Liveblogging the Maclean’s Trial III: Die Another Day


 

Day three dawns, and the crowds have thinned. Maybe a dozen spectators today, none of the protestors (pro-Steyn!) of the first day. Media is down to me and Brian Hutchinson of the National Post, whose fine piece on yesterday’s proceedings is definitely worth a read. Ian Mulgrew also offers a trenchant article in the Vancouver Sun. (UPDATE: My mistake. The Province is here, as was Terry Milewski of the CBC, at least to start. Also some smaller publications.)

Further assigned reading, on the whole damn mess: Convenant Zone.

First witness today is Faiza Hirji, an expert in “analyzing stereotypes in the media with regard to minorities,” with a speciality in Muslim minorities. She’s a prof in communications at Carleton School of Journalism. Also heavily into gender and “discourses.” Masters thesis on “representations” of Afghan women during the 2001 war. Doctoral work on media “constructions” of religion and nationalism in Bollywood films. Currently writing an encyclopedia entry on media and the Muslim world. She talks very quickly.

10:00 AM Maclean’s counsel Roger McConchie is working through her c.v., perhaps in an attempt to poke holes in her credibility. Personally, I think she’d make a fine human rights commissioner.

Her dissertation, he’s pointing out, was in Indian cinema and identity construction, and not, say, stereotyping of Muslims in Canadian national weekly current events magazines. Now going through her publications in refereed journals (sample title: When Local Meets Lucre: Commerce, Culture and Imperialism in Bollywood Cinema.) Other articles deconstruct Queen Latifah, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and … still more Bollywood.

10:20 AM He’s still working her over. Her master’s thesis, on Afghan women, looked at whether western media concerns with women’s oppression under the Taliban was merely a pretext to justify the war.

McConchie sums up for the tribunal: getting a PhD from a “reputable Canadian institution” — I believe he’s talking about Carleton — is a worthy achievement, but she hardly has the expertise claimed, particularly as she’s barely started her career.

Faisal Joseph for the complainants begs to differ. She was recommended by a world-renowned expert, Karim H. Karim, to make a presentation to a conference on diversity in Melbourne, which was supposed to deal in part with stereotyping issues. (Although in the end she only had seven minutes so it didn’t.)

The panel retires to consider.

10:55 AM They’re back, and they’ve decided they’re going to hear her evidence. Buffy scholars everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

She’s read many studies of racism in the media, although “Islamophobia” is a term she prefers not to use. Talking about stereotypes of Muslims as being associated with terrorism and the like. She does not believe the media are deliberately racist, but that journalists lack training in cultural sensitivity. On pressure of deadline, they rely on “shorthand,” stereotypes that are easily recognized by the readers. Not widespread, she says, but it happens often enough.

Now we’re talking about the Steyn article, and the passages that give her “concern.” McConchie rises to object, but is slapped down by the chairwoman. She (Hirji) reads a passage, says she sees a stereotype in it. Reads another, sees another. The cover is another stereotype, because it shows women wearing burkhas. The child’s face is in line with “the use of women and children as a marker of how oppressive Islam is.”

10:12 PM Still in the line-by-line dissection of Steyn: Muslims are presented as a threat, attributes of a few are ascribed to the religion as a whole, etc. She finds prhases like “threats like Islamism” also stereotypical, since earlier he had talked about Islam.

McConchie rises to say that he will be maintaining utter silence throughout this.

Now we’re reading the “of course” passage, which has been a peculiar object of fascination througout the hearing. This is the one where Steyn specifically disavows generalizing his concerns to all Muslims. But here it’s interpreted to mean that he is. I’ll reprint it here, so the reader can judge:

Time for the obligatory “of courses”: of course, not all Muslims are terrorists — though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists — though enough of them share their basic objectives(the wish to live under Islamic law in Europe and North America) to function wittingly or otherwise as the “good cop” end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine.

My own interpretation of those weary “of courses” are that Steyn feels he shouldn’t have to even say them — that a criticism of some Muslims should not open him to the charge that he is talking of all Muslims, but that since it probably will, he will spell it out explicitly. Fat lot of good it did him.

11:28 AM McConchie to cross-examine. He’s going through the expanded version of her Melbourne presentation. In it, she mentions the Ontario (McGuinty) government’s decision to do away with “faith-based arbitration panels” in family disputes rather than allow sharia courts to be set up. McConchie recounts the controversy that surrounded this question, specifically over what the implementation of sharia law would mean for women’s equality. Eventually (Dec. 2005) the Ontario government decided against proceeding, passing a law (Bill C-27) to that effect. The decision was supported, inter alia, by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, the YWCA, and the Muslim Canadian Congress. Not sure where he’s going with this, except I guess to show that these are legitimate questions of public debate.

Now he’s asking for the “terms of reference” sent to her by the complainants asking her to appear as an expert witness. These set out the task they want her to perform, and are normally provided to opposite counsel as part of her file. They weren’t.

11:55 AM We’re back. Her file has been produced. It’s, um, thin. There’s a bunch of other stuff that’s not in, she says, like emails between her and one of the Islamic law students. In one of these, she says, the student described the complaint they were bringing against Maclean’s. McConchie’s ears prick up. “She told you the nature of the complaint?” There’s an implied suggestion of something improper, though I don’t get what it is. But certainly it seems less than full disclosure.

We’re breaking for lunch.

* * *

1:30 PM Back from lunch, and the first witness is Dr. Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub, an expert on the Koran, and Islam. Again, the Maclean’s side is raising questions about what terms of reference he was given in his retainer letter. I think they’re trying to suggest, or at least hint, that these expert witnesses were coached or pointed down a certain path, which is a no-no in most courts, and perhaps even here.

The letter, which Julian Porter is reading aloud, is quite bald in setting out the complainants’ objectives. “This case is very important to Muslim minorities who are consistently misrepresented in the media.” They cite approvingly the BC human rights legislation. “We anticipate that success in this case will provide the impetus for prohibiting discriminatory publications in the other provinces.” So there you have it.

Ayoub assures him this would have no influence on the evidence he offers in court, that he will provide his unbiased opinions based on his expertise. “I am an intellectual,” he offers, and will comment only on the accuracy or otherwise of the depictions of Islam in Steyn’s article.

1:43 PM Professor at the Pacific School of Religion at Berkeley. Scholar in residence at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticutt. First blind student to enter American University of Beirut. BA Phil there, then MA religious thought U Penn. PhD Harvard 1975 in comparative religion, with special emphasis on Islamic studies. Active in “interfaith dialogue” with Jews and Christians. First Muslim scholar to teach a course in Islamic thought at the Vatican. Conclusion: pretty major-league guy.

Now commenting on Steyn piece. It’s mostly a demographic argument, he says. There has been rapid growth in Islamic numbers, yes, but this is not part of some conspiracy to take over the world. Finds it distressing to see an article by an intelligent man making the same arguments that Jews have faced. The vision of Islam in the Koran is pluralist. Sometimes he has to tell fellow Muslims that they are not living up to this spirit of pluralism.

What is jihad? Article equates it with Al Qaeda: fighting, suicide bombing etc. But word actually means, originally, “to strive, to do one’s best.” Koranic sense is that religious struggle we must all engage in within our souls against evil tendencies. There is also “social jihad,” the obligation to change things that are wrong. This does not mean violence. The Koran is not a book of violence.

The notion of armed struggle, or violent jihad, is mentioned in the Koran. “Permission has been given to those who have been wronged only because they say God is our lord that they fight in self-defence.” (Sura 22.) So jihad is not limited to fighting — it’s just one type of jihad, and should only be done in self-defence. The extremist, violent types are an anomaly. “They are more a problem for us than for the west.”

In early history of Islam, there was a group claiming exclusive knowledge of the faith, and terrorizing others, as there are now. But Islam is a religion of “the middle way.” Not too keen on turning the other cheek, but war is also out, unless as a last resort. People are mistaking the actions of a violent fringe group for the majority. By analogy, why do we call them Basque terrorists, rather than Catholic terrorists?

Obliged by the Koran to respect the People of the Book, ie Christianity and Judaism.

2:03 PM Returning to critique of Steyn’s article. “Portrays Muslims as an underground movement trying to take over the world — that’s not true.” They’re missionaries, they want to spread their faith, just like Christianity does. But neither religion wants to take over the world. He’s a Canadian citizen, and believes in Trudeau’s vision of a multi-faith, multicultural society.

Arabic is the sacred language of Islam, but not all Muslims are Arabs. Only about a quarter of all Muslims are Arab. The largest Muslim country is not an Arab country, it’s Indonesia – “one of the most gentle and open societies in the world. And they are good Muslims.”

Another inaccuracy (he says): Steyn says Muslims don’t recognize nations, because their core identity as Muslims “leaps over continents.” That’s only partly true, he says. There is a Muslim umma across the world, but there is diversity of languages, countries, races, etc within, “and Islam accepts that.” Article is based on broad statements that are meant to create negative feelings about Muslims, overlooks complexities.

2:12 PM Now on to the Amiel article. Talks about the burning of the library of Alexandria in the 4th century, allegedly ordered by the Muslim caliph at the time. Says that last bit’s a “fiction,” though he says even some Muslims believe it.

Julian Porter to cross-ex. Some Muslims, Ayoub acknowledges, especially in the 20th century, have emphasized the “jihad of the sword.” Islam, he notes in passing, does not have a concept of “holy war”: the phrase was invented by Pope Urban II when he was whipping up enthusiasm for the first Crusade.

Porter suggests that the Koran, like the Bible, has both peaceful and violent verses, and that “we have to choose.” Ayoub says the peaceful ones are more prevalent. Says Mohammed had to govern in times of both war and peace. Wonders if Christ had been in the same position, “probably Christians would have been less bloody than they have been.” Not sure I follow.

2:24 PM Porter is reading him passages from a collection of Bin Laden’s statements. “I swear by God almighty … that neither America nor anyone who lives there will enjoy safety until safety becomes a reality for those in Palestine and until all of the infidel have left the land of Mohammed.” It’s true, he says, that Islam is a vast religion with many groups, but “there is an element within it running amok.” Ayoub agrees, but repeats that Al Qaeda is more a problem for us than you.

Porter says you are giving an opinion, and you’re entitled to give it. Hint, hint. “It’s not an opinion, sir,” he replies. Oh.

More Bin Laden. “We’ve been inciting for years. We’ve released decrees and documents… Incitement is a duty… We have incited and urged the killing of Americans and Jews, that’s true.” Porter: that’s worrisome, isn’t it? Journalists have to write about this without your knowledge and background. “It may not be that every journalist has your nuance, but isn’t that something that they should be worried about, and writing about?” He’s making the case that Steyn may be wrong, but he’s not hateful: he’s starting from a legitimate concern.

Ayoub says he believes in free speech, “but my freedom ends where it begins to do harm to any community… I don’t think freedom of speech should include inciting the general public to hate a group, whatever the group may be.”

2:39 PM I’ve just noticed Steyn is here. Not sure how long he’s been sitting there. I suspect things are about to get interesting.

2:41 PM Porter is now quoting Ayoub from a story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, in which he’s quoted as speculating that the planes on Sept. 11 might have been flown by evangelical Christians. He denies saying it. What he said, he said, is that there are evangelicals who want to hasten the day of Armaggedon and the Rapture.

“I am (also) an American, and I love America, and I would never do anything to harm either of these two countries. I don’t live in Quebec because their taxes are too high.”

3:26 PM We’re back from a break, and Faisal Joseph is announcing … they aren’t going to call any more witnesses! They’re not going to call their third and last expert witness, as it would merely repeat previous evidence, he says, and they’re not going to call Naiyer Habib, one of the complainants!

Julian Porter is furious. Then I’m calling Habib! This is contemptuous of the process, he says, and disgraceful. He should be here to answer having laid the complaint. I was told I’d get a chance to cross-examine him. “I cannot believe” – he’s practically growling – “that they would have the audacity not to expose either one (meaning Elmasry, the other complainant) to cross-examination!”

Joseph: Talk about audacity. Steyn’s here, and he’s not testifying. I’m upset that I don’t get a crack at him.

Steyn snorts in laughter. (Possible reason: He was supposed to be in a radio debate with Joseph some time ago, but Joseph never showed.) Joseph expresses displeasure at this.

Porter (to the tribunal, quietly): “Do you have any idea how bad this looks?” He asks for five minutes to prepare, and then, I presume, he’s going to call Habib as … a hostile witness. Stay tuned!

4:04 PM We’re going to adjourn for the day! We don’t even know whether we’re calling any more witnesses. If so, we’re back at 10 tomorrow. Otherwise, we hear final arguments on Friday.

Talk about a cliffhanger! Will Porter get to call Habib? Will Joseph cross-examine? Tune in tomorrow… same kangaroo-time, same kangaroo-channel…

Wait! Porter in on his feet: “If Habib and Elmasry are afraid to testify, I don’t want them as my witnesses. They’re a pair of scaredy-pants, and…” I swear to God that’s what he said. The proceedings dissolve in even more confusion than usual…

CODA: Okay here’s the deal. Maclean’s is definitely — as of this writing — not going to call Habib. The only question is whether the other side, ie Habib’s lawyers, do: apparently they may change their mind.

If they don’t, then we will have gone through an entire hearing about Muslims exposed to hatred in British Columbia without hearing from one single, solitary outraged British Columbian Muslim (though Habib, unlike Elmasry, at least had the decency to show up). We heard from an outraged Muslim — Joseph’s articling student, Kurrum Awan — but he’s from Ontario. And we’ve heard from a British Columbian, the Islamic scholar Andrew Rippin, but he’s neither particularly outraged nor, it seems, Muslim. Even the lawyers were from Ontario, except McConchie.

And if they do call him? Then Porter gets his wish. See you tomorrow.


 

Liveblogging the Maclean’s Trial III: Die Another Day

  1. Yay! I’m first to post on the list today. I beat all you slackers!

  2. Just a thought…. who paid for the sock puppets to travel to BC? I would hope it wasn’t on the taxpayer’s dime through the BC HRC… but at this point, few things would suprise me.

  3. I can’t wait until they start reading aloud some of Steyn’s piece. I wanna see who can keep from laughing.

  4. The Parade of the Wobbling Fromages, Day Three.

  5. Hey Andrew, has the dead sock changed his socks?
    He’ll need a clean pair of socks after what he was walking through yesterday.

  6. It’s wonderful that the Toronto-based elite of the national media conglomerates are now taking on these HRC star chambers.

    Given the fact that these HRC creatures have operated with impunity for decades, I would welcome their analysis on why it took a direct attack on their freedom of speech before they deigned to take on these Orwellian obscenities?

  7. Ooo, am I in time for the show? *pulls up a seat and grabs the popcorn* This trial is better than a soap opera!

  8. Just a thought…. who paid for the sock puppets to travel to BC? I would hope it wasn’t on the taxpayer’s dime through the BC HRC… but at this point, few things would suprise me.

    The CIC paid their fare.

  9. BCTG, there’s literally NOTHING going on. No Muslims there whatsoever. A bunch of dudes flew in from back east to fight this case in BC. Obviously, we Muslims on the west coast really don’t have a problem with Macleans or Steyn…that’s why you don’t see Muslims there in droves.

  10. Come on, Muslim Steynfan. You know that’s because of the pall of fear and intimidation that has settled over Canada. ;)

  11. By the way, when Elmasry was on TV arguing against same-sex marriage, he used the BC HRT’s ruling against the Knights of Columbas (when they didn’t allow a lesbian couple to wed in their hall) as evidence of how gays would impact religious freedom. The judge that stupidly fined the Knights, is the head of this trio of HRC clowns….I wonder if she knows what he thought of her decision…

  12. Given the rules of evidence in this particular circus….no doubt that fact can be put into evidence just so she is aware, Muslim Steynfan.

  13. Dear Muslim Steynfan, we could only wish for you and other Muslims who feel the same way to be out protesting with signs that read
    ” CIC don’t represent me!”
    and pull the rug out from under their pretentiousness.

    But your support here is noted and welcomed. This affects all Canadians and should be getting much broader attention. Next to no one I know even has a clue about the threat to their freedom of speech; maybe that’s a sign they’re not exercising it enough?

  14. I love the tags Coyne used:

    Tags: despair, Futility, Hopelessness, HRT live

  15. No Ezra today, Coyne. You need to beef it up a little. Not that I’m complaining…

  16. Not quite as much fun as Day 1 and 2…but I will be meta-live blogging anyway over at Jay Currie.

  17. Well if the Globe can’t be bothered to attend then I can’t be bothered to buy their paper on the week-ends anymore.

  18. …”an expert in “analyzing stereotypes in the media with regard to minorites,” with a speciality in Muslim minorities.”

    I did not know that was an area of professional expertise. Where does one obtain that kind of exclusive knowledge?

  19. http://www.sfu.ca/~aticdl/whoarewe.htm

    Faiza Hirji

    Faiza Hirji has a B.A. in Communication from SFU and an M.A. in Communication from Carleton University. After completing her M.A. thesis, which involved media perceptions of gender and Islam during the war in Afghanistan, she is exploring the subjects of Canadian citizenship and media of the South Asian Muslim diaspora in her Ph. D. thesis. During this time, she has also worked as a communications assistant in both the private and non-profit sectors, a teaching assistant and a research assistant. Though their respective travels over the last three years have entailed Faiza working for Ellen from both near and afar, the two spent the summer of 2002 working together in the ATIC lab on projects involving gender, health and the Internet, among other topics.

  20. http://www.acc-cca.ca/reg/viewabstract.php?id=507&cf=4

    esistance is Futile: Canadian Muslim Youth of South Asian Origin, Diasporic Media and Identity Construction

    Faiza Hirji Kassam
    PhD
    School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

    Full text: Not available
    Last modified: January 26, 2007

    Abstract
    This paper summarizes the key findings and policy implications of a doctoral project which examines identity construction among Canadian Muslim youth of South Asian ancestry, and the influence of media in this process. Media can be important socializing agents, and in particular, popular Indian films have been acknowledged for their ability to educate diasporic South Asian youth about their culture, traditions and values. While this study’s main purpose is to assess the meaning and significance of popular Indian cinema for youth living in diaspora, it also looks at other media and factors, such as books, television, and family, that were identified as playing a role in identity construction for the participants in this project. These particular factors are examined in relation to an ongoing debate that has taken place in the media and among politicians regarding the need to review policies around immigration and multiculturalism. Diasporic cinema provides an interesting object of study, but it also requires an interrogation of its purpose, meaning and effectiveness, and according to the young people in this study, diasporic cinema is only one spoke in an extensive wheel of factors that affect identity construction and belonging. At the same time, it became obvious that the consumption and interpretation of such media were processes that went beyond mere entertainment for a number of participants, many of whom recognized the ideological and social implications embedded therein. As described here, the process of creating identity appears to be one that is constantly evolving, frequently self-conscious, and grounded in strong convictions about what it means to be Canadian. These questions of how diasporic youth construct their sense of self are significant, given nation-states’ continued emphasis on civic engagement and integration, and it is those issues that are discussed in this study.

  21. Oh no get ready for the Marxist Dialectic.

  22. I wonder if the tribunal/panel members went online to read these posts and Ezras. I wonder if they realize that they are contributing to their own demise and the demise of the BCHRC.

    Thank you for all the posts.

  23. I had no idea that BC had annexed Ottawa, or doesn’t anyone have to be from BC to complain/represent/testify there?

    (j/k I know the answer already)

  24. SK – your research skills are beyond excellent. Why didn’t Mr. Joseph hire you?

  25. If I were a betting man, I would say that the underlying message in yesterday’s cross had less to do with credibility of the witness/ faux complaintant/ sock puppet/ whiner. Instead, I believe Julian Porter is setting up the Tribunal to rule a certain way. Everyone is already conceding that the ruling will go against MacLeans…and you’d have to be a half-wit imbecile to think otherwise. But, I believe Porter is playing upon the Activist narrow-mindedness. They are, first and foremost, invested in promoting their PC agenda regardless of consequences….unless those consequences directly effect their ongoing position and personal influence.

    Therefore, the pounding on the issue of “a mutually agreed to author” on the rebuttal will be seen as an opportunity by the Tribunal to compromise (in their minds)…appear reasonable (in their minds)…and at the same time force a concession from MacLeans (in their minds) that will be accepted. Only…it won’t. MacLeans doesn’t want an outright win here…because is solves nothing…They want to lose, and in the flavor of self-preservation, the Tribunal will go the way of the “compromise” because they will incorrectly assume that Porter’s harking on the issue of “mutually agreed to author” telegraphed that they would have considered such an option.

    Shrewd… ;D

  26. She talks very quickly…that reminds me, is there a transcript of these events or is it all going down the memory hole?

  27. Any bets she has used the words “holistic” and “collaborative” so far?

  28. Don’t forget empowering.

    JR you may well be on to something.

  29. Andrew has identified one of the main problems with these HRCs: nobody cares as long as they are not the ones being prosecuted. So it is the accused that are left to fend for themselves. That’s what happens when the complaints are free but the defendants must foot their own bills.

  30. Her article, which I linked above says, “….In commercial terms, however, the most successful segment of the Indian film industry is the one referred to as Bollywood….the reality of Bollywood cinema is that its continued success within India and among diasporic networks of South Asians presents a significant challenge to American domination of international film, and more broadly, international culture….Bollywood films not only ape selected Hollywood tendencies in terms of production, writing and marketing, they also reproduce patterns of cultural domination,…It becomes difficult to reconcile this image of a monolithic entertainment industry with the notion of an indigenous culture that successfully demonstrates resistance in the face of hegemonic oppression.”

    In other words, Hollywood is not just entertainment that people around the world like to watch, but it is hegemonic oppression. And Bollywood is successful in part because it apes the oppressive style of American film. I’m no fan of much Hollywood fare, but viewing it as a form of cultural oppression (that needs a revolution, perhaps?) shows where she is coming from.

  31. Steyn didn’t call anyone a “gook.” The word appeared in an piece humorously inventing a speech for John McCain.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been called a “caker” more times than I can remember for the urban crime of being a WASP-looking Canadian. And don’t get me started on how non-Catholics talk about Catholics at university.

    The great thing is that wave after wave of immigrants to Canada turned a deaf ear to the muttering of those who came before (heck, even Englishmen got hazed) and flourished WITHOUT the HRCs.

  32. Other key words-marginalized, gender, systemic…these nutcases love systemic….

  33. I get the feeling I’m the only person who has ever read Hirji’s thesis, apart from her advisors.

  34. Is there a way to find out exactly what this is costing taxpayers…

  35. SK, perhaps you should market it as a cure-all for insomnia?

  36. Laura: Don’t forget her coining the term, “glocalization.” I never have seen that term before. I do hope never to see it again.

  37. “She talks very quickly”. This is obviously a stereotype of professors in communications at Carleton School of Journalism who do doctoral work on media “constructions” of religion and nationalism in Bollywood films.

  38. “Ricardo the smooth man” : an excellent point. A small portion of Canada’s elite media seem to think these inquistions are a threat to free speech.

    The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, et al, support [my mangled Latin]: silentiam qui tacet.

    Someone will correct me I’m sure: “Silence gives consent.”

  39. Day Three of “Malice in Wonderland”

  40. Hegemony? Did someone say hegemony? Evidently I have advanced standing in white hegemony, according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission:

    “The denial of racism used by so many whites in positions of authority ranging from the supervisor in a work place to the chief of Police and ministers of government must be understood for what it is: an example of White hegemonic power over those considered ‘other’.”

    Reference: http://tinyurl.com/4serta

  41. Plowing through her paper, I see she makes much of the diaspora of Asian peoples. I always thought the idea of a diaspora was rooted in the concept of a people driven from their homeland because of invasion, or the destruction of their way of life, or some such. Asian people have certainly spread around the globe because of plains/trains/automobiles, the shrinking globe… but a diaspora? That makes every Asian person you see in Brooklyn or Chicago into a victim of some kind, driven from home, blown by the winds of fate… rather than as rational actors making the most of opportunities worldwide.

    I don’t know, maybe I’d like her if I met her, but I’m already not liking the idea that she walks through life thinking of herself as a victim, and therefore someone out there must be her victimizer.

  42. http://jci.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/30/2/125.pdf

    Read page 8. Very interesting stuff about Muslims being united in their feelings of alienation because of media. She is all about being offended it seems.

  43. P.S. I’m kind of offended at David v Golath’s implication that my “original settler” ancestors were barbarians, and that I’d be a barbarian without the HRC keeping me in line. I bet the zillion-generation Canadian Quebeckers would be, too.

  44. George, it’s “Qui tacit consentire.”

  45. “However, a shared belief in Allah and his prophet, Muhammad, does tie the Muslim
    community together, and those ties are arguably strengthened when Muslims develop
    a sense of alienation from non-Muslims who perceive the former as fundamentally
    unable to coexist with democratic or civilized values.”

    If I am reading this correctly, their community gets strengthened the more alienated they feel from Western folks who somehow feel that Islam and democracy are not compatible.

  46. What does Bollywood have to do with Muslims in Ontario, who have come to Vancouver, to grieve their case on behalf of the primary complainant who stayed at home in Ontario? Is this a movie?

  47. Had a quick scan of Ian Mulgrew’s Sun article…interesting irony there…he states the HRCs were never meant to be inqusitions for divining what is proper to print in the free media…I have to ask the obvious…where was he when it was the BCHRC that started all this media inquisition with the Doug Collins case?

    There enough hypocrisy in the media to go around now they change their tune to defend a more “popular” publication and journalist.

  48. What worries me most about this “trial” is exactly what we all find so amusing. The fact that the evidence and the witnesses and the judgements are all like Jello (apologies to Kellogs or whomever). The “process” is like shifting Sahara sands, There might be sand there or there might not! Interpretation of “justice” is like a tidal pool, it might be empty or it might be full! In the end, it will be the Jello people who will sit in judgement of the existence of sand and the levels of water. The scary part is that, in our teflon Canada, Stein and Macleans may be found in violation of the BCHMC, so that the three Jello moulds can save face and pretend to be “just deserts”! If so, it will be the rest of us who will suffer the dietary consequences!

  49. Ben Stein’s on trial here too?

  50. You can add Oliver Wendell Holmes and Voltaire to the list of those on trial.

  51. Disertation Summary:

    “Pssssst…Queen Latifah…is not really a…you know…queen.”

    (drive carefully…good night)

  52. A “buffy the vampire slayer” expert, what next?

  53. Please, can’t we have Khurrum on for another day ? Please ? Please ? Pretty Please ?

    I found his testimony rather amusing and worth the price of admission !

  54. If I recall, Buffy the Vampire Slayer demonized vampires, or was it all just a metaphor representing Ontarian muslims?

  55. WLMR yes the media has been complacent to the point of complicity through the years on this matter but people such as George Jonas were speaking out at the advent of the Star Chambers.

    I read that a Toronto Star reporter was spotted, can’t wait to see the drivel produced.

  56. Oh, I’m sorry. I meant, “Resistance = GOOD.” Got caught up in the verbiage there and said the opposite of what I meant. Which means I’m completely in keeping with the timbre of the argument, I suppose.

  57. I think Coyne has fallen asleep,. This is mind-numbing stuff.

  58. Not to worry SK in the Wonderland of the HRC’s words can mean anything you want them to mean.

  59. “Her master’s thesis, on Afghan women, looked at whether western media concerns with women’s oppression under the Taliban was merely a pretext to justify the war. ”

    We are found out! Our work undone! Curses foiled again!

  60. I always wondered what a PC regime would look like. Now I know. Just plain tawdry.

    Anyhoo, I know there must be people sympathetic and supportive of this farce following this thread. I wish they’d step up and tell us how wrong we are.

  61. Because Ms. Hirji is apparently operating from a cultural/political Marxist viewpoint, isn’t she just confirming the prejudices of the Tribunal? I imagine, to them, she sounds quite reasonable, and they’re wondering what the Maclean’s lawyer is all huffed about. Even if she is a new Ph.D., and even if her major body of study is about the cultural imperialism of Hollywood, her expert testimony just goes to show how the poor Elmasrys of the world must feel when confronted with people who do not parrot their views.

  62. Who is taking odds on the decison to allow her to testify?

  63. Oh, she’s testifying, all right. In fact, she might end up on the Tribunal as a sort of mascot.

  64. Stephen – You just made me a Monty Python fan. Excellent post!

  65. It doesn’t really matter if she “testifies” or not, since there is nothing to “testify” to. Joseph is just ringing all the correct pc bells in succession so that the tribunal can make the right connection.

  66. Does she really mention cultural invasions? How do immigrants to India fare, by the way? In the movie “Fire”, the Chinese characters did not seem too happy.

  67. Rock, paper, scissors again.

  68. They probably have old episodes of Law and Order to figure out what they’re supposed to do.

  69. And did somebody really bring up the Hutus and Tutsis? How ridiculous. Anglophones and francophones have been saying bad things about each other for 300 years, and you’ll notice at no point have we risen up to slaughter each other.

  70. Where’s my old buddy Ed the Sock from Much Music when you need him? He should file with the HRC that these ‘sock puppets’ are causing him defamation of character, etc. Plus he’d REALLY hurt their feelings.

  71. SK you may have just set off WLMR – wait till he lays in on Cultural Marxism;)

    It’s all good.

  72. Gail,

    glad I could help, but since this trial is a farce it is not too hard to find applicable things fro the masters of farce and satire.

    Oh that Cleese and Palin were watching these proceedings, I am sure they would be wondering if a long discarded script of theirs had been found.

  73. When Coyne says “The panel retires to consider” I think he means they took a break to have a coffee.

  74. Dawood vs Goliath.

    Mething you doth protest too much.

  75. I have to wonder if Maclean’s is just going through the motions.

    I’m going to bet they are found guilty and will appeal to a real court.

    Sad days for Canada

  76. “The panel retires to consider.” As if. Consider what? How best to justify listening to a litany of putative grievances? Come on, astonish me. Allow half her testimony. Or just the really good parts. Or stuff since she defended her PhD. thesis.

  77. Who is Karim H. Karim and what is his status as an expert? Who is leading this evidence – Mr. Joseph himself? Is Mr. Joseph giving evidence to the Tribunal? Is he under oath? Can he be cross-examined?

  78. Why didn’t FJ get Karim H. Karim himself to testify? At least he is an ‘expert’ on something related to the inquisition. Or is FJ deliberately using weak witnesses, because no matter who he calls, he wins?

  79. So what exactly is your point Dawood v. Goliath? That Steyn shouldn’t be able to comment on current events? The public at large can’t be trusted to read what they wish? Can they be trusted to vote the way they wish, or only if the government has controlled the information they’re able to access?

  80. It’s a farce but if this wasn’t Macleans on trial and instead a poor unknown schmuck, is there any doubt that the Bollywood expert and aggrieved law student from Ontario would be taking the poor guy to the cleaners by now.

  81. Let me guess . . . she’d be able and willing to carry on a long conversation about the utility of Semiotics in Modern Muslim Discourse ??

    So academic, so divorced from CFS . . . common frik’n sense

  82. 10:55 AM They’re back, and they’ve decided they’re going to hear her evidence. Buffy scholars everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

    Of course they are.

    I’m going for a drink to numb the pain of this.

  83. The phrase Steyn used was in fact “wobbling blancmange”. “Fromage” doesn’t wobble.

  84. Just how tangential can this get? Could a non-Canadian, say a “United States-ian” like myself for instance file a BCHR complaint over a (say) Danish published diatribe referenced by a Canadian publication in an Op-Ed by an outside Non-Canadian columnist that I heard/read about on a blog on a Bahamian server site? I mean, I hear BC is lovely this time of year and obviously the Canadian taxpayers have money to burn!

  85. CHIP SAID: “It’s a farce but if this wasn’t Macleans on trial and instead a poor unknown schmuck, is there any doubt that the Bollywood expert and aggrieved law student from Ontario would be taking the poor guy to the cleaners by now.”

    But they ARE taking Maclean’s and Steyn to the cleaners. Right now, in real time.

    How I wish Maclean’s had hired a transcriptionist to sit in the courtroom with a modem to the outside world. The $800 or so for the day would be worth it, believe me, because then the world would have documentary evidence of this monstrosity.

  86. “Personally, I think she’d make a fine human rights commissioner.”

    Wow Andrew Coyne, you can sure dish out the hate.

  87. EBT: oddly enough, because of that quote, I went and made blancmange today, just to see what it was like. It does wobble! And it’s not too bad.

  88. The co-complainants are Habib and Elmasry on behalf of the Muslims of BC. The former can hardly claim credibility in speaking on behalf of the Muslims in BC and the latter lacks the guts to even show his face. The fact the this hearing is even taking place is ludicrous.

    Why is this Court of Roos spending so much time/effort/dollars in even listening to people from the East who have probably never been in BC in their lifetime. To claim that they speak for Muslims of BC is ludicrous.

    This tribunal is doing nothing but making a laughing stock of justice within BC and by extension, Canada.

    Has there really been anything concrete presented on which the Court of Roos can base an adjudication?

  89. “…training in cultural sensitivity…”

    Break out the re-education camps…

  90. I’ve always said the media needs “senisitivety training” LOL

    Horny Toad

  91. Rob @ 1.50pm

    “Sad days for Canada”:

    On the face of it, yes, but not if Maclean’s lose and can come up with the means to appeal. The press will not then be able to ignore it and it will get out there properly. Then there might be some common sense injected.

    Can anyone tell me to which Court an appeal would go first?

  92. Ah! I knew the “cultural sensitivity” arguement would come up sooner or later. 10 points for every politically correct term identified.

  93. “Talking about stereotypes of Muslims as being associated with terrorism and the like.”

    Stereotypes? The polls of support for terrorism in Middle Eastern countries is pretty clear: it’s the majority. It’s even a significant minority in among Muslims in the UK.

    But that’s the real world. She’s an academic.

  94. Actually, I have to admit I was mistaken in being upset about the prospect of Dr. Hirji being admitted as an expert. Mr. Coyne sais that Dr. Hirji does not like to use the term “Islamophobia” . This is in marked contrast to the April 9, 2008 press release of Commissioner Barbara Hall of the OHRC, in describing the Steyn article:

    “Unfortunately, the Maclean’s article, and others like it, are examples of this. By portraying Muslims as all sharing the same negative characteristics, including being a threat to ‘the West’, this explicit expression of Islamophobia further perpetuates and promotes prejudice towards Muslims and others.”

    Dr. Hirji, like Dr. Rippin, may turn out to be an effective witness for the defense!

  95. I find this absurdity much more palitable when I realize that the “desired” outcome is a resounding “guilty” verdict of Macleans. Then we can have a REAL trial, perhaps even a charter challenge.

    horny toad

  96. There are passages in the Steyn article that give Dr. Hirji “concern”. There are “stereotypes” in the Steyn article. So what? Where is the “exposure to hatred or contempt”? Where is the case?

  97. Dr. Hirji may be completely right. Maybe the Steyn article should raise “concerns”. Maybe it contains numerous “stereotypes”. So far, it seems she is being honest and reasonable. She is not, however, giving evidence that proves the complainant’s case.

  98. I’m still wagering that the committee hears all this evidence, and, after ensuring they’ve given the claimaints absolutely every opportunity to show their case, so that they have no easy means of appeal thereafter, simply dismiss it.

  99. I admit it. I hold an ugly stereotype of a Canadian as an unhappy barber who would much rather be a lumberjack.

  100. Oh here we go again! Muslims finding yet another image offensive. Surprise Surprise!! Good thing it wasn’t the top of an ice cream sunday or a soccer team logo. I’m sure Buffy’s relieved.

  101. OF COURSE not all Leftists oppose free speech, but enoough of them idly stand by while sypathizing with the motives of those who do…..

  102. Only in wonderland does the meaning of “of course” have something to do with whether a crime has been committed.

  103. They fear dismissal more than they fear a guilty verdict. When fear motivates you, even if you are a Troika, you will do stange tings. Macleans will be guilty and the sock puppets will rejoice. Anything less and the BCHRC is neutered by their own rules. Heather M. and her fellow Roos have made these “tough” decisions before and they did not even blink an eye. Ask Chris Kempling and the K of C Coquitlam if there is even the slightest chance of dismissal.

  104. Mr. C’s interpretation of the paragraph seems obvious enough to me but then I’m rational (sorta). The “conspiracy code” mindset will just claim it’s a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” to the hegemonic oppressors who will take it a marching orders to start hatin’ and opressin’ BC muslims.

  105. Dawood,

    The objection in all of this is the premise of the trial, that there needs to government intervention in what is a debate with correct and incorrect points on all sides of it.

    If it is uncofortable for some it is unfortunate but necessary. The socks are exploiting rules that are available to them, the real issue isnt Islam, Islamaphobia etc it is that the government even needs to mediate the discussion.

    Does anyone honestly believe that a majority of those of Irish extraction in Canada were supportive of the IRA, even though they may have been sympathetic with their goals they condemed the means. At variuous times more than 50% of French Quebecois have supported a set of the FLQ’s goals but never their means.

    Under both of these situations a discussion at the group level would take place, but it became clear that there were sub groups and extremists and the extremists were subsequently marginalized.

    Once again, Steyn’s article is largely focussed on Europe as it tries to grope with what being European means. Since it is fighting a tradition of being German, or being English/Scottish/Irish or being being French or Swedish is has by necessity tried to suppress those things without replacing it with a strong identity. Steyn’s thesis is that the US solved this problem a long time ago and has successfully integrated religons and other “tribes” by pushing loyalty to civic virtues versus ethinic or tribal virtues (language, religon, or other cultural traits)

    I think it would be consistent with Steyn to say that in the effort to becoe multicultural Europe has thrown out the baby with the bathwater. Too afraid to feel proud of the traditions worth saving for fear of imposing a “culture”…the baby is rule of law, democracy and loyalty to the common political state over loyalty to ones specific cultural artifacts (religon, language etc)

    The current demographic challenge to Europe’s traditional inhabitants, dare I say aboriginal people, is the issue that surfaces the underlying problem.

    Ultimately though, this is not a line of argument that the State needs to protect anyone from. Debate it, engage etc….but once again, use of tools like the HRC’s just surfaces the problem that the HRC’s are themselves. If it wasnt this case it would have been another one with a different aggreived group seeking undeserved redress.

  106. comment by Robert W. on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm:

    “…It’s more about whether the highly offended, thin skinned, permanent victim class has the legal right in Canada to tell the rest of us what we can say & write, and ultimately what we can think.”

    Yes, yes. I’m so tired of the perpetual victim mentality. To the Awans, Elmasrys et al: Get a life and grow a pair already! Sheesh!

  107. Excellent work Andrew. Even though I was forced to consult Webster for the meaning of “entropy”. You don’t know how humiliating that is for a proven “wordsmith” such as myself.

    HA! HA! Just joking. No joke about the great job you are doing however. Keep it up.

  108. Sorry T. Thwim, I didn’t realise you already brought up my point…I blog very , very slowly.

  109. “The cover is another stereotype, because it shows women wearing burkhas”

    Can it be a stereotype if it is an enforced code of behavior by a repressive regime? Perhaps the Prof should be telling the Taliban to let women wear Versace if they so choose!

  110. Robert W you are getting close to the real meaning of this trial … which is very soon, no one in any western society will be able to say anything about the demographic changes being thrust upon them. There may be exceptions for the most anodyne comments, or criticisms couched in obscure social science jargon. However, soon noting that group A, many of whom are of recent immigrant origin, have a higher rate of violent crime, or commit a certain type of crime much more often, or have lower education levels or whatever, any statement will be banned. The Swedes have already arrested a man for carrying a sign noting that group A, or recent immigrant origin, had a high rate of committing a very sex-specific crime against gender B members of the ‘indigenous’ Swedish community. This is our future… the US will be last, but there are other ways of silencing dissent in the States.

  111. I still don’t understand how the “human rights” people can possibly rule on this? If there is no set definition of what constitutes “illegal speech”, how can magazines like Macleans possibly defend themselves? Defend themselves from what, what law did they break? How can you show that you didn’t cross some predefined line, if no one knows what that line is? Is the line just offending any small subgroup of any minority?

    I don’t get these kangaroo courts. They need to be shut down.

  112. AC said

    “Now he’s asking for the “terms of reference” sent to her by the complainants asking her to appear as an expert witness. These set out the task they want her to perform, and are normally provided to opposite counsel as part of her file. They weren’t.”

    I love good lawyers….however havent they brought a knife to a gun fight?

  113. That’s kind of the point, Meany, there is no defense in these tribunals. Stating the truth is no defense, responsible jouralism is no defense, in fact there is no defense. If person A had his feelings hurt, you’re guilty. Period. For the record, I don’t for one second believe the result will be anything other than a guilty verdict. There is no way the socialists can let this one go. It’s far too tempting for them.

  114. Terms of reference sent to her by the complainants…? That should mean a list of the (limited) things she’s there to testify about correct? Bet the Tribunal lets her go well beyond those terms in expounding on her “expertise.” After all when there are no Rules there is only Chaos…and the inevitable decay into Entropic Disorder referenced by Mr. C yesterday.

  115. Hirsi cowrote an article on Sept 24, 2007, with Karim Karim. The article is titled, “Religous Pluralism and Public Policy: Background Paper.” I’m plowing through it now– for lack of enough material coming from the courtroom itself. (I’m missing Ezra Levant a bit here.)

    Article can be found here: http://205.193.6.64/ev_en.php?ID=15724_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC

    I’m not done reading it. But from what I gather so far, she and Karim are discussing the intersections of public policy and private religious practice. I find it interesting how she makes the public’s accommodation of the Sikh practice of wearing a dagger an argument for wearing the hijab and having separate-but-equal swimming. She seems to be questioning the public’s disdain for the hijab.

    From what I understand, the Sikh practice of wearing the dagger comes from a time in Indian history when only royals and gentry were allowed to wear swords, wear turbans, and have certain last names. So the Sikh leader declared that all people, everywhere, were equal to the royals, and that no people were beneath this great dignity. So he said all his followers were from then on required to wear the turban, the sword, and carry one of the royal last names. I would imagine that no Canadian would have a problem with such a religious requirement.

    In contradistinction, the hijab seems to symbolize to many Canadians the second-class status of women, the oppression; and therefore a hijab seems as offensive as a slave walking around with chains on her ankles. I find this offensive, as well.

    The article also discusses sharia, polygamy, and other Islamic practices.

  116. They didn’t even follow the Rules they aren’t required to follow…this is so pathetic. I realize no defense is acceptable under the applicable law…your guilty by accusation. But couldn’t the complainants a least try to play along with this farce?

  117. McC’s 11:28 cross-examination is obviously using the text I just cited as the grounds for his questioning of Hirji.

  118. Somebody please! Make it stop! I am now waiting for an indepth analysis of the meaning of “of course”! Should be good for a few days of tax payers’ $$. Sorta like the definition of “is”…. I have written on this event elsewhere, and have laughed. But really, this is NO laughing matter, despite the humour we can find in the insanity of this whole sorry mess.

  119. SK, you rock. What is interesting about the Hijab is that NO WHERE in the Koran does it say women have to wear it. It is a political statement not a religous requirement. That is why many Muslim women do not wear it.

  120. Servant, I think you’re wrong about them fearing guilty more than dismissal, and here’s why. Unless they are completely blind, it’s pretty obvious that Maclean’s isn’t trying to win. Maclean’s is trying to build the grounds for an appeal, assuming their loss is a foregone conclusion.

    The initial statement of Maclean’s, about the non-admissability of any defence whatsoever should be a big warning light to the committee that any appeal will end up becoming a charter case which almost certainly will remove much, if not all, of the power held by HRCs.

    IE, a finding of guilty will eventually neuter them. We all recognize that, why do we assume they don’t?

  121. Re:Comment by Can_Cel_My-Passport,

    “Every Canadian who died in WWII is dishonoured by every witch-hunting HRC.”

    A Canadian died in Afghanistan just this week so that we could indulge in this vile comedy. How serious is that?

  122. “My own interpretation of those weary “of courses” are that Steyn feels he shouldn’t have to even say them — that a criticism of some Muslims should not open him to the charge that he is talking of all Muslims, but that since it probably will, he will spell it out explicitly. Fat lot of good it did him.”

    Steyn’s writing reminds me of an ad I have seen: “FACT: The addition of calcium to your diet may help you lose weight.”

    Or differently. First Steyn makes grande generalisation, presenting them as fact and then later on he says; “Well, not really, I mean there are some who are doing this, but in no way do I say they all are that way.”

    It’s a cheap cop out, the majority of readers WILL believe these things, first of all because those facts are represented in a way that they sound like the utter truth and secondly because they are much stronger images than his weak “of course” section later.

    If Steyn would be an honest author and not a pundit who gets of on getting a rise out of people he knows won’t really hurt him (and don’t tell me you, MacLean’s and Steyn aren’t salviating over the free press they are getting out of this) I could take his “concerns” serious, but he’s not. He’s someone who creates willfully controverses in order to sell more books.

  123. A couple of comments:

    1. Given her lack of expertise in the area of her testimony, what makes her opinion any more valuable, from a legal point of view, than those of Mark Steyn, mine, any reader of this blog or, for that matter, a downtown rubbie?

    2. Democracy is based upon the Rule of Law. It is the Rule of Law that keeps us free. In a so-called legal process, therefore, in which there is a total absence of legal standards, or rules by which decisions are made, the parties…particularly the respondents, are left to the whims of the panel.

    This is what you get when the Rule of Law is replaced by caprice administered in a (semi) orderly fashion. And it’s frightening.

  124. T. Thwim seems convinced this will end up a “Charter Case” which I assume means the equivalent of a U.S. Federal Constitution case. But, our Supreme Court isn’t required to hear ALL appeals and has been known to just let some BIG questions slide for a long, long time. Couldn’t the same thing happen here? Even if this is a Charter Case couldn’t the Upper Appellate Courts just refuse a grant of “certification?” and not review it?

  125. “MacLean’s and Steyn aren’t salviating over the free press they are getting out of this”

    I think the hundreds of thousands, if not millions they will spend on lawyers through this and the appeals would more than make up for any marketing funds they may have spent for this publicity.

  126. Hey snowrunner: Just for clarification, let’s stipulate that your psychoanalysis of Steyn is 100% correct. In fact, let’s stipulate that he deliberatly set out to hurt peoples feelings and provoke anger and outrage. So what?

    Ban him? Punish him? Force Macleans to hand over their magazine to a third party?

  127. Theatreoftheabsurd:
    Even if this is a Charter Case couldn’t the Upper Appellate Courts just refuse a grant of “certification?” and not review it?

    The Court of Appeal would have no choice to hear it, but the Supreme Court would have to grant leave. The SC chooses its cases based on “questions of national importance” and considers most charter cases to be such. They may or may not choose to hear it.

  128. Oh my G_d! You mean Mr. Steyn and Mcleans are just out to make MONEY? GASP! Controversial Opinions presented just to rake in filthy lucre! How dare they! To the (for the present time) metaphorical gallows with them, post haste!…Thermodynamics beckons…

  129. Tags: despair, Futility, Hopelessness, HRT live

    Andrew, we appreciate your sacrifice to keep us informed.

  130. Mr. Bastien thank you for clearing that up. H-m-m, it may be risky but T. Thwim probably has a point. the only way to “force the issue” is to “lose” and appeal and hope this makes it all the way to the top so the entire legal basis for this travesty can be ruled as a violation of the Charter and thus rendered null and void. Glad I’m not these guys though…it seems like a very painfull experience!

  131. Coaching an “expert witness” on the nature of the complaint you want them to render expert testimony on…? Seems sort of a “here’s what we need you to say, find a way to expertly say it” situation.

  132. Ha, a quote from Kasam and Hirji, “Religious Pluralism and Public Policy: Background Paper,” p. 26.

    “In other cases, ‘publicness’ is accorded to a situation when a celebrity or institution claims to speak on behalf of an aggrieved individual or group, with or without permission.”

    Like Elmasry, I should think.

  133. “Hey snowrunner: Just for clarification, let’s stipulate that your psychoanalysis of Steyn is 100% correct. In fact, let’s stipulate that he deliberatly set out to hurt peoples feelings and provoke anger and outrage. So what?”

    I don’t say he set out to hurt people’s feelings, but he cleary thrives on controverses he creates.

    “Ban him? Punish him? Force Macleans to hand over their magazine to a third party?”

    My personal choice would be to ignore him.

    And btw, my problem isn’t with Steyn writing what he does, my problem is with the act of self-sacrifice that is put on by certain elements on the media and Steyn who try to turn him into some kind of martyr for the cause.

    There may be things wrong with the HRC, but instead of going after these specific issues he uses his favourite punching bag (muslims) to go after something else, intermingling and politicising the HRC in a way that isn’t benefitical to anybody but himself.

  134. SNOWRUNNER: The politicization of the HRC was not Steyn’s doing. Nor is their status as free-speech martyrs. Whether we like their views or not, they really are being railroaded by an out-of-control bureaucratic body.

  135. “Oh my G_d! You mean Mr. Steyn and Mcleans are just out to make MONEY? GASP! Controversial Opinions presented just to rake in filthy lucre! How dare they! To the (for the present time) metaphorical gallows with them, post haste!…Thermodynamics beckons…”

    I don’t have a problem with them wanting to get rich on being obnoxious and pissing people off that is their right if they want to. But to then go out and complaint when someone doens’t just take it and suddenly turning themselves into the victim I DO have a problem with.

    I find it even more laughable that now that they have chosen this route to attack the HRCs they will find themselves on the outside with any legitament reason they may have to critize them.

    There has been a lot of bile been spewed by people in Steyn’s camp towarfds the HRC just for hearing the case, instead of trying to fight the case and THEN criticizing a decision once it was made the court of Mark Steyn has already ruled that the HRC is making a mistake and utterly out of control by even hearing it.

    I am sure there will be enough people who will mourn the martyr Mark Steyn who bravely went to war “for us” blah blah blah.

    People like Steyn do more harm to what they claim to protect by the way they act than they do good.

  136. Everyone should pay attention to Bob Williams’ comment to “snowfish”. That’s really what this entire case comes down to. Do we have the right in this country to offend someone else, to hurt their feelings?

    If this were a “normal” BCHRC case then their answer would be “No” and the defendant would be found guilty (actually found guilty before the case even started but that’s a whole other can of worms).

    But because of all the publicity on this current case, I’m convinced that the 3 Star Chamber Roos will make their ruling based on a calculated decision. It will be one of the following:

    1. They continue on as they have always done and don’t mess up the 100% conviction rate of Hate Speech cases before them, betting that there’s still not enough outrage to shut them down permanently.

    2. They make an exception in this case, realizing it’s “too hot to handle” and find Maclean’s innocent, albeit with some nasty language in their ruling pulled from the Barbara Hall playbook. This would be done in the hopes that after this case they can continue on with same-old, same-old.

    Right now I’m 50/50 as to which way they’ll decide but let’s not have any delusions that their ruling has ANYTHING to do with truth, right & wrong, or justice; just pure political calculations.

    I still can’t get over that such absolute CRAP is happening in Canada in 2008!

  137. “There may be things wrong with the HRC, but instead of going after these specific issues he uses his favourite punching bag (muslims) to go after something else, intermingling and politicising the HRC in a way that isn’t benefitical to anybody but himself.”

    Snowrunner, are you trying to say that Steyn wrote his book, and Maclean’s excerpted it, for the express purpose of being taken to task by the HRC so they could politicise the proceedings? Seriously?

  138. Like true government bodies, the HRC’s take the full hour for lunch of course, unlike the “real” world.

  139. I heard Steyn say that his book contains issues that have been written about before, and who wants to read the same boring crap again. As a result, he put in some crass humour and other items to raise interest in the book. Never knew that was a crime. An aside, our newspapers put me to sleep because everyone in this country is running scared of hurting feelings.

  140. “In one of these, she says, the student described the complaint they were bringing against Maclean’s”.

    Andrew, that fuzzy feeling in the back of your head is a term called “conflict of interest”. The Prof was proffered because she would profess what they wanted her to say!

  141. snowrunner said:

    “It’s a cheap cop out…”

    Sure, what Steyn wrote was a generalization, even though it wasn’t a generalization, because he didn’t do the ‘of course’ section in ALL CAPS.

    FACT: A daily dose of common sense may cure you of your liberal tendencies.

  142. comment by Strong Conservative: “Like true government bodies, the HRC’s take the full hour for lunch of course, unlike the “real” world.”

    Nope. It will be closer to 2 hours, like yesterday.

  143. Grulkey:

    That fuzzing feeling in the back of your head is Andrew Coyne’s “Conflict of Interest” in blogging about this.

    “It is important to note, however, that the CCLA remains a stalwart defender of the anti-discrimination provisions of our human rights laws. On numbers of occasions, CCLA representatives have opposed the efforts of certain right-wing commentators to totally dismantle our human rights laws and commissions. CCLA continues to oppose the human rights commissions on the issue of limiting free speech, and to support them in their anti-discrimination programs”.
    -Canadian Civil Liberties Association

  144. After 20 interruptions, I’ve finally gotten through that article by Karim H. Karim and Faiza Hirji Kassam. First, a note: Karim’s recommendation was used to verify Hirji’s usefulness as a resource. But his recommendation is obviously not disinterested, because he cowrote at least one article with her.

    The article I’m using as reference is a draft report– because I don’t have the time to go find the published version, and I don’t care to be bothered. I’m not publishing here, after all.

    One of the ideas she presents is that the media fail to take into account the complexities of the competing arguments when they report on how Islamic practices (among others) conflict with societal norms. Because of the shallowness of the coverage, public opinion is unfairly inflamed to anger against the minorities.

    The problem I have with the viewpoint she represents in the article is that she does not sufficiently draw careful lines between various religious practices and the public responses to them. I believe she is making the argument that, if people are “uninformed” in their arguments regarding the Sikh practice of carrying the daggers, aren’t they just as ignorant when they argue against Sharia law as applied to family disputes?

  145. Bleh, I’ve just bored myself to tears. I blame Steyn!

  146. @trzupek

    You’ve missed my point completely, but that’s okay because that was exactly what I was driving at: People will not remember that little blurb at the end or at least not give it the same weight as the pages before in which he outlined “the danger”.

    that’s how people read and how they remember and has zero to do with my political leanings.

    As for Steyn, he isn’t stupid, he knows exactly what he is doing and the whole postering by him isn’t for Canadians either, it’s for his audience in the US where a certain element seems to think Stalin is ruling up here with an iron fist already.

  147. Snowrunner writes:

    My personal choice would be to ignore him.

    And btw, my problem isn’t with Steyn writing what he does, my problem is with the act of self-sacrifice that is put on by certain elements on the media and Steyn who try to turn him into some kind of martyr for the cause.

    There may be things wrong with the HRC, but instead of going after these specific issues he uses his favourite punching bag (muslims) to go after something else, intermingling and politicising the HRC in a way that isn’t benefitical to anybody but himself.

    That’s a shrewd choice. I’ve been ignoring Michael Moore for nearly 20 years, and it’s working out great for both of us.

    The problem [bob williams slaps forhead] is that if the plaintiffs get their way, Canadians won’t get to the choice to ignore or read or judge Steyn on their own. You know that.

    And since when does defending oneself make one a “martyr”? That’s just plain Kafkaesque. Steyn is trying to avoid becoming a martyr, looks like to me.

  148. @Mamafish:

    “Snowrunner, are you trying to say that Steyn wrote his book, and Maclean’s excerpted it, for the express purpose of being taken to task by the HRC so they could politicise the proceedings? Seriously?”

    I think Steyn wanted controversy, he probably didn’t necessarily wanted to be taken to the HRC but he wanted to have someone flip out in public over it. Remember, no publicity is bad publicity.

    Also: Steyn isn’t writing for a Canadian audience, the whole thing is his american readers, as can be seen by all the play this “trial” gets in certain circles in the US.

    I thought Ezra was playing a stupid game when he published the cartoons, but I have to give him credit for at least standing his ground and putting his money where his mouth is, I can respect that. Steyn on the other hand hides behind MacLeans and rides the wave of artifical outrage to new popularity within his circle of fans.

  149. As for Steyn, he isn’t stupid, he knows exactly what he is doing and the whole postering by him isn’t for Canadians either, it’s for his audience in the US where a certain element seems to think Stalin is ruling up here with an iron fist already.

    I see. Stein is “postering” for the edification of American hayseeds.

  150. SNOWRUNNER said, “Steyn on the other hand hides behind MacLeans and rides the wave of artifical outrage to new popularity within his circle of fans.”

    It was the Tribunal that went against Maclean’s directly. Steyn “hiding” had nothing to do with it.

  151. Jeez, Bob. Ours is the one country in which Steyn doesn’t have a regular column in a national newsmagazine (though I eagerly consume his website postings each morning).

  152. Jay Currie:

    We’re running on vapours here. They break early for lunch. The Socks and the Mohammedan legal titan’s case is largely complete and we are really no further enlightened as to what that case actually is save that Macleans published the Steyn piece.

    As I understand it, you win the case by convincing the Star Chamber to hear it(not overly hard, it seems.) The rest is just poops and giggles.

  153. Steyn is not ‘hiding’ from anything. It’s his idiot opponents who seem to have a habit of cancelling every opportunity to actually debate him. They demonize him but don’t have the guts or the balls to actually debate because a) they don’t want a debate and exchange of ideas b) they end up looking like whining dorks.

  154. Fred: He’s in every issue of National Review! That just PROVES how guilty he is!

  155. SK,

    have you read his postings in this? They are going after HIM (just read Malkin) poor poor Mark, oh the injustice.

    Oh, wait, they are going after the magazine not him. Well, let’s not drag that one out, just doesn’t play that well.

    It IS marketing, maybe MacLean’s was used for it, maybe they did it purposefully to raise their public profile, who knows, but to say they are the victim in this whole thing is a joke.

  156. Good thing that you are allowed your opinion snowrunner.

  157. Okay snowrunner. I agree that this case should not have been brought. It makes Steyn look like a hero and a (possible) martyr, when he is fact are very very bad man. It was a foolish move on the part of the plaintiffs. Agree?

  158. Bob

    [quote]The problem [bob williams slaps forhead] is that if the plaintiffs get their way, Canadians won’t get to the choice to ignore or read or judge Steyn on their own. You know that.[/quote]Yes, but the HRC isn’t the end of it all. The problem is that Steyn and his loyalists are jumping to this conclusion before it has become a reality. “Preemptive war” if you want.

    They are complaining about something that hasn’t happened yet, IF it happens then they have a right to complain, heck if they see a chance that this may happen sure they should sound the alarm, but that’s not what Steyn or his followers are doing, they are going by the foregone conclusion that there isn’t a revolt happening then Steyn will be toast (which he won’t, it’s MacLean’s who is toast, and seriously, what can the HRC do to MacLean’s?).

    [quote]And since when does defending oneself make one a “martyr”? That’s just plain Kafkaesque. Steyn is trying to avoid becoming a martyr, looks like to me.[/quote]

    Oh please, he is putting himself into the position: “I am not only defending myself, I am defeding ALL of you.”

    Heck, look at your own paragraph above, you make this out exactly the same way. You have elevated Mark’s / MacLean’s struggle to one of society as a whole.

  159. They’re taking a long lunch break today.

  160. Ah, how funny Jon, completely ignoring my point and going for something else…. Somewhat fitting of Steynskis.

  161. snowrunner-this is a bigger issue than just Steyn or Maclean’s-anything anyone publishes it at risk, on a blog, a magazine-anytime someone gets offended they can slap a human rights complaint and potentially muzzle freedom of expression

    Or would you prefer that the CHRC moderate private publishing in Canada?

  162. Once again, the root of this issue is that so many Canadian have accepted that it is ok to criminalize behavior they disagree with – such as expressing bigoted or even racist opinions, even if 99.9% of everyone agrees someone says a vile stereotype, so what? They have a right to be idiots, to stereotype, to believe and say what they wish. The only possible “criminal” language has to be exceptionally closely tied to an immediate and viable threat of violence. Otherwise, the government must remain neutral in the matter.

    By starting down the road – you can see right now, right here, where this slippery slope has led.

  163. Laura,

    my problem is not with the point they are trying to make, but HOW they are trying to make it.

  164. Yes within minutes of the lunch break, the grounds for appeal keep getting longer. Good work Joseph! You are a legal titan!

  165. Are these hearing to address the Mark Steyn article or to teach us bloody infidels about Islam ?

  166. Oh give me a break. There is no need whatsoever for human rights commissions. Have you actually read what they have ruled upon? Suing doctors for not wanting to do labiaplasty surgery. Faking blindness to get a dog into a condo? The “right” to smoke pot in front of a private restaurant. What a crock.

  167. Great tags again Andrew!!!

  168. Snowrunner, you’ve overlooked that Macleans and Mark Steyn aren’t the parties that went running to the HRCs. How Mr. Steyn has “painted” himself is completely irrelevant. And he and Macleans are not the producers of these “theatrics.”

  169. Uh oh, Google this guy and look down at the one that begins “Temple University…”

  170. Seems like Mahmoud Ayoub is well known.

    An American scholar, Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub, testified at Humaid’s trial that many Islamic societies permit men to punish wives suspected of adultery and sometimes even kill them. Under Islamic law, punishment for adultery is usually flogging or stoning, Ayoub said. In some Muslim cultures and rural areas, unfaithful women can be killed….

    http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=04fd4e84-3d48-48b3-9340-adfdb4769096&k=33017

  171. Coyne:
    “I think they’re trying to suggest, or at least hint, that these expert these expert witnesses were coached…
    “This case is very important to Muslim minorities who are consistently misrepresented in the media.” They cite approvingly the BC human rights legislation. “We anticipate that success in this case will provide the impetus for prohibiting discriminatory publications in the other provinces.” So there you have it.”

    No, it’s not about censorship, not at all. No coaching here. Anyways, there’s no doubt that this witness will most certainly be quite acceptable to the ‘roos.

  172. sanwin-you share my concern?

  173. This is all Roo Diculous.

  174. Snow, I’m a little confused by what you’re arguing here. Steyn is not defending himself in this case at all. Maclean’s has quite pointedly indicated that he is essentially irrelavent, because the HRCs do not recognize fair use, responsible journalism, public interest, or the truth, as legitimate defense. Hence calling Steyn to defend his piece is irrelavent, since even if Steyn could completely validate his opinions, Maclean’s would still be found guilty.

    The fact that Steyn may be an egotistical agitator as you claim doesn’t really matter to this case. Steyn’s views received a legitimate forum in the press, and should have been discussed or ridiculed in the court of public opinion as appropriate. Freedom of speech only exists if it protects the right to offend. Inoffensive speech needs no protection.

  175. “We anticipate that success in this case will provide the impetus for prohibiting discriminatory publications in the other provinces.”

    Bias.. what bias? Fire them all!

  176. “It has a lot to do with the difference in belief about freedom … the essential difference is how freedom is understood. I believe that my freedom ends where the dignity and respect for all the prophets begins.” (—Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub)

    There you have it…if you insult the prophets…you are overstepping your “allowed” freedoms.

  177. Laura,

    Absolutely.

  178. How ridiculous that some government agency is putting itself in a position to judge what true “jihad” is. How can their charter possibly support the idea that this is within their purview?

  179. snow runner is missing the point. There ARE NO legitimate grievances to the HRCs, at least not as far as free speech is concerned. You’d do well to learn the histories of these various courts: why they were established, who runs them, the tactics they use, and their alarmingly high rate of siding with the plaintiffs.

  180. “By analogy, why do we call them Basque terrorists, rather than Catholic terrorists?”

    Uh, because they are all from the Basque region, rather than Catholics from other areas. That would be unlike the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are united by their religion, not their nationality.

    This guy’s an intellectual?

    Well, of course he is.

  181. The more this guy talks, the more I believe Steyn.

  182. Robert Spencer and many other scholars would shred this Ayoub’s statements easily if given the opportunity.

  183. I think Dr. Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub is making Maclean’s point. He’s free to say what he’s saying to refute Steyn. He’s a professor, so I’m sure he can find a someone to publish it. Free discussion of good and bad ideas and arguments is the bedrock of free society.

  184. As a Scottish born protestant immigrant i find the complainants complaints very disturbing. I cant help but feel their is a hidden agenda here and they are attacking my human rights. Perhaps i should file a claim?

  185. While all the fluffy and lightness about muslim religion is wonderful, I’m not sure how the plaintiffs feel its germane to their case.

    What they need to do somehow is to show that Steyn’s writing has promoted hatred toward muslims, not show whether he’s right or wrong, that’s a side issue entirely. I mean, okay, they can show it was nasty, erroneous, bigoted writing. Personally, coming from Steyn, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that was the case. I find the man objectionable to offensive myself, most of the time. But that still doesn’t show how it promotes hatred.

    Unless Steyn has a call for action in there somewhere, recommending that people write their MPs to get muslims out of the community or what have you, I’m just not seeing the case being made.

  186. Oscar van den Boogaard: “I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”

  187. “[Steyn’s] Article is based on broad statements that are meant to create negative feelings about Muslims, overlooks complexities. ” –Coyne

    Hoo-boy. Complaining over a lack of nuance in Steyn’s writing, but their team can’t even figure out that the “mosquito” line was an indirect quote.

    I think some mandatory remedial reading courses might clear up this entire conflict.

  188. Roger McConchie, for Maclean’s summed the situation up succinctly onthew first day. The proceedings, from beginning to end, are an infringement of the constitutional right to free press. They are proceedings in which innocent intent is not a defence, nor is truth, nor is fair comment or the public interest, nor is good faith nor responsible journalism. In short, there is no defence.

    The only thing I would add to that is that proceedings of this sort are not “legal proceedings”, nor is the tribunal in any sense of the proper use of the word, a “tribunal”. It is an Inquisition, surrounded by a few trappings intended to give the obscenely false impression that it in some way resembles a court of law, and empowered, whenever there is a complaint, to suppress and punish expressions of opinion and statements of fact that it chooses to treat as politically undesirable.

  189. So are all the books published in Canada that a “minority” deems offensive going to be put through this dissection by a tribunal? Are only those vetted by the government legally publishable? That is blatantly fascistic.

  190. Herbert Thornton:

    I am probably not as intellectually gifted at these discussions as some of the credible writings above will attest, but it seems to me that the court proceedings you’ve described are similar to some I encountered in grade school.

    Oh yeah, it was a scene from Animal Farm!

  191. Eric – Maybe we will be smuggling books and magazines into Canada one of these days. Maybe not too far in the future!

  192. Has anyone began planning “Radio Free Canada” yet?

  193. “Now on to the Amiel article. Talks about the burning of the library of Alexandria in the 4th century, allegedly ordered by the Muslim caliph at the time. Says it’s a “fiction,” though he says even some Muslims believe it.”

    Given that there was no Islam in the 4th century, I would say it is a slam dunk that this claim is fiction.

    But why are we asking the marsupials to rule on this?

  194. Up until today I was eagerly reading the blow-by-blow of the proceedings, and many thanks go out to Mr. Coyne and those others that have been keeping the interested few informed and entertained. However, today seems to be a snoozefest. I knew from the start that the panel will decide against Macleans and in favour of the complainants, and the sheer tedium of today’s session makes it abundantly clear that truth and relevance have no place in this farce of a trial.

    All we’ve heard so far is that folks out there disagree with Mark Steyn’s assertions and opinions. They are free to disparage him and rebut his arguments, all during a trial that puts their right to do that in jeopardy.

    I will out of principle continue to follow the ‘trial’, but really look forward to the inevitable response from Macleans. That will happen in a REAL court of law. I am hopeful that when that happens, the BCHRC is shown for all to see what a farce it really is.

  195. Prof Ayoub is as good a Muslim as one can get. He is no Islamist, and am surprised the CIC managed to convince him to appear on their behalf.

    As a blind child, Prof. Ayoub was abandoned by his family who were south Lebanese shia. The blind boy was raised by the Maronite Church in Lebanon and that has shaped this brillain scholar’s pluralistic approach to life and support of secularism (i.e., a seperation of religion and state)

    I have read him and have cited him as a source in my own book.

    Prof. Ayoub does not have an anti-Christian bone in his body. A truly decent man (at times naive), we need more men like him in Canada.

    Just thought I should share this with you.

  196. Have I missed out on anybody suffering feelings of contempt or being oppressed while I was gone? Hey! it looks like I was right about the concerns over the “coaching a witness” thing…AND it would appear I am a member of a “certain element” in the U.S….we’re “steyners” for Truth , Justice and the Canadian Way!

  197. I have said it before and I wil say it again. Maybe just maybe Harper was right awhile back when he bought up this issue of tese quai-judicial so called Independent Commissions, Tribunals whatevers see (Elections Canada and how often it is taken to court and loses, AECL the Keen Lady holding up the isotopes etc..)may we should look at these little fiefdoms where people seem to lose al concept of law and order – If I am not misstaken we have a Charter Right for free exression in the media -> b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

  198. Thank you Tarek Fatah for that. I think there is differing opinions here though on how big the ‘anomaly’ is.

  199. I can see that the process is the punishment, as has been said. Maclean’s and Mark Steyn are paying attorneys hundreds of dollars an hour to sit through an arbitrary number of lectures by an arbitrary group of men and women, all of whom have opinions, all of which are themselves susceptible to a critique. I doubt MacLean’s can afford this expensive coffee klatch. Maybe Mark Steyn can absorb the cost, just because he happens to have a best-selling book.

    It seems the shoe must be put on the other foot. Prohibitive costs must be imposed on the HRCs, HRTs, the Pieman, the CIC, and Osgoode Hall’s students and professors. The reasonable standard of the costs to be imposed isn’t one of proportionality; I’m not proposing tit-for-tat. The costs must be prohibitive; the reasonable standard is that they achieve the end.

  200. From the comment by Wayne: “If I am not mistaken we have a Charter Right for free expression in the media….”

    That is to say, you have a paper right, unless you enforce it.

  201. Currie says: “2:39 PM I’ve just noticed Steyn is here. Not sure how long he’s been sitting there. I suspect things are about to get interesting.”

    I can’t imagine that Steyn will take the stand or suddenly start shouting from the bleacher seats. I imagine Currie’s hopes are vain, though he must be desperate for something than the butt-numbing boredome he’s been subjected to all day.

  202. SK – You mean Coyne, I think…

  203. Ayoub says he believes in free speech, “but my freedom ends where it begins to do harm to any community… I don’t think freedom of speech should include inciting the general public to hate a group, whatever the group may be.”

    Can this not be interpreted to read: “my freedom ends where (I perceive) it begins to do harm to (my) community. I don’t think freedom of speech should include inciting the general public to hate (my) group…”

  204. Gail, you’re right, of course. Typos abound!

  205. I guess not and I don’t know why.

  206. Tarek: Point well taken on Mr. Ayoub. It is always good to remember that people are not their caricatures.

    My point regarding “Mr. Ayoub has every right to decide where *his* freedom ends. He has no say regarding where my freedom ends” still stands.

  207. To the people saying a real Court will decide things differently, maybe so. But a real court still has to apply the same law. The real Court has certain limited rules on appeal, such as not conducting a re-hearing. Remember the tribunal has exceptional powers to hear evidence it considers helpful, and not just relelvant and admissable etc. So don’t expect a real Court to be a knight in shining armour. The real challenge will be on constitutional grounds, something this tribunal has no say over. /view from oz

  208. 3:15pm PDT – CKNW’s Jon McComb just had a biting editorial about this huge mess. He’s going to be accepting calls much of the afternoon. You can listen to the programme here: http://cknw.com

  209. Resources that will refute the obfuscation of the ‘sock puppet’s ‘ puppets:

    ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM Ephriam Karsh [Yale University Press]

    THE LEGACY OF JIHAD Andrew Bostom M.D. [Prometheus Books]

    THE MYTH OF ISLAMIC TOLERANCE Robert Spencer [Prometheus Books}

    HOLY WAR ON THE HOME FRONT Harvey Kushner {Sentinel/Penguin}

    THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO ISLAM { N.Y. Times best seller]

    THE TRUTH ABOUT MUHAMMAD both by Robert Spencer [Regnery}

    ALMS FOR JIHAD Burr and Collins [Cambridge University Press] …a victim
    of Saudi “JIHAD” aka “JIHADI LAWFARE” by James Glazov ….frontpagemagazine.com [May 12, 2008]

  210. Andrew Coyne: What is happening now? Surely something Ayoub is saying might be interesting.

  211. Maybe he fell asleep. Lord knows I would have long ago if I were forced to listen to this in person.

  212. No cross on the one filing the claim?? Only in Canada. What a GD joke. No natural justice or fairness in this tribunal.

  213. Naiyer Habib is not testifying, what a Joke! I’m from B.C. I’m a Muslim. MY TAX DOLLARS are paying for this joke of a trial…and these guys are claiming MUSLIMS IN BC were hurt…yet CANT FIND ONE MUSLIM IN BC to testify to it…not event the complainant!!!!

    WHAT A JOKE.

  214. So al Habib isn’t testifying. Joseph says it’s only fair since Steyn is there and he won’t be testifying. Big difference: al Habib started this action and yet won’t explain how he was harmed by Steyn’s article.

  215. Maybe they decided that having got one relatively credible witness through, they had better stop while they were ahead.

  216. If Habib doesn’t testify, then if I were Steyn and his lawyers I would get up and walk out. Shake the dust off their feet and never return.

  217. This is like a soap opera! I keep refreshing to see what else will happen. I am on the edge of my seat. Best damn entertainment around.

  218. In 1995, we all watched the O.J. Trial. If you told me, that 13 years later, we’d be refreshing a web page to watch up to the minute text updates of a human rights tribunal, I would NEVER have believed you.

  219. Steyn would LOVE to testify with a hack like Joseph or anyone else to cross him. I would like to see them walk out but I am uncertain whether this would prejudice them in the appeal to the QB, but let’s face it, this is an incredible farce. It will be interesting to see if the major tv news companies carry this story. Thanks for the tip on the Van radio stationt too.

  220. When I write a musical based on this story, I’ll call it, “The Audacity of the Socks.” Just to be postmodern, I’ll make it a costume drama set in 18th-Century England.

    I rather wish Julian Porter had accused Joseph of “chutzpah,” though, rather than audacity. Would have had Steyn fall out of his seat laughing.

  221. “Best damn entertainment around.”

    Yes, but also terrifying that this could occur in a mature democracy. I am also worried that this may be a foretaste of what may start happening in the US under a new Administration…

  222. Just imagine IN THE REAL WORLD suing someone but then not showing up to the court case! This means that an individual or group could literally charge dozens, if not hundreds, of people through the BCHRC … and not even have to attend one hearing!

    Wally Oppal, where are you?!?!?!?!?

  223. This thing is making me sick. How can Joseph expect the Tribunal to decide if al Habib, the complainant, was harmed, if Joseph is not willing to call him to testify to the harm that he suffered?

    Are they trying to throw the whole thing?

  224. Faisal Joseph DID have his chance at Mark Steyn…they were scheduled for a debate on CFRB radio in Toronto…Steyn showed up, but Joseph chickened out at the last minute.

    Incidentally, the difference here is that Habib is a party; there is supposed to be a right for an accused to confront the accuser and reasonable to expect that at least one would be called by the Complainant. I thought that they had held out to the Tribunal that Habib would be called. It was highly irregular for Joseph to not call Habib (or at least to inform the Tribunal and the accused’s counsel of that at the last moment). Steyn is not a party in the case, and so there is not obligation to call him.

    One other point: If Porter does call Habib he is technically supposed to have him on direct…perhaps he will try to have him declared a hostile witness so as to be able to cross examine him. In any event, however, Joseph will have him on cross and so be able to ask leading questions (though I suspect that, with the loosy-goosy procedures of the Tribunal, Joseph has probably been leading his witnesses anyway.He seems quite artless so if he has been doing that,there is little disadvantage for Porter in calling Habib).

    On the other hand, I don’t know if there is such a thing as a non-suit in this tribunal, but if the complainants haven’t testified, perhaps Porter could at least ask for one.

  225. Sad2beacanadian: Yeah you’re right it would be cool if they walked out, but probably not advisible.

  226. It’s getting a might meaty.

  227. Walking out is never an option in this situation. You look childish.

    And for an example about stakes, the USSR walking out of the security council is what allowed the US to get UN sanction for the Korean police action.

    You never leave these forums.

  228. You couldn’t make a movie about this thing. Nobody would believe it.

  229. Blaise, I agree and it is going to be weird having Porter, in effect, conduct discovery. And I am not at all sure that it is a good idea.

    Moving directly to final argument on this pup of a case would seem more sensible. Why do Joseph’s job for him. Without testimony from the complainant of any sort I cannot see how the Tribunal can do anything but dismiss the complaint.

  230. I would like to know why Joseph called Steyn out. That is, did Joseph ask for Steyn to be put on the stand, and have Maclean’s rebuff them for some reason? Or did they never call for Steyn, and then have the AUDACITY to then complain that they don’t get to examine him?

  231. Robert W.

    Thanks for the link to http://cknw.com/.

    To those that missed it, it’s worth listening to… there’s another hour of talk radio discussing this issue.. to date all calls have been against the HRC.

  232. Jay Currie:

    “Without testimony from the complainant of any sort I cannot see how the Tribunal can do anything but dismiss the complaint.”

    I don’t see this tribunal as following any reasonabe procedure. Why should they start now?

  233. Stephen I do not entirely agree sometimes if all you are left with is the absurd. Then sometimes your only option is to walk out. Although not yet.

  234. Jay: Exactly. Porter has no idea what Habib will say, having neither discovery nor direct. Of course, based on some of Faisal Joseph’s work so far, he may have no more idea than Porter about Habib’s potential testimony. His prep seems to have been pretty shoddy.

    I just don’t know what the rules at the BCHRT are, but it seems logical to me that there must be some threshold that has to be met before an accused has to mount a defence. If there has been no evidence of harm generally, and none of the complainants testify to their harm personally, how is there a case that even has to be met?

    So, if only for the record, Porter might try a non-suit/directed verdict/throw this mess in the garbage where it belongs (whatever name you want to give it) motion. Anyway…we shall see.

  235. Chinese Wisdom, Part 1

    Stephen,

    You make good points, but let’s step back a little bit:

    I agree with Stain that the relationship of Islam and the West (and China, for that matter) is one of the fundamental questions of our time.

    Stain and his ilk, however, like to do what the Chinese call: “yi pian gai quan” – use something that is crooked to represent the whole.

    He states, for example, that enough Muslims are hot for jihad, rhetorically asks how many Muslims sympathize with the aims of local terrorists.

    Muslims in Canada follow local laws (as they are mandated to do by their holy book), pay taxes, play hockey, become doctors and i-bankers, contribute to the vibrant society that makes Canada admired the world over; they are potential victims of terrorists as much as you and I.

    Would they support indiscriminate terrorist activities that could harm them and their families (when their holy book says the slaugher of one innocent is like the slaughter of all of humanity).

    Does this makes sense to you? If it does, is it a great extension to start suspecting your Muslim neighbour of being part of sleeper cell, thinking that the Toronto 17 are guilty before conviction, support imperial adventures into oil-rich lands?

  236. OMG! Somebody called somebody else a “scaredy-pants”! This may end up in further litigation!

  237. In real court’s anyone who has wandered into the courtroom while trial is going on can be called to the stand as a witness and escorted to the stand by the bailiff if need be. Faisal could call Steyn to the stand if he wanted to.

  238. LOL!!!

    Scaredy-pants!

  239. Wow!

    All day nothing at at 4:00 the Court of Roos adjourns in total confusion.

    JP is furious that Habib will not be called and ….

    This is truly a soap opera classic – nobody knows what the hell is going to happen tomorrow (if anything does).

    Our system of justice is screaming out in pain

    Kudos, Andrew, for staying with all of this
    during the past 3 days.

  240. I think I’ve come up with a somewhat plausible explanation for why the complaintants’ case is so disorganized. Presumably, they were under the impression that Maclean’s would argue that Steyn’s opinions were correct and they were thus reporting them as responsible journalists. If CIC et al could show that the article was factually incorrect, then they could urge the tribunal to order Maclean’s to publish their counter-article.

    But Maclean’s didn’t take the bait, and has argued only on the basis of freedom of the press. The complaintants were blindsided by this, and needed to come up with something to instead prove that the article had directly lead to Islamophobia, and hence had to scour the Internet for anybody who mentions Mark Steyn and Islam in the same breath. Presumably the remaining witnesses intended to argue on a similar vein, ie that the article was factually wrong, and reasoned that calling them would be pointless since the testimony would be essentially unrebutted.

    Or it could be they’re completely out of their minds.

  241. ABarlow:

    If the Complainants were blindsided by the argument that the case was about the freedom of expression, they either can’t read, refuse to read or are lazier than anyone imagined. All the discussion, everywhere, has been about nothing but freedom of expression.

    And their own expert witness (Dr. Rippin) accepted that the actual premise of Mr. Steyn’s writing…western culture’s inability to meet a challenge…is arguable and debatable.

    So, the sock puppets were setting up a straw man argument and were surprised when no one accepted the premise.

    I’m not disagreeing…you may be right.

    But what a condemnation of this case!

  242. Dawood wrote:
    “Would they [Muslim] support indiscriminate terrorist activities that could harm them and their families (when their holy book says the slaugher of one innocent is like the slaughter of all of humanity).]

    Dear Dawood,

    Salaam Alaikum!

    For heaven’s sake, please stop spinning Islamist rhetoric on this forum. I will puke the next time I hear a fellow Muslim Canadian try to spin in such a clumsy manner. Look around and see for yourself what the Elmasrys and El-Hindy’s of this world have done to us.

    Look around and please stop apologising for these hate mongers and soft terrorists. Has this action brought on by Elmasry helped or harmed Muslim Canadians? You don’t have to answer me. look into the mirror and listen to your heart. The pretenders of piety are holding us Muslims hostage while they play their world-wide jihad games at our expense. I beg you to stop defending the indefensible. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, stop these games and stop this hate of Canada.

    12% of Canadian Muslims polled by Environics justify a terrirst attack by the Toronto-18! That is 96,000 Muslims willing to attack their own homeland. If this was Egypt of Iran and the tables were turned, most of us would be in detention centres as terror suspects.

    5% of the Muslims polled said they would welcome a terror attack on Canada. Do you know that is close to 35,000 terror suspects?

    For God’s sake, cut your losses and walk away from these losers and liars who take their inspiration from Ahmedinejad and the Saudis as well as the books of such hate mongers as Syed Qutb, Hassan al-Banna and Syed Maudoodi.

    Dawood, this IS the heaven Muslims were promised; please don;t turn into a living hell. Please. Elamsry & Co. are the Pied Pipers, do we have to behave as rats being led to their doom?

  243. Ghost claimants so far so the biggest farce in Canadian history closes for the day. Talk about Royal Canadian Air Farce……..

  244. I TOLD you we needed a Rogers Video team in there! Or at least a cell phone video. People can watch Studio movies on the web before they’re released and we couldn’t capture that moment from Porter? I’m sure there’s rules against that in a real court, but as its been pointed out innumerable times this week, this ain’t one.

  245. Comments are now closed for the evening. The discussion will begin again tomorrow.

    Thanks.