The Shotgun Blog
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Salim Mansur joins the partisans of free expression
Salim Mansur, UWO Associate Professor of Political Science and one of the Directors of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington is the latest person speaking out for free speech in Canada and calling for the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The indefatigable Ezra Levant, the Western Standard's former publisher, writes on his blog:
Here's [Mansur's] column in the Toronto Sun, which will likely run in other newspapers in the Sun chain. Here's a few interesting sentences from it:
The Canadian Islamic Congress complaint -- as I wrote following its dismissal by the CHRC in June 2008 -- made Canadians take note, unlike any previous complaint, how the censorious provision of Section 13 is a blot on Canadian democracy.
Canadians got instruction as never before, due to the Canadian Islamic Congress complaint, on the principle and value of free speech as the foundation of an open democracy.
I predict that Salim Mansur, who is Muslim, will be denounced as anti-Muslim, just as I have been denounced as a Nazi, even though I'm Jewish.
That's the last, best defence the Canadian Human Rights Commission and its few, lonely defenders have: trying to paint anyone who disagrees with them as racist.
Nope. We just believe in freedom.
Us too, Ezra, us too.
As our editor in chief Peter Jaworski likes to say: "we're biased in favour of liberty".
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Section 13 doesn't even scratch the surface of freedom of expression issues, and jumping on the bandwagon so late in the game is more distasteful than anything else.
There exist many threats to freedom of speech far greater than Section 13, and the Western Standard doesn't touch any of them. Section 319 of the criminal code, zero tolerance domestic dispute policies that land men in jail on a woman's word, child pornography laws that send people to jail for possessing pictures of fully clothed teenagers posing "seductively", workplace harrassment policies, universities and their clampdown on non-leftist thought, a CRTC head who is a former activist judge, foreign restrictions on media ownership, and more.
Let's see the Standard address a few of these issues first before you claim, falsely, that you are pro-liberty. What happened to Rob Ford, for example, is more egregious than what happened to Ezra or Steyn, and it happens to Canadian (and American, thanks to VAWA Joe Biden) men on a daily basis. You may be next.
Posted by: Mayonnaise Mmm Mmm | 2008-11-30 6:37:33 AM
If there is in fact an anti-Section 13 bandwagon to be jumped on, that's a sign that we are winning. I don't disdain allies who may agree with me on one important issue because they don't agree with me on others or because they were late to arrive at our express our shared position.
I'd love to get tips from you (or other readers) about infringements on freedom of speech that we may not otherwise cover, you can send email to kkassam AT gmail DOT com.
That's the idea of how this whole blogosphere community works. We have some disadvantages compared to conventional media, but it is the strength of our readers which enables us to outperform them in other ways.
Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-11-30 6:59:44 AM
I shouldn't have to, and won't, spoon feed you reports of statism that appear in the paper and elsewhere every day. Really, if you need non-libertarians to spoon feed you the reports of statism we all read every day, you're not much of a libertarian. You are being willfully ignorant and deceptive, although perhaps I am being harsh in expecting a magazine with confirmed ties to the NDP to actually fight statism. You really jumped the shark when Emery blabbed to the media that your comrades in the legalization movement had signed up "thousands" of NDP members.
NDP organizer, and you guys call him a freedom fighter. Right.
Posted by: Mayonnaise Mmm Mmm | 2008-11-30 8:26:22 AM
"You are being willfully ignorant and deceptive, although perhaps I am being harsh in expecting a magazine with confirmed ties to the NDP to actually fight statism. You really jumped the shark when Emery blabbed to the media that your comrades in the legalization movement had signed up "thousands" of NDP members.
NDP organizer, and you guys call him a freedom fighter. Right."
I feel stupid about having to address these claims, but I don't want to let them stand.
The Western Standard is non-partisan magazine. We have no ties to the NDP, CPC, LPC, GOP or any other party. We did give more favourable coverage to the Libertarian Party in the last election than most other media outlets and even broke news about them and their platform. That's because we have similar philosophical positions, have friends in the Libertarian Party and they thought our blog and webmagazine a good avenue to reach Canadian libertarians and small-government conservatives.
Marc Emery, a contributor to our magazine, has supported the NDP (just as many of our other contributors have no doubts supported the CPC) and he supported NDP, Liberal, Green and Libertarian candidates in the last election who agreed with him to some extent on drug issues, as we have reported. I have criticized Marc (to him, but perhaps never on the blog) for his support of the NDP, but he remains a friend. I understand that these days he really has one issue and that is ending prohibition and saving his own ass and he evaluates that supporting the NDP is the best route to achieving that, but I'm also a little puzzled about how a disciple of Ayn Rand and soi-disant "zealot for rational capitalism" can so vocally support the most anti-capitalist major party. Neither of us has convinced the other of which strategy is best.
Even if Marc were not a libertarian, I hope we would still be outraged by his arrests, the other sanctions he has suffered and his possible extradition to the United States. He is a freedom fighter not only because he has made strides towards bringing about an end to prohibition and the destruction of the US DEA through his civil disobedience, financial support, and the thousands of people he has educated and inspired, but also because of his efforts and achievements in ending Sunday Shopping laws and public sector strikes in London and censorship laws prohibiting drug-related and 'profane' materials in Canada.
The Western Standard is proud to stand behind Marc Emery and not be water-carriers for any political party.
Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-11-30 11:35:31 AM
I shouldn't have to, and won't, spoon feed you reports of statism that appear in the paper and elsewhere every day.
Posted by: Mayonnaise Mmm Mmm | 30-Nov-08 8:26:22 AM
For a minute there I thought perhaps Mayo might actually be a willing participant in the war against government intervention and the war against petty tyranny on Canadians....but alas, he's just another person who wants others to do this for him....too bad.
The sad part is, we need all the help, all the eyes we can get and it sounds like this person could do something....but "He shouldn't have to"
None of us should "have to". That's the whole point.
Posted by: JC | 2008-11-30 3:47:41 PM
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