Coming soon: Shakedown

posted at 1:00 pm on March 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, I wrote about the noxious effort by the UN to give Islam a right not to hear criticism of its religion or its policies by declaring such criticism “hate speech”. The UN isn’t the first to come up with that rather strange notion of freedom; Canada, through its Human Rights Commissions, attempted to silence critics Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant through the threat of government sanction for publishing their opinions. Levant and Steyn won, but in Levant’s case, it cost him his magazine, the Western Standard.

Now Ezra has a new book, Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights, which details his fight to defend free speech in Canada. Mark Steyn provides the introduction to the book, which should get people interested in advance of its March 24th release date.

Levant calls this a “national wake-up call” to the people of Canada, but it’s really a wake-up call for the West. Freedom of speech is what makes all of the other freedoms possible, and too many among us want to subordinate that to a right not to hear criticism — which would put a straitjacket on public discourse and allow government to dictate the terms of political debate. One only need look at what happened to Levant and Steyn to realize that the day has already arrived in some countries.

I’m looking forward to reading this. Be sure to order your copy now.

Levant has clips of his interrogation at the hands of the Canadian human-rights thought police at his YouTube channel. I’ve included one segment showing Levant ripping into the entire notion of the proceedings:


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UGH

ANKARA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held up Turkey on Saturday as proof that democracy and Islam can coexist and said Barack Obama would visit the NATO state in his first trip as president to a Muslim country.

William Amos on March 7, 2009 at 1:03 PM

UGH, indeed William Amos!

SouthernGent on March 7, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Should state that is how Hitler came to power. He abused democracy to enforce non Democratic goals.

William Amos on March 7, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Why do I have the feeling that Levant’s adversary hasn’t just taken his ball and gone home. I don’t think for a second that this is the final chapter.

perroviejo on March 7, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Ed, thank you for this thread, for freedom of speech, for freedom and liberty for all.

Messrs Levant and Steyn, thank you for sacrificing and fighting, so we all may remain free, and those who’re not free, yet, may become so.

All others, buy Mr. Levant’s book, for so many reasons, and also to knock this one off the Canadian best-seller list. Naomi Klein is the exact opposite of freedom.

Entelechy on March 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Levant calls this a “national wake-up call” to the people of Canada, but it’s really a wake-up call for the West.

Good luck, sir. The West is a narcoleptic giant.

Disturb the Universe on March 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Entelechy on March 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM

+1

Buy multiple copies and give them as gifts.

Disturb the Universe on March 7, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Good luck, sir. The West is a narcoleptic giant.

Disturb the Universe on March 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM

The world, not only the West, is under a spell, the obamassianic one. It must be broken, for liberty and freedom for all.

Disturb the Universe, yes, buy them as b-day, graduation, and ealry X-mas gifts. We can’t give a better gift, to anyone. This will keep us and the next generations free. The time to fight is now. Bend the iron while it’s still hot. In a short time it will be too late.

Entelechy on March 7, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Should state that is how Hitler came to power. He abused democracy to enforce non Democratic goals.

Yup, Hitler wanted everything to appear “legal.”

How many know that Hitler was not even legally able to hold office in Germany at first? (he was Austrian)….hey, sound familiar Barry Soetoro? but I digresss…

….to get around this, Hitler had Bavaria make him some kind of official in order to gain “legitimacy” (of course he had Bavarian officials in his pocket…hey, sound familiar? but I digress….)

ex-Democrat on March 7, 2009 at 1:33 PM

When one can make fun of, even slander, Mohammed without threat of violence, then Islam and Democracy are compatable. When some rather mild Danish cartoons of Mohammed spark violent protests, death threats and some people actually be killed, something is seriously wrong with Islam in Europe.

عندما يمكن لأحد أن يمزح ، بل التشهير ، ومحمد من دون التهديد باستخدام العنف ، ثم الإسلام والديمقراطية متوافقة. وليس فيه بعض الرسوم المسيئة للاعتدال محمد شرارة احتجاجات عنيفة ، والتهديد بالقتل ، وهناك اشخاص قتلوا فعلا ، وهو أمر خطير على خطأ مع الإسلام في أوروبا.

Mr. Joe on March 7, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Oh, Canada. Do the right thing.
Randy

williars on March 7, 2009 at 1:35 PM

maybe the market wont tank as fast with him out of town

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on March 7, 2009 at 1:36 PM

*~@):~{>

jgapinoy on March 7, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I got an advance copy and can assure you: it is great.

This book is totally Ezra: blunt, funny, in your face.

fivefeetoffury on March 7, 2009 at 1:50 PM

In more ways than one, we are not that far away from Canada.

coldwarrior on March 7, 2009 at 1:50 PM

“…knock this one off the Canadian best-seller list. Naomi Klein is the exact opposite of freedom.”
Entelechy on March 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM

What’s ironic about Klein’s book is that, even though it’s intended to be a slam of Bush/Cheney, it unintentionally forwarns of the Age of Obama. From the Amazon.com review:

“…savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times.”

KS Rex on March 7, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Yep, we are closer to Canada than we think and Minnesota is leading the way.

It’s now ok for people in Minnesota to wear religious headgear while getting their driver’s license photos taken, brought to you of course by outraged muslims throwing their religion in our faces.

When my DL comes due for renewal, I plan on wearing a motorcycle helmet and declaring that I worship Sylvester Roper, so don’t even bother trying to convince me to remove it.

Bishop on March 7, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Unless we start to take pride in our heritage, warts and all, and Islam in America renounces its central core belief that Islam is the state, there is no hope going forward.

We will lose it all through the courts. The fabled “rope” will have been sold to us by us! One need only look at Europe, especially the UK.

Everyone knows what is happening in Europe and nothing, absolutely nothing is being done about it. So why should I care. It appears to be what the world wants. We are starting with the same footsteps here. Islam makes up less than 2% of our population yet we are starting to cater to their demands, textbooks, holiday’s, dress codes, inclusion into the legal system, sharia courts, banking proviso’s. They are taking over colleges—the Borg are here, resistance is futile. It is the fastest growing religion/cult especially in the prison system. The gangs are next, future storm troopers. They are the thugs that currently cruise the streets beating people in Iran, Afghanistan and parts of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Indonesia to name a few. They are in every ghetto in Europe such that the police don’t even enter.

Yup the religion of peace is coming very soon to your neighborhood. It starts with a small storefront mosque. Then the cancer spreads.

patrick neid on March 7, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Yep, we are closer to Canada than we think and Minnesota is leading the way.

It’s now ok for people in Minnesota to wear religious headgear while getting their driver’s license photos taken, brought to you of course by outraged muslims throwing their religion in our faces.

When my DL comes due for renewal, I plan on wearing a motorcycle helmet and declaring that I worship Sylvester Roper, so don’t even bother trying to convince me to remove it.

Bishop on March 7, 2009 at 1:58 PM

I see your point, Bishop, but what about Greek & Russian Orthodox nuns? Seemingly if some law were passed disallowing ‘religious headgear’, these nuns would be included.

Maura on March 7, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Freedom of speech is what makes all of the other freedoms possible, and too many among us want to subordinate that to a right not to hear criticism —

Yes,,, and that is bad enough,, but it is worse than even that,, for the right to not be offended stops at the church door. Christianity will have no such protection. All will be able to offend, criticize, attack and strangle the Christian to their hearts content. These laws are what they are,, Fascist attacks on freedom, liberty and democracy.
The biggest threat to the Fascist is the Christian church. The Christian church built the west and built civilization.
Once it is destroyed (though it will never be) than the rest will be easy.
Noah Webster: Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If our government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. [Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49]
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Benjamin Franklin

JellyToast on March 7, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Please note how absent the leftie gnats and plankton are from threads like these. The weasels hardly ever come by to defend true liberalism and progress.

This is why the terms are stolen and need to be recovered. They, the weasels are hypocrits. They are neither liberal, nor progressive. Thus, when referring to them, the terms must be put within single quotes.

Entelechy on March 7, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Mr. Levant says that there is one chapter in the book where he focuses on the imam who made the initial charge. It sounds nicely juicy in that he describes it as being “very carefully lawyered!” If it embarrasses the hell out of said imam, I’m in.

NahnCee on March 7, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Entelechy on March 7, 2009 at 2:15 PM

You can lead a libeal to the truth but you cant make them think.

William Amos on March 7, 2009 at 2:20 PM

#23 Why Islam sucks.

Flying Israeli

Caststeel on March 7, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Free sppeech killed by liberal fascism. R.I.P.

Canada today. USA tomorrow.

petefrt on March 7, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Earlier this week, I wrote about the noxious effort by the UN to give Islam a right not to hear criticism of its religion or its policies by declaring such criticism “hate speech”.

How about if one just reads from the Koran? Surly that would be copacetic. Maybe just a few lovely passages now and then.

2:10 Disbelievers are diseased.
2:99 Disbelievers are evil people.
2:104 For disbelievers is a painful doom.
2:171 Disbelievers are deaf, dumb, and blind.
3:28 Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference of believers.
3:73 Don’t believe anyone who is not a Muslim.
3:48 Don’t be friends with non-Muslims. They all hate you and want to ruin you.
4:89 Have no unbelieving friends. Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.
4:63 Oppose those who refuse to follow Muhammad.
4:101The disbelievers are an open enemy to you.
4:144 Do not choose disbelievers as friends.
5:51 Don’t take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do, then Allah will consider you to be one of them.
5:51 Jews and Christians are losers.
5:60 Allah turned unbelievers into apes and swine.
5:59 Jews and Christians are evil people.
9:5 Slay the disbelievers wherever you find them.

MB4 on March 7, 2009 at 3:04 PM

I encourage everyone to watch the different videos from Ezra’s “hearing” or whatever they call it. You can tell that he is seething throughout, and with good reason.
The woman who is “in charge” is WAY over her head with him.
Thanks for posting this Ed.

JeffinOrlando on March 7, 2009 at 3:37 PM

I pre ordered my copy, I hope sales go through the roof.

Speakup on March 7, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Obama reaches out to the Taliban

When the U.S. reached out in Anbar, it was not to al Qaeda, but Sunni tribes in the area. Reaching out to the Taliban is not the answer, reaching out to Pashtun tribes and Pashtun leaders may be. It is a subtle but important distinction that the NYTs and (more scary) the Obama Administration don’t seem to get.

Mr. Joe on March 7, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Mr. Joe on March 7, 2009 at 1:33 PM

وقال جيدا ، يا سيدي

KS Rex on March 7, 2009 at 4:08 PM

I remember when I first saw these videos of the Canadian Inquisition. The banal, officious manner of the bureaucrat charged with “investigating” the complaint chilled me to the bone.
I was very impressed with Mr. Levant’s passionate and articulate defense of his (and our) right to free speech; so much so that I sent him a few bucks to help with his legal expenses. If you knew what a cheap bastard I am, that would impress you.
I’ll definitely be buying this book, because the Muslims are not done with their encroachment on the freedoms we take for granted in Western society.

cruadin on March 7, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Hey Muslims: I’ve got an idea for you! IF you don’t want to be made fun of, stop blowing sh*t up!

We’ll treat you as civilized when you prove that you are!

Chaz706 on March 7, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Amazing…
One need only quote directly from the Koran or the Hadiths…and it’s considered hate speech. Islam hates truth, particularly the truth about Islam found in the Koran and the Hadiths.

Mos pleasure at sucking on the tongues of young boys and girls, his pleasure at having men lick his chest. Sex with nine year old girls and the dead. His obsession with beheadings…

All these things are there for anyone to read in Islams “Holy” writings. Quote them…and it’s hate speech. Go figger.

No Islam…Know Peace…Know Islam…throw up.

Army Brat on March 7, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Islam is not a religion, its a death cult.

Maxx on March 7, 2009 at 7:25 PM

The Koran’s ultimate sin is that it is ennui apotheosized.

Islam is a terrorizing bore.

It cannot charm, so it threatens.

Like any garden-variety psycho.

profitsbeard on March 7, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Wake me when Canada passes a First Amendment.

Until then, they are antithetical to America and thus a bunch of mutts.

pabarge on March 7, 2009 at 11:49 PM

Memo to Ed:

If you were actually really on the side of Free Speech v. Islam, you’d stop promoting one of those atop Islam v. Free Speech in the U.S., your buddy Grover Norquist, on this site. You can’t be for one and be for the other, as much as you pretend you can. Period. For now, you’re simply a hypocrite. Norquist got myself and several others kicked off NRO and Townhall for this very thing.

Oh, and you were at CPAC, and yet you remained silent about Suhail Khan being a moderator of a panel there–yup, the same Suhail Khan, who got Rich Lowry to remove my 100% accurate piece about him from NRO. I wrote about how Khan’s father raised money for Al-Qaeda and twice brought Ayman Al-Zawahiri into the U.S. and how Khan, himself, invited a man to the White House (to meet the President) who called Jews a “dirty, little, racist tribe,” after Jihad Grover got him this White House job. And your hero Grover and Khan got NRO to remove the piece and ban me, not because it wasn’t true, but because it was. So much for your championing of free speech against censorship by Muslims.

Wake me when your right and left hands get what each other is doing and saying.

Debbie Schlussel on March 7, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Norquist also kicked Frank Gaffney out of Wednesday Group mtgs. and anyone else who wasn’t blind and/or silent on Islam. When conservatives start speaking out against censorship by Islamic cheerleaders in our own movement in the U.S., rather than just what’s happening in Canada or Britain, we’ll know you actually mean what you say, instead of being just mere hypocrites and bloviators.

Debbie Schlussel on March 8, 2009 at 12:02 AM

UGH

ANKARA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held up Turkey on Saturday as proof that democracy and Islam can coexist and said Barack Obama would visit the NATO state in his first trip as president to a Muslim country.

William Amos on March 7, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Hahaha yeah, only with the army ready take control at any moment if the Islamists get any power whatsoever.

ebrawer on March 8, 2009 at 7:57 AM

Can we also make capitalism something you can’t criticize?

Kafir on March 8, 2009 at 8:40 AM

Debbie,

There’s a difference between government imposing censorship and National Review and other private entities choosing what to publish. What happened to Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn in Canada is a completely different thing than happened to you. You can publish what you want on your own site without fear of government silencing you, which Ezra and Mark were not. Most people understand the difference. Apparently you don’t, which is why you occasionally post silly comments like you have in this thread.

Another thing. I don’t exist to fight your battles with National Review or Grover Norquist. Fight them yourself.

Ed Morrissey on March 8, 2009 at 4:02 PM

every body drink youre koolade now.are we as a people ever going to wakeup i am afraid the answer is no.

wade underhile on March 9, 2009 at 3:25 PM

In Canada we believe in “Free speech for me but not for thee”. Our state funded artists wholy support CRTC control of what American channels we can or cannot get. Most government funded artists believe in restricted free speech – exept when their federal funding is pulled on an art exibit that has a cross in a jar of piss.

One correction: It is my understanding that Ezra just could not expand his readership and was barely breaking even as the reason the Western Standard fell. I was a suscriber and it was a great magazine, but Canadians frankly are more interested in who Brad Pitt is with or who won Canadian idol than a hard hitting political magazine.

Faramir on March 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM