What's All This I Hear About Freedom of Speech?

As  a couple of commenters have noted in response to my column today, the National Post reports that Muslim activist Syed Soharwardy plans to drop his "human rights" complaint against Ezra Levant over the latter's decision, as publisher of the Western Standard, to reprint the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons. This is how Soharwardy explained his decision:

Over the two years that we have gone through the process, I understand that most Canadians see this as an issue of freedom of speech, that that principle is sacred and holy in our society. I believe Canadian society is mature enough not to absorb the messages that the cartoons sent. Only a very small fraction of Canadian media decided to publish those cartoons.

By his account, then, Soharwardy had not heard of this whole freedom-of-speech thing until after he filed his complaint with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, and it took him two years to fully absorb how important it is to Canadians. During that time, he also took the measure of Canadians and judged them "mature enough" to look at cartoons depicting Muhammad without going on an anti-Muslim rampage. I think it may take a few more years for Soharwardy to get the concept at stake in his tiff with Levant.

Levant, for his part, says he plans to sue Soharwardy for wasting his time and money. I understand the sentiment, but I'm not sure it's a smart P.R. move. 

The Western Standard comments on Soharwardy's announcement here.

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  • Elemenope||

    Oh, this is asinine. A Muslim community leader declares the importance of and respect for freedom of speech (a, *ahem*, Western value) and you're shitting all over it?

  • ||

    declares the importance of and respect for freedom of speech

    after being shouted down by pretty much the rest of the country. Just because he backed down in the face of overwhelming opposition doesn't means he really understands or likes it.

  • ||

    Syed understands "most Canadians see this as an issue of freedom of speech". That is not the same as "A Muslim community leader declares the importance of and respect for freedom of speech". What he is saying is "most people think I'm an asshole, and I'm making myself and people like me appear even more neanderthalic than we really are, so I'll shut up now.


    Doh! Upon hitting Preview I see Lost_In_Translation made the same point. I got distracted discussing the stupidity of the steroids hearings with co-workers. Postin it anyway...

  • Elemenope||

    ...that principle is sacred and holy in our society.

    'Sacred' and 'Holy' are not words lightly used by religious "Neanderthals". That's pretty balls out mea culpa, if his intent is merely to pacify his critics.

  • Elemenope||

    p.s. Isn't it progress when the ideological "enemies" of freedom, such as they are, start utilizing the legitimate means of social persuasion (courts, critical speech, petitions, etc.) rather than throwing stones, burning flags, and menacingly brandishing Kalashnikovs?

    Or do we only believe in our structures of society when they are utilized by friendlier sorts?

  • ||

    Fuck the fucking fucker

  • Elemenope||

    I see Warren is getting his free speech on...

  • canuck observer||

    All very well to point this out. But a link to Ezra's Western Standard? Yikes. You're not going to find much except bile there.

  • ||

    Fuck the fucking fucker

    Why doesn't he go out side and play a game of hide-and-go-fuck-himself?

  • ||

    "Or do we only believe in our structures of society when they are utilized by friendlier sorts?"

    Who says we believe in our structures of society? I agree with Warren.

  • ||

    Lets Fisk a little, shall we?

    Over the two years that we have gone through the process, I understand that most Canadians see this as an issue of freedom of speech,/i>

    Note that he specifically does not say that he understands it as an issue of freedom of speech, only that "most Canadians" (by implication, not including himself), do.

    that that principle is sacred and holy in our society.

    Whatever, dude. Are you in the habit of bringing complaints contrary to principles that you, yourself, accept as sacred and holy? More mealy-mouthed eyewash.

    I believe Canadian society is mature enough not to absorb the messages that the cartoons sent.

    He must be completely tone-deaf to not realize he comes off as a condescending prick.

  • ||

    "p.s. Isn't it progress when the ideological "enemies" of freedom, such as they are, start utilizing the legitimate means of social persuasion (courts, critical speech, petitions, etc.) rather than throwing stones, burning flags, and menacingly brandishing Kalashnikovs?"

    No it isn't. The only reason he is not using a Kalashnikov is because he knows he would go to prison for it. Given the chance, don't think for a moment a bearded ferret like Soharwardy wouldn't use those means if they were available. The only good thing you can say about this is that at least Canada is not in as bad a shape as Europe where Soharwardy wouldn't have bothered with the court system and just called for Levent's death and Levent would have faced the choice of death or life on the lamb. The Canadian multiculturists are not quite as advanced in their tolerence as the Europeans, but give them a few years and they probably would be.

  • ||

    Lets Fisk a little, shall we?

    Over the two years that we have gone through the process, I understand that most Canadians see this as an issue of freedom of speech,

    Note that he specifically does not say that he understands it as an issue of freedom of speech, only that "most Canadians" (by implication, not including himself), do.

    that that principle is sacred and holy in our society.

    Whatever, dude. Are you in the habit of bringing complaints contrary to principles that you, yourself, accept as sacred and holy? More mealy-mouthed eyewash.

    I believe Canadian society is mature enough not to absorb the messages that the cartoons sent.

    He must be completely tone-deaf to not realize he comes off as a condescending prick.

    Sorry, premature postulation there.

  • ||

    Just because he backed down in the face of overwhelming opposition doesn't means he really understands or likes it.

    He doesn't really have to like it. He just needs to accept it. Which he seems to be doing, regardless of the why.

    No it isn't. The only reason he is not using a Kalashnikov is because he knows he would go to prison for it.

    I imagine there are a lot of people who behave properly because of this rationale rather than because they are upholding some principle.

    And it is progress, regardless of what others may think he would do if circumstances were different. There are many Muslims that do in fact use violence knowing full well that they may go to prison for it.

    I'm not trying to defend this guy, but the reality is he backed off and is saying the right things. And those right things are being heard by like-minded people. This will influence them as well.

    Let's not poo-poo and minimize when someone actually does an about face an admits their error and changes their ways. it may not be perfect, but it is progress and better than many alternatives.

  • ||

    He's not apologizing, admitting his error or agreeing that free speech is good, he's just declaring a hudna, or temporary truce, because of the strong reaction he's faced to his theocratic demands. Once he has more support, he'll be back to demanding silence from his critics. You guys should learn to parse the statements of Islamists with a more critical eye.

  • ||

    We need more Warren!

  • ||

    We need another Warren Commission, is what we need! Only not us, Canada. yeah. Also, what John said.

  • ||

    ChiTom,

    I guess Reason should be happy he's not firebombing the cartoon author's house, which means he's got an ounce of self preservation and sense (unlike a great deal of muslims I could name), but he still sounds like he doesn't have much tolerance for criticism and if he were in another country where the punishment for acting against the author wouldn't be as harshly punished, he'd be on that fly on shit.

  • Elemenope||

    Given the chance, don't think for a moment a bearded ferret like Soharwardy wouldn't use those means if they were available.

    Everyone would. We know we would, because we have, so the moral equivalence buys you nothing. My point is that dissenting groups utilizing the structures of Western society de facto legitimizes them in a way nothing else would.

    He must be completely tone-deaf to not realize he comes off as a condescending prick.

    Or perhaps, just perhaps, he comes off as a foreigner (which he is) analyzing a situation from, essentially, the outside. (So, RC, it's not an implication; it's pretty explicit. He's a Pakistani in a Strange Land.) If not literally, then certainly culturally. From that context, it sounds like rather a different sort of appraisal. (It's not something I'd expect he would say about, for instance, the US. We're kind of pricks, and our cultural image of Muhammad probably does have a bomb somewhere in the turban.)

    Look. Islam wants to play in the West like all the other children, and so they have to learn the rules of the game (like, free speech=good, death warrant fatwa=bad). When their first instinct is to "sue your ass" you've already won in every way that matters.

    Are you in the habit of bringing complaints contrary to principles that you, yourself, accept as sacred and holy?

    Me, no. I don't consider much to be holy...certainly not "principles", as fatigued by human error as they tend to be. But if you're saying that such an act would be hypocritical, I'd advise you flush Kant from your headgear. Sometimes, personal imperatives collide; if you consider Islam to be holy and sacred, AND you consider Freedom of Speech to be holy and sacred, it does no good to just sit down and do nothing if one is (in your judgment) imperiled. We choose from among competing values all the time; choosing one over another in any given case does not automatically a hypocrite make.

    Though you are probably right and it is mealy-mouthed bullshit. However, even bullshit is substantive when it is uttered by people in positions or authority and/or influence. "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" was bullshit too, and yet I can't help thinking it helped a bit.

    p.s. R C Dean, always meant to ask you, is that your real name, or an "Enemy of the State" reference? Or both?

  • Elemenope||

    he's got an ounce of self preservation and sense (unlike a great deal of muslims I could name)

    You can name them?! Well, shit, LiT...call the fucking FBI!

  • DJMoore||

    So, Soharwardy, you grabbed the tiger's tail, and now you want the tiger to let go of you?

    HAHAHAHAHA!

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    I'm pretty sure you could name them too, but I don't feel like going through the list of Osama's, names of suicide bombers, etc...


    ...but nice sarcasm there, I am truly humbled.

  • ||

    If Levant sues, then there's no getting around it: the entire Canadian human rights tribunal system will also be on trial. That's the real story now.

  • ||

    "I imagine there are a lot of people who behave properly because of this rationale rather than because they are upholding some principle."


    I don't think so. I don't think many people buy into the idea that you should be able to kill anyone who criticizes your religion or even send them to jail. I don't see anyone outside of Muslims saying that.

    Given a choice, this guy would have us live in a country where criticizing Islam is a crime. Just because he failed this time, doesn't mean he won't try again or that we can somehow let our guard down and think everything is ok. It is not. It is interesting the double standard that we apply here. Christians complain about government funding of art that offends them and they are "fundies" and want to have a theocracy. Muslims decide that the political climate is not right just yet to send people to jail for criticizing Islam and that is called progress.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    I still don't see the point you're trying to make by saying Reason's snark is uncalled for. Sullum has a bit of skepticism about Soharwardy's belief in "the freedom of speech" and you think we should praise Sowarhardy for "not blowing us up"?

    This strikes me of a Chris Rock skit where he's talking about blacks that proudly claim "..and my boy ain't been to jail". Rock's response "YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO TO JAIL. WHAT DO YOU WANT, A COOKIE!?!?!"

  • ||

    Also, he may have dropped it this time, but he certainly made no promises about doing the same thing in the future. The message that if you criticize Islam you can expect to be hauled into court has been sent. Under other conditions, that is called a chilling effect. Until they drop all of the cases like this and get rid of the entire system, I don't see how anyone who cares about freedom of speach can be satisfied.

  • ||

    R C Dean, always meant to ask you, is that your real name, or an "Enemy of the State" reference?

    The latter.

  • Elemenope||

    He's not apologizing, admitting his error or agreeing that free speech is good, he's just declaring a hudna, or temporary truce, because of the strong reaction he's faced to his theocratic demands. Once he has more support, he'll be back to demanding silence from his critics.

    Why on earth would you apologize if you thought you were right? That would be silly. Do you think that he was just kidding when he said he was offended by the cartoon, and that it's just all water under the bridge now?

    I also find it odd that you assume that he *will* receive more support. I thought the point of a free marketplace of ideas is that bad and/or stupid ideas get relegated to the fringes by the power of the market. I find it *extremely* unlikely that he or any other Canadian is going to pull a coalition out of his ass powerful enough to repeal and/or annul speech protections. Unless that very unlikely event comes to pass, he will simply remain a man with a (stupid) public point of view.

    You guys should learn to parse the statements of Islamists with a more critical eye.

    Sorry. Chirstianists have permanently cocked up my Islamist bullshit detector.

    But seriously, parsing statements with a permanently jaundiced eye is a great way to find enemies everywhere; I prefer to take a guy at his word until he breaks it.

    point of language: hudna also means "to be at peace" or "to make peace", or more accurately is the noun that is the product of those verbs (i.e. the 'peace' that is made). It has taken on other meanings in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; i.e. a cease-fire. Since Canada is neither Israel nor Palestine, I'd submit that your usage is poorly rooted in context.

  • Robert||

    Come on people. You have to look deeper than this. If Sayed truly is retracting his complaint someone needs to dig for a deal done between him and the AHRC. This would be typical liberal back-room dealing. It is a simple question.

    What has the AHRC specifically, and the liberal establishment in general, promised SS - sick ;) - in return for dropping his complaint ?

    Ezra should leave Syed alone and sue the AHRC. Leave the 'little guy', go after big brother. That's a good PR move.

  • ||

    "Why on earth would you apologize if you thought you were right?"

    Exactly, he doesn't think he is wrong. He thinks that it is perfectly okay to haul someone into court over a cartoon. That makes he an irredemable asshole and his statement pure bullshit.

  • ||

    I agree that Mr. Levant should include the AHRC in his lawsuit, but he should not ignore Mr, Soharwardy. If these bullies don't learn that there are consequences to the anti-freedom crap they pull, they'll never stop. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

  • ||

    The message has been sent, "don't screw with me or I will haul you into court". There are still plenty of these bullshit cases still out there, Mark Steyn for one. This is nothing but a meaningless gesture.

  • ||

    The Muhammadan obviously made a cost/benefit calculation and realized that this time the lawfare jihad he was practicing had to back off this time because of too much publicity and lashback.

  • Robert||

    OK, sue Sayed too, but name him as a co-defendent and the AHRC as the primary.

    I do agree with you. Ezra now has the ball firmly in his grip and needs to be absolutely merciless in pushing the polit bureau as hard as he can.

  • Elemenope||

    The latter.

    Ahh. Excellent.

    I still don't see the point you're trying to make by saying Reason's snark is uncalled for.

    It's uncalled for because:

    1.) he's giving up for now. Kicking an enemy while he's down is stupid from a PR point of view, especially if it immediately follows him doing exactly what you want him to do (i.e. drop the suit).

    2.) he used rhetoric (i.e. holy, sacred freedom of speech) that propagandists would cream themselves to get a prominent Muslim to say out loud on camera.

    3.) fueling Kulturkampf is unbecoming for anyone except Ann Coulter. Nothing could diminish her stupidity; everyone else has significantly further to fall.

    And for the record, I didn't say that we should praise Soharwardy at all. I think his position is wrong, his view of the matter to be myopic, and his actions stupid and destructive. I just think it equally stupid to shit all over the guy's concession speech. It sends the message that *no matter what they do*, it won't be enough to be accepted. Why even try when the bar is that far out of reach? Why be moderate or conciliatory when it buys you nothing?

  • ||

    I just think it equally stupid to shit all over the guy's concession speech. It sends the message that *no matter what they do*, it won't be enough to be accepted.

    No, it sends the message that this specific non-apology "apology" is not enough to be accepted.

    I don't think you intend to be a part of the "hey, lay off, that's pretty good...for a Muslim" crowd, but you need to understand that you're perilously close to coming off that way.

  • Pete||

    Let us remember: Sayed filed his complaint after participating in a debate about the cartoons with Ezra, who defended their publication. He didn't know at the time that Ezra had published the cartoons in the Western Standard. After the debate, Sayed went straight to the police station to have Ezra arrested for what he had said, and when they wouldn't do anything Sayed then went to the AHRC.

    I'm sure Ezra's not worried about the PR. It would be interesting to know why he is not suing the AHRC though.

  • ||

    I don't think he should be sued for anything more than the fees and costs that Levant has run up in defense of his position. It's like running up the score and makes Levant look like an opportunistic asshole instead of someone who was justified in his initial argument. Making Soharwardy pay the man he criticized will make him think twice about trying this again, and it sets a legal precedent. That is a win.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    I'm not giving special treatment to this idiot just because he's a Muslim. I hope he's learned that we in western society are allowed to freely make fun of each others religions without going batshit. If that's what he's come away with, then good for him, but he does sound pretty condescending and while theres nothing wrong with condescending, why should I not respond in kind?

  • Elemenope||

    I don't think you intend to be a part of the "hey, lay off, that's pretty good...for a Muslim" crowd, but you need to understand that you're perilously close to coming off that way.

    Well, when you put it that crassly, it does sound slightly dirty, but essentially...yes. When a person who grew up with values that are not your values concedes (publicly!) that those values are as valuable to you as his are to him, progress can be made.

    And I think it fairly idiotic to require a person to *apologize* for acting according to their values before something constructive can happen. I wonder, do you think that paparazzi should apologize for freedom of speech for making Spears et. al.'s lives living hell?

    He's not sorry for being offended; if he really was offended, he shouldn't be sorry. If he expressed regret, that would be disingenuous on a level far above any purported hypocrisy in his actual comments. it is condescending to say, in essence, that people have to pretend that words and images about their holiest figures don't matter to them in order to get along in the Western world.

    Silly me, but I thought freedom was about (among other things) not having to hide who you are, what you believe, and what matters to you.

  • Elemenope||

    I hope he's learned that we in western society are allowed to freely make fun of each others religions without going batshit.

    Funny. I have a friend who goes batshit any time anyone makes a Jesus joke. I try out mine on her so I know if they're good; if they are, her head spins around multiple times.

    I imagine if she had a gun and could get away with it, I might be dead. Anyone who thinks that Western Civilization is based upon the solemn principle of being able to razz other people's religions clearly slept through...um, all of Western Civ class, and then woke up in when they started covering the 1960s and simply assumed that was how it has always been.

  • ||

    You're asking us to apologize for being offended for his mealy non apology apology. At some point, a double negative is created, the singularity is reached and we spiral into a black hole of political correctness. I don't care if he apologized or not, but I don't believe for a minute that he believes what is coming out of his mouth and I'm not going to praise someone for "NOT GOING TO JAIL" so to speak.

  • ||

    If Soharwardy has finally understood this, why didn't the HRC understand it before they dragged Ezra before it? They supposedly have some understanding of the matter.
    They both have a tiger by the tail and would love to be able to let go. I don't think that is going to happen.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    And your friend deserves the same amount of snark this guy is getting. Your friend is an idiot just like this guy. You can thank your lucky stars that you live in a society that frowns on people killing "for no goddamn reason other than hurt feelings", but I'm not about to smile and thank your friend for not shooting me and playing by the rules of civilization.

  • ||

    I was about to write how I agreed with LMNOP on the merits, but Nick raises a good point about Levant's need to recover the costs of his legal defense. Unless someone (CCLU?) covers his legal costs, he's SOL.

    "Reason" without the snark is like decaf coffee with artificial sweetener and non-dairy "creamer."

  • ||

    "Reason" without the snark is like decaf coffee with artificial sweetener and non-dairy "creamer."

    I involuntarily shuddered at that one.

  • Elemenope||

    "Reason" without the snark is like decaf coffee with artificial sweetener and non-dairy "creamer."

    LOL. It gets the juices flowing.

    I agree, BTW, about recovering legal costs.

  • ||

    Well, when you put it that crassly, it does sound slightly dirty, but essentially...yes.

    I put it that crassly, because no matter how much lipstick you put on that pig, it is crass. You should be ashamed. that you obviously aren't is nothing to be proud of.

    When a person who grew up with values that are not your values concedes (publicly!) that those values are as valuable to you as his are to him, progress can be made.

    Ah. Yes. Progress can be made. Future perfect passive, or, as it's more commonly known, the "weasel tense." Of course, it should be noted that passive tenses always imply the opposite as well. That's why they're passive.

    If Soharwardy chooses to live in a modern Western democracy - or even one that's barely so, as in Canada - he'd damned well better wholeheartedly buy into the "free speech" thing too. It's part of the compact free peoples stipulate to each other.

    Silly me

    Agreed.

  • ||

    Do you agree that anything beyond that, such as punitive damages, makes Levant a turd?

  • GILMORE||

    I wish the guys name wasnt "Levant". I keep thinking of historical geographical term for part of the middle east.

    Aside from that, bleh. If its a topic that neither Donderooo or LoneWacko feel compelled to comment on, then i'm left without a hearty "FUCK YOU IDIOTS!!" to add.

    This is some basic 'Clash of Civilizations' stuff going on. Interesting, but neither here nor there. Stupid lawsuits arent going away anytime soon.

  • Elemenope||

    And your friend deserves the same amount of snark this guy is getting.

    Perhaps.

    Your friend is an idiot just like this guy.

    No, she isn't. I don't make a habit of hanging around idiots. She is just a very committed Catholic who, I think, takes her faith just a wee bit too seriously. That does not make her an idiot; just a person with different values than you.

    You know, I strongly believe that everyone has a lever (ideological, situational, whatever) that will move them to act violently for reasons other than self-defense. People love to point out religion as the all-time bad in this respect, but I'm fairly certain that people who are killed for some of those other reasons are just as dead. I wonder, what would it take to get you to kill a fellow human being? I'm sure there's something.

    You can thank your lucky stars that you live in a society that frowns on people killing "for no goddamn reason other than hurt feelings", but I'm not about to smile and thank your friend for not shooting me and playing by the rules of civilization.

    You should. Her and me and you not killing everyone who annoys us are the only reason that civilization functions at all. Many, if not *most*, people only refrain from the violent solution because there are consequences or they are afraid they would lose the confrontation. Thank *your* lucky stars it does not require that we make all people good to have society, but rather merely to prevent them from acting badly.

  • Elemenope||

    a modern Western democracy - or even one that's barely so, as in Canada

    ROFL! LOL! And sundry other AOLisms.

    Well, it is in the West (in that arbitrary, vaguely West of the Ural mountains sense). And it is modernized (I hear Saskatchewan just installed their *second* computer). And last I checked, they elect their officials in fair free elections.

    Barely, eh?

  • ||

    "I don't make a habit of hanging around idiots."

    If you are an idiot yourself, as your comments appear to indicate, then how would know if your friends are idiots?

    You admit that you don't like your friend shoving her religion down your throat. Now suppose your friend sued you for throwing away the crucifix she gave you as a gift, and you were out a hundred grand and two years of effort because some bureaucrat was too damn stupid to know there wasn't anything wrong with that. I don't think you'd be quite satisfied with the outcome when, at the very end just before the judgment, your friend said "Let's forget the whole thing. I guess I'll respect our society's values about freedom of religion, especially since I'm about to get my heinie kicked around in court."

  • .||

    I believe Canadian society is mature enough not to absorb the messages that the cartoons sent.

    The message that the cartoons sent was that quite a few muslims go ape-shit insane when you publish a cartoon of Muhammad. I, for one, have fully absorbed that.

  • ||

    Levant's counter attack against the retreating flanks of the jihadi is not another assault on free speech. That would be if Levant directly and wrongly shut the jihadi up. Rather, Levant is now seeking recompense for the costs he has wrongly incurred by the wrongful action of the jihadi. Plus he is helping Western Civilization by teaching the agents of its destruction that their war will cost them.

  • ||

    Isn't it progress when the ideological "enemies" of freedom, such as they are, start utilizing the legitimate means of social persuasion (courts, critical speech, petitions, etc.)

    Just because I am curious, how is it that courts are a legitimate means of social persuasion? Courts do not persuade and they are not free speech. They protect free speech, hopefully, and they arrive at rulings, which one can ignore at his peril. That is the legitimate force of government, not persuasion.

  • GILMORE||

    Plus he is helping Western Civilization by teaching the agents of its destruction...

    Uh. OK there dude. Time to get some fresh air maybe. Go enjoy some of that 'western civilization' before 'they' destroy it.

    Anyone else here of the mindset that calling 'jihadis' (aka generic description for hapless fanatics) the agents of the end of the western world is a bit of a stretch? And, to the point, is not actually helping matters at all, aside from boosting the sense of selfworth of a few, frothing, self-described "neocons"?

    Whatever happened to communists when you needed them?

  • ||

    Levant was targeted for exercising his right of free speech. The reason free speech is a right is so that anyone can exercise it without being targeted. Sowarhardy deserves to have a whole load of bricks dropped on his head for interfering with Levant's free speech. He knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted to punish Levant for publishing the cartoons. Levant rightly and courageously fought back. He should take this clown to the cleaners and take every cent he has. Maybe next time Sowarhardy will respect the right to free speech.

  • Elemenope||

    I don't think you'd be quite satisfied with the outcome when, at the very end just before the judgment, your friend said "Let's forget the whole thing."

    As I said before, I support legal defense costs being recovered for the targeted party. If it were likely that my friend would have to make me financially whole via recovered fees, I sincerely doubt my friend would sue in the first place.

    If you are an idiot yourself, as your comments appear to indicate, then how would know if your friends are idiots?

    I don't know. Perhaps I am an idiot. You never really know, do you?

  • ||

    Au contraire - it is a great PR move, with the right message. "If you launch a frivolous action through the HRC panels and fail, there will be damages. Think twice before you try to use these flawed kangaroo courts to silence the critics of your jihadi ambition". Seems like a reasonable message to put out there to me.

  • Dan||

    This is what happened:

    1. This guy tried to use the government as a weapon to intimidate and shut down free speech.

    2. The person he attacked turned out to be extremely capable of defending himself, both in front of a tribunal and in the court of public opinion.

    3. Thus, the tables were turned on him, and he began to feel the heat, so he bailed and tried to declare a truce.

    4. The victim, having none of that, is now going to make sure that all involved understand that there are consequences to flinging wild accusations and to creating unnacountable kangaroo courts with which to punish people who don't think the 'right' things.

    I hope Levant goes after him for court costs AND punitive damages. And I hope he sues the government as well. These tribunals rely on the meekness of their victims to stay under the radar. The people who fling the accusations rely on the tribunals to do their dirty work for them. The only way to stop this garbage for every person hauled up in front of one of these kangaroo courts to make life extremely painful for everyone involved, to the full extent of the law.

    Levant is out $100,000, plus his time, plus he had to have his name dragged through the mud and have vile accusations and smears aimed at him. For most people, just being hauled up in front of a human rights tribunal is damaging enough - you can lose your job, your friends, your standing in the community. Even if you did nothing wrong. It's not just about the money.

    Go, Ezra, go. Make 'em all squirm.

  • neo||

    *
    "Elemenope says... p.s. Isn't it progress when the ideological "enemies" of freedom, such as they are, start utilizing the legitimate means of social persuasion"

    you mean he gets 'extra credit' for not breaking stuff & killing people like his european confreres?

    i don't think so.

    wait until soharwardy gets hit with a monster 'abuse of process' lawsuit.

    let's see how he feels about "legitimate means of social persuasion" when ezra takes his car and his house.

    *

  • Peter Jaworski||

    You need to be a little more observant, Canuck Observer. The Western Standard is no longer owned or published by Ezra Levant.

    And the new owner and me (who helps edit) are libertarian, not conservative. So think of it as changing its orientation and editorial policy from the National Review/Weekly Standard model, to a Reason model.

  • ||

    I work in a large city hospital, and we have a complaints department. Occasionally complaints are justified and we take them very seriously, but usually they are either frivolous or due to ignorance of reality.

    The Imam's statement is basically the "I'm sorry you were offended" speech that we roll out whenever some person calls our hospital and makes unreasonable complaints about service or outcome.

    It's the lawyer's way of trying to mollify an angry person without admitting doing anything wrong.

    It works most of the time, and we laugh about that.

    Syed will have a good laugh if he is let off the hook with such a transparent maneuver.

  • Elemenope||

    you mean he gets 'extra credit' for not breaking stuff & killing people like his european confreres?

    i don't think so.

    wait until soharwardy gets hit with a monster 'abuse of process' lawsuit.

    let's see how he feels about "legitimate means of social persuasion" when ezra takes his car and his house.



    I'm pretty fucking sure it is Soharwardy's use of "the legitimate public process" that makes it possible for all of that stuff happen back to him. So, yeah, he gets points. Not "extra" points; after all, he's as likely to get fucked as Levant was, as you astutely point out.

    Thank you for making my point for me, though.

  • Mister Snitch||

    If you are an idiot yourself, as your comments appear to indicate, then how would know if your friends are idiots?

    I don't know. Perhaps I am an idiot. You never really know, do you?


    Real idiots never embrace the idea that they might actually be idiots. So I'd have to say you handled that pretty damn well.

  • ||

    Reckon heads will roll after things die down, maybe be shown in a video?

  • MediaMentions||

    Here is a recent article/editorial focusing on Freedom of Speech (online, print format):

    http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=CAAEYTYJPJA8&preview=article&linkid=9f240293-08ab-43d3-81d8-3fe1f128da80&pdaffid=ZVFwBG5jk4Kvl9OaBJc5%2bg%3d%3d

    Thank you,
    MediaMentions

  • B||

    "p.s. Isn't it progress when the ideological "enemies" of freedom, such as they are'

    A guy takes someone to court over the posting of inocuous cartoons in a magazine in a supposed liberal democracy and you call that progress. And why the hell did you feel the need to put the word enemies in scare quotes? Using a quasi-judicial board to silence a man's legitimate free speech certainly makes one an enemy of speech. What else would you call him?

  • B||

    "I believe Canadian society is mature enough not to absorb the messages that the cartoons sent. Only a very small fraction of Canadian media decided to publish those cartoons"

    And what if he decided Canada is too immature to reject the messages of the cartoons? What if more than a small fraction of newspapers or magazines had decided to publish the cartoons? This asshole would still be pressing this court case and more intolerant assholes like him would be suing other papers too. To claim this fucker, and other intolerant Muslim pieces of shit like him, with his ridiculously condescending "apology" has somehow seen the light and embraced freedom of speech is naivete that borders on stupidity.
    And nowhere do I see where he accepts the importance of free speech. I only see him accepting that others think it is a free speech issue, and he was unprepared for the backlash. Trying to position this douchebag as a new found hero of free speech is fucking retarded.
    This piece of shit tried to sue someone into silence, but instead of roundly critcizing him for being the intolerant piece of horseshit he is, we have an asshole finding a way to criticize Ann Coulter instead. Go fucking figure.

  • B||

    "after all, he's as likely to get fucked as Levant was, as you astutely point out."

    Yeah just like a rapist is as likely to get fucked as his victim when they send his ass to jail.
    Give me a fucking break you sanctimonious turd. This vindictive, intolerant Muslim asshole (excuse the redundancy) tried to fucking destroy a guy over a fucking cartoon, and you are trying to paint him as a victim?
    I would ask about your sense of decency, but you obviously lost that the same fucking day you lost your brain.

  • ||

    Why would Levant sue Sohowardy? The hapless imam is nothing more than a dupe of the pseudo-marxist identity socialists who set up their so-called human rights regime, complete with kangaroo court tribunals.
    Levant knows better. He is clearly anti-muslim and would love nothing more than to collect a scalp.
    The real villains here are the human rights racketeers and their political masters in Alberta, Canada's capital.
    By pursuing the pipsqueak Sohowardy, Levant aids and abets the ultimate victory of the human rights commisars.

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