Ezra Levant's magnificent performance before "human rights agent" Shirlene McGovern has raised the bar for the rest of us ensnared by this grotesque system. He's absolutely right not to waste time attempting to mitigate his "offence", and he's also correct in rejecting this pseudo-court's jurisdiction over him.
Over the weekend, I was reviewing the Canadian Islamic Congress' dossier on Maclean's "flagrant Islamophobia" for my forthcoming book The Mark Steyn Flagrantly Islamophobic Reader. One of the differences between the Maclean's case and The Western Standard's is that Ezra is being pursued by a foreign imam trained (such as it is) by the semi-literates of some third-rate Saudi seminary [CORRECTION: Pakistani seminary. Ezra's tormentor is merely a lecturer at the third-rate Saudi seminary]. My dossier, on the other hand, has been put together by five students at what's supposedly the best law school in Canada. Page 30 is especially choice:
Assertions and Implications:
1. American will be an Islamic Republic by the year 2040 – there will be a Muslim / Islamist takeover
2. As a result of the Muslim takeover, there will be a break for prayers during the Super Bowl, the stadium will have a stereotypical Muslim name, and the fans will be forced to watch the game in a Muslim prayer posture
3. Due to the Muslim takeover, the US will have split into different countries and states. Much of the country will be destroyed, there will be a Christian state, there will be a Muslim state in which will be filled with ideas of Jihad, and Jews and other minorities will have to be smuggled into Canada to escape from the Muslims who will be out to eliminate them
4. As a result of the Muslim takeover there will an oppressive religious police enforcing Islamic /Muslim norms on the population, important US icons [such as the USS Ronald Reagan] will be renamed after Osama bin Laden, no females will be allowed to be cheerleaders, and popular American radio and television talk show hosts will have been replaced by Muslim imams
5. The Muslim takeover of American will occur in a violent way through a nuclear attack on the US. A copy of the Quran that will survive the nuclear attack will be placed in a War Museum that will be built by the Muslims. On the whole this Muslim takeover will be like that of Hitler's and the Third Reich's takeovers Europe; Jews will be accused of various false conspiracies and will be massacred by the Muslims
6. Muslims and Islam are taking over Europe and North America; Europe is becoming
7. As a result of the Muslim takeover, the star basketball player for an iconic American basketball team will be a Muslim. Further, a popular American actress, while accepting an Academy award will announce her conversion to Islam and announce her marriage to the Muslim star basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Her conversion and announcement will inspire tens of Millions of Americans to do the same furthering the Muslim takeover.
8. A Muslim takeover is quite feasible – Islam will prove to be the "great seducer" and will takeover the West. The West needs to return to its Christian roots in order to resist the Islam / Muslim takeover.
Er, no. These are not "Assertions and Implications". They are aspects of the plot of Robert Ferrigno's Prayers For The Assassin. A novel. A work of fiction. A creative art form. My column is a review of the novel. It is customary in reviewing novels to cite aspects of the plot, and usually without litigious Muslims taking you to court.
Or at least one had always assumed it was. Mr Ferrigno's book is a "what if?" novel: What if America became Muslim? It's an established genre: my columnar confrere on The Daily Telegraph, Robert Harris, wrote a novel on the premise "What if Hitler had won the war?" And nobody took him to court over it.
Khurrum Awan, Muneeza Skeikh, Naseem Mithoowani, Ali Ahmed and Daniel Simard, the authors of this report, submitted it to the various "human rights" commissions on the grounds that Maclean's exposed them to "hatred and contempt". I certainly don't hate them, but I do hold them in contempt. They don't have the excuse, as many of the firebreathing imams of the west do, of being illiterate, at least in English and on anything other than the Koran. Yet Canada's allegedly finest law school is turning out lawyers who believe that describing the plot of a novel should be actionable. How, I wonder, do Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje feel about that?
As I said, I've been busy running through my own contributions to the report for The Mark Steyn Flagrantly Islamophobic Reader. So it took me a while to get to the final exhibit in Messrs Awan, Skeikh, Mithoowani, Ahmed and Simard's Maclean's Hall of Shame – a piece called "I Begged To Confess" by my colleague Steve Maich, about the repeated rape and torture of a Canadian citizen, William Sampson, in a Saudi jail. Again, it's in the context of a new book – a memoir by Mr Sampson about his experience. Here's what the Osgoode Hall geniuses say:
This article is written for the purpose of promoting a book that depicts Saudi Arabia and Muslims in a negative light.
And "depicting Saudi Arabia in a negative light" is now a crime in Canada?
As I said, I hold the five authors of this report in contempt. However, as a crude display of political muscle, what they're doing at least has a kind of logic. Harder to understand is the reaction of chaps like our old friend Garry J Wise, Mister Moderate, dean of the let's-strike-a-sensible-balance brigade. I doubt very much that Mr Wise, a fellow graduate of Osgoode Hall, really wants a Canada where plots of novels cannot be discussed and the accurate depiction of Saudi Arabia as an ugly thug state is a "hate crime". But, in pretending that this ludicrous charade is somehow just a routine judicial process working itself out, he is providing cover for the shriveling of speech in his country. Irked by American correspondents' invocation of the First Amendment, Mr Wise seems to think, somewhat myopically, that this is a US vs Canada competition. No, it's not. It's not a game of comparisons. It's about absolute freedoms. Universal freedoms. Freedoms that are part of America and Canada's common inheritance. What's going on in these Human Rights Commissions would be wrong even if every other country on the planet was a police state. They're a betrayal of hundreds of years of Canadian history. Mr Wise graduated Osgoode Hall in 1984, which I guess would put him in early middle age – or young enough to end his days in a wholly transformed land once his five fellow alumni and those of similar disposition are staffing the judiciary and the HRCs and the justice ministries.
As for the HRCs who accepted this "case" based on a dossier invoking the plots of novels and objecting to negative news reports about Saudi Arabia, I hold them in even greater contempt. William Sampson is a Canadian citizen, yet, when he was seized, tortured and sentenced to be beheaded, his government entirely failed him. The only reason he's walking around today is because the United Kingdom intervened on behalf of his fellow (British) hostages and Mr Sampson was released on their coat-tails, so to speak. He was sprung by Her Majesty's Government in London, not in Ottawa. Yet the Canadian state that abandoned Bill Sampson to Saudi torturers is now prepared to drag into "court" the magazine that told the truth about his ordeal - on the grounds that five law students object to casting Saudi Arabia in a "negative light".
How about casting Canada in a "negative light"?