Monday, October 20, 2008
For Maclean's magazine and author Mark Steyn, last week's not-guilty finding by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is no doubt a welcome respite from writing cheques to their legal defence team.
However, it is hardly a victory for free speech, or press freedom. All that happened was a government agency, after much deliberation, found their work acceptable.
That is the role of a censor, and
Steyn's case arose from complaints by Muslim advocates to commissions in
In it, Steyn speculated what large-scale Muslim settlement in
In the end, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal disagreed. However, it also pontificated that Steyn's piece contained historical, religious and factual inaccuracies, relied on common Muslim stereotypes and tried to "rally public opinion by exaggeration and causing the reader to fear Muslims."
So there. An arm of government has judged a publisher, slandered its professionalism, questioned its motives, but concluded it was not quite so bad
For the record, it was not Mark Steyn who caused readers to fear Muslims. It was Muslims who tried twice to blow up the
However, leaving aside the tribunal's own historical and factual inaccuracies,
In supposedly free societies, government has no business having an opinion on whether a book is true, false or has merit.
If it is hateful, there is the
This acquittal changes nothing: The chill remains, and the fight for reform goes on.
We desperately need your support to cover the legal bills and costs associated with this challenge of Internet Censorship
It’s time to end the censorship of the extremist
Stop Section 13 of the