NATIONAL POST | August 6, 2008
Some 900 days after I became the only person in the Western world charged with the “offence” of republishing the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, the government has finally acquitted me of illegal “discrimination.” Taxpayers are out more than $500,000 for an investigation that involved fifteen bureaucrats at the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The legal cost to me and the now-defunct Western Standard magazine is $100,000.
The case would have been thrown out long ago if I had been charged in a criminal court, instead of a human rights commission. That’s because accused criminals have the right to a speedy trial. Accused publishers at human rights commissions do not.
And if I had been a defendant in a civil court, the judge would now order the losing parties to pay my legal bills. Instead, the Edmonton Council of
Both managed to hijack a secular government agency to prosecute their radical Islamic fatwa against me — the first blasphemy case in
The 11-page government report into my activities is a breathtakingly arrogant document. In it, Pardeep Gundara, a low-level bureaucrat, assumes the role of editor-in-chief for the entire
In his report, Gundara presents as “fact” his personal opinion of the
Gundara 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
Rest of article at:
Ezra Levant.com: (Punish First, Acquitted Later)
NewsWire: (The Danish cartoon investigation has made