Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Meet Salman Hossain, Poster Boy For Section 13

From The NP:

A Toronto man who had posted messages on the Internet supporting terrorist attacks in Canada and the deportation of Jews will not face criminal charges, police said on Monday.

The CJC is not happy, and has asked that the

Ministry of the Attorney General to conduct a review of statements alleged to have been made by Salman Hossain to determine if charges should be laid under section 319(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

They are also asking for a meeting with the AG himself (Chris Bentley) so that they might "discuss this matter in greater detail".

Interesting to see what transpires. Human Rights activists like Warman and (I believe) Abrams have long complained about the difficulty in getting charges laid under the criminal code, and argued that the HRC/HRT apparatus plays an important role of catching stuff that probably meets the cc requirement but which, for whatever reason, the police/AG combination have chosen not to pursue.

Mr. Hossain's writings would be a perfect occasion for a section 13 complaint, and we'll see if the CJC makes any moves in that direction in the coming few months, should all else fail.

Just as an aside, Dawg has a good post on similar topics from last night. I'm feeling lazy today, and in any case I might do a post on Stephen Boisson at a later date, so I'll just note that I reject Dawg's equating the writings of Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus Al-Hayiti with those of Stephen Boisson. I've given these reasons before, but here they are again:

I am unimpressed by the latest CHRC "scandal", and particularly unimpressed by the comparison of Mr. Al-Hayiti's book (L’Islam ou l’Int├ęgrisme?), which the CHRC argued did not meet the Section 13 standard, to the writings of Stephen Boisson, which were judged to have met that standard. Most of my arguments get hashed out in the comments (ignore NAMBLA-Dick) here, but the short version is that Boisson's letter to the Red Deer Advocate triggered a real incident of gay bashing by one of Mr. Boisson's associates, and it is pretty easy to interpret his letter in context as a concrete call to action against the local homosexual community (as opposed to Mr. Al-Hayiti's book, in which the offensive language is rather vague).

Incidentally, at the time I was able to contact Mr. Al-Hayiti, and he wrote back to me:

Maybe the complaint should have been against the Qor'an, the Word of God! Or maybe even against the bible also! Do you think the commission should censor God? Everything I said in my book is from the revelation, not from me! I have nothing else to say.Thank you!

...which didn't impress me at the time, but now seems to bear out the argument made in Dawg's comments that Al-Hayiti is describing what the Qor'an says about, for example, gays--that they shall be punished by Allah, at some point--not demanding that people should run out and start beheading them. Still offensive, sure. But missing several of the properties that give something up to the S13 standard.


Dr.Dawg said...

I can see from my comments six months ago that I've shifted my position slightly. At that time, I said this:

If the Imam had been preaching his hatred in the local papers or at rallies, I think there might be a good case against him. But who the heck knew about him or his trashy little book until someone wanting to make a cheap political point dredged it up from the depths?

I think this was your point too, BCL. But my views were admittedly affected at the time by the general trashiness of the Point de Bascule site.

I'm not sure at present that we can dismiss public hatred merely on the basis of audience size. Moreover (and we shall have to agree to disagree about this), it seems to me that preaching to people who believe that the Qur'an is literally the word of God, and pointing to verses that instruct the faithful to annihilate homosexuals, and to behead them if you catch them in a sexual act, is more than simply making a scholarly reference.

I don't think one can necessarily prove a causal link between Boissoin's hateful comments and the gay-bashing that happened subsequently, but clearly his words would be likely to make gays in Red Deer feel less safe and secure. By the same token, underlining divine commands to kill gays are likely to do the same. Quoting Scripture to serve your own purposes is an old trick, and we shouldn't be taken in by it.

Happy Canada Day, by the way!

bigcitylib said...

As to your last point, I think I will do a more extended post on the Boisson case in future. It seems to me that the link between the act of gay bashing and Boisson's expounding upon his letter to the Advocate is relatively tight. It was one of his mission "students", it occured after the letter appeared, and when asked why the kid suffered no consequences within the mission, Boisson said words to the effect that the kid was acting according to his religuous beliefs.

Nor do I think its just a matter of audience size. It seems pretty clear that Boisson was trying to stir up a very SPECIFIC audience; where as Al Hayiti's stuff was just afloat on the Internet. I think there is a difference of degree between the two cases.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hossain will never be charged or tried in any HRC in Canada.

He has "double-minority" status . . Brown skinned/Muslim religion . . . so he can neither be a racist or promote hatred.

That is Liberal dogma and in Canada, Liberal dogma rocks & rules.

Stephen Taylor said...

Shorter Fred: Mr. Hossain...meh meh meh blah blah blah..*bzzz* *whistle* *pop*

Brian from Toronto said...

Section 318 - advocating genocide - is another possible charge against him.

Anonymous said...

Well if supports terrorism, we can expect terrorist attempts of him, well unless he is 100 years old who uses generic viagra and go to sleep at 7pm.