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Monday, February 13, 2006

What we believe

EZRA LEVANT
Calgary Sun

Early this morning, 40,000 copies of the Western Standard magazine, of which I am publisher, rolled off the presses. The cover story is about government lobbyists and corruption.

But in the middle of the magazine, we have a two-page discussion about the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. These are the cartoons that caused riots overseas.

In our magazine's news judgment, you can't properly report that story without showing the cartoons. So we're publishing eight of the cartoons. As far as I am aware, that makes the Western Standard the first large-circulation publication in the country to reprint them.

As our readers will see, most of the cartoons are innocuous; several nothing more than stylized portraits, including quite a handsome one.

It seems absurd that such a banal journalistic act would be taboo. We're not abnormal for printing the cartoons. Canada's other publications and TV stations are the abnormal ones for avoiding the subject at the centre of the largest story of the week.

It's not hard to understand. It's a potential hassle, and publishers aren't in the hassle business -- publishers are in the money-making business.

Anything that could cause subscriptions to be cancelled or advertisers to be scared off is dangerous to the bottom line. And then there is the risk of violence. What publisher needs that? That's fair. Freedom of the press can mean the right to ignore a story, too.

But I believe Canadian publishers and TV producers have not been fully candid about the choice they've all made. Not a single publisher, editor or reporter has admitted they have blocked the cartoons for fear of an economic backlash. Perhaps none of them thought about lost business when they made their decision. But if any did, they probably wouldn't admit it -- that would make them seem like callow, profit-driven commercial journalists, and that's contrary to the careful image the media has cultivated as being somehow more noble or idealistic than other industries.

And none of them have admitted what we all know is true, at least a little bit: That these riots are scary.

They're scarier than any letter-writing campaign or boycott or protest rally that has occurred in recent memory.

Journalists and other artists have been killed by Muslim radicals. Several of the Danish cartoonists are in hiding, for fear of assassination. This is really happening.

In fact, the official excuse has been that TV producers, publishers and editors don't want to offend religious sensibilities. But this isn't credible. Not a day goes by when the mainstream media doesn't offend the religious sensibilities of religious Christians, Jews or others. The media doesn't care about religious sensibilities -- it is militantly secular. But it has made an exception for the sensibilities of one religion that is quick to riot and behead its critics.

The most laughable excuse -- especially from the liberal, secular media like the CBC or CNN -- is that they "respect" Islam too much. Really? They respect a religion opposed to feminism, gay rights and abortion?

The liberal media doesn't respect radical Islam. It is afraid of radical Islam.

I'm afraid, too. A little bit at least. But courage isn't the absence of fear. It's not letting fear trump everything else -- like character or duty or our own beliefs.

The Western Standard has no explaining to do. We're a news magazine, and these cartoons are news. The publishers, editors and TV producers who are behaving as if they live under sharia law, not the Charter of Rights, have explaining to do -- to their readers and viewers.

Posted by westernstandard on February 13, 2006 | Permalink

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» FREEDOM AND FEAR from Peaktalk
Today the cartoon crisis moved into Canada following the Western Standard's decision to publish the cartoons. Here's their editor, Ezra Levant: The Western Standard has no explaining to do. We're a news magazine, and these cartoons are news. The publis... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-02-13 2:15:58 PM

» Canadian news magazine runs Danish cartoons from The Glittering Eye
A Canadian newsmagazine, Western Standard, has become the first large-circulation publication in the country to run the cartoons of Mohammed published back in September in a Danish newspaper that have caused protests and rioting throughout the Muslim w... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-02-13 6:28:26 PM

» A Muslim That Supports Publishing The Cartoons from www.kyid.net
From the Shotgun comes this comment: Please, why does Canadian people not defend the democracys? Why? ... In western free world they can anything. Anything. I don’t care. Why I don’t care? Becos I can go to mosque, and inside my moslem life ... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-02-15 8:19:55 AM

» That cartoon controversy from Being American in T.O.
Feb. 11 - Are they determined to piss us off? I'm trying to maintain some calm about this but when people keeping drawing lines in the sand it's darned near impossible: Top Saudi cleric says authors, publishers of prophet drawings... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-02-17 9:47:39 AM

Comments


Way to go, Ezra. In the end, political correctness serves no one.

Posted by: neo | 2006-02-13 1:44:55 PM


What you believe? Simple. Anything for personal publicity. "Look at me, ma!!! I'm IMPORTANT!!!" Congrats, Ez. Your meglomania wins again.

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-02-13 1:48:30 PM


I agree with your decision to publish these cartoons. No one can have an relevant opinion of this crisis if they don't know what the crisis is all about. In the mean time, probably all the people upset by the danish cartoons haven't seen the cartoon. How can you be shocked by something you haven't seen?

I hope more magazine and newspaper will be as respecful toward their reader by giving them access to this information. I want to have to decide by myself if this case of freedom of speech is an insult to religious faith.

Rémy Gauthier, Québec city, canada

Posted by: Remy Gauthier | 2006-02-13 1:49:52 PM


well said, Ezra!

Posted by: Pat | 2006-02-13 1:50:31 PM


EZRA LEVANT
Calgary Sun

JE VOUS FÉLICITE POUR VOTRE COURAGE, NOUS AVONS PERDU BEAUCOUP DE CANADIEN POUR NOTRE LIBERTÉ D'EXPRESSION. IL NE FAUT PAS REVENIR 400 ANS EN ARRIERE.

Posted by: GUY CHARRON | 2006-02-13 1:51:24 PM


I would like to print cartoons of dead babies pitchforked onto a cart by nazi prison guards...do you have any on your desk?

Posted by: Peter S | 2006-02-13 1:59:48 PM


Publish the cartoons.

As a Canadian when I see something that offends my views, I am perfectly within my rights to protest, wave placards, blog madly, boycott cheese, write letters, organize politically, creatively counter the arguments, launch my own newspaper, etc. There are thousands of peaceful outlets for my outrage.

I am not, however, permitted to firebomb property, murder, loot, and generally rampage around.

People haven't died because of some stick figures. They've died because fundamentalists in the Middle East haven't figured out how to peacefully get their point across.

For all our sakes, I hope they learn this soon because there is nothing wrong with shining a light on our own views and those of others.

And if you feel the need to kill someone for having a different opinion - even if it hurts your feelings - you might not be ready for the give and take of a modern, liberal democracy.


Posted by: ErinAirton | 2006-02-13 2:00:30 PM


Well done, Ezra.

This cartoon brouhaha has shown the western left and radical islam for the hypocrites they are.

One stands for freedom of expression as long as it doesn't inconvenience them.

One will behead anyone who dares suggest that they're violent.

Posted by: Rob R | 2006-02-13 2:00:53 PM


It is sickening to hear about "respect" for a culture that is so disrespectful to women. Actually, disrespectful doesn't begin to discribe it. People in Canada need to wake up. Most of you can google, check out Sharia, versus the Charter of Rights -- which one do you prefer? We, each one of us, have to stand up to the erosion of civil liberties which is taking place every day in this country. Do we want to be ruled by fanatics and fear, or do we want to be a democracy? If the latter, then we must have freedom of the press.

Posted by: Ms. Smith | 2006-02-13 2:01:19 PM


Those who say Christianity, Judaism and Islam are "different religions" may have a point, but we often lose track of the essential fact, these three religions worship the same God. There are three different formulations for God's identity, but I think it could be agreed that if this God appeared on the earth tomorrow, He would be recognized by all three faiths. And if He did, I am fairly certain He would ask that those who believed in Him would stop acts of violence based on arguments about the details. Those who follow Islam need to realize that they are essentially proposing an upgrade to a faith that is considered perfectly formed by roughly equal numbers of Christians. And Christians need to remember the same applies to them with respect to their Jewish "elder brothers," although I think that lesson has finally been learned after the excesses of the Holocaust.

In my view, instead of all this confrontation and argument, the world should instead turn to a much different idea, the sharing of religious perspectives. Not only these three main "monotheistic" faiths, but various others, notably Buddhism and the Sikh religion, all have much to contribute to enlightenment. Personally, I would describe myself as a born-again Christian, but I can and I do derive additional insight from studying all the religions of this world. Because different cultures developed partially in isolation before they began to interact and blend, there is a strong case to be made for the idea that differences between religions are perceived to be larger than they are in essence, because of the cultural overlay and the mere fact that we have different names for gods and prophets. One fact remains universally true, violence rarely solves any problem, and is probably only justified when a great evil threatens to overcome good. In the Islamic world today, there is considerable preaching to suggest that the Christians and Jews are conspiring to bring a great evil into the heart of the Islamic world. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Canadian Muslims ought to know first-hand -- our societies are largely secular and in any case are committed to freedom of religion. The place where religion is most under attack in today's world is in the Islamic portion of the world, notably in Iran, in Indonesia and in the Sudan.

Instead of launching lawsuits and making veiled threats against the Western Standard, Canadian Muslims would be far better occupied if they worked on teaching their fellow believers in these countries the advantages of religious freedom and that's what I would urge them to do.

Posted by: Peter O'Donnell | 2006-02-13 2:05:01 PM


Canadians should pay close attention to any bodily threats arising
in Canada from any source as a result the current cartoon story circling the world and now in Canada.
Canadians may ultimately discover the validity of our "freedoms" under our "Charter of Rights " as well as the the position of Canadian MSM on that road to discovery.
For the time being Publisher Ezra Levant has put the Western Standard in the forefront in Canada.
Kudos Ezra.

Posted by: Joseph molnar | 2006-02-13 2:06:53 PM


It was about time that somebody had the cojones to fight for freedome of expression.

We should not be coerced into doing what these bunch of enemies of our society want us to do.

They can not use offense, real or fake to make us change our freedoms.

Well to publish these cartoons, sorry I have not access to your paper to see them.

Freedomn of the press is basic for a free society, do not be affraid.

Posted by: A. Benitez | 2006-02-13 2:06:53 PM


Smashing editorial.

I am going to go out any buy myself a W.S. to support the cause of free speech.

Posted by: Jonathan | 2006-02-13 2:07:58 PM


Publishing the cartoons might mean you're insensitive or after publicity, but while those might not be admirable qualities I don't see how those make the act wrong.

I think it's rediculous to expect people to follow the rules of other religious. If I'm not Christian, why should I care what Christians think of abortion or same sex marriage? If I'm not Jewish, why should I have to eat a kosher diet? The answer in both cases is that I don't have to. Those other religions have nothing to do with me. That being the case, I don't see why Muslim rules should apply to me (or you) either.

A violent response to the cartoons is no better than someone bombing an abortion clinic.

Anthony,
Calgary, Alberta

Posted by: Anthony | 2006-02-13 2:08:00 PM


In my opinion it’s not whether to publish a cartoon or not, it’s do we re-print an anti-muslim cartoon or not?

I for one are 100% supporter of freedom of speech but in the same time I’m 100% against hate crime. Making fun of other people (in a cartoon or any media) might be acceptable; however being raciest against one group of people based on their colour, religion, background or disability is not acceptable.

Being Catholic I know we had a huge scandal in our church with children molestation, we made fun of it in the newspaper with cartoons of course, however non of us ever depicted Jesus Christ as a child molester, and we would be doomed in doing so.

So yes it’s freedom of speech but remember that such freedom does not constitute hate crime, we always talked about anti-Semitic and now in these days it’s anti-Muslims. I’m really ashamed of you Ezra, by publishing this cartoons you just labeled us Canadian to be anti-muslims,,, what a shame

Posted by: Frank Navarra | 2006-02-13 2:08:50 PM


Thank you! You have rightfully taken the moral high-ground on this issue and I applaud your courage.

Posted by: Bryan Yeung | 2006-02-13 2:13:19 PM


Good for you! Bravo, bravo, bravo. After seeing your interview on CTV Newsnet, I have to congratulate you on your decision to print these cartoons. What a truly silly situation this is and I am proud that it is a Canadian press that is finally willing to point out the obvious:
a) a free press is there to inform ; how can anyone make a learned decision on this issue without being given the opportunity to view the cartoons?
b) why exactly is this such a huge issue? Did anyone burn down the home of Alanis Morissette for playing God as an "idiot savante" in DOGMA? Or call "Last Temptation of Christ" a hate crime?
I firmly believe that no one should be attacked for the religious beliefs, but can someone PLEASE tell Muslims to not only stop adhering to beliefs that are hopelessly mired in the 12th century but, for God's sake, get a sense of humour! (oops. it IS still ok to say "God" right?)

Posted by: chris | 2006-02-13 2:16:13 PM


Geez, and here I was cynically thinking that Ezra just wanted to cash in on some easy publicity (economically & PR-wise) ... not to mention, here's an easy way to say "Hey, look at those CRAZY Muslims!" without actually enlightening anybody as to the WHY that all this is happening.

Posted by: Iggy | 2006-02-13 2:16:22 PM


FÉLICITATION Ezra pour votre courage de publier ces dessins... il ya qqch de politique en arriere de ça.

Posted by: MLADEN quebec city | 2006-02-13 2:20:42 PM


Ezra,
I disagree with your comment about that you can't properly tell the story without showing the cartoons. If a person is brutally murdered do you need to show the police photos to tell the story? The story is not the cartoons but in fact about the reaction to them. Where does one draw the line between freedom of speech and respecting peoples races, religions and beliefs? Come on now, we all know the real reason you published them is for some PR. The clock is ticking and your 15 minutes of fame are almost up!

Posted by: Charles | 2006-02-13 2:23:57 PM


Thank you

The degree of self censorship in the Western media has astounded me up until this point. Only an article in the Economist and this one have even bore referance to the fundamental rights of journalists and citizens to express their critiscisms. As far as I am concerned, every other news organization has dropped the ball by offering almost appologetic stories that do nothing to put the images into their proper context.

Not living in Western Canada, I don't think I will be able to buy this at newstands, how would I go about purchasing a copy of this magazine?

Posted by: Tim Graham | 2006-02-13 2:25:52 PM


An absolutely excellent editorial. It says it all. Bravo. It's easy to do something when one is not afraid, but, it takes courage to do something, by walking hand in hand with fear.

Publishing them is the correct thing to do, for we cannot let fascists dictate what we may or may not discuss or view or draw...

By the way, Irshad Manji has a nice point; she says that the fundamentalist statement that it is forbidden to make an image of Mohammed, because such would turn him into an idol, is itself, turning the notion of Mohammed into idolatry.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-13 2:27:57 PM


Not to mention that he just committed a crime that is punishable by law (HATE CRIME), republishing the cartoon is exactly like publishing it from the first place. And I really didn’t need to see the cartoon in order for you to tell the story, mind you why you haven’t showed child porn in order to report about such crime… very disgusting Ezra, very disgusting of you.

Posted by: Stephen S. | 2006-02-13 2:30:08 PM


This is shameful faux-journalism on the part of WS. There is nothing to justify the publishing of this hateful and disrespectful material. If the "moral high ground" was to offend millions of Muslims and lose your reputation as a legitimate news organization, you have taken it.

Posted by: B. Johnston | 2006-02-13 2:31:15 PM


Is Ezra Levant retarded?

Posted by: Jarvis | 2006-02-13 2:31:54 PM


Good for you, Ezra, and good for The Western Standard.

These cartoons, which I have seen published elsewhere, are not hate crimes. They are satire. Anyone who believes they are hate crimes -- give your head a shake. Hate would be what the reactionists are advocating: kill everyone who offends you.

I mentioned that I have seen the cartoons elsewhere. Where? On Muslim blogs.

Not all Muslims find those cartoons offensive. As a matter of fact, one of my regular reads did some sleuthing, and actually found that THESE CARTOONS WERE PUBLISHED IN EGYPT IN OCTOBER, in one of Egypt's largest daily newspapers, and one of the cartoons was right there on the front page:

http://egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com/2006/02/boycott-egypt.html#comments

There was no rioting at that time. The riots and world-wide protests are a diversion from what the various theocratic governments are doing to their own citizens.

The cartoons are only an excuse.

Posted by: Chimera | 2006-02-13 2:32:19 PM


A fellow "regional" magazine, Maisonneuve out of Montreal, send out a daily email recounting the headlines of the day. Coming from Quebec, the slant is often as left as the Western Standard is right, although often provides analysis that both sides can appreciate (again, much like the Western Standard). In this morning's email, they made the following comment, in regards to the new British troops scandal:

"With the hands of international organizations like the UN firmly tied when it comes to legal action on this kind of abuse and torture, MediaScout takes solace in the existence of a free press to criticize, lambaste and shock. And, maybe somewhere along the way, to even effect some real change."

I would like to note that they were fairly silent on issues on freedom of the press in regards to the cartoons, either for or against publishing them. They cited some media outlets (interestingly, almost exclusively from Quebec) that have defended they right to free speach but then not publishing the cartoons. MediaScout is often sharp about pointing out ironies, but leaves this one unspoken.

The other irony they leave unspoken is calling on the power of the media in one case, and leaving it alone in the other. Because what the Western Standard has done in publishing the cartoon is nothing less that making a provocative statement which demands an answer. This is Canada's opportunity to decide where it wants to go on the issue of Islamofacism. Are we "tolerant" only when we are threatened with violence? And what about the violence that women and gays and Jews face in Islamic countries? Where is tolerance to those who choose to speak out against those "offenses."

Will the silence be deafening? Will we give ourselves all carpel-tunnel from the hand-wringing? Or will we be willing to take a stand and say: This is ridiculous. This is not a Hate Crime. If you would like to see Hate Crimes, please read Sharia Law. It is no longer time to hide behind PC language, the mirage of multiculturalism, and the silencing power of tolerance.

Posted by: Sherbygirl | 2006-02-13 2:32:26 PM


Excellent Ezra. The cartoons, and the reaction to them, ARE news, and I completely agree that you're right to put them out there.

Posted by: Mike H | 2006-02-13 2:32:36 PM


This is a repeat post, but it is relevant.
Cartoons in Arab newpapers:
http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/ArabCartoons.htm

Posted by: Bob & Ulli | 2006-02-13 2:36:16 PM


Mohammed married a six-year-old and consummated the marriage when she was nine. Mohammed had 800 men and boys of a Jewish tribe beheaded for not accepting him. Mohammed killed a woman poet who had mocked him early in his career.

Is this the behaviour of a self-proclaimed prophet of God? Is this the type of person to uphold as a "perfect" example for all time?

Posted by: Aran | 2006-02-13 2:36:31 PM


I find that it is with bad taste and strong insenstivity that you are reprinting these cartoons. I fervently believe in the freedom of speech, but I also fervently believe in the fact that one should be socially aware to the point that they would not deliberately seek to lash out on an entire group of people (all Muslims) in light of recent warfare, politics, and Bad Media these people have had to face.

It is just Very Poor Taste, Ezra. You are a prime example of the uglier side of human nature: kicking fellow men/women while they're down for personal gain. Shame on you.

Also disturbing is that the Middle East is NOT a basic representation of Muslims. There are Muslims around the world: 2nd and 3rd generation Canadians, in the U.S., the Philipines, etc. Thus, if people have the urge to lash out at Middle Eastern principles and laws, please do NOT generalize it to All Muslims, as your ignorance is laughable!

Posted by: University Student | 2006-02-13 2:37:08 PM


Heh. I was talking last week to someone and I predicted that this magazine would be the one to run these Cartoons. I'll be awaiting my copy, and I'll buy an extra couple, if I see them.

You really can't explain this story without printing the cartoons. When one sees how innocent these cartoons truly are, one can get just how nuts these people are.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2006-02-13 2:38:45 PM


Way to go Ezra. Another win for Freedom of Speech.

People living in a democracy will not be intimidated by fanatics. Muslims need to grow the hell up.

Posted by: Steven | 2006-02-13 2:39:39 PM


YOU ARE A BIGOT LEVANT, OPPORTUNISTIC AND WITH LITTLE SHRED OF HUMAN DIGNITY OR JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY.

Posted by: VancouverMike | 2006-02-13 2:46:09 PM


You've admitted you're in the money-making business. Is that to say that you've printed the cartoons to generate cash?

Respect for a religion does not mean you have to abide by or endorse it. You've generalized irrisponsibly by saying the religion is opposed to feminism, gay rights and abortion. So too are many other religious groups - Christians, for instance. But that's not to say Christianity needs revision, and it doesn't give anyone a licence to hate everything it represents in kind. You are not going to sucessfully encourage Christians or Muslims to be progressive by telling them that they're wrong.

The fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam in this case is simply the Islamic belief that reprinting images of the prophet is blasphemous. You are therefore faced with a choice between a) indicating that the religion is incorrect, or b) respecting the religion.

You have chosen the former. Moreover, you have exemplified, certainly in the case of this blog post, that fear breeds hate. Most enlightened Canadians have no reason to fear Muslims because we chose not to blatantly generalize along the lines you have.

We know we live in a country where respect for difference and mutual understanding must be elevated to a place that overrides hate - but this must operate reflexively. Respect for difference must override any primal urge to incite hatred - including killing, rioting, or simply telling "the other" that what they believe is wrong.

Posted by: james | 2006-02-13 2:46:22 PM


Wow, didn't know racism was as rampant in Canada as it was in the good ole USA. Conservative governments for ya! Let's usher in the KKK with a nice big welcome banner.

Posted by: Welch | 2006-02-13 2:48:54 PM


An excellent editorial Ezra - you are absolutely correct and I commend you for having the courage to face this issue - unlike the wimps in most of the media whom only pay lip service to freedom and truth. (“Charles” is wrong – it’s not the same as photos of a crime scene. You can give a description of a crime scene – you can’t of a cartoon/painting/photograph – it must be seen.)

Those who riot are being manipulated. Here are two excellent links on this issue:
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/775
The first details that the offensive images actually came from the Imams – not the Danes.
http://boortz.com/nuze/200602/02032006.html#outrage
The second makes a very good point – Why no Muslim outrage before?

How can I subscribe to the Western Standard?

SRC

Posted by: Steve C | 2006-02-13 2:49:22 PM


I will neither have nor show respect for people who burn down houses, kill or threaten to kill other people in the name of their religion or religious feelings, whatever religion that is.

Of course there are nobler examples for excercising freedom of speech than these danish cartoons, but freedom of speech also includes mockery and blasphemy.

61 years ago people in my country (Germany) where killed for making the wrong jokes. I don't want this to happen again, therefore I applaud any newspaper that prints these cartoons to show that they don't surrender themselves to the discretion of fanatics.

I have muslim friends and none of them was offended or even hurt by these cartoons - they were ashamed and shocked by the phony, hysterical and violent reactions in parts of the islamic world.

Posted by: Pete | 2006-02-13 2:49:42 PM


> So we're publishing eight of the cartoons. As far as I am aware, that makes the Western Standard the first large-circulation publication in the country to reprint them. <

> It's not hard to understand. It's a potential hassle, and publishers aren't in the hassle business -- publishers are in the money-making business. <

Well, you have to like his candidness in admitting his real reason for publishing the cartoons. Publicity and sales.

Ted


Posted by: Ted | 2006-02-13 2:54:53 PM


30 years ago it was Jewish that we made fun of because they were the weak, now it’s Muslims that we make fun of because they are weak,,, I’m so scared that 20 years from now it’s us Christian that will be made fun of because we are weak and defendless…. All under the “Freedom of speech” banner

Hitler did it under “purifying the race” bases, we are doing it under “freedom of speech” bases, I wonder what bases some will use when it’s our turn.

Posted by: Marco | 2006-02-13 2:56:58 PM


I have a question that pertains directly to this topic.

If Mohammed died about 1400 years ago, and there were no cameras around at the time to take a picture of him...

...how does anyone know what he looked like?

Posted by: Chimera | 2006-02-13 2:58:51 PM


The freedom to print and say what you want is a critical and fundamental right. Free speech (that does not incite violence) is paramount and must be protected.

No one has a "right" to be respected; it's just a decent and civil thing for a person to do. No religion has a "right" to demand from non-adherents adherence to the tenets of its faith; but that does not mean that flouting those tenets in order to prove your freedom to do so is a worthy cause.

So it is hardly surprising that, when it comes to Muslims, so many on a certain side of the fence, think it is now OK to not just defend the cartoonist who drew the cartoons or the publisher who originally published it, but an obligation to go out and re-print and re-print and re-print.

No one should go to jail for publishing those cartoons. But, while there is no "right" to be respected by others, a decent and civil society - and decent and civil people - do not go out of their way to publish content that they know is taken as an insult by others. Nor should anyone BE OBLIGED to publish or read something you deem worthy.

I would defend anyone's right to publish pornography despite the pious objections of some, anti-Christian art despite claims of blashemy (remember Christians burnt down cinemas after The Last Temptation of Christ) and photos of war dead despite claims that this undermines any war effort, but I would not MAKE A CAMPAIGN out of sticking up pornographic photos, mutated images of Christ or photos of blown-up bodies just to make my point, nor would I say that anyone is OBLIGED TO PUBLISH OR PRINT that which challenges a perceived view.

For The Western Standard to publish the cartoons, as it has a right to do so, and to claim it does so out of a need to defend free speech, is patently ridiculous and hypocritical and very revealing, especially for a magazine that laments the publication of "art" that depicts Jesus in a bottle of piss or that depicts Jesus as lustful while dying on the cross. Are you saying it's not possible to defend the right of Harry Flynt to publish Hustler magazine without publishing photos of nake women? Obviously, the radical fundamentalist Muslims are a far greater scourge on the world than The Western Standard, but this flip-flopping on principles, especially from Levant, is over-the-top.

When no one is going to jail over the cartoons and journalists are now required to publish what you, Ezra Levant, think they should, such a campaign does not defend free speech, it makes a mockery of free speech.

More of my thoughts on the cartoons, the right to publish them, the conservatives' newfound love of free speech, and decent and civil discourse is over at http://canadiancerberus.blogspot.com/2006/02/free-speech-and-civil-discourse.html, for anyone interested.

Ted
Cerberus
canadiancerberus.blogspot.com

Posted by: Ted | 2006-02-13 3:00:12 PM


i saw ezra levant on the news this a.m. and i have to say hats-off to ezra for having the guts to keep a bit of integrity in journalism by telling it like it is.
i wish him every success in his endeavours and he should consider running for public office before this bunch of muslim fanatics take over.
if things keep up the way they're going i'll have to find out which direction is 'mecca'?
most of the mainstream media won't touch this 'cartoon thing'.
i always said,"if you got nobody laughing at ya,ya got nobody laughting with you."this muslim crowd do not have the balls to ask themselves ,"why are they depicted in cartoons this way in the first place?" it's not like we have to make it up. what difference whether it's reported by written word or depicted in a cartoon?

keep up the good journalism,ezra!

Posted by: jakc smithers | 2006-02-13 3:03:44 PM


pitchforked babies by nazi prison guards...maybe not that but South Park has some nice episodes like that...you should check it out.

Posted by: Cartman | 2006-02-13 3:07:19 PM


Good Journalism,,, so I think it’s whoring yourself Journalism, get PR by insulting Muslims, all for the cash baby, all for the mighty dollar, Enjoy it Ezra you showed what type of person you are!

Posted by: Mark W | 2006-02-13 3:10:45 PM


Ezra whoring himself!!! Of course not, he is the defended of the freedom of speech, just like Hitler being the defender of the pure race

Posted by: Mrs. Tomkenson | 2006-02-13 3:14:00 PM


Greetings from Australia! Congratulations for having the courage to print the cartoons.

While most media outlets are too scared to print them, you have shown that you will take on these gutless wonders who wish to control your rights to open and free discussion.

While the mass rioting of the past month is truly disgraceful, it is more disgusting that the Iranian media is now undertaking a tit-for-tat response by publishing offensive cartoons denying the Holocaust. So, it is acceptable for the Muslim media to continually publish Anti-Semetic Material, to publish the so called offensive cartoons in their own papers, but g-d forbid the West say anything nasty about the Muslim people, and ye shall face the consequences!

When Christians and Jews take offensive to something they see or read, they write letters - they don't cut peoples heads off!

Posted by: Aussie-Guy | 2006-02-13 3:14:33 PM


For all you anti-free-speech yammerers, input from yet another Muslim blogger who is not insulted, defiled, or otherwise upset by the cartoons:

http://freedomforegyptians.blogspot.com/2006/02/cartoons-were-published-five-months.html

Speak for yourself, do for yourself, censor yourself if you wish, but do not presume to speak for -- or judge -- any other person. You just might be wrong.

Posted by: Chimera | 2006-02-13 3:15:24 PM


Congratulations on having the courage and integrity not to allow the Islamists to control your publication as they have so many others produced by those of lesser moral fibre. When the mainstream media continues to pretend there are two distinct branches of Islam, one radical and violent and the other not radical or violent I can only be dismayed. Islam is on the march and make no mistake that the targets are North America and Europe. These people spring from the same mosques and all receive the same teachings. Are they not all taught they can get 70 virgins and a palace if they kill as many infidels as possible, especially Jewish ones? If they win the battle of the cartoons what is the next thing that will send them screaming into the streets? Will they demand we cover up our women in chadors? Will they demand we repress our citizens? Will they demand the removal of all religious objects from our cities so they will not be offended? These people cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be negotiated with and cannot be appeased. Their sole aim is to destroy non-Muslims and if we do not recognize that fact we are wallowin in self-delusion. If we submit to them, as did the CBC, and other media we will be unprepared for what Islam, radical or not, has in mind for us.

Posted by: Bill McIntyre | 2006-02-13 3:24:17 PM


Bravo on deciding to break the unanimity of cowardice in the Canadian media. I have to wonder who they serve if it is not the principle of free thought.

The Fanaticism is being used as a coercive silencing tool by militant islam...it has been since Salmon Rushdie and the class between the free flow of information and the free expression of opinion have been on a head long clash with Muslim fanaticism for a long time.

Print your story in good health....but I will wager that if you open your magazine to the Imams to rebut anything they may find "provoking" or "offensive" they will refuse to debate civilly and instead chose the path of coersion...through the courts for now....in other less civil nations in the streets with torches and vandalism. I await Muslim leadership to respond openly in a Canadian media supported debate of the issues....will we see it? Or will we see radical islam here resort to the tools of the fanatic, the ignorant, the unreasoning...coersion, fear and threats...as they do in the rest of the world?

I think I know the answer but I will respect any muslim that choses to take his differiung opinins into the reals of civil reasoned public debate.

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2006-02-13 3:25:18 PM


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