Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On The Imam In Question

Since Ezra has been kind enough to link to a .pdf of the complaint made against him by Mr. Syed Soharwardy of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, I thought I should give it a quick read. In fact, the Imam comes across as fairly reasonable, and some of his written mannerisms seem quaintly charming. And one statement of his rings quite profound. Of The Western Standard, he writes: I suspect the result of the CHRC complaint against Ezra will be a decision that Ezra is indeed cowering behind the principle of free speech to spread hate, but that his misuse does not in the end justify the sacrifice of that underlying principle. This does NOT make Ezra any kind of free speech hero, however. Just the opposite. It is a case of protecting the rights of GG Allin so as to protect the rights of Lou Reed.


Just Like Ezra???

Update: Gary Wise lays a pounding on Ezra. Suggests he may be guilty of professional mis-conduct as a lawyer. Suggests the charges against him are far more serious than those against Steyn.

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

go Ezra go.

Whatever it takes to protect the right to make fun of any religion.

Just like BCL & Warnout Kinsella do of Christians.

Humour is humour and the cartoons were very funny.

The complaining Muslims need to lighten up and get liberalized.

bigcitylib said...

And the death threats were just a part of the general hilarity, were they?

FredM said...

It's to bad that the topic of "human rights" has turned into another right-vs-left episode, and I only say that because most but not all liblogs are the typical name calling sarcastic beating up of Ezra. But thats OK let the names fly and have all the fun now while you can. Because when Syed Soharwardy and his other buddies finally impose sharia law, (like they are trying so hard to do now) free blogging of thought will be done with. And at that point nothing else matters, there is no right and left anymore, its the sharia side only.

Chet Scoville said...

when Syed Soharwardy and his other buddies finally impose sharia law

And amazingly enough, there are those who think this is actually going to happen.

FredM said...

One other question. i looked over the e-mails sent to the imam and couldnt find 1 death threat in any of them, can you help in pointing out the words that threaten his safety? Writers show passion and concern but whats wrong with that? I also noticed some of the emails had dates before the pictures where published on Feburary 13 2006, any idea of what is going on there?

FredM said...

"And amazingly enough, there are those who think this is actually going to happen".

And amazingly enough these people actually stopped it from happening in Quebec and Ontario where is was shot down by the provincial governments because of voter input. So now maybe you can tell me what would have happened if there was no voter input???????????????

bigcitylib said...

Fred, the death threats were in regard to later posts (this December) on the WS website(since removed and apologized for). They were directed at the Muslim community in general, though, not Soharwardy in particular.

As for the dates, I think Ezra and the WS have been arguing with Soharwardy about the cartoons and their publication for a time both before and after the publication date.

And the people of Ontario rejected the idea of employing certain elements of Sharia law when it came to certain elements of family law without any kind of fuss or bother. Ezra-style tantrums were not required at all.

Anonymous said...

BCL: if you believe Ezra was wrong to publish the cartoons, I suspect you find the "artist" in NYC displaying a statue of Jesus with an erection equally despicable? Would you support the state if it acted upon pressure by christian groups to have the statue removed?

What if christians around the world started rioting and killing people in response to the statue? Would you do the "responsible" thing and not show the statue on your website, and argue for censorship of that hate-mongering artist?

FredM said...

Thanks for the response. My opinion on this is if you dont like Ezra thats fine but i dont see why you seem to stand behind somebody like Syed Soharwardy(who called for the killings of Israelis over 18 and is trying to impose sharia law in Canada and is trying to put his religious beliefs on writers) before you stand behind somebody trying that is trying to protect OUR freedoms not just the freedoms on the conservatives. Dont be fooled by Syed Soharwardy claiming to be a victim, it's funny how these Islamic extremists are always the victim(because they dont get what they want) in civilized countries but always the aggresors and bullies in Islamic countries.

bigcitylib said...

Fred, you're confusing two different Muslims. I'm not going to tell you who the other one is. Employ teh googles.

Anon 11:06,

I don't, but if someone wanted to file a bitch with the CHRC, I would have no problem with it. (The complaint would probably get tossed)

FredM said...

Well if i did get the wrong guy i apologize for getting that fact wrong. I still am just curious to know why you are standing behind a guy that really isnt on our side, do you really want to see Canada change to suit him and his religion?

"Anon 11:06,

I don't, but if someone wanted to file a bitch with the CHRC, I would have no problem with it. (The complaint would probably get tossed)"

What does this mean?

Anonymous said...

I don't, but if someone wanted to file a bitch with the CHRC, I would have no problem with it. (The complaint would probably get tossed)

BCL: you dont what? please be clear as this is pretty central to your position.

Why would you support this artist's right to free speech when he is clearly depicting Christianity's holiest figure in the most offensive light possible and not support Ezra Levant's right to publish the cartoons.

I mean, Levant is arrogant and obnoxious, and by all means criticize him for that - but publishing the cartoons, which had immense value in terms of news reporting, considering all the violence that had occurred because of them, is at least equal in offensiveness to Jesus with a boner.

Also, you are right that the complaint would get tossed. Do you think it's okay that a government body applies racial/religious double standards when it decides which complaints to hear?

bigcitylib said...

I am not offended by the artist in question. If someone wanted to file a CHRC complaint against him, they're allowed to do it. The complaint would probably get tossed.

The cartoons themselves, the news stories surrounding them, were pitifully easy to access on the Net. Ezra's publication was a stunt, not news.

And what makes you think there is a double standard? The fact that many Conservative/Christians have been dinged with hate crimes charges? Well, duh, racism has always been particularly endemic among the Religuos/Right.

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot. A lying, ignorant fool. You are essentially trying to promote an agency with the power to shut you down as well. The concept of free speech seems to mean to you that only LEFT speech should be allowed. It is absolutely STUNNING that you are not siding with Levant. You may completely disagree with what he has to say, but contrary to the old saying, you will not fight to the death his right to say it. God help Canada if this continues.

Anonymous said...

Double Standard: we both agree that any human rights complaint against the artist in NY would get tossed. Now, picture a statue of Mohammed with a boner, and try guessing how long it will take Mohamed El-Masery or Soharwardy to file a complaint. I think it's also clear that those complaints would NOT get tossed. That's a double standard: similar situation, different outcome because in one case the "offended" are muslims, and in the other they are christians.

I mean, if cartoons which are pretty tame, which are part of THE news story of the day, and which were not created by Levant, merely reported upon, gets you hauled before the HRC, imagine a statue of Mohammed with a boner. But of course, if the "artist" had done that, HRCs would be the least of his concerns.

bigcitylib said...

I doubt any Christian would get hate mail/death threats as a result of the statue of Jesus with a boner (although they might issue a few in the direction of the artist). My understanding of the Canadian HR laws are that being offended is not the standard, it is that the speech involved might actually cause harm.

Ti-Guy said...

Well if i did get the wrong guy i apologize for getting that fact wrong. I still am just curious to know why you are standing behind a guy that really isnt on our side, do you really want to see Canada change to suit him and his religion?

Since you seem to be rather hazy on the details, why don't you go off and educate yourself before rushing in to scold people for their support or lack of support, one way or the other?

With Ezra, my lack of supports stems from the fact that he has defamed anyone who doesn't support his particular approach to public discourse, and in the end, that probably includes the majority of Canadians. This issue will play out as it should, but these constant calls for to rise above petty politics and animosity to defend the nobility of Ezra Levant's "principled stand" is a demand I personally consider not only not worth my time, but quite emphatically against my own sense of morality and justice.

Ti-Guy said...

You are an idiot. A lying, ignorant fool.

I would have to say that this is the tone affected by the majority of Ezra's supporters. In the end, these freedom warriors are their own worst enemies as they slip effortlessly into defamation when they counter disagreement.

Too bad, so sad.

Anonymous said...

I doubt any Christian would get hate mail/death threats as a result of the statue of Jesus with a boner (although they might issue a few in the direction of the artist). My understanding of the Canadian HR laws are that being offended is not the standard, it is that the speech involved might actually cause harm.

???

Are you saying that muslims received death threats as a result of Ezra publishing the cartoons?

I mean I dont dispute that Soharwardy received death threats - but to blame them on Ezra's publication of the cartoons is such a stretch as to be absolutely ridiculous. Maybe it had something to do with the guy's expressed wishes to impose sharia in Canada - see his OWN website below.
http://www.m-a-t.org/syed.htm

Is there any evidence to support the claim that death threats were made as a consequence of Ezra's publishing of the cartoons?

Anonymous said...

(although they might issue a few in the direction of the artist)

you mean like the artists who drew the cartoons are now under police protection and their children had to change schools because of specific threats made to them?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/4677976.stm

FredM said...

"why don't you go off and educate yourself before rushing in to scold people for their support or lack of support"

I didnt scold him at all, I just wanted to know why he would back somebody(Syed Soharwardy) and not Ezra, putting partisian politics aside. Its just a question and i wont even "scold" his answer. If we had 3 parties like the sharia party the libs and the conservatives who do you think Syed Soharwardy would vote for? It was a good back and fourth with BigCityLib untill the name calling(from all sides) came out.

Kevin said...

While the Sharia scare tactic has not too much merit, I cannot deny that the case is pushing the limits of it: I have a goddless given right to critique any religion, including lampoon or parody its sources (read prophets), practices, doctrines, and adherents. The plaintiffs say that I don’t, at least as far as their imaginary friend's pal goes. I have to call bull hockey on that. If they believe in the quasi-divinity of someone who lived centuries ago or believes that some guy named Xenu put a race of people into a volcano and then used nukes on them just to make sure, I should certainly have a right to question that believe, their icons and quite honestly, their own grip on reality.

This case serves as a gateway to block such critique which CAN and should be "allowed" to include parody lest we be banned from performing or presenting classical critiques (form essays to books to plays) mocking and questioning the legitimacy of organized religion just to make things even-stevens.

Mocking a religion in-and-of-itself only harms those whose faith or emotions are insecure or shaky. Honestly, that isn't my fault (or Levant's even if he was just wanting to bait Muslims) and it shouldn't be actionable within the HRC, who should spend more time with genuine discrimination issues than sad jokes like this. That they are only listening to a complaint is a red herring. I have better things to do than stand before bureaucrats or mail off a letter to them to "explain" a religious parody or critique just because some insecure superstitious fool got his plastic pants in a knot. If HRC cannot procedurally or by choice… ahem… discriminate between nuisance complaints such as the “don’t print MoToons” or the one presented here by “anon” (“Best Friend of God with Rod”) and genuine discrimination and explicit calls for violence before notifying a chargee, then this does place a nuisance chill on provocative speech and should be redressed. No one, not even a self-promoting twit like Levant, should be bothered to explain to some paper pusher that someone in the province has worse coping skills than he does.

Ti-Guy said...

I love how Biff is so desperate to change the topic.

They can do this for years on end. Every human rights issue ulimately goes back to Hitler, 9/11 or Piss-Christ.

White supremacists...sure keep ya hoppin', eh?

Ti-Guy said...

If we had 3 parties like the sharia party the libs and the conservatives who do you think Syed Soharwardy would vote for?

This has nothing to do with the issue at hand. If you think supporting Soharwardy (a fellow Canadian subject to the same law the rest of us are) is not worthy of support, you should provide some reason for that.

I generally don't support religious figures with their illiberal calls for restricting the rights of others, for condemning others for nothing more than being who they are or for exercising their freedom of action in a free society, but that's hardly limited to Muslims.

I personally am not aware of anything Sohawardy has said or done that I need to condemn. If someone can propose something for me to look at, that would be useful.

bigcitylib said...

Fred, Soharwardy seems pretty moderate to me. The whole "impose Sharia" thing is a bit of a bum wrap. What happened in Ontario is that, roughly speaking, in some areas of family law it has been a custom to make use of religious institutions to lesson the load on the legal system. The notion of using some aspects of sharia law to help Muslim residents was discussed (raised first, I think, by the NDP) and eventually rejected. Soharwardy argued for the idea, and McGuinty decided (correctly, I think) against it. End of story. That's hardly asking to impose Sharia law on Canada. And his arguments pro-Sharia were hardly radical.

Remember, the guy started "Muslims against Terrorsim" 2 years before 9/11.

Anonymous said...

I think I just figured out the BCL/Ti-Guy routine. Its similar to the good cop/bad cop routine.

BCL attempts to make a reasonable point. People comment on it and some disagree with BCL's point. At this stage, BCL attempts to defend his point. When BCL is no longer capable of arguing, he sends in Ti-Guy (which may or may not be a different person), to call all who disagree with BCL white supremacists and/or neocons.

Kevin said...

"My understanding of the Canadian HR laws are that being offended is not the standard, it is that the speech involved might actually cause harm."

If that is the case, then how can this case not be tossed in to the circular file on receiving it and left Ezra to tend the ashes of his rag?

Criticism or even ridicule is not "harm" or the commissioning of people to harm the object of said ridicule. Mocking a dead religious figure does not equal saying “go get those guys over there” unless there is a secret decoder ring I don’t know about. Without such a direct causal link to Levant, not the plaintiffs complaints, the harm premise would ride on the lampooner being able to second, third and fourth guess the most unstable unpredictable elements of his/her potential readership, from the Ezras to the Soharwardies to Crazy Ned the Wino. If that’s the case, we should simply ban all media and not make direct eye contact with anyone you may meet on the street, cause you don’t want to be responsible for setting some headcase off for anything you do if you are going to held accountable for it.

Ti-Guy said...

I think I just figured out the BCL/Ti-Guy routine. Its similar to the good cop/bad cop routine.

Hey, BCL...e-mail me. I've got some primo dirt on ol' Biff that you'll really enjoy. Remember to use the secret code to get passed the spam filter.

rabbit said...

Commentary: ... Harassment may encompass conduct which:

(a) undermines another person’s dignity by causing embarrassment, discomfort or humiliation;


If I'm to read this correctly, a lawyer must not cause discomfort to another person on the basis of race, religion, and so on.

What a completely idiotic and unworkable rule. The legal definition of harrassment (in the workplace, for example), is far stricter, and for very good reason. Such vague and overbroad rules makes any lawyer who speaks out on any contentious subject technically in violation.

bigcitylib said...

WHen I click on your name I go nowhere. What's the email.

Ti-Guy said...

If that is the case, then how can this case not be tossed in to the circular file on receiving it and left Ezra to tend the ashes of his rag?

That's not how the process works. No one has the power to simply toss out cases without some action of some kind.

This isn't the Soviet Union, you know.

Ti-Guy said...

WHen I click on your name I go nowhere. What's the email.

You're not really paying attention to your anonymii, are you, BCL (not that I blame you...)?

I'm trying to distract Biff from guessing the real nature of our Vast Liberal Conspiracy. Just play along...

Kevin said...

"That's not how the process works. No one has the power to simply toss out cases without some action of some kind."

You're right as far as “tossing” but that doesn't mean that you have to contact the chargee on every case not matter how unreasonable, otherwise as such, the act of due process can be exploited to harass, which is one of the more justified critiques of the HRC. You can read the complaint and if it doesn't pass a smell test (aka the "reasonable person test" as the criteria goes) file it as specious and not bother the chargee. At most they can send a non-threatening memo saying "we saw it and it has no merit, we won't pursue it or you, but we won't tell you who did it to stop the cycle of retaliation, have a nice day." It would also provide a mechanism to record to see of someone is unduly playing the HRC system as an "enabling" body for the maladjusted rather than a legitimate body for mediation and remediation. Chasing after hurt feelings and paranoid delusions, let alone providing an venue for martyrdom and drama shouldn’t be the role of any governmental body.

Anonymous said...

I'd say that some Muslims use terrorism, beheadings, intolerance, religious extremism, and brutal chauvanism to turn people against Muslims.

alfanerd said...

I doubt any Christian would get hate mail/death threats as a result of the statue of Jesus with a boner (although they might issue a few in the direction of the artist). My understanding of the Canadian HR laws are that being offended is not the standard, it is that the speech involved might actually cause harm.

Is there any evidence to support the claim that death threats were made as a consequence of Ezra's publishing of the cartoons?

BCL: Please address this issue. If there is no evidence linking Ezra's publication of the cartoons to harm suffered by Soharwardy or any other muslim, than the double standard is alive and well, and plain to see.

bigcitylib said...

There is evidence hatemail began arriving around the same time Ezra began writing about the Danish cartoons and raising the imam's name in relation to them on the WS website, I believe.

alfanerd said...

There is evidence hatemail began arriving around the same time Ezra began writing about the Danish cartoons and raising the imam's name in relation to them on the WS website, I believe.

So let me get this straight:

1. Ezra publishes cartoons.
2. Imam launches HRC complaint.
3. Ezra mentions that imam launched HRC complaint.
4. Imam receives hate mail.

Ezra can hardly be made responsible for the actions of some overzealous idiot who took it upon himself to send the imam hate mail.

I think it's the author(s) of the hate mail and death threats in question who should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Kevin said...

"There is evidence hatemail began arriving around the same time Ezra began writing about the Danish cartoons and raising the imam's name in relation to them on the WS website, I believe."

That however does not show a direct link between Levant, WS and the emails. Correlation ain't Causality. Sure some unstable and potentially dangerous idiot could have read the WS and hacked off a threatening email, but that's a degree of separation that cannot be sent back to Levant even if it's his magazine. Sue the emailer (or better still bring real criminal charges against him and lock him away), but not the publisher just because he's a more readilly "accessable" and dare-I-say, "appealing" target.

bigcitylib said...

"Ezra can hardly be made responsible for the actions of some overzealous idiot who took it upon himself to send the imam hate mail."

Ezra would have been a fool not to know that, given the makeup of his audience, this would be the likely result. Whether that makes him legally "responsible" or not I don't know; morally, no question.

bigcitylib said...

Kevin,

Well we all know that one of the glories of email is how easy it is to escape responsibility for ones words. Again, the issue with Ezra is: he knows he's got an audience of thugs, and he knows (or should know) what an effect his words will have on them.

Kevin said...

BCLib,

"Ezra would have been a fool not to know that, given the makeup of his audience, this would be the likely result."

OK I think you're getting a little paranoid.

The WS readership can be described as Right yet wrong, or whatever. But they aren't as a whole, sociopaths repressing violent tendencies ready to be triggered with the right word. If that were so, we'd living in the "here's all the dead bodies falling from trees and in the cupboards" scene of the 70-80's slasherflick of your choice and the radio would play nothing but the greatest hits of Deb Hill and John Carpenter. I can assure you that every pub has a headcase or two as subscribers from the WS to the Nation to the Economist to Dwell. Do we sue every paper and mag when someone goes nuts and decides to share the love? Or just the ones we don't like?

Ti-Guy said...

I see Ezra's gang is still trying to argue that Ezra did nothing wrong because they don't like the law.

Has that ever worked? And more to the point, do these twits think they're lawyers and we're in a court of law?

alfanerd said...

Ezra would have been a fool not to know that, given the makeup of his audience, this would be the likely result. Whether that makes him legally "responsible" or not I don't know; morally, no question.

How to stretch an argument to breaking point, by BigCityLiberal.

So in your world, conservative media should be aware that their readership is just a bunch of incestuous rednecks who are just itching to take their 12-gauge from their gun-rack and start shootin' some foreigners, and should therefore not deal with content where any foreigner ends up looking bad.

On the other hand, leftist media caters to urban sophisticates and can therefore trash christians at will because their readership are basically a bunch of latte-sipping peaceniks?

interesting world view. I think you're prime material to work at the HRC. You get the basic precept: "christians = bad, gay or muslim = good".

Ti-Guy said...

conservative media should be aware that their readership is just a bunch of incestuous rednecks who are just itching to take their 12-gauge from their gun-rack and start shootin' some foreigners...

From what I can tell, that isn't "conservative" readership...that's "conservative" media itself.

Kevin said...

When some nutter reads something in your prefered Progressive opinion journal that sends him postal, do you really want to keep that view on reserve, guys?

I really think not. That slope is marinated in astroglide. As much as you like, you can't compartmentalize crazy.

Friend of USA said...

Well, in the case of Soharwardy, it appears that he himself is the subject of a human rights complaint -- for discrimination against women.
There's a shocker.
It was filed with the Edmonton and Ottawa offices of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Some women in his mosque allege that:

We were discriminated as women and were treated poorly, differently, negatively and adversely by the Directors and Officers of Al-Madinah Calgary Islamic Centre, Islam Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC), Muslim Against Terrorism (MAT), Al-Madinah Dar-Ul-Aloom Ltd and Al-Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly. In this meeting we were treated diferently from men in the following manner:

· Abusive language uttered towards us;

· Not permitted to ask any questions;

· Danied participation as equal members of the Muslim community;

· Physically and verbally threatened; made to sit in the back of the hall;

· Accused of disrupting and subotaging the proceedings;

· Forced to vacate the pemises;

... ... ...

So what have you got to say about
this my dear liberal friends?

Ti-Guy said...

When some nutter reads something in your prefered Progressive opinion journal that sends him postal...

Like what, for example?

bigcitylib said...

Friend,

If true, then the AHRC gives those women a relatively inexpensive way of pressing their claim and seeking redress. What's wrong with that?

Ti-Guy said...

So what have you got to say about
this my dear liberal friends?


First of all, do you have a link? You rightwingers are such notorious and inveterate liars that the facts have to be established first before the discussion can continue.

But, off-hand, we have the law and the processes and everyone is entitled to avail themselves of them. Why would I, especially as a liberal, have a problem with that?

Ti-Guy said...

Oh, and "Friend of USA"...since you copied and pasted something from Ezralevant.com with spelling errors and all ('subotaging'), it shouldn't have been that difficult to provide a link, no?

Gayle said...

With all this speculation about what type of complaints are covered by the HRC, I thought I would post the relevant section of the Act:

3(1) No person shall publish, issue or display or cause to be published, issued or displayed before the public any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that

(a)indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or a class of persons, or
(b)is likely to expose a person or a class of persons to hatred or contempt

because of the race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income or family status of that person or class of persons.

(2)Nothing in this section shall be deemed to interfere with the free expression of opinion on any subject.

So we can debate all day about whether the threats were as a result of these cartoons, but that is not relevant to the issue at hand. One issue that is relevant is intent, and I believe Levant stated his intent during the interview. Another issue is whether publication was "likely" to expose a person to hatred or contempt.

I do not know the anwer because I have not seen the cartoons, but by his own statements I would say there is enough there to at least bring him before this tribunal.

Friend of USA said...

I simply forgot to provide the link.

It's time for you to take your anti-paranoia medication ti-guy.

Gayle said...

By the way, discrimination, hatred and contempt are what amounts to "harm".

Ti-Guy said...

I'm not being paranoid. I'm just accusing you of a lack of rigour.

I have standards you know, and I expect the propagandists I'm exposed to to uphold them.

...I'm constantly amazed at how shitty the characters of Ezra's supporters are.

Friend of USA said...

TiGuy said,

conservative media should be aware that their readership is just a bunch of incestuous rednecks who are just itching to take their 12-gauge from their gun-rack and start shootin' some foreigners...

From what I can tell, that isn't "conservative" readership...that's "conservative" media itself.

...

And we are the bigots for mentioning what worries us about Muslims wanting to impose Sharia?

But then if the voices in your head say so...what can we I do?

Friend of USA said...

Ti guy said this

...I would have to say that this is the tone affected by the majority of Ezra's supporters. In the end, these freedom warriors are their own worst enemies as they slip effortlessly into defamation when they counter disagreement.

Too bad, so sad.

...

and then he throws insults at me when I have done nothing wrong but forgot to provide a link.

Do you really believe that I believed it was impossible for you to find the source?

I have heard of Google you know.

Do you have such a low opinion of non-liberals?

The insults and the hatred is coming from you Ti guy, it is all coming from you.

I have not said one damn word on this site that was insulting to anyone.

But on the bright side it means you can not touch my arguments, you have to resort to insults.

Ti-Guy said...

Don't go all Heather mean girl on me, Friend of USA. It doesn't do anything for your credibility.

I was actually being charitable when I put conservative in quotation marks, because I sincerely believe there's nothing conservative about the current crop of smirky, supercilious suburbanites and ignorant, vulgar rednecks who have allied themselves with movement conservatism these days.

You all strike me as people who are largely not fit for polite company.

Friend of USA said...

Ti Guy and BClib have a far worse opinion of conservatives
than
the average conservative has of Muslims.

but we are the bigots.

alfanerd said...

gayle:
One issue that is relevant is intent

Sorry but no. Notwithstanding that the law empowering HRCs to stifle speech is what is the most wrong in this whole affair, even that bad law is not as bad as using intent as a standard to make decisions.

The wording is "indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate". This is an objective standard, meaning there is no need to look into the mind of the defendant, what matters is whether, objectively, the published material indicates an intention to discriminate.

As an easy and obvious example, if you have a sign in your shop, let's say in Herouxville Quebec, that says "no blacks allowed". Well there might not be any black people in Herouxville so there is no actual discrimination. However, there is objectively an intent to discriminate, which is entirely separate from the actual intention of the shop owner.

Friend of USA said...

Is it a habit of yours Ti Guy to say one thing and the opposite in the same comment?

re-read this,

...the current crop of smirky, supercilious suburbanites and ignorant, vulgar rednecks who have allied themselves with movement conservatism these days.

You all strike me as people who are largely not fit for polite company.

All you have is impolite insults
and then you complain that those you have just insulted are not polite company.

It doesn't do anything for your credibility Ti Guy.

Ti-Guy said...

Do you have such a low opinion of non-liberals?

After seven years of grotesque slander and and deafening silence on the part of what I used to assume were decent "conservatives," yes, I in fact do have a very, very low opinion of Conservatives and "conservatives" these days.

Being angry doesn't give anyone the right to act like an animal with people they don't agree with.

It doesn't do anything for your credibility Ti Guy.

I'm sure I'll get over it.

Gayle said...

You say tomato, I say tomato...

Intent may be determined objectively, but it is certainly a subjective element. He was questioned about his intent to determine context - and context is what we look at to determine objective intent.

I am not sure why you think we disagree.

alfanerd said...

friend of usa: do not get mired in trying to reason with those who are impervious to reason.

It's a familiar tune:

verse: insult conservatives indiscriminately.

chorus: complaint that conservatives insult him indiscriminately.

alfanerd said...

gayle:
You say tomato, I say tomato...

(that doesnt come off right when its written, but I obviously know what you mean)

However, Im telling you this as a matter of law, specific intent does NOT matter (subjective intent, or mens rea in legalese, is usually only relevant in criminal cases. This is not my opinion, its the law.

Anonymous said...

I like this quote from Gary Wise's site:

="Mr. Levant chose, knowingly, to publish and republish deeply offensive cartoons that he was well aware had led to serious upset, outrage and violence after prior publications overseas."=

I get it. Because a group responds violently to some cartoons, their violence confirms and legitimizes that they have been offended.

Violence trumps free speech appears to be the message.

- Paul S

Friend of USA said...

Being angry doesn't give anyone the right to act like an animal with people they don't agree with.

but apparantly it gives YOU the right ti guy.

Now I have to go, the dryer has finished its cycle and I do not want my white hood to get all wrinkly for this evening when me and my conservatives friends will go burn some cross and maybe lynch a few colored people.

All joking aside despite what you are ti guy ,
I still believe there are some decent, well informed and intelligent liberals out there with whom I can have an adult conversation.

I do not think all liberals are like you because I have an open mind and you don't.

Ti-Guy said...

friend of usa: do not get mired in trying to reason with those who are impervious to reason.

I get the feeling another "conservative" is pissing on me from some great height.

Gosh, these people are so civil.

I don't think it's particularly sound reason to introduce another human rights case to argue against human rights tribunals. It may be an argument as to the character of Sowarhardy, but then, I think the evidence against Ezra Levant is equally weighty, and thus is a line of reason that should best be avoided by his supporters.

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling another "conservative" is pissing on me from some great height.

Nice one ti-guy you were not even named but identified yourself quickly with the description "impervious to reason". I see some progress here for Ti-Guy's condition.

Ti-Guy said...

but apparantly it gives YOU the right ti guy.

See the point I brought up about "seven years of grotesque slander."

Being blamed for 9/11, the destruction of the family, rising crime, the corruption of children, and, I guess, the recent shortage of isotopes, kind of wears on you, after a while.

If you're unaware of that, you just haven't been paying attention.

Ti-Guy said...

I get it. Because a group responds violently to some cartoons, their violence confirms and legitimizes that they have been offended.

You're supposed to use the "conservative" device "In other words" when you intend to deliberately mischaracterise a particular argument.

Standards, Paul S...standards.

The actual argument is that freedom of expression in this country is balanced against the right of people to be protected from harm..real or very probable. And if you think poisonous toxic expression has nothing to do with the issue of harm, then you're simply ignoring history and current reality.

Anonymous said...

Being blamed for 9/11, the destruction of the family, rising crime, the corruption of children, and, I guess, the recent shortage of isotopes, kind of wears on you, after a while.

Yes people, Ti-Guy's story is indeed a sad one. Please give generously so he may recover from the emotional scars inflicted on him by mean conservative meanies. Forget those kids in Africa who are merely starving, if Ti-Guy's plight doesnt make you cry, its because you have no heart.

Anonymous said...

poisonous toxic expression

as in cartoons?

Anonymous said...

Cartoons are published, some muslims start rioting in response across europe and the muslim world, resulting in massive property damage and even some deaths. Some publisher in Alberta decides to show what these cartoons look like, as every tv station was afraid, sorry, too responsible to show them.

Obviously, the real bad guy in the above situation is the albertan publisher. The rioting and killing, that's just part of a differnet culture - AND YOU CANT JDUGE OTHER CULTURES!!!!!!!!!

Kevin said...

Thanks Gayle:

But 31b has chill all over it and what of item 2? If 2 places material covered in 31b out of the realm of “free expression of opinion on any subject” (or is it an out? If so much of this debate shouldn’t be happening.), pretty much any gossip rag is in it deep whenever they cuckold a pol or just mock a member of the beautiful class. Likewise irreverent and noxious (but possibly hilarious) parody could be the subject of a nuisance action. Silly? Yes, at least one should hope so! But on a more serious tone, this goes back to my argument on the right to harshly criticize, even when the criticism is sober but effective, organized religion and its practitioners or similar provocative material or other “protected” sacred cows on relevant hot button issues where matters of religion, gender, “geography” or class are volleyed about with great force. Heavy discussion in any of these areas is bound to pass the cited criteria, reasonable person test or no. One of the architects to the legislation, Alan Borovoy, himself made his concerns on this clear as to how this can chill heated but needed debate and wayback he cited this particular instance and the broader, not partisan, implications (sorry but it’s a pdf of the piece from the ccla, there are other copies out there but this is the raw item).

Ti-Guy said...

as in cartoons?

As in The Western Standard altogether.

But I wasn't addressing this specific case when I made that last point...I was just countering the loony-libertarian argument that expression is unrelated to action. Theoretically, it isn't, but the law has to be pragmatic, especially when the stakes (violence) are so high.

Anonymous said...

As in The Western Standard altogether.

good I guess you're familiar with the content of WS and read it often I suppose. I know that cause it would be totally below the very high standards of discourse you have set for yourself to make statements based on preconceptions, but rather you strive to have an open mind and research everything in depth, so as to give us your well thought-out, rational, and sober conclusions. For that I am grateful.

Ti-Guy said...

No you're not.

Gayle said...

We could argue about the definition of "intent" and "context" all day, but as it is irrelevant to my point, and as it is irrelevant to the discussion on this blog, and as I have a copy of Black's Law Dictionary right in front of me and know the difference between general and specific intent (oddly enough they have no definition for "objective" intent), I see no point.

Please let us agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Gayle said...

kevin - 2 is actually unneccessary but what it means is that the provisions should be interpreted as not being so narrowly construed so that they violate the Charter.

If I understand your second point you seem to believe these sections attack heated debate. I do not agree.

In any event there is no question the Charter reigns supreme - and the Charter section 2(b) has been interpreted to cover all but violent forms of expression. The limits to this freedom are in section 1.

It seems pretty obvious to me that Levant wants to lose here so he can appeal the decision and set a precedent. While I know some people want to debate whether this legislation is constitutionally valid it will ultimately not be up to us to decide. If this ever does get to the SCC be assured your perspective will be well represented.

bigcitylib said...

Gayle, you might be too smart to be hanging out at this blog.

Kevin said...

"It seems pretty obvious to me that Levant wants to lose here so he can appeal the decision and set a precedent."

I suffered through the last youtube of his martydrom in the making and that seems to be his explicit request. He also seemed to have changed his tone when he found out that the person before him ruled contrary final verdict on that case. It was almost funny to see him start to be a little concilliatory, if not to the HRC, to the person before him.

"If I understand your second point you seem to believe these sections attack heated debate. I do not agree."

Yet Borovoy feels otherwise and he was part of putting the concepts at argument here together. That we have an attempt here (on both sides) to play the system to force it one way or another is proof there is justification to our concerns.

frances said...

Ti-guy, you are too dumb to be hanging out at this blog.

Gayle said...

BCL - if I only went places where I was not too smart I would be lonely ;).

frances said...

Gotta hand it to you Gayle, spoken like a true liberal

Gayle said...

"Yet Borovoy feels otherwise and he was part of putting the concepts at argument here together. That we have an attempt here (on both sides) to play the system to force it one way or another is proof there is justification to our concerns."

Is it your assumption that the complainant is trying to force things, or is it the HRC.

Either way, the fact Borovoy has that opinion does not sway me. As a lawyer he must surely realize that laws are subject to interpretation by the Courts, and that just because he wanted it to mean one thing does not mean the courts will agree.

As I said above, the Charter reigns supreme. If this hits the SCC there will be several parties intervening and the Court will hear a full debate on the issues before rendering a decision. After that it is up to them.

Anonymous said...

=ti-guy says:=
="The actual argument is that freedom of expression in this country is balanced against the right of people to be protected from harm..real or very probable. And if you think poisonous toxic expression has nothing to do with the issue of harm, then you're simply ignoring history and current reality."=

Protect who from harm ti-guy? Those who published the cartoons?

You are right, those who published the cartoons should be protected from the unstated but possible threat of violence.

Did you view the cartoons? Do you honestly believe they are so vile as to constitute "poisonous toxic expression"?

- Paul S

Gayle said...

frances - well we "lefties" do have a sense of humour. You might not be used to that.

Ti-Guy said...

Ti-guy, you are too dumb to be hanging out at this blog.

I'm too sexy for this blog...

...too sexy for this blog, too sexy, by far...

Paul S:

You are right, those who published the cartoons should be protected from the unstated but possible threat of violence.

Stop aggreeing with things I never asserted. It makes you sound stupid..or stupider in any case.

Did you view the cartoons? Do you honestly believe they are so vile as to constitute "poisonous toxic expression"?

Read my comments again. I made that point in relation to expression in general, not those cartoons.

Anonymous said...

Apparently some Muslim women filed an CHRC complaint against Syed Soharwardy and other members of his mosque and organizations because of their hateful and discriminatory practices against them as women and members of the Muslim community.

I wonder if the CHRC will ignore that as much as they ignored the so called honor killings that have been going on. As always it seems that like the pigs in Animal Farm, they believe some animals are more equal than others...

Kevin said...

Gayle:

"Is it your assumption that the complainant is trying to force things, or is it the HRC."

The complaintant of course. If the HRCs are hardwired to hear every complaint to the point of contacting the plaintif without a BS filter or crybaby-valve before a specious complaint hits the would be "defendant", then the HRC can't be held as a someone trying to play the system (a rememdy to that, with proper documentation, would solve much of the drama we're seeing). The "agrieved and grieving" parties however hit me as wanting to play this to endgame.

If this means going up the ladder I'll grudgingly accept Levant doing it since, as noxious as he is, dollars to doughnuts a run at religious censorship (the broader issue) would likely never be beta-tested against a more photogenic and intellecutally pleasing-to-the-ear polemecists like Hitchens, Dawkins, or Ali, even when their arguments are more devestating and can even be harsher and effective than Levant, who is unquestionably less articulate, frothy, petulant and honestly looks like Mr Badtouch in some of his promotional photos. You don't bet on a win against Snow White, even if you believe the Neil Gaiman theory that she killed her daddy (Snow White Apples), you nail and burn the wicked stepmother.

bigcitylib said...

Kevin wrote:

"If the HRCs are hardwired to hear every complaint to the point of contacting the plaintif without a BS filter or..."

The HRC does NOT have to hear every complaint. Remember, Ezra's anti-muslim rantings have resulted in hate mails being sent and mutterings re Muslim genocide appearing on the WS website. Not surprising that the HRC should want to look at these case. .

Gayle said...

Just following up on BCL Kevin, I am afraid, again, I disagree with your take on this.

I understand it is your opinion that these complaints have no merit, but as BCL points out, this complaint DOES have merit. Having merit does not mean it will be substantiated at the end of the day, but there are grounds to hear it.

As for your assertion they are
hard-wired" to hear every complaint, something more than your mere assertion this is the case is required. Human rights complaints are not the only area where "mere" complaints are investigated.

For example, the police have a duty to interview all complainants, whether or not they believe at the outset the complaint has merit. Even if the police opt not to lay charges, a civilian has the option of swearing out a private information (ie. laying criminal charges on their own).

Ti-Guy said...

As for your assertion they are
hard-wired" to hear every complaint, something more than your mere assertion this is the case is required.


Has anyone ever had the experience of of one of these types ever saying "Gosh, you know, you're right. I really have no way of knowing this, so obviously, my understanding of the situation might not be reflective of reality. I shall go off now and educate myself..."

I know I haven't.