Well-read and well-written conservative columnist Mark Steyn has become the subject of a “human rights” complaint filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress.
The complaint draws Steyn and Macleans, the magazine in which his articles appeared, into a lengthy proceeding in which the fundamental freedoms of the writer and the historic Canadian magazine could be suspended. If the CIC is successful in their complaint, both Steyn and Macleans could lose their freedom to publish and/or opine on certain issues.
Macleans had published an excerpt from Steyn’s popular book America Alone. In the excerpt Macleans quotes Steyn’s book:
“The number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes” — From America Alone, by Mark Steyn
However, likely unknown to the CIC at the time was that the offending quote was actually that of a Mullah Krekar, a Scandinavian Muslim.
Joining the Canadian Islamic Congress in asking the state to clamp down on press freedoms are four Osgoode law students. At one time, legal activism on civil rights would make a great start to any young lawyer’s career. However, legal activism against civil rights may not be the best career move. However, who knows, there is always hope in the Canadian legal system for a variety of activists, right?
Here’s a letter sent to one of those law students by Jason Kenney, Canada’s secretary of state for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity:
Letter to Khurrum Awan from Jason Kenney (.pdf)
The letter appears to be in response to correspondence sent to Mr. Kenney regarding statements he made defending press freedoms against those disingenuously flying the banner of human rights when the head of the CIC himself has, at other times, shown contempt for those rights.
In closing, Kenney seems to suggest that Awan may have acted inappropriately by signing his correspondence with “Judicial Law Clerk / Articling Student at the Law Office of the Chief Justice Ontario Superior Court of Justice. After all, it would be troubling if it was the opinion of the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that a Canadian journalist has published material deemed not only offensive to the Canadian Islamic Congress and over-caffeinated il-liberal law students but to the judiciary.
In closing, Kenney asks:
“Were you writing on your own behalf? Or were you writing on behalf of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice? I have taken the liberty of copying Roslyn Levine, Executive Legal Assistant in the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice for clarification.”