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Monday, February 13, 2006

What we believe

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


There seems to be a great deal of criticism of the Islamic faith. It seems that they see things differently than Christians. Duh! The Middle East is a powder keg right now and with Georgie Bush involved I can understand the people of the Middle East being nervous. There was no need to publish those cartoons to begin with. I think that act was nothing more than an adolescent act of anger, like drawing a picture of the teacher on the blackboard.

Posted by: Peter Ferri | 2006-02-13 6:50:44 PM

Well Rask; here's a counter rebuttal.

1.RE: a few artists/writers/editors...Uh I didn't say these folks lives aren't being threatened, so not sure what rebuttal you are making. What I am saying is we know the riot in Iran and other places are being fuelled by Islamic government and mulla's bent on making a scene using mob mentality types. By posting cartoons only adds fuel to the fire and doesn't post a solution or help these threatened artists/writers/editors...

Remember Solomon Rushdie? So your point is fruitless in saying I am "clueless".

2. The point about selling magazines. Yes, SO? That is a rebuttal? YOu are actually stating what I have been saying - this was a monetary move, not a Patrick Henry "give me freedom or give me death" type thing.

3. I didn't say Ezra was Jesus. I just said being Western society's foundation is Christianity, one of the precepts of this faith is to turn the other cheek. More so, Ezra/WS cheek was not being slapped in the first place, Denmark's was, and I find the timing of all this hoopala very interesting.

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

Peter O'Donnell:
I would like to take issue with your statement that Islam, Judiasm and Christianity worship the same God. The Jewish faith and Islam deny Jesus as the Son Of God, they deny the trinity. I am a Christian and I know that we don't worship the same God, not even close. I do not say this to degrade the other two faiths, but I do wish to point that out for accuracy. I respect their right to believe what they want but I disagree with you when you suggest we all share in the covenant. I believe that the "only way to the Father is through the Son" as is stated in the bible.
I also believe that the cartoons that were dipicted were in bad taste, as it is an affront to the muslim religion and we should respect that. Just as I shudder when I see pictures of a cross in a jar of urine, so do I understand the muslim disdain for this. I do not support the violent and damaging protests, they are wrong and and a symptom of a larger problem in the religion of Islam.
I also support the Western Standard in reprinting these cartoons for news purposes. They have become news and they have that right. Had the reaction to these cartoons been different, they would have likely already faded into oblivion and would not be news. It is regretable, however, that the Danish news agency that originally printed the cartoons, did not practice a small measure of tact, realizing the offensive nature of the cartoons to Islam.

Posted by: Vin | 2006-02-13 6:55:56 PM

Quoting directly: "The Western Standard has no explaining to do. We're a news magazine".

Why is it then that I do not see in your news magazine the burning of olive trees by "Jewish Settlers" on the West Bank? How about the repeated beating of Palestinians kids going to school by the same "settlers"? What about the fact that volunteers from around the world have to escort these kids to school to protect them from the "settlers"? Would a cartoon of Hitler killing Jews be ok? What about cartoon about the Holocaust? Is that also part of the Charter, not to mention the Canadian Bill of Rights? What about telling the truth about Stalin and who supported him and brought him to power and of course the killing that regime inflicted?

Funny, I do not see any of these news on your magazine. How are you any different than the CBC or the other main stream media?


Posted by: Ezra Miel | 2006-02-13 7:03:55 PM

Even though I support the goal of making money I don't believe publishing the cartoons was necessarily motivated by that. Seeing that this issue of the magazine is being pulled by Indigo/ Chapters, McNally Robinson and Air Canada it could potenially cause damage to the circulation of the magazine.

There is a story that needs to be told and seeing the cartoons and letting people form their own opinions about them is important. The cartoons are the cartoonist's perception of Islam. I'm sure a lot of people share the cartoonists perception even though they may "codemn" the cartoons.

I'm looking forward to my issue coming in the mail.

Posted by: Craig | 2006-02-13 7:10:29 PM

Glad to read the many on this thread who get it ... with the exception of tomax, Andrew and few other loyal dhimmis.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2006-02-13 7:11:21 PM

...with the exception of tomax...

OooooOOOoohhh that cut...

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-13 7:15:32 PM

Congratulations to the publisher of The Western Standard for having the courage to publish the cartoons. The middle eastern papers have lots of what I would call gratuitous cartoons showing foul looking Jews gulping the blood of dead Palestinian babies, or Anne Frank in bed with Hitler, The Danish cartoons in contrast appear as valid comment on the bizarre Islamic based violence we’re seeing. Violence apparently based on the strange beliefs that if you kill yourself while murdering nearby mothers, daughters, sons etc. you’re going to be reassembled and gifted with 30 virgins to do your bidding – plus you’ll gain further respect for Islam - maybe a cartoon or two is long overdue.

I guess the Islamic extremists are proving today what was true in Germany in the 1930’s and in Russia in the ‘50s – the threat of violence sure shuts people up.

Posted by: Dave Shelton | 2006-02-13 7:15:59 PM

You got it Dave - try converting a few of the naive in here.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2006-02-13 7:18:59 PM

I was interested in Ezra’s question as to why the Western Standard isn’t publishing cartoons showing Hitler killing Jews, or cartoons about the holocaust – simple answer – they aren’t news – they appear all the time in the middle eastern press. The Danish cartoons pointing out how Islam is being discredited by flakey extremists is news – ‘cause no-ones had the courage to publish ones before. Maybe the middle Eastern cartoons showing Jews crushing Palestinian babies and drinking their blood and guts should be news –

Posted by: David S | 2006-02-13 7:26:50 PM

PFUI! Had to hold my nose at some of the posts on this website.

So the CBC curtailed Levant's verbal diarrhea displayed during his interview with Harry Forestal?? I should think so !! Especially when considering that Levant's sole motive in drowning poor Harry in all that verbiage was to hide his true motive for publishing the cartoons: As a jew never to miss an opportunity to take a swipe at Muslims.

Posted by: M. Hebron | 2006-02-13 7:39:10 PM

David exactly - the xenophobic, hate filled bile that passes for "news" in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East is almost beyond description. They routinely demonize the Jews.

When I heard about these Danish cartoons I was actually taken aback. I kept thinking something was missing. Thye are like illustrations basically - no blood, gore or fanged people with massive crooked noses. And we CAN'T publish these inane drawings? Holy God - times are indeed a'chagin'.

The irony of course is that they are dated. They have been sitting around forever and even got printed in Egypt and Jordan. It was only when some Danish clerics decided to create mischief that it was whipped up into a scandal.

One of these radical Danish Islamists actually ADDED really extreme Muhammad cartoons to the batch. He claims he got them through the email, but when he was challenged to produce the email, he was unable to provide it. A cartoon accusing Muhammad of being a pedophile is actually a fake - drawn up by this Danish cleric and his friends. The Volokh Conpiracy has revealed discrepencies with the hand writing, and have called for hand writing experts to determine if a writer accustomed to writing in Arabic script was responsible.

These criminals then took these cartoons to the Middle East and set about fomenting a fire storm. Yet there are people in here trying to blame the artists and people like Ezra.

Man, if we have reached the point in our society were stuff like this is out of bounds we are in deep trouble.

Anyway, since when do a minority on newcomers entering someone elses "home" begin to dictate what can and can't be said based on archaic Islamic law. Rex Murphy described it as "shockingly insolent" - I would say that is an understatement.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2006-02-13 7:43:11 PM

Thank you Western Standard --- you are truly the voice of the unheard! It's about time --- we are proud that someone finally (this news magazine) took the stand for freedom of the press -- where most other media have "chickened-out" for fear of hurting someone's feelings.

Where is the majority of our media in the civilized world --- running scared, and being politically correct. The new-comers to this country are coming in from their dictatorship-style countries and telling us how to run ours. They think they can use our laws to sue us for the freedom we have here!

The people here who built and fought for this country need to take a stand and speak out, and thanks to a couple of news publications, we are being heard.

I will be buying several magazines of this latest issue, in addition to my subscription.

p.s. to Knight of the Blue Revolution - well said.

Posted by: TWestCGY | 2006-02-13 7:49:40 PM

I am very disappointed in your decision to publish the cartoons in question. You are not courageous, you are callous. The bottom line is that millions of people, whether 'justified' or not, have been deeply offended and angered by these images.

I do not condone the violent actions and reactions that have occurred, but clearly there has been an unprecedented emotional response that we might never fully understand.

The important issue is not that of freedom of speech; it is the way people have been hurt. We do not need to see the cartoons to understand the crisis; we have seen the reflex emotional response.

Frankly, our "opinions" don't matter. It does not change the way others feel. Whether right or wrong, what we need to understand is human emotion; often inexplicably but very real.

Should you continue to mock someone who is crying in front of you? No, you shouldn't.

Posted by: Amy Gillis | 2006-02-13 7:49:56 PM

Amy ... *sigh

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2006-02-13 7:52:14 PM

I think that this ranting/debating is pure nonsensical rhetoric. TOLERANCE PEOPLE! As I mentioned above in a previous entry that Western Standard is in their right to shown these CARTOONS for what they are. We are Canadian, not Muslim and we have the right to see what the cause of Middle Eastern riots are over. They are over CARTOONS! If a person can blow themselves up for Muhhamad and nothing is done about it life goes on etc.. but a foreign paper to the Islamic people puts a cartoon in depicting Muhhamad they immediately hit the streets running to burn down and retaliate with such violence. If a religion such as Islam has this control over its people to become so mindless and closed minded to the rest of their surroundings then why should we be tolerant of their religion?

Posted by: Jason | 2006-02-13 7:52:40 PM

Amy - an Iranian cleric when commenting on what he termed "the takeover of the West" said Islamists would aim to exploit Western law, human rights, and PC senitivities in order to defeat democracy.

You're on his team.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2006-02-13 7:58:47 PM

so, let me get this right . If I get attacked by a buch of islamists while travelling in europe because I happen to have a canadian flag on my backpack, I should be happy because Ezra has proved that we have freedom of speech in Canada.

There are neighbourhoods in new york you don't walk though alone late at night. Not because you are scared, but because you know that you will be safe. To walk through those neighbourhoods at night taunting the residents goes against all common sense. I hope you haven't taunted people to hurt me.


Posted by: tom | 2006-02-13 8:06:16 PM

Peter S, your an idiot, go back to Toronto so you can feel important. Way to go Ezra let the freedom of speech carry on. Always looking forward to your comments and editorials. Anyone else think that The Muslims are just looking for something else to raise shit about. Maybe it's time to leave Canada

Posted by: Jeff | 2006-02-13 8:07:43 PM

I had not heard of the Western Standard until catching your 13 Feb 2006 interview on CBC radio and to support your decision to publish the cartoons I will purchase this edition of the magazine and pay close attention to you in the future. Congratulations on your decision.

Posted by: Bob Lawson | 2006-02-13 8:08:45 PM

Well done. You're showing an unusual degree of courage.

Posted by: in favour too | 2006-02-13 8:26:48 PM

Mr. Levant:

As an American who is accustomed to hearing so much nonsense coming from the left side, er.. east side of Canada, I was greatly encouraged to hear your commments on the CBC's "As it Happens". Though the interviewer repeatedly trying to invoke 'insensitivity' as a reason not to publish the cartoons, your responses in shooting down those arguments were nothing short of brilliant. It's far too infrequent that someone points out the double standard of political correctness.
Most importantly, it's vital that a free press fight back against extremism. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Matt | 2006-02-13 8:27:57 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 bla

Posted by: Angela | 2006-02-13 8:29:15 PM

I am shocked, more even with your justification for publishing the cartoons. You claim that they are the central focus of a world wide controversy,
I quote your interviews with CBC and CTV today. You said:
“Christians only react by writing a letter”
"They don't bomb embassies and behead journalists," (CBC)
I am shocked, more even with your justification for publishing the cartoons. You claim that they are the central focus of a world wide controversy;
I quote your interviews with CBC and CTV today. You said:
“Christians only react by writing a letter”
"They don't bomb embassies and behead journalists," (CBC)
“Ezra, the reaction of the Canadian Muslim community probably doesn’t come as a surprise today?”
"Yes I am pleasantly surprised, no burnt flags or buildings etc.." (CTV)
It is evident from your comments that your real agenda is to provoke the Muslim community, as you expected a wave of riots to start across Canada. You have no respect for freedom of speech, since you have just infringed on the freedom of thousands of Muslims across the country.
So I ask you Mr. Levant is that good Journalistic ethics that you claim to practice? This story could have been just as easily covered with out showing these offensive pictures, unless of course you want to offend the Muslim community, provoke them, and portray your hatred. You say "The terrorists are the problem. Kill Terrorism not Freedom of Speech". So since you seem to believe Muslims are irrational and violent and most resort to terrorism, do you suggest we should start sending all Muslims in the country to Camps? And then…

It is obvious that your view’s are inline with the cartoons and that you are publishing them not because of “journalistic ethics” or "Canadian Values" or even "Freedom Of Speech", but because of your own personal agenda and project your OWN opinion and Hate of Islam. It is not Canadian values to insult other Religions, and you have repeatedly done that today in your interviews.
I am also disgusted with your desperate attempt to bully other news agencies to also publish the cartoons by claiming the real reason they haven’t yet is out of fear.
As another Proud Canadian, proud of our TRUE Canadian values, I say to you “SHAME on YOU!”

Posted by: Abe S | 2006-02-13 8:30:27 PM

... would he be blamed for it?

Posted by: Angela | 2006-02-13 8:30:27 PM

You liberal bastards on here who are whining in defence of Islamic feelings, where were you pricks when 'Piss Christ' or 'Virgin Mary in elephant dung' came out or 'The Last temptation of Christ' and so forth...

You libs are in league with the devil......you have shown your truel colors over and over and no more explicit then now....

You didn't let out a peep in defense of Christian sensibilties but all of a sudden you find your voice for a depraved murderous scoundral like Muhammed and his Islam!! You left wing losers are nothing but hypocrites!!

When the Islamic world is done with you useful idiots, they will slit your throat ear to ear....they absolutely hate you but they are smart enough too use you fools to help them...

Just ask your average muslim about any of your precious pet causes like Gay marriage, Homo Rights, Abortion, Feminism etc etc.....

You ill educated fools.....you know nothing!!

Posted by: Albertanator | 2006-02-13 8:38:32 PM

I just took out a subscription to the Western Standard, the only media outlet in the country that has shown it won't kneel to those who would call us infidels and force us to submit to their law. Kudos to you, Mr. Levant, for reminding us all of how precious our freedom of speech is and how we must not allow the most intolerant elements of this world to dictate to us what we can and cannot speak about.

Posted by: Ian in NS | 2006-02-13 8:41:29 PM

The Weekly Standard has also published the 'toons:


Long live freedom of the press & freedom of expression.

Posted by: maz2 | 2006-02-13 8:41:44 PM

Three strangers strike up a conversation in the airport passenger lounge in Bozeman, Montana..

One is an American Indian passing through from Lame Deer, S.D.

Another is a cowboy on his way to Billings for a livestock show.

The third passenger is a fundamentalist Arab student, newly arrived from the Middle East.

Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures.

Soon, the two Westerners learn that the Arab is a devout, radical Muslim and the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.

The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a magazine table and tips his big hat forward over his face.

Finally, the American Indian clears his throat and softly he speaks, "At one time here, my people were many, but sadly, now we are few".

The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans forward, "Once my people were few", he sneers, "and now we are many among the infidels. Why do you suppose that is?"

The Montana cowboy shifts his toothpick to one side of his mouth and from the darkness beneath his Stetson says in a slow drawl, "That's 'cause we ain't played Cowboys and Muslims yet, but I do believe it's a-comin"!

Posted by: irreverant redneck | 2006-02-13 8:47:24 PM

Please, why does Canadian people not defend the democracys? Why?

Do you know what happen in the Syria and Iran and even my country. Do you know? No you know nothing. You are like spoil children.

Do you not know that this all is like a trick. It is a trick that made by some crazy moslem people in europe and now you are eating this trick from there hand. Now they laugh becaus canadian is crying and say “poor moslem”. They laugh because they cant believe you is such a big idiot like this.

Ok come inside any moslem land and say to them you don’t like this or that thing. Burn some of the people car and some building. You think they will say “poor christian guy” we must understand to them more? No - they are going to kill you. Ok. When they kill you they laugh and forget it in 2 second.

You betrey me. You betrey every moslem persons that has come inside the free world for some new life. Now i see this idiots can trick you. You make like slave to say “no we will not to piublish this cartons”.

In qu’uran what is mohammad? He is sent to teach peoples of Allah. He is not the Allah or even like Jesus the son of Allah - (according of the Christian idea).. Okay. He is man. In some place there has picture of mohammad . Yes. Its true because I see it.

Now they make this trick to make you slave that says “yes yes yes”. Why? I don’t like to live inside Muslim law ok, that is reason for why I come to live inside America. 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 i can do my religion. But in societey I liek freedom. Now you are making big mistake ok. Stupid mistake. When you take this trick you think they say “ok now we like you”? No - they will say we can take more.

You are blind. This editer is right to publish this. He is brave man for doing such and the one here that say no is fool and coward.

This is all I need to write.

Posted by: Hamza al-Hamed | 2006-02-13 8:53:17 PM



Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-13 8:56:32 PM

The People who complain about the posting of the cartoons realy do need to see them firstly for they certainly are not the worst cartons made for a start http://forum.newspaperindex.com but they do seem to indicate the unfortunate negative truths about Islam and they do put their leader in a bad portrait, the real reason many wrongfully do object to the others seeing them.

In this case I agree with the comment one can't properly tell the whole story without showing these particular cartoons and the news media, Muslims past portraits of the infidels, Christians now has already been a lot worse and no was killed, no one's head was cut of for it too.

Posted by: Rossana | 2006-02-13 9:00:25 PM

"If Ezra is so brave and supportive of freedom of speech, why isn't he going to Syria, Indonesia and Iran to publish the cartoons? " this Islamic hypocrites who do not care about the other persons rights now clearly too should go back to his own Muslim Countries and try to use their free speech, protest for the freedom off religion of all faiths and freedom of all persons.. and then come back to Canada and talk about their negative reality, if they had not been killed firstly for they are brave to talk big here in Canada but not else where. The cartoons are not at all offensive to me for we all now have seen worse Islamic abuses.!

Posted by: KM | 2006-02-13 9:08:54 PM


Thank you for stating the obvious to a society of people who should certainly know better. You need not worry, there are many Canadians that still hold the values you speak of in high regard, and they will not be taken away by the Liberal left.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-13 9:15:05 PM

Ironically enough I suspect that if we had more Islamic cartoons like the Danish ones it could only be good for Islam – right now we have the situation where extremists have hijacked the religion – it’s sort of like if the Hells Angels spoke for the Quakers – saying in a helpful sort of way “if we figure that you’re mocking us or our religion we’ll kill you and some of your kind” – really gives credibility to the religion right? With friends like that who needs enemies?

I think high-lighting this to the world at large and mocking ridiculous and scary actions like suicide bombing and be-headings, supposedly done in the name of Islam, can only be good for Islam and bad for the plug-uglies who presume to speak in its name. How can a true Islamic cynically urge and facilitate his followers in committing suicide and killing as many people as possible? Maybe mocking and pointed cartoons are a good start in making folks realize how counter productive such evil behaviour is – of course the other side is the courage to stand up to the additional threats of violence brought on by pointing out how ridiculous and childish such behaviour is.

Posted by: Dave S. | 2006-02-13 9:23:26 PM

If and when Ezra gets tried for inciting hate crimes, and he needs a lawyer who also believes in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I hereby pledge my support for the legal defense fund, funds of course to be held in trust (so all you misguided people who like to quote out of context can be satisfied that the money is not going straight into Ezra's pockets). Perhaps qualified legal counsel could take note and offer their services pro bono, or at reduced cost (of course they will also be accused of doing "anything for personal publicity"). I am certain that the legal defense fund would attract many donations, as there is still a great portion of this country that has been educated, sometimes first-hand, in the brutal history of totalitarian regimes, and will do what they can to help support freedom of speech and democratic ideals.

Posted by: ms smith | 2006-02-13 9:31:23 PM

I wonder what Salman Rushdie would have to say about all this. He might say "Pray the Ayatollah doesn't command death on you." The book "Satanic Verses" cost him a life of freedom. The media should be wary about publishing utterly offensive material.

Posted by: Brad | 2006-02-13 9:32:12 PM

Actually the whole cartoon issue is now quite good for it allows the infidel people to also point out all of those hypocritical shortcomings of the Muslims that also do now need to be dealt with. Their own negative acts of violnce, slander, absue, unforgivness, etc..

Posted by: Marcy | 2006-02-13 9:32:13 PM

iSLAM is attempting to free us from freedom itself. The cartoons only need to be published if you want to prove you live in a society free of coercion, that's all.

The only feelings those who refuse to publish the cartoons have is for feeling their head still attached to their necks. Beyond that is a yellow spine.

Posted by: wharold | 2006-02-13 9:36:15 PM

I am ashamed I actually bought the idea that 'good taste' was involved here.

Actually, it was Rex Murphy and the subsequent looking at the cartoons and the addenda in the Danish fellows dossier who did the trip to the mideast that changed my mind.


They are nothing compared to ... and Ezra please check this out ... the documentary done by the CBC on Stockwell Day when he ran the Alliance and its dialogue and slant in relation to 'born again Christians' or Christians of all flavours for that matter. I was in the Bush South at the time and watched it on CNET and thought ... WOW, if something like this would have been run during Bush's first election by PBS, he would have had a majority and PBS would no longer exist. Don't get me wrong, I am preferential to the CBC for my television news. For some reason, CTV and other private media overall tend to be more biased and simplistic in my view ... toward Liberal variable mish mash.

I don't want to get into what I personally believe and like Stephen Harper I believe these discussions are futile and divisive. On the other hand, my beliefs have been insulted and parodied by Islamic, Christian, Liberal,and NDP social engineers of all stripes ... and my personal response has been to donate to mises.org, aynrand.com, The Fraser Institute, or the National Citizens Coalition. For me Ezra's accepted response of 'writing a letter to the editor' is pissing in the wind. But to forward the field of ideas with a few bucks ... that is a worth while quest.

Good Luck Ezra, and you could have dug deeper than the 'piss Christ' in your CBC interview couldn't you? Just a thought.

Posted by: Len Sanche | 2006-02-13 9:39:36 PM

Colin: Ezra is not inciting race hatred, besides Muslims are not a 'race'.

By the way, as a white Catholic Canadian you should be embarrassed for standing up against the publishing of these cartoons...bet you never bothered protesting any of the wrongs against Jesus in the 'art world'....Piss Christ, countless blasphemous movies, etc.

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-02-13 9:47:21 PM

Very good information by Western Standard.
I read WS since almost one year now. All I have seen is integrity. This publishing is integrity.

Reading comments is kind of fascinating. I can see the use of publishing those news by the way people react.

Many people don't seem to understand what freedom means. Interesting, right?

No one suggested any explanation that I can remember about the fact that those terrible cartoons had been published in Egypt in October 2005. Not one muslim was affected! This is a good indication of the ongoing manipulation taking place. I suspect manipulation comes from the bunch of imams, ayatollahs, dictators, etc trying to keep their own people in bondage.

In other words, those cartoons are just an excuse. And all MEDIAS except WS swallowed the bait. That gives us an idea how well the medias and current newspapers inform us.

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-02-13 9:47:53 PM

If I draw an innocuous, boring cartoon of Ezra and Stephen Harper having gay sex, I'm assuming you would print it.

After all, it is newsworthy and topical - the Western Standard and Harper are in bed together.

Let me know where to email the cartoon for inclusion in the next publication.

Posted by: Lawrence | 2006-02-13 9:56:07 PM

Disappointed but not surprised, here is how some businesses are responding to the latest Western Standard issue, an excerpt from the latest news-clip:

Cartoon controversy ignites in Canada
(CanWest News Service

Monday, February 13, 2006

. . . Considering the cartoons have sparked violence and riots around the world, Indigo Books and Music Inc., Canada’s largest bookstore chain, is refusing to put the latest issue of the Western Standard on its shelves.

Air Canada, which normally carries the Western Standard in its lounges and on some flights, has also decided pull this issue of the magazine.

For full story go to:


Posted by: TWestCGY | 2006-02-13 10:05:16 PM

Ezra: Kudos for taking a stand against intimidation and fear by publishing the cartoons. It takes courage to do what you did.
Once the story broke out of Europe, I had anticipated that we could find an ally in the left on this issue, as one of the liberies it purports to hold most dear is the freedom of the press, and one of the institutions it is most distrustful of is religion. The left and liberal media have shown their true colours and revealed their agenda with their actions here: appeasement at all costs.
Henry Ford once bragged that consumers could "have any color [vehicle] they want, so long as it's black". The liberal media will let give journalists a free pass on bashing any religion, so long as it's Judeo-Christian.
When will the left realize they have no common ground with the Islamists, who are intent on rolling back human rights a cool eight centuries? My best guess is not soon, based on their collective actions over the past week.

Posted by: Taylor | 2006-02-13 10:08:27 PM

tol·er·ate (tŏl'ə-rāt')
tr.v., -at·ed, -at·ing, -ates.
To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.
To recognize and respect (the rights, beliefs, or practices of others.
To put up with; endure.)

Why should we not oppose, why should we respect, why should we endure, a religion that wants to MURDER someone for what they write, think, say? Why should we tolerate, in short, these intolerant and intolerable bullies?

Posted by: ms smith | 2006-02-13 10:18:12 PM

>When will the left realize they have no common ground with the Isalmists, who are intent on rolling back human rights a cool eight centuries?<

Take a look down south where certain elements of the left would clearly rather see the US beaten in the war in Iraq, whatever the cost in life, than to ever give a "right wing hack" like Bush any credit. It is hard to discern any difference in the comments coming from the far left than those coming from the terrorists.

In a parallel it is just as hard to discern the comments from the left wingers on this blogg from the rants coming from the radical Muslim world. It matters not they are aligning themselves with people who would judge them the first to be killed. As long as they take a stand against what they perceive to be the real threat to them, the "radical right". Its all that matters to them.

After watching these same people in the past election vote mindlessly for the corruption as they did it surprises me not they would be willing to practically commit suicide before they would support something so valuable to the right, something as simple as free speech.

I don't think I realized till this past election and since, the divide in this country, and how far down the road the left is. Many great civilizations have been brought down from within, and there is clear evidence Canada is following the path to self destruction.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-13 10:42:46 PM

Deepblue, those are true points you make but I'm afriad not just for Canada but for all of the Free West with America standing the best chance against the leftist islamic axis!!

I hope I'm wrong but this is going to get really ugly....the left has become unhinged and Islam is happily using it to achieve its ends...

I truly cannot believe how evil and how blind so many people are??

Decades of Moral Relativism have turned out the most depraved generation this world may have ever known.....I'm afriad it will come down to battle in the streets with great amounts of blood being spilled...

Freedom has never come cheap.....and the Left and their assorted allies have been destroyed societies since men first walked upon this earth....

You don't have too be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.....

Posted by: Albertanator | 2006-02-13 10:48:13 PM

"battle in the streets with great amounts of blood being spilled..."

Would make a great movie, oh wait already done, Saving Private Ryan.

No, due to the political correctness and godless society and generation we have spawned, we'll roll over and go to sleep.

If your idea of revolution is true, well where have you been the past 12 years of Liberal corruption and miscarrage of justice?

Aftergood, who stuffed ballots for his wife in Ward 10 election pleaded guilty and got a $4,000 fine. Our democratic right was spurned, and this fellow got no time in jail.

A stalker tormenting women with phone calls, grafitti, obscene jestures in Okotooks for 11 years only got 4 years jail.

And where is these self righteous "freedom of the press" loving posters now?

Ah, but we got to publish the cartoooooooooons...


Screwed in head, screwed in values.

Posted by: tomax | 2006-02-13 11:10:12 PM


Agreed, it is not just Canada but the whole western world who has fallen asleep and let socialism take over. As you mentioned the US is the only holdout, but just barely. As they are the only major western power with the military to stand up to the threat one can only hope the right can stay in power down there.

It was a tactical error on radical Islam's part to attack the US first, I think they clearly underestimated the US's resolve to seek justice. Let me rephrase that, they underestimated George Bush, clearly the Clinton years made the US appear asleep and an easy target.

But why does the US have to do all the heavy lifting? It is sickening to see the capitulation on these blogg's instead of what should be anger.

I agree with you, this could get very messy before it is over and it is time for the slumber to end and for all people in the western world to wake up and start taking responsibility.

That is the scary part as I simply don't see it happening. We can't even kick corrupt parties out of office anymore. Perhaps when the first shots have been taken across our bow (some would argue they already have) people will begin to take notice.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-13 11:18:15 PM

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