Last Friday, conservative commentator Ezra Levant was hauled before Alberta’s Human Rights and Citizenship Commission for publishing the infamous Danish Mohammed cartoons two years ago in the Western Standard.
Syed Soharwardy, the head of Canada’s Islamic Supreme Council, complained that Levant had incited hate against Muslims.
Levant’s opening statement was a tour de force as far as punchy defences of free speech go. Apparently viewed almost 200,000 times, it is one of the most-watched clips on YouTube in recent times. It’s also on his website, www.ezralevant.com, where he describes the chilling process: “No six-foot brownshirt, no police cell at midnight. Just Shirlene McGovern, an amiable enough bureaucrat, casually asking me about my political thoughts on behalf of the Government of Alberta. And she’ll write up a report about it, and recommend that the Government do this or that to me. Just going through checklists, you see … a limp clerk who was just punching the clock. She had done it dozens of times before and will do it dozens of times again. In a way, that’s more terrifying.”
It was, said Levant, the epitome of Hannah Arendt’s warning against “the banality of evil”.
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;
Followed-up by obscene and threatening phone calls and letters in the mail.
Ezra Levant published the Mohammed cartoons. Here’s his opening statement at the Alberta Human Rights Commission – As you can see, he was also told who he was allowed to bring to defend him:
The Levant case highlights how Western societies are paving the road to their own destruction by allowing unelected bureaucrats and lawyers to persecute those who engage in freedom of speech.
UPDATE, Thursday, 17 January
In a lighter mode, via Small Dead Animals,