Liveblogging the Maclean's Trial IV: Habib and Habib Not -

Liveblogging the Maclean’s Trial IV: Habib and Habib Not


We’re back, and the first item for business is Joseph demanding an apology for yesterday’s “scaredy-pants” outburst, which he says is causing his client “stress.”

It seems he is going to call Habib, but first wants to introduce yet another piece of last-minute evidence, from yet another blog post — this one from the California-based “Free Republic” site — which is yet again operated from somewhere in that vast section of the universe that is outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal. McConchie is raising objections, probably futilely.

10:21 AM As indeed they prove.

Naiyer Habib (one of the complainants) now on the stand. From India, came to Canada in 1973. Lived in Saskatchewan until 2004, then moved to Abbotsford, B.C. (A British Columbia Muslim, at last!) He’s a medical doctor, professor of cardiology. How old? “I don’t want to say that,” he says coyly. Eventually they drag it out of him: 67.

President of Islamic Association of Saskatchewan for many years. Co-founder of Muslims for Peace and Justice, formed after 2001 to counter Islamophobia. On the national board of the Canadian Islamic Congress (hence the Elmasry connection).

Joseph is now asking him about the Free Republic blog. How did he come across it. Well, shorttly after reading the Steyn article in October 2006, which he found “concerning,” he went on the internet to “look for any impact,” ie he Googled it. He found what he was looking for on the Free Republic: the Steyn article, with comments from readers underneath, to the effect that Muslims should be “eradicated,” that they should not be here, etc.

We’re working off a printout of a Google search performed today. Porter is up, pointing out that Google searches produce different results at different times. Can’t say with certainty that what he saw in October 2006 is the same as it is now. Seems a stretch, and it is: overruled.

Argh. I’m out of power. Bear with me, until I can arrange to get near a power outlet. (SORRY – can’t be helped. There’s one power outlet in the whole room, and if you’re not sitting next to it…)

We’re on a break, so let me try to catch up…

Jospeph’s got Habib reading through the comments on the Free Republic site… They’re foul. To Steyn’s unfortunate reference to Mulsims “breeding like mosquitoes,” a commenter replies: “Great analogy! Let’s get out the DDT…” Another: “Oh, those Muzzies. They’ll get you with or without your help.” Another: “If you can’t kill the enemy at least you can piss on their God.” Another: “I will die before I have that filthy fraud of a religion forced on me.”

It occurs to me: I hope the BC Human Rights code makes exception for reports of their own proceedings. Otherwise I’m in trouble, since the code makes no allowance for reporting on a matter of public interest…

Back to the foulness. “I have this feeling that I will not live to die of natural causes, and Islam will be a factor.” Of Muslims in Gaza: “Four good nukes will solve the problem.”

Anyway. Habib says he found all this “humiliating… dishonouring… questioning our morality.” Of the original article itself, he said he found the cover shot of women in burkhas “demonizing of Islam,” that it would “make people feel that this what will happen to you if you do not wake up.” The text, he said, was “discriminating, racial, full of hate.” He objects, inter alia, to its use of a quotation from Libyan dictator Muammar Khadahfy, who “has no credibility.” We’ll come back to that.

The article, he says, makes things “dangerous for us.” His wife, who wears the hijab, has been “taunted, told to go back home.” The article “puts fuel on the fire” of a volatile situation, post Sept. 11, although he concedes he knows of no physical attacks resulting from it.

Then more reading from the Brussels Journal blog, to not much effect. The quotes strike me as less an attack on Islam than an aggressive assertion of secularism.

Then a long discussion of how he came to file the complaint. Why was it filed in BC? Why not just in Ontario? Well, he kept hearing from members of the BC Muslim community, asking him ‘what was happening?’ Felt he wanted to do something from here.

And at last Porter gets to do his cross-examination. He points out that neither of them know anything about “Fjordman,” the author of the Brussels Journal post. However, we do know who Col. Khadafy is. And now he’s about to ask him, “would it bother you to know about Dr. Munir al Kasem (another member of the Canadian Islamic Congress), who in Feb. 2000 –”

And Joseph is on his feet objecting. “I can’t believe that my friend is going to ask this witness where Kasem has gone in the world, including Libya…” (Libya!) It has no relevance, he says. It’s not the CIC that’s on trial, he says. The issue here is Mark Steyn’s article.

Porter replies. If Kasem went to a congress in Libya and sang Khadafy’s praises, that’s surely relevant. Habib is here offering his views “in his capacity as a director of the CIC” — says so in the complainants’ summary of evidence. He has testified that Steyn’s reference to Khadafy was objectionable, since he “has no credibility.” Surely, Porter says, “I can put to this witness that members of his own organization have recognized Khadafy and called upon his name.”

And that’s where things stood at the break, as the panel retired to consider Joseph’s objection.

12:04 PM We’re back, and by some miracle — actually, by a fairly gross instance of queue-jumping — I have got myself a seat near the power outlet. The tribunal is entering the room.

The chair rules: The nature of the CIC as an organization is not an issue in the complaint. Dr. Habib filed the complaint in his own right, not on behalf of the CIC. Respondents have not established the relevance of the conduct of the CIC.

It’s quite a blow. Porter can’t ask Habib about any of Elmasry’s outrageous comments.

So now he’s asking about the Brussels Journal. He says we can’t know who these people are, or what motivates them. He points out to Habib that one of the comments read out in court to which he took umbrage was not in fact prompted by Steyn’s piece but to another book altogether. Reluctantly, he agrees.

Porter puts to him that Maclean’s doesn’t have any control over Belgium or the blogs. There’s a lot of crazy people in the world. Answer: If you publish it here, I’m sure people all over the world are looking at it.

Question: Are you taking the position that a publisher becomes responsible for every blog in the world?

Answer: The publisher is responsible for the content of the magazine. I can’t say whether these people are crazy people.

Habib says that Bin Laden was not jihad. Bin Laden was a problem for Muslims, he maligned us.

Porter: Shouldn’t North America have the right to be saying my God, what might happen next? Aren’t you worried that there might be another attack?

Habib: I’m worried, but the answer is to join with moderate Muslims in coming up with measures to prevent it. It is unfortunate that the government of Canada and US kept Muslims kept Muslims at arms’ length. That created bad feelings, he says, among Muslim youth, that we are not part of this nation. His voice is rising. At a meeting with RCMP a year ago, he says, he asked police, do you want to do this alone?

Porter: Has the CIC ever condemned “the lesser jihad.” (I take it this means the violent kind.) The question is ruled out of order.

Porter: What preventive measures are you doing that’s going to curtail Bin Laden? Joseph objects. “It’s these types of questions, assumptions, suppositions, that is exactly going to the complaint — that there’s some sort of collective consciousness among Muslims, that somehow it’s Dr. Habib’s job to stop Bin Laden.”

Porter: I’m trying to say that how we deal with Bin Laden is a huge issue, that writers must deal with it, and that they may make mistakes. Again, he’s making the point (implicitly) that Steyn’s motive was legitimate.

Joseph’s objection is sustained, and Porter sits down.

1:24 PM Joseph to redirect. Just one question. He goes back to the Brussels Journal. Points out that the post, entitled “Why the future may not belong to Islam,” has a prominently displayed link to Steyn’s book, America Alone.

And he’s done.

1:33 PM Maclean’s lawyers filing various documents. We’re about to adjourn for the day. Final arguments tomorrow.

Filed under:

Liveblogging the Maclean’s Trial IV: Habib and Habib Not

  1. I can’t wait, I’ve been refreshing all morning. Thanks Andrew!

  2. I have been thinking about yesterday all night, I am looking foward to seeing what happens today.

  3. “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

  4. Re: Day 3 and Porter not calling Habib. Porter may have narrowly avoided a litigation trap. I’m not sure of the rules in a Kangaroo court, but in american courts, it can open the rules. For instance, it may have allowed Fisal to use leading questions.

  5. Moderated posts with “offending” sections removed:

    Time to step into the breach and see if we can build this broken bridge.

    In a fine essay, entitled “The Crack Up”, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that the mark of a first-rate culture is the ability to hold two opposing beliefs, two contrary thoughts in its collective mind at the same time. The genius of this country is that everyone can be a hyphenated-Canadian.
    People obviously have a problem with that…

    Human Rights Commissions: they stand between you and barbarity.

  6. C’mon Habib – take the stand man. I don’t want to do any actual work today and you’re my diversion of choice.

  7. Even Zimbabwe doesn’t have ridiculous tribunals like this “Human Rights Commission”. Where are the other 2 socks?

  8. Here’s an interesting story, reported by the New York Times and subsequently by Maria Menocal in her fine work, Ornament of the World:

    One of the thousands of “ethnic Albanians,” a commonplace euphemism for those European Muslims who were herded out of Kosovo in early April of 1999, was a woman who, like most others, was able to take with her only a handful of belongings when she fled. As refugees are wont to do, what she chose to take into exile were tokens of purely sentimental value, among which the most precious, since she kept it on her person rather that in one of her two bags, was a piece of paper in a language that, as Cervantes would say, she could recognize but not read. All she knew, vaguely, was that it was some sort of prize that her father had once received and had cherished greatly. On the other side of the Macedonian border, after a harrowing trip, the woman thought to show her precious paper to the members of the local Jewish community, a group involved in the relief efforts for the Kosovars. She took the piece of paper to them because she knew it was Hebrew and she sensed it might well be the key to some story worth translating at that trying moment.

    Indeed it was. The document was as precious, for her, as the discovery for Cervantes’ narrator that the Aljamiado manuscript was the lost story of Don Quixote. The paper was the commendation her father had received from the Israeli government for saving not only the Sarajevo Haggadah but, as it turned out, Yugoslavian Jews from the Nazis. The Muslim librarian, who was a hero in book circles for having rescued that token of hundreds of years of medieval tolerance from the depredations of twentieth-century barbarism, had also hidden fellow Sarajevans, Jews, in his apartment during World War II. What was revealed in May of 1999 was that he was the father of one frightened and desperate woman, one of the victims among the thousands of such victims, in camps created by yet more twentieth-century barbarism. The daughter, who had know little about just what her father had done, was grateful for the special refuge she and her family instantly received at that hour of their greatest need. She was taken out of the camps and out of the war zone in Eastern Europe to Israel. She was met at the Tel Aviv airport and taken home by a man who greeted her as a long-lost relative, since he is the grown child of a woman among those saved by the good librarian, along with the great book of Passover prayers. “My father did what he did with all his heart, not to get anything in return. Fifty years later it returns somehow. It’s a kind of circle.”* The circle goes back further in both time and space that the librarian’s daughter perhaps imagines, and it is intricately intertwined with any number of the stories that can be found inside our half-excavated Andalusian palace. There, in both the ruins and in the surviving beauties of that edifice, in books destroyed and in books saved, lie so many layers of our own cultural memories and possibilities.

    Yeah, the Sarajevan Muslims really deserve what they got, didn’t they.

  9. Bob, I think he’s just worried that we didn’t read the posts the first time. Poor guy. He must really be starved for attention.

  10. Dawood v. Goliath – I hope you are just a troll and don’t actually think this perverse travesty of justice by an unaccountable commission (with the power of a court but none of the guiding rules and procedures) is actually standing up for any perceived injustices or hatemongering.

    They are a nasty loophole that the Supreme Court failed to address.

    This commission’s assault on fundamental rights to free speech and freedom of the press is rather disgusting and insulting to Canadians and Hyphenated-Canadians alike.

    At least this ‘leftie’ thinks so. If I am aloud to express myself freely anymore…

  11. Dawood

    I wonder if your record (single) may have stuck.

  12. Yes Dawood, I’m an uninformed American, so tell me of the barbarity that existed in Canada prior to 1977.

  13. Weren’t there a bunch of other posts here just a few moments ago – that now seem to have been removed???

  14. I missed out on yesterday, can someone give me a quick update on “dawood” so I don’t have to read the 274 responses from yesterday?

  15. Dawood v. Goliath,

    Your kidding, right?

    Your posts do not even touch on the subject at hand, but it reveals that you seem to think that somehow the government can determine what is the best/right/theraputic speech for the great unwashed to read/see/hear.

    I hope you wake up from your slumber sometime, because when some real totalitarian takes over your little corner of the world, your enlightened vision will be the first one destroyed.

  16. To the person that removed the Troll to a padded room w/o internet access, thank you!

  17. I think Porter was just pissed that after all this crap, Habib was not going to testify. I also think that It’s a Good Thing ™ that he NOT call Habib. In that case, neither complainant will testify and there is NO evidentiary basis for anything. The sock gave no properly admissible evidence. The ‘experts’ gave no evidence which related to or explained the effect of any properly admissible evidence.
    The ‘roos may not understand that, but the Judge who hears the appeal will understand that.

  18. Granton

    With some alacrity. I’m new here. Are the Mods pretty sharp? I thought perhaps the missing comments had been self-censored – is that possible?

  19. They’re the exact same one’s from yesterday, I’m assuming that’s why they were removed so quickly.

  20. Some years back, in a pub in Tampa, I noticed an individual who affected a ‘biker’ appearance, complete with greasy ponytail and leather vest/pants.
    He also had a Nazi swastika and a KKK symbol sewn to the vest. Although prudence dictated staying away, curiosity won, and I asked this neanderthal (with apologies to all other primitives) what that was about, since his father would have been about an age to have fought in WW2.
    His reply? “Because I believe in them.”
    Scary, yes, but his right to ‘free speech’ in displaying these obscene symbols made me think two things: first, how wrong both Nazis and Kluckers were (and are), and second, how precious free speech is, since in Canada, we’re ‘protected’ from such displays by hate crime laws.
    He was certainly a disgusting individual with obscene beliefs, but his right to free speech taught me much about the subject that the HRC needs to learn.

  21. JW —
    Self-censored like, “Whoops, that’s not quite I meant,”- a sentiment of which I am likely the one to have experienced – is that what you meant?

    So I guess Voltaire didn’t mean to include trolls.

    Alacrity — nice word. Think I’ll need to use it in a sentence.

  22. nevermind, sorry I asked.

  23. Sailorman, one thing my father taught me about free speech and the need to protect it most especially when you vehemently disgaree with what is being said: If we allow these obscene views to be expressed then they are exposed to the light of day and can be debated, refuted, even held up for ridicule. If we attempt to silence them, we won’t succeed, because people have always found ways to express their views, no matter how stringently regulated their “freedoms”. But if we do banish them from public discourse we eliminate our ability to fight them, to refute them, to educate and eradicate them. The only way to keep a repugnant belief from gaining ground is to expose it, not force it to hide and fester.

  24. Oh, my mother had a simpler way of putting it: “You have to see the boil to lance it.” God bless her Newfie heart.

  25. Yeah, if my memory serves me right, Dawood already posted that charming story about the Albanian woman once before.

    Don’t you have anything new to use to try and throw us off track today, Dawood ?

  26. Dawood, you posted that same quote yesterday, I believe. You need to find a new ornament.

  27. Dije, Got to Be Kidding

    Do you think there should be any limits on free speech?

  28. @ MamaFish – thank you, in my very roundabout way, that’s exactly what I was trying to say. But I find your mother’s Newfie phrase far more pithy.

  29. I’m still waiting for him to describe how barbaric pre section 13(1) Canada was.

  30. Granton

    Yes, the situation where one realises that the comment is so, well, awful, embarrassing,irrelevant or just plain stupid that one can ask the Mods to remove it.

    The ones in point here now appear to have been reinstated.

  31. Within the context of these HRCs, the desire of the left is to ban “hate” in Canada, although at the same time they, nor, anyone else, can define exactly what that is. Why?, because hate is an emotion. Besides, what is hateful to me is someone else’s welcomed news and vs. versa. The only end result to this leftard desire is tyranny and totalitarianism, the beginnings of which are clearly visible at this travesty show trail in Vancouver, BC. Canada, of all places.

  32. Granton: I noticed that as well, today, yesterday, and the day before, Perhaps freedom of expression is not as free as one might think on this site.

  33. MacLeans is deliberately racking up their expenses. They are scoring enough points to make their case (not that they could win regardless — the “process” is just a show leading to a predetermined outcome) but they are not pressing their points to the conclusion. They are winning over the expert witnesses, but they are not going on the offensive — lest they win here. Is it not obvious why?

    First, they clearly intend to appeal, and in a REAL court they will not only countersue for COURT costs but also for KANGAROO court costs. The more they spend on this case, therefore, the better.

  34. Warren, in all fairness this is Mclean’s site, and the whole point of all this is that they can do whatever they bloody want with their property.

  35. WarrenZ

    This site belongs to Macleans magazine and if they don’t want a comment here they are free to remove it.

    If you want to be able to freely express yourself, go open your own site.

  36. We should reacquaint ourselves with the term “political prisoner”. With the fall of the Soviet Union, it doesn’t show up much these days (although there are plenty of them about, in China and other places).

    A political prisoner is a person who is detained solely for his views, thus violating his freedom of speech. Now, if a person is fined by an unjust commission like this HRC, and refuses to pay, and is jailed in response, then that person is a political prisoner as surely as if he had been grabbed off the street.

    Note that in Singapore, for example, the authorities would use frivolous criminal or other charges against opposition politicians and parties to try to bankrupt them, rather than jailing them.

    These tribunals are all about crushing dissent.

    Might not Amnesty International and Freedom House (among others) have something to say?

  37. So, has it started? [tapping foot…]

  38. Yes it is odd, one would think if the government wants to stop dangerous speach, they would be inclined to muzzle the Islamists, not the ones against Jihad!

    This did happen in England during WW II, for example. I don’t agree we should muzzle anyone, but most especially not someone who is actually anti-jihad!

  39. Have the ‘roos and the Socks run away or are we starting at 10:00 AM?

  40. This will be a bit of a rant. Here’s what needs to happen:
    First the stalinists of the BC Rights tribunal will declare the accused Guilty. Of course, we know that’s a predetermined result.
    Then, and here’s the thing, EVERY MEDIA OUTLET and EVERY NEWSPAPER/MAGAZINE in the country must re-publish the outlawed Steyn article(s).
    They MUST do it. It’s their historic duty to defy the censor. Look to the Danes, and how they all republished the silly cartoons.
    I look forward to someone issuing a button that reads “We are all Mark Steyn.”
    Finally, consider how stupid and complacent our governments are, and how little attachment there is to core values. At heart, we’re still a lazy, bureaucratic, maternalistic colony of Great Britain. Nobody cares about freedom until it affects their pocketbook.

  41. Granton, considering comments on youtube posts are being brought up at the tribunal, I don’t see anything wrong with Mclean’s policing what is posted here.

  42. SK,

    That comment got “moderated.”

    Perhaps I am not towing the party line.

    Or I hurt Mr. Coyne’s feelings with that nice story about “good Muslims.”

    Ha, free speech is even being curtailed on this forum championing free speech.

  43. Dawood,

    For around 50 bucks you can go host your own web site.

    Why not give it a try.

  44. Dawood: It’s called editing. Get used to it.

    I bet you have a blog, where you write whatever you want. I bet nobody reads it, which is why you are here.

  45. NRO has Q&A with Mr. C on the Tribunal Hearing…yes a “certain element” in the U.S. is still taking notice of this North Star Chamber’s proceedings!

  46. So at the same time the BCHRC is trying to change the expression of free speech in Canada, which must qualify as a tradition, CBC drops the Hockey Night in Canada theme song! Conspiracy?

  47. From Currie:

    Update 1: 9:45 and no sign of Coyne actually typing…Have the scaredy-pants scarpered? 10:00 AM, not a peep.

  48. Re: Dawood & his kind

    Ignore posts that aren’t on topic – I think they’ll be removed anyway (if they don’t pertain to the matter at hand).

    comment by Blues Clair re: the CCLA
    Well, it’s good as far as they go, but I guess that means they think cases like the bus drivers who were sick 118 days out of the year are acceptable uses of taxpayers’ money – I’d say the CCLA is out to lunch then.

    I don’t think getting rid of Section 13 is enough – there are numerous examples of other cases of so-called discrimination that are ridiculous and should not even be considered by the Human Rights Commissions.

  49. Dawood, this all started because the socks for some reason decided that Mclean’s was a public forum where everyone had a right to publish and respond. It is not. It is a private magazine which owns this website. They have every right to remove any post they wish, especially considering that this isn’t about whether or not good muslims exist. You’re trying to be a disruption. It is not curtailing freedom of speech to keep you from being a disruption. Just go to Law is Cool and they’ll let you post to your hearts desire. By the way, I notice you still haven’t described the barbarism of pre 1977 Canada.

  50. Hmm, let’s see if we can explain this. I’ll try to use simple terms and step by step logic to maske it easier for you.
    Macleans is having a bit of trouble just now, said trouble having been caused by someone saying they didn’t like something that was published in their magazine. The offended party demanded to be allowed to publish whatever they wanted in Macleans in response, and for Macleans to give up their right of editoriasl control over their magazine as well. Macleans refused.
    Now, here you are on the Macleans site – a site owned and operated by Macleans and therefore their property. You are posting on a site that is owned by Macleans. It says very clearly that “By posting your comment you agree to the terms of service.” Said terms of service stated that Macleans has the right to remove any post they like at any time for any reason. By posting, you agree to those terms. So, by removing your post, Macleans is simply exercising their right to control the content of their site. This is exactly what they are fighting for in front fo the BCHRC. They are fighting for their right to control the content of their property, their magazine.
    There is no conflict here, except in your own mind, Dawood.

  51. Please Andrew – give us something!

  52. …just asked the question, that’s all. Not taking anyone to court over it, just asking the question. Think the gallery is getting a little testy in its impatience.

    Back to the banality…

  53. Coyne:

    “We’re back, and the first item for business is Joseph demanding an apology for yesterday’s “scaredy-pants” outburst, which he says is causing his client “stress.””

    First, we have to clear up yesterday’s hate crime..


  54. “scaredy-pants” outburst, which he says is causing his client “stress.”


    Oh my God, Habib must only be about 4 years old if that’s causing him stress. I thought he was an adult?

  55. Andrew,
    It’s rude to keep a lady waiting.

  56. Thanks for the re-cap Mama Fish. Yes – we all understand. But doesn’t that doesn’t just go the absurdity of it all? Don’t get me wrong – I full support Maclean’s — and your Newfie Aunt. Think she said it best.

  57. Eric,

    Oh I don’t know: Japanese guests who were visitors of the state, natives who never existed.

    But, hey, Canada is a fine country and it is admired the world over for being “nice.”

    A lot of this niceness is being turned to nastiness:

    A wholesale acceptance of the guilt of the Toronto 17 before trial. In the drumbeat to war (well before the arrests), people were saying an attack on Canada was inevitable. There’s nothing inevitable about it.

    The unwillingness to bring Omar Khadr home, despite the calls from his own U.S. counsel and the Canadian Bar Association.

    The shutdown of Al-Jazeera (English) because it may provide some balanced coverage in the drumbeat to war. Where was free speech there? Are people like Sir David Frost, former U.S Marine Josh Rushing, Dave Marash (who described his new position as the most interesting job on Earth), Riz Khan (wait a mimute, is that a Moslem name) really that scary?

    Double standards make me sick.

  58. Newfie mother, actually, though no doubt my many Newfie Aunts (and other relatives) have said much the same. :) And thank you, Granton. I truly am trying to not be testy. I’m just a little impatient with certain kinds of thinking.

  59. Dawood, like the socks, assumes that all media outlets are controlled and owned by the government (or the “establishment”) and that he has automatic right of use/comment/complaint.

  60. Mama Fish, apologies, your mother.

    I mean – I was referring to your mother, not your aunt. I wasn’t throwing out “Your Mother!” like “Your Mama wears army boots” or some kind of expletive or with some asperity.

  61. Dawood, like the socks, also thinks only in terms of groups. Apparently, any wrongdoing by any Canadian, past or present, is a reflection on the standards of “all” canadians.

    There are no double-standards, Dawood. There are just people and their actions. I have no more to do with the treatment of the Japanese in WWII than you do, so this is just whiny victim blather on your part to associate that with the matter on hand.

  62. I sure hope Dawood posts the same story again tomorrow so we can all read it again.

  63. The Freepers must be loving this travesty. They think Libertarianism is a little too Conservative!

  64. *chuckle* No offense taken, Granton. Another thing Mama taught me – whenever possible, laugh rather than take offense. You’ll live longer.

    She was a wise woman.

  65. I suddenly realized while reading these posts as they occur in realtime, that I am actually watching both democracy and free speech in action.
    In its own small way, this forum is a triumph against the BCHRC.

  66. Eric, Sanwin you are quite correct. However I noticed that the comments that were removed were not particularly offensive and they certainly did not incite hatred. I’m just wondering what Macleans criteria is.

  67. Bob Williams,

    Editing, is it?

    Would you prefer that this be an echo chamber, that everyone tow the same line and that “trolls” like me disappear a chance to debate?

    That’s supposedly against everything you stand for, as a champion of free speech.

    “Truth prevails and falsehood vanishes. Verily, falsehood is ever vanishing.”

  68. So I’m not clear on something – does the Canadian government make you all read Maclean’s magazine, so everyone was forced to read these horrid statements from Steyn?

    How did this so-called man (who quakes in his boots when someone disses his fragile religion) read the article in the first place? Was he forced to buy it and read it, or did he make the choice to walk over to the magazine stand, plunk down a few double loonies, and then browse through the mag to find the article in question?

    I don’t know how you do things up in Canada, but here in the states we have this “off” button on our TVs and radios, and I’m pretty sure no one is forced to read any particular magazine.

  69. if double standards make you sick, Daiwoo, don’t serve them up. If you have to keep confirming your human right to be a disruptive hyphenated pillock, go troll somewhere else so people can discuss on topic.

  70. Dawood, the internment of people of Japanese ancestry violated laws already on the books. The HRCs aren’t neccessary to prevent it from happening again. As for the Toronto 17, courts of public opinion have always been around, but actual courts are used to convict people. I don’t see any HRC bringing Omar Khadr home, nor do I see how squelching freedom of speech and the press will bring that about. Its interesting that you’d protest the shutdown of Al Jazeera (the drumbeat of war? I’m sorry, is Canada involved in the Iraq war?) by trying to curtail other journalistic outlets.

    In the end nothing you say points to barbarity that the HRCs have fixed. None of these points has anything to do with Mark Steyn or a book he wrote on demographics in Europe.

  71. An actual complainant! Now we can finally find out the depths of contempt and the brutal consequences of the oppression he has suffered due to the publication of Steyn’s notorious article by Macleans…correct?

  72. Yes, Dawood. It’s editing. A few of my comments have been ruthlessly censored as well, perhaps because of a naughty word or two. But since this isn’t my website, I have no right to have them posted.


    Quit whining. It makes you look foolish.

  73. Look on Day 1, part II, search for a comment by Chris Selley.

    The mods are also pulling stuff that is off-topic to keep things focused. With over 50 comments appearing before Coyne posted anything other than “watch this space”, I don’t blame them.

  74. I love that from the witness: “I read something that troubled me, so I Googled to find more things that would trouble me.”

    In my day, we called that begging for a fight. But in Canada, this is called tuning the sensibilities against hate.

    Go figger.

  75. Japanese in WWII?? Get relevant. However, suffice to say the fate of Japanese in Canada in WW2 was notably better than the fate of Canadians in Japan and the Japanese Empire. Get real.

    A country with a tradition of freedom like Canada produced a better and more humane outcome than a totalitarian country like Japan (as it was then).

  76. This complainant went looking for “impact” and is now complaining because he found some…though I don’t know if the Freepers are all THAT impact-ful. We’re not talking Rush Limbaugh here.

  77. “Daddy, that man hurts my feelings. He bad! Go hit him!”

    Is that about the summary of the complaint?

  78. Maybe Maclean’s should surrender the reigns of the blog and give it to Dawood, in the interest of fairness.

  79. Journalism professor John Miller’s testimony was ruled inadmissible at the tribunal, but Miller has posted a condensed version what he planned to say at:

  80. I think its more like “Mommy that man hurt me”. This is a nanny state after all and we don’t want to promote patriarchy.

  81. Dawood wrote,

    “Double standards make me sick”

    Non sequiturs make me ill….please stop

  82. To Mr. miller: Right on the money!

  83. Dawood is correct. Being afraid of what the censor will do to you is self-contradictory for this chat line. The moderator might remove comments that seem libellous or scandalous or incite violence. However, the moderator should also post a notice of that and tell us approximately what was removed. We’re not here to chat into an echo chamber, are we? This is all about the chaos of freedom; private ownership of the words is not a compelling argument.

  84. To Laura: Even better Macleans must Provide the gentle-person with a blog forum AND an audience AND a sympathetic moderator AND make a donation to a “yet to be specified” charity. Isn’t that what their original demands were like?

  85. Stockwatch has a reporter at the Tribunal. Here is an excerpt from yesterday which provides some historical context of the BC Human Rights legislative evolution.

    by Stockwatch Business Reporter

    It is Wednesday, June 4, 2008, the third day of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing into Maclean’s magazine, and this reporter is his usual hour early for a seat in the tiny basement courtroom. Rather than sit agreeing as my fellow reporters marvel at British Columbia’s ineptitude in presenting itself to the world, I will offer some context to the event. We have been here before, the press and the B.C. Human Rights Code.

    You’ve come a long way, baby
    This week’s tribunal in Vancouver is not our first. British Columbia had a nearly identical case in the 1990s. This time, Maclean’s and its columnist, the author Mark Steyn, have received support and coverage on a national scale, with commentators condemning human-rights laws where truth is no defence and an offended party’s precious “feelings” are paramount. Last time, Doug Collins, a former North Shore News columnist who died in 2001, received almost no support.

    In 1993, the NDP government in Victoria passed the B.C. Human Rights Code, which allowed the B.C. Human Rights Commission to prosecute published opinions deemed offensive and hurtful. Mr. Collins immediately referred to it as the “Kill Collins Act,” and saw the legislation as a way to silence his acerbic, but well-read column in Vancouver’s North Shore News. In 1997, a Jewish Victorian businessman, Harry Abrams, the B.C. representative for B’nai B’rith Canada, complained about the cumulative impact of four of Mr. Collins’s columns from 1994, including one that used the term “Swindler’s List,” in parody of the movie Schindler’s List. (Mr. Collins disagreed with the literary licence taken in the movie.) The BCHRC had earlier declared that the columns fell short of calumny, but agreed with Mr. Abrams that the cumulative effect of all four columns on Mr. Abrams’s feelings violated the code. Mr. Collins was ordered by the commission to apologize and pay Mr. Abrams $2,000. Intervening B.C. Press Council lawyer Roger McConchie denounced the B.C. Human Rights Code as “the most significant legislative infringement of press freedom in the history of British Columbia.” Upon Mr. Collins’s death, The Vancouver Sun editorialized that he was wrong on free speech, suggesting the human rights commission had got it right. Many startling BCHRC decisions later, news outlets including The Sun have evidently come around to Mr. Collins and Mr. McConchie’s views about press freedom and the BCHRC.
    …….[cont’d in Stockwatch]

  86. True, that. It’s the mommy state.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something that was hurtful to me. And how did I react?

    I acted like an adult and simply shrugged it off. Everyone has an opinion.

    But in a super-special case, there is a class of citizenry in Canada that aches to be protected from anything that might make them “feel” bad about themselves.

    It’s the eternal grievance theatre of the absurd. To coin a phrase.

  87. The THEY is the complainants in the Tribunal…not anybody in this esteemed forum

  88. Am I to understand that an adult male has said that being called a “scardy-pants” has caused him stress?

    And these are people who’s opinions we are supposed to respect?

    Can you imagiane what would have happened if the lawyer said “liar liar pants on fire”? The gentleman would have had to be rushed to the hospital due to overwhelming fear of trouser combustion and mental trauma.

    They guys are SO lucky this is not being televised.

    It is in moments like this that I take pride and comfort in the protections offered by the bill of rights.

    It also proves that when some canadians complain they they aren’t just a version of the US I would have to argee.

    Amazing what can happen to a country in a mere 60 years.

  89. “Scaredy pants?”. They can haul a Canadian before an hrc tribunal for calling someone a scaredy pants, if it hurts their feelings?

    Is there anyone out there who can offer a legal definition on this as a valid argument?

  90. Yeah, will_mot, but the moderator won’t haul you before a tribunal and throw you into the meat grinder that is their ‘due process’. If the comments people are making here need to be kept for posterity, they’d better be cutting and pasting them to their own blogs (with a back up file on several computers…just in case). The moderators aren’t under any obligation to offer reasons for deleting posts.

    Haven’t you noticed that Andrew self edits? He’ll make a comment that might be changed/updated and just removed during the course of his live blogging.

  91. A google search printed today…..oh my, they are a prepared bunch arent they. I assume Second City Improv was a required course at Law School?

  92. Being called a scaredy pants, and having it tagged in the horrible “Islamophobic” magazine Maclean’s. They should add that into the complaint. Maybe we could google different therapies for people in recovery for name-calling.

  93. A previous commenter began this way: “[O]ne thing my father taught me about free speech and the need to protect it most especially when you vehemently disagree with what is being said….”

    That seems to be a deadly inversion of judgment. However important it may be to protect speakers with whom one disagrees, it’s plainly more important to protect speakers one thinks may be right, and who are speaking of matters one thinks are important.

  94. I would love to see an accounting of the costs of this show trial. BC taxpayers would hit the roof. I am not in BC but I hope some of you that are really push this issue.

  95. Honey Pot, legal definitions don’t matter in this court.

  96. The Google argument should not have been thrown out: it is indeed true that what you find today is not what you would find in 2006 or 2004.

    But then, “Verdict first, trial after.” We all know the verdict against Maclean’s & Steyn: guilty on all counts. All we are doing now is counting down the minutes to the inevitable.

  97. “Can’t say with certainty that what he saw in October 2006 is the same as it is now. Seems a stretch, and it is: overruled.”

    Overruled? This is all out of this world. No one could make this stuff up. Shameful.

  98. He purchased his pants under the belief that they were a courageous and protective defense against the elements. Now it is revealed to him that his pants are somewhat deficient in the “courage” department. One can only imagine his personal sense of humiliation! Surely he deserves to be compensated for his mental and emotional anguish!

  99. I do hope Porter didn’t apologize.

  100. “Out of power!” INDEED, sir! Where is your judeo-christian theological-legal system now?!

  101. I miss Ezra’s live blogging…sigh

  102. steve miller


  103. John H, thanks for the reply, and what you say is true. My only point is that, other than posts that are clearly illegal, the “people” on this site are the legitimate censors; they may censor stupidity either by responding to a provocative post or by simply ignoring it (which is ‘way more effective).

  104. Jdub…..that was very funny….well done

  105. How on earth is it relevant to the argeument wether some one responded to an internet website, that referenced Steyn, and said something bad about Muslims? What harm, real harm, did that do to a Muslim in Abbottsford? Did he soil himself when he searched out the comment and voluntarily read it?

  106. jdub-very funny-so true

  107. Yes, Kralizec, that is important, but it is also easy and takes very little courage. It is much harder to defend the right of a person to express a view you find repugnant, but it is important that you do so. This is a lesson the complainants in this case need to learn, I believe. If they disagree with Steyn, and think Macleans was wrong for printing the excerpt, the way to combat it is not to silence them, but to debate them, to present their own viewpoints and rebuttals, etc.

  108. So if I post something like, the sky is blue, and some nut responds in the comments that because the sky is blue all should be eradicated….does that make the The Sky is Blue a hate crime? Or does it ake the comment a hate crime?

    Think I will go read Kafka this afternoon

  109. So how many of you were raised on “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”?

    I think this is the issue here – that somehow, some guy in BC (or Ontario? I’m confused) _read_ something printed _in a magazine_ (I am not making this up), and rather than simply ignore it _like most adults_, he decided his feelings were “hurt” and so someone would need to pay for his feelings being hurt? Is that about right?

    Are there so many cozy jobs up there that these guys have nothing to do all day but probe their tender feelings?

  110. “Would you prefer that this be an echo chamber, that everyone tow the same line and that “trolls” like me disappear a chance to debate?”

    The very fact that you can post such drivel gives lie to your complaint.

    Grow up, sir.

  111. It’s all very logical. Steyn, the “Islamophobic” cretin writes an an article in bad Maclean’s. It makes all the complainants, sad-so sad and offended that they google, in a desperate effort to find out how his racist thoughts have penetrated the minds of people all over the world and directly influenced them to abandon any positions they might have had before the article, and makes them write equally “ofensive” things.

  112. Lawyers need to understand that if this sort of “procedure” becomes more common, their own knowledge of laws, precedents, rules of evidence, and rules of procedure will be worthless. I mean it will be economically worthless and worthless from the standpoint of the love of justice.

  113. Mr C I’m on the edge of my seat here…do power outlets in BC not look the same as in other parts of Canada? (ignorant united states-ian here)

  114. Maybe he can only find cooperative power outlets in Ontario

  115. Okay, if we’re going to claim the moral high-ground here we would do well to not misrepresent the other side to make them appear worse than they already do.

    The issue here is that someone read something in a magazine with a national scope and audience that he believes encourages and causes prejudice and discrimination against him and others based solely on their choice of religion.

    That’s the issue.

    I don’t see that the complainants have in any way managed to show this, but that’s the issue of the suit.

  116. Yup Steve — that’s about it. Except the complainants are both from Ontario, as is the lawyer. No one in BC seemed to have peeped up. And the Ontario HRT said it was out of their jurisdiction – however – that didn’t stop them from saying that the magazine and Steyn were repugnant. If the ‘offending’ material had been written on a sign – it could have been acted upon, which accordingly, Steyn mused about doing. They ‘jurisdiction shopped’ it to BC.

    Yes – this is Canada. True north, strong and vague.

  117. Why isn’t Google on trial here? Not only did they disseminate Steyn’s hate, but have made all hate available all over the world.

  118. “I don’t see that the complainants have in any way managed to show this, but that’s the issue of the suit.”

    It’s not a “suit”. If it were a “suit” the complainant would actually have to demonstrate that real damage had occurred. The court hearing the “suit” would be subject to “rules of evidence” and “procedure”.

    But because there has been no real damage, the complainant must go to the HRC, where anything goes and they are guaranteed a victory.

  119. Can the BCHRT complain about itself to itself for exposing itself to hatred and contempt by staging hearings wherein only one side is allowed to heard? Just wondering.

  120. I wish I had an extension cord 1200 miles long.

  121. I assume AC’s lack of AC is because of the following

    F Joseph: I rise to protest that the editor for Macleans is requiring power that would drain the budget of the BCHRT. I demand he be stopped, besides, he makes sarcastic comments about me.

    The Roos: Coyne, No AC for you!

  122. …this is so sad, one of Canada’s finest and most articulate commentators on current affairs, nephew of a governor of the Bank of Canada, on the website of a major news journal, the most important story of the day, huge implications everywhere, sidelined by a power source? my lord, how does anything ever get done in this country? he didn’t check his battery? Andrew my son, we had such high hopes for you….

  123. will_mot, I agree with you 100%. It’s counter productive to chase down o/t, but I know some moderators who see it as their duty to police the threads and will ban people who engage in meta discussions. Since this is the only ‘thread’ in town for this particular issue and it does get loaded down rather quickly (especially during Andrew’s…lapses), they might see it as a necessary chore to weed out the comments that they feel detract from the thread.

    But Dawood, seriously man, quit beating a dead horse.

  124. Dawood.

    “My central question remains: do people out there believe there should there be any limits on free speech?”

    Defamation? Libel? Child pornography? Fraud? Etc?

    Thing is, Dawood, these things are common, and are litigated in real courts where defendents and plaintiffs adhere to rules of evidence and procedure.

    Now that I’ve cleared that up for you, will you please go away?

  125. Dawood v. Goliath My central question remains: do people out there believe there should there be any limits on free speech?

    Of course we do. That is why their is a criminal code. People have been tried and convicted under the criminal code for hate crime / speach. What more do you need?

  126. “Ahmedinajad is a psycho and his Holocaust denial should be censored”

    WRONG, dammit. Censor nothing, let the kooks have their say – they’ll quickly be seen for the fools they are. Censorship is the fast road to fascism and totalarianism.
    Censorship leads to … the BCHRC. Well, actually, the BCHRC leads to censorship, but in the words of one more famed than I, ‘I digress’…

  127. I do not believe Free Republic is a Canadian site. How could the tribunal find it even vaguely relevant in British Columbia?

  128. Power goes out? Hmmm do I smell a conspiracy? LOL

  129. Dawood, I’ll answer ya. Personally, I do believe that -some- limits on free speech are warranted. But we must be very, very careful to articulate those limits in a very specific way, so as not to place an undue burden on speech. For instance, limits on libel/slander are reasonable, as is a prohibition on yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre. I would be extremely reluctant to impose any limits on a person’s right to express their thoughts or opinions, even if I disagreed with them. There’s a famous quote you may have heard : “I do not agree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it” (paraphrased). Good rule to judge by, imho. Simply disagreeing wtih someone, or not liking what they say, is no reason to deny them the right to say it.

  130. Dawood v. Goliath how do you propose we control people thoughts and emotions?

  131. Defamation requires direction towards a particular individual. So if Mr. Steyn said that Dawood v. Goliath is hot for jihad, I would love to sue my verbally versatile friend.

    Criminal Code requires the police to get involved. They haven’t been be able to track down thugs who beat up Sikhs thinking they are Muslims or people throwing stones against Hindu temples thinking they are mosques. What are they going to do against Canada’s “magazine of record”?

    What is a community to do when targeted mercilessly and without a chance to use a slingshot to bring down the facade of falsehood? Use the existing laws of the land? That seems fair game.

  132. “(private ownership notwithstanding).”

    Ah! That just makes the concept of private ownership go away, then? Now that it’s parenthetically notwithstanding? Is that what you think?

    “…do people out there believe there should there be any limits on free speech?”

    If I defame or libel you, you have “legal” recourse. If you can demonstrate (i.e., “prove”) to a “judge” in a “court of law” that real damages have occurred, you win, and I have to compensate you, or appeal, in which case the process is repeated until no more appeals are possible.

    This is a reasonable limit on free speech — or, more accurately, a reasonable consequence of free speech.

    However, I am free to say things you don’t like. I am free to tell you that I don’t like you, if that’s the case. If I simply say something you find unpalatable, well, pound sand. I expect you’d take the same view, having said things in this very forum that people quite obviously don’t like — or are you special somehow?

  133. Small quibble:
    If Steyn “says” something against you, that ain’t libel.

    And if some man calls you name, you’d sue him?

    Man, how powerful that must make you feel!

  134. Stephen,
    I wouldn’t have had a clue what your talking about three months ago, and if I did I wouldn’t have believed it. But now I had to chuckle at your post.

  135. To SK: I think the “relevance” (and I use the term loosely) they are trying to show is: Steyn’s work published in Maclean’s was referenced by bad people he/they have no control over as evidence to support the bad peoples belief/wish that bad things happen to people eerily similar to the complainants even though none of it has to do with Canada & Canadians specifically but (maybe) in a vague general kind of way…and that’s oppressive and that is wrong and must be suppressed! (whew)

  136. Give me a break Dahoo-ey – set up your own publication, publish your own viewpoints, use FREE SPEECH to defend yourself – not some quasi-official bunch of self important hoodlums who negate all that the laws of this land find precious – like proof, for example.
    As I said earlier, try this crap back where you or your family comes from and see the reception it gets there.
    This is Canada, a land of laws, and I can hardly wait until the law gets hold of the BCHRC’s decision in this matter, should they prove so foolish as to find for the whiners – errr, plaintiffs.

  137. Geez Coyne, go buy an extension cord!

  138. sailorman,

    the kooks had their say in Weimar Germany and that led to Kristallnacht.

    the kooks had their say on radios in Rwanda and got the Hutus to believe the myth of purity (when we are all mongrels).

    The kooks had their say in Srebrenica and Tuzla and it destroyed the heart of Europe.

    Should we let the kooks say what they want, whenever they want?

  139. I’ll bet EZRA wouldn’t have forgotten to plug in his notebook computer.

    Okay, making fun. But what makes me nervous is the open question of whether a proper recording or transcript of these proceedings is being made.

  140. “Joseph is now asking him about the Free Republic blog. How did he come across it. Well, shorttly after reading the Steyn article in October 2006, which he found “concerning,” he went on the internet to “look for any impact,” ie he Googled it. He found what he was looking for on the Free Republic: the Steyn article, with comments from readers underneath, to the effect that Muslims should be “eradicated,” that they should not be here, etc.”

    You have to be funking kidding me!!!!!!!

    He googled it – found some posts of people that said or didnt say some “bad” things – his feeing were hurt

    Wow!!!!!! this just gets worse by the day.

  141. Dawood vs Goliath,

    Are you even from BC? Or are you one of these Eastern boys like Joseph, Elmasry, Awan, etc. or like Habib (who didn’t move here until recently) who think they can represent the Muslims of BC?

    MY tax dollars as a british Columbian MUSLIM are paying for this because Khurrum Awan couldn’t disagree with an article…like…dare I say…a man.

    Instead he whined to the nanny state.

  142. Dawood,

    Did you buy all the shares in the ‘Extreme Hyperbole Factory’ ?

  143. Another correction: Weimar Germany had laws against hate speech on the books. Whoops! Looks like they didn’t turn out oh so well, did they?

    Time to retire that arguments.

    Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but no one’s entitled to his own facts.

    Try Google – it’s a great tool! It can (a) save you great embarrassment in a public blog and (b) save you time in an HRC kangaroon court.

  144. Andrew where are you !!!!! we’re all sitting on pins and needles.

  145. I hope Andrew doesn’t lose his dongle over this power outage.

  146. Drat, I got sucked in again. /delete last five minutes of my life/

  147. “The socialist’s two most feared enemies are history and reason.” — Mark Steyn

  148. SK what did they do with all that Video equipment from the OJ trial. Maybe we could hook it up for our own direct feed.

  149. Geez, Andrew, a first-year journalism student would have an extra battery for their notebook.

  150. John H — extra U, you’re so seemingly polite you could pass for a Canadian. (Go Red Wings!)

  151. Come on AC go back to the Blackberry

  152. Dawood, the situations you cite are not in the least a parallel, or even remotely similar, to Canada’s.
    We have laws in place to deal with hate speech, and we have laws in place permitting free speech. Used appropriately, travesties such as this BCHRC hearing are not required.
    And, as someone above said, maybe those who are ‘offended’ should learn to take it ‘like a man’.

  153. sailorman:

    “where you or your family comes from”

    Now, I’m sure you’ve travelled a lot, so let’s see:

    I was born in Africa (where I picked up Swahili), educated in England (where I picked up the Queen’s only), became a proud citizen of Canada (where I picked up my wife), lived in China (where I picked up Mandarin) and my heritage is South Asian of Bollywood fame (aha, you say, brownskinned).

    So, please, do tell me where I’m “from”?

  154. To our American friends, this is how reporting is done in Canuckland. Get all excited about an issue and then forget to plug in the batteries the night before! Good grief!!

  155. Find some power allready!

  156. Mick in Oz,

    You are half right, there is a south african derogatory term….whose lineage I dont know….however the other one is direct from the Arab….we’ll leave it at that

  157. Is there no power outlet in the whole room? Why did he not charge it??

  158. Thank you SK you say such nice things about us.

  159. “I was born in Africa…

    So, please, do tell me where I’m ‘from’?”

    OK. You’re from Africa.

  160. Well, of course they’ll mine this blog for evidence. After all, we’re what people like Habib and Awan are afraid of: people simply speaking their minds.

    Can’t have that – peoples’ feelings might get _hurt_.

  161. Please come back Andrew! I hope he is writing notes furiously and will be back with many, many updates!

  162. Am I mistaken in assuming that you’re all civil servants?

  163. Dahood – so, in Canada and England, your rights are protected. However, that isn’t the case in China, and probably not in Africa – you didn’t mention the country, so I cannot say for sure.
    However, in all of your travels, you obviously never learned the importance of defending free speech – which is, in essence, what this blog is about.
    As for your snide remarks, I’ll ignore them other than to say, yes, I’ve travelled enough to know what I’m talking about here. Now, let’s leave the personal bits, eh?

  164. But Dawood, the Human Rights Tribunal isn’t in Africa, China, or England, and it certainly isn’t in Ontario where Elmasry, Awan, et. al. are from.

    Its in BC. I’m a Muslim from B.C. If Muslims from B.C. were so offended, how come the courtroom is barren, and the only one there is a guy who moved to BC 4 years ago. There are 57,000 Muslims in BC…and zero showed up…That’s how offended they are!

  165. Once again, this isn’t about people’s feelings being hurt. It’s about an article in this magazine allegedly causing prejudice and discrimination against the muslim community.

    Trivialising this does nothing to strengthen the argument that the HRC is running amok. If anything, it leads to that argument being dismissed because those advancing it didn’t understand the issue in the first place.

  166. steve miller

    “Another correction: Weimar Germany had laws against hate speech on the books. Whoops! Looks like they didn’t turn out oh so well, did they?

    Time to retire that arguments.”

    Yes, they had hate speech laws on the books like every other civilization. How do hate speech laws get mobilized. Do they sit on the books, extending their warm glow over humanity?

  167. Dawood, enough with slurring people as racist with your “Aha, you say, brown-skinned,” remarks. Nobody knows where you’re from, and nobody knows or cares what color your skin is. It’s your “arguments,” if I can dignify your comments with that appellation, that are worthy of approbation. Keep your race baiting to yourself.

  168. one power outlet in the room! My God, is BC Power in cahoots with the forces against free speech?
    Andrew! Fight on! We await (breathlessly) your missives!

  169. One power outlet for the ENTIRE room? When was this place constructed? I bet they don’t even have Cable!

  170. and now a musical interlude with AC/BC

  171. We need a Truth and Reconcilliation Committee. Why did the power go out? Are voices of the disenfranchised being silenced?

  172. “Once again, this isn’t about people’s feelings being hurt. It’s about an article in this magazine allegedly causing prejudice and discrimination against the muslim community.”

    And once again, you’re wrong. It’s about the vague possibility that someday, somebody, somewhere might be exposed to “contempt” because of the story in the magazine.

    If the complainants could demonstrate that real discrimination had actually occurred, as a direct result of the Maclean’s piece, this would be happening in a court of law.

    But because no demonstrable harm has occurred, all that’s left are hurt feelings. And that’s what this is about. Don’t kid yourself.

  173. Wait for Porters cross…….

  174. Kooks had their say and got their way in Rwanda and Germany because the laws against murder, assault and confiscation of property weren’t being enforced, and becuase the government itself was carrying out criminal acts. If laws against murder aren’t being enforced I don’t think anti-speech laws will do the trick – in fact such laws are merely used to silence the ultimate victims and render them truly defenceless.

    Kristallnacht was a function of Nazism and Hitler, not free speech – which by the way had already been taken away in Weimar. If laws against free speech had been upheld possibly both tragedies could have been averted, but even that’s doubtfu in the psychotic circumstances which prevailed, but at least it would have been a chance.

    If we suppress speech, we’re more likely to be ruled by tyrants than saints.

    where are you from? I’m tempted to guess lala land.

  175. “The article, he says, makes things “dangerous for us.” His wife, who wears the hijab, has been “taunted, told to go back home.” The article “puts fuel on the fire” of a volatile situation, post Sept. 11, although he concedes he knows of no physical attacks resulting from it.”

    So the issue here is actual harm versus percieved harm?

  176. What do Women Lib, Minority rights, and other issues come from? Anyone know? Free speech maybe? Do you think these ideas offended people in there day?

  177. Re Porters cross…..told you to wait for it….rest should be good fun

  178. to T. Thwim: I realize it’s not about hurt feelings per se, but it is their “feelings” that they seem to be presenting as evidence of “prejudice and oppression!”

    The complainants found a place on the Internet where people expressed negative views of the complainant’s community AND referenced the Macleans piece in question. This caused them to feel “uneasiness” that other people, possibly in Canada, may prejudge and possibly oppress THEM based on these negative views IF they (the prejudgers) also happened to read the same article that led them (the complainants) to search for “impact” to begin with. (whew)

  179. SK,

    I’m not in the game of race baiting.

    sailorboy put this into issue when he said “wherever your family is from”?

    This is exactly the thinking the students are trying to defeat.

    We’re all hyphenated in some way and trying to live out the genius of this country.

    Well, here I am, living the Trudeaupian fantasy, ready with my slingshot against big, bad anti-multicult lies.

  180. Oh please.

  181. ok, I give; who’s this Munir Al-Kasem? Anyone know?

  182. jdub,

    if we are lucky Mr Fatah will show and enlighten us.

  183. On the internet one can find something offensive to everyone…if one goes looking for it.

    Doesn’t matter who/what/where you are…someone has either poked fun at who/what/where you are, or has called for your ellimation based on the same criteria.

    I worry less about FreeRepublic (i.e., Right) bloggers and DailyKos (i.e., Left) bloogers, than I do about actual Jihadi sites that go beyond “we should do this or that..” and actually RECRUIT FOR IT!!

    And I thought the People’s Republic of Kalifornia was getting bad…

  184. Dawood asks, “What is a community to do when targeted mercilessly ….” (if it doesn’t use the HRC legislation?
    The first thing it does is go to a reputable book, published before the PostColonial Revisionism, and read about the philosophy, economic history, and political traditions of Britain, France, and other countries of the Enlightenment.
    Then, having done that, it accepts our understanding of free society, informed citzenship, and intellectual autonomy. Finally, comes the hard part: Develop a reasonable argument for your point of view.

  185. Nice to know that the degree to which we can enjoy free speech in this country is to be determined by what some idiot says on an internet forum in the US or Europe.

    By that token I think we can easily make a case for shutting down any speech that vilifies Americans as long as we can find an Internet post somewhere that says something idiotic about Bush.

  186. hooray! power!

  187. plus, the sling-shot metaphor is pretty lame

  188. Sorry, I’m not wrong. In fact, you agree with me in your second paragraph. It’s about the possibility that someone, somewhere, might be exposed to contempt because of the story. That’s pretty much what I said, that the article will lead to prejudice and discrimination against those someones, somewhere, who happent to be muslim.

    And you’re correct that if the complainants could demonstrate real discrimination it would fall under Canada’s hate crime laws, but again, that’s not what they’re trying to demonstrate. They’re trying to demonstrate that Steyn’s piece could lead to discrimination. This is something entirely different, and not actionable under our hate crime laws which require that the material itself be discriminatory.

    Whether demonstratable harm has occured is exactly what this tribunal is gathered to determine. Except the demonstratable harm in this case is not what Steyn or Macleans’ have done themselves, but rather what has happened in society because of it.

    Personally, even with the understanding that Coyne’s coverage is probably biased toward his magazine, it seems the complainants haven’t really developed anything along those lines. The testimony today about the Freepers is the first I’ve seen them actually moving toward this. I expect Porter will quickly destroy it by referencing any anti-islamic post from before the publication of the Macleans’ article, but there you go.

  189. muslim steynfan, I just posted that article

  190. “This is exactly the thinking the students are trying to defeat.”

    What rot. The sock-puppets are trying to keep people from saying things they don’t like. Your cheap sophistry doesn’t fool anybody familiar with this situation.

    As for your Slingshot of Truth…try Reason and Argument. It’s harder than just throwing rocks, admittedly, but in the end, if your views have merit, they’ll be considered.

  191. But they haven’t shown where ANYONE actually prejudged or oppressed the complainants!

    It is simply the complaints fear of possible prejudice and oppression potentially occurring…and fear is a “feeling.”

    Which brings us back to why so many individuals such as myself are ridiculing their “hurt feelings” as they are not based on demonstrated fears (resulting from events) but on irrational fears (resulting from potentialities).

    At least that’s MY reason for ridiculing…

  192. Stephen, I’d say so. Well, the dictionary definition I posted is ‘awaiting moderation’ now. But it seems ironic it is in a protected class when used by islamists, yet is proscribed when used by the people whom islamists use it to describe. Just reading up above again, the same standards seem to apply to who can mention Col. Gaddafi.

  193. “the panel retire’s to consider Josephs objection’s”. Gee I wonder how the BCHRT will rule. Talk about a one sided affair.

  194. And we’re back live…guard the outlet with your life Mr C!

  195. Surprisingly, the ‘chair’ ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.

    I didn’t see that coming!

  196. Yesterday, I think the tribunal used their lunch break to watch Dr. Zhivago.

  197. Sounds like this is a pretty weak belief-system that it needs so much protection against adults.

  198. Dr. Casbah oh ya CRHC logic and a computer would be about the same thing. I guess shotting holes in the logic being expressed by DaWood vs. Goliath is pointless they both can’t comprend the whole picture. But it was such fun. I’ll have to stop so that this Blog is not 5000 post long.

  199. To sum up
    Maclean’s: Responsible for everything every crank anywhere says about Islam.
    Habib: Not responsible for backing up his own remarks.

  200. Anybody got a running total of rulings favourable to the defence vs. to the plaintiffs? As far as I can see, its 0 to 10 or so

  201. Mick: All it could mean is that someone hit, “Report Abuse,” putting your post into limbo. Doesn’t automatically mean that Maclean’s blocked you. They also may have a computer program operating, blocking certain terms.

  202. Why can’t he ask Habib about Elmasry’s outrageous comments seeing as Elmasry is a co-complainant???

  203. Mitchell, 0 to 10 is excellent! Take it to the REAL court!

  204. Answer: The publisher is responsible for the conduct of people who read the articles in his magazine (or articles that are similar and published in something similar).

    That’s what the good Dr. REALLY is trying to say!

  205. It’s quite a blow. Porter can’t ask Habib about any of Elmasry’s outrageous comments.

    Quick, somebody post Elmary’s comments in a Free Republic thread, that should make them allowable.

  206. Theatre: I totally agree that they haven’t shown anything, but let’s be honest, when the folks around here are claiming that this is all based on “hurt feelings”, that’s not referring to the fear that these people might be feeling. Fear, after all, is not a “hurt feeling”. A feeling, yes. A hurt one? No.

    After all, if you happened to find yourself in a rough neighborhood with a fear you might be mugged, would you say you had “hurt feelings” about the neighborhood? Of course not. Those words are chosen because some people talking about this want to trivialize what might actually be going on so that they can feel justfied in their outrage.

    Call them liars, if you want. Claim that their fear is groundless, or made up because they have an agenda or just were hoping to get Macleans to pony up some cash and a soapbox, but let’s not trivialize it to ascribing it to them feeling personally insulted, as when we do so, it weakens OUR arguments against the HRC because it implies we have no idea what the case is about.

  207. Quick, somebody post Elmary’s comments in a Free Republic thread, that should make them allowable.


    Actually, when you think about it, it’s not all that funny… it’s actually really plausible given what we’ve seen of this so far.

    Talk about gallows humor. Ugh.
    (Oh, wait… I meant “humour.” when in rome…)

  208. Of course it is all about hurt feelings. It’s the ol’ “you make fun of me & you hurt my feelings” argument.

    We can’t trivialize something that’s already so trivial.

  209. “…It’s about the possibility that someone, somewhere, might be exposed to contempt because of the story.”

    The same could be said for just about any story, by anybody, about anything. Your point?

    “That’s pretty much what I said, that the article will lead to prejudice and discrimination against those someones, somewhere, who happent to be muslim.”

    Prove it.

    (Just imagine for a moment that “proof” is required for the establishment of guilt, and that that “proof” must be subject to rules of evidence and procedure, and you’ll start to see why this is such a fiasco.)

    “…They’re trying to demonstrate that Steyn’s piece could lead to discrimination.”

    How the hell do you PROVE that something MIGHT happen? More to the point, how can Macleans PROVE that something WON’T happen? And why should they be convicted of a hate crime because they can’t?

    Don’t you see that this is the precise opposite of justice? You might get hammered one night and drive home and kill somebody. Prove you won’t.

    “…Whether demonstratable harm has occured is exactly what this tribunal is gathered to determine.”

    And if the tribunal were interested in relevance, evidence, rules of procedure, and presumption of innocence, they’d be better equipped to make that determination. Of course, if they were interested in those things, they’d be an actual court of law, and they wouldn’t have a 100% hate-crime conviction rate.

  210. I am a member of Free Republic, but have never bad mouthed any Muslims. Can I file a complaint in B.C., even though I live in the States, complaining about this denigration of Free Republic members?

  211. T. Thwim I’m a Muslim…believe me, there’s no fear. I have never met a Muslim say to me “hey man, i’m scared someone might beat me up cuz of that Steyn thing.”

    It is about being insulted. Its alarmist. And its embarassing

  212. that there’s some sort of collective consciousness among Muslims….

    well there must be, right, since we’re talking about “the vast majority of right-thinking muslims” and how they’ve been offended or threatened.

    Can’t have it both ways here, boys.

  213. “Joseph objects. “It’s these types of questions, assumptions, suppositions, that is exactly going to the complaint — that there’s some sort of collective consciousness among Muslims, that somehow it’s Dr. Habib’s job to stop Bin Laden”

    Oh Oh…apparently cross examination is a hate crime as well.

  214. “… (S)omehow it’s Dr. Habib’s job to stop Bin Laden.”

    No, it’s Dr. Habib’s job to stop blaming Maclean’s for not keeping every (unfavorable) opinion on earth from reaching Dr. Habib’s sensitive ears.

  215. Am I the only one who’s blood pressure is rising seeing how the Commissionars are ruling ?

  216. “sailorboy put this into issue when he said “wherever your family is from”?”

    My remark, Dawood, was to point out that wherever it is you’re from probably wouldn’t permit the idiocy we’re seeing in BC right now. It had nothing to do with your family/yourself, but that you took it to be so indicates to the rest of us that your ‘victimhood’ is alive and kicking.

  217. Deep breath, sanwin — this really SHOULD proceed as the tragic farce it is, so that it can be sliced to ribbons in real court — and THEN, on to abolishing “human rights tribunals!”

  218. To T. Thwim: All right I get your worry about the larger “war” (severely limiting or getting rid of this HRC stuff) being lost because the present “battle” ( speech) is trivialized into insignificance by focusing on the seeming immaturity of the complainants.

    However, it does take a lot of the fun out of this..

  219. Can someone please tell me how I can get on the stand and explain that Steyn’s article didn’t expose Muslims to anything but a good read.

  220. “1:24 PM Joseph to redirect. Just one question. He goes back to the Brussels Journal. Points out that the post, entitled “Why the future may not belong to Islam,” has a prominently displayed link to Steyn’s book, America Alone.”

    The equivalent of saying that because was written in German that German is a racist language.

    What amazes me more is that the Roo’s are probably going…wow good point, better mark that one in my notes.

  221. The Brussels Journal also links to hotels in Europe. Are those hotels hotbeds of anti-Mohammedan behavior, too? Does having a link on the BJ home page mean “obviously this site/link/reference is beyond examination – it must be eeeeeeeeeeeevil”?

  222. “The publisher is responsible for the content of the magazine. I can’t say whether these people are crazy people.”

    Well, there goes the Beatles catalog. After all, they are responsible for what Charles Manson did…

  223. Anti-speech laws are ultimately used by the powerful against the weak; in all cases their arbiters decide who gets to dissent and who doesn’t, who’s right and who’s wrong.

    Anti-speech laws are a recipe for abuse and playing of favourites.

    The best defence against the things that you fear is the rule of law, and rights to speak freely amidst laws that protects life, limb and property.

    Abusive concepts arise in historically troubled or psychotic circumstances; the best protection against them is as above.

    Canada is playing a very dangerous game, totally at odds with its history and traditions, to get into laws which create no debate zones or exempt some groups from criticism.

  224. FJ “that there’s some sort of collective consciousness among Muslims”

    So if there is no collective consciousness among Muslims, then I guess they can’t be collectively offended….

  225. Just to think that this crap goes on all the time in these tribunals, against defendants without the deep pockets of Macleans. This is very scary and if you go to you will be able to procure the email address of your MP and I urge all of you to contact the same, as this roo court is an affront to the freedom loving people of Canada.

  226. Steynfan: So you’re saying the fear they are claiming is groundless. I’ll agree with that. I’ll go even further and suggest that it really was because they thought they could get some easy cash and a soapbox from Maclean’s. But.. and this is the key point.. this is ascribing motives to them that they have not claimed to hold.

    Is this not exactly what Maclean’s is defending against right now? That their magazine published an article with motives that Maclean’s itself does not hold?

    This is what I’m saying, if we’re to keep the moral high-ground, we need to address their claims as they stand, and refute them from that viewpoint. Not by saying “No no, your real motives are what we say they are,” and then trying to address the issue based on the motives we’ve ascribed them. To do so is to do exactly as they’re doing.

  227. Joseph objects? SUSTAINED!! Joseph doesn’t like what porter has to say? SUSTAINED!! Porter defends his position? OVERRULED!! Repeat.

  228. Wait a minute…FIRST he complains because “we North Americans” kept Muslims at arms length in figuring a response…THEN he complains we expect Muslims to “do something”…which is it to be Doc? High, Low or No expectations?

  229. Nonsense. We’re not “doing what they’re doing.”

    We’re pointing out that their behavior is childish, and we’re making the entirely reasonable conclusion that they themselves are pouting children. Adults do not act like they do.

    That’s all.

    Carry on.

  230. Stephen, FJ “that there’s some sort of collective consciousness among Muslims”

    So if there is no collective consciousness among Muslims, then I guess they can’t be collectively offended….

    I’d like Porter to say that and add…Checkmate!

  231. comment by John H on Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 3:38 pm:

    Stephen, FJ “that there’s some sort of collective consciousness among Muslims”

    So if there is no collective consciousness among Muslims, then I guess they can’t be collectively offended….

    I’d like Porter to say that and add…Checkmate!


    Checkmate to YOU, mate :)

  232. Thanks SK. And Stephen, that Taliban argument is on par with the rest of the quantum logic being used.

    Always wondered with collective consciousnesses whether everybody gets access to the same one simultaneously, or they have to be divided up & shared around. And why do the ones we tend to hear about rarely ever seem to register collective guilt, shame or contrition as well as all the more profitable feelings?

  233. Free Republic comments can be pretty nasty, but if you’re holding a Canadian publication responsible for that site you’re being absurd. Free Republic uses articles from pretty much everywhere, from The Nation to National Review, so if those sites were responsible for its comments, all of journalism would have to shut down!

    Seriously, I almost feel sorry for poor Mark. I know he was looking forward to putting “BANNED by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal!” and confidently expecting doubled sales. And instead they are barely mentioning his work?

    The Defendant ignored during his own trial?

    I call that an insult!

    Mark, you have to sue them for harming your human rights and squashing your dignity! You got a case, I promise.


  234. Unless Maclean’s lawyers have an adjenda I’m not aware of, like getting a bunch of testimony into the record and then taking this to the Supreme Court, I am beginning to think they have underestimated the socialist tendancies of British Columbian tribunals. Truly scary to realize we live under this kind of totalitarian state rule.

  235. MKM — yuppers! that would be good, collectively good that is!

  236. David Dennis: “… all of journalism would have to shut down!”

    That’s the real purpose behind the complaint, no?

  237. Grulkey the outcome is predetermined “Guilty”. MacLean’s knows this and are just trying to set the stage for an appeal to a real court where there are rules.

  238. Somebody buy Coyne a stiff drink.

  239. It’s not like we’re waiting around breathless for the final verdict. The verdict has been already fixed and determined. All that’s waiting is the passage of time.

  240. LOL

  241. The two articles June 4/5th in the Globe are pitifully brief. Hargrove and the prospect of losing the theme song from HNIC rule the day. So disappointing that the cognoscente of the left continue to try to ignore this landmark hearing. Methinks they may still think this is a right wing issue. If it was only so simple.

  242. Oh look the day is over No more until tommorrow. Back to work.

  243. Jon: If the verdict goes the way most people here seem to expect it to go, then I think we’ll see it become a larger issue.

    If it goes the way I expect it to, it’ll be a non-issue.

  244. But all of them are fighting hatred-in it’s many forms-so that’s ok!

  245. I’ve been lurking on this blog the last few days. I generally am a lurker. Only this is so astoundingly ludicrous, I felt moved to send a little bit of “friendly feedback” to the BC Human Rights Tribunal. It will get nowhere, but maybe if enough people point out the sheer lunacy being perpetrated here, they’ll be forced to take a second look.

    I know, I know — in my dreams.

  246. Darrell – spot on!

  247. “Porter puts to him that Maclean’s doesn’t have any control over Belgium or the blogs. There’s a lot of crazy people in the world.”

    What a brilliant opportunity to bring up the undercover trolling the HRC has been engaged in! Ezra might have jumped out of his seat were he present. Ohhhh, that would have been sweet.

  248. comment by Granton on Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm:

    MKM — yuppers! that would be good, collectively good that is!


    Ha ha!

    Only slightly O/T — confession: I’m going to miss this after it’s over. I only hope it gets taken to Round Two, i.e., a real court!

  249. …that’s okay Sad2BCanadian, perhaps it’s because you their name wrong. Having been served by them in the past, you tend to notice these things.

  250. Am I correct that once this farce is complete, it’s on to the next HR circus at the federal level?

  251. Stan: They do have real legal expertise

    All but one of the Tribunal members hold degrees in law. (The one who doesn’t, Barbara Junker, has several years of experience on administrative tribunals; she is not connected to the Steyn hearing.)

    For more information and falsehoods people may be trying to foist on you, check this out:

    Don’t assume that all the spin is coming from one side on this issue.

  252. The slippery slope theory is once again proven right.

    This is why you don’t have ANY restrictions on free speech, or our rights. When you start making little exceptions here, and there, eventually those exceptions spread, and sooner or later, one of Canada’s most respected magazines isn’t allowed to publish articles on contentious subjects.

    These “Human Rights” clowns MUST be stopped.

  253. Hey Meany… as a clown I am offended by your remark.

  254. hand washing compaint

  255. In particular, check out paragraph 250 of that report Mick has posted, to see the truth of the matter.

  256. Personally I think we should send bill c250 (I Think?) to the trash heap as how can you legislate what exactly hate speech is? Some people get being offended confused with hate speech. Free Speech is already covered in our Charter and our Criminal Code such as illegal to incite a riot or communicate regarding violence etc etc. Why do we always think that gov’t should just make a new law to fix something … Then again I am a dyed in the wool Conservative so I always suspect the gov’t of sticking it’s nose in where it doesn’t belong and I am rarely disappointed maybe my boy Stevie agrees with me we shall see what Jim P. does here in a bit!

  257. It must be a nightmare to actually be in that position, defending yourself in bizarro land for a comment or writing that some thin skinned opportunist has seized on and used to persecute you. Logic is a foreign concept. Truth is no defense. Intent is all that matters, but not your intent-the intent that is projected upon you by social imagineers with no respect for the rule of law, no sense of humour and no concept of freedom that doesn’t involve them holding the reins.

    I’ll be writing to my MP…again. This must stop and we must reclaim our basic freedoms before the insidious forces of leftist censors erodes them even further.

  258. Andrew; do you feel a bit like this???

    But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
    “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
    “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

  259. Steyn said that Muslims are “breeding like mosquitos”? That’s more than an “unfortunate reference” Andrew, it’s downright racist and reminiscent of the Nazi-era propaganda films that superimposed swarms of rats over images of bearded eastern European Jews.

  260. I thought the mosquito thing was a quote from a european muslim leader and used in a positive way – as in – look how fast we’re growing …no?

  261. Comments are closed for the night. Check back tomorrow for the closing arguments.