10 January 2008

Canada's Human Rights Commission Wants to Know: What is the Relationship Between Muslims in Europe, and Breeding Mosquitos?

This is a very important point of entomology and demographics--to say nothing of freedom of Canada's media: what is the relationship between breeding mosquitoes and European muslims? And do Canadian muslims have the right to restrict free speech in Canada if they are offended by the very thought of such a relationship being expressed?

The specific dispute is over a Maclean's Magazine column by Mark Steyn. Steyn and Maclean's are being taken to Canada's Human Rights Commission Court, to determine whether the column is "offensive" to Canada's muslims, and whether the defendants should be punished in some way.
If you examine Dr. Mohamed Elmasry's formal complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission about my article, Grievance #16 objects to the following assertion:

"The number of Muslims in Europe is expanding like 'mosquitoes.' "

That claim certainly appears in my piece. But they're the words not of a notorious right-wing Islamophobic columnist but of a big­­shot Scandinavian Muslim:
" 'We're the ones who will change you,' the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. 'Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children.' "

Given that the "mosquitoes" line is part of the basis on which the HRC accepted Dr. Elmasry's complaint of "Islamophobia," I'm interested to know what precisely is the of­­fence? Are Mullah Krekar's words themselves Islamophobic? Or do they only become so when I quote them? The complainants want a world in which a Norwegian imam can make statements in a Norwegian newspaper but if a Canadian columnist reprints them in a Canadian publication it's a "hate crime."

One has to wonder how Canada's HRC could be so idiotic as to accept this case at all. Is it possible that the HRC is so steeped in its own importance that it does not understand how tenuous its authority over the free press must be in any free society? The HRC is accustomed to administering its kangaroo justice in a kangaroo court--free of oversight or appeal. In this case, it is the HRC itself that will be going on trial.

And it will be an interesting case to watch--so long as Mark Steyn is allowed to present his case to the larger court: the court of public opinion. Canadians have shown remarkable spirit and resilience recently in the political sphere--as have the French and the Germans. It is possible that the Canadian public themselves will do what is necessary to assure their own freedom to speak their minds--publicly and privately.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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