Cartoon Inquisition

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Remember the Intoonfadah? When a Danish newspaper's publishing of cartoons mocking Muhammad led to a not-so-spontaneous display of cartoon violence and western journalistic cowardice? Though a very precious few U.S. publications (including this here blog) dared to run so much as an excerpt from the deadly caricatures, Canada's redoubtable conservative mag the Western Standard stepped right up. As a result, appallingly, former Standard publisher Ezra Levant has been hauled into court on charges abusing the human rights of Muslims.

Check out Levant's blog for video of his chillingly banal interrogation late last week by the Alberta Human Rights Commission, and also for his full-throated fuck-you to any authority that would prosecute his free speech. Excerpt from that:

When the Western Standard magazine printed the Danish cartoons of Mohammed two years ago, I was the publisher. It was the proudest moment of my public life. I would do it again today. In fact, I did do it again today. Though the Western Standard, sadly, no longer publishes a print edition, I posted the cartoons this morning on my website, ezralevant.com.

I am here at this government interrogation under protest. It is my position that the government has no legal or moral authority to interrogate me or anyone else for publishing these words and pictures. That is a violation of my ancient and inalienable freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and in this case, religious freedom and the separation of mosque and state. […]

For a government bureaucrat to call any publisher or anyone else to an interrogation to be quizzed about his political or religious expression is a violation of 800 years of common law, a Universal Declaration of Rights, a Bill of Rights and a Charter of Rights. This commission is applying Saudi values, not Canadian values.

Previous reason commentary on the Danish cartoons can be found from Tim CavanaughBrian Doherty, Cathy Young, Nick Gillespie, Julian Sanchez, and Michael Moynihan, for starters.

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  1. Sing it brother Ezra. Wish there were more like him up here

  2. whatever one may think of Harper’s they too published them

  3. Canada: Freedom of Speech succumbing to Kangaroo Courts of the Human Rights Commission

    Proceedings against Ezra Levant are nothing short of ridiculous, but let’s consider the implications for moderate Muslims. This “investigation” will further divide Muslims and non-Muslims in Canada. It will give credence to radicals’ claims that the West is at war with Islam. It will antagonize non-Muslims and radicalize moderate Muslims. Regardless of the outcome, once again Islamists skillfully manipulated Dhimmi justice system and came out as clear winners. Thank you, Human Right Commission!

  4. Sorry, but most of us here know Ezra Levant as an Arab and Muslim hating asshole. No Nobel’s for Mr. Levant.

  5. I think Canada, and much of Europe’s, thought control laws are some of the most frightening, stupid and immoral laws for exactly the reason he states: they are bald violations of the freedom of speech. Shame on liberals who should have learned this lesson when violations of free speech were used to imprison folks for engaging in speech associated with “communism,” or civil rights, or what not. Free speech rights which are not applied to those views the community may loathe misses the entire point of free speech rights…

  6. I hope Ezra moves south….

  7. MNG —

    Clearly, freedoms are only cherished by those that are deprived of them…

  8. Sorry, but most of us here know Ezra Levant as an Arab and Muslim hating asshole. No Nobel’s for Mr. Levant.

    And no freedom medal for you, Kent. You are a cowardly political correct moron. If offensive speech isn’t protected, why bother. You display all of noble traits of Vichy and Quisling. You can go look them up, you festering boil!

  9. Agreed with J sub D. Ezra is an asshole, but that doesn’t make this any less stupid.

  10. Kent,

    Ezra Levant keeps close and friendly ties to some arab christian groups, giving lie to your statement that he is an arab hater. As for being a muslim hater, you may be right, but what’s the problem with hating people who’ve adopted ridiculous beliefs? Muslim, catholic, scientologist and teh rest picked their silly world views, we owe them no respect for it.

    Fuck ’em.

  11. is my position that the government has no legal or moral authority to interrogate me or anyone else for publishing these words and pictures.

    Unless the free speech is a denial of or questions the holocaust, then, the government should haul his ass to jail and the western world will have no problem with that.

  12. I’m all for free speech and oppose hate laws. Mr. Levant is for free speech to inflame Arabs and that’s where his commitment it ends.

    Wonder how he’d feel about giving David Ahenakew his Order of Canada back? Or Ernst Z?ndel his citizenship returned? He’s only mad because he got nailed targeting a group he despises, not because he’s opposed to hate laws.

    Add me to the list of Canadians who’d love to see Levant head south.

  13. Don’t particularly care whether or not Ezra is a political hack.

    I strongly disapprove of these laws against that which is deemed offensive.

    — a Canuck (for what it’s worth)

  14. Why are there so many obnoxious Canadian political commentators?

    For God’s sake, Naomi Klein and Peter Brimelow make Michael Moore and Ann Coulter look like Plato and Aristotle.

  15. MNG,

    Shame on liberals who should have learned this lesson when violations of free speech were used to imprison folks for engaging in speech associated with “communism,” or civil rights, or what not.

    In Canada?

  16. J sub d,

    You display all of noble traits of Vichy and Quisling.

    Did they write comments in blog threads calling people assholes who didn’t deserve a Nobel Prize, or are you just a bit high-strung tonight?

  17. I kinda felt sorry for that poor woman. Sure, she should have know the job was dangerous before she took it, but she was there all alone to face his wrath, and now she’s plastered all over the internet. It’s gotta suck.

  18. People in other western democracies are freer than us in certain ways, but this sure as hell isn’t one of them.

    They just don’t get it, do they? All they’re doing is giving the biggest a-holes in society the opportunity to pose as glamorous rebels.

  19. “Unless the free speech is a denial of or questions the holocaust, then, the government should haul his ass to jail and the western world will have no problem with that.”

    I hope you’re joking anon. People should be free to deny the Holocaust all day long, or any other offensive view. It’s stupid and/or loathesome views for which free speech rights are for. I think the many European nations that have Holocaust denial criminalization statutes to be a prime example os such immoral laws.

    Joe
    I mean liberals in Canada could learn from the history of efforts to target leftists by criminalizing certain speech, whereever the occured.

  20. Did they write comments in blog threads calling people assholes who didn’t deserve a Nobel Prize, or are you just a bit high-strung tonight?

    Nah, joe. People who can’t support free speech for those they disagree with just make me very angry. It’s just a quirk of mine. I hope you understand. Protecting the Islamic fundamentalist’s from being offended is a sell out, cowardly and traitorous to western civilization. Perhaps that’s what brought those names to the front of my brain.

  21. Well, when you’re right, you’re right. I’m curious to know what the little commissars had to say in response.

    -jcr

  22. Here in the U.S. we do not criminalize Holocaust denial (or other evil spech) and it certainly does not in any sense “thrive” here. The marketplace of ideas wins, and so does freedom.

  23. Ezra could be the devil itself, and he would still be entitled to publish the Dreaded Cartoons of Blasphemy in any free country.

    Canada needs to get a lid on this litter of out-of-control bureaucrats.

    -jcr

  24. Great. What was that, five comments before the name-calling and ad hominems began?

  25. Great. What was that, five comments before the name-calling and ad hominems began?

    Caotain Chaos – Started at #4. The counter battery was unleashed by me at #8. Not a record, but certainly in the upper tier of animosity commenting, isn’t it?

  26. It is especially perverted that a bureaucracy calling itself the Alberta human rights commission would be the government agency violating my human rights. So I will now call those bureaucrats “the commission” or “the hrc”, since to call the commission a “human rights commission” is to destroy the meaning of those words.

    I liked this part best.

  27. Matt Welch-

    A few points to make:

    (1) Thanks for the post defending free speech, but

    (2) by focusing only on previous Reason posts and articles that dealt with the cartoon crisis and not include others that dealt with free speech in general, you have made a decision not to make protections of free speech in general the central issue at hand. It comes across as if it is not really about free speech in general, but about “protecting free speech from the Islamists” and by extension Islam (since many people are ignorant enough to confuse the two, including people here at H&R). The enemies of free speech are not only the Islamists. They are many many more. By failing to cite those, you have shifted the attention away from “protection of free speech”.

    (3) Reminder: “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread” (George Bernard Shaw). Yes, free speech has to be protected all the way. But with every post like this one, in which you do not put things into a wider context (e.g., the sensibilities of Muslims), you essentially come across as very standoffish and crass, which does not bode very well with a “cosmo” libertarian like this respectable publications implicitly claims to be. And then we libertarians wonder why people have all the different misconceptions about libertarianism.

    Anyhow, thanks!

  28. Radley really struck a blow for free speech on this issue when his response to fanatical Muslim rioting was the following:

    “Frankly, I say a pox on both their houses. Seems silly to go out of your way to stir up a hornets nest, as the Danish paper did. But then, Muslims don’t do themselves any favors when they act like their critics’ worst stereotypes of them. Conservatives are probably right when they point out the media’s raw double standard when it comes to disparaging Christianity verus disparaging Muslimdom. And they’re also right that there’s no comparing the degree of retaliation between the two. For all their excesses in using government to force the rest of us to live by their moral code, Christians at least don’t threaten violence and beheadings when a publicly-funded art museum shows the Piss Christ, for example.

    Still, I can’t get over the idea that this was needless provocation. That doesn’t in any way justify the Muslim backlash. And the backlash itself shows just how uncomfortably ubiquitous militant, reactionary Islam is (as if that weren’t already obvious).”

    Sounds like The Nation rather than Reason. What’s up with that?

  29. MNG,

    OK, liberals in Canada.

    J sub D,

    You can support someone’s free speech rights and still think he’s an asshole. Kent called him asshole, what’s wrong with that? He is an asshole, from what I can tell.

  30. Ali,

    1) Yr welcome.
    2) If I linked to even 1/100th of what reason has written about free speech, in order to provide an extra-Islam “context,” I would have had to spend an hour making links. Better to be specific to the controversy at hand.
    3) At the risk of being standoffish and crass, I kind of don’t give a shit about whatever labels people use for me, except as a source of amusement.

  31. Matt,

    As you are being simultaneously criticized for being overly concerned with the feelings of Muslims and also insufficiently concerned with the feelings of Muslims, perhaps the label “moderate” would apply.

    Betcha haven’t been called that before.

  32. Matt Welch-

    (1) Sure, thanks.

    (2) Yeah, I know that is why I wondered. But I understand. I think there are actually many Muslim readers as I have personally found out through personal communication with other Muslims to whom I try to “preach” about libertarianism (see my blog for example). Muslims in general respect general principles (in this case, this would be freedom of speech) as opposed to discriminating between some kinds of free speech protections and others. Free speech is free speech.

    (3) Haha. OK! Actually, let me take it back. As a “cosmo” libertarian myself (whatever the hell that means), I think this and similar posts appeals most to “NFL-libertarians” ;-). Just kiddin’.

    As a partial resident of Quebec, there is a hell lot of unlibertarian things over there too. Lets do a post about Quebec’s Reasonable Accommodation. Scary stuff!

  33. Make that “in-your-face-NFL-libertarians”.

  34. Let me put it to your Americans this way. Would you want Daniel Pipes as your champion of free speech?

  35. Matt- Glenn Greenwald at Salon has a good blog post on this very topic, concomitantly pointing out the absurdity of hate crimes legislation

  36. Thanks, innominate. Yes, and here is a link to Greenwald’s article.

  37. “Let me put it to your Americans this way. Would you want Daniel Pipes as your champion of free speech?”

    Would you want the government to put him in a position where he became one?

  38. Thank gosh for libertarians! Fun fact: one of the smearier parts of the recent TNR piece (remember that?) involved a similar Canadian case (see my infamous discussion of the TNR article if you haven’t already). The TNR author misled about that, yet, for some reason Reason didn’t call him on it.

  39. lonewacko,goaway!

  40. Huh…our version of a Human Rights Commission, here in Australia, won’t hear anything from a single, hetro, anglo male. After all, WE are the appalling oppressor of all people weak. To all HRCs worldwide I hereby issue my own, personal, FATWAD. Yes, my FATWAD is gonna blow up in their faces…
    so to speak:-)

  41. “Shame on liberals who should have learned this lesson when violations of free speech were used to imprison folks for engaging in speech associated with ‘communism,’ or civil rights, or what not.”

    joe’s response:

    “In Canada?”

    The Canadian province of Quebec used to have a “Padlock Law” allowing the provincial government to close down any building where it thought people were engaged in communist propaganda. I presume that people who resisted the padlocking of their building could be sent to prison.

    Use the “Search Inside” feature to look up “Padlock Law” at

    http://tinyurl.com/2clb2j

  42. Excellent Greenwald column, Ali.

    Thanks, Mad Max.

  43. joe- actually all credit goes to “the innominate one”.

  44. [bait]
    Is this the same Alberta government that’s pushing for the NAFTA superhighway?
    [/bait]

    🙂

  45. Greenwald had his article up by around noon. Matt, did you read the Greenwald article and decide to do one of your own?

  46. Text of the Quebec Padlock Law:

    http://tinyurl.com/283b92

    Particularly noteworthy for present purposes are the following sections authorizing imprisonment:

    “12. It shall be unlawful to print, to publish in any manner whatsoever or to distribute in the Province any newspaper, periodical, pamphlet, circular, document or writing whatsoever propagating or tending to propagate communism or bolshevism.

    “13. Any person infringing or participating in the infringement of section 12 shall be liable to an imprisonment of not less than three months nor more than twelve months, in addition to the costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such costs, to an additional imprisonment of one month.”

    I believe the Canadian Supreme Court struck this down in 1957, not because of violations of free speech, but because criminal legislation was the responsibility of the federal Canadian government, not the provincial governments.

  47. Matt, did you read the Greenwald article and decide to do one of your own?

    No.

  48. Matt-

    But actually Greenwald makes an excellent point. Muslims see a right winger like Levant and does not see the issue as mainly a free speech vs. religion, but instead sees it as an attack by a right wing warmonger attacking Islam and takes it personally. The whole freedom of speech thing is simply a side issue. I do not justify the imams’ position, I just highlight the nature of many Muslims’ perception of the issue. This is what Reason yet to realize in its reporting. If Reason really cares about the spread of the message of liberty, the approach has to be a bit less standoffish. It makes them appear like the warmongering right winders who wouldn’t care less about liberties and freedoms.

  49. Hello, my Yankee friends!

    Just wanna make a couple of points FYI, ‘k?

    These so-called “human rights” commissions aren’t part of the Canadian justice system at all. They’re rogue moonbat extremist activist bodies which have morphed via leftist interference into the fascist, politically correct kangaroo “courts” they are today. Originally they were mandated to merely act as sort of an arbitrator/mediator for folks who thought they’d been wronged in stuff like housing and employment, etc. Today they’re acting like the kids in “Lord of the Flies”, as y’all can see very well. It’s like the Ninth Circuit Court, but without any legitimacy whatsoever under the law and the constitution. It’s run by mostly brain-dead moonbat activists like the dummy woman in the video.

    There’s also no provision in the Canadian Constitution Act, Bill of Rights, nor Charter of Rights and Freedoms for such a commission as we see them acting today.

    These commissions have operated for too long under the radar (and still are) of the MSM and the Canadian People. But this is going to change, and start changing? a couple of days ago. The MSM is mostly silent, but I doubt they can ignore this for too long.

    Just like the ACLU and the Ninth Circuit Court and other leftist bodies and “judges” and so on in America, these commissions actually violate Canadians’ rights at the pathetic, petulant behest of extremists representing, mostly, GLBTs and Islamoimperialists. There’s no trial. Evidence is irrelevant. Facts are irrelevant. Constitutional rights are irrelevant. All that matters to these left-wing fascists of the commissions is that a special, favored-by-the-Far-Left group member has claimed that someone “hurt his feelings” or something? and then the accused is summarily found guilty and ordered to pay thousands of dollars to the complainant. Holy shee-it, that sounds like a bloody jizya (the tax Muslims make dhimmis pay)!!!!

    I can assure you, as a member of the party that governs my country today, we Conservatives don’t want these commissions taking away our right to freedom of expression and other rights. We want them abolished. We have made it clear to the Prime Minister and our MPs. Many, many, many people, including Americans, are donating money to Ezra’s legal fund.

    This is a critical crossroads in Canadian and human liberty history.

    And, don’t forget, the same liberal fascist forces that affect Canada affect America as well. And the entire Free World.

    Therefore Ezra Levant is essentially making the first stand, taking a leadership role?

    We must follow Ezra. We must also fight tyranny and evil as he is.

    Sic semper tyrannis!

    Let’s roll!

  50. Let’s roll!

    You mean “troll”?

    I can assure you, as a member of the party that governs my country today, we Conservatives don’t want these commissions taking away our right to freedom of expression and other rights.

    No, your stupid Conservative Party would love to take away LGBT rights.

    I think you hit the wrong blog. Go here. They’ll love you over there.

  51. It’s not over. Mark Steyn and Maclean’s get their day sometime soon. Many student unions are already out trying to rally support, including the one I was an involuntary member of.

    I’m not proud of any of this, obviously. But at least our FCC doesn’t try to bankrupt radio stations for saying something rude.

  52. With that out of the way, though, the said HRC should be eliminated in Canada. So I agree with you on that Dave. But probably only that.

  53. Whatever the problems in the USA, you can at least count yourselves lucky that you haven’t got the proliferation of “human rights commissions” that bedevil speech in this country. Their restrictive powers are hard to imagine until you’ve seen them in action. Chilling effects like you wouldn’t believe.

    One case in Saskatchewan (later overturned, mercifully) involved a man who published references to Bible verses condemning homosexuality. He was required to pay several thousand dollars in compensation to complainants who felt it was hate literature.

    Anyone who knows anything about Ezra Levant knows that he’s a canny self-promoter and often a total dick. But happily, that dickheadedness gave him the balls (to belabour the metaphor) to stand up to this nonsense.

  54. Also, Ali: I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the reversing-gay-marriage idea is effectively dead in the Conservative Party. It was never very popular, and they quietly dumped it when a free vote failed in Parliament back in 2006.

    Just a clarification, not an endorsement of the CPC.

  55. Good point, Ali.

    Americans: Ezra Levant has a long history up here of staging publicity stunts to further conservative causes. Printing the Mohammed cartoons in the Western Standard was just another of his publicity stunts intended to sell copies of his magazine; Levant bet that some Muslim group would take the bait, and was not disappointed.

    “Redoubtable conservative mag?” Mr. Welch, I’m not sure how often you’d read the Western Standard. At best it was a pale imitation of American conservative magazines, which are widely available here; much of its content was syndicated American columnists like Mark Steyn. At worst, it printed op-eds by hacks who obviously couldn’t get their xenophobic rants against Muslims, French Canadians and visible minorities printed in any respectable Canadian newspapers. (These are controlled, of course, by a gang of gutless liberal cosmopolitans in Toronto and Montreal who’d would be first against the wall when the Taliban took over Canada.) The satirical magazine Frank used to call it the Western Stuermer because it was so sickeningly xenophobic.

    Having to wish Ezra luck is one of those things that tests a libertarian’s faith.

  56. All the other western nations profess admiration for our bill of rights, but none of them have the balls to copy the first amendment. Why is that?

    Abusing human rights of muslims…speech codes…piss on that shit.

  57. So let me get this straight, some of you are arguing that printing a lame cartoon is offensive to muslim and should be banned, but Imams preaching hatred of Christians, Jews and western culture is protected under free speech?

    Are you out of your leftist minds???

    A cartoon is no threat to you, but an Imam winding up brain washed members of the religion of pieces, to go forth and kill infidels is.

    You need to get back to the real world and look around. Since 9/11 alone there have been more then 10,000 terrorist attacks committed in the name of islam.

  58. Ali,

    I didn’t see anything original in the Greenwald column that Reason and many other publications haven’t regurgitated a thousand times. Since you bring up the “sensibilities” of Muslims, let me ask you this: Do you really think Greenwald gives a flying shit about the “sensibilities” of right-wingers when he calls them “hateful purveyors of a bitter, destructive, authoritarian ideology”? No, of course not; that’s like asking Michelle Malkin whether she gives the slightest consideration to the “sensibilities” of immigrants every time she flashes her anti-(illegal)immigration rhetoric.

    Freedom of speech should never be a side issue; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to have any even remotely controversial conversation without fear of reprisal by our ideological opponents acting in concert with the state. Much as we’d like our discussions to be as civil as possible (and let me say I for one thought the Mohammed cartoons gratuitously offensive), there will always be a few whose idea of success is “to offend the greatest number of people” (to quote that lightweight Shaw, who you seem to be a fan of). And as annnoying as they are, it is our responsibility to defend their freedom of speech; harping on the “sensibilities” of the offended group would be to promote etiquette and civility at the expense of principle. If you disagree with that last sentence, keep in mind that Holocaust denial is a crime in many European countries because of the “sensibilities” of a previously persecuted group (remember David Irving?), and, even worse, it may become illegal across the entire EU in the not-so-distant future. We should be thankful that here in the U.S. racists like David Duke can still spew all the bile he wants and not be charged with a federal crime.

    God (of whatever your choice) bless America and our First Amendment.

  59. “Having to wish Ezra luck is one of those things that tests a libertarian’s faith.”

    I don’t know about anyone else on H&R, but I think I passed the test. And it only took me a milisecond before my pencil was down. Freedom applies to everybody. Even asshole nutjobs.

  60. I watched the video of the opening statement. This is one of the greatest videos I have seen in a long time. The bureaucrat’s evolving body language of indignance makes it five times better.

  61. Ezra could be the biggest douche on the planet. So what? He could be 100% wrong about the opinions he publishes. So what? He should be entitled to publish whatever wonky ideas come into his douchy little brain in a free society. Sadly that society does not appear to be my home and native land. Shakespeare had it wrong. Forget lawyers, first thing we do, lets kill all the bureaucrats.

  62. “Sorry, but most of us here know Ezra Levant as an Arab and Muslim hating asshole. No Nobel’s for Mr. Levant.”

    hate speech is protected by freedom of speech as well…

  63. When did hating islam become racist btw, last I checked Islam is an idea, a very stupid one that..

  64. “Sorry, but most of us here know Ezra Levant as an Arab and Muslim hating asshole. No Nobel’s for Mr. Levant.”

    hate speech is protected by freedom of speech as well…

    This is the whole point of free speech, give the guy the platform to make himself look bad, rather than try to hide him, and in this case, make them look good…

  65. From Levant’s full-throated fuck you: This commission is applying Saudi values, not Canadian values.

    Because, God knows, censorship is a value peculiar to the Saudis. The whole Quebec Padlock Law I read about on this thread, that was probably Saudi-inspired as well.

  66. I don’t know the guy. Never heard of him till 10 minutes ago. But that’s one hell of a speech. Regardless of the personality of the speaker, his ideas and his resistance to that kangaroo court are inspiring.

  67. “Let me put it to your Americans this way. Would you want Daniel Pipes as your champion of free speech?”

    Why not. Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell eventually became friends.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-flynt20may20,0,2751741.story

  68. The fundamental rights in this case are freedom of conscious and freedom of expression. The Canadan government violates both these rights by bringing Levant to court. A government that tries to enforce morality will violate rights even if it cites “tolerance” instead of “the heavens”.

  69. Milo –

    Shakespeare had it wrong. Forget lawyers, first thing we do, lets kill all the bureaucrats.

    Ah, but that’s just the thing. I don’t know about Canada, but in the US, most of our bureaucrats are lawyers. So it would much the same effect.

  70. *So it would have much the same effect

    Goooood Morning

  71. ok, enough of this nonsense. The above correction is supposed to just be by me.

  72. The Democrat candidates should have to answer a detailed question about their views on thought crimes. If Americans really knew the chilling effects of their proposed legislation I think most would be repulsed. Religious types might be surprised to learn that spreading God’s word could result in a stay in the pokey.

  73. James Ard –
    Why just Democrat candidates?
    Have you ever heard from a Christian who thinks that they’re being persecuted for their beliefs in the US just because *they* want to take God out of everything in public life? I would want to hear about whether Republican candidates would pander to that mentality and whether they would use the leverage of government to support it.

  74. I know one Republican for sure feels that way.

  75. *yes, I do realize that it is not yet to the same level of severity*

  76. Ezra should just go the whole hog and take a (literal) dump on a Koran. Not only would that be completely hilarious, but would really put this shit (haha) to the test. To be fair, he should do it to a Bible and a Talmud as well. Man, that would be good stuff.

  77. Let me put it to your Americans this way. Would you want Daniel Pipes as your champion of free speech?

    I’ll see your Daniel Pipes, and raise you Larry Flint.

    All the other western nations profess admiration for our bill of rights, but none of them have the balls to copy the first amendment. Why is that?

    Because their people haven’t copied the Second Amendment.

  78. Kent from Soviet Kanuckistan,

    I apologize for going off on you yesterday. Your first post indicated, to me, that you supported this censorship court. I regret that misinterprtation. IOW, I was in the wrong there. Oops, sorry, mea culpa, my bad, etc.

    As you may have surmised, I’m somewhat of an uncomprimising radical on the first amendment.

  79. People in other western democracies are freer than us in certain ways, but this sure as hell isn’t one of them.

    They just don’t get it, do they? All they’re doing is giving the biggest a-holes in society the opportunity to pose as glamorous rebels.

    All the other western nations profess admiration for our bill of rights, but none of them have the balls to copy the first amendment. Why is that?

    As beautiful as the language is in the Delaration of Independence and the preamble of the Constitution, the First Amendment, a rather plainly written statement, a mere 43 words long is, IMO, the greatest gift to freedom the United States has offered the world.

  80. “Printing the Mohammed cartoons in the Western Standard was just another of his publicity stunts intended to sell copies of his magazine; ”

    So what? He was still within his rights to do it.

    -jcr

  81. I started out siding with the accused, but after readng Dave’s little screed, I’m about ready to put on a bomb vest.

    Don’t make it a contest between people like Dave, Levant, and Daniel Pipes vs. the HRC. The only reason to do that is to subvert the cause of free expression to the old red/blue culture war.

    In the real world, the ACLU spends its resources going to court to defent people like Levant, such as in the famous Skokie case. The only way you end up with the ACLU on the opposite side is if you’re just using free speech as a stalking horse for your anti-minority politics.

  82. Many of the comments in this thread demonstrate exactly what people like Levant are up to; they are trying to play on our sympathies as supporters of free speech in order to recruit us into their little religious war.

  83. I agree the First Amendment is unparalleled, especially compared to the self-negating “wiggle room” engineered right into the first section of our Charter.

    However, what is the goddamned deal with FCC fines? How does that jive with a constitutional statement so direct and indisputable? It is because fines aren’t prohibitive, just “discouraging”?

  84. dr_dog- I think the keyword is “2006“. Sure the CPC is coming to speed with the modern times. No wonder they get to office only when the Liberal Party screws up.

  85. SxCx,

    FCC regs are supposed to be content-neutral, in other words, you can express any idea you want, so long as you don’t use the seven dirty words or show nudity or graphic violence.

  86. So let me get this straight, some of you are arguing that printing a lame cartoon is offensive to muslim and should be banned, but Imams preaching hatred of Christians, Jews and western culture is protected under free speech?

    Who made that claim? Cool down buddy.

    A cartoon is no threat to you, but an Imam winding up brain washed members of the religion of pieces, to go forth and kill infidels is.

    Give me a list of the imams who did that and how many of them escaped prosecution. Haven’t you heard of the recent Vision TV incident where an Imam preached hate and got his hateful behind handed to him?

    So, please, again settle down and relax.

    Free speech should be 100% protected. Only through the free market should bad ideas be debated and eventually rooted out. Conspiring to hurt someone, on the other hand, as some imams may have done in the past, is another issue that has to be handled as a crime.

  87. A cartoon is no threat to you, but an Imam winding up brain washed members of the religion of pieces, to go forth and kill infidels is.

    Perhaps the imams should run their sermons by the Alberta Human Rights Commission first.

    Civil libertarians, don’t take the bait. These tribalists are trying to use you.

  88. crimethink,

    And that’s constitutionally sanctioned? Have there ever been serious court challenges to this authority? Forgive my ignorance, I’m just a hoser who hates homework.

  89. joe,

    Sorry, I’m not a cosmopolitan libertarian. I’ve discovered I’m an antipaleodeosophist type-1080i(2.6) libertarian.

  90. I agree with the sentiment expressed about how the HRC is making this guy into a hero to the people they dislike, instead of the opposite.

    Most speech/church vs. state issues handled at the federal level only strengthen the resolve of the quarreling parties involved.

  91. Ah. A Budweiser in the Can-itarian, if my field manual is correct.

  92. NP- What makes the Greenwald piece better than this one is that it puts things in perspective. As you may observe, many on this thread have already made Levant a champion and defender of free speech. He may as well be one, I would say he’d make a bad one though.

    Regarding freedom of speech as a side issue, let me change my original sentence:

    The whole freedom of speech thing is simply a side issue.

    to this (as originally intended) instead:

    The whole freedom of speech thing simply becomes a side issue to (confused) Muslim observers.

    Remember, many (Muslim) immigrants may not appreciate the value of free speech as many in the West (especially in the US) do. To them, all they see is a hateful right wing warmonger bent on offending Muslims. They want to retaliate. Thankfully, in this case they go to a court instead of… you know what. Using an available law (no matter how ridiculous and how unlibertarian) is better than resorting to violence. I would give them some credit for that. The next step is to tell/inform/teach/inspire them that free speech is a natural right and that freely saying what you want does not make it right.

    Anyhow, let me re-iterate that I am not defending those Muslims who went to court, not the existence of the HRC. I think Muslims have to grow up and get used to it. I think that the HRC should be eliminated. Let me assure you that I am not advocating suppression of free speech. All I am trying to do on this thread is point out why posts like this one will fail to actually spread the idea of freedom of speech to Muslims who may stumble upon it. See my comments to Matt Welch above.

  93. SxCx,

    I don’t like doing your homework either, but I recall there being court challenges to the FCC’s authority, which were upheld on the basis I mentioned above — they’re content-neutral, so the regs are just as constitutional as laws against public nudity, public swearing, etc.

    Also, the FCC’s authority extends only to broadcast media, so it can’t levy fines against cable, satellite, or Internet media. Thus, it doesn’t really affect much of the spectrum of media nowadays.

  94. Having to wish Ezra luck is one of those things that tests a libertarian’s faith.

    Given what I have said above. I hold my nose and wish Ezra luck.

  95. I just realized that “the HRC” is the Human Rights Commission, not the Hillary Rodham Clinton. In that case, maybe the HRC isn’t so bad after all…

  96. Here! here!

    And indeed here, in as much libertarian solidarity as can be extended a NeoCan:
    http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/2008/01/skiing-to-byzan.html

  97. SxCx, relevant to the FCC regulations is the principle that the broadcast spectrum belongs to the citizens of the United States. Radio and television stations are licensed to use specific frequencies–a privilege that comes with certain restrictions, such as those imposed by the FCC. In the same way that the private owner of a newspaper can legally set limitations on what is published their, so can the FCC (supposedly in the name of the citizen-owners of the broadcast spectrum) set limits on what is broadcast.

  98. Good God- I just looked at Ezra’s blog, andnow see I must defend to the death as well my right not to read him.

    He is one powerful good reason why 54 40 or fight is a Bad Idea.

  99. Anyone that has to rely on “hate speech” legislation and censorship to shut down ideas that are “offensive” to them have just ceded the fact that their own ideas cannot stand up to criticism.

    As a fun challenge to everyone on this board: imagine a time in the past when someone was saying something that you strongly disagreed with or was attacking your beliefs and you wanted nothing more than to somehow stop them from it (we’ve all had it, it’s human nature). Now, think about the belief that you held (or still hold) that was so important that you wanted to shut down conversation about it.. is it really true? Is it really a rational belief, or is it just something you hold on to for some other reason?

  100. Marcvs- Oh that’s easy. Have you considered the possibility that the ideas are good but your mind is weak in defending them, so you resort to courts and violence and stuff?

  101. One of the unfortunate things about defending free expression is you often have to take the side of odious people. I’m pretty sure nobody attempts to censor Lee Greenwood or the Osmond family.

  102. I want all sorts of people to shut up. I want all sorts of ignorant and evil ideas banished to the trash bin. I’m just not qualified to determine who or what. Nobody else is either.

    If your feelings get hurt, too bad! Grow up!

  103. Fine display, cosmo-tribalists, that for you this isn’t about defending citizens from the predations of the state, or even noticing, as Welch does, the style in which they do it, but about whether its victims are enough like you to be defended – which in this case you’ve found that he isn’t.

    But of course you still say you defend him…by running a background ideology-check before weighing in, then attacking him in the same terms the state does.

    “But but but!”

    Sure.

    At least we know “cosmopolitan” doesn’t mean Jewish.

    But “neocon” still does.

  104. Ali,

    “What makes the Greenwald piece better than this one is that it puts things in perspective.”

    … and he problem with Greenwald’s piece is that he has to make partisan points by putitng his bonafides on the table when this is clearly a broader civil liberties issue that transcends ideology. It was not needed but typical Glenn. I appreciate him on this and other matters but there are times where he could really edit to the main point. One Ezra’s enough.

  105. To clarify my point, the issue isn’t about Newt wanting to cut back on extremist rhetoric, but the right to question, lampoon, or criticize a religious figure or other sacred cow (or for that matter cite the cow for the flip side). Newt also the last time I looked isn’t politically fungible beyond just being a wonk and his bid to be drafted is dead in the water at his own request. Yet he has to kick him for “points.” I don’t like Newt either, but I had never condiered him to be a player in this case. The closest beyond the HRC context in north america may be univeristy “tribunals” for speech codes, but Newt? Only in Glenn’s dreams.

  106. “I’m pretty sure nobody attempts to censor Lee Greenwood or the Osmond family.”

    If I had control of the volume knob…

  107. Ugh. I’m a Canadian and I love my country – both major parties are fiscally responsible – but this is nuts. Sure free speech comes with responsibility. People can’t threaten to kill someone, libel, slander, or say “fire” in a crowded theater (or any variation therof). When did it come to include mocking religion? Do we really want a de facto return to blasphemy laws? Imagine if Monty Python’s “life of brian” or Kevin Smith’s “dogma” had been suppressed because it was found offensive to religion.

    I would also like to point out (if someone hansn’t already) that the pressure to supress anti-religious speech doesn’t just come from islam, it comes from other major religions too. During the “satanic verses” fracas, christian and jewish leaders joined in denouncing it and calling for its supression.

  108. I support not only Ezra’s posting, and his defense of it, but also the right of every Muslim to dump his/her odious and barbaric religion (the world religion in the world) on the garbage bin of history. I don’t hate Muslims. I do hate Islam.

    Islam delenda est.

  109. joe wonders:

    Perhaps the imams should run their sermons by the Alberta Human Rights Commission first.

    No, the imams should deconvert from Islam immediately. They may choose any other religion, as any other religion is guaranteed to be less shitty than Islam.

    Islam delenda est.

  110. No, the imams should deconvert from Islam immediately. They may choose any other religion, as any other religion is guaranteed to be less shitty than Islam.

    Nonsense. All “Holy Books” have a lot of tribal, immoral and dowenright stupid stuff in them. Christians in the west ignore the parts that their society has outgrown. A literal reading of the bible horrifies a sane person.

  111. crimethink – so when you claim you’re 1080i, you’re admitting that you only present half of the picture (at a time)?

  112. Ali,

    If you had allowed yourself to be a little more objective, you would’ve noticed that the only information Greenwald provides to support his description of Levant as a “pernicious commentator” is that the Canadian is a “neoconservative who publishes Western Standard, a typical warmongering, pro-Likud journal — a poor man’s Weekly Standard for Canadian neocons.” Given Greenwald’s rep as a left-leaning commentator and his propensity to label as anyone who dared support the Iraq war as a neocon, those of us who had not heard of Levant before and are able to think critically would not have taken Greenwald at his word.

    I do understand your stance on the fragile symbiosis between Muslims and freedom of speech, but I also think it’s important to recognize a few points here. One, keep in mind that articles and posts like this one are meant less for Muslim immigrants than for our fellow Western citizens, commentators and intellectuals who somehow try to justify the bigotry, intolerance and crimes of Muslim extremists. The most disappointing aspect of the Danish Intoonfadah was the sheer cowardice and betrayal of so many members of our Western society who cried “Well, they asked for it” before defending, if at all, the right of the cartoonists to engage in satire, however crude and offensive it may be.

    Two, the attempt to accommodate–if I may call it that–other cultures often backfires, as can be observed from the French riots and the growing presence of Muslim extremists in Britain. Yes, do try to be patient and understanding with the immigrants, as it will take a great deal of time and effort for them to assimilate. But we should not back down in our defense of free speech rights, even when the form of suppression–the law, in this case–is admittedly less extreme than violence. We need to communicate to the immigrants respectfully but also firmly that no matter how much we disagree with the content we do not support suppression of free speech in any way, and that the majority of Western society are considerate of the beliefs of others, including theirs.

    Which brings me to the final and related point: It is rather patronizing to say that non-Western immigrants need our cues and instruction if they are to understand the virtues of free speech. I know this was not your intention, but again we need to make it clear that freedom is universal, that non-Western immigrants deserve and share their share of responsibility for freedom, and that no freedom is possible without freedom of speech. Indeed I don’t think it’s a mere accident that Muslims in the U.S. have the better track record of assimilation than their European counterparts, and I’d bet that a lot of this fortunate state of affairs has to do with our strong First Amendment rights.

    So spread the word and welcome them, let them think for themselves, and be willing to commend them when they’re right, but also criticize them when they’re wrong.

  113. Uhh… make that “non-Western immigrants deserve but also share their responsibility for freedom”

  114. J sub D wrote:

    Nonsense. All “Holy Books” have a lot of tribal, immoral and dowenright stupid stuff in them.

    I agree. Does this mean that they are all bad? Meaning, if I wrote a “Holy book” that was filled with all good and benevolent things except for one passage, then would it immediately be just as bad as the Bible or the Koran? Of course not, because the depth and breadth of the evil passages in the Koran exceeds that of any other book. That’s why your “all religious books are equally bad” statement is nonsense. You have made no effort to examine the depth and breadth of evil passages. And when I write evil, I mean, “Exhortations or commandments of depriving other individuals of life, liberty, or property as a matter of religious faith.” In that sense, Islam is the worst. It is the worst in both theory and in practice.

    Islam delenda est.

  115. SuprKufr-

    Could it be possible that you are reading these “bad” passages in the Quran as shallowly as OBL et al.? I mean, is it just possible that your mind is as tiny as OBL’s and his followers? Or as tiny as the Spanish Inquisitors? Or the Crusades? Just sayin’.

  116. NP- Thanks. Actually pretty much ditto on all the remarks that you make. The situation as I see it just demands just a little bit more caution when proceeding if the real goal is promoting and spreading liberty. Take a look for example at how I try to proceed in my blog. Instead of being confrontational, try a promotional technique.

  117. “Could it be possible that you are reading these “bad” passages in the Quran as shallowly as OBL et al.?”

    Shallow as in verbatim?

    For obvious reasons, I have no plans on supprorting or rationalizing Osama Bin Laden or Fred Phelps, but I don’t question their reading comprehension skills.

    When Leviticus says to to kill gays, it doesn’t mean take them down to the red cross to give some RH negative (ok all of it), or to demean their self esteem, or hook them up with a hot chick who will make a man out of ’em. The verse says “kill the poofs,” period. Same goes for the Koran and Hadith. Sure there are calls for love and cuddles for all humanity in the Koran and most other holy books but you can either reject the evil stuff for what it is or at minimum call it antiquated and not for our times and move on — or you accept it as is. Postmodernist recostruction of the “bad” versus into something else is not just denial, it’s openly dishonest. Accept it and cope. Don’t go back in the wayback machine with a case of whiteout and a pack of bic disposable pens to make those nasty versus less nasty.

  118. ali
    like Levant and does not see the issue as mainly a free speech vs. religion, but instead sees it as an attack by a right wing warmonger attacking Islam and takes it personally.

    So what? Intelligent people can’t be held responsible because someone deliberately misunderstands or is too stupid to understand an issue.

    People shouldn’t self censor because bigoted idiots might not understand it.

  119. Ali asks semi-rhetorically:

    Could it be possible that you are reading these “bad” passages in the Quran as shallowly as OBL et al.?

    Why did you put scare quotes around the word bad? Do you dispute that the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s command to kill any Muslim apostate is bad? Or the command to impose Shari’a by force? Or the command to take slaves? My guess is that you are a Muslim. If so, then I support your right to dump your religion like the dog shit that it is. Your devout Muslim brethren will want to kill you for doing that, however, and that desire is perfectly Islamic.

    All that said, I am reading the Koran and the Hadith as if they mean what they say and as if they say what they mean. This is precisely what devout Muslims do, for there is no interpretive tradition among devout Muslims as there is in all flavors of Christianity, from the most liberal to the most psychotic.

    I mean, is it just possible that your mind is as tiny as OBL’s and his followers?

    Let me ask you this. Is OBL wrong about anything he says? If so, point out how he is wrong and justify your argument with the Koran and the Hadith. Don’t try that “no compulsion in religion” shit because you know as well as I do that it was abrogated by Sura 9.

    Or as tiny as the Spanish Inquisitors? Or the Crusades? Just sayin’.

    I’m “just sayin'” that anything that the Spanish Inquisitors or the Crusaders did has nothing to do with how shitty Islam is. Islam is shitty irrespective of the existence of Spanish Inquisitors or Crusaders. Islam is shit in and of itself.

    Islam delenda est.

  120. I really do not want to put myself in a position to defend the Quran, because I do not want to. But, regarding the Bible, for example is there any commandment against spying? How would you know that two individuals had any kind of sex (hetro or homo) unless (a) they did in a public place or (b) in privacy. If (a), then Quran condemns all forms of sexuality in public and that would be fair game for criticism. If (b), then the “witness” of the act can not be taken as evidence at all, and the “charge” should be thrown out, since that witness violated another Islamic law (against spying) and the “evidence” can not stand. Such ideas that eventually lead openings and myriad possibilities for the coexistence of homosexuality and Islam in a “Muslim society” are a very viable way to proceeding to introduce liberties and freedoms into Muslim societies. Of course OBL won’t talk about that 😉

    Anyhow, my point is not to justify the Quran’s stance. I just wish to show that SuperKufr’s position that Islam is worse than other religions is baseless. See this for example and compare to the Bible or the Old Testament.

  121. Kevin comments:

    Postmodernist recostruction of the “bad” versus into something else is not just denial, it’s openly dishonest. Accept it and cope. Don’t go back in the wayback machine with a case of whiteout and a pack of bic disposable pens to make those nasty versus less nasty.

    There is also a commandment in the OT which states that anyone who works on the Sabbath (which is Saturday) should be executed. If this verse were carried out, then millions of evangelical Christians would be put to death.

    How do they get around this? The same way that liberal Christians claim that the death penalty for homosexuals actually refers to temple prostitutes.

    Behold, the power of interpretation. The ability to say, “That’s what it says, but that’s not what it means.” It allows ugly scripture to conform to modern culture. Christians will often say, “Scripture is true for the culture it was written in” and they mean it.

    No such thing exists in Islam. To devout muslims, Islam literally is true, word-for-word, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This is why the closer that a culture adheres to Shari’a law, then the closer that the culture in question resembles an 8th century shithole. Dubai is awesome only for its westernness. Every aspect of Dubai that is Islamic sucks.

    Islam delenda est.

  122. Is OBL wrong about anything he says?

    Yes, see my blog.

    Don’t try that “no compulsion in religion” shit because you know as well as I do that it was abrogated by Sura 9.

    Thank you for pointing out your ignorance. Do you know what is so special about Sura 9? do you know that it is a very specific chapter for a very specific (war) situation and is not a globally held commandment? Prove to me that Ch. 9 abrogates all else?

    Anyhow, see this.

    Again, I do not want to make this about defending Islam. The reason I responded is to undermine your statements.

    Even if you are correct, please suggest to this libertarian audience ways to root out the evil that is Islam? Bad ideas, my friend, can only be fought with better ideas.

  123. People shouldn’t self censor because bigoted idiots might not understand it.

    Sure. But if the people who claim to be defenders of liberty and who wish that liberty spreads may wish to adopt smarter methods. I do not think Mr. Levant is all about spreading liberty and freedom of speech. This has been addressed above, including by some Canadians.

  124. Ali apologizes:

    I really do not want to put myself in a position to defend the Quran, because I do not want to.

    If I were in your position, I wouldn’t want to either. It’s hard to defend evil, and yet that’s the position you’re in. Talking about the details of what the Koran says is the LAST thing that a Muslim wants to do. Taqiyya to the rescue? Not for you. You’d rather avoid the subject altogether and I understand completely.

    Why not just ditch that bullshit religion of yours? Are you afraid of what your more devout Muslim brothers might do to you if you did? If you de-converted, and they came and killed you, then their action would be Islamic whereas yours would not be. Your prophet said so, and you know it.

    But, regarding the Bible, for example is there any commandment against spying?

    Is there any commandment against child abuse in the Bible? Of course not! In fact, there are verses which encourage child abuse. I’m not a Christian, so I’ll probably agree with all your criticisms of the Bible.

    But this isn’t about the Bible, right? You’re just trying to change the subject.

    Anyhow, my point is not to justify the Quran’s stance. I just wish to show that SuperKufr’s position that Islam is worse than other religions is baseless.

    That’s some ripe Islamic bullshit right there.

    1. How many battles did Jesus Christ fight? How many battles did the Muslim prophet Muhammad fight?

    2. Where does the Bible state that all non-Christians should be subjected to conversion, the Christian equivalent of dhimmitude, or fighting?

    3. Where does the Bible hate on some Jews like the Koran does?

    4. Where does the Bible mandate the death penalty for apostates?

    Islam delenda est.

  125. Ali apologizes:

    No I have not. I am simply implying that this is not the forum for that.

  126. Ali, on that we agree. Keep up the work in your blog.

    SuprKufr,

    I’m probably not as well versed in Islam as you are, but you seem to be confusing Islamic culture with the religion itself. And your own criticisms should tell you that we should be more open to Muslims so that they can come to terms with liberalism and modernity; attacking the religion itself won’t help much.

  127. Haha one more thing…

    But this isn’t about the Bible, right? You’re just trying to change the subject.

    Last time I checked this thread is not about Islam. It is about freedom of speech.

    Now, I got more important things to do.

  128. Islam: Right or Wrong?

    Discuss.

  129. .. More important things like responding to NP:

    Ali, on that we agree. Keep up the work in your blog.

    I really do not see any point in a standoffish confrontation with others. A better way is to reform from within. It won’t be easy and will at times cause tensions and even violence. It happened during the Reformation, why shouldn’t it in this case?

    To give you another example, one of my projects is to revisit all the the Islamic battles and conflicts with others, starting from the prophet’s time to the Ottomans. I believe that I can provide clear evidence that many wars fought in the name of Islam were actually imperial in nature and unislamic, especially by the Ottomans. Some other wars could be justified as self-defense and some others as preemptive in Nature (e.g., battling the Persians and the Byzantines in the early days).

    OK, I think I am done here.

    Take care my good friend SuprKufr. Sleep well, and close the doors well lest the zombies come and get you.

  130. Ali apologizes:

    Yes, see my blog.

    If you have something to say, then say it. I claim that OBL is 100% Islamic. Prove me wrong and justify it with Koran and Hadith.

    Do you know what is so special about Sura 9?

    Yes: it was either the last or the second-to-last sura in chronological order. That is important because older suras abrogate earlier ones.

    do you know that it is a very specific chapter for a very specific (war) situation and is not a globally held commandment?

    Where does it say in sura 9 that the commands were NOT global and ever-binding? Where does any hadith say that about sura 9?

    Prove to me that Ch. 9 abrogates all else?

    It doesn’t abrogate “all else” (and thank you for owning up to the principle of abrogation — some Muslim apologists like to pretend that it doesn’t exist!). It abrogates the earlier “no compulsion in religion” sura. Specifically, sura 9:29 does (“The verse of the sword” — what is on Saudi Arabia’s flag and why?)

    Again, I do not want to make this about defending Islam. The reason I responded is to undermine your statements.

    And the reason I respond is to undermine your faith. Dump Islam. Dump it! It is evil!

    Even if you are correct, please suggest to this libertarian audience ways to root out the evil that is Islam? Bad ideas, my friend, can only be fought with better ideas.

    Why would you switch to a better idea if you are still convinced that you have the right one? You first have to be convinced that yours is wrong before you will want to find something else.

    In truth I have given you a better idea. That idea is ANYTHING. ANY idea is better than the one you have. If you convert to ANY other religion, then it will be a step up for you. How can you claim that I am so wrong when you steadfastly refuse to debate the merits of your shitty religion?

    Islam delenda est.

  131. Do you bigots actually think you understand Islam better than practicing Muslims?

  132. NP writes:

    I’m probably not as well versed in Islam as you are, but you seem to be confusing Islamic culture with the religion itself.

    This is a good point, but you yourself are a bit confused. There is Islam, which is the Koran, the Hadith, the Sunnah, and the Sira. There is Islamic culture, which is the culture which is grounded in Islam. And then there are also cultures which are found within countries governed by Shari’a, such as Arabic culture and Persian culture and Uzbeki culture and so on and so forth. Many people, Muslims included, conflate Arabic culture with Islamic culture. Whether or not that is wrong is a value judgment. (It sucks. Everything Islam touches turns to shit.)

    And your own criticisms should tell you that we should be more open to Muslims so that they can come to terms with liberalism and modernity; attacking the religion itself won’t help much.

    The only reason you would say that is because you think that we “shouldn’t attack religion” as a matter of politeness. In other words, political correctness. Screw that. Islam is evil, and it must be destroyed. I take it you disagree with that statement. What about Islam would you like to see continue? Please describe Islam’s good and beneficial qualities.

    Islam delenda est.

  133. joe yanks his head out of the sand to ask:

    Do you bigots actually think you understand Islam better than practicing Muslims?

    Please indicate what I have written which is false and justify your statement with the Koran and Hadith.

  134. Ali thoughtfully asks:

    I really do not see any point in a standoffish confrontation with others. A better way is to reform from within.

    That’s actually a very good and honest thing to write, for it admits that there is something within Islam that deserves to be reformed. Reformed as in “changed” or “done away with”. I notice that you’re not ready to name what it is — perhaps you are afraid of reprisal from your more devout muslim brethren. That’s a legitimate fear. Devout muslims are proven violent, vengeful assholes. That’s proven many times over. Even an appeasing weakling like joe would own up to that.

    My questions for you:

    1. How can there be hope for reform as long as there is no interpretive tradition within Islam?

    2. How can there be hope for reform as long as the Muslim prophet Muhammad is “a perfect model of conduct”? As long as that is true, then slavery and murder are okay in the right circumstances, and that is completely unacceptable.

    My Muslim friend, you have a very hard uphill battle to fight. But your battle is not with me. It’s with your more devout muslim brethren. I think you’ll find that I am more understanding and less barbaric than they are.

  135. So the answer is “Yes,” you actually think that you can understand Islam by reading its scriptures without any input for practicing Muslims, and understand it as well or better than those Muslims themselves.

    OK. That’s all I need to know.

    Buh bye.

  136. So the answer is “Yes,” you actually think that you can understand Islam by reading its scriptures without any input for practicing Muslims, and understand it as well or better than those Muslims themselves.

    1. I notice that you can’t disprove anything I have written. What are you, stupid? Afraid?

    2. I not only read the Koran and the Hadith, but I also repeat what devout Muslims say about the Koran and the Hadith. There is nothing that I’ve written which has also not been repeated by a more devout Muslim. Ali is not a devout Muslim. He’s a lax Muslim, the kind I can tolerate. I do not tolerate devout Muslims. If lax Muslims can’t counter what the devout Muslims say with Koran and Hadith (sound familiar, joe?), then what hope do the lax muslims have when the devout muslims say, “Your views are not Islamic”?

    OK. That’s all I need to know.

    Buh bye.

    Yes, back into the sand joe’s head goes! He’s an appeasing weakling who would much rather blame the victim than the aggressor. The aggressor is Islam. Islam is by nature aggressive, bigoted, and intolerant. It sucks, it is evil. Worst. Religion. Ever. Read the Koran, joe. Listen to what OBL says. Is anything that OBL says un-Islamic?

    Hell, why would you do any of that when it’s soooo much easier to stick your head into the sand? (Did you see that episode of South Park, “Cartoon Wars”? Rather a propos, n’est-ce pas?)

    Islam delenda est.

  137. former Standard publisher Ezra Levant has been hauled into court on charges abusing the human rights of Muslims.

    Whoah, Canada…

  138. Sorry, but most of us here know Ezra Levant as an Arab and Muslim hating asshole. No Nobel’s for Mr. Levant.

    He’d get one only if he killed them… oh, and then stopped.

  139. Yassir Arafat sure was a looker! A perfect 10 of a male specimen. He made me give up my man-crush on Alan Greenspan.

  140. Would you want Daniel Pipes as your champion of free speech?

    Hagbard, for God’s sake, we had Larry Flint as the country’s preeminent champion for free speech. Unfortunately, this was at a time when Liberals were generally seen as the party of the 1st amendment. Alas, this is no more.

  141. Is anything that OBL says un-Islamic?

    George W. Bush says so.

  142. Paul notices:

    George W. Bush says so.

    George W. Bush has been a grade-A appeaser toward Islam. He calls it “One of the world’s great religions” and a “Religion of Peace”. Islam is not a great religion. Islam is the worst religion. Islam sucks regardless of the appeasing bullshit that George W. Bush spews.

    Islam delenda est.

  143. Sorry, SupKurf, I’m busy reading porn, so I’ll know as much about hooking up and having sex as a porn star.

    Because you’ve convinced me; that’s totally how this works.

  144. Wish me luck on your appendectomy tommorrow, Supkufr. I’ve never even seen on done, or spoken to a doctor, but this text book goes into pretty good detail.

  145. Notice that there are a few weaklings here who take issue not with what I say, but with the fact that I’m saying it?

    Meaning, if what I say were truly wrong, then they would be able to say, “You’re wrong! Islam isn’t crappy, it’s awesome! Here’s some of the things I love about Islam: 1… 2… 3…”

    But no one says that.

    I think this is because plenty of us libertarians wanted to take a “They’ve hijacked Islam” opinion after 9/11, but when we started actually looking at what Islam is, then we realized that there is *nothing* good within it. It’s made of evil bullshit, it’s founded on evil bullshit. It’s evil bullshit all the way down.

    Some libertarians are still fighting this realization. They’ll tell themselves, “All religious texts are equally bad” and other comforting lies.

  146. SuprKufr,

    Whoa, hold on there boy. Of course I know about the Islamic texts, not to mention the difference between Islamic culture and Arabic culture. And here you’re feeding on another stereotype, that Islam is mostly concentrated in Middle Eastern countries. In fact the number of Muslims in India alone exceeds that of all of Arab countries by 100 million, and two of the largest Muslim groups in the United States are native-born African-Americans and immigrants from South Asia. I think even you’ll agree that most members of these groups are not a bunch of jihadists who are just itching to wipe secularism off the map.

    Speaking of jihad, let’s look at the true definition of this most misunderstood term, since you challenged me to name one beneficial qualities of Islam. Jihad actually means “to struggle,” and many Muslims do interpret it that way, as a personal struggle with oneself, as a way to grow spiritually. They don’t interpret it as an excuse to go out and blow other people up.

    It looks like I didn’t phrase my last post too well so let me rephrase that last sentence: attacking what the Muslims hold dear to themselves in such a confrontational manner won’t help them come to terms with liberalism and modernity. Religion is a perfectly legitimate target of criticism, but as Ali pointed out we should be less confrontational in our criticisms and be more promotional without sacrificing our own values. If you really want Muslim society to reform from within then telling them that their religion itself is evil and stupid won’t help accelerate this goal very much.

    If you’d read my exchanges with Ali you’d have noticed that I’m strongly critical of those who try to appease or justify the actions of Muslim extremists. Likewise I’m just as critical of those who promote stereotypes against the whole Islamic world. I just hope that you’ll soon find yourself not belonging to the latter group.

  147. Sorry, SupKurf, I’m busy reading porn, so I’ll know as much about hooking up and having sex as a porn star.

    I’m doing exactly the same thing! Isn’t it awesome? Too bad it’s haram under Islamic law. Yet another way that our Western culture is better than their shitty Islamic culture, right?

    Because you’ve convinced me; that’s totally how this works.

    It’s so much easier to mock than it is to read. Even a bigoted moron like me can mock. But it is you who is so averse to reading.

  148. Wish me luck on your appendectomy tommorrow, Supkufr. I’ve never even seen on done, or spoken to a doctor, but this text book goes into pretty good detail.

    joe, you change the subject like a good Muslim apologist. You are, in fact, defending Islam, correct? At the very least, you would like me to stop attacking it. Why?

  149. joe: Sorry, SupKurf, I’m busy reading porn

    You’re doing it wrong.

  150. NP writes,

    And here you’re feeding on another stereotype, that Islam is–

    I will address this once: I ignore all “You’re stereotyping!” arguments.

    Speaking of jihad, let’s look at the true definition of this most misunderstood term, since you challenged me to name one beneficial qualities of Islam. Jihad actually means “to struggle,” and many Muslims do interpret it that way, as a personal struggle with oneself, as a way to grow spiritually. They don’t interpret it as an excuse to go out and blow other people up.

    There are two jihads: the greater jihad and the lesser jihad. The greater jihad is the struggle against temptation. (Basically, it’s a struggle to avoid all the fun in life that we currently enjoy and would be prohibited under Islamic law.) The lesser jihad is a struggle against kaffirs, and it takes two forms: defensive and offensive. Defensive (lesser) jihad is performed when infidels invade “Muslim lands”. (I’m not sure the exact definition of “Muslim lands”, but suffice it to say that the imperialist instinct is well-defined and ingrained within Islamic culture.) Offensive (lesser) jihad can only be proclaimed by the reigning caliph. This is why so many devout muslims would like to reinstate the caliphate and also why OBL has framed his attacks as “defensive” attacks. He had to do that in order for his (lesser) jihad attacks to be halal.

    Religion is a perfectly legitimate target of criticism, but as Ali pointed out we should be less confrontational in our criticisms and be more promotional without sacrificing our own values.

    I think slavery is a horrible evil. It would be against my values to accommodate slavery in any way, shape, or form. Is slavery permitted under Islamic law? Of course it is. The Muslim prophet Muhammad had slaves, and he was “a perfect model of conduct”. Tell me, how the hell can I criticize this vile evil that is completely permitted under Islam without sacrificing my own values? I am not willing to mitigate my belief that slavery is evil and must end, period. I think what you are proposing is impossible.

    If you’d read my exchanges with Ali you’d have noticed that I’m strongly critical of those who try to appease or justify the actions of Muslim extremists.

    I am strongly critical of Islam itself. It is the worst religion in the world. There is nothing good in it. Do you disagree? That is NOT a rhetorical question.

    Islam delenda est.

  151. NP,

    Do you think that slavery should be allowed to persist in order to respect the religious sensibilities of Muslims?

  152. Weaklings! Islam is BAD, mm-kay? I know, because I’ve read books.

    If you weren’t JUST LIKE the stereotypes I’ve read about liberals in National Review, you’d undstand why my collection of Daniel Pipes essays makes my more knowledgeable about Islam than practicing Muslims. You pansy.

    Obviously, you must be doing this because you are, yourself, an Islamofascist. There is no possible other reason to find my comments about the evil of sub-human Muslims to be ignorant and offensive.

  153. joe, you change the subject like a good Muslim apologist.

    This is quite possibly the greatest sentence produced in the history of the English tongue.

  154. I’m onto you. Your craftiness marks you as one of the Musselmen.

  155. joe writes:

    Weaklings! Islam is BAD, mm-kay? I know, because I’ve read books.

    I take it you disagree with my statement that “Islam is bad”. What in Islam do you see that is good?

    (joe won’t answer that. Instead, he will weakly dodge the question and mock me in the vain hope that I will shut up. That really is the best that he can do in his defense of Islam.)

  156. I’m onto you.

    I’m under your skin, and I like it there. >:)

  157. SuprKufr,

    Since you’re clearly not going to be convinced by any argument I’ll just make a quick point and move on. You yourself distinguished between the two types of jihad, and I don’t see the first “greater” kind as much different from the Ten Commandments. You might quibble with struggles against, say, hunger and entertainment, but I don’t see anything wrong with struggling against adultery and stealing.

    Again the important point here is that the nature of any religion depends on how it is interpreted. Would you argue that Islam based on such interpretation is still an evil religion? And even if you say yes, telling Muslims that their most fundamental beliefs are evil and primitive will not help them develop a liberal, secular outlook on life. That‘s the point I wanna make.

    And BTW I don’t answer rhetorical questions.

  158. There is no possible other reason to find my comments about the evil of sub-human Muslims to be ignorant and offensive.

    Notice what joe is doing. My criticism has been of Islam itself, not of Muslims. I have been very consistent about that. But joe here is trying to make my argument be “against muslims”. It’s a standard apologetic tactic. It keeps him from having to acknowledge that there are some legitimate criticisms of Islam. Notice joe’s attitude toward my criticism is one of, “I can neither confirm nor deny what you say, but you suck”?

  159. NP,

    Since you’re clearly not going to be convinced by any argument

    Wrong. I’m not going to be convinced by any illogical, irrelevant, and poorly-supported argument.

    You yourself distinguished between the two types of jihad, and I don’t see the first “greater” kind as much different from the Ten Commandments.

    You’re trying to change the subject again. I’m not a Christian. I think the Ten Commandments (you have to specify *which* Ten Commandments!) suck. Whether or not they suck has no bearing on whether or not jihad or Islam sucks. Islam sucks irrespective of the Ten Commandments. Furthermore, it is the lesser jihad that bothers me the most. It is the means of the imperialistic impulse within Islam. It also results in murders every day.

    Again the important point here is that the nature of any religion depends on how it is interpreted.

    I have addressed this point and you don’t seem to have grasped it yet. There is no interpretive tradition in Islam. This is a huge problem!

    Would you argue that Islam based on such interpretation is still an evil religion?

    If Muslims are able to interpret away everything that I think is evil, then no, I would not argue that Islam is evil. But such interpretation is not itself Islamic. Lax muslims are NOT practicing Islam, because there is no interpretive tradition in Islam. This is a huge problem!

    And even if you say yes, telling Muslims that their most fundamental beliefs are evil and primitive will not help them develop a liberal, secular outlook on life. That’s the point I wanna make.

    I disagree. I think there should be more shame and opprobrium heaped upon Muslims for the primitive and barbaric beliefs that are inherent within Islam. I think that is what will inspire them toward reform. Not appeasement and accommodation toward evils such as slavery, murder, and subjugation of women. Appeasement and accommodation of those practices is telling people, “Hey, that’s a-ok that you have slaves and beat your women and kill people!” Islam is a loser’s religion.

    And BTW I don’t answer rhetorical questions.

    That’s why I said that my questions were NOT rhetorical. Namely:

    1. Islam is the worst religion in the world. There is nothing good in it. Do you disagree? (yes/no)

    2. Do you think that slavery should be allowed to persist in order to respect the religious sensibilities of Muslims? (yes/no)

    Just answer “yes” or “no” to each. It should be easy. But it won’t be easy … not for you. I can tell that it’s still a difficult struggle for you.

    Islam delenda est.

  160. Wow, ol’ SuprKufr really should see about getting that dosage adjusted.

  161. NP (@5:22)- Thank you very very much for putting it so well.

  162. Ali, Yr welcome.

    J sub D, I thought SuprKufr was a newcomer. Maybe I should read the threads more often so I can know which posts are worth responding to.

    SuprKufr,

    Unlike many H&Rers I do believe in debate and not making others look like morons, so I’ll respond to your last post despite your unwillingness to reflect on your positions critically.

    First, I don’t know why you thought I was trying to change the subject. I didn’t say or mean to imply that you’re a Christian, nor did I claim that the Ten Commandments should have any bearing on the morality of jihad or Islam. That’s a lot of straw you seem to be burning there. The only reason why I mentioned the Ten Commandments is because you yourself made comparisons between Christianity and Islam in your earlier post with respect to, among other things, treatment of Jews and the death penalty for apostates. BTW, I didn’t specify which Commandments I was referring to because you should’ve been able to figure that out based on your knowledge which you’re certainly not shy of flaunting. (You do know which ones mention adultery and stealing, right?)

    You keep claiming that there is no interpretive tradition in Islam. Even if we grant that your claim is true (it’s not–again just look at tolerant Muslims in much of India, South Asia, or for that matter here in America), your claim would apply only to Islamic culture, not the religion itself. If you don’t understand this distinction then it is you who don’t grasp this important point. It is simply wrong to claim that Islam does not allow any tolerant interpretation just because some Salafi scholars support slavery and a small segment of the Islamic world still practice it, even though the vast majority of contemporary Muslims agree that there is no place for the abhorrent institution in the modern world. Interpretation does matter, and as you reluctantly acknowledged Islam based on tolerant interpretation cannot be described as inherently evil.

    Finally I didn’t answer your questions last time because they’re absurd on their face, but I’ll give you my answers just to show they’re far from “a difficult struggle” for me. The first question: Are you kidding me or something? There are currently at least 20 religions in the world with at least 200,000 adherents, not to mention all the minor religions. You really think you or I know enough about all of ’em to rate one in particular as the worst? ‘Nuff said. As to whether there’s anything good in Islam again it depends on how one interprets it. If one takes the “greater”-jihad view then he’ll find good in Islam. If not then I think it’s safe to say that he’s most likely an Islamic extremist and that he should be watched and avoided at all costs.

    Now on to the second question. If you’d read my earlier comments (and now this post), you would’ve noticed that I’m strongly against compromising freedom just to respect the sensibilities of Muslims or any other group. And I discussed and objected to the very appeasement and accommodation policies that you mentioned. Now let me stress this: It is possible to retain our values and oppose appeasement and accommodation without being unduly confrontational. Constructive dialogues are difficult if not impossible without respect on both sides, and again attacking a sacred cow without showing the least bit of respect is not a very smart tactic if you want anything like religious reform to take place.

  163. And regarding the idea that there aren’t diversity in interpretation. It only takes Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divisions_of_Islam

    Enjoy SuprKufr!

  164. aren’t –> isn’t

  165. NP,

    Thank you for your respectful tone. I really appreciate it. Weaklings like joe don’t believe in open exchange of ideas or challenging their own beliefs. (J sub D is currently emulating joe with his desire to mock rather than debate.) Any moron can stand up for what they believe or mock someone they hate. It’s much, much more difficult to accept contradictory evidence and decide that it is true. I can see that you’re willing to make such a difficult step. Unlike what you think about me, I’m willing to take that step, too.

    First, I don’t know why you thought I was trying to change the subject. I didn’t say or mean to imply that you’re a Christian, nor did I claim that the Ten Commandments should have any bearing on the morality of jihad or Islam.

    I don’t think that you were implying that I was a Christian. I do think, however, that I respected Christian ideas, and that’s precisely why you brought it up. It’s a common tactic to use evil things in the bible to try to mitigate the evil things in the Koran or the Hadith. Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t work that way. Just because slavery is permitted in both the Old Testament and the New Testament does NOT justify the fact that slavery is halal as per the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s keeping of slaves and his being “a perfect model of conduct”. Slavery is wrong, period. And that’s why I think you’re changing the subject to bring up the Bible: what the Bible says is irrelevant when discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of Islam.

    The only reason why I mentioned the Ten Commandments is because you yourself made comparisons between Christianity and Islam in your earlier post with respect to, among other things, treatment of Jews and the death penalty for apostates.

    I did that to destroy the argument that “the Bible is just as bad as the Koran”. The Bible is bad, and the Koran is worse. We can do this by exploring the depth and breadth of the evil verses in each of them. Sometimes I have to convince you *why* an argument is wrong to get you to drop it. Just saying, “You’re changing the subject” isn’t always effective, as I’m sure you have noticed by now.

    You keep claiming that there is no interpretive tradition in Islam. Even if we grant that your claim is true (it’s not–again just look at tolerant Muslims in much of India, South Asia, or for that matter here in America),

    You are confusing the presence of lax Muslims with the presence of an interpretive tradition. Lax Muslims are Muslims who look at Islamic law and then decide that they will NOT follow certain parts of it. Islamic law hasn’t been changed or interpreted — it’s merely being ignored.

    Finally I didn’t answer your questions last time because they’re absurd on their face

    I don’t think my questions are “absurd” in the sense that they are nonsensical. I think you call them “absurd” because they offend your sensibilities. There is nothing absurd about asking you to name the good things you see in Islam, for I see *nothing* good in Islam. How did you answer that? Let’s see:

    The first question: Are you kidding me or something? There are currently at least 20 religions in the world with at least 200,000 adherents, not to mention all the minor religions. You really think you or I know enough about all of ’em to rate one in particular as the worst? ‘Nuff said.

    No, I’m not kidding you. Please list for me the good things that you see in Islam. If you’re interested in me explaining why I think Islam is the worst, then I’ll be happy to explain it.

    As to whether there’s anything good in Islam again it depends on how one interprets it. If one takes the “greater”-jihad view then he’ll find good in Islam. If not then I think it’s safe to say that he’s most likely an Islamic extremist and that he should be watched and avoided at all costs.

    So the good things are … ?

    If you’d read my earlier comments (and now this post), you would’ve noticed that I’m strongly against compromising freedom just to respect the sensibilities of Muslims or any other group. And I discussed and objected to the very appeasement and accommodation policies that you mentioned.

    I’m glad to hear that.

    Now let me stress this: It is possible to retain our values and oppose appeasement and accommodation without being unduly confrontational. Constructive dialogues are difficult if not impossible without respect on both sides, and again attacking a sacred cow without showing the least bit of respect is not a very smart tactic if you want anything like religious reform to take place.

    It seems like the values you’re standing up for here are the values of being “constructive” and not being “duly confrontational”. How is this different from being accommodating and appeasing toward vile Islamic practices? For instance, I insist that slavery must end everywhere, right now, without exception. I am completely intolerant of it. If that offends a devout Muslim’s religious beliefs, then am I failing to be “constructive” and also being “duly confrontational” by making insisting on such? This is the heart of our disagreement. You think we should play nice whereas I think we should be harsh and uncompromising towards evil, regardless if it is found in Islam. The reason why I think your way sucks is because I think devout Muslims will see it as accommodation and weakness. And they would be right.

    Islam delenda est.

  166. Ali says,

    Enjoy SuprKufr!

    I did enjoy it! You know which part I liked best? This quote regarding Sufism:

    “Sufism is usually considered to be complementary, although Sufism has been criticized by many Muslims for being an unjustified ‘Bid’ah’ or religious innovation.”

    This is how interpretation of Islamic law is usually viewed by Islamic scholars (both Shi’a and Sunni): it’s Bid’ah, therefore it’s wrong, and that is that. Shi’a and Sunni compromise almost all of the world’s 500 quadrillion Muslims, and they enjoy murdering each other to prove which version of their shitty religion is better. And that’s very, very Islamic, both in religion and in culture.

    Islam delenda est.

  167. But Sufism is a part of Islam and derives all its principles from it, no?

    FWIW, Sunni-Shia violence only happens in only a very few pockets of time. The Lebanese for example would not distinguish between one and the other. The Civil War was not shia vs. sunni or Muslim vs. Christian, btw. The current rift in Iraq between sunnis and shias is essentially due to politicization of religion. It has and still is a political rift in nature. The differences between the factions are only emphasized to stir up anger and increase violence. People like you, SuprKufr, only love to see that rift flame out of hand to prove your point. Tell me, over Islam’s 1400 year history, what percentage of that history did shia and sunnis fight?

  168. Oh, find and answer AND a reference and come back. No reference, no answer.

  169. SuprKufr,

    I don’t think you understand what I mean by being “unduly confrontational.” I called your questions absurd in my earlier post not because I wanted to avoid the subject but because no sane person (including myself, I hope you’ve already noticed) would excuse or tolerate slavery under any circumstances. Slavery is wrong, period, and if some Muslims or any other subgroup say they reserve the right to practice it because their religion or ideology permits or calls for it, then we should tell them firmly and unequivocally that no one, in any nation or culture, has the right to slavery and that they must end the practice immediately. Failure to do so would indeed be accommodation and appeasement, and here confrontation would be indeed unavoidable, however civil we try to be in our approach.

    You also said that I didn’t list any good things about Islam. I did, when I argued that the “greater”-jihad view of Islam can be a force (no pun intended) for good. Again interpretation matters. You’d be right in saying that jihad has been used and interpreted by many Muslims in a military sense, but other Muslims take the “greater,” spiritual view, citing the hadith that says, “We have returned from the lesser jihad [force] to the greater jihad [spiritual growth].”

    And more and more Muslims are speaking out against the lesser jihad, slavery, female genital mutilation, and other evils that have been committed under the name of their religion. What we must not do–and this is what I mean by an unduly confrontational approach–is to tell these Muslims that their entire religious system is evil. This is not appeasement; we are not sacrificing our values and still rightly condemning the abhorrent practices. Yes, let’s not avoid confrontation and criticism when they are called for, but at the same time let’s not insult Muslims as a whole group when they are trying to come to grips with the modern secular world. That‘s what I’m trying to argue, and I hope it will make you reconsider your Islam-delenda-est approach.

  170. Slavery is wrong, period, and if some Muslims or any other subgroup say they reserve the right to practice it because their religion or ideology permits or calls for it, then we should tell them firmly and unequivocally that no one, in any nation or culture, has the right to slavery and that they must end the practice immediately.

    To SuprKudr: name one Muslim country where slavery is acceptable. I’d be the first one (as many more Muslims would certainly do) to stand up and tell these slave traders that they are outright wrong about that. To the best of my knowledge Muhammad did not own any slaves. Abubakr, the first Caliph (as the second, third and fourth Caliphs all did) freed all his slaves and spent his own money freeing slaves. For goodness sake, it is forbidden in Islam to be a slave to anyone, and their are clear commandments in the Quran that “freeing slaves is one of the best ways to give in charity”. How can it be part of the religion if it is a form of charity sanctioned by the religion?

  171. NP- Thank you again. You do a better job at expressing my feelings than I do. But you do very well indeed.

    SuprKufr- Actually, thank you to you too. I really wish you get a chance to revisit your understanding of Muslims. I highly recommend John Esposito’s books, especially Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam. And, thanks for the discussion.

  172. Ali, no problem. And thanks for the compliment. Given my limited knowledge of Islam I’m glad to say that this thread taught me a thing or two. Now I really should tackle the Koran sometime soon so I can be better prepared for future discussions…

    And SuprKufr, I hope you give my last post some thought. Perhaps our next meeting will turn out to be more constructive.

  173. The only real issue is the right of freedom of Speech . Can bureaucrats curtail this right.>? Can someone say he has been offended and ask for the suppression of freedmon of speech.?
    I do not care who is Ezra Levant, I do not care what subject he wishes to speak about as long as a crime is not involved.
    Freedom of speech !!!!!!! is that so difficult to understand !!!!!all the other arguments are pitiful. If there is no freedom of speech to deal with the holocaust it should be amended , one wrong does not allow more wrongs. Wake up Canada. It is sad to find people twisting things trying to justify the suppression of freedom of speech. It is very sad , and I hope you find your way to act as a great Nation as you have always been. As hope more people stand up and joins Ezra Levant in this quest. Right or left, it does not matter.

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