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Monday, February 13, 2006

What we believe

EZRA LEVANT
Calgary Sun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by westernstandard on February 13, 2006 | Permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

Hats off to Ezra! I watched the segment on CTV and must say you hit the nail on the head with caricature of Jesus being a daily part of satire. Whether or not it is any religion or it's prophet in this case "freedom of speech" should always prevail. To those who are sensitive to these issues read your bible and understand the teachings of your prophet. Retaliation will only fuel these tired debates and create a greater sense of dissension amongst us none practicing folk to embrace and understand your religion/faith.

Posted by: Jason | 2006-02-13 3:25:20 PM


Thank you, Ezra! The other day, I read a list of countries whose media had reprinted the cartoons, and I was ashamed to see Canada not represented. You've made me a little prouder to be Canadian.

BTW, I hope Ted is right, and that you get lots of publicity and sales for defending the fundamental principles of our country!

Posted by: expat | 2006-02-13 3:25:55 PM


Congratualtions on taking a principled stand on this issue Ezra. It was high time. For those of your detractors who question your stand on the basis of seeing a quick bump in circulation and increased revenues, I say there is nothing wrong with making a profit. Self-interest in not evil. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Darren | 2006-02-13 3:26:21 PM


Congratulations to the Western Standard!
Yes, it is time to show, in Canada too, that we want to keep our identity, our history, our cultural heritage and the freedom of expression we have fought for.
It is time to show that people of a different cultural and religious background cannot expect to force us to change our tolerant and liberal society in order to accomodate extremism and narrow-mindedness.
It is time for us to tell these people, who destroy the symbolism of other religions (thousand year old statues of Buddha in Afghanistan for instance), who want to eliminate Israel from the map of the earth, who practise violence on a daily basis, that they will not prevent us from adhering to our convictions and principles.
Thank you Western Standard!

Posted by: Alex | 2006-02-13 3:29:16 PM


You might want to read this:

http://haigmedia.blogspot.com/2006/02/hate-speech-around-world.html


Ezra what a lemo you are… as someone said it here you just whored yourself…what a small man you are

Posted by: Cart | 2006-02-13 3:32:09 PM


Way to go Ezra! Somebody has to lead the fight to resist dhimmitude.

Posted by: Cliff | 2006-02-13 3:37:53 PM


Okay, testing the limits of free speech is fine — but why drag the Muslims into this? Did I miss something?
If this chump Ezra want to publish blasphemous cartoons, bring it on — but why not make Jesus the target, instead of Muslims? I realize that Muslims bashing can be addictive to morons, but would a little Christian bashing not be a closer analogy? Or maybe this turd brains just can’t resist an excuse, any excuse, to have at the Muslims, especially poor defend-less ones.
Besides, if Ezra the backwater buffoon want some Muslim humor, he might as well publish this http://www.fugly.com/media/view.php?cat=IMAGES&id=10389&sort=&order=&rating=&per_page=4600

Posted by: Cash is my God | 2006-02-13 3:47:08 PM


The culture of 'freedom of speech' has invaded the 'culture of Islam'. This is in voilation of the Multiculturism Act. I've personally decided to launch a lawsuit and will drag the Ezra Levant as high as the Supreme Court of Canada.

You're not the first and the last plotter against Islam; Islam will previal as it has for the past 14 centuries.

If Ezra is so brave and supportive of freedom of speech, why isn't he going to Syria, Indonisia and Iran to publish the cartoons?

If you believe in 'freedom of speech' try publishing this on your site!

Posted by: Salam Nahzat | 2006-02-13 3:47:49 PM


Hmmm... can anyone say sock puppet?

Posted by: Ted | 2006-02-13 3:53:05 PM


Congratulations, someone finally has the courage to show these cartoons.

What always amazes me is the ecxuses generated by Muslims and Non Muslims for the violence, and hatred that always follows an offence against Islam. Unfortunately, what this shows is that Muslims are held to a generally lower standard than anyone else in this world.

As we speak there is a museum in New York that has an image of Jesus Christ crusafied upside down with the face of Osama Bin Laden on it. Where are the fire bombings, death threats and general mayhem from Christians over this image? For those who say anyone(usually directed at Christians) reacts the same way is an uninformed fool. Jesus has been portrayed in every way imaginable, right down to a scene in the Last Temptation of Christ where he fantasized having sex with a whore. No one I repeat no one died or suffered from making this movie.

For those who say this is fundamentalist Islam, I tell you there is no such thing, there is only Islam. Read the Quoran and read history on Islam and judge for yourself. It came from the Prophet Muhammed who was a leader of armies and personally led men into battle. Jesus spread his faith through self sacrifice and peace.

If this is not compelling enough for you to question these people and culture, ask yourself why is every Islamic country nearly 100% Muslim? Is it through superior culture or is it through extreme prejudice and intolerrance of others?

I say instead of being upset that someone is brave enough to bring forward the issues, congratulate them for helping expose those amongst us for what they are. Bullies who expect that all those infidels amongst them bow down and watch for the coming of Sharia law and the new Caliph.

Niv

Posted by: niv | 2006-02-13 3:57:19 PM


Niv, sadly your knowledge is SO little, Egypt is about 60% Muslims, 40% Christian. Lebanon is about 50-50%, Syria is about 90-10%, Indonesia is about 75-25%… Please read before you open your mouth.

Posted by: Replay to Niv | 2006-02-13 4:00:52 PM


Shame of you Mr. Journalist,,, what a cheap way to make some money, you aren’t a true Canadian

Posted by: Mrs. Smith | 2006-02-13 4:21:35 PM


If you want to find out what Islam is all about, talk to the apostates. Oh wait! You can't--they're hiding in fear of their lives.

Alternatively, however, you can buy the book "Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out," written by the brave Ibn Warraq (pseudonym, of course).

Posted by: Aran | 2006-02-13 4:31:24 PM


Or in that matter you can read about what Jewish did to muslims all over the world and how they killed their sons and raped their women… The book “My life in dark” by a reformed Moshy Cohen

Posted by: Aran | 2006-02-13 4:34:00 PM


Hi replay to niv, wow nice numbers. Here's what I have, Egypt 94% Muslim mostly Sunni, 6% Coptic Christian. Lebannon is 59.7% Muslim, 39% Christian and 1.3% other. Syria is 74% Sunni Muslim, 16% other Muslim, and 10% Christian, while Indonesia 88% Muslim, with the rest being made up of Christians, followed by Hindu, Buddhist and others. Of course numbers are subsequent to change due to further expected beheadings.

Next time you want to respond please respond to more important things like what is wrong with your culture? Why do you expect everyone to bow to you, why can't you turn the other cheeck. You scream peace while cutting heads off, you scream love while bombing buildings and commuter trains.

I want to believe I'm wrong but everyday your people are in the streets proving me right. For every Muslim that comes forward and denounces violence there are a million on the streets worldwide proving otherwise. If you want to take a stand get your community on the street and protest the violence in your community for a start, good luck with that.

Love,
Niv

Posted by: niv | 2006-02-13 4:34:06 PM


SO it's NOT 100% as you said,,, shame,, shame,,shame

Posted by: Replay to Niv | 2006-02-13 4:35:52 PM


Thank God somebody has the courage to stand for something.

Posted by: Richard Gordon | 2006-02-13 4:43:46 PM


Ezra,

I think your well-written article only slightly conceals the fact that you are an opportunistic racist, a crass bigot who incites racial and sectarian hatred for maximum financial gain, and personal gratification. Shame on you, you could have left well enough alone, but no, you mindless facist types just have to have a scapegoat, don't you? And then you have the audacity to spout about free speech. But while we're on the topic, I might remind you that Canada has laws against inciting race hatred. As a white Catholic Canadian, I say Leave the muslims alone, you bigot.

Colin

Posted by: colin carberry | 2006-02-13 4:46:37 PM


Right On Ezra Levant. I agree with your publishing the cartoons. Freedom of speech is something terrorists will never accept as that would lead to rational thinking, which would lead to the end of their blind-faith.

Posted by: Pete Duke | 2006-02-13 4:50:54 PM


Here is a direct quote from Ezra's article:

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

In one quick sweep, Ezra has said that Islam is opposed to feminism, gay rights and abortion. Interesting. Where is the proof for such a seemingly blanket statement? I can only guess that Ezra looks at how Islam is practiced in some parts of the world and links that to the actual teachings of the religion. An understandable mistake -- but an incredibly important one.

As a progressive Muslim, this is exactly the sort of thing that makes me so frustrated. While millions and millions of progressive Muslims practice Islam in an extremely liberal way, there are consistently those who choose to paint the whole community with a broad brush. And I say "choose" deliberately, because if you wanted to, you could actually try and find out whether there are different types of Muslims -- just as there are different types of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and others.

This choice is quite deliberate, and it results in increasing the divide -- which in turn, plays right into the hands of extremists on all sides.

For example, does anyone say of the Christian right in the United States and elsewhere that "Christianity is a religion opposed to abortion and gay rights." I mean, does anyone really think that's a fair statement? I don't. Why should I let some segment of the Christian community decide or comment on these issues? Who has decided that they speak for all Christians?

In the same vein, why has Ezra and his ilk decided that those bomb-toting or violent "Muslims" elsewhere represent an ENTIRE RELIGION's belief? How is that fair? How is that good journalism?

When a conservative Jewish rabbi comes out against gay rights, can we just say "Judaism is a religion opposed to gay rights." Can we really say that? And if we can, how come nobody does? And conversely, why is it OK to say the same about Islam in a similar situation?

I realize I won't get much sympathy on this site. But I'm asking you all -- just think about it. Just think about why it is so unfair and so disingenuous to make seemingly innocuous statements like that -- and how they creep into accepted ideas.

Posted by: Salman Haq | 2006-02-13 4:54:58 PM


Well done Western Standard!

I'm a cartoonist myself and I have a series of Islamist related cartoons on my blog that readers can access by clicking on my link. I have received a number of emails complaining about the cartoons on my blog - which is astounding to me because they don't actually depict the person of Muhammad.

It seems some in the Muslim community would like to silence any and all satire that touches upon their taboos and beliefs.

Here is the statement I posted on my blog in the way of a preface to the cartoons ...

------------

In Europe and N. America we have been blessed with the gift of freedom. Artists and writers have long addressed issues that on occasion give pain and discomfort to others. Whether or not someone is offended, is not a reason in and of itself to ban the publication of controversial material.

Muslims who are seeking a ban on the publication of the Danish cartoons, are in effect calling for a double standard. So long as the icons and sacred personalities of every other religion are capable of being caricatured - a ban on Islamic subject matter creates a two-tiered-level-of-tolerance. This is completely unacceptable in a free and democratic society.

Why should a Western atheist or agnostic be banned from satirizing or criticizing Islam? Such a person is fully within his or her rights to do so. In the past, the decision of Islamic radicals to condemn writers such as Salman Rushdie to death, is an offence to everything we stand for as a free society. The murder of the Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh was a disgusting crime. We cannot and will not tolerate threats and coercion by Islamists directed toward our editors, writers and artists.

Speaking personally, I do not engage in satirizing religious figures such as Muhammad, Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tsu, Ramakrishna, Yogananda, Guru Nanak, Sabbatai Zevi, the Christian saints and other such "sacred personalities" because I hold spiritual beliefs myself. However, I support the right of other artists and writers to do so if they choose. As a cartoonist I will often satirize the attitudes of religious people in general, and poke fun at their taboos and superstitions if I deem it to be appropriate.

In supporting the publication of the Danish cartoons, I am not attacking Islam or the personal beliefs of Muslims - however I am declaring that in a free and democratic society no group can seek a "special exception licence" in order to prevent artists and writers from addressing matters related to their religion. This may be appropriate in a theocratic society that is run according to the dictates of Islamic law (Sharia) - but it has no place in a Western democracy. If writers, artists and editors decide against using such material, it has to be their choice and not a decision forced upon them through threat of violence.

Posted by: Aidan Maconachy | 2006-02-13 4:57:50 PM


While I support freedom of the press and freedom of speech, I strongly condemn your publication of the infamous cartoons. You have every right to publish what you want, but when it offends over 1.5 billion people's religion, do you not think that that is crossing the line? I am writing this because Islam condemns what we have seen in the past few weeks on television and this is a much peaceful way to protest. Rioting, burning embassies and flags have no place in Islam. These acts are unacceptable, and so is Iran's idea to get back at the West by publishing holocaust cartoons. Once again, as a Muslim living in Canada I strongly condemn your publication and remember, under Canadian law it is punishable as a hate crime.

Posted by: Sadiq Mohamed | 2006-02-13 4:59:25 PM


Sadiq Mohamed: Publishing the cartoons is not a hate crime.

No one has the "right" not to be offended.

And you do not speak for all Muslims.

Posted by: Chimera | 2006-02-13 5:08:07 PM


Hate crime???
A movie was made called the Life of Brian, depicting a 'Stoner' Jesus Christ... i recall no massive riots or killings over a full length movie taking the piss out of Christ... But then again Christians are fair game in Mohameds world, and the left wing media... but don't you dare show a cartoon caricture of Islams leader or death threats will abound...
If this is all it takes we should all prepare are grandchildren for endless war to come... good luck peace loving Canadians I fear for your left wing media Islamic loving (fearing) society...

Posted by: kevin | 2006-02-13 5:10:43 PM


Chimera:

Who DOES speak for Muslims? Kind of a rhetorical question, isn't it? I mean, how in the world could we EVER find anyone to speak on behalf of 1.5 billion Muslims, or how many billions of Christians or Jews or Hindus or anyone else.

If you accept that no one can speak for such a profoundly diverse group, then WHY OH WHY do people CHOOSE to assume that extremists speak for ALL Muslims? How is that fair?

Posted by: Salman Haq | 2006-02-13 5:11:52 PM



Too bad you published the cartoons. It was not a good decision. Now if violence erupts in our cities, we'll have you to thank. In the interest of making money, you have forgotten or ignored the very rights that you seem to cherish as a Canadian--the freedom of belief, etc. These cartoons are the kind of thing that draw the attention of authorities who deal with hate-crimes and human rights issues. You don't seem to understand that we can't use our values to deal with people who don't share them. That is why what you have done is offensive (not to mention potentially dangerous). I guess it must be easy to shrug away people's comments about being offended, when you don't seem to value anything besides money.

Posted by: George | 2006-02-13 5:19:04 PM


Your interview with AIH was spot on. They didn't have a leg to stand on. If more of the silent majority could speak with your eloquence and courage there may yet be a chance for Canada.

Posted by: John | 2006-02-13 5:27:30 PM


Hate is a human emotion. It is natural to experience it. It can be caused by a number of things such as envy, fear, rejection, frustration and so on.

Can any court determine whether a person is guilty of hate? Hate is an emotion. You cannot touch it or see it. Did I mention that it was a natural human emotion. Perpetrating violence from hatred is a crime and that can be seen and proved.

Human emotions are part of each human being and are there to help us through our lives. I won't bother to explain how because only an idiot would have trouble figuring it out.

When we fear and are hated by a large part of the billion and half Muslims not to mention various commies and other leftist around the world, its pretty natural to not like them much. In fact, if you didn't employ some hatred, you are likley to invite them into your homeland to threaten you further.

But wait! I think that is already happened, and guess what ... they have been threatening us more and more each year.

We are at war with Islam and we should be treating it as an enemy. During WW2 the Nazis were the enemy, but we hated all Germans in order to fight them ... remember? Maybe not, but here we are again anyway.

You are not required to love you enemy or even tolerate him. So what's the big deal about simply discussing our problem with Muslims and showing some of the items that have caused the latest tantrum from them.

They play both sides of the fence so so well that half of us can't decide to be nice or not nice to them.

Some of us have exercised our God given right to hate those who hate and threaten us. We don't particularly want to be in this situation, but you can't negotiate with madmen and enslaved women.

If employing a God given attribute, designed to protect us in our lives, then every one is guilty of this at some point in their lives.

I claim the right to hate anyone who provokes me in a dangerous and negative way. I can't help it .. it's a human emotion. If you don't want to have hate as part of the human psyche, then tell God to maybe have a recall and refit us with new software.

Now stop using our emotions against us like there were a crime. They are not. They are natura. Just like it's natural for most gay people to be homosexual, that is their software and it's natural for them. See folks it works both ways.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-13 5:33:37 PM


RE: Western Standard cartoons.

These images have been out since September. WE all know that this "rent-a-mob" are a few bricks short of a load and so what purpose would it be to inflame them more?

It's like baiting a retarded kid to do something. Who is more guilty, the kid who doesn't have the mindpower to determine what he is doing is wrong, or the ones doing the baiting to get him to do it?

If we, the western society are "civilized", then all we need is to say we can publish what we want, when we want. To have a peeing contest to prove we can do it, well gosh, golly gee wiz, aren't we smardt like stick?

It was a move by Ezra to get his paper more sales, it was not a move of freedom as some put it.

Why not publish all the things these mulla's have done over the past 10 years. Then ask the Muslim community to counter them?

Or yet, put a challenge to the leader of the muslim society of Canada to come out in this magazine to publicly denounce the actions of the rioters and publically say that those people are not behaving like true Muslims.

But they won't, so in that way one has proven something without inciting a riot.

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-13 5:34:41 PM


Niv:
Your facts are off. CIA:

Indonesia: Muslim 88%, Protestant 5%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1%, other 1%

Egypit: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 94%, Coptic Christian and other 6%

Posted by: Jonathan | 2006-02-13 5:34:43 PM


This whole argument is full of hypocrisy. The Muslim media regularly prints articles and images defaming Jews, Christians and other infidels, but thats OK. Publish a satirical cartoon about Mohammed, and all the infidels must be killed immediately! Look at the number of buildings that have been destoyed, the people killed, and the world wide threats that have been placed? Isn't this all a bit much over some cartoons?

Remember, these images were first published 5 months ago in Denmark, and have since been published in Egypt and other Muslim countries. Why has it taken so long to cause problems? Because the radicals have picked it up and are using it as an excuse to attack the west.

When Muslims learn to equally respect the non-muslim culture they live in, and learn to laugh a bit, then maybe the world will be a happier place for all?

Posted by: Aussie-Guy | 2006-02-13 5:43:13 PM


Way to go Ezra, you gutless little turd...thanks for putting many Canadians and their families that travel to predominantly muslim regions on behalf of other Canadians in harms way. I wonder if you would have done this if your family was in a muslim country...I guess if you sold enough rags, maybe you would sell out their safety. Any other late-breaking news you want to report...like the Superbowl score? You are so yesterday, and your rag is not worth wiping your sorry little yellow-striped ass.

Posted by: Andrew | 2006-02-13 5:46:31 PM


George is smoking something. He says of WS's decision to publish ...

"In the interest of making money, you have forgotten or ignored the very rights that you seem to cherish as a Canadian--the freedom of belief, etc"

Yes we Canadians enjoy freedom of belief - we ALSO enjoy freedom to speak our mind without fear or censure on matters that ARE NOT explicitly hateful or a direct incitement to violence - and these cartoons are neither. They are only inciteful in the minds of people who have no self-control and who would try to use a matchstick drawing of Muhammad to start trouble if they found a way to do it.

Go and look at cartoons that have been done about Jesus, some of which are violently hateful, yet nobody writes letters and cries foul about them.

How dare writers on this thread claim that a Canadian publisher has no right to re-print cartoons that have already been published by many magazines and newspapers in Europe! How dare these posters in here fling around accusations of racism and incitement to violence!

No cartoon - especially tame cartoons such as these, can be held to be responsible if some radical Muslims decide to murder people, burn embassies and flags and generally behave like barbarians. I have read quite a number of civilized Muslims online - especially on Daniel Pipes site who show great maturity and tolerance when faced with these cartoons. They ackowledge that Western societies ARE NOT Islamic theocratic regimes run according to the dictates of Sharia. THEY UNDERSTAND THAT ... Irshad Manji UBDERSTANDS THAT!

Are you here to tell us that Islam has to be accorded a special place of honor and that satirists and critics cannot target its sacred beliefs without being subject to Fatwahs and threats? If you are then it IS YOU are are the inciters.

Why should a non-believer in the West who couldn't care less about Muhammad - let alone honor him as the presumed messenger of God - be gagged and bound when it comes to exercising his rights to express his thoughts and opinions?

Those non-Muslim Canadians who come in here to demand censorship don't know the first thing about Canadian values. Canadians went abroad to fight fascism in WW2 precisely so we could have the freedom to express our thoughts and our feelings without being suppressed by nazis and their ilk. Yet only some decades later there are Canadians in this room who have the temerity to demand that WS refrains from publishing cartoons that have already appeared throughout Europe and that can be seen anywhere on the internet.

What is this? Some type of new inquisition?

If you people persist in trying to muzzle free opinion, you will face a massive backlash - one that is already taking shape in Europe.

As a Canadian it shames me that some of my fellow citizens come here to argue "Canadian values" in order to support a ban on publication. Canadian values are about freedom and individual rights - this is why people from all over the workd come here. They come to escape from societies were they can't say what they think - can't print what they choose - and where they live in a climate of fear. Now apparently we have Canadians attempting to create the same climate of fear and loathing here.

WS is in fact HONORING what Canada stands for in going to print.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2006-02-13 5:48:41 PM


I strongly support you. The Muslim protest is actually attempted intimidation and terrorism. Freedom is the right to criticize. Freedom is the right to satirize some mythical figure called Mohammad as well as satirize Muslims. If they don't like it , they have the freedom to take a hard look at themselves and get over their shortcomings. They do not have the freedom to intimidate or suppress the rest of the Canadian community.

The Muslim protest is abusing our Canadian Freedom. The protesters Islamic fascists. They use our freedom of speech to try to intimate us from criticizing them. The cartoon had much element of truth. They cannot bear the truth, that is why they find them intolerable. We must stand up to them. We should not allow specific cultures tot come into Canada if their intention is to destroy our Canadian standard of equality and Freedom.

We must not allow them to use our system against ourselves. I believe Islam is a political culture and not a genuine religion. They cannot tolerate us and we must not tolerate their intolerance.
We need the government to stand up and enforce our freedoms. We must not permit Muslim immigration into Canada if they cannot commit to supporting our freedoms. We cannot permit any ethnic culture to enforce its standard on all other cultures. This is not the meaning of multiculturalism.
They commit racism and hatred against our culture by pretending that we are racist and making hate crimes.
This is their hypocrisy and deceit.
The ultimate standard is what is the intention?
They have the intention to terrorize and destroy s and we have the intention to be free.
Take a look at what they did in Britain. Tehy forced offices to tear down claendars of Miss Piggy and arrested little old ladies because they had collections of toy pigs and they stand on the street and call for Jihad.
In the "protest-terrorism" yesterday in Toronto they were shouting "ISLAM". That is not protest, that is the battle cry of an aggressive and militant political culture. They need to be stopped.
We must stand up to Islamic bullying now or we will lose our freedom forever.

ps. On my website, I posted cartoons about the cartoons.

www.hagakureblade.blogspot.com

Posted by: max | 2006-02-13 5:51:35 PM


Ezra,

Thankyou for taking a stand. YOU are a true Canadian. Apparantly I am a racist, white bigot, just because I have a different view than what the "Intelligentia, Self-Righteous, all-inclusive, popular" segment of the population believe & forces down on us.
As a Bible believing Christian I don't support defaming other religions, for I know all to well what it is like being on the recieving end .Apparently it's okay for my beliefs as a Christian to be belittled, stripped of all dignity, whilst others are to be protected without question. I accept the fact that my beliefs bring on anger & hate upon me & my faith. I will continue to love those who hate me...for no other reason, no matter how unjustifed, because my God commands me to love & love unconditionally.
This does not nullify me from having emotions & voice my opinions though.
Right now I stand up with you Ezra. I am proud that finally someone spoke out. Forgot to be politically correct & brought forth truth.

Posted by: Joe | 2006-02-13 5:56:57 PM


I throw my support in completely.

One thing to note: It is said that the cartoons are not shown because they may cause more violence in the middle east. Anybody else see the new videos of (believed to be) British shoulders assaulting Iraqi's? How much rage will be had in the ME and among muslims after this video came out? If it never did? If the news stations only SPOKE of the cartoons and never SHOWED them, where would the outrage be?

Posted by: Eldon | 2006-02-13 6:00:52 PM


To Rask and others.

This was not a move to show "we have freedom". This was not a move to show what the cartoons were about.

This was a move to sell magazines. Period.

What the big picture here isn't that Ezra CAN'T publish this crap, but WHY.

To what purpose, what end did he accomplish? So 'we are free'. Whoopie.

It takes more strenght to not cause trouble then to turn the other cheek.

It takes more class to not slither down to the levels of brainless mob mentality being shown in Iran.

It takes guts to say "I could have been wrong in doing this" rather than 15 minutes of fame on CBC.

AS he slipped in a previous statement regarding a "small Calgary newspaper beat us to it" shows his real motive.

I didn't know this was a race. Besides, what beating was there done, this has been out since September.

Now if he approached the timing and how Denmark is sitting on a council regarding Iran's nuclear program, maybe, just maybe he might have made some valid points and maybe exposed the real reason we got the protests.

Remember Egypt printed these awhile ago without protests...

Freedom, my arse, it's called Capitalism.

Ain't it grand?

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-13 6:06:01 PM


sorry, last line being only spoke, and never showed, the videos

Posted by: Eldon | 2006-02-13 6:07:26 PM


while you have the right to publish the cartoons, do we really need to add fuel to the fire? publishing them proves what? that you're better than the rent a mob and nutty imans who think a cartoon is worth killing people over?
sometimes ya let things slip by, we all know that we have great rights w/o proving it.

Posted by: dave | 2006-02-13 6:08:20 PM


> The Muslim media regularly prints articles and images defaming Jews, Christians and other infidels, but thats OK. <

Jonathan: Please point to me one Western media of any sort - TV, magazine, internet, radio - that has said they are OK.

Ted
Cerberus
http://canadiancerberus.blogspot.com

Posted by: TB | 2006-02-13 6:09:55 PM


Andrew,

You sound a lot like a Muslim they way you talk.

This is a civilized place, Try being civilized ... name calling is for children and Muslims. If you don't like what Ezra did, say so, but calling him names makes you look like the turd.

You would please many by going to the Middle East with your family and stay there.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-13 6:18:12 PM


God Bless you for holding on to the freedoms we have in Canada. We have seen these people whose’ views differ from the rest of the world try and take by force other peoples beliefs. Why the hell else do we even say, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas?” Because we might “offend someone” you must be joking! I guess Muhammad must not have very big shoulders if he needs terror to defend him. I don’t see followers of Jesus blowing things up and killing people over a cartoon of Him.

Stand up for your right too free speech Canada, if you don’t you won’t have any rights left.

Don

Posted by: Don | 2006-02-13 6:20:35 PM


http://news.google.ca/news?hl=en&ned=ca&ie=UTF-8&q=sarawak+tribune+cartoons&btnG=Search+News

As I was informed by a friend in Malaysia, the Sarawak Tribune, a 61 year old english newspaper, had its printing licence revoked by the government. Why? Because it posted the dreaded cartoons. No questions asked, no debate, just a fax from the Prime Minister. For those who are against the WS in its stand, do you believe what took place in Malaysia as being wrong?

Posted by: Eldon | 2006-02-13 6:22:35 PM


What took place in Malaysia is in Malaysia. If it happened here, that would be a different story.

Where was the bleeding hearts (excuse the pun) with all the beheadings or the three Christian girls who got beheaded recently?

Do you believe that was wrong? Ok, so what did you do about it? Post a cartoon?

Give me a break.

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-13 6:27:07 PM


A few rebuttals here for tomax.

tomax - "This was not a move to show "we have freedom". This was not a move to show what the cartoons were about."

I totally disagree. Try talking to a few artists/writers/editors who have been beaten up and threatened then get back to me. There are presently a few Dutch MP's under death threat. You clearly have no clue what the sub-text is here and what is actually going on - the stuff that doesn't make the news.

"This was a move to sell magazines. Period."

So? We live in a capitalist society. If you are trying to infer that this was the only motivation clearly you haven't been following the campaign in here over the past few years with repsect to Liberal corruption; a campaign that had zero to with coin and everything to do with principle.

"It takes more strength to not cause trouble then to turn the other cheek."

First of all Ezra never claimed to be Jesus. In the real world, it takes a hell of a lot more guts to go against the status quo and do the hard thing of standing apart from the crown and risking a knife in the back. There aren't too many editors around who would buy your argument that coin is a greater incentive than personal security. Ezra is risking the latter, and coin doesn't begin to cover that kind.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2006-02-13 6:27:20 PM


Hey 'Duke' (are you for real) who's calling anyone names? Ezra is a turd...and he has a yellow-stripe down his ass...and you should know that..and I guess that is "they way" I talk...sorry, civilized left the arena with the posting of old stories for the sake of a spectacle. By the way Duke...the Steelers won the Superbowl.

Posted by: Andrew | 2006-02-13 6:27:47 PM


There once was a child who got angry when he saw the colour green. His parents, who believed in keeping him happy and pacified, would never do anything to make him angry, because when he got angry, he would kick, and bite and scream and hurt other children, and sometimes even adults. A law was passed: no green would be shown anywhere in the village, and anyone who wore, ate, or painted anything green, would be convicted of inciting hatred. One day the child started screaming and yelling and kicking and biting. Everyone ran around in a panic, trying to find out who would commit such a horrendous hate crime. They looked in the direction of the frothing, apoplectic child, and saw that he was pointing at the guilty party: all eyes strained to see: there, out of the ground, on the first day of spring, rose a tiny blade of grass.

Posted by: ms smith | 2006-02-13 6:28:51 PM


I'll be shelling out the cover price for the latest issue. Any Muslim that has a problem with it, or anything else Mr. Levant has said or published are completely irrelevant. In fact, free people the world over are secretly laughing at Islamic faith right now, I gather.
I simply can not see this entire issue as anything but positive...

Posted by: Knight of the Blue Revolution | 2006-02-13 6:36:55 PM


Godspeed Ezra. You have balls of steel.

Posted by: Howard Roard | 2006-02-13 6:44:30 PM


I'm so excited, I spelt my own name wrong.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-02-13 6:46:15 PM



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