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Thursday, February 16, 2006

C-list rocker takes on D-list publisher

I like Matthew Good's music, even though I can't tell any of his songs apart. I went to his concert  in Calgary a few years ago at the Whiskey nightclub. My favourite part of that evening was meeting the kind of fans he attracted -- the friendliest, most earnest college kids, the kind who were corporate enough to go to Starbucks instead of Tim Hortons, but would insist on soy milk to make a statement. Sort of like Good himself, and his wife, but fifteen years younger -- master capitalists and aesthetes, who put on a noisy show of being proles with working class street cred.

The club was great, the crowd was great and the music was great. But in between songs, Good insisted on having Jack Handy-style  Deep Thoughts about the war in Iraq, Republicans, and all sorts of things you'd expect at a college Chomsky reading group, not at a rock concert that was supposed to be fun. Talk about spoiling the mood. I'm glad that Good has taken up blogging, because that's a far better forum for his foreign policy philosophizing than at a music show.

This is all a lengthy throat-clearing before I point out that Good has now offered his opinions about our magazine's decision to publish the Danish cartoons, and focuses on me in particular. It's flattering that he read my column and learned of my views, after I listened to him that night and heard his. (I paid something like $30 to hear him, but my column is free on the Internet. But I think I enjoyed his performance more than he enjoyed mine.)

I'm surprised that such a politically expressive artist would be against freedom of the press. At least I think that's his view; his criticism is largely just a list of adjectives -- "moronic", "opportunistic", etc. -- without really articulating his reasons why the cartoons shouldn't be published. I'd be delighted to hear a clearer expression of them, either on his blog or on ours.

I can sum up my case for publishing the cartoons in one sentence: They're newsy, and we're a news magazine. But it is fun for a D-list media celebrity like me to get so much attention from a C-list rocker like him. We're moving up!

UPDATE: Good joins the fray in our comments section! I'm delighted to hear his attacks were merely personal, and not aimed at our freedom of the press. He meant "moronic" in a good way!

Posted by Ezra Levant on February 16, 2006 | Permalink

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» Freedom of the Press Lame Excuse for Publishing Cartoons from Robb's Rants
The self-righteous feel no need to be charming, and thus double their offensiveness. Mason Cooley Thank heavens for Ezra Levant, publisher of the Calgary-based Western Standard. He has saved us from making the mistake of not printing the infamous... [Read More]

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Comments

Let's not trot out that "Charter of Responsiblities" shibolleth, however popular it might be among conservatives. The fact is that the law is replete with responsibilities, from paying tax on up (or down, depending on how you look at it). The fundamental rigths and freedoms are the only counterweight. As for the goal of "irreducible" freedoms, you're on your own. There are limits on freedoms in every country; in the U.S. they just define the freedom down. Our process is more transparent and honest.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-17 12:35:21 AM


I like his "if you want to interview me about American blah blah blah" comment.

A tad arrogant, no? If I want someone to quote Chomsky verbatim I will just ask the opinion of a humanities "professor" or community college J-student.

I think someone has been getting a few too many HJ's in the winnebago and forgotten his place - that being the primary benificery of Canadian content laws on our radio stations. (I couldn't resist the ad hominem, sorry!)

At any rate, I think EL's assertion that the cartoons are news, and the WS ran them because it is a news mag, totally sufficient. Also, he had to address the media time and time again as he was getting mucho coverage and, really, we can't depend on the CBC or Globe to be fair to a conservative Albertan and his opinions.

The really interesting questions is why wasn't this uproar heard when papers in Quebec ran them? Or, perhaps only Albertan right-wingers can be bigots??

Posted by: Displaced Albertan | 2006-02-17 4:06:15 AM


I'm reminded of a famous internet image:

http://carcino.gen.nz/images/index.php/00b9a680/463c5922

Posted by: Poor Matthew's been trolled | 2006-02-17 7:06:56 AM


Wow you're really pulling the heavy weights out Ezra. ;-)

Good's appologist mantra seems about as original as the happy face he has on his cutsie site. I Guess it's easier to march lock step with the fabian dogma of the fabian arts clique than to think for yourself. Perhaps a tag team tour with Cat Stevens--er.. ah.. I mean, Yusuf Islam is in the offing ;-)

I get a chuckle out of the fact Good thinks a stage and a paid entertainment performance is a venue for personal political evangelizing on world events but a new magazine is not.

Then there's the hypocrisy of feigning abhorance at "self promotion" when he is essentially in the self promotion business.

How do I spell bland unoriginal utopian thinking? M-A-T-T-H-E-W G-O-O-D

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2006-02-17 7:08:52 AM


I was so proud to be Canadian when I heard that Canadian publications chose free speech but not in the form of hate literature.
Describing the cartoons has been sufficient to understand the rage that Muslims would feel. Even though we have been desensitized to indecency in our over-indulged Survivor-Springer western world, I don't think it's a giant leap to consider that some things just should be left alone. Saying that the holocaust didn't happen or that it's okay to rape little boys can also fall under "free speech" but should they?

Ezra, you embody all that wrong with our world. I'm embarrassed to share my country with you.

G. Forsythe

Posted by: Giulia Forsythe | 2006-02-17 7:24:11 AM


Forsythe

Have you seen the cartoons? I would guess not. If you had seen the cartoons, you would know that they are not even in the same ballpark as "hate Literature". If you have seen the cartoons and still think them hatemongering, then you're a museum-quality idiot.

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-17 8:51:49 AM


If a religion states that no image should be portrayed of their prophet, then why go out of your way to offend their religious convictions?
It's just a cash grab, right up there with movies about serial killers.
I'm not saying you don't have a right to print them, I'm saying it's disgusting to profit from someone else's misery and at the expense of someone else's beliefs.
I want to believe that Canadians have cultural sensitivity; the kind of understanding that can bridge the gap between religions and ethnic diversity that can elevate humanity beyond base levels of greed.

I think the Western Standard undermines what it means to be a multi-cultural country. We're *all* immigrants. Claiming superiority in any regard is absurd.

If that makes me a museum-quality idiot, then I'll call the taxidermist and jump in my glass box now.

Posted by: Giulia Forsythe | 2006-02-17 9:16:24 AM


"If a religion states that no image should be portrayed of their prophet, then why go out of your way to offend their religious convictions?"

I know. I know. Because said religion *doesn't* prohibit the image of their prophet, but the gullible believe it.

http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/

Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2006-02-17 9:44:35 AM


Pfft. M Good is a tool. I am *so* deleting those MP3s of his I stole from the Internet.

Posted by: Anon | 2006-02-17 9:49:39 AM


mr. good writes:

or how global human rights standards have declined since the advent of the US led war on terror,


mr. good seems like a nice guy, that seems to follow along the same causes as everyone else.

I would REALLY like him to reread the Universal Declaration of human rights on his web page, and then look at Canada (pre 9/11). some examples:

Article 7 is broken all the time

Article 10 is broken all the time

both those are broken in canada ironically through the human rights tribunals, which of course are supposed to enforce the charter

Article 12 barely exists in canada

Article 13 is routinely broken (i think specifically of medical doctors being forced by gov't to live in certain areas in certain provinces)


Article 16 is homophobic, and should be taken out.

Article 17 is 'not canadian'. at least per the former prime minister

Article 19 seems to be a problem for alot of people in canada

Article 20 is always broken in canada (i am compelled to join a union if i want to work in my field of expertise, doctors are forced to join various groups in certain provinces)


compare pre 9/11 canada with post 9/11 US. I thnk the US still comes out ahead.

and i do not even like the universal charter, as it bestows collective rights, which limit individual rights that are inherent to everyone in order to provide for the 'group'

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-17 9:59:29 AM


Giulia

>“Allah has sent you from your homes to fight for the Cause. Allah wished to confirm the truth by his words: wipe the Infidels out to the last. I shall fill the hearts of the Infidels with terror! So smite them on their necks and every joint, and incapacitate them, for they are opposed to Allah and His Apostle. Whoever opposes Us should know that Allah is severe in retribution. The Infidels will taste the torment of Hell. So when you meet them in battle do not retreat, for all who turn away from fighting will bring the wrath of Allah on themselves and their abode will be Hell. It was not you who killed them, but Allah who did so. You did not throw what you threw. Allah did to bring out the best in the faithful.”<

That is one of thousands of such excerpts from the Qur'an. Does this part of their religion become unimportant in the face of showing a Muhammed cartoon? Does speaking about it offend their religious culture as well? Have you ever read the Qur'an?

How's this for "cultural sensitivity", multiculturalism does not work. Ask the French, the English or the Danes, and many more countries how it is working as they have been so "sensitive" to allow these people to practice their own religion unchecked. They have seen their subways bombed, their cities burned, all in the name of the "peaceful religion".

Just this morning a Pakistani cleric offered a cash reward for the killing of the Dane who published the cartoons. This from the religion of peace. I will leave you with one more excerpt to consider.

“Our onslaught will not be a weak faltering affair. We shall fight as long as we live. We will fight until you turn to Islam, humbly seeking refuge. We will fight not caring whom we meet. We will fight whether we destroy ancient holdings or newly gotten gains. We have mutilated every opponent. We have driven them violently before us at the command of Allah and Islam. We will fight until our religion is established. And we will plunder them, for they must suffer disgrace.”

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-17 10:13:53 AM


"If a religion states that no image should be portrayed of their prophet, then why go out of your way to offend their religious convictions?"

Guilia, you're a little behind the times. The newest line is that this religion prohibits images of all the prophets, including Jesus and Moses. Where is the outrage over pictures of Jesus and airings of "The Ten Commandments"?

If you haven't gone to zombie's site, do yourself a favour and go now.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-02-17 10:15:33 AM


Greetings,
I am so happy to be informed that the hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from taxpayers, to be delivered into the coffers of less than stellar talents, simply because those same talents call themselves musicians, or artists, or whatever, are in fact having an effect. Witness M. Good, proudly declaring the standard canadian animus for the only true democracy on this, or any other known planet, and staunchly sticking, like animal-based glue products, to the lib-left, politically correct, feminazi mantras of smug, self-centered, sanctimonous beacons to the world, and then using the mute button to hear the responses to his rant. Sorry, I digress. The point is that these stolen tax dollars do not turn out to be sacrifices to a graven image, but have allowed M. Good to acquire enough backbone to consider leaving this horrible land of the cretins, and run away to more enlightened lands. The only downside to the plan would appear to be that, once freed of the canadian slime that drag him down, with silly items like facts, reality, or debate, roughly 35% of his income would be gone, because he would have left the apron strings of cancon, and need to survive on precisely what he could generate from talent alone, rather than the dole here in canada. Oh well, good luck in the real world, M. Good, and if you manage to hone your craft to the point where people support you of their own free will, rather than being FORCED to support you through cancon, rest assured we'll find you, rather than having you thrust upon us by big brother government, simply because of your land of birth. I am sure your heroism will stand you in good stead out there, and one of your other little problems will be solved for you. You will never be in a position to have to block access to your blog from people you choose not to hear. The new state you choose, has a reasonably good statistical chance of shutting down your blog for you!
Freedom of speech, anyone?
I thought not!
Cheers!

Posted by: RJ | 2006-02-17 10:20:44 AM


Giulia,

Only those who believe in the religion must obey religious rules. I am not a Muslim, so the prohibition on depicting Mohammad doesn't apply to me. If we in Canada begin with 'respecting' their not wanting Mohammad depicted, where does it stop?

I hope you understand that, generally, it isn't what you would call conservative values that are threatened by Islamism, but liberal ones. How are the rights of women, gays and mintorities doing in X Muslim nation these days? I wonder how easy it is to get an abortion in Iran?

Should we also respect their prohibition on women working, cause it might offend them to have to send a letter via a lady? Or, perhaps even more realistically, should we stop serving pork in Canadian restaurants because they find pigs to be unclean? How far are you willing to take this?

We have values and traditions in Canada, and they are what separate us from the nonsense in the Islamic world. I suggest you stop worrying about Springer and spend more time seriously considering what societal values maintain your quality of life and start defending them. It is time to think outside of the Canadian box.

There are higher values than 'tolerance', and those values are at risk when we impose their wishes upon ourselves. Religion is fair game for public criticism.

And printing cartoons doesn't cause misery. That is a gigantic overstatement. They need to stop kicking and screaming and accept modernity, if their situation is ever to improve.

Lastly, do you actually believe that all cultures are exactly the same, or of the same value?? Have you not access to a newspaper? You name sounds feminine, and thus I assume you are a woman, in which case you should take a hard look at how other females are treated in other cultures. Multiculturalism is a fine idea when all the cultures have the same fundamental values. How do you propose we go about respecting the wishes of every oppressive religious and political group around? Capitulate to them all in the name of diversity?

It is time to get out of the undergrad mentality.
"Elevate humanity above the base levels of greed". What a joke. Let me guess, you are a 1st year sociology student?

Posted by: B.D. | 2006-02-17 10:21:51 AM


You're kidding right? You've never seen Christians, who by the way wear symbols of idolatry and decorate their houses with images of Him, protesting depictions that don't suit their belief system?
I went to the zombie site, and it was very interesting but it does not prove that it is NOT against their religion to have images of the prophet. In fact, his face had to be scratched out in some depictions.
I think there is an incredible difference between depictions of Mahomet from Dante's inferno and some roughly drawn scribblings of Mohammed marrying a 6 year old.
Please read the post:
http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2006/02/the_difference__1.html

The Difference Between Us and Them II
Jewish Weekly
(02/10/2006)
The Respect Of A Cousin
Edward Miller states it more eloquently than I could, and speaks from experience and authority.

Posted by: Giulia Forsythe | 2006-02-17 10:34:52 AM


My god what is it with you people, I'm a Christian, am I offended by that sort of stuff? Not at all. Burn my bible, trash it, see if I care. I will simply get another. How many Christians are rioting in the streets and burning buildings? How many Christians just put a $1.000.000 bounty on someone's head?

I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, a museum-quality idiot, your just an idiot, and I am embarrassed to share my country with you, and the likes of you.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-17 10:45:07 AM


http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD109406

Guess what? Syrian daily suggests Israel created the Avian Bird Flu to damage the genetic material of Arabs.

Those Syrian kidders; always pulling our chain.

Got milked? I'm waiting for the expressions of deep regret at the Friday sermons.

Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2006-02-17 10:58:00 AM


Forsythe,

Look at the stupid cartoons. Half of them are not even pictures of Mohammed. And the ones really making Muslims mad were never published but were included in a dossier by a Danish Muslim cleric with the intent to incite a reaction.

Also, there are pictures of Mohammad probably in every library in the country. But only cartoons are offensive? I don't get it the logic.

If no one sees them then no one will ever know what they are going on about.

Posted by: Mike S | 2006-02-17 11:28:26 AM


Giulia, are you really trying to equate Christian protests sans rioting, burning and killing as exactly the same reaction we're seeing now around the world? You're the one who's kidding.

If there's a prohibition, why did these images survive? If they were such an abomination, they would have been destroyed. And again, where is the outrage over images of Jesus and Moses?

As for drawings, roughly scribbled or not, of Mohammed marrying a 6 year old, what's wrong with that? He did marry a 6 year old.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-02-17 11:30:45 AM


"What I did disparage was your very obvious use of that undertaking to garner yourself
press."
Uhhhh, what exactly were Muslims trying to garner(and succesfully managed to garnish) for themselves by rioting???

"spare us your self righteousness and self-proclaimed branding as some vanguard of
civil liberties."
Mr. Levant is not demonstrating the civil liberties we ALL take for granted every day. Muslim culture is demonstrating the opposite.

"Lastly, if you would ever like to actually interview me with regards to my
knowledge regarding US foreign and covert policy, its history, or how global
human rights standards have declined"
No thanks. Is Matthew Good an entertainer or a foreign policy expert? Shut up and sing.

Posted by: Knight of the Blue Revolution | 2006-02-17 11:57:13 AM


B.D.
Your post to Giulia,

Firstly.
“You say those who believe in the religion must obey religious rules but you are not” I know you are not a Muslim, so go down to your local mosque and depict Mohammad any way you want as it doesn't apply to you, Teach your kids as well and bring some torches too. I am sure all Canadians will respect that.


“you say, generally it isn't conservative values that are threatened by Islamism, but liberal ones. You say how are the rights of women, gays and minorities doing in X Muslim nation these days?

How the hell are they doing in Canada especially with all the good that I am sure will come from with harper Government, I wonder how easy it is to get an abortion in Iran? How about New Brunswick?

You say “We have values and traditions in Canada, and they are what separate us from the nonsense in the Islamic world.” Are you a WASP?

You Say “spend more time seriously considering what societal values maintain your quality of life and start defending them. It is time to think outside of the Canadian box” No thanks it not time for me, If I am in my Canadian Box I will look after my Canadian box and keep you in line and redneckedchecked so you can think outside yours if you want.

You say “There are higher values than 'tolerance', and those values are at risk when we impose their wishes upon ourselves. Religion is fair game for public criticism.”

Do you forget we live in canada , No one can impose their wishes upon ourselves unless it goes through our Parliament or we have a split personality”

You Say ”And printing cartoons doesn't cause misery. That is a gigantic overstatement.”
Reality Check …Have you been watching any MSM.

You Say“They need to stop kicking and screaming and accept modernity, if their situation is ever to improve. “

Yep lets beat them into complete submission so that we can control them any way we like. You are so nice!

Posted by: colin | 2006-02-17 12:17:29 PM


Naw, I like your idea better, lets let them burn our countries down around us and kill us till they have us beat into submission. Listening to the likes of you they are halfway there already.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-17 12:26:37 PM


I think I see his point... you should have published the cartoons and then chosen not to defend your decision. Yup, that makes sense.

Does anyone else think that Matthew Good has recieved far more attention in the last day than he should in the next month? I think this can be dropped.

Posted by: markdsgraham | 2006-02-17 3:32:19 PM



All of you self appointed constitutional "experts" Notwithstanding!

The issue and point of the post is hypocritical and uninformed / unasked for political commentary by people who were given a stage for some other purpose entirely.

Anyone who seeks or derives political insight from musicians or performers and artists gets exactly what they paid for....that is to say nothing of any value.

Posted by: PGP | 2006-02-17 3:42:45 PM


Questions for a Friday afternoon. Mathew Good? He's like what, a musician or something? I don't seem to recall ever hearing any of his music, but then again I try to filter out most of what the radio plays, way too much low talent and no talent. Also my dog is named Moses, do you think I should change his name? I understand that muslims consider Moses to be a prophet as well and a dog's saliva to be unclean, personally I like dogs more than than I like most people. Also isn't the term redneck also a slur, and why isn't a person who uses the term to define an entire region, also considered a narrow minded bigot? Is an infidel the same as a pagan or a heathen? Sounds like a slur to me .Wouldn't that be like hate literature if it was printed in a book and even more so if that book called upon believers to smite the infidels on the neck? If a person supports the boycott against Denmark because a newspaper, independant of government, printed a cartoon, is that not tarring all Danes with the same brush and would that also not make the person supporting that boycott either a mental midget or a bigot? And one final question, does anyone know of a good mix for Aquavit or are you supposed to drink it straight up?

Posted by: greg | 2006-02-17 5:02:21 PM


ebt. Thanks it's going into the freezer now!

Posted by: greg | 2006-02-17 6:14:22 PM


Colin,

That has to be just the worst response to a post I have ever seen.

"Are you a WASP?" WTF? Are you a high school student? You don't think Canada has values? How fu$$ing retarded are you?

Anyhow, the only point I really want to address (and you didn't do any rationalizing, just disagreeing) is that the cartoons cause misery.
What we are seeing in the Muslim word is an expression of power. Because of their political, economic and religious situation (not to mention infidel armies in a couple countries), Muslims are some of the least empowered people on earth, but the solidarity from the cartoons has given then some hope. The cartoons are secondary, more like the match thrown on the already gassed-up fire.

Ultimately, they have to realize that 'Sticks and stones' applies to Muslims too.

And where did I say "beat" then into modernity you Tool? Do you know what modernity means? Who let you out of the hospital today?

I think somewhere, right now, a TeenPeople is being neglected.

Posted by: BD | 2006-02-17 7:11:12 PM


Singers are such simpletons, they should just stick to reading their lyrics. Like actors, whenever they go off-script they reveal themselves to be dumb shits. If they're all so sensitive to the tender feelings of Muslims then they should hire Islamic Clerics to judge their material before they perform, it's the right thing to do according to their own preach.

Posted by: simpleton | 2006-02-17 7:12:19 PM


Publishing the cartoons is about as Canadian as Canadian Back Bacon!

Maybe I've been studying too much law recently (not even in law school, just a bloody undergrad course!), but it seems to me it would help to reduce this to the precedent.

What is the precedent set if we agree that we should never print anything that Muslims might find offensive? Pardon me if I'm wrong, but I take it to mean this: Islamic rules, even when not involving Muslims, should never be broken.

So that's right ladies, we're putting millions of you girls out of work and back at home! Your burkas will be shipped shortly. There will be stonings of gays starting at 6pm (I think I might go to Vancouver for that, here Svend Robinson), and shortly after we will all start memorizing the Holy Qur'an in the original Qur'anic Arabic: because you're not a true Muslim unless you speak the language of the special people (AKA Arabs). Oh yes, and no Canadian Back Bacon - cooking any form of ham is now prohibited.

Personally, I am of the belief that eggs go best with bacon. Sure, we should all have the unspoken rule in a little while that we should never print any carictures again. We all have friends, co-workers, whatever, who are Muslims, and why piss off our fellow Canadians? On the other hand, this shortly after protesters in Western Europe have called for the death of free speach, we need to put our foot down. We in the West have had such thick skins and been so laid back and tolerant, that I suppose if the Muslim protests are about more than just the cartoons, then our reaction is about more than just free speach. Anybody watched the movie Pork Chop Hill? Well, let's not loose Pork Chop Hill, for isn't greatness "to find great quarrel in a straw when honour's at the stake" (have to show some solidarity with the Danes on that one, even if it was written by the English)?

Posted by: Miksha | 2006-02-17 9:10:15 PM


Regarding Matthew Good itself ('it' referring to the band/enterprise). I once tried making many posts on their site. Difficult being the only right-winger. Well, they eventually edited/deleted one of my messages on the main thread and then completely shut down a thread on the Iraq war in which I was posting dissenting thoughts. Ironicly my own views on the Iraq war are split between yay/nay, so all I was trying to do was show the other side to those simple minded commies. Guess that's too much. Guess I'll have to grab my buddies Johny Wayne and George C Scott, drive off to Vancouver with a case load of whisky, and kick some ass the old fashioned way, since right-wingers now have the right to be moderated.

By the way, speaking of law, where did all that talk of the Charter come from anyway!? A little casual mention perhaps, but splitting hairs over s.2? Repeat after me: the Charter is insignificant in a dispute where the defendant is not connected with the government or receiving public subsidies (on the other hand, if the Western Standard has been heavily subsidized by the Liberal Government for the past several years, my apologies, the Charter does apply).

Posted by: Miksha | 2006-02-17 9:19:25 PM


When someone takes someone to a tribunal in Canada claiming human rights violations, as is the case here Miksha, the charter of rights and freedoms is important precisely because the tribunal is a state instrument.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-17 10:08:12 PM


Miksha,
Maybe you better read a little more law. As Vitruvius points out, s.2, especially 2(b) is very relevant. And your understanding of precedent seems a little wonky. If there is some broad consensus among publishers that running these particular cartoons isn't a good idea - which seems to be the case, with a few exceptions - that doesn't mean we have to obey Islamic law ever or even not offend muslims in the future.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-18 6:51:32 AM


BD says: "We have values and traditions in Canada, and they are what separate us from the nonsense in the Islamic world."
I never asked that Canada adopt social issues policies in line with the Middle East.
News release: There are thousands of Muslims living in Canada today who are not extremists and have integrated their own Muslim beliefs into a Canadian value system. They do not bomb innocent people. They do not agree with Middle Eastern approaches to problem-solving. They are Canadian citizens who deserve the same respect as any other group of individuals. I don't see the purpose in going out of your way to insult this group of people. Western Standard is definitely not "sticking" it to Muslims in Lybia. It is insulting moderate Muslims who live in our neighbourhoods.

B.D says: "Religion is fair game for public criticism."
I agree with this. Religion. You can't paint broad strokes over all Muslims because a certain group. Generalizations are for the narrow-minded.

B.D says: "And printing cartoons doesn't cause misery."
I didn't say that the comics themselves cause misery. It is misery that has created suicide bombers.
Mocking suicide bombers is mocking misery.

The best argument I have seen yet, has been that these political cartoons show the conflict between behaviour and belief. This is the appropriate level of discourse on this issue.

As for all this discussion about Matthew Good not being a decent source of information. In the new era of blogging, why would Matthew Good be any less qualified to discuss US foreign policy than any other blogger? Clearly Ezra felt him valuable enough to mention, hence this article. It was the Western Standard that decided Matthew Good's opinion mattered at all.

As for "singers" shouldn't say anything. Some of the world's best thinkers have been artists. The power of song to communicate, motivate, console, unite and, ultimately, beget change: that ideal, gloriously realized, lies at the heart of director Lee Hirsch's inspiring feature film documentary Amandla!
see http://www.amandla.com

As Canadians we should be modeling ideal behaviour and ideologies, in all respects. My definition of multi-cultural country, which a select homogeneous few of you can't seem to grasp, is a country that chooses the social policies that represent and respect the diversity of individuals without compromising the rights of others. Apparently, this makes me either a museum-quality idiot or a naive first year sociology student. Either way, given the source, I'll take these both as compliments.

Posted by: Giulia Forsythe | 2006-02-18 12:49:42 PM


Giulia, in your happy country that "chooses the social policies that represent and respect the diversity of individuals without compromising the rights of others", would the right to make little drawings be restricted or outlawed?

I only ask because although your idea of a collective respect-fest sounds good, I wonder where your words land here on earth. Respect is a good thing, racism is purely ignorant, and inciting violence is bad -- these things are unquestionable. But taking line drawings as an example: are you suggesting that the state have a say in which direction the pencil tip goes, or on which topics are free for discussion? Or are you just suggesting that people, as individuals, be respectful?

I can tell by your tone that you obviously wouldn't be in favour of, say, bounties on the heads of transgressing cartoonists; what is less clear is what your solution might be to such a butt-clenchingly real problem. Take their pencils away, perhaps? Ban comment which might pertain to anyone inclined to offense, or who might get violent? Set up a list of what is and isn't a fair and reasonable topic for commentary?

I have to tell you that considering the (most welcom) reasonable tone of your comment, I am surprised that you would say that the Western Standard is insulting moderate Muslims who live in our neighbourhoods. I have known three Muslim people in my life. They were all fine people, reasonable, educated, calm and thoughtful. One of them, whom I worked closely with, is perhaps the most exemplary human being I have ever met. When you suggest that the Standard shouldn't publish these line drawings so as not to offend moderate Muslims in our neighbourhoods, IMHO you are (unintentionally) insulting the very moderate Muslims whom your argument sets out to protect. Many Canadian Mulsims do not want to be subject to the mobs who are now burning embassies and threatening cartoonists. It seems to me that many multi-culti lefty-Liberals in this country assume that the inflamed mobs, and the violent males of a certain age are the spokesmen for Islam. They are obviously not.

Posted by: EBD | 2006-02-18 2:27:13 PM


Still having trouble addressing the point at hand, truewest?

Get used to the deletions by the way Miksha. Good bragged on his site about being such an expert in the evil influence of the U.S. on South American policy, yet turns out to have absolutely no knowledge of the economic impact of the native Marxists that were allegedly offed by the CIA. When his knowledge and intellectual gaps have been pointed out on any Good-friendly message boards, ol' Matty has been quick to shut the offending truths down. He'd have made a good Syrian molotov cocktailer.

Posted by: Feynman and Coulter's Love Child | 2006-02-18 3:27:17 PM


Are there any moderate Muslims?
No. because there are no moderate Imams.
Al those Mulims who want to go out on the street and hold up signs and shout ISLAM, , ll of those are not "moderate>"
Modreate peopel stay home like chritians atieist, jews and all the rest of us and tolerate others even if we don't like what they say.

There are no moderate Mulsims.
Islm is a cult of violence and aggression.
..
You will all eventually realize this, perhaps too late. They have no intention of leaving us in peace, they intend to bury all of us. We are all their infidels,jew, atheist, conservative, liberal and christian all. All of us are their infidels.
Stop them now while you can.

Posted by: max | 2006-02-18 8:33:33 PM


Islamists consider moderate Muslims to not be Muslims, due to their associations with non-Muslims. In other words, if we take the Imams at their word, Muslims are our enemies.

But we have our own definitions, and since the majority of Muslims are not Islamists or extremists -- I mean, there are millions of Muslims in the USA; in the years since 9-11, how many attacks have there been on American soil by Muslims -- we have to recognize that this threat to the west comes from the strange partnership of the western left and extremists everywhere.

The relativistic, enabling political left -- those who make excuses for violent theocrats, who vote for the excuse-making political parties -- are far, far more of a problem in the long run.

Look at it this way: If every newspaper in the western world had printed those newsworthy cartoons immediately just to show what the fuss was about, the Islamic world would have been less inflamed, because there would be no room for the opportunistic politics which led to the attacks on one particular embassy, and there'd be twelve fewer Danish satirists and illustrators fearing for their lives.
Violent extremists in effect gained concessions from our "free press", due to the inane softness of those who pump their right fist while saying things like "freedom". If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be in a position where foreign extremists are vetting our newspapers.

Posted by: EBD | 2006-02-18 10:23:11 PM


History is replete with cowards who have hidden behind "freedom of the press". This issue goes beyond that and true wisdom is in the understanding of the ripple effects ones action can have. It is too bad that some put self-aggrandisement ahead of wisdom.

Posted by: Robbin | 2006-02-19 9:34:34 AM


Robbin I agree, these forum reminds me of the graffiti I see above the urinals in the pub washroom, I dont waste time replyin to stupidity there so dont know why I do it here. Hey I have a newfound repspect for Matt Good, moronic and opportunistic are perfect ways to decribe Ezra. Poor guy goes to listen to a concert and gets dissed by the very guy he paid to see, hehe. Thats what happens in Canada when you act like an irresponisble media whore, with no respect for the religous sensitivities of minorities. Your respective ethnic-religous background doesnt add any legitimicy to the motivations behind your action. Slut.

Posted by: KC | 2006-02-19 11:10:53 AM


KC

Talk about a media whore. Matt good a nobody rocker is about to go on tour so to bolster ticket sales he decides to get in a public feud with someone who is in getting good coverage.

And if you have so much respect for mr. good why don't you try to post ANY opposing view on his website. He is a spoiled brat can-con baby who is unwilling to engage anyone in civlised debate. It is much easier to simply call them a 'moron' or a 'media whore'. that way matt can keep people from seeing the truth, which is that he is simply a first year community college drop-out turned self appointed international affairs expert.

Posted by: WinnipegLibertarian | 2006-02-19 12:14:12 PM


Hey "media whore" was my term, dont give Matt Good credit for a term I coined..hmm, maybe I should file a patent for it, Ezral Lavent the media whore.

Posted by: JC | 2006-02-19 12:29:57 PM


In a world of terrorists dedicated to the Total destruction of the West, argument with Liberals and Terrorist sympathizers is suicidal.
..
The only thing that is useful for the survival of ourselves and our culture is to make affirmative statements to support victory over the Islamics and to denounce them over and over again. To even begin to "argue:" with them is suicidal That is what they want, they want "argument " to undermine our will and our resolve to survive.

Then when we are divided they will kill us all, liberal and conservative alike.

But it is to the liberals they will thank, just like the N. Vietnamese Dictator thanked the American Liberals for helping him to power when he came to N. America. Except however, the liberals were now outside on the street protesting the murders and human right abuses in his country and in occupied South Vietnam.
A little to late, liberals.

Liberals are just the pall bearers for their own funerals.

Posted by: max | 2006-02-20 1:33:21 PM


You are wrong EBD, the cartoon controversy has shown that every one of those "moderate Muslims" is a threat just bidding their time to destroy us.
Every one of them supports the imposition of their political religion on the all of us. They are just not strong enough to do it yet in Canada., but they will.. just look at Britain. That is our future. You probably don't know the half of what this minority is imposing on the rest of the Brits.

Posted by: max | 2006-02-20 1:40:00 PM


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