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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

PM Harper stands up for free speech

From the prime minister's website:

“Free speech is a right that all Canadians enjoy; Canadians also have the right to voice their opinion on the free speech of others. I regret the publication of this material in several media outlets. While we understand this issue is divisive, our government wishes that people be respectful of the beliefs of others.  I commend the Canadian Muslim community for voicing its opinion peacefully, respectfully and democratically.”

Posted by westernstandard on February 14, 2006 | Permalink

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Free speech is a right that all Canadians can now enjoy; All Canadians also have the right to voice their opinion on the free speech of others. I commend all Canadians for voicing their opinion peacefully, respectfully and democratically.

Ontario has now also formally passed legislation to prohibit the use of religious tribunals to settle family law disputes such as custody and divorce. Next it will deal with Cartoons as well.

Posted by: MeToo | 2006-02-14 4:31:53 PM


The media must be suprised with this bit of news from Harper, thye certainly seem to be in the dark about anything else that Harper has been up to. That's a good thing, martin was always feeding the media, even when he went to the washroom, the media is feeling a bit left out.
Hard to put a negative spin on darkness, they might have to actually do some work for a story for a change instead of being spoon fed by a photo op PM.

Posted by: Barrie | 2006-02-14 4:43:54 PM


Six days ago Peter MacKay said the same thing, and Ezra sneered at him for it on this blog. Now Harper gets praise for it. How odd. Maybe you did not read his words carefully enough. He said, "I regret the publication of this material" and "our government wishes that people be respectful of the beliefs of others". In other words, The Western Standard was wrong to publish the drawings because it is disrespectful. And he is right.

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-02-14 4:56:30 PM


How is it disrespectful? Is it disrespectful when I eat pork? Because that's another religious rule that doesn't apply to me.

I applaud the Western Standard for printing these cartoons (well, 8 of them - the other 4 are easily found online).

Posted by: Evan | 2006-02-14 4:58:56 PM


OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER, STEVEN HARPER

On 9/11 3000 innocent Americans were murdered by Islamic terrorist ...... Was there even one organized demonstration by the free world against the people of Islam to protest this unspeakable act of terror? Yet .... there was rejoicing; praises to Allah; dancing in the street and exchanging of sweets in Islamic regimes throughout the Islamic world. The collective silence of "moderate" Moslems in regards to any condemnation of this terror inflicted upon America was deafening. These same Moslems are now rioting, destroying embassies; burning flags; calling for a boycott of Danish good; and threatening to behead an editor ..... for doing exactly what they do to Christian, Jews and other religions in their prayers, mosques, conferences, media, loud speakers, daycares, schools and universities daily .... it is so hypocritical.

The leaders of the free world had better wake up and stand with Denmark ..... the politically correct appeasement of the dictates of Islamic leaders while, at the same time, allowing them an unchallenged platform to entice hatred is only furthering the ultimate goal of global submission to Allah.

BTW, Mr. Harper, in the current issue of the Rolling Stones ….. the cover disrespectfully depicts a picture of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Christian community has refrained from reacting violently towards the editor of this publication. I can only assume that there is an official memo forthcoming to the media commending Christians for their restraint regarding this disrespectful portrayal of their God or .... are only Canadians of the Islamic faith singled out for this honor.

Sincerely
Janet

Posted by: Janet Ann | 2006-02-14 5:02:01 PM


Free speech is a right that all Canadians can now enjoy; All Canadians also have the right to voice their opinion on the free speech of others. I commend all Canadians for voicing their opinion peacefully, respectfully and democratically.

The free speech right applies even to Ezra now..

"On 9/11 3000 innocent Americans were murdered by Islamic terrorist ...... Was there even one organized demonstration by the free world against the people of Islam to protest this unspeakable act of terror? Yet .... there was rejoicing; praises to Allah; dancing in the street and exchanging of sweets in Islamic regimes throughout the world. The collective silence of "moderate" Moslems in regards to any condemnation of this terror inflicted upon America was deafening. These same Moslems are now rioting, destroying embassies; burning flags; calling for a boycott of Danish good; and threatening to behead an editor ..... for doing exactly what they do to Christian, Jews and other religions in their prayers, mosques, conferences, media, loud speakers, daycares, schools and universities daily .... it is so hypocritical. The free world had better wake up and stand with Denmark ..... the politically correct appeasement of the dictates of Islamic leaders while, at the same time, allowing them an unchallenged platform to incite hatred is only furthering the ultimate goal of global submission to Allah."

and the right word it is all Hypocritical the carton protest now still too.

Posted by: Me Too | 2006-02-14 5:02:22 PM


Nobody, let alone a Muslim, can tell me what I can or cannot do in a free country like Canada; what I can or cannot watch, read, write or say.

Name ONE Muslim country that's a democracy. There you go.

Some gall they have, coming to Canada and acting like it's the 12th century and expecting everybody to bow to their demands. EVOLVE, already!

For a sample of the neanderthal mindset, see this: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4214974207914289532&q=kosovo


Western Standard, thank you!

Posted by: Jimmy Jazz | 2006-02-14 5:15:58 PM


Tell me if the Koran does not state Kill The monkeys kill the pigs. Meaning Christians and Jews. They teach this to their children in school. Also to slit the throat of the infidel. What kind of religion propagates this kind of stuff?
There is enough radicals in north America today to strike fear into the American or Canadian citizens by thier acts of terrorism, that it will bring our country to its knees, we cannot be ignorant to these facts. If only a hand full of radicals can change the course of North America in relation to our freedoms ie:911 what can They do if their goal that is to subjugate everyone to their religion and it won't be done by your own free will. Read between the lines there is more to this than you realize.
This too is free speech!!

Posted by: al | 2006-02-14 5:22:07 PM


Anyone see Ezra being interviewed on CTV newsnet. He's quick.

Posted by: s. | 2006-02-14 5:23:58 PM


Jimmy Jazz: I attempted to access the URL provided by you, but Google tells me it is no longer available.

China browbeats Google using economics. Do we now have Islam browbeating Google by means of fear?

What was the gist of the Kosovo video?

Posted by: Randy | 2006-02-14 5:27:05 PM


I also had watched the good presentation on CTV by Ezra Levant versus Tarek Fatah 11:12 minutes long, and the Muslim leader clearly now had agreed with you that you do have a right to print, to now distribute the cartoons about their prophet, he in the debate also had agreed that the Muslim states of Iran and Syria are dictatorial, oppressive as well, and that he Tarek Fatah has also seen the suppsoedly offensive Cartoons now, so can any other Canadian Muslim. So where is the problem then? But it is clear that the Muslims now are using this whole issue as a false excuse to force their religion on others when they want you to publish the Biography of their prophet Mohammed, and then you should publish the biography of all of the world religious leaders too, Jesus Christ included to be fair to all and you will rather become a religious magazine then for their false benefit too. They are not fools but they the Muslims want to wrongfully make you still their slave. Not acceptable. Now as to why is he Tarek Fatah not protesting about the oppressive Muslim Countries more firstly and not you rather? because he sadly seems to be just another of those religious hypocrites. The cartoons rather are really offensive only cause they show their own prophet in a very bad light.. a bad light as well as the Islamic reactions.

Posted by: Paul | 2006-02-14 5:31:37 PM


I am very disappointed in Stephen Harper for this. I'd have preferred him to say nothing than to come out in favour of appeasement.

Posted by: Pauline Brock | 2006-02-14 5:34:20 PM


Get it right y'all. The representatives of the Islamic world ... the mullahs, various leaders of muslim countries and thousands of swarming rioting stupid, idiotic mobs all scream "death to the West".

The West ... In case you aren't sure, means us.

They have attacked many times, sea vessels, roadside bombing of our military, kidnapping and murder, hi-jackings and fly into big buildings, etc.

In short, it appears we are at war with them. The ones who are silently living all around the globe, seem to have absolutely no opinion on anything that is done to us, by their more active members. Therefore, they are complicit in their silence.

Not every German carried a gun during WW2 but we were at war with all of Germany. Those who stayed home were complicit by their membership in the society and their silence while millions were slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis.

Therefore, if the Western Standard and others have chosen to alert us to some of the nature of some of the conflict, even it's a dispute about cartoons, then we are better off to know about this stuff and what it all means.

I know it means we have a clash of cultures and we have been doing all the accomodating. We must stand fast and defend our way of life no matter how disgusting some of western society is. It's still ours and I for one, don't want to live under their system OR I WOULD HAVE MOVED THERE!

Msny of them have moved here and so they are obliged to either assimilate into our culture or go back home and be happy in theirs.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-14 5:43:21 PM


So we re-elected the Liberals. A country of complete group-think (followed by hugs). There be no principle not subordinate to social peace. Otherwise freedom abolished.

Mark
Ottawa

Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-02-14 5:47:56 PM


One more thing.

Since Ingigo books have chosen to 'censor' the western standard, they have forfeited any right they have to protest the censorship of any other books they sell that may be offensive to another group.

I will be looking for something that offends me next time I visit one of their stores. I will not ever buy anything from them. I can do without Starbucks over-priced coffee too.

And if you have any choice at all, Do Not Fly Air Canada. They have pulled the magazine from their planes and terminals.


Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-14 5:48:35 PM


Look I don' get rats ass what ya'll print about Jesus or whoever you think your god is. Cuz, that's ur belief and you can do whatever you please. I know there's enough Lesbian movies of Mary and enough porn movies of Jesus. even some gay movies of Jesus. so maybe you guys enough watching them... but aleast respect others belief.

I'm a muslim and I find any drawing or pictures of Prophet Muhammed Disrespectful !!! .

What are the chances. that a jewish boy (levant)from Western Standard choose to publish the photos? Why didn't some hindu or christain kid take up the task? why a jewish home boy ? Bet your racism still runs deep ey from the ol days?

Haroon.

Posted by: Haroon | 2006-02-14 5:48:50 PM


I am terribly saddened and disappointed by the PM's statement. I hope this cranial cramp is an aberration, and that he soon reverts to being the Stephen Harper whom I've respected and supported for years. Otherwise, it may be necessary to re-form Reform, or something like it, with all the negative electoral consequences that entails.

Posted by: telletristesse | 2006-02-14 5:51:11 PM


Chillax. Harper (Stephen, not Steven) came out in favour of free speech and said nothing which favours censorship or appeasement. Mind you, with our idiotic hate laws, free speech is not a right that all Canadians enjoy.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-02-14 5:57:18 PM


Howard Roark,

He complimented the Muslim community for responding democratically and peacefully. Since when does any group get complimented simply for obeying the law? This wasn't a pie-and-motherhood statement; it smacks of appeasement-cum-dhimmitude. I expected more - much more - of this PM.

Posted by: telletristesse | 2006-02-14 6:04:44 PM


Anointiata Delenda Est said...

"Laughter is the best medicine"

"Holy Secular Sayings", Robin, "could Readers' Digest have been right all these years?"

Er, probably. But the following definitely isn't: You can at least draw some measure of hope that the battle is joined, and that maybe some Muslims will reclaim their tradition.

Islam is dead. Don't reclaim. Corpses are smelly.

Excellent post, W. Cartoon laughter the next weapon?

ADE >>>
http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12136206&postID=113992042532561971

Posted by: maz2 | 2006-02-14 6:06:05 PM


I wonder what Paul Martin would have said? He would have said he was outraged, outraged oh boy, at the Western Standard right-wing extremists who don't represent Canadian values. He would have apologized to Muslims and the world on YOUR behalf. He would have suggested that the Justice ministry is looking into whether this was a violation of hate crimes laws. Do you have any doubt that this is what Martin would have said? I don't. What Harper said was pretty good considering the alternative.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-02-14 6:20:39 PM


I agree with many of the comments on here. Freedom of speech is a right we all enjoy as Canadians. So many foreigners come to Canada expecting us to change and bend to appease them. We now have Royal Canadian Mounties wearing turbans. Easter is now called Spring Break. We are constantly having to envelope the customs, rules, and traditions of other countries so as not to offend anyone here or disrespect their religious beliefs. This is Canada. If you don't like the way we live or the rights we enjoy here, then leave. Go back to where you came from. Quit telling the rest of us what we should or shouldn't do.

I applaude the Western Standard for printing the controversial Danish cartoons. I know they were not printed as "hate mail" or whatever the Muslims are calling it. Why should we be censored to what we can and cannot read? It's as simple as this: if you're offended, then don't read it!

Posted by: Parchita | 2006-02-14 6:27:09 PM


I FUCKING HATE THIS MAGAZINE AND WOULD NEVER BUY IT BECAUSE YOU PRINTED THOSE FUCKING CARTOONS...WHY DO YOU WANT THE FUCKING WAR ON OUR DOORSTEP?? YOU STUPID DUMB FUCKS.

Posted by: Jay Poole | 2006-02-14 6:34:51 PM


Hey Jay, tell us how you really feel about this?

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-02-14 6:38:05 PM


I am so disappointed in Harper right now.

Posted by: PGP | 2006-02-14 6:38:47 PM


Dude...think about it. How many buildings have to be set on fire before Idiots like The Western Standard clue in and think...hey maybe we should NOT print these cartoons that are pissing the FUCKING Taliban off. Maybe if they flew in a plane into the Husky Building they'd think twice. But I'm not suggesting that they do that, I'm not a heartless SOB, but I just think it's retarded to think that the WAR is over there and in no way over here...all it takes is one pissed off Suicide Bomber to make this Canada's War as well as the USA's war. Why fuel the flames? That's all I'm saying.

Posted by: Jay Poole | 2006-02-14 6:46:05 PM


It's difficult to determine what's most disgusting about poole's post; the obscenity, the capitals or the cowardice. Still, despite his limitations, he managed to get his point across - let's all get on our knees and the mean people won't hurt us...

Posted by: nazz rune | 2006-02-14 6:47:24 PM


My religion is rock and roll and Elvis is my Prophet. It is blaphemous to make images or to impersonate the Holy One. I demand and that all images of Elvis be confiscated and destroyed and that laws be passed against Elvis impersonators out of respect for my beliefs and feelings. It hurts and offends me deeply in my heart when I see people with improper images of the my Prophet and the King. I have been patient for a long time and said nothing but there is only so much a person can stand. I am asking for respect one last time

Posted by: Alan | 2006-02-14 6:47:32 PM


I think I'm on Hugh Hewitt's side on this one:

http://www.opinionduel.com/

Posted by: Me | 2006-02-14 6:48:58 PM


It would have been political suicide if Harper stood up and said "High-five for the Western Standard", but he could have taken a smarter middle ground.

Instead, his comments are mostly pandering to people like Elmasry, who as we know wants to now charge the WS with a hate crime.

I must admit I expected a more original and fresh approach from Harper than what we are seeing.

I know he has to behave like a Prime Minister, but with each passing day he seems less and less interested in his Conservative base.

If we wanted just-another-politician-like-the-rest-of-them, we might as well have kept Martin in power.

Posted by: Titanium | 2006-02-14 6:49:38 PM


I support Mr. Levant and the Western Standard's decision, for the reasons described by the following passage from On Liberty by John Stuart Mill:

"The means of development which the individual loses by being prevented from gratifying his inclinations to the injury of others, are chiefly obtained at the expense of the development of other people. And even to himself there is a full equivalent in the better development of the social part of his nature, rendered possible by the restraint put upon the selfish part. To be held to rigid rules of justice for the sake of others, developes the feelings and capacities which have the good of others for their object.

"But to be restrained in things not affecting their good, by their mere displeasure, developes nothing valuable, except such force of character as may unfold itself in resisting the restraint. If acquiesced in, it dulls and blunts the whole nature. To give any fair play to the nature of each, it is essential that different persons should be allowed to lead different lives.

"In proportion as this latitude has been exercised in any age, has that age been noteworthy to posterity. Even despotism does not produce its worst effects, so long as individuality exists under it; and whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called, and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men."

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-14 6:54:44 PM


Alan: Is Mick then the Mahdi?

Mark
Ottawa

Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-02-14 6:56:15 PM


Jay, I've got some real bad news for you, I realize you're one of them hillbilly hick backwater types huddled here in Canada, with your thinking all screwed up by oceans on three sides and the USA on the other, but the "FUCKING WAR", as you put it, IS on our doorstep. Show a little spine if you've got one and stand up for your right to view editorial cartoons.

Posted by: noneofyourbusiness | 2006-02-14 6:57:52 PM


To Mark Collins. I detect heresy in your question and fear that a schism is developing.

Posted by: Alan | 2006-02-14 7:00:58 PM


No "nazz rune", I don't think we should bend over and take it in the ass. Maybe that's what you're used to when your uncle comes over. But I think we should be more "sensitive" to the situation when they have bombs and guns and are lighting shit on fire.

Posted by: Jay Poole | 2006-02-14 7:04:20 PM


PM Stephen Harper: "I commend the Canadian Muslim community for voicing its opinion peacefully, respectfully and democratically.”

Harold, Christian and Jews are offended daily through literature, the media, the arts, the educational system ..... yet our respective communities are EXPECTED to either be tolerant or express our outrage through peaceful means. Harold, can you just image if I publicly threatened the life of a director, an artist, an author, a university instructor or an editor because his freedom of expression offended my faith. Hey, there would be legal consequence and ..... rightly so. However, there does appear to be a double standard. There tends to be an understanding that the Canadians of the Islamic faith are somehow entitled to special privileges and .... are not to be offended through freedom of expression and ..... when they are ..... they are commended by our leaders when they respond in a manner that is EXPECTED by all other Canadians.

Harold, there is an art display at a museum in the States where a crucifix is placed upside down in urine. Has the "powers that be" ever thanked Christians for their restraint. Moslems openly refer to Jews as pigs, monkeys, snakes, spiders, etc. Has the "powers that be" ever thanked Jews for showing restraint? Has the "powers that be" ever challenged the artist or the followers of Islam for these hateful expressions?

Harold, I sincerely hope I am making sense.

Janet.

Posted by: Janet Ann | 2006-02-14 7:08:03 PM


Hey Jimmy Jazz,

Turkey.

Have a good one.

Posted by: Chris Selley | 2006-02-14 7:08:48 PM


Jay: They had bombs and guns and lit shit on fire BEFORE the cartoons. They flew planes into buildings, took hostages and beheaded them, blew up trains and subways. And you are afraid this will make them ANGRY?

Posted by: Pauline Brock | 2006-02-14 7:11:53 PM


Alan: Perhaps we can agree that Bruce Springsteen is not the twelfth imam.

On the other hand, Buddy Holly might qualify as Ali.

Mark
Ottawa

Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-02-14 7:15:30 PM


Leave it to Jackie Mason to put everything in perspective:

http://spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=9410

Posted by: Tolerance Guy | 2006-02-14 7:19:48 PM


No I'm afraid their anger will be directed at Canada. I love this counrty more than anything, and I love it's freedoms. We have freedom that people in the middle east can only dream of and likely don't fully understand. We have freedom to see these cartooons, but does that make it right? NO. Why would you promote hate in a counrty that is anything but hateful? Obviously this cartoons are hateful. Maybe not to you and maybe not to me, but to someone they are very offencive, to the level that they are willing to die for their beliefs. I doubt that "Alan" would be willing to die for his belief that Elvis is God...no he'd likely buckel when a gun is put to his head and agree that Celine Dion is God. Well these people wouldn't buckel, they would die for their belief. And I think we should respect that and shut the hell up about how we have "the right" to see them.

Posted by: Jay Poole | 2006-02-14 7:21:09 PM


So, when did it become a crime to "offend" someone? And really, the issue here is that Muslims are essentially telling the world that NO ONE is at liberty to look at the cartoons because THEY believe it to be blasphemous. But in fact, no Muslim is being forced to buy or open the magazine to look at the damned things.

The MSM is gutless and hiding behind the "respect" veil. They are simply kowtowing to the threats of lunatics.

I wonder what the "offended ones" think about their own kind drawing up some fake cartoons to insert along with the Danish ones? This whole thing is a crock. It is showing just how gutless Western society has become. I wonder if Rome went down the same way?

Posted by: John Luft | 2006-02-14 7:25:04 PM


This isn't freedom of speech. This is provocation. This isn't opening up a healthy debate. What's there to debate about? This cartoon offends all muslims. Again, what is there to debate about? Why should we (non-muslims) need to see what the fuss is all about? Great, you've reaffirmed our right to free speech. We've been living in a free society long enough to know that we have this right and can use it any way we choose. However, we can practice this right constructively without offending millions. You are fuelling hatred and terrorism and my kids have to grow up in this world that you've helped to create! Congratulations on succumbing to temptation in order to line your pockets. Sleep well.

Posted by: Rick | 2006-02-14 7:27:14 PM


So according to Jay Poole's logic, if I hate abortion and I run around with a submachine gun and shoot people, we should outlaw abortions because Tolerance Guy and his followers don't like them. Perhaps, we should move on from abortions to Brazilians. Its a slippery slope baby and as soon as we give in to intolerance, we've lost the war.

Posted by: Tolerance Guy | 2006-02-14 7:30:27 PM


To Mark Collins. I can live with . to paraphrase Rodney King: We can all get along.

A

Posted by: Alan | 2006-02-14 7:32:55 PM


Alan (Rick to note): Other possible schismatic referentials:

1) Sunni Boy Williamson

2) The Shiarelles

Mark
Ottawa

Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-02-14 7:33:27 PM


Tolerance Guy, you're an idiot. That's Obviously NOT that I'm say at all. Giving in to Intolerance and Being Disrespectful are 2 different things. Thanks Rick for being the only one here that makes sence.

Posted by: Jay Poole | 2006-02-14 7:36:11 PM


Stop harping on Harper. This is a fairly innocuous statement befitting the Prime Minister we just elected. At least he mentions free speech twice, democracy and opinion. Considering our old masters didn't believe in free speech, democracy or the opinons of others - this is a step in the right direction. :)

Posted by: Ace | 2006-02-14 7:39:30 PM


I'd suggest reading this folks:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060207_reality_islam/


Posted by: Titanium | 2006-02-14 7:39:43 PM


Martin would not have supported free speech the way Harper did. Martin would have started with Harper’s sentence 3.

Harper got his priorities right. He made it very clear that Canada values free speech. That’s the key issue to democracy in this fiasco. But Harper’s job is also the security of the country and to try and calm things down on this, the fist time the majority of Canadians have become seriously engaged in the clash of civilisations. Until this event happened Canadians assumed we got a pass because we are “nice”. I’m hoping we skate through this because our Muslims are much better educated than the Muslims that came into Europe and aren’t assimilating. Also Europe’s economy is weak and unemployment is high.

The best ingredient for peace is full employment that can provide jobs and pay for education for the younger generation and ensure everyone gets assimilated. Diversity is great as long as we’re all playing by the same rules, the law of the land. So it’s time to get back to the basics of running a good economy; the rest will then take care of itself.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-14 7:43:44 PM


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