Today the Alberta Human Rights Commission dropped all charges against journalist/publisher Ezra Levant for reprinting the infamous Danish cartoons in 2006. On the surface we can applaud this decision, but when looking at the circumstances surrounding this “win” in its broader context, there is little victory in realizing that radical Islam has succeeded in altering the value of freedom of speech in this country.
Director Yasmeen Nizam of the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities, told the National Post: “We thought this was a good way to bring our concerns to the attention of the public. Obviously we didn’t want this to continue, so (another goal was) perhaps to discourage people from further maligning our prophet and our religion…….we wanted it to have a deterrent effect.”
Ms. Nizam’s statement is a perfectly reasonable one for someone in the business of issuing fatwas, Saudi style. As disappointed as the members of the ECMC claim to be, I can’t help but surmise this entire episode as one small step forward for sharia. By launching a complaint with the Alberta HRC and securing a position with a quasi-legitimate provincial body where truth is no defense, Islamists did indeed bring their concerns to the attention of the public garnering sympathy from Islamist apologizers and moral/cultural relativists. Had the same complaint been launched in a legitimate court complete with proper rules of common law, due diligence and fair representation and defense, the case would not have seen the light of day. No case, no attention. Nine hundred days of mock justice in an ill-equipped institution is ample time to garner publicity.
The other goal; to discourage people from further maligning the prophet and Islam, may again find a level of success for the Whabbist mind. Punish by process. Intimidate the press with threats of law fare. Deter and restrict.
Ms. Nizam and her co-directors have not yet realized that they do not live in Saudi Arabia. I am equally fascinated by the fact that the many petty bureaucrats employed at various HRC’s do not realize they live in Canada. Ezra Levant is correct in his assertion that today’s ruling is a “hollow victory”. A win through acquittal is not a victory when he has already served his sentence through Ms. Nizam’s long process, and so the ECMC has achieved its primary goal(s).