Canada’s Star Chamber dismisses hate crime complaint against Mark Steyn

posted at 4:23 pm on October 10, 2008 by Allahpundit

Great for Steyn, a hollow victory for everyone else. As Ezra Levant put it after his own Star Chamber case was dismissed, “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.” Normally it’s the end of a legal opinion that’s the most important part, but not this time. Scroll down to page 7 and see for yourself what offense, precisely, he was charged with. Steyn’s off the hook only because the plaintiffs couldn’t show, by some arbitrary measure of “likelihood,” that his article on Islam and demography would subject them to “hatred or contempt.” A meaningful victory would see the statute invalidated as incompatible with free speech; as it is, he’s merely lived to fight be sued another day. Free advice to Canadian critics of Islam who can’t afford legal fees: Watch what you say.

Update: I’ve written at least a half dozen posts about Levant so I assume our readers are already on this wavelength, but needless to say it’s only because he and Steyn were willing to go to the mat on this and stand up to the cretins who are trying to silence them that the human rights commissions are suddenly timid about convicting. It doesn’t solve the basic problem of the statute, but they’ve done a huge service for freedom of expression by putting the tribunals under the media microscope.


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