Freedom of Expression in Canada: even better than Equatorial Guinea


 

Freedom House, an NGO that tracks the progress and decline of democracy around the world, has voiced concern about Canada for the first time I can remember:

“Canada faced threats to freedom of expression as government agencies brought charges against journalists who wrote commentaries that were critical of Islam,” it concludes in its 2009 report.

Jennifer Lynch, and the rest of you at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, take a deep bow. 


 

Freedom of Expression in Canada: even better than Equatorial Guinea

  1. Maybe our score will improve next year now that we are providing police protection to people chanting “Jews are our dogs” and the like?

    • No, actually the police are protecting the small handful of people who are opposing the chanters of ” the Jews are dogs” people.

      Carleton Heston had it right in “Planet of the Apes” when he cried out “this world is upside down”/

  2. Instead of name calling, try a rational argument.

    I’m not at all surprised at your reaction, I honestly haven’t met an intelligent person that represents your side of the argument.

    Most arguments in defense of Steyn and Macleans don’t amount to anything more than ad hominems, mischaracterizations of the complaint in question, disregarding of the facts listed in the complaint in question, and sheer hypocracy (claim to be for “freedom of speech”, yet to not criticize the fact that Macleans censored an opposing point of view).

    But hey, continue with your nonsensical labels. It just demonstrates to me that support from Macleans largely stemmed from a rather prejudiced bunch that don’t look at the facts of the situation and are more interested in applying meaningless labels.

    • How were the sock puppets censored, exactly? They had their views published in major newspapers across the country and appeared on tv shows as well.

      • Can we please not go there? Can we please not go there? Everyone? Please?

        • You got my vote.

        • But how can we not “go there” when are precious freedoms are swirling the bowl?

          Wither…I say wither…Canada?!

          • Good Lord, that was illiterate.

            …*ahem*

            s.b. “our freedoms” and “whither.”

          • But then somebody somewhere hates our freedoms. And they might be withering too.

          • I love that metaphor.

          • Yeah, I thought about leaving the mistake to imply that I was being clever, but “are freedoms” had me come off as unlettered as a musical theatre critic.

      • The fact that you’re asking me demonstrates that you don’t know enough of the issue to even comment on it.

        • Do you understand what a rhetorical question is? Obviously not.

          • sorry, that last post was meant to be a reply to an earlier comment by someone else

        • …but you didn’t answer the question. Instead, you went all ad hominem on his ass.

    • “I honestly haven’t met an intelligent person that represents your side of the argument. ”

      Clearly you don’t get out much.

  3. Wasn’t it actually about the fact that Maclean’s wouldn’t give the CIC equal, unedited space in the magazine for a reply?

    • No it wasn’t about that. That seemed to be what sparked the action (MacLeans’ hypocritical stance that they can take an unedited work of Mark Steyn and print it, but would subjugate any response to it with different standards), but it was not the complaint itself.

      The actual complaint had to do with numerous articles that were slanderous towards Muslims. It had nothing to do with Islam (which if you didn’t know, isn’t the same as Muslims; Islam is a religion, Muslims are people who practice the religion). These articles made assertions that were not based on fact, and yet were derogatory to Muslims. The fact that MacLeans would not want to print anything that would debate these articles (in essence, restricting free speech and debate), indicates that they are perpetuating an ugly bias among its readership.

      • That is also not true. All of the items in the article were properly attributed and factual. This was absolutely clear from beginning to end for anyone who actually followed the trial.

      • MacLeans is a privately-owned magazine. They are under no obligation whatsoever to publish ANYTHING, let alone islamofascist drivel in response to a well-written, well-researched article.

        I stand behind any magazine’s rights to publish whatever they wish, provided it does not incite violence. If this means they publish cartoons of a guy wearing a turban with a bomb in it, go for it. If it means they publish a cartoon about Jewish greed or Black violence, go for it. I may not agree with what they say, but I can get over it and accept their fundamental right (not in this country, of course) to freedom of expression.

        The BC Human Rights Panel is not a valid source. Mr. Steyn’s article was based on hard fact. Their findings were those of bureaucrats exercising every ounce of power they had, not some decision decided by the arguments’ merit.

  4. Amir that’s laughable given the entire “argument” posed by the Islamofascist Socks, which you desperately cling to, amounted to no more than common thuggery and frankly was never worth consideration by civilized society.

    • So again you’d like to resort to baseless insults, and then make an outlandish assertion that you provide absolutely no evidence for. Again, not surprising.

      I’ll say it again, I’ve never seen an intelligent person attempt to defend Mark Steyn or MacLeans.

      • Why are you posting on Maclean’s if you claim the people that work at Maclean’s are not intelligent? What’s the point?

      • Are you TRYING to be hilarious?

      • Well, there’s always MacLeans, a well-recognized magazine subscribed to by much of Canada’s intelligentsia, not to mention Ezra Levant, a recognized lawyer.

        Mark Steyn is an internationally-published writer. He is also very popular internationally. Get your head out of your ass and see what the real world is like.

  5. Yeah, I thought about leaving the mistake to imply that I was being clever, but the “are freedoms” really made me look as unlettered as a musical theatre critic.

  6. No it wasn’t, there was absolutely no libel involved, nor was there any slander.

  7. Steyn quoted a Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar and the sock puppet’s took exception to him quoting a muslim with regard to muslim’s and wanted a “right of reply” ,stipulating conditions no editor would accept but that’s par for the course with these tiresome, demanding and perpetually aggrieved people.

    Perhap’s Amir and his pal’s would be happier living among their co religionist’s in a muslim country , I believe Yemen’s quite nice.

    • If you’re just making yr pt forcefully that they should appreciate that Canada is a society that is tolerant of all pov, even ones they don’t particularly like, i’m with you. If instead you’re inviting them to leave the country because you don’t like what they’re saying, then you should consider that yr Canadianess does not trump theirs.

  8. Amir appears not to have read Steyn’s article, but he is quite right (presuming Freedom House includes Steyn’s piece in this statement) that it was not critical of Islam. But nor was it “libelous” of muslims as a group, as amply demonstrated even in the kangaroo court in B.C. and the two other jurisdictions in which the charge was raised — unsuccessfully in all cases. Indeed, the piece was not even “critical” — let alone libelous — of muslims, in the main. Rather, it was about the failure of the West’s confidence in its own heritage and values in the face of Islamist incursions and the demographic decline of Western indigenous populations steeped in those values and challenged by a rapidly growing and politically ambitious muslim demographic that includes some wishing to impose a competing value system. Saying “libel, libel, libel” does not make something libelous, Amir.

    • What makes it libelous is the claim, made without any basis in fact, that the Western Muslim population would vote for a government and demand that such government be friendly to radical factions around the world.

      There’s absolutely no evidence for that. It also claims there is a “terror network” of mosques and names a bunch of Western cities, none of which have been found to have a such sort of mosques. Why didn’t he name the cities that WERE found to have radical elements? Well, because they were largely in Europe, and not in North America, which would have made his argument look much weaker.

      He also uses failed logic in attributing the growing number of immigrant youth and the rise of gang violence, to Islam.

      I can also use your statements as an argument against Steyn’s article. Steyn would claim that the Muslim value system is largely different than a typical Canadian’s, when it isn’t.

      Secondly, the courts that saw this trial all said the same thing, that the complaint was valid, but outside the juristiction of these courts. And I agree. These should never have went to these Human Rights tribunals, but rather a Civil court.

      • Amir, If the article was libelous then Macleans would have lost. But they didn’t lose, ergo it was not libelous.

        You can whine all you like Amir but it won’t change the facts.

      • “What makes it libelous is the claim, made without any basis in fact, that the Western Muslim population would vote for a government and demand that such government be friendly to radical factions around the world.”
        –> An Imam spoke out against this article and called the government to censure both MacLeans and Mr. Steyn. Is this not the very thing about which Mr. Stein was warning? I suppose you would know this if you read the email. Additionally, the Western Muslim population supports the terrorist actions of Hamas and Hezbullah as evidenced by the waving around of said organization’s flags. They call for the Canadian Government to condemn Israel’s self-defense.

        “There’s absolutely no evidence for that. It also claims there is a “terror network” of mosques and names a bunch of Western cities, none of which have been found to have a such sort of mosques. Why didn’t he name the cities that WERE found to have radical elements? Well, because they were largely in Europe, and not in North America, which would have made his argument look much weaker.”
        –> The article was an excerpt from America Alone. Simply viewing the cover of that book makes your statement patently ridiculous. In the book, he is calling the Islamofascism of Europe to his readers’ attention. He is warning Americans to stand up for their rights in the face of kangaroo HRC inquisitions, brought on by people like you.

  9. Wow. Let’s see, Amir says:
    “Instead of name calling, try a rational argument.”
    –Good idea, Amir. I’ll wait to see if you try one

    “Most arguments in defense of Steyn and Macleans don’t amount to anything more than ad hominems…”
    –this immediately after repeating his own “argument”:
    “I honestly haven’t met an intelligent person that represents your side of the argument”

    “…mischaracterizations of the complaint in question…”
    –after misrepresenting both the content of steyn’s piece and MacLeans’ position

    “…disregarding of the facts listed in the complaint in question…”
    –after disregarding several facts, such as that the “court” case he cites to prove MacLean’s guilt in this matter … didn’t. They were acquitted, though they did their best to be found “guilty” (hoping to appeal in a real court where actual laws of evidence are applied and truth and fair comment in publications are respected)

    “…and sheer hypocracy [sic] (claim to be for “freedom of speech”, yet to not criticize the fact that Macleans censored an opposing point of view)…”
    Amir seems to be an expert on the subject of hypocrisy. But not on the meaning of “censorship” in the English language. It is not censorship for a private publication to make decisions as to who has control over its own content, this is called editorial privilege. Even the conviction-hungry HRCs appear to understand this much.

    • I still see you haven’t attacked the complaint in any meaningful fashion, you’re only proving my point about the intelligence level of Steyn defenders. Secondly, making a side observation about a situation isn’t an ad hominem. Thirdly, what you’ve described is indeed censorship. And finally, they were acquitted because these courts didn’t have the jurisdiction to pursue cases of defamation, that belongs to a civil court.

      • Ad Hominem and comma spliced. Well done. All that in the first sentence.
        Second sentence–here’s a definition of “ad hominem.” I believe it precisely describes your “side observation”
        “An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the source making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.”

        A private publication is permitted to censor anything and everything that is presented to it. Hence, we have the Toronto Star, a left-wing paper, and the National Post, a largely right-wing paper. This is a basic fact. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression do not mean that every person in the country has the right to publish in a well-known publication; rather, it means that they are permitted to start their own paper and publish whatever they feel is necessary.

  10. “Canada faced threats to freedom of expression as government agencies brought charges against journalists who wrote commentaries that were critical of Islam,” it concludes in its 2009 report.”

    Well no, government did not bring “charges” against any journalist (not even Ezra). A few Muslim Canadians filed complaints with the CHRC that were eventually dismissed as unwarranted. These guys (Freedom House) are clearly rank amatures and should be completely discounted.

  11. It would really help the readability of these comments if whoever is moderating would set whatever options is necessary to align all posts that are not marked as responding to other posts into chronological order. Some general comments address prior comments but appear before them; it comes off as nonsense. Anybody home at the editorial desk?