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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

Comments

I was writing this congratulatory note to Ezra Levant to thank him for standing up for secular democracy. Reading these comments set out by others, however, serves to demonstrate for me that exercising freedom of speech is VITAL to a free society because so many members of the group just don't understand that idea, and the absolute necessity for its expression.
Surely, "one man's meat is another man's poisson" but that doesn't mean we can't eat at the same table.

Posted by: tom mc greevey | 2006-02-13 1:43:25 PM


A couple of points from the guy who drew the cartoon of two little stick figures setting fire to the Western Standard building...

-Not a veiled threat as DN points out.

-I chose to make a stupid cartoon with the intent to stir some controversy so if Ezra feels threatened by a stupid little cartoon, I apologize, i am taking personal resposibility for my action and I did not mean to threaten Ezra in any way.

-I put it on my blog with a link here for people to see and react to it and get some hits on my blog, which is what Ezra is doing for the Western Standard in a much bigger way, except CTV is not gonna be calling my ass for an interview anytime soon.

A cartoon is a cartoon is a cartoon, unless it hurts someone, then just be a nice guy and say you're sorry that it made them sad.

Peace.

I found an interesting article on Wired about interpretation and egocentrism that might be good to read right about now.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70179-0.html?tw=rss.index

Posted by: sebastian | 2006-02-13 1:43:35 PM


To those who are missing the point completely and screaming "racist*", read on.

Ezra Levant, in a radio interview today on QR77, said IIRC "the story is about the reaction to the cartoons, not the cartoons themselves."

The seething outrage, the burning of embassies, the calls for beheading those who don't think Islam is the greatest thing since sliced bread - that is the story.

Pay close attention to this next bit - if it was about the cartoons, the WS could have published them 5 months ago. As a matter of fact, they were published 5 months ago (Denmark) and 4 months ago (Egypt) without the seething. Here comes the hard part - Why?

* FYI, Islam is a religion, not a race. You might want to consult a dictionary.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-02-13 1:46:18 PM


Danes must have known that a depiction of Allah as human or the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist would outrage Muslims. It is plain dumb to claim such blasphemy as just a joke concordant with the western way of life. Better claim it as intentionally savage, since that was how it was bound to seem. To adapt Shakespeare, what to a Christian “is but a choleric word”, to a Muslim is flat blasphemy.

Posted by: Vic | 2006-02-13 1:48:38 PM


Free speech includes the right to caricature religious figures. Inevitably, this will offend. Marilyn Manson, Southpark and the CBC are just a few that have offended religious people. (Southpark, btw, had an episode with Muhammed a few years ago...I don't remember the outrage).

Offended people are free to not support Manson, Southpark, or the Western Standard (unfortunately we don't have choice with the CBC). If people kill, burn embassies or riot due to this, it's not Ezra's, Marilyn Manson's or Southpark's fault. It is their fault. The rules of blasphemy of one religion are not the laws of our country.

Some people can use their rights to religious freedom and freedom of speech to follow these traditions, but the rest of us aren't bound by them. I definitely do not share Jim Bing's opinion that Muslims should "go back to where they belong". Canada is a free country and we welcome peaceful people of all walks of life who respect freedom and diversity of belief.

Posted by: Angela | 2006-02-13 1:50:05 PM


There is no Freedom in inciting intolerance - just another example of REDNECK Alberta. Damn shame to portray that to the world.

The media didn't have any problem showing muslims with signs calling for the murder of those who published these cartoons. But I'm sure you are equally critical of them and spend plenty of time at muslim website telling them to stop it.

Posted by: ferrethouse | 2006-02-13 1:50:07 PM


"exercising freedom of speech is VITAL to a free society because so many members of the group just don't understand that idea"

I agree with that 100% but, when it is done specifically to be inflamatory or to be controvertial to sell issues of a magazine, it's nothing more than whoring, and is not due ANY respect.

Does supporting our values mean we have to spit on thier values?

Posted by: Alacritous | 2006-02-13 1:52:33 PM


angela brings up a good point. Manson frequently destroyed bibles, and mocked christianity in very 'offensive' ways while on tour.

I actually like his music, and supported his right to mock my belief system all he wanted.

that is the point, either you believe in liberal democracy, or you do not. it seems based on the posts here that lots of people do not. they cannot stand the thought that someone might be offended. to the point they will sacrifice the very freedom they use to express that opinion

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-13 1:54:06 PM



traditional balance between free speech and respect for the feelings of others is evidently becoming harder to sustain in this country of ours, CANADA. The resulting turbulence can only feed the propaganda of the right to attack or expel immigrants and those of alien culture. And it can only feed the appetite of government to restrain free speech where it really matters, as in criticising itself.

Posted by: Bian | 2006-02-13 1:54:10 PM


Vic, that is exactly the point. Danish Muslims were not outraged and did not take to the streets burning embassies and threatening death. Egyptian Muslims didn't do either after the cartoons were printed last October, during Ramadan.

Ask yourself why it took until late January for the seething outrage to appear.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-02-13 1:54:52 PM



I heard that someone took the cartoons and made new ones that were much more offensive and showed them around the middle east. The people who are upset are not upset about the cartoons that Ezra is posting as much as they are upset over the false ones reprinted to stir up fanaticism.

Posted by: Adamant | 2006-02-13 1:58:34 PM


PUBLISH! PUBLISH! PUBLISH! Appeasement, and capitulation only lead to more, and more terrorist violence. As to how the posters here have turned this place into a discussion of homosexuality is well beyond rationality. It does occur to me to ask, though. If homosexuality is such a wonderful life-style choice, why do it's practitioners need to disguise it with some other, more innocuous word, like happy, oops, I mean gay? Sort of like "modern" islam, and "religion of peace"?

Posted by: RJ | 2006-02-13 1:58:43 PM


The Canadian Islamic Congress has said they would pursue the Western Standard in Court for hate speech. Are activist judges going to find in their favour? Does the WS have the funds to defend itself?

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-13 1:58:49 PM


Kathryn:;You want to know why: bacuase the Govermentis stupid...

At first, the agitation was limited to Denmark. Ahmed Akkari, 28, a Lebanese-born Dane, acts as spokesman for the European Committee for Honoring the Prophet, an umbrella group of 27 Danish Muslim organizations to press the Danish government into action over the cartoons.
Mr. Akkari said the group had worked for more than two months in Denmark without eliciting any response. "We collected 17,000 signatures and delivered them to the office of the prime minister, we saw the minister of culture, we talked to the editor of the Jyllands-Posten, we took many steps within Denmark, but could get no action," Mr. Akkari said, referring to the newspaper that published the cartoons. He added that the prime minister's office had not even responded to the petition.
Frustrated, he said, the group turned to the ambassadors of Muslim countries in Denmark and asked them to speak to the prime minister on their behalf. He refused them too.
"Then the case moved to a new stage," Mr. Akkari recalled. "We decided then that to be heard, it must come from influential people in the Muslim world."

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


Remember that Canada is next on the attack list.

Posted by: Peter Jackson | 2006-02-13 2:00:39 PM


"Two Rwandan journalists were jailed for life and a third was sentenced to 35 years Wednesday for fanning the flames of a 1994 genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 people, a U.N. tribunal spokesman said." (http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/12/04/rwanda.journalists.reut/)

Those guys never directly killed anyone.
And guest what? They were invoquing freedom of speech...

Your action put every canadian (specially travellers) in danger.

This weekend 2 mosquees were vandalised and 1 imam has been stab
(http://www.cbc.ca/montreal/story/qc-mosque-060209.html)
(http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/02/13/muslim-montreal060213.html)
When your under attack, it's normal to defend. Muslim never attacked anyone in Canada because we never attacked them... until now...

Publicity Stunt? Ezra Levant's chance to pass at TV? Stupidity? Racism? I let you choose...

Posted by: Patrick | 2006-02-13 2:02:08 PM


Excellent

These cartoons are only a mirror of what Islam is showing to the world. That the "believers" do not like what they see is their problem to remedy, not ours to apologize or take responsability.

We still have to see buddist monks or buddah depicted as sucide bombers...

Thinking about it... Buddah would also have a good laugh ....

Posted by: Didier Fiszel | 2006-02-13 2:03:56 PM


I am reminded of the "useful idiots" as coined by Lenin when reading comments here from the "progressive" left. One can't help but wonder if these craven apologists will be the ones who hang us in the end.

Posted by: Aran | 2006-02-13 2:04:13 PM


Actually, the publication of the cartoons did not hurt ANYONE initially. In fact, an Egyptian paper reprinted the cartoons without any protests. It was not until the governments of Iran and Syria started to incite their mobs that people (and buildings) started to get hurt. Let us not forget that, in particular, Iran wishes to show Europe that they can take to the streets in Europe. And, of course, Denmark, will be chairing the "hearings" on Iran's nuclear ambitions in a few weeks. So, yes, it is necessary and journalistically imperitave to reprint the cartoons.

Personally, I wouldn't have printed those cartoons. However, when embassies started burning and foreign nations tried to change the behaviour of a Western democracy, then I changed my mind. Print them all and let it be a warning to all those who decry a free press: bring it on!

If freedom of the press is a "redneck" or "Alberta" thing, then call me that. Even though I also have those values in Vancouver.

Posted by: mike s. | 2006-02-13 2:08:45 PM


Vic, that points to another problem. The Jyllands-Posten is a privately owned and operated newspaper; for anyone to expect a government to aplogize for its actions is beyond stupid.

On second thought, I take that back. They knew full well that the government could never aplogize for the newspaper's actions and yet persisted in lobbying for one. It was a brilliant plan to enable them to cry victim, "oh the government won't apologize, we're victims, waaaah." And people like you are falling over themselves to agree.

A free press is not beholden to the state for what they can or can not publish and the state is not bound to apologize for any action by the press.

Don't like? Move to Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-02-13 2:10:46 PM


Why perpetuate something that has caused pain for millions of people around the world? Because you can? Publishing these cartoons is nothing but racist and intolerant. I hope people of all faiths speak out against this shameful act.

Posted by: Barb | 2006-02-13 2:12:12 PM


Kathryn:

I am going very soon.....enjoy your free speech....

Posted by: Vic | 2006-02-13 2:14:40 PM


Those who object to the publication of the cartoons should bear the following in mind. Christianity has been mocked, lampooned and vilified many thousands of times over in all forms of media. In stark contrast to the Muslim world, however, Christians have "turned the other cheek". Perhaps if this lesson were absorbed by other cultures there would be a lot less violence in the world.

Posted by: Jack Robertson | 2006-02-13 2:16:20 PM


Let me clarify myself, I should have said "Muslim extremists" should go back to there home country (my apologies). This is Canada, not Iran or Iraq, ect. This country was built on Christian values and it is not ruled by Islamic Law. I hear these people calling for the death of Israel, burning of embassies, death to the west and beheadings to anyone who opposes Islam. This makes my blood boil, us westerners send billions of dollars in aid to these countries (yes there are millions of poor people starving and they need our help) yet their governments promote western hatred. All I'm saying is this is not going to go away, this is just the start of a long fight. Canadians are not going to be forced to live under any part of Islamic Law or be forced to recognize it. As for the Holocaust, people must be stupid or blind. The documentation and photo's, movie's and gas chamber buildings ect. all still exist, how can people deny it happened?

Posted by: Jim Bing | 2006-02-13 2:28:05 PM


Muslim women are raped, tortured, beheaded, crucified, and hanged in public - just because they the were female - yet the silence on the behalf of these victims is deafening. Let's publish, everything! Publish the plight of these women, Ezra, the world needs to see.

Posted by: ms. Smith | 2006-02-13 2:43:10 PM


The hypocracy we are witnessing from those tolerant ones on the left is laughable and should be made into a cartoon. So let me get this straight, the next time some artsi-fartsy lefty decides to dip the cross in a pint o' piss and offends the Christians, these same lefties would be there in a second defending who? The Christians or the artist? Seems we already know the answer. I guess that I am entitled to burn down and behead those I find promoting such art as well eh? This seems to be the only way to get them to stop, threaten them with death. Maybe the religious Christian right in Canada should be taking lessons from the Muslims. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

And what's with all the non-heteros coming on here defending those that would have them beheaded for their sexual preference and behaviour. Lefties defending those that trample on the rights of religious minorities, homosexuals, women's rights and abortion and righties defending freedom of the press and free speech. I feel like I'm participating in a Seinfeld episode of bizarro world, up is down, down is up....

Posted by: Lemmytowner | 2006-02-13 2:58:24 PM


http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=what+would+jesus+do&meta=

vs.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=what+would+mohammad+do&meta=

Posted by: GoogleFight! | 2006-02-13 3:20:58 PM


Where can I get a copy of your magazine up here? Thanks for your forthright and truthful rebuttal on As It Happens today. CBC has it's own explaining to do. Let them defend their inconsistent policies toward all religions or forever hold their peace.

Posted by: Mike in Ottawa | 2006-02-13 5:18:01 PM


Get a grip people. This is not about freedom of the press, or religious freedom, or Western civilization.

This was a blatant grab for attention and sell magazines.


Words like "moral fortitude" and "courage" and "stand up for Canada".

Get real.

Was this magazine targeted specifically? He's not representing me and I'm Canadian. Was he representing morals? Not mine, like turn the other cheek.

Was this magazine brave? While that can be debated, remember this is Canada.

These cartoons have been out since September, whooptie-doo. So you can print cartoons, wow, what strength, what stamina, what a crock.

I'm ashamed to be related to a bigoted rag mag that makes money off inflaming others.

Western Standard, my arse, maybe Western Stool.

Where was the big outcry from this magazine when 3 Christian (read Christian, as in western society, as in this isn't funny stuff) got beheaded?

Like another poster said, this site was down maybe to all the rubbernecks at an accident and not Muslim conspiracy stuff.

Well you got your 15 minutes of fame, thanks for reinforcing the "redneck" bigot view others have of us here in Calgary, and the west.

cheers
tom

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-13 5:52:48 PM


I support Jim Bing's comment. I would just add he doesn't need to apologise or qualify "muslim extremists". The cartoon protests have shown that there is no such thing as good-muslim, bad muslim.

It is obvious Isalm is not a religion, it is a social-political culture and intolerance and extremism is built into its foundation.

Not a single Isalmic leader supports our Western and Canadian Freedom of Speech.
Every so called moderate is willing to add support to violence,repression and aggression.
..
They only had "peaceful" demonstrations in Toronto yesterday because they are not yet strong enough for violence. It was not for a loack of trying as many shouted their battle cry of "ISLAM!". If we allow their numbers to increase here in canada, we can expect the same violent riots, terrorism and suicide bombings to occur here as is happening world-wide where ever their culture invades another country.

We cannot allow intolerant cultures into a multicultural environment. The time to stop them is now.
This cartoon intolerance should serve as a wake up call to every Western Person and all Canadians as to the true nature and danger of the Islamic social-political world.

Posted by: max | 2006-02-13 6:14:21 PM


When I was a child, we used to have this saying:
"Sticks and stone will break my bones, but names will never hurt me."

I think we need update it to "names and cartoons".

Posted by: qwerty | 2006-02-13 6:32:34 PM


...well there is another old saying

"the pen is mighter than the sword".

-sign devorak

hehehe love the querty name.

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-13 6:55:24 PM


Congrats Western Standard

I am now wondering when I can read about...

Niggers

Chinks

Spicks

Look at pictures of Jesus laughing over dead bodies, like you lot will ever use your freedom of speech to print that...

Holocaust denial pictures like the ones they are going to print in Iran

more Niggers

more Chinks

Ignornat honkies would be a good one

Posted by: Xenomorph | 2006-02-13 7:00:11 PM


I for one wish to know what is causing the reaction.

Surely the muslim people of this world are intelligent enough to realize that the intent of the cartoons is to satirize, and therefore underscore, the hypocrasy of the militant Islamists, the ones who kill innocent people in order to terrorize and thus dominate all people everywhere in the name of the Prophet of Peace - an act more blasphemous of Mohammed (bpuh) than any paper and ink cartoon.

We are in a serious fight with this faction of Islam, and if we don't fight over our freedom of speech and our ability/right to inform ourselves, then we're going to be fighting over something else instead - perhaps something more serious.

Reasoning muslims everywhere certainly must realize that these militants, the very same ones that fly commercial jets into office buidlings, are willing to plunge the sword of Islam into our necks, and our cartoons are directed at this dangerous faction. We are telling Islam, all of Islam, that we will resist these militants.

The publication of these cartoons is symbolic of that willingness to fight.

And this is the core of the debate. There seems to be a massive denial in the West that we must fight. There is no negotiation. There is no appeasement. We have heard what they want, and we reject it, and will resist.

This is the message our MSM and politicians should be taking to the people of the world.

Symbols are powerful. The reaction of the unthinking within Islam demonstrates this point. Similarly, with no intention of fostering disdain, the cartoons should also be symbolic of our resolve to resist this lunatic fringe.

On that basis, with the proviso that I bear no ill-will to the many many peace-loving and generous muslims around the world, let us use our free press to articulate our resolve.

Posted by: Shaken | 2006-02-13 7:08:58 PM


LOL, suck it up hippies!

Posted by: Cool Blue | 2006-02-13 7:18:28 PM


It is amazing that Ezra is being denigrated for
wanting to sell magazines. If he sells a lot of magazines, that means a lot of individuals across Canada wanted to see what was reportedly causing the protests, the arson, and the calls for murder. If this issue doesn't sell, then a lot of people were offended and/or Elmasry's police call was successful.

We are talking about satirical statements on those who believe their religious figure will give them seventy-two virgins if they blast their own and many other "infidel" lives out of Earthly existence. I don't take the cartoons as a comment on every Muslim person, only on those who invoke Islam's name in a profane, jihadist manner.

"Behead those who insult Islam"
"Ezra's re-printing of the cartoons will incite violence"

If such a fanatic ever did find Ezra and behead him, would he be blamed for it?

Posted by: Angela | 2006-02-13 8:26:33 PM


Where were you liberal scumbags the last 2 centuries in the Western World whence Christ and Christianity have been mocked in all forms??

Yeah....that's right...your gutless dhimmi useful idiots!! You have no regard for truth yet worship at the cultic throne of multiCULTurism and Moral Relativism..

You bloody leftists....you are worse then the rampaging mobs of Muslims the world over...at least they are acting in accordance with their violent founder ....... What is your excuse your pathetic hippie aholes??

As for the Muslims on this thread...Sorry but Muhammed was a mass murdering pig who advocated Rape of captive women, the beating of wives, the murder of ex muslims, the wholesale slaughter of unbeliever, child marriage and so so much more...

Islam deserves contempt and hate...it belongs in the dustbin of history along with its murderous cousins, Nazism and Marxism!!

You can lie to liberals as they have simply no discernment and are good little gullible dhimmis...

For the rest of us, we have actually studied the meccan murderer's handbooks....we tend to actually know what Muhammed taught in the Quran and Sunnah..

Islam is evil and depraved........thankfully most Muslims do not follow every deranged teaching of Muhammed.....it is only the literalists within the Wahhabies and Hamas and Bin Ladins we have too be worried about for they are True Muslims!!

Posted by: Albertanator | 2006-02-13 10:24:08 PM


Well I guess there are a lot of people just like me who are curious how cartoons would incite a religious group of people to such anger. These cartoons must have been absolutely horrific, vile images, right? Well, I must say that I searched on-line to find the cartoons and couldn't believe how utterly boring and mundane these cartoons were.

Firstly, I think that the Muslims are doing themselves a huge disservice by bringing worldwide attention to such trivial items. Are millions starving? No. Is there a disease which has killed thousands? No. They just don't like silly cartoons.

Secondly, What does this say about the kind of people they are? Hmmm... Intolerant comes to mind. Do I want these people as neighbours? What if my child throws something and accidentally break their window? Should I fear for my life? What kind of world would that be?

We live in world where not everyone is Muslim, many many people do not share Muslim ideology. That's life and that's good (unless of course your Muslim and they you want to firebomb anyone who draws funny). In fact, I wonder if maybe this Muslim thing isn't just a religious front for people to hide behind. If I wanted to riot, can there be a better reason than a silly cartoon? What's next, the improper spelling of MuhamMud? Oops, I better buy an extinguisher!

As my mom used to say, "Time to put on your big girl panties!"

Just curious -- Anyone else share this point of view? Anyone?

Posted by: JustCurious | 2006-02-13 11:38:34 PM


JustCurious.

Islam is a cult. It does not encourage self-thinking, nor individual responsibility. Because of this, we have a generation, nay a nation of non-thinkers who totally trust their hamman.

In their simplistic lifestyle, they want peace, but they also want to be right with God. Unfortunately with a simplistic mindset it is fertile ground for those corrupt power hunger types to abuse, and that we see.

I mean, human nature as a parent dictates you'd give your life to preserve your children's right?

SO where or how deep a brainwash is it for a mother to "rejoice" her son just vaporized himself in the name of Allah.

Or sing and jump for joy when 3,000 civilians are killed by flying a plane into a building, not even a religious one.

And these were not stupid people either.

No, forget about big girl things, they are still in the diaper stage.

And us, westerners knowing full well what the results would be in provoking them, are no better at this moment either, we need some soothers.

cheers
tom

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-14 12:01:21 AM


I'm with Just Curious. I haven't seen the "offending" cartoons yet but I'm already bored by them. The reaction in the Islamic world reminds me of another cartoon I saw many years ago. It was around 1970 and depicted two Irishmen fighting in front of a pub with the caption reading "I believe in God more than you do!"
Futile, isn't it?

Posted by: Brion | 2006-02-14 9:17:22 AM


So, freedom of speech means that the WS now has to give equal time to all viewpoints?

If you want to see a magazine publish, as some have suggested here, "... a picture of Jesus taking a crap on the Torah...", "...the ghastly cartoons that are circulated in the Islamic press about Jews, Christians and Westerners", '"... the Iranian Holocaust cartoons..." "...pictures of Jesus laughing over dead bodies..." -

Publish your own magazine.

And, if you do not like what the WS is publishing, then you've got this fancy freedom in our society to not purchase the magazine. I, for one, will be subscribing to it today.

Posted by: Greg Phelan | 2006-02-14 1:24:34 PM


Greg, the issue isn't whether or not one "has to" buy the WS or not; the issue is why or what value there was in printing known sore spots or "issues" with another culture?

To hide behind the banner of "freedom of the press" is stretching it a bit.

It is just plain economics 101...bad news sells.

Ezra saw an opportunity and being a shrewed business man, grabbed the headlines while the milking is to be done.

Good for him. Smart move.

But dumb idea to hide behind a thin veil spouting "western freedoms".

Like some people saying Harper took Emerson and the other fellow from Quebec to highlight how crossing the floor, or senate appointments are wrong.

cheers
tom

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-14 2:02:48 PM



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