Friday, August 08, 2008

Freedom to blaspheme: a partial victory for freedom of expression

Ezra Levant won the Complaint against him, filed with the the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission by the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities. The complaint centered around the Western Standard newspaper's publishing of the controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed which first appeared in Denmark.

[Levant] does not consider this a victory, though.

"This censor approved what I wrote," he said. "His decision is not that I have freedom of speech. His decision is that I have his approval. I'm not interested in his approval. The only test of free speech is if I can write what he disapproves of with impunity. That's what freedom of speech is, to piss off some second-rate bureaucrat like Pardeep Gundara and know that you have the right to do so, because you're in Canada, not Saudi Arabia."

This should be of more concern to Canadians, as there are attempts to remove blasphemy from the protection of free speech rights. This could in turn effectively muzzle any dissent regarding religion-driven policies- abortion rights, women's rights and protection of minority religious rights to free expression.


Fakirs Canada said...

Oh, I'm concerned all right. I'm totally ticked off that taxpayers footed the bill for Levent' squalid and highly successful publicity stunt. We pay half a mil to make a martyr out of someone who doesn't deserve it - and now we've gotta listen to him whine for the next ten years - who's the martyrs now??
Marnie Tunay

adamvs said...

Sure, he's a Jack Ass, but even jack asses get protection for freedom of speech.

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster