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Monday, September 22, 2008
“Shakedown” by Ezra Levant
Amazon.ca is taking pre-orders for Ezra Levant’s new book Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights.
By “Our Government,” Levant is including the Harper Conservatives and Section 13 of the federal Canadian Human Rights Act which prohibits expressions of hate published online. And the “Shakedown” is coming from Canada’s provincial and federal human rights tribunals that prosecute thought crimes in order to encourage all of us to get along better.
The catalyst for the book, which will be released in March 2009, came as a result of an Alberta human right complaint directed at Levant and the Western Standard for the decision in March 2006 to publish cartoons depicting images of the Muslim prophet Muhammed.
In “What were we thinking?” Levant tells the inside story of why the Western Standard decided to publish the controversial cartoons--and the amazing things that happened after we did. Here’s an excerpt:
Editor Kevin Libin and I agreed: it was just one of those times when a fortnightly magazine wouldn't be able to move quickly enough. By the time the Western Standard would roll off the presses, every other daily newspaper and weekly magazine in the country would have already printed the Danish cartoons that were the subject of riots around the Muslim world. If we were going to publish them after Maclean's, the National Post and the Sun chain did, we'd have to take a different, more reflective approach--not to put the cartoons on the cover as a bold statement of freedom, as the others surely would. We would analyze how the media responded to the implied threats of violence from radical Muslims, we would look at how agents provocateurs used the cartoons to whip up riots in Iran, Pakistan and Syria to serve their own political ends, and we would reveal how the Muslim world itself has depicted Mohammed throughout the ages.
That was the plan, anyways. Of course, Maclean's, the Post and the Sun didn't publish the cartoons. As we came closer to our production deadline, it dawned on us that no large-circulation publication and no TV station in the country had done so, and none would. We'd be the first.
Being first meant Levant and the Western Standard drew international criticism (and equal parts praise) as well as a human rights complaint from Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy.
This human rights complaint, which has recently been withdrawn, and other battles for free speech and a free press have occupied much of Levant’s time and energy since. While currently on hiatus in order to campaign for the Conservatives, Levant’s blog has become a daily must read for free speech advocates.
Shakedown will also be a must read for anyone concerned with the erosion of free speech in Canada.
Posted by Matthew Johnston
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We were going to actually write something substantial and thoughtful about the Danish cartoons, something that combined a trenchant analysis with a soupcon of polemic. But then, when nobody else ran them, we thought, f... it, let's just poke the Muzzies in the eye, since that's what we wanted to do in the first place.
Posted by: truewest | 2008-09-22 9:12:09 PM
By “Our Government,” Levant is including the Harper Conservatives and Section 13 of the federal Canadian Human Rights Act which prohibits expression of hate published online. And the “Shakedown” is coming from Canada’s provincial and federal human rights tribunals that prosecute thought crimes in order to encourage all of us to get along better.
Isn't Ezra Levant working for "our government" now? I find that odd.
Posted by: JC | 2008-09-22 9:13:43 PM
A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, 'What's going on?' 'Terrorists down the road have kidnapped Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion & Jack Layton & Elizabeth May. They're asking for a $10 million ransom. Otherwise they're going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking up a collection.'
The driver asks, 'How much is everyone giving, on average?'
'Most people are giving about 4 liters' he replied.
Posted by: JC | 2008-09-22 10:17:31 PM
Indeed truwest indeed. Watch out tho by implying Ezra wants to "poke a Muslim the eye" may get you sued.
Just ask me.
Posted by: Merle | 2008-09-22 10:28:58 PM
So why is Ezra hiding his fire by working for the enemy?
Posted by: Faramir | 2008-09-22 10:29:42 PM
JC, that's hilarious.
Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-09-22 10:56:30 PM
Just saw Ezra Levant on Mike Duffy talking about "our leader" Mr. Harper. Meanwhile "our leader" Mr. Harper's, Attorney General is siding with the Canadian Human Rights Commission(CHRC) against free speech. Here are the intervenors: “The Attorney General of Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and B'nai Brith Canada will be intervening in the Lemire case in support of Section 13, arguing that it is a reasonable restriction on freedom of speech.”
(Canadian Constitution Foundation Letter of April 28, 2008)
Ezra fought a valiant battle for free speech. Now he is working for the Harper Govt. who oppose it? Strange indeed!!!
Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2008-09-23 4:05:57 PM
I wish Ezra Levant would just shut up and get a real job. To be blunt, like his pal Mark Steyn, he is a hatemonger intent on demeaning and vilifying Muslims and Arabs in order to serve Israel, an expansionist, racist, occupier, ethnic cleanser state.
Posted by: David | 2008-09-23 8:39:35 PM
"free speech" "freedom" "free speech advocates" ...such a bunch of loaded, meaningless, misleading bullshit.
Posted by: Z-Lo | 2008-09-24 9:27:48 AM
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