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Monday, March 14, 2011

Syed Soharwardy threatened by “bag lunch” suggestion

In a statement issued this evening, Calgary Iman Syed Soharwardy of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada revealed that he has received an email containing "threatening" statements directed toward him from an Alberta man allegedly known to police.

According to Soharwardy, he received death threats in 2009 from this same individual who, after Calgary Police investigated the matter, was given only a warning.

"Unfortunately, the hate crimes and threats of violence against Muslims are not taken seriously by the police. I have received several threats and all of them have been reported to police but the outcome of police investigations has never been more than warnings," said Soharwardy.

Soharwardy included the content of the most recent email he received from the unnamed northern Alberta man as evidence of the new threat. But other than a few ugly words, it is not clear that any credible or imminent threat was made in the email that would warrant a police investigation.

The email makes reference to the growing "backlash" against Islam and that the West is now "awake." Whatever one might think of the War on Terror, I'd call the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan a “backlash” against the events of 9/11 that has caused the Western public to be jolted "awake" to the threat of international terrorism.

Slightly more menacing, when taken out of context, are these words from the email:

"Are you frightened Syed Soharwardy?.....do you feel the breath of the storm on your neck?...are you particularly comfortable knowing that hundreds of millions have now turned their attention on you and your ilk, turned their attention on Muslims? Muslims; the most depraved, sick, murderous, blackhearted forms of life to ever walk the face of the earth.”

It’s clear the email writer dislikes Soharwardy and Muslims -- he hates them…a lot -- but what he has in store for Soharwardy can hardly constitute a threat.

First, more hostility:

"Muslims, like yourself Soharwardy, who wrap their women in sack cloth and force them to grovel, force them to lead lives of servitude and abject misery. Muslim men according their wives less consideration than a stray dog."

Now, the so-called threat:

"Mr. Soharwardy, I sincerely hope that I am at the airport to hand you and every member of your family, both immediate and extended, a bag lunch for your flight back to some dark toilet of a third world Islamic country. You can send us emails from there...telling us all about the 'religion of peace'....and 'your islam'.”

Again, the email writer doesn't like Soharwardy, a man made famous for launching an Alberta Human Rights Commission complaint against the Western Standard and publisher Ezra Levant, who was forced to carry the cost of the complaint personally when the Western Standard print edition was shut down. But the email writer has nothing more sinister planned for Soharwardy than to be on hand with a “bag lunch” should the day ever come when, after due process of law, Soharwardy is deported for treason.

Where’s the threat?

Whether or not the content of the email meets the criminal standard for hate is another matter.

In my dealings with Soharwardy I have found him to be a pretty normal guy…a media hound, but not a religious extremist. I actually find him likable even after he publicly threatened to take me and our online Western Standard magazine before the Canadian Human Rights Commission for comments made on our then-unmoderated blog by anonymous agitators.

I suppose I have good reason to hate Soharwardy, and so do Western Standard readers and the countless other Canadians who stood by Ezra Levant in his battle for free speech against the AHRC. But I don’t hate him; I’ve learned to forgive Soharwardy, and I have no hostility for Muslims...never have. The email writer from northern Alberta, however, is not ready to forgive. Should that be a crime...a thought crime?

Calgary Police should tell Soharwardy, a hyper-sensitize would-be censor, to learn to deal with the consequences of being a noisy public figure in a liberal democracy.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 14, 2011 | Permalink


Hmm interesting Mattew, did you tell Ezra to forgive and forget when he blew a lid over a simple letter I wrote to the letters section of a local left wing newspaper?? No you did not, in fact you assisted him in suing me and even suggested to me that "anyone will settle at $5000.00". In the end oh my gosh guess what?? $5000 is what Ezra libel chilled me for in a defemation suit. Mr free speech Levant got $5000 in a local SLAPP suit and you had no problem with it. Never mind the fact the WS failed to pay me for ads I sold to ad buyers. You guys simply said "sue us" ya right courts costs to get back $600.00
Sorry I dont buy your BS Ezra about free speech!!

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2011-03-14 9:44:34 PM

Merle, I've made repeated public statements against defamation law. That should suffice.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2011-03-14 9:53:53 PM

Did you ever tell Ezra you were opposed to him suing me,Did you ever suggest to Ezra that perhaps Merle could simply apologize if I offended him? You had sway with Ezra as he was your business partner Matthew and as far as I know you did nothing to persuade him not to launch that silly law suit and in the end he got precisely the $ figure you said he would?? I find that a bit odd. True it was Ezra that sued me not you, but I don't recall you ever stepping in and trying to end it. I just find it odd that people still parade Ezra around as a free speech advocate and then forget the fact that he demands $ for words that offend him. That's the point Matthew as it makes me want to vomit when Ezra and free speech are said in the same sentence to be 100% honest with you. Ezra does not support free speech he support Ezra speech.

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2011-03-14 10:05:55 PM

I will give you credit Matthew that you at least post comments you make not like, Ezra has never posted any of my comments even on other subjects on his blog. They are all subject to review!!!

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2011-03-14 10:08:49 PM

Oh and p.s during Ezra's interogation of me via discoveries he brought forward stuff that he could of only got from you and thus you aided and abetted his suit.You willingly turned over emails I sent only to you. You helped him sue me Matthew.

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2011-03-14 10:12:25 PM

Oh and Matthew the cartoons you knew darn well were an attempt to get the WS in the news Ezra even said "he hoped it would increase circulation" I was there at the staff meeting when he said it. Had Syed gone to a court and sued for defemation rather than the AHRC then what? Perhaps had Syed said he was defamed as a Muslim then what?? Was it the means he used to sue the medium or method??

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2011-03-14 10:17:31 PM

"but the outcome of police investigations has never been more than warnings," said Soharwardy".

Thats simply because there is nothing there and warnings against anything anti-muslim is mandatory political correctness. Christians on the other hand can be insulted 'till the cows come home. No warnings required.

Posted by: peterj | 2011-03-14 11:22:11 PM

Soharwardy is doing his fellow Muslims no favours in the eyes of others. Running (whining?) to the cops every time someone says or writes something that opposes his belief system damages his credibility. Not every paragraph is a threat, not every word a warning.

As we say, he should grow a pair.

Posted by: Leigh Patrick Sullivan | 2011-03-15 8:15:38 AM

Great article, Matthew. I'd like to be at the airport as well, I could hand them each a magazine to read while they eat their bag lunch. Syed in hilarious, he's the 'Wiley E. Coyote' muslim we really don't need to be afraid of.

Posted by: Don Sharpe | 2011-03-15 8:33:11 AM

Syed IS hilarious. haha . ... spelling!
p.s. Merle, get over it.

Posted by: Don Sharpe | 2011-03-15 8:37:44 AM

Don give me $5000 and then I will get over it. Its called hypocrisy on the part of MJ and Ezra!!!

Posted by: Merle | 2011-03-15 12:00:56 PM


This blog has gone way downhill.

Posted by: GeronL | 2011-03-15 2:37:23 PM

Ya when a free speech advocate like Ezra Levant uses the threat of a monetary court judgement in a SLAPP suit and his business partner a Libertarian assists in the same, then yes it has gone down hill!!! What gross hypocrisy by the founders of the WS, I am glad it folded as it was nothing like the old Alberta Report! no where near!!!

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2011-03-15 5:48:35 PM

Unlike Matthew Johnston I do not like muslims. I've seen first hand in various European countries the extremely negative impact that large muslim immigration has had to them. Soharwardy is using the same tactics that are used by muslims in Europe, play the victim card. Why doesn't he go to Calgary's muslim mayor and ask him for help. My respect for Calgarians ended when they voted in a muslim mayor. Calgarians should understand what the word dhimmi means because that's what you are.

Posted by: The Stig | 2011-03-15 8:10:49 PM

Syed is working from the Islamic playbook by acting offended from a little uncomplimentary light directed towards his shadowy and retrograde religion/movement.

Offensive words should not be seen as a crime. That's why hate crimes should not exist in law as they are a crude and subjective attempt at thought control. Whether the offended parties are the CJC or fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, they should have no access to game the corrupt system denying free speech to all. The despicable character, Ersnt Zundel should still be free to spew venom in Canada. A free adult society can sort things out.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2011-03-16 10:35:43 AM

Stop snivelling, Merle; we just waxed the floors.

Posted by: Mal | 2011-03-16 4:55:08 PM

The limits on free speech apply to all Canadians, including the right of Canadians to sue if their rights or feelings have been hurt. Ezra Levant and Libertarians are not denied this right. The arguement is not about hypocrisy but about abuses of Canadians by the HRCs.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2011-03-17 9:55:37 AM

The fact you can sue for hurt feelings shows how this country has finally sunk beneath the waves of politically correct stupidity. Thank the CHRC.

Posted by: peterj | 2011-03-18 11:50:50 AM

You really shouldn't be able to sue for hurt feelings. But sadly this is how far (or low) we have come in this country.

As for the threat to the good imam, forget the hate component. When someone sends out unsolicited e-mails, anonymously, and harasses another individual - e.g., with taunts or other harassing language, etc. - it's a criminal offence. Period.

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2011-03-21 10:05:08 PM

"When someone sends out unsolicited e-mails, anonymously, and harasses another individual - e.g., with taunts or other harassing language, etc. - it's a criminal offence. Period.".

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2011-03-21 10:05:08 PM

I guess I'm old school. I see it as simple as hitting the delete button.

Posted by: peterj | 2011-03-22 4:26:58 PM

This is a very interesting post..so who stole this lunch? God damn bullies.

Posted by: Jack O'Bannon | 2011-03-24 10:01:54 PM

Moderate Islamic and Moderate Mormons are much the same in as much as they are sure their way is the only way and, have little or no tolerance.

Posted by: cyberclark | 2011-03-27 2:09:35 PM

@ cyberclark | 2011-03-27 2:09:35 PM

You are limiting that to two ???
I have found that to be the case in all. Including atheists. Agnostics are probably the only ones on the planet with some flexibility.

Posted by: peterj | 2011-03-29 12:48:36 PM

Agnostics have too much flexibility. I've decided to reclassify my beliefs as "open to suggestions". I just found that being agnostic made me empathize with groups whose beliefs are not worth understanding.

Posted by: dp | 2011-03-30 9:25:10 AM

The census is coming. I wonder how some are going to fill it out, or not. Will Syed fill it out? Will Geddes?

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2011-03-31 9:54:20 AM

I just saw an ad for hot single muslim girls on this site?? Are they in burkas or the veil or hijab?
The one girl looked awesome!!!!

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2011-04-05 9:03:16 PM

Sorry. Muslim girls are for muslims.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2011-04-06 9:39:04 AM

"Muzzie girls are for muzzies"
Now that's funny!
I've dated Catholic, Mormon and Atheist gals . . ... but I've never dated any islamic facists.
Wonder what it's like?
Merle? How about taking one for the team?
Date a muzzie and report back to us here!

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Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2011-05-04 2:31:33 PM

Excellent piece of writing I am very thankful to you. Keep writing such kind of information on your blog.

Posted by: college admission essay examples | 2011-05-05 12:20:13 AM

Why not just change the name of this site to the "Merle Terlesky Blog"?

Posted by: Ralph | 2011-05-14 5:06:59 PM

When someone sends out unsolicited e-mails, anonymously, and harasses another individual - e.g., with taunts or other harassing language,

Posted by: addiction treatment centers new jersey | 2011-05-17 4:27:02 AM

The limits on free speech apply to all Canadians, including the right of Canadians to sue if their rights or feelings have been hurt.

Posted by: ara@ addiction treatment centers Newark | 2011-05-17 12:01:01 PM

If this passes it will set a very dangerous precedent that other White nations will follow, the Internet is hugely important for showing people the truth about what is happening in the World. This won't make the Televised news in any White nation and even in Canada it likely won't make but a passing mention. The filth in power hate Freedom of Speech and the Internet and websites like Stormfront are the last bastions for it.

Posted by: college essay examples | 2011-08-02 8:31:18 PM

We need to treat Muslims fairly and not over react. If there was a real threat with evidence to prove it then the police should act.

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