Thursday, December 27, 2007

Canadian Human Rights Commission attacks Macleans Magazine and many others.

Canadian Human Rights Commission attacks

Macleans Magazine and many others

Some of the words used in the media to describe the Canadian Human Rights Commission:

  • “Totalitarian”
  • “Kangaroo Court”
  • “Star Chamber”
  • “uber-‘liberal’ Canada, which worships at the shrine of human rights law, where this medieval inquisition is taking place”
  • “minorities are sacrosanct and that to criticise them is proof of rampant prejudice, is part of the mindset which has turned truth, morality and freedom inside out”
  • “The Orwellian nightmare has well and truly arrived”
  • “Of course, a ban on opinions - even disagreeable ones - is the very antithesis of the Western tradition of free speech and freedom of the press”
  • “there's been all too little concern for a creeping accommodation of radical Islamist tenets, like curbs on critical opinions.”
  • “There are a great many people in this country who seem to have no clue about what freedom of speech means, or why it was invented. What is astonishing is to find so many of them in the employ of the human rights commissions.”
  • “the commissions’ power to hear such cases should be removed. They have no business meddling with speech.”

Marc Lemire has challenged Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act as being unconstitutional and an affront to our freedoms. The motion can be found at: http://www.freedomsite.org/legal/dec13-05_writeup-on-case.html

Recently the Rights Enforcers at the Canadian Human Rights Commission have attacked:

· Maclean Magazine (Rogers Publishing Ltd)

· Christian Heritage Party and it’s leader Ron Gray (Federally registered Political Party)

· Freedominion (Conservative website)

· Prometheus Institute (runs the Peace Earth and Justice News website) (Complaint over commentary on Isreal)

· Bruce Allen (Mr. Allen is music talent manager who represents a number of popular Canadian musicians including Bryan Adams and Michael Buble)

· Petition against the CHRC (Close to 700 signatures as of December 17/07)

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Active and Past cases: 46

Cases the tribunal ruled on: 37

Total complaints received by CHRC: 100

· NOT A SINGLE respondent have ever won a section 13 case before the tribunal.

· 100% of cases have Whites as respondents

· 98% of cases have poor or working class respondents

· 90.7% of respondents are not represented by lawyers

· So far, $93,000 has been awarded in fines and special compensation since 2003.

· 35 respondents have lifetime speech bans (Cease and Desist) orders and if not followed the victims could face up to 5 years in prison.

Every Decision on Section 13 case (Active and Past cases)

More information on the obsessive censorship campaign of the Canadian

Human Rights Commission / Tribunal can be found at

http://www.freedomsite.org/legal

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Contents of E-Mail:

1. Spectator (United Kingdom): The blood runs cold

2. New York Post: Canada’s Though Police

3. KXMC CBS: Only America Has Free Speech

4. Western Standard: Boycotting Canada

5. Macleans Magazine: Got a complaint? Call 1-800-Human-Rights.

6. Canadian Press: Tory minister slams Islamic Congress complaint against journalist

7. National Post: Ezra Levant: Censorship in the name of 'human rights'

Worldwide Cyberspace is outraged at the Canadian Human Rights Commission and their ferocious censorship campaign against beliefs they don’t like. (Canadians have always been outraged!)

http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/407686/the-blood-runs-cold.thtml

The blood runs cold

Monday, 17th December 2007

The lights are going out on liberal society – and it is the most liberal societies with their fingers on the ‘off’ switch. The thesis of Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, that Europe was succumbing to an Islamist takeover, has been proved spectacularly correct -- in Canada, and with himself as the designated victim. The New York Post reports that both Steyn and Macleans magazine, which reprinted a chapter of his book, are to be hauled before two Canadian judicial panels to answer the charge that they have spread ‘hatred and contempt’ for Muslims. And what was the heinous view Steyn vouchsafed to occasion such a charge?

…the notion that Islamic culture is incompatible with Canada's liberalized, Western civilization.

Well excuse me, but some of us were under the impression that a global war was currently being waged by a section of the Islamic world in order to write the truth of that assertion in blood.

The irony, of course, is that by this action Canada is thus demonstrating that if any culture is incompatible with liberalised western civilisation, it is clearly Canada’s. The idea that certain arguments must not be made, and that to do so is to find oneself arraigned before a judicial tribunal, is the very antithesis of a liberal society. It is a symptom of totalitarianism. It is also doubly ironic that it is the Islamic world, through the Canadian Islamic Congress, that is bringing this action -- since in seeking to suppress the view that the Islamic world is incompatible with liberalism, it is demonstrating with the starkest possible clarity the truth of that proposition.

It is no accident that it is uber-‘liberal’ Canada, which worships at the shrine of human rights law, where this medieval inquisition is taking place. The fact that the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission are to conduct this kangaroo hearing is grotesque but not in the least surprising. The belief fundamental to human wrongs law, that minorities are sacrosanct and that to criticise them is proof of rampant prejudice, is part of the mindset which has turned truth, morality and freedom inside out. If a writer who tells the truth about Islamists spreading hatred and contempt for the west is himself hauled before a court charged with spreading hatred and contempt by telling such a truth, then the Orwellian nightmare has well and truly arrived.

As I have said many times before, the real threat to civilisation comes not from acts of terror, appalling though these are; it comes from the fact that Islamists are progressively making slaves out of us in our own countries.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12162007/postopinion/editorials/canadas_thought_police_72483.htm

CANADA'S THOUGHT POLICE

December 16, 2007 -- Celebrated author Mark Steyn has been summoned to appear before two Canadian judicial panels on charges linked to his book “America Alone."

The book, a No. 1 bestseller in Canada, argues that Western nations are succumbing to an Islamist imperialist threat. The fact that charges based on it are proceeding apace proves his point.

Steyn, who won the 2006 Eric Breindel Journalism Award (co-sponsored by The Post and its parent, News Corp), writes for dozens of publications on several continents. After the Canadian general-interest magazine Maclean's reprinted a chapter from the book, five Muslim law-school students, acting through the auspices of the Canadian Islamic Congress, demanded that the magazine be punished for spreading “hatred and contempt" for Muslims.

The plaintiffs allege that Maclean's advocated, among other things, the notion that Islamic culture is incompatible with Canada's liberalized, Western civilization. They insist such a notion is untrue and, in effect, want opinions like that banned from publication.

Two separate panels, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, have agreed to hear the case. These bodies are empowered to hear and rule on cases of purported “hate speech."

Of course, a ban on opinions - even disagreeable ones - is the very antithesis of the Western tradition of free speech and freedom of the press.

Indeed, this whole process of dragging Steyn and the magazine before two separate human-rights bodies for the “crime" of expressing an opinion is a good illustration of precisely what he was talking about.

If Maclean's, Canada's top-selling magazine, is found “guilty," it could face financial or other penalties. And the affair could have a devastating impact on opinion journalism in Canada generally.

As it happens, Canadian human-rights commissions have already come down hard on those whose writings they dislike, like critics of gay rights.

Nor should Americans dismiss this campaign against Steyn and Maclean's as merely another Canadian eccentricity. Speech cops in America, too, are forever attempting similar efforts - most visibly, on college campuses.

In fact, New York City itself has a human-rights panel that tries to stamp out anything deemed too politically incorrect.

Since 9/11, Americans have been alert to the threat of terror from radical Islamists. But there's been all too little concern for a creeping accommodation of radical Islamist tenets, like curbs on critical opinions.

That needs to change.

http://www.kxmc.com/News/Nation/190367.asp

Only America Has Free Speech

It is often said that 'free speech' is one of the hallmarks of Western democracy - but don't you believe it. Free speech only exists in the United States, and nowhere else. Europe just doesn't get the whole free speech concept, by banning religious dress in places like France, and the criminalization of Holocaust denial and 'revisionist' history in places such as Germany and Austria. Britain is one of the worst offenders. They have chilling defamation laws that make the free exchange of information and opinion completely impossible, they have no written constitution that protects free speech, and their television news is state-run.

Canada is no better. Mark Steyn is being hauled before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission for alleged 'hate speech' in his book 'America Alone'. This is the gist of the problem:

After the Canadian general-interest magazine Maclean's reprinted a chapter from the book, five Muslim law-school students, acting through the auspices of the Canadian Islamic Congress, demanded that the magazine be punished for spreading “hatred and contempt" for Muslims

The plaintiffs allege that Maclean's advocated, among other things, the notion that Islamic culture is incompatible with Canada's liberalized, Western civilization. They insist such a notion is untrue and, in effect, want opinions like that banned from publication

Only Americans, the inventors of free speech, understand it and cherish it. The rest of the world pays lip service to it, but when politicians throughout the rest of the world are confronted with the clash of free speech with identity politics, political expediency wins every time. No other nation in the world has enshrined free speech as a sacrosanct principle, and so such mischief often occurs.

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2007/12/hugh-hewitt-boy.html

Monday, December 17, 2007

Boycotting Canada

California based radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt is to boycott Canada. Why? Because Canada's Human Rights Commission, a tool of socialists' oppression, wants to silence Mark Steyn:

"I thought the Human Rights Commission complaint against columnist-to-the-world Mark Steyn was a joke, or a nuisance filing that would be rejected by the Canadian bureaucrats in a nanosecond: But it isn't turning out that way. "

http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20071205_112340_5592

Got a complaint? Call 1-800-Human-Rights.

The Canadian Islamic Congress has a new partner in its censorship campaign: the state

Andrew Coyne Dec 5, 2007 11:23 am EST

Also at Macleans.ca
READ: Maclean's editor responds to CIC allegations

I should declare an inter­­­­est off the top. In 2002, I was named in the Canadian Islamic Congress’s “Fifth An­­­nual Report on Anti-Is­lam in the Media.” Under the head­­­ing “How the Na­­tional Post was endangering the well-being of Canadian Muslims,” the CIC included a reference to my Oct. 29, 2001, column. I reprint the offending passage in full, with a warning that sensitive readers may wish to exercise discretion:

“... the massive backlash against innocent Muslims that failed to materialize...”

That would be, um, it: the only reference to Muslims in the entire piece. To deny, even in passing, that Muslims are being oppressed is, apparently, to “endanger their well-being.” It is for this sort of exquisite sensitivity that the CIC is justly famed in newsrooms across the land. Reporters and columnists have grown used to being accused by the CIC of anti-Muslim bias on even flimsier grounds than I was. And not only reporters. The well-known spokesman for a rival Muslim organization, the Muslim Canadian Congress, resigned his post last year after the president of the CIC, Mohamed Elmasry, accused him publicly of “smearing Islam”—a charge, essentially of apostasy, that left him fearing for his safety.

To most of us, however, the CIC has seemed little more than a nuisance. They do not speak for Islam, and they are not the last word on the subject. They are entitled to their views, of course, but so, in a free and democratic society, are those with whom they take issue.

Or were, until recently. For of late the CIC has found a new partner in its campaigns: the state. Not content with tossing around incendiary charges of religious bias, the CIC has enlisted the force of the law to press its case. It has done so, what is more, not through any of the traditional legal means by which freedom of speech may be limited, nor with any of the legal system’s usual requirements of due process, but through a new and seemingly open-ended mechanism: the human rights commission. To be specific: the organization has launched a complaint against Maclean’s before the federal, Ontario and British Columbia human rights commissions, alleging that an article the magazine published last year, excerpted from Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and Islamophobia.”

The case is not without precedent. Two years ago, the president of yet another Muslim group, the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, brought a similar complaint against the Western Standard before the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission (AHRCC), after the magazine published the famous “Danish cartoons,” a collection of mild satires on Islamic extremism that of­­fended some, but by no means all, Muslims. The commission begins hearings next month. Nor are Muslim groups the only complainants to seek the human rights commissions’ aid in suppressing speech they find offensive. Just last week, the AHRCC ruled a pastor from Red Deer, Stephen Boisson, was—is guilty the word?—of writing a letter to the editor of the local paper that said rude things about homosexuals. The chairwoman of the commission said she found “a circumstantial connection” between the letter and the beating of a gay teenager two weeks later.

That the CIC and other charter members of the Assocation of the Perpetually Offended should seek to express their revulsion by such means is unsurprising. There are a great many people in this country who seem to have no clue about what freedom of speech means, or why it was invented. What is astonishing is to find so many of them in the employ of the human rights commissions. No: rather, I wish I were astonished. What’s truly astonishing is that the commissions should have been granted such powers to begin with. As Alan Borovoy, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, argued recently, “during the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create such commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech.” To be acting as censors, he wrote, was “hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions.”

Amen. Yet the commissions have been allowed to stray, far from their original purpose of preventing discrimination in employment and housing, into the nebulous world of expression. They succeeded, largely because their early targets were so odious, marginal figures who scribbled letters to the editor or left hateful messages on their answering machines: who wants to defend racists and homophobes? Emboldened, they are now going after mainstream media or­gan­izations—Maclean’s, for heaven’s sakes.

And so, rather than give the back of their hand to the CIC’s complaint, we are treated to the spectacle of not one but two human rights commissions—On­­tario’s may yet join them—agreeing to launch inquiries. Had the CIC sought remedy under Canada’s hate speech law, as over-broad as it is, they would at least have had to persuade a prosecutor to take their case, and to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. But as it is they can tie up the magazine and its lawyers before one commission or another for months. The chill this should send through the nation’s newsrooms is obvious.

I don’t propose to get into the merits of their complaint: suffice to say I think it is baseless. The point is, I shouldn’t have to. Maclean’s shouldn’t have to. There is only one proper outcome for this affair: not merely that the CIC’s complaint should be thrown out, but that the commissions’ power to hear such cases should be removed. They have no business meddling with speech.

Tory minister slams Islamic Congress complaint against journalist

OTTAWA - A Conservative cabinet minister says the Canadian Islamic Congress is attempting to undermine basic Charter freedoms by filing complaints against a journalist who wrote a book on the Muslim world.

Jason Kenney, the secretary of state for multiculturalism, weighed in Wednesday on the controversy surrounding columnist Mark Steyn's bestseller America Alone. The Canadian Islamic Congress has filed complaints with federal and provincial human rights commissions based on an excerpt of Steyn's book that appeared in Maclean's Magazine in October.

"To be attacking opinions expressed by a columnist in a major magazine is a pretty bold attack on the basic Canadian value of freedom of the press and freedom of expression," Kenney said in an interview. "I think all Canadians would reject that kind of effort to undermine one of our basic freedoms."

The Congress has argued that the article in Maclean's "subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt," and is "flagrantly Islamophobic." Maclean's has refused the Congress' request to publish an unedited, multi-paged rebuttal to Steyn's commentary.

The excerpt from Steyn's book, headlined "The Future Belongs to Islam," outlines how the Islamic world is becoming more powerful with robust population growth versus the dwindling birth rate in the Western world. He argues that western democracies have failed to reinforce their own traditional values and identity to such an extent that radical and violent Muslim groups are allowed to flourish unchecked within their borders.

Other Muslim organizations and commentators have also criticized the Canadian Islamic Congress for its complaints against Maclean's.

In a commentary posted Thursday on the magazine's website, members of the Muslim Canadian Congress said Steyn's arguments are all wrong, but taking him to tribunals in the wrong approach.

"The reaction of the CIC has only given credence to his premise - that Muslims in the West cannot accept the values of individual freedom, a free press and the right to offend," wrote Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan. "How ironic and how unfortunate. For Steyn's thesis could as easily have been disproved by the traditional means of rational debate."

In the United States, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has campaigned against radio talk-show hosts who made incendiary comments about Muslims on the air. In one case, a host in Washington, D.C., was fired after calling Islam a "terrorist organization," among other comments.

Copyright © 2007 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2007/12/17/ezra-levant-censorship-in-the-name-of-human-rights.aspx

Ezra Levant: Censorship in the name of 'human rights'

Posted: December 17, 2007, 8:07 PM by Marni Soupcoff

Ezra Levant

‘Drug dealers get the benefit of the Charter, but not pastors accused of homophobia’

The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) is taking Maclean’s magazine to a human rights commission. Their crime? Refusing the CIC’s absurd demand that Maclean’s print a five-page letter to the editor in response to an article the CIC didn’t like.

It may shock those who do not follow human-rights law in Canada, but Maclean’s will probably lose.

Forcing editors to publish rambling letters is not a human right in Canada. But that’s not how the CIC worded their complaint, filed with the B.C., Ontario and federal human rights commissions. Maclean’s is “flagrantly Islamophobic” and “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt” according to a CIC statement. “I felt personally victimized,” said Khurrum Awan at the CIC’s recent press conference. All this because Maclean’s dared to run a column discussing the demographic rise of Islam in the West.

It’s a new strategy for the CIC, which in the past has tried unsuccessfully to sue news media it disagreed with — including the National Post — using Canada’s defamation laws. But Canada’s civil courts aren’t the best tool for that sort of bullying. In a defamation lawsuit, the CIC would have to hire its own lawyers, follow the rules of court, and prove that they suffered real damages — and the newspapers would have truth and fair comment as defences. Launching a nuisance suit against Maclean’s would result in an embarrassing loss for the CIC, a court order to pay the magazine’s legal fees, and it would deepen the CIC’s reputation as a group of radicals who don’t understand Canadian values. (Three years ago, Mohamed Elmasry, the CIC’s Egyptian-born president, declared that every adult Jew in Israel is a legitimate target for terrorists).

So civil lawsuits won’t work. Criminal charges are a non-starter, too: Canada’s hate-speech laws are reserved for extreme acts of incitement, and charges can only be laid with the approval of the justice minister. And in criminal court, the accused must be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. No chance there.

That’s why human-rights commissions are the perfect instrument for the CIC. The CIC doesn’t even have to hire a lawyer: Once the complaint has been accepted by the commissions, taxpayers’ dollars and government lawyers are used to pursue the matter. Maclean’s, on the other hand, will have to hire their own lawyers with their own money. Rules of court don’t apply. Normal rules of evidence don’t apply. The commissions are not neutral; they’re filled with activists, many of whom aren’t even lawyers and do not understand the free-speech safeguards contained in our constitution.

And the punishments that these commissions can order are bizarre. Besides fines to the government and payments to complainants, defendants can be forced to “apologize” for having unacceptable political or religious opinions.

An apology might not sound onerous, yet it is far more troubling than a fine. Ordering a person — or a magazine — to say or publish words that they don’t believe is an Orwellian act of thought control. The editor of Maclean’s, Ken Whyte, maintains his magazine is fair. But human rights commissions have the power to order him to publish a confession that he’s a bigot — or, as in one Ontario case, even order someone to study Islam. Even convicted murderers cannot be “ordered” to apologize.

Human rights commissions are a relatively new creation, formed in the 1960s and 1970s for political reasons, not legal reasons. The main issues that these commissions were created to address — such as racial discrimination in rental housing and employment — were already covered by established landlord-and-tenant law, as well as labour and employment law. The commissions were supposed to be an informal, sympathetic forum for vulnerable people who needed extra help; and commissions were limited to dispensing a few thousand dollars. It was like small claims court for minorities; a shield to help them against the sword of discrimination.

Few human rights complaints still fall into those categories. A quick canvass of Alberta’s cases over the past few years, for example, reveals not a single complaint from someone denied rental housing based on race. The most common cases seem to be employees quitting over squabbles with other staff — a female back-hoe operator claimed her rights as a woman were violated for being called “honey” and other locker-room talk on a construction site; a male hair stylist claimed his rights were violated because the girls at salon school called him a “loser.” Another common complaint is sick or injured people being dismissed for not being able to do their jobs anymore, claiming that they have a “human right” not to be fired. In 2004, Albert’s Family Restaurant in Red Deer was ordered to pay $4,900 to a kitchen manager who was fired because she had contagious Hepatitis-C — illegal discrimination based on disability, said the commission.

Most cases are not about real rights, and the rulings are wildly inconsistent. The commissions have become a whimsical tax-man, where businesses are charged a few thousand dollars for making the mistake of hiring thin-skinned employees. For most companies, it’s not even worth paying a lawyer to contest the complaint, other than on principle.

But besides sorting out office politics, some of Canada’s human rights codes cover “publications.” Those powers were originally meant to cover things like signs saying No Jews Allowed or Whites Only (in human rights jargon, symbols that “indicate discrimination”) or a swastika or burning KKK cross planted on someone’s yard.

You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that a magazine article is not what the founders of human rights commissions had in mind. As Alan Borovoy, the general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association — and one of the architects of modern Canadian human rights law — wrote last year, “during the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create such commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech.” Censoring debates was “hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions.”

Rest at: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2007/12/17/ezra-levant-censorship-in-the-name-of-human-rights.aspx

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CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION / TRIBUNAL

Biased and Unfair TRUTH is NO Defence 100% Convictions Lifetime Speech bans

http://www.freedomsite.org/ http://www.canadianfreespeech.com/