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August 06, 2008

Alberta "Human Rights Commission" Drops Charges Against Ezra Levant For Publishing Mohamed Cartoons

A half a million dollars of taxpayer money and 100,000 dollars of his own later, publisher Ezra Levant won't be facing the judgment of the apparatchiks of the Alberta "Human Rights" Commission for printing whatever the hell he wants.

Though he's off the hook, Levant isn't happy about what's happened to him or his country.

In his report, ("low level bureaucrat" Pardeep) Gundara presents as “fact” his personal opinion of the Muhammad cartoons. He says they’re “stereotypical, negative and offensive.” That’s one viewpoint. Others have a different view. Why should anyone care about Gundara’s personal opinion? Do I need permission from him — or anyone other than my conscience — before I publish things in the future? Is this column okay by him?

Gundara forgave me and the Western Standard our sins because, according to him, the offensiveness of the cartoons was “muted by the context of the accompanying article” and we ran letters both for and against the cartoons in our subsequent issue. He also acquitted us because “the cartoons were not simply stuck in the middle of the magazine with no purpose or related story.”

Let me translate: You’d better be “reasonable” in how you use your freedoms, or you won’t be allowed to keep them. You’d better not run political cartoons “simply stuck in the middle” of a magazine. You’d better have a “purpose” for being “negative” that is approved by bureaucrat, when he finally gets around to it three years later.

That is not acceptable to me. I am not interested in Gundara’s views about the cartoons. I’m not interested in learning his personal rules of thumb for when I can or can’t express myself. This is Canada, not Saudi Arabia.

My dismissal is not a victory for freedom of the press. Because Alberta’s press is not free — it is now subject to the approval of the government. But Canadians have the right to a free press in spite of the government. We have the right to break every one of Gundara’s petty and subjective rules

For those who think stuff like this can't happen here think about the "Flying Imams" suit and check out this old list of suits CAIR is or has been involved in.

We're a very litigious society and to think the civil court isn't going to be a battlefield is probably wishful thinking. Even if a person wins, like Levant did, sometimes the process and tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills is the punishment in and of itself.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:23 PM

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