By Brooke M. Goldstein
Award-winning author Mark Steyn has been summoned to appear before two Canadian Human Rights Commissions on vague allegations of “subject[ing] Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt” and being “flagrantly Islamophobic” after Maclean’s magazine published an excerpt from his book, America Alone.
The public inquisition of Steyn has triggered outrage among Canadians and Americans who value free speech, but it should not come as a surprise. Steyn’s predicament is just the latest salvo in a campaign of legal actions designed to punish and silence the voices of anyone who speaks out against Islamism, Islamic terrorism, or its sources of financing.The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), which initiated the complaint against Steyn, has previously tried unsuccessfully to sue publications it disagrees with, including Canada’s National Post.
The not-for-profit organization’s president, Mohamed Elmasry, once labeled every adult Jew in Israel a legitimate target for terrorists and is in the habit of accusing his opponents of anti-Islamism — a charge that is now apparently an actionable claim in Canada. In 2006, after Elmasry publicly accused a spokesman for the Muslim Canadian Congress of being anti-Islamic, the spokesman reportedly resigned amidst fears for his personal safety.
The Islamist movement has two wings — one violent and one lawful — which operate apart but often reinforce each other. While the violent arm attempts to silence speech by burning cars when cartoons of Mohammed are published, the lawful arm is maneuvering within Western legal systems.
Islamists with financial means have launched a legal jihad, manipulating democratic court systems to suppress freedom of expression, abolish public discourse critical of Islam, and establish principles of Sharia law. The practice, called “lawfare,” is often predatory, filed without a serious expectation of winning and undertaken as a means to intimidate and bankrupt defendants.