"Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value." - Dean Stacey, in response to the question "What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate?"
- (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
- (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
- (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
- (d) freedom of association.
- - Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Last week, a Human Rights Tribunal in British Columbia considered a complaint brought against journalist Mark Steyn for a piece in the Canadian newsweekly Maclean's. The excerpt from Steyn's best-selling book "America Alone" argued that high Muslim birthrates mean Europeans will feel pressure to reach "an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots."
The new rallying cry is, "If I hate what you say, I'll accuse you of hate." The Canadian Islamic Council got the Human Rights Tribunal in British Columbia and the national Canadian Human Rights Commission (where proceedings are still pending) to agree to hear its complaint. It had to like its odds.The national commission has never found anyone innocent in 31 years. It is set up for classic Alice-in-Wonderland "verdict first, trial later" justice. Canada's Human Rights Act defines hate speech as speech "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt." The language is so capacious and vague that to be accused is tantamount to being found guilty.
- Rich Lowry, "Mark Steyn: Enemy of the State?
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