Thursday, June 12, 2008

Steyn's Thoughtcrime in Canada

For many years now, I have been telling Americans why I prefer to remain in the United States and breathe the atmosphere of freedom. In America, there is a battle raging between, on one side, the defenders of the Founders' understanding of liberty that is bequeathed to us in our Constitution and, on the other side, advocates of post-modern, progressive statism. But in Canada, there is only the political correctness of the left, and everything else is thoughtcrime.

We are seeing the truth of this claim played out in the Star Chambers of the British Columbia and Canadian Human Rights Commissions where columnist Mark Steyn is on trial for "hate crimes." Read Rich Lowry's "Mark Steyn: Enemy of the State?"

The Canadian Islamic Congress took offense at an excerpt in Maclean's magazine, the premiere Canadian news magazine, from Steyn's book America Alone. ("The Future Belongs to Islam.")

"Canada's Human Rights Act defines hate speech as speech 'likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.' The language is so capacious and vague that to be accused is tantamount to being found guilty." Truth is no defense.

"The national commission has never found anyone innocent in 31 years."

One of the principal investigators of the Canadian Human Rights Commission said, "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value."


Tony Blankley mentions the Steyn case in the course of discussing the Muslim assault on liberty in "Rising Euro-Muslim Tensions."
But radicalized Islam places little value on the individual, while holding up for supreme value the interests of the group, particularly their view of the group called Islam. And it is this aggressive, assertive insistence by radicalized Muslims in the West to subordinate our inherent rights to their collective demands that slowly and more or less quietly is forcing Westerners to take sides in the radicals' demands.

Americans are fighting and dying to establish liberty in the Middle East, and yet this sort of thing is going on in the country immediately to our north.

And on this side of the border, not all is well. In his column, "Political Viagra," Steyn reflects on what Barack Obama recently said are his hopes for America after he is elected. "My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." Of course, if America is the greatest nation in the world, why would you change it? Never mind. Steyn's concern is this: "Speaking personally, I don't want to remake America. I'm an immigrant and one reason I came here is because most of the rest of the western world remade itself along the lines Senator Obama has in mind. This is pretty much the end of the line for me. If he remakes America, there's nowhere for me to go...."

As a fellow Canadian immigrant to this land of liberty, I share that position, and I lament for my nation.

P.S. - Canadian readers, I want to hear from you. Let me know what you are reading on this, what you are hearing from the people around you (especially from the right thinking ones), and what you make of it yourself. Pass this along to a friend.

Appendix:

"Hearings An Embarrassment for Democracy" by Paul Schneidereit (The Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia): "...nearly six months after Steyn’s article appeared and after they had published 27 letters to the editor in response, many opposed to Steyn’s point of view, they still agreed to meet Awan (law school student Khurrum Awan) and his group to see if they could accommodate their demand for space for another rebuttal. That went nowhere, the magazine said, when the group demanded total control over the editorial content, cover art and a donation to an Islamic charity. (Awan told the hearing last week he had $10,000 in mind)."

"Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech," New York Times, June 12, 2008 - Of course, this article just takes the Steyn case as a jumping off point for Americans talking about themselves. Americans are NEVER interested in what's happening in Canada.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

David,
I have watched with alarm this unfolding nightmare in the Steyn affair, as well as the many other hate speech cases the HRC is busy capitulating to radicals on. It looks like Canada is trying to get onto the European schedule for giving away the game--as in, as soon as possible. It must be sad to witness your country doing itself in. America is next, I'm afraid, at least if the Left has anything to say about it. American conservatives--those bitter clingers, are the world's last best hope.

Harold

Ian said...

It was in the National Post. It wasn't in the Globe. The only stories on the front page of the Globe were the we're-sorry-for-trying-to-teach-you-to-read-and -write and, below the fold, an article about Bernier's biker babe and another one about the lady who wrote the HNIC theme.

I have low blood pressure, which helps compensate for those times that I encounter the CBC news, but I didn't dare listen to it. I doubt that it would have mentioned it.

I think there is a commie phrase along the lines of 'ignore with silence' ( google doesn't return relevant results though.)....