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Monday, February 13, 2006

Don't Panic

It seems that our website has been overloaded by traffic this morning and our web provider has suspended our account temporarily. This won't affect the blog.

We'll be back up soon.

Thanks for your patience.

Posted by westernstandard on February 13, 2006 | Permalink


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» Western Standard Website Down - Was it Hacked? from ThePolitic - Canadian Political Weblog
For some reason the website of the Western Standard is unavailable. Could it be the result of their decision to print the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad?Update: Theyre aware of the problem and working to fix it. It seems... [Read More]

Tracked on 2006-02-13 5:21:44 PM

» 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 2006-02-13 7:00:46 PM


Congratulations on your courage...
Too bad the rest of the media in Canada including the CBC are so gutless...
Fear of retribution rather than respect for religion is more like it...

Posted by: John Kirkup | 2006-02-13 12:15:23 PM

Nobody should tell us Canadian what to print or not. Congratulation.

Posted by: claude thériault | 2006-02-13 12:20:13 PM

The question is if the traffic was legitimate, or was this a denial of service attack launched by those who don't like you printing the images?

Posted by: Steve | 2006-02-13 12:26:57 PM

I hate it when people use freedom of speech to antagonize for their own political reasons. Publishing the cartoons isn't an issue of free speech. It is an organization (Western Standard) being juvenile. DUMB DUMB DUMB. Grow up and join the rest of us in society.

Posted by: J Davis | 2006-02-13 12:34:14 PM

Re-printing cartoons appears to be a cheap publicity stunt.
If the publisher is that concerned with "the facts central to the news", how many times has he printed the details when they were prohibited by law? Was he not then afraid of prosecution?

Courage doesn't mean hurting others. Would you print the picture of an abuse victim (as it would be central to the news) or try to console the shock and anger of person and the family?

Posted by: kahn | 2006-02-13 12:34:36 PM

It takes courage to rise above the shortsighted gain of selling magazines and taking a stand on showing respect for our fellow Canadian Muslims. There is no Freedom in inciting intolerance - just another example of REDNECK Alberta. Damn shame to portray that to the world.

Posted by: Keith Dawson | 2006-02-13 12:35:36 PM

Why don't those against publishing the cartoons because they may provocate someone or hurt someone not say the same thing about the media coverage of the protests where images are shown of protesters holding signs saying "Death to Jews" and other such epitaphs?

Posted by: Pat | 2006-02-13 12:37:14 PM

Careful Keith,

That word "Rednick" offends me.

Posted by: Pat | 2006-02-13 12:38:24 PM

I hope Western Standard will see the error of their ways and NOT publish the cartoons. Leave that to yellow journalists and right wing nutbars.. oh.. yeah right. we talking about the Owners and staff of the Western Standard.

Posted by: Richard Davies | 2006-02-13 12:40:44 PM

Excellent!!! finally a news organization willing to stand up for Canada and be noticed. I have been and will continue to display these cartoons in my store for my customers to see. I will not be held hostage by these animals in my own country. Muslims have now started a backlash in the west by their response to these cartoons. The gloves are now off, alot of Canadians have had enough of their anger and vial retort against us. If they want a fight bring it on..... Better yet, they can go back to their middle east home country where they belong.

Posted by: Jim Bing | 2006-02-13 12:43:13 PM

This isn't a cheap stunt, it shows that the WS won't be bullied into not expressing themselves. Once the website goes back up I plan to subscribe to this magazine!

Posted by: Ken | 2006-02-13 12:46:26 PM

1) the violent reaction to the cartoons is just crazy, and only plays into the view that all muslums are violent radicals.

2) nothing is served by reprinting the cartoons, other than to inflame an already difficult situation.

3) newspapers sensor themselves all the time, so calling this a blow for free speech is a pretty hollow gesture.

4) If people really want to see the cartoons, they're on the web in dozens of places.

Of the two or three dozen muslims I've worked with in my life time, not one of them has tried to blow anything up.

I dare you to print a cartoon of Christ sodomizing Mary, or better yet, Joseph. Lets see how well your free speech line plays then.

That's just the opinion of an 18-34 white agnostic male.

Posted by: Les Kerekes | 2006-02-13 12:47:14 PM

Your decision to reprint the Cartoons that have caused uproar around the world is nothing short of promoting hate and division in Canada, you ought to be ashamed

Posted by: Hamid | 2006-02-13 12:47:30 PM

Good on you, Western Standard! I am extremely proud and grateful for the courage and moral fortitude you have shown in publishing these silly cartoons. Rise up and meet this head on.

God Bless You.

Posted by: Jeff Gale | 2006-02-13 12:48:59 PM

How can anyone possibly argue that printing the cartoons now, when their content has become the issue, is "promoting hate and division"? How can anyone determine how offensive the cartoons are without seeing them?

You commenters ought to be ashamed of yourself. The rights and privileges that are now called "human rights" have taken hundreds of years of civilization to establish. You have surrendered them to a group of violent, mindless thugs overnight. Congratulations.

Posted by: brett | 2006-02-13 12:52:46 PM

You usually seem to have your head on straight but I think you missed the point here.

These cartoons are hurting people and all you can do is twist the knife a bit more... in the interest of freedom of speech. Just because you can, doesn't mean you ought to.

I've never heard of the Western Standard until this happened, until CTV.ca put it on the front page. Where's the positive articles? Why do I gotta hear about the Western Standard only when the "you know what" is about to hit the fan?

Shame if you did it for publicity.

I published a little cartoon too, and if you were offended by it, I'll be the first to apologize, are you ready to do that for the muslims in Calgary you are about to offend?


Posted by: sebastian | 2006-02-13 12:53:21 PM

Les Kerekes,

i would love to see a cartoon of 'Christ sodomizing Mary, or better yet, Joseph.' provided it was done in a similar context.

funny thing about people that are confident in their faith.. they have no problem with others mocking it!

christianity is mocked all the time in the media, and it does not bother me at all.

as for promoting hate and division in canada. this is canada, all it has is hate and division! quebec vs. ontario vs. alberta vs. BC etc.

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-13 12:54:21 PM

One newspaper publishes a series of cartoons that offended Islam. Islam in turn advocates death for a whole nation. Talk about hate! For the first fifty years of my life, I had respect for Islam. As I see, example after example of hate coming out of Islam, the latest being adults poisoning the minds of kindergarden children, in Hebron. Respect for Islam is leaving me. If there are moderate Muslims out there, it is time to speak up, before too many doors close for you. I suspect immigration doors have already closed in 90 % of all countries. I fear that a boycott of Islamic people and business will start shortly unless moderate Muslims speak up.


Posted by: Ken | 2006-02-13 12:57:56 PM

If Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are attacked because of your pig-headedness, will you be sorry then? No, I bet you'll be as gleeful as a firebug at an 8 alarm blaze in an apartment tower. Your type loves conflict especially when you can fuel it and watch it from the safty of your own office. Meanwhile diplomats and soldiers in the real world suffer for your stupidity.

Posted by: JB Hohm | 2006-02-13 1:00:07 PM

Publishing the cartoons is nothing if not a free speech issue, and anyone who whinges on about "tolerance" and "sensitivity" is just covering for their own fear and/or ignorance. The only ones promoting intolerance, hate, and division in this affair are those adherents of the Religion of Peace who see it as their right to forcible silence any who disagree with them and their "sensitivities", and their loony-left fellow travellers.

Posted by: Dudley Morris | 2006-02-13 1:00:43 PM


why would you offer an apology if someone chooses to be offended by your cartoon? it makes no sense.

the real question is much larger, and that is what 'principles' are fundamental. Obviously free speech is not as fundamental as the right not to see something that upsets you. thus we have to have big brother come in and force a uniform speech code so no one will be offended. hence the human rights tribunals.

funny how liberty disappeared completely, and no one seems to care.

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-13 1:00:59 PM

This isn't about free speech.

If the Western Standard was really looking for a fight on free speech, there are lots of more egregious violations.

How about the fact that Walmart refuses to sell any magazines without vetting the covers -- resulting in a number of publishers to alter the content of their publications? Talk about bullying.

The cartoons aren't clever. They are delibertately inciteful. And republishing them time after time after time serves no purpose. Is this even news anymore : "Hey, if you publish a hateful cartoon, people will get pissed off". Thanks for the up-to-date editorial comment.

Posted by: bob | 2006-02-13 1:01:08 PM

There is no need for your worthless little rag of paper to print these cartoons. They are hate speech and you will no better then the Jim Keegstra's of the world. It's grandstanding and your editor is an idiot. Every drop of blood shed as a result will be on his hands.

Posted by: Bob Ancle | 2006-02-13 1:01:58 PM

Mr. Levant:
As a Muslim Canadian, I am infuriated by the publication of these cartoons. Not because they offend my prophet or my faith, but because they go against the hard work of so many individuals, both Muslim and non-Muslim—to encourage unity and integration rather than abhorrence and conflict; because they play into the hands of those who preach radicalism; because they are nourishment for the clash-of-civilizations mentality that pits East versus West. For all of that I blame Jyllands-Posten and people like you. Islam is an ancient and dignified religion. Like Christianity its teaching can be differently interpreted and used for vicious ends, but in itself Islam has purity and simplicity. Part of that purity lies in its abstraction and part of that abstraction is an aversion to icons. These cartoons do not preserve free speech, they endanger it. We in the West desire Muslim leaders to denounce the racial and religious narrow-mindedness that are so widespread in the Muslim world. Let us lead by example.
All the best
Mehrdad, Vancouver BC

Posted by: Mehrdad | 2006-02-13 1:02:12 PM

What Bob said above isn't a free speech issue. If Walmart chooses to not carry something, it is their right of free speech. If the government mandates that you cannot say something, then that is an infringement of free speech.

Posted by: Ken | 2006-02-13 1:04:51 PM

bob, so you are saying that it is a fundamental problem that the western standard is not carried in quebec.

do you suggest the government force companies in quebec to carry the western standard? the seems to be what you ar saying.

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-13 1:05:36 PM

time to get a new web provider.

Posted by: Holden Cameron | 2006-02-13 1:07:10 PM

It's not a free speech issue until suddenly someone tells you you shouldn't do it. Suddenly NOW it's a free speech issue. When you didn't care before.
This is blatant attention whoring by the magazine.


Claim free speech all you want. It's not.

Posted by: Alacritous | 2006-02-13 1:08:07 PM

Dear Mr. Levant,

Thank you for having the courage to stand up for freedom of speech. Unlike so many people in the media, you are obviously not prepared to sacrifice our hard-won rights and our culture on the altar of political correctness.

Jack Robertson, Toronto

Posted by: Jack Robertson | 2006-02-13 1:08:33 PM

I like it when one religion can hold the whole world hostage.

Posted by: Paul | 2006-02-13 1:08:45 PM

It is time for Muslims the world over to behave like responsible citizens and just calm down.
Your decision to publish the cartoons in question may not get them any closer to that end, but I support your right to show Canadians just what the hoopla is all about. The demonstrators here in Toronto have whipped themselves into a mob mentality frenzy, feeding off of each other's bile, each more outraged than the next.... and they justify it in the name of religion, and label any opposition to this poor behaviour as "hatred based on religion".

Well it is not hatred. It is just plain old disapproval, and it is right to express disapproval when a person loses self control, whether individually or as a member of any group.

I would like to know whether Muslims call it "Hatred based on religion" when they hold a competition for cartoons about the holocaust, as some are reported to be doing. Although the original Dutch offending cartoon has naught to do with Israel, they are once again the target of Muslim vengence.

This is a population that must come to terms with the realization that the civilized world has a reasonable limit as to how much "running amok" it will tollerate. Therefore I call upon my fellow citizens who happen to be Muslim, to behave rationally and responsibly.

Posted by: James Frost | 2006-02-13 1:12:24 PM

Maybe we could give the quebec companies some adscam money to carry the magazines.

TNX Ezra I'm glad to give you my subscription.

Don't let the bullies win.

Posted by: ghollingshead | 2006-02-13 1:12:39 PM

This is purely a publicity stunt, this "rag" is nothing but that, a rag that has very little following if that...just another racist magazine that strives to increase readership solely by publishing inflammatory material.

Funny how Ezra says Muslims don't understand Canadian values...rather hypocritical considering Ezra doesn't seem to care he's insulting those very same values...not that he'd care, he's so desperate for someone to read his drivel.

Posted by: VancouverMike | 2006-02-13 1:13:55 PM

It is clearly hard for us ...westerners to comprehend the dismay these gestures cause Muslims. The question is not whether Muslims should or should not “grow up” or respect freedom of speech. It is whether we truly want to share a world in peace with those who have values and religious beliefs different from our own.

Posted by: Dave | 2006-02-13 1:15:02 PM

If you want a perfect explanation as to why reprinting these comics was a bad idea, read this:

If you want my two cents, the central issue here, as defined by Western Standard, is freedom of the Press. But what they fail to recognise is RESPONSIBILITY of the Press as well. In their view, it is simply to inform us that hateful comics exist. But did they condemn them? Did they dissociate themselves from them? NO, probably because that would not get them the coverage and traffic they wanted.
Selfish motivations aside, one person asked about airing people's signs saying "Death to Jews". In those cases, the media always portrays these as acts of hatred and intolerable by society as a whole. We did not even need to see the comics to know that someone drawing the central figure of a religion with a bomb on his head, threatening to kill someone is defamatory. This was a useless gesture so far as educating the masses go.

I never heard of your paper until now, and I don't believe I'll ever read it again either.

Posted by: SupermanSyndrome | 2006-02-13 1:17:07 PM

I wonder if Ezra Levant would publish a picture of Jesus taking a crap on the Torah, afterall, it's about freedom of speech right?

Posted by: Welch | 2006-02-13 1:17:43 PM

Who let all these politically correct kooks onto the blog? Isn't it enough that they dominate in the classroom?

Sebastien's cartoon of stick figures carrying flames etc. in front of the Western Standard building looks to me like a veiled threat.

I think something like this could be illegal. It might even fit into 'hate speech' if there is a breach of the peace.

Not only should the WS print the Mohammed cartoons, you should also print the ghastly cartoons that are circulated in the Islamic press about Jews, Christians and Westerners.

Posted by: DN | 2006-02-13 1:17:48 PM

Dave, i agree with your point. however i would rephrase the questions as:

Do we want to abandon our liberal values of freedom of speech and association in order to live in peace with those that do not share these values.

maybe the answer is 'yes'. maybe it is 'no'.

but we shuold at least discuss the question.

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-13 1:18:18 PM

It will go on.... Now..there is no stop...

In the NEWS: Cartoons are submitted... it is going to get much bigger.....well done you stupids.
Leunig publishes Holocaust cartoon


RENOWNED Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig has submitted the first entry in a controversial contest for cartoons of the Holocaust launched in Iran in a tit-for-tat move over the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed that have enraged Muslims worldwide.

"As a show of solidarity with the Muslim world, and an exercise in free speech, I would like to submit a cartoon to you on the theme of the Holocaust," Leunig was quoted as saying on Irancartoons.com, the website organising the competition with Iran's biggest selling newspaper Hamshahri, triggering outrage in the US and Germany in particular.

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already prompted international anger by dismissing the systematic slaughter by the Nazis of mainland Europe's Jews as a "myth" used to justify the creation of Israel.

The first of the Melbourne-based Leunig's two cartoons on the website show a poor man with a Star of David on his back walking towards the Auschwitz death camp in 1945 with the words "Work Brings Freedom" over the entrance.

The second shows the same scene but depicting "Israel 2002" with the slogan "War Brings Peace" over the entrance and the same man walking towards it bearing a rifle.

"I have had some difficulty getting this work published in my own country, and I believe it would help highlight the hypocrisy of the West's attitude to free speech if you were to publish it," Leunig was quoted as saying.

Posted by: carol | 2006-02-13 1:20:56 PM

Will this magazine publish the Iranian Holocaust cartoons?


Betcha they won't.


Posted by: Alacritous | 2006-02-13 1:23:44 PM

just a childish game where innocents die yet again for the giggle of a few.

DN - as for your comments, there's something called respect and tolerance. there's also something called "contempt"...you may have learned it in year 1 like i did but clearly you skipped that chapter so try going back you closet bigot.

Posted by: VancouverMike | 2006-02-13 1:24:56 PM

Welch, get a clue. You don't seem to mind evoking imagery you think is offensive. And if you published such images in your magazine, Ezra would be the first to defend your right to do so, whether or not he thought you were an offensive little turd.

Posted by: JR | 2006-02-13 1:27:06 PM

May, for the sake of all canadians, your site be taken off line permanently. Redneck morons....

Posted by: John Doe | 2006-02-13 1:28:17 PM

The decision to reprint the Cartoons displays deep ignorance, irresponsibility and callousness. I totally agree with Hamid that this act promotes hatred in Canada. Case in point: the post by Jim Bing. This the kind of bigotry that you are encouraging.

I believe there is a very good case to be made for charging and convicting the Western Standard with a hate crime. Over the last two weeks we have all witnessed the violence and deaths that resulted from the Cartoons. Billions of people (including
that vast majority of Muslims) have been shocked by events preciptitated by these offensive images. I viewed the Cartoons on the web a couple of weeks ago (when their publication was "news"). The most offensive in my opinion was the image of the Prophet with a crescent moon made to look, at first sight like a halo. But upon closer inspection the points of the crescent obviously were meant to resemble Satanic horns. I am an not religious and come from a Judeochristian family, but I truly feel sorrow for muslims who have been insulted and must feel as though westerners believe them to be evil.

I do hope that this case is brought before the courts and the Western Standard is convicted of a hate crime. If their action results in one death anywhere in the world, then blood is on their hands. I would also encourage their service provider to think twice about hosting this client.

Posted by: Maurice | 2006-02-13 1:30:58 PM

we in the west need more cartoons. Lets see what the muslims are seeing from their media so we might judge their culture. Lets see rape victims being stoned to death for adultery, lets see muslims beheading young females because they dressed wrongly, Let us not censor it. Let us see it all so that we can make proper judgements. Only by seeing all our human warts can we make proper assements...... I suspect that the muslim media will fail to live up to even their own religions stated norms.

Posted by: truthsayer | 2006-02-13 1:31:01 PM

Stuckin vancouver:

The West likes to frame this as a free speech issue, but there are many categories of restricted speech: for instance, eight countries in Europe ban speech denying the Holocaust. You can call our prophet a terrorist, but you cannot question the Holocaust?

Posted by: Dave | 2006-02-13 1:32:52 PM

I've seen the cartoons on the net. I don't need to see them in print to know that some of them are insulting to Islam.

The only one that I thought made a point was the where the character had his eyes covered whereas the women had everything else covered.

But none of the cartoons are very thoughtful. Their points could have been made in a non-insulting manner. Why waste freedom of speech on insults? It hurts the moderate members of the religion as well as the fundamentalists. I would not like to see an insulting cartoon of Jesus. A cartoon with Jesus in it could be intelligent, critical and/or funny. But these are not. They are just obnoxious.

Clearly, it's just stirring the pot for the sake of stirring the pot. And for what end? I really really doubt there is any positive result possible.

Posted by: Alex L | 2006-02-13 1:41:03 PM

Dave, that is exactly my point. I find it just as unacceptable that many european countries (and canada to some extent) ban thought and speech that people find distasteful.

I am of the firm opinion that you fight destructive and ignorant speech with reasoned speech. If you have faith in your belief and arguments you should be able to defeat the speech of ignorant fools.

however by using the state to supress some kinds of speech, everyone suffers because all speech becomes political. Anything can be banned provided someone with influence desires it.

personally, i find the cartoons in question to be stupid, and i would never insult my islamic brothers like that. however, as i am a firm believer in individual rights, i cannot support the thought police and big brother fixing the problem.

i think the intent of the printing raises a legitamite debate. we should be able to have this debate without accusing people of being racist bigots.

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-13 1:41:52 PM

These cartoons are hateful. They seem to say that Mohammed is telling people to go out and commmit terrorist acts. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Next on the list of folks to get are Monty Python for doing life of Brian.
Maybe it's time people stopped being so serious and always looked on the bright side of life. After all that is the MAIN message of both Jesus and Mohammed.

Posted by: adamant | 2006-02-13 1:42:05 PM

these cartoons are offensive and inflammatory. The best policy would have been to apologise and shut up for Danish journalists and not to demand “Europe-wide solidarity” in the cause of free speech and to deride those who are offended as “fundamentalists . . . who have a problem with the entire western world” comes close to racial provocation. Now moron like you stated here in Canada.

We do not go about punching people in the face to test their commitment to non-violence. To be a Canadian should not involve initiation by religious insult.

Posted by: Dan | 2006-02-13 1:42:18 PM

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