Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Monday, December 7, 2009

Event Blogging the Free Speech and Liberty Symposium: "Human Rights Chill" and its effect on Press Freedom

Please Note: This is a summary of the events and speeches in my own words for educational, information, and entertainment purposes only. It is not the speakers' exact words and should not be taken as such. It also may contain errors due to the nature of the medium. I am not responsible for any of them, use at your own risk and consult the official audio record if you want to verify or quote anything.

Panel of Barbara Kay and Bjorn Larsen

Barbara Kay is a National Post columnist. Kay taught English Literature and Composition at Concordia University and in the Quebec CEGEP system. She is the founding editor and is currently the editor-in-chief of First Fruits, and was a frequent contributor to and sat on the board of Cite Libre.

Bjorn Larsen is Co-founder of the International Free Press Society and President of the International Free Press Society - Canada. A successful international businessman, Larsen immigrated to Canada from Norway in 1975.

Barbara Kay starts:

Notes the cautionary tales of Steyn and Levant, free speech martyrs.

It is becoming normal for the government to interfere in citizens' thoughts.

The HRC are biased in what cases they will take. Because of who the people are who sit on those panel they are biased depending on who is speaking, to whom they are speaking, and even in what language they are speaking. They only fight hate speech toward minorities, non-christians, homosexuals, etc.

Point de Bascule brought a case against an Imam that called Quebec women whores and homosexuals degenerates. This was not considered hate by the CHRC.

Barbara Kay has sympathy with those who have suffered under the HRC because of a run in she had with the Quebec Press Council, a HRC wannabe. This incident was highly publicized in Quebec but not in the English press.

During the Hezbollah war thousands marched, supposedly in defence of peace and justice, but it was in reality a virulent anti-Israel march with Hezbollah flags and “Jews are Assassins” signs. This was given credibility by the attendance of some politicians. It was not a peace march, it was made up of Islamic groups who excluded Jewish groups who tried to get involved. They talked about the massacre of Lebanese by Israel

The title of the article was Quebecistan, in it she noted the numbers of Lebanese in Canada and that this number would swell as people in Lebanon cashed in their Canadian citizenship and moved to Canada now that Lebanon is dangerous. Liberals who aren't fussy about how they get votes would support this. She also said that the left has a history of supporting anti-colonial terrorists, with it's anti-semitism, anti-Americanism, etc.

It was a provocative column but business as usual for her section. It could have been worse, she could have pointed out that 53% of Quebecers said Canadians should be more sensitive to concerns of terrorist groups.

Quebecistan became a cause celebre.

She was served notice by the Quebec Press Council for undo provocation, generalizations set to encourage prejudice, altering facts, etc. It was a very official document, looking exactly like a subpoena. When it came she had an adrenaline rush, never having committed a crime before, and called the newspaper in a panic to know if she would be fired. They reassured her that the Press Council had no authority over the National Post. She didn't even need to defend herself.

In the ensuing censure they never identified a single fact that was actually in error.

The Council had no real power but was still very intimidating.

She did get censure form over 200 angry emails.

Does the Press Council represent Quebec journalists? She was at a panel with over 100 journalists and even journalists who disagreed with her column defended her right to say what she said.

In August someone else wrote a column with exactly the same points but it was alright because it was written in French. "Real Quebecois" can say whatever they want within Quebec in French, but not when they are writing in English for the world to read.

Thought monitoring bodies have no business here. People do not campaign for such positions. Quebec newspapers now self censor to avoid the Press Council.

On the good news front:

Bernie Farber said that now CBC is starting to monitor it's own bias, because he is getting less complaints about them.

Al Jazeera is coming. This is good because it shows an opening to other ideas.

The internet undermines these bodies.

Q1 Another example is where a college taught one anti-feminist course on men while 50+ were taught on women's studies. The men's course was shut down but the HRC decided that this was not because of bias against men.

Bjorn Larsen up next:

When Geert Wilders was prosecuted for his movie Fitna, the Free Speech Society was founded and decided to call for the repeal fo all hate speech laws.

Free speech, you use it or you lose it. Larsen has been with (Wilders?) to prestigious universities. Unfortunately students and professors were only really interested in talking about responsible speech not free speech.

How can you have no hate speech laws? Speech laws are thought laws.

We are in favour of repealing all hate speech laws because we believe we need to set the bar high.

In Europe it is much worse than in Canada. It is a criminal charge and can involve prison sentences. Wilders stands to go to jail for 2 years if found guilty over Fitna for insulting Islam etc.

Another case was where a female politician ended up with a suspended sentence for called Mohammed a pedophile at a private event.

Another Belgian politician had an article written in a party newspaper pointing out crime rates of immigrants.

There have also been deaths. Theo Van Gogh made a movie about violence against women is Islam. In 2006 he was murdered. Geert Wilders and woman who made the pedophile remark were named as the next victims and so live under protection in jails and army barracks.

It might seem like I am an Islam basher but I am not. It is just because that is where most of these things come from.

There are other battles. American Hollywood people being called racists for disagreeing with Obama. Radio people fearing because of the fairness doctrine.

The Free Press Society attempted to print copies of the Mohammed cartoons in commemoration of the crisis. Not one Denmark printer would take the job. They had to go to Latvia. Sometimes when he goes to speak there are threats and the events are cancelled.

If we cannot speak our most precious freedoms endangered.

The Free Press Society is about practicing free speech. We have politically incorrect debates. The marketplace of ideas is better than an unelected bureaucracy in Ottawa or any other capital.


  1. With the collapse of Ja'far Al Sadiq's empire in Iran and Ibn Hanbal's slow demise in Saudi Arabia, the tide is turning and the fictitous sects that emerged during the Abbasid Empire knows as the Sunni and Shia sects and others who follow man made revelations known as hadiths are slowly collapsing. Malik's Empire in Sudan is collapsing and Abu Hanifa's Empire in Pakistan is turning upside down. The so called Islamic states have proven to be ideologically obsolete and in the wrong side of history. The sects are on life support and the Koranist will take over. So who are the Koranist?

    The Koranist believe only the Koran should speak for Islam.


    In comparing the teachings of Islam as derived from the Book of God to the practices taught and enforced by the popular Sunni and Shia faiths (1.2 Bn followers), we find that the list is quite extensive, with some of the highlights as follows:

    In Islam, the requirement to be a Muslim is to simply accept and live according to the �Straight Path� (6:151-153), Vs. the Sunni or Shia 5-pillars which come from unauthorized books�

    In Islam, abolishing Slavery is taught to be an act of righteousness (90:12-13), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings which encourages slavery under war�

    In Islam, women are never forbidden from praying or fasting during Menstruation (2:222), nor is there a specific dress code (i.e. the Headscarf) imposed on them beyond modesty, Vs. the Sunni and Shia which teach the undermining of women and forcing them to cover their hair and avoid praying or fasting at certain times...

    In Islam, a man or women may leave a Will, after settlement of debt (4:12), Vs. Sunnis who refuse to accept wills if there are any direct descendants...

    In Islam, Monogamy is the basis for normal relationships, while polygamy is only allowed in cases involving marrying the mothers of orphans under the man�s guardianship (4:3), Vs. Sunnis where a man may be a polygamist simply if he can afford to, and Shia which allow sex for pleasure (Mut�a)...

    In Islam, Divorce is enforceable only after a two-phase period, and it may be made nullified if the couple reconcile before the end of this period (65:1, 65:4), Vs. Sunni teachings that destroy families by allowing a divorce to occur on the spot with no waiting period and no nullification...

  2. In Islam, Thieves do not have their hands cut-off, but are made to work until they return that which is stolen (12:76), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings which brutally amputate the hands causing disability...

    In Islam, no one is allowed to be killed or Stoned for adultery (24:2), Vs. Sunni and Shia laws of stoning married adulterers to death...

    In Islam, absolute Freedom of Faith is allowed (2:256, 10:99; 18:29; 88:21-22), Vs. Sunni and Shia requiring apostates to be killed and rejecting the practice of other faiths...

    In Islam, people are acknowledged as being diverse and each is to be respected for his/her level of spiritual growth. A Submitter �Muslim� must work to attain the status of Faithful �Mumin� (49:14), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings that all followers of their religion must think, act, and even look the same (cult syndrome)...

    In Islam, War can only be declared in cases of self-defence - no offensives (2:190), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings allowing raids and attacks on any people who are considered non-Muslim by their standards...

    In Islam, Pilgrimage is a centre for gathering of nations and for all to witness the benefits of being together (22:27-28), Vs. Sunni and Shia bringing in polytheistic rituals and superstition (touching of black stone, circling 7 times, etc..)...

    In Islam, a Year is a luni-solar count made of 365-days (17:12, 9:36), with all the seasons fitting-in-place Vs. Sunnis teaching it to be a lunar one based on 354 days which creates confusion of seasons and time�

    In Islam, males and females are not required to be Circumcised (32:7), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings requiring all males to be circumcised and females in some cases...

    In Islam, music, statues, gold and silk are all Lawful(7:32-33, 16:116), Vs. Sunni beliefs forbidding silk & gold for men, and forbidding music & statues for all...

    In Islam, rule of Government is under the constitution of the Qur'an through consultation and free-speech (5:48, 42:38). Vs. Sunni teachings which allow the rise of dictators or monarchs, and Shia teachings which uphold self-appointed religious leaders based on genealogy.

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    Koran is peace!