Canada’s Star Chamber dismisses complaint against Ezra Levant for publishing Mohammed cartoons

posted at 8:10 pm on August 6, 2008 by Allahpundit

He begged them to convict him, which is precisely why he was acquitted. So effective was he in exposing the Orwellian nature of the “human rights” process that he simply became more trouble to them than he was worth. There’s nothing I can say to improve on his blog announcement or, especially, his op-ed in today’s National Post, but in case you don’t have time to read them, it boils down to this: This is no more a “victory” than it’s a victory when mafia thugs work someone over to send a message but let him live. He and his magazine lost $100,000 on legal fees, are still facing lawsuits from a dozen parties, and earned nothing more substantive from the state by way of an apology than a declaration that the cartoon he printed were “stereotypical, negative and offensive,” albeit ultimately not actionable. But he’s still in one piece — sort of. Victory.

Gundara [the state inspector] 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.

It was Canada. He’s still $10,000 in the hole, so if you’re able, follow the link and avail yourself of the donation button. Exit quotation: “I haven’t been given my freedom of the press. I’ve simply had the government censor approve what I said. That’s a completely different thing.”

Update: I sure am glad at times like this that the toxic mix of extortion and extreme political correctness isn’t being used to silence anyone in the United States.

Starting in 2002, Spokane, Wash., journalist Sherry Jones toiled weekends on a racy historical novel about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Ms. Jones learned Arabic, studied scholarly works about Aisha’s life, and came to admire her protagonist as a woman of courage. When Random House bought her novel last year in a $100,000, two-book deal, she was ecstatic. This past spring, she began plans for an eight-city book tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of “The Jewel of Medina” — a tale of lust, love and intrigue in the prophet’s harem.

It’s not going to happen: In May, Random House abruptly called off publication of the book…

After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided “to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.”


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They’e even after standup comedians up there now. Terrifying.

RushBaby on August 6, 2008 at 8:14 PM

What about when muslim “clerics” decry teh gays? What’s a Canadian to do?

SouthernGent on August 6, 2008 at 8:17 PM

If we punished journalists everytime they printed a negative cartoon about our political leaders or other religions, we’d have very few not in jail.

amerpundit on August 6, 2008 at 8:19 PM

Five years ago, Reverend Stephen Boissoin wrote a controversial column about gay rights. It passed all of Gundara’s home-made rules: It was in the context of a broader debate; it was followed by many opposing letters to the editor; it had a “purpose,” etc. But Rev. Boissoin was fined $7,000 and banned for life from giving sermons or even sending private e-mails that were “disparaging”. To top it off, he was ordered by the HRC to write a public renunciation of his faith.

It’s obvious why I was acquitted and Boissoin was convicted. I’ve been a political pain in the neck for the HRC. Rev. Boissoin? He was quiet, so he’s roadkill. But neither of us are free — we both have to have our views checked out by the government.

RushBaby on August 6, 2008 at 8:19 PM

The Canadian “Human Rights Council”, ie politically correct censors, have been beaten in fact. Now it’s time for the Canadians to wake up and defeat them by law, dismantling this odious edifice and burning it. It’s time Canada rejoined the free world of the West where free speech is paramount.

Tantor on August 6, 2008 at 8:21 PM

Poor Canada. My heart aches for that once great nation.

Zorro on August 6, 2008 at 8:22 PM

That would be Alberta’s star chamber not Canada’s. Just one of a baker’s dozen we are infested with.

At least this place should be interested in getting the facts correct.

Jim708 on August 6, 2008 at 8:24 PM

I completely understand the non-victory view.

But before Steyn they had 100% conviction rate, right? So this is not their desired outcome. They altered their desired outcome due to concern, ie fear. That IS a sign of weakness and itself a victory. An avalanche can begin with one shouting voice.

Spirit of 1776 on August 6, 2008 at 8:24 PM

Canada has become the symbol of hope and change for US leftists… after all, so many liberals fled for Canada during the late 60s and early 70s.

leftnomore on August 6, 2008 at 8:27 PM

The Canadian “Human Rights Council”, ie politically correct censors, have been beaten in fact. Now it’s time for the Canadians to wake up and defeat them by law, dismantling this odious edifice and burning it. It’s time Canada rejoined the free world of the West where free speech is paramount.

Tantor on August 6, 2008 at 8:21 PM

Would this be the same free speech west where CAIR sues anyone in sight for any perceived and even created incident? Or would this be the Free Speech West where under McCain Feingold we can’t run a negative campaign advertisement for sixty days before an election? The US may not have star chamber, but we do have all the stench of it without the physical room to turn our attention to.

Snake307 on August 6, 2008 at 8:27 PM

“I haven’t been given my freedom of the press. I’ve simply had the government censor approve what I said. That’s a completely different thing.”

That’s so true, and consequently so worrying. Another reason for us Yankees: God, I love my country.

emailnuevo on August 6, 2008 at 8:29 PM

“After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided “to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.””

Translation: Sorry, we’re cowards, but now, if you’ve got a book bashing George Bush, insinutating that he had prior knowledge of 9/11 along with Dick Chency and Karl Rove, we’d be more than happy to print that.

GarandFan on August 6, 2008 at 8:32 PM

This is Canada, not Saudi Arabia.

Canada, oh Canada!

I gave substantively before, and will now too, as nothing is more important than this.

For their own freedom, and to remain a free people, every sane Canadian should have sent this cause one Canadian dollar. For shame that they didn’t.

If any of you read this, make good now, or walk with your head down, eternally!

Right now they’re mesmerized over the Chinese busdriver who beheaded the kid, while probably on drugs, and eyeing the victim’s girlfriend, who was in the bus at the time.

Wake up Canadians – this is not Hollywood, nor Europe.

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 8:33 PM

God Da*n! I love that man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheSitRep on August 6, 2008 at 8:34 PM

Try to think of two documents that are more antithetical to each other than the U.S. Constitution and the Koran.

Try to think of individuals who were more antithetical to each other than the founding fathers of the United States of America and the murderer pedophile thief liar torturer founding father of Islam.

Good luck.

MB4 on August 6, 2008 at 8:35 PM

I had forgot that I gave him some $ before and just did again.

Please donate to his defense.

TheSitRep on August 6, 2008 at 8:38 PM

They’e even after standup comedians up there now. Terrifying.

RushBaby on August 6, 2008 at 8:14 PM

For their own freedom, and to remain a free people, every sane Canadian should have sent this cause one Canadian dollar. For shame that they didn’t.

Wake up Canadians – this is not Hollywood, nor Europe.

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 8:33 PM

I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it is meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it.
- Pope Urban II

MB4 on August 6, 2008 at 8:41 PM

Loser pays. Problem solved.

spmat on August 6, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Check out Ezra’s stand-off with the so called HRC on youTube.

Ezra Levant Versus Ian Fine of the Human Rights Commission.

Over.

1GooDDaDDy on August 6, 2008 at 8:43 PM

MB4 on August 6, 2008 at 8:35 PM

+1 – Totally agree!

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 8:48 PM

The Canadian border

Welcome to Canada customs,well your papers appear to be
in proper order,and have a lovely stay in our beautiful
country,

wait a tick,

I’ve just noticed that you have a comic book on your back
seat,can you please pull over to our detainment area!

I have to ask you a series of questions,

Do you plan on drawing any pictures within the borders
of Canada.

Do you plan on drawing any cartoons within the borders of Canada.

Now this next question,I warn and caution you,make sure
you answer this properly!

While you stay in Canada,might you draw a cartoon of the
Muslim Faiths leader,Mahommad!

While your stay in Canada,would you fantasy,imagine,wish
dream,think,pretend,have an out of body,near death
experience,in any relation thereof;

of drawing a cartoon of Mohammand!

If it is yes,then you have committed a thought crime,and
a hate crime!

Did I say Welcome to Canada,Eh!

Me thinks this is NUTS!!!

canopfor on August 6, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Wake up Canadians – this is not Hollywood, nor Europe.

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 8:33 PM

Entelechy, again, is spot on. (This is so boring E, this always being so spot on! ;)

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Mebbe Mark Steyn can come out of hiding now. Been laying low for quite awhile now.

Or is he just on vacation??

BigWyo on August 6, 2008 at 9:01 PM

Did I say Welcome to Canada,Eh!

Me thinks this is NUTS!!!

canopfor on August 6, 2008 at 8:52 PM

The great dream of Islam will come true. Muslims dream to see flags that read: “There is no god but Allah” fluttering in the wind over Ottawa and all the provincial and territorial capital cities of the Islamic Republic of Canada, Allah willing.

Aleph on August 6, 2008 at 9:03 PM

(This is so boring E, this always being so spot on! ;)

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Ok, Peg, I quit ranting :) Cheers,

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 9:07 PM

I can’t believe his attorney(s) wouldn’t go pro bono on a case like this!

AntonK on August 6, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Aleph on August 6, 2008 at 9:03 PM

I reject the notion that the West is inherently weaker and cannot maintain it’s identity in the face of this movement.

Spirit of 1776 on August 6, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Islamic Republican of Canada

Aleph on Aug 6,2008 at 9:03PM.

Aleph: Canada Calls for another Crusade,and Aleph
that problem will be resolved in the same
manner as a certain citys fate that coincides
with todays date in history!

canopfor on August 6, 2008 at 9:14 PM

Is Ezra single I wonder..

scotch amy on August 6, 2008 at 9:16 PM

Tidbit on Aleph

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 9:18 PM

scotch amy, that’s funny, in all this travesty.

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Ok, Peg, I quit ranting :) Cheers,

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 9:07 PM

Cheers! Keep up the good work! I may not often comment, but I’m always lurkin’!

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 9:21 PM

Aleph: Canada Calls for another Crusade,and Aleph
that problem will be resolved in the same
manner as a certain citys fate that coincides
with todays date in history!

canopfor on August 6, 2008 at 9:14 PM

I am urging all armed Canadian Infidel forces who are working against the Islamic Holy Forces of Allah to surrender their weapons immediately.

Otherwise, we will hold them responsible for their actions. Any attempt to fight the Islamic Holy Forces of Allah is pointless. We are committed to putting all of Canada under our jurisdiction.

You cannot have weapons and act against the Islamic Holy Forces of Allah. Any group that tries to fight the Islamic Holy Forces of Allah will be destroyed. The Islamic Holy Forces of Allah will overcome the Canadian Infidel forces and their Hotair stooges.

Aleph on August 6, 2008 at 9:22 PM

I can’t believe his attorney(s) wouldn’t go pro bono on a case like this!

AntonK on August 6, 2008 at 9:08 PM

That lawyer would probably just as soon took the other side.

Maybe not, just sayin’.

TheSitRep on August 6, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Peg, quit “lurkin” and git to talkin :)

Seriously, miss your comments. Best, whatever you’re into,

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM

After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided “to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.”

Someone should get her in contact with whoever published The DaVinci Code. Apparently it’s perfectly safe to rewrite Christianity, not Islam.

pookysgirl on August 6, 2008 at 9:43 PM

I sure am glad at times like this that the toxic mix of extortion and extreme political correctness isn’t being used to silence anyone in the United States.

Well, at least it’s not government-imposed censorship. Still about as shameful as it gets, though.

flipflop on August 6, 2008 at 9:44 PM

pookysgirl on August 6, 2008 at 9:43 PM

+1 – Touche! Great comparison!

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 9:45 PM

Peg, quit “lurkin” and git to talkin :)

Seriously, miss your comments. Best, whatever you’re into,

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Thanks! Need to get back into it! Took a break for a while. Anybody seen EricpJohnson? /Sorry for the off topic post

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Entelechy, you remind me of an Austrialian friend of mine(Cheers!) that I miss so much! She lives near Queensland.

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 9:58 PM

Guys,
I’ve been doing a little research on Ezra and found an outstanding interview with him on Canadian TV show not too long ago on this very subject.

It’s in several segments and rather long I’m afraid. But it speaks volumes on the situation up there.

But, if the Dhems and or the ObamaMeister and the Dhems. take full power it could come to us, that simple.

You might take the time to view it, even at intervals.

Over.

1GooDDaDDy on August 6, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Thanks 1GooDDaddy! Interesting stuff. I’ve read some good stuff too and this just confirms what I have read. Thanks for sharing!

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 10:26 PM

The Canadian “Human Rights Council” should be run out of Canada. Preferably Northward, with pitch forks, tar and feathers, to be food for the polar bears.

byteshredder on August 6, 2008 at 10:27 PM

byteshredder on August 6, 2008 at 10:27 PM

There would be quite a few agreeing with you… Political Correctness run Amok. Too bad Liberals won’t see it for what it is; but that is just liberals – Political correctness must rule all! …..They’re coming to take me away….

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 10:43 PM

bytheshredder, it’s too bad the Canadian population is playing ostrich about it.

She lives near Queensland.

Neocon Peg on August 6, 2008 at 9:58 PM

Peg, Australia is a great country to visit. I prefer Perth.

Entelechy on August 6, 2008 at 11:55 PM

I love this whole Ezra story. It is just fascinating to me and Ezra is handling this thing superbly. Give em Hell!

kahall on August 7, 2008 at 1:58 AM

Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message.
- Winston Churchill (speaking of Adolf Hiler’s “Mein Kampf” in his book the “The Gathering Storm”)

MB4 on August 7, 2008 at 5:16 AM

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science – the science against which it had vainly struggled – the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
- Winston Churchill

MB4 on August 7, 2008 at 5:25 AM

Oh when, oh when, will another Winston Churchill arise out of Europe or America to face this vile evil called Islam?

Will it be in time?

MB4 on August 7, 2008 at 5:35 AM

Exactly which national circulation papers in the United States published the rock god’s ‘prophet’ Muhammad’s cartoons? They may have slipped through a few local cracks in the wall of self censure but there was no repeat offense. Even today no national paper will publish them, you’d be more likely to see full frontal nudity on the front page of the New York Times or the Washington Post before those uncensored cartoons got published in these rags.

The reason for not showing the drawings to the sensitive eyes of the American public was nothing other than pure unadulterated cowardice hiding behind multiple banners of political correctness. These same banners did not unfurl for the Piss Christ that got big time attention as ‘culture’ in the NYT which is sufficient proof that the fear of an impending fatwa can generate self censorship in these parodies of free expression.

In Canada at least one national magazine did publish the cartoons but with 10 times the population not one brave national newspaper had the guts to face down the phantom PC police in the U.S. where there is not even the threat of ‘Human Rights Commissions.’

Annar on August 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM

Your update is a non-sequitor. A publishing company in a free market has every right to publish or not publish a work as they see fit; that’s incomparable to Ezra Levant’s publications being censored by the government.

Beo on August 7, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Welkome to the Socialist Soviet Union of Canada.. A page out of the USSR handbook of tyranny.

docdave on August 7, 2008 at 1:45 PM

After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided “to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.

Score another win for the Islamofascist Terrorist everywhere.

Sultry Beauty on August 7, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Actually, The New Yorker did publish all the Muhammad cartoons.

Al in St. Lou on August 8, 2008 at 1:34 PM