28 October 2010

Ontario Dhimmitude

Strictly Right, a Conservative North American blogsite, wanted to host an event in London, Ontario featuring Mark Steyn, an infamous Canadian political and cultural critic.  So Strictly Right organizers  sought to rent the London Convention Centre (LCC) from the City of London.  Recognizing Steyn’s controversial status, the organizers assured the venue that adequate security would be provided for the event. The LCC  initially seemed very accommodating to the event. But within a week, the LCC  reneged on the arrangement because of pressure from local Muslim groups and that the LCC’s Board of Governors did not want to alienate Muslim clients.

Fortunately for fans of free speech, Steynapalooza will be held at the larger but more expensive Centennial Hall.  It is alarming to see how the fundamental freedoms espoused within the 1982 Canadian Charter of Freedom and Rights are seem so gossamer to the government so as not to offend Muslims.

Mark Steyn’s controversial status in Canada stems from a 2007 complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission for Maclean’s Magazine article entitled “The Future Belongs to Islam”.  The complainers contend that Maclean’s did not give space for rebuttal which they contended violated their human rights.  Additionally, the complainers noted that most of Maclean’s 22 articles about Muslims had been written by Mark Steyn. While the Ontario Human Rights Commission in April 2008 determined that it did not have jurisdiction over magazine content, it did strongly condemn the Islamaphobic portrayal of Muslims and reminded the media that it needed to engage in responsible and unbiased journalism.  This pronouncement was pithily skewered by Steyn:  "Even though they (the OHRC) don't have the guts to hear the case, they might as well find us guilty. Ingenious!"

In reaction to Steyn’s stinging statement about free speech objections, the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission wrote a letter to the editor of Macleans which arrogantly asserted that  that Canadians were wise to put “reasonable limits” on the expression of hatred.  But eventually even the federal CHRC complaint against Steyn was dismissed on its merits.  In his introduction to the book The Tyranny of Nice, Steyn excoriates the indifference of the Canadian media to the power grab that he says,

 [E]xplicitly threatens to reduce them to a maple-flavoured variant of Pravda... [A]n alarming proportion of the Dominion's ‘media workers’ seem relatively relaxed about playing the role of eunuchs to the Trudeaupian sultans.

Steyn’s way with words and his sharp perspectives might only be a cultural curio, but this drive towards dhimmitude is not just limited to hosers in the Great White North.

Certainly the sacking of Juan Williams by National Public Radio over stating his feeling of discomfort about culturally identifiable Muslims in airports shows that the Tyranny of Nice is mimicked by the left in America.  Despite the recent conviction of the South Park terrorist, the Lamestream media can be quite chary so as not to offend Muslims.   Seattle based cartoonist Molly Norris called for a “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day” which so raised the ire of jihadists that she literally became an un-person to prevent Islamic assassination.

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