Mark Steyn book excerpt = human rights violation?

by Walter Olson on December 1, 2007

Reminding us once again that our neighbor to the north lacks a First Amendment-strength guarantee of free speech, and stands in very great need of one: Canada’s largest non-profit Islamic body, the Canadian Islamic Congress, has launched human rights complaints against the prominent magazine Maclean’s and its editor-in-chief over a book excerpt from Mark Steyn, the well-known conservative columnist. “Complaints were submitted to Human Rights Commissions in B.C. and Ontario on the grounds that ‘the article subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt,’ according to a CIC press release. In the release, the CIC labels Steyn’s article as ‘flagrantly Islamophobic.'” (Kate Lunau, “Canadian Islamic Congress launches human rights complaints against Maclean’s”, Maclean’s, Nov. 30)(& welcome visitors from Steyn’s own SteynOnline).


1 Bill Poser 12.01.07 at 2:15 am

What I find striking about this case is the mildness of the piece that forms the basis for the complaint. It doesn’t urge any particular action in response to Islam and it explicitly states that not all Muslims are a problem.

2 Deoxy 12.03.07 at 11:13 am

Cases like this expose the great weakness of all “hate speech” concepts: their penchant for abuse is much, MUCH greater than any wrong they might right.

3 Anonymous Attorney 12.03.07 at 1:01 pm

I wonder: have any white Canadians pressed a human rights complaint for being subjected to “hatred and contempt”? And been successful? Seems there are ample opportunities.

4 Werner Patels 12.03.07 at 4:50 pm

Political correctness is a disease, and this case proves that yet again.

What the CIC overlooks in all this is that their own community, the entire Muslim community, will end up being the big loser in all this.

5 GuyInCT 12.05.07 at 10:11 pm

Actually, it should read that the CIC submitted a complaint to the Ministry of Truth.

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