecutions lawyer. Can the entire two days of his ridiculous testimony be thrown out as irrelevant to the case at hand? I am sure it would be in a real court.

  118. It’s truly disturbing that the sort of process Andrew and Ezra describe could occur publicly in a sanctioned way in Canada — it all sounds more like something from Mauritania, or…

    It’s like a 40-year long systemic infection is finally suppurating in the public square as the agents responsible for it, now on their proverbial back foot, defend the flow as a sure sign of good health.

    Fortunately, the sort of thinking that enables such a ludicrous display is no longer thriving exclusively behind closed doors, and that’s a good thing. Let’s hope this public display will clue more and more people in to the cultural destruction that hid behind P.E.T.’s blithe, superior shrug.

  119. Love your liveblogging

    The MSM media sometimes has trouble understanding that comments don’t necessarily reflect the broader. The tribunal will have an even harder time with this concept. Each of the hearing “judges” are essentially people who make their living as government censors. Their job is wiping out speech with which they do not agree. It is therefore quite likely difficult for them to comprehend that many bloggers (like myself) have no desire to edit or control the content of our commenters.

  120. “Can Maclean’s say, “Go to hell,” to the tribunal and refuse to participate in any “remedy” that might result when they are inevitably found guilty?”

    Sure, but a real court will enforce the verdict, at which point people will start going to jail.

    The proper way to address this madness is indeed to take it as far as you can and end up in real court with a laundry list of excellent complaints. Civil disobedience may feel good but it wont make a judge any more inclined to slap these fascists down. As political theater, well im not sure the yippies actually acomplished much besides getting themselves in newspapers. You generally accomplish more by trying to play by the rules until that is no longer viable. That being said i would have no problem with the defense lawyer needling these thugs for their total lack of legal standing at every turn. Will probably give the real judge a kick when he reads the transcripts.

  121. comment by Sandi on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 4:07 pm:

    “I feel sick – this is just so “overdone” it’s pathetic. The problem isn’t free speech…”

    -Sigh-

    Yes, it most certainly is about free speech; about freedom of the press to not be FORCED to print an unedited cover piece. It is about small-minded groups who search high and low, far and wide for anything that might “offend” them. And, as usual, when you look hard enough, it’s easy to find offensive material that causes hurt feelings.

    It makes me sick too, but obviously for different reasons.

  122. Like many facets in support of a multicultural and plural society, I think these tribunals were set up with the best intentions in mind. Being a supporter of Trudeau – especially his stance on Quebec which still holds in my view – I am not sure it was envisaged that the system would be turned around to so blatently mock it, tear it apart aided and abetted by the ‘leftist’ cadre (and I a former hard-care leftist in many ways).

    In so many ways does the melting pot approach make more sense – cultural groups will always express their own identity and don’t require saction for it.

  123. This is hardball, authoritarian, fascist politics masquerading as hurt feelings. That must be clear to everyone by now.

  124. We plan to get to the root of all evil here at the Open University of B.C. (Courtroom Campus) and then we’ll have more time to smoke a joint, visit a whorehouse, and sell cocaine to tourists.

    Welcome, Andrew, I hope your term paper is well marked by the three professors.

    Ezra apparently got an F- and has to take the year over again. Tsk tsk.

  125. Ezra:
    “That’s what Khurrum Awan and Faisal Joseph don’t seem to understand: the hatred and contempt directed towards them is not because of Mark Steyn’s article in Maclean’s. It’s because of their own graceless manner in responding to that article. They can expect to be mocked for a long, long time.”

    Exactly! Nobody would have given a damn about Steyn’s article, and I’ll bet fewer people would have read his book, had these “offended” people not started whining and wailing.

  126. `No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’

    `Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!’

    `Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

    `I won’t!’ said Alice.

    `Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

    `Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) `You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

  127. Sandi “Unbelievably stupid, overhype if I ever saw it. Ezra, we know, needs to keep in the spotlight, but this is so way over the top it’s shameful.”

    So why do all these human rights commissions give him so much ammunition to work with?

  128. According to Ezea, Awan’s being cross-examined. Now remind me someone: Why is he a witness?

    At any rate, I would pay good money to watch this.

  129. Google Maps says the closest Kinkos is at 779 Pender St W. Distance and time estimate if driving…
    1.3 km – about 5 mins

  130. Coyne:
    “Just another day in Mayberry.”

    LOL – clowns.

  131. “the tribunal cannot as yet provide counsel with recordings of the proceedings, ”

    If this is going to appeal they need these transcripts …call for a mistrial what a bloody farce!

    No evidential rules, no proper disclosure, no transcripts…is this Cuba??

  132. It is just 3 blocks away….easy walking distance.

  133. Just another day in the Stalinist People’s Republic of Trudeauopia.

  134. Ezra think Awan may be about to cry.

  135. Re the 1:50 p.m. update about the loss of creditibility:

    Creditibility? We don’t need no stinkin’ creditibility in a kangaroo court!

    Serious question – I’m an American. Since Canada is so messed up and Australia is turning chicken, where do I move after our presidential election – trust me, it won’t matter who wins, we’re going to need to move!

  136. Surreal.

    I’m going to use for a column next week (Examiner Publications, the voice of Chicago’s northwest suburbs — which, yes, explains why you haven’t heard of it) and you know what? I guarantee that I get at least a dozen e-mails from outraged libs who will be SURE that I am making this all up, on direct orders from Dick Cheney, in order to further the great right wing conspiracy.

    But, I haven’t missed a conspiracy meeting this month, and this stupidity didn’t even come up! (The Chicago chapter is kind of behind the times though…)

  137. Hello Mr. James Wolfe:

    In fact, several writers in Britain have commented negatively on the procedures used by Canadian human rights commissions and tribunals. If you contact me at rfcarter@idirect.com, I can provide a brief list of names of the writers and their stories.

    In the Independent, Johann Hari commented on the Maclean’s-CIC dispute only a day or two ago.

  138. Quote: comment by Jon on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm:

    It is just 3 blocks away….easy walking distance.

    I guess a two hour lunch break wasn’t long enough for one the Islamists to jog over yonder and retreive said evidence.

    God someone poke a fork in both my eyes, it can’t be nearly as painful as watching our freedoms go down the marxist tiolet called a HRC.

  139. I wish i was able to take the afternoon off and watch Awan being cross-examined. I laughed my head off watching the TVO.org debate, seeing this would be comedy gold.

  140. OK, so this was just an extortion racket?

  141. Andrew,

    You be careful now. There are so many kangaroos hoping madly about in that room, someone could get hurt.

    Pass on the warning to Ezra :)

  142. Okay Andrew, don’t know if anyone has commented on it yet, but I love your tags.

    Especially, “sock puppets” and “just generally travesties”.

    Macleans needs to send you to EVERY influential event worth liveblogging. You are quite good at this.

  143. Bob Williams, you’re right, of course – I’ll just buy land in Montana and make my stand there!

  144. Many kudos to Andrew, Ezra, and others for live blogging these entire proceedings.

    Your insights combined with the insights of those providing comments are creating a mural of the HRCs that must be the subject of a thorough public debate.

    These kangaroo courts simply must be dismantled and with some intestinal fortitude on the part of politicians/bureaucrats, the staff will not end up being employed by the Dep’t of National Defense or any other government department – federal or provincial.

  145. I think I’ve figured it out. This has got to all be a hoax. There is no way that a group of people who profess to be lawyers could mount a case this incompetently, even in kangaroo court with all the odds stacked in their favour. The only reasonable explanation is that these people are all paid actors who are pulling a fast one on the HRC to change the laws and/or sell copies of Maclean’s or Mark Steyn’s book. To me, this makes considerably more sense than a person educated in law trying to show that the effects of something can proceed its cause.

  146. Outrageous. Simply outrageous. Macleans is about to be found “Guilty” (or whatever these courts are allowed to decide) because of some blogs published in BELGIUM?

    HRC’s were a good idea, but then they turned into THIS. It’s time to throw this things into the garbage and start over. Regardless of what this “Human Rights” tribunal finds, a travesty of justice is on display here.

  147. Oh, Canada!

  148. I have just realized that I have not yet said “thank you” to Macleans magazine for not folding like a cheap suit in relation to this. Also, thanks for providing us with a forum to collectively shake our heads. And again thanks to Mr Fatah for his input.

    There is an old medical saying, “Jaundice is the disease your friends diagnose” – you don’t notice the changes yourself, but when someone sees you who hasn’t for a while, they are shocked at how you have changed. I worry that we will become conditioned to this.

    I also worry that we are all just shouting in the echo chamber here; hopefully some additional international commentary will be forthcoming – I am interesting in reading those musings.

  149. What’s amazing to contemplate: This proceeding (it seems ridiculous to give it the dignity of the term, “trial”) is high-profile and in the public eye, which implies that the persecutors are on their best behavior.

    Can you even begin to imagine how they behaved toward the lower-profile defendants? This is them at their most fair, their most even-handed, their most balanced.

    Firing. Them. All. doesn’t seem like a sufficient action, unless it includes serious remedial education on what it means to be a citizen in a serious country.

  150. Ezra:

    “Over the break, I realized the true value of Awan’s comments on that Mike Duffy Live clip.

    In it, Awan claims that he was happy to let Steyn and Maclean’s continue to write whatever they want, as long as Awan gets his views out, too.”

    He’s happy to see defamatory anti-Muslim speech, or he’s not. Well, depends who he’s talking to and what he wants.

  151. Meany:
    [...]
    HRC’s were a good idea, but then they turned into THIS. It’s time to throw this things into the garbage and start over.

    Start over? No,no,no.

    To repeat one of Ezra’s previous statements regarding the HRC’s and Tribunals -”Fire.Them.All”

  152. Andrew Rippin will explain the Koran to the infidels! This is insane.

    Why would the boy-band need a Christian to dwell on the Muslim Holy Book? Aly Hindy could have done a better job, particulalrly when it comes to marrying two or more wives and placing the concubines on welfare.

  153. I live in Vancouver. Today is a rainy but otherwise pleasant and normal day. Every few hours I check in on what Andrew Coyne is writing and what Ezra Levant is too.

    I keep giving my head a shake but it doesn’t seem to change the words on my screen. Is this really going on in a British Columbia court facility or has a large spaceship descended over Robson Square and placed everyone in this event in some sort of Twilight Zone?!

    Yesterday I happened to catch The Onion Movie. It was a completely satirical take on modern day life. Trust me when I say that the proceedings this week would fit in perfectly. Even SCTV or the Kids In The Hall couldn’t write a funnier script.

  154. Wait…I get it now.

    This is the most elaborate hoax in the history of hoaxes. Asthon Kutcher is going to come out and tell MacLean’s they’ve been Punk’d…right?

    RIGHT?

  155. HRC’s were a good idea, but then they turned into THIS.

    No, they weren’t a good idea. That’s *why* they turned into this.

  156. Ezra posts

    Rippin: “I don’t think [Steyn] actually wants to simply fear Muslims. What he argues quite clearly is big government taking away our adult independence… and are no longer able to stand up against wobbling fromage of cultural relativism, which is a phrase I absolutely love. His critique is a critique of Euro-American society.”

    Whoa! The man grokked the central point of Steyn’s book. Pretty good for an academic.

  157. I wish Maclean”s would subpoena me…a Muslim who’s from B.C.

    I could tell them how much of a Steyn fan I am…

  158. Question for Tarek Fatah. The expert is not such an expert per se, in my opinion. Is it not what radical Islamists tell us that drives Islamophobia, really? They are the ones declaring the west shall be conquered by Islam.

  159. Vypuero at 3:41pm

    Bravo. The notion that anyone’s beliefs, including – and -particularly – religious beliefs, are, as a matter of law, beyond criticism, is ludicrous. This doctrine has no place in a free and democratic society. It is fundamentally unconstitutional. fascist.

  160. Regarding Steyn’s “error” of saying Austrian Muslims claimed something, when only 3 made the claim…how is that different than this case?

    The “sock puppets”, of which there are about 3 claim to be speaking for all Muslims, supposedly feeling threatened by Steyn’s writings. By analogy, if the fact that only 3 make the claim, obviously, applying the logic above, it is not enough to make the case that all Muslims are, or feel, threatened

  161. Jeff, I’ve been thinking that too. It almost seems more plausible than that this is actually happening. I pity the poor judge who is going to sort out this mess if (when) it goes to appeal.

  162. My fear is that the Tribunal will aquit, not because they think that is the right decision but because, self-preservationists (is that a word?)that they are, they know a finding of guilt will lead to an appeal and a real court will DUMP all over them and the good thing they having going will be jeopardized.

  163. Rippin is refrring to the “Muhammadiya Movement” in Indonesia. This organisation is hostile to the Saudi and Iranian driven Islamist ideologies Gud Dur, the former president of Indoesia (the blind guy) was a member.

    The term used by many Arab Muslims is to refre to themselves as “Aal-e-Muhammad, which when translated in in English means “Muhammadan”.

    The term is not in anyway insulting to Muslims, but Saudi inspired Wahabbis take great offence because they feel any reverence to Muhammad is blasphemy! It is no wonder that the saudis are building a parking lot over the house of Prophet Muhammad and yet it is the Danish Cartoons and Macleans that make Khurrum Awan angry.

    I wish someone would ask Rippin: Why are Islamists anry at Macleans but not at Saudi Arabia?

    BTW, the “Calcutta Muhammadans” was the most popular soccer team in Bengal, but what would Khurrum Awan know; he is so busy trying to fit in with Elamsry’s Muslim Brotherhood.

  164. “I pity the poor judge who is going to sort out this mess if (when) it goes to appeal.”

    No sorting out to do. Macleans printed an article. it offended at least one Muslim. Macleans will be found guilty. Case closed.

  165. re: previous post, lasne line should read “have going…”, not “having going..”. I have to learn to proof read.

  166. nevermind.

  167. TerryG spoke to APPEAL. I too pity the QB

  168. SadtobeCanadian, Ah! Yes! It was about APPEAL, Oops!, but we shall await to see with great interest, the outcome.

  169. It has been suggested that the moderator is not acting of his own accord, but rather merely following orders. I buy that.

  170. Right on, Bob.

  171. Seriously, the new Indiana Jones movie doesn’t stand up to this prime entertainment.

  172. Actually I think the two teams in Calcutta were the “Mohan Bagan” and “Mohammedan Sporting”

  173. TerryG, right on. This is wonderful entertainment and I am hoping for the encore, at the QB. Cheers,

  174. Actually, Jack Picknell, I think it was triggered when someone (me) wanted to see what would happen if the schoolroom delinquent was tagged via the “report abuse” option. It appears to have been successful; I feel very bad about it …

    Cheers
    JMH

  175. Vancouverites are now starting to pay attention. Here’s a link to an excellent segment on the #1 Talk Radio Station in Vancouver, with well deserved praise for this very blog that you’re reading!

  176. This blog could be the Pilot script for a new CBC sitcom. . . .

    “Little Tribunal in the Rain Forest”

  177. The CBC would not run it unless it was named “Commenters In Wonderland”.

  178. Andrew–great blogging. But I do wish Kady had been there too . . .

  179. If the quality of Mr. Coyne’s appreciation for the ridiculous doesn’t wain, this could become a popular comic hour, and run long term. Certainly more amusing than a lot of Canadian content, and from that point of view is tax money well spent. And it should repay Maclean’s with a good rise in subscriptions. Talk about reductio ad absurdums!
    Seriously, such tactics by the Muslim complainants merely tend to support Mr. Steyn’s thesis that there is real cause for concern. We should be organizing ourselves to close this bogus court and deny the new Puritanism of political correctness the quasi-legitimacy it confers.

  180. All comments submitted between now and tomorrow morning will go into moderation until approximately 9 AM.

  181. Just to make things clear about the bill footed by Canadian tax payers, it should be understood that the complainants are paying for their laywer(s), witnesses, accomodations and travel expenses.

  182. Jack Herrity wrote: “I feel so passionate about this frivolous action and injustice to an Iconic Magazine and an outstanding journalist/author, I wish someone could inform me as to what actions I could take as a BC resident, save and except write blogs and my local MP.”

    There is something you can do. You could donate to Kate McMillan’s and Kathy Shaidle’s legal defence funds, as those bloggers (among others) are also in the crosshairs of the HRCs.

  183. There are so many comments. Me oh my.

    In any case, this is terrific reading, AC, thanks for doing this. When I read you were liveblogging I was pretty shocked — this is the most blogging I’ve seen in years from you, I think!

  184. Please be careful with the way you reference witches and the scandalous events in Salem. You are dangerously close to fomenting hatred of witches, which could land you in a tribunal of your own. At least once the BC Human Rights court determines that their jurisdiction expands into the net, and across all other arbitrary barriers, like borders.

  185. No Guff you are correct, along the lines of the slippery slope argument but I think society at large in Canada accepted that rights for indivuduals, in ways that were perceived as ‘traditional’ (abortion, gay rights, etc) should be protected. In other words who would not support proection of individual rights, as opposed to collective rights as seen through the Quebec prism.

    BC Attorney General to prosecute polygamy in BC – what about polygamy in central Canada, repleat with welfare and 3 squares?

  186. Quote: You guys have absolutely no concern about a vulnerable community that is subject to violence and discrimination. This is not the Canada I know and love.

    Now I really hope these guys win, and maybe you’ll care a little more.

    Do you have a shread of evidence to substantiate your alligation of “Discrimination and violence”, no I didn’t think so. Because it isn’t happening but keep spreading you left wing propaganda, it’s worked for the past twenty years and it’s love child is the HRCs Nanny Mandate of “Hurt Feelings and Snot and Bawling” bubble wrapped protection of the dippers.

    FYI I don’t want to live in your version of Canada, because that’s what morphed into HRCs across Canada mandating ” Hurt Feelings” as a human right’s violation.

  187. Re MQ, the point is everyone cares – try living in a society where you have no voice, no outlet for expression and face severe penalties if you speak out. The last thing the muslim community is, is vulnerable – that’s another myth. Why is it fair for some to criticize Christians, to criticize the Chinese, to criticize gays and lesbians but not muslims, who are more than capable of defending themselves. When was the last time a Sikh or Hindu was in front of a ‘human rights’ tribunal to compalin about unfair treatment? They have a voice and express it; don’t you understand the recourse for free expression our society, and the right of others to rebut it – not out of coercion, but out of fact and logic and have society accept their point of view?

  188. I am an attorney practicing in the United States, so I must admit I am unaware of the details of the Canadian judicial system. However, I have read Steyn’s book and found it to be rather entertaining as well as informative. I thus have two questions for Canadians with regard to this inquest:

    1. Do you have rules of evidence in judicial proceedings such as this “trial,” and if not, how is the admissibility of evidence determined?

    2. Is assume there is a Ministry of Truth that oversees such legal proceedings in Canada; might someone post its location?

  189. MQ writes:

    “I was undecided about this case until I saw this site and the comments.”

    I don’t believe you.

    “You guys have absolutely no concern about a vulnerable community that is subject to violence and discrimination.”

    Really?

  190. Dear Dan,

    To answer your first question, the first rule of these things is that there are no rules. As this is a “Human Rights Tribunal” and not, as I like to call it, “A real court”, it is significantly less formal, and therefore lacking in some of the real court’s more useless properties, with which you, as a lawyer, are no doubt familiar. Things such as “rules” and “precidents” and “procedures” have no hold here. As far as I can tell, the judges are making everything up as they go along.

    It’s plainly obvious that had the complainants taken Maclean’s to either civil or criminal court, they would have had their case laughed out faster than you could say, “burden of proof”. However, this tribunal is more like a “diet court”: Same court flavour, no evidence required!

    As for your second question, Winston is better equipped to answer that.

  191. MQ,

    Please provide us some information about this “violence and discrimination” the muslim community apparenty suffers in Canada.

    I’m particularly interested in the ‘violence’ part.

    Thanks.

  192. MQ “You guys have absolutely no concern about a vulnerable community that is subject to violence and discrimination”

    Reminds me of the claim Hedy Fry once made about crosses burning on lawns in Prince George even while she was speaking in the House of Commons.

  193. Rippin: “I don’t think [Steyn] actually wants to simply fear Muslims. What he argues quite clearly is big government taking away our adult independence… and are no longer able to stand up against wobbling fromage of cultural relativism, which is a phrase I absolutely love. His critique is a critique of Euro-American society.”

    I wonder if the “judges” realized that it was them, their organization, and the process that both Steyn and Rippen were mocking.

  194. Sorry, you’ve come to the wrong website. David Warren’s HRC hearing isn’t for another few months yet.

    In any case, the decision to run comments by Mr. Warren, or not, is the decision of the Ottawa Citizen alone, and should not be controlled by anyone else. Inaccurate reporting, and bombastic opinions are not a Human Rights violation.

    If you don’t like him, write a letter to the editor, or stop buying the paper.

    In any case, I hardly see how this is relevant.

  195. “Now I really hope these guys win, and maybe you’ll care a little more.”

    Like I care what you think: “Go Offend Yourself”

  196. thanks for doing this. When I read you were liveblogging I was pretty shocked — this is the most blogging I've seen in years from you, I think! <a href="http://www.xn--onlinecasio-n5e.com” target=”_blank”>www.xn--onlinecasio-n5e.com