Freedom of speech is a core principle of our free society. But everywhere we look, there are signs this freedom is being suppressed.
Our Parliament just passed a controversial Liberal motion to condemn the loosely defined “Islamophobia,” despite a lack of consensus amongst Canadians about what the term even means.
One of Canada’s top universities caved to the perpetually-offended mob and accepted the resignation from one of its scholars. The reason? Professor and former journalist Andrew Potter wrote an article that was too critical of Quebec.
Charles Montpetit (Montreal) has told the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee that
On March 8 (Women’s Day) in the weekly Courrier du Sud, caricaturist Jean-Marc Phaneuf drew Quebec PM Philippe Couillard in a djellaba, about to throw a stone to former Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin while yelling “Happy birthday, Fatima” (thereby summarizing the ambivalent attitude of the government toward this prominent Morocco-born woman).
There may have been a financial motive:
The cartoon might have gone unnoticed if a La Presse reporter hadn’t asked the PM’s office to comment five days later, and if the office hadn’t phoned the Courrier’s owner (TC Transcontinental) to complain about this “poor-taste” depiction of a “murder.” Unwilling to antagonize the PM in the midst of a widespread protest against a proposed bill that would free municipalities from the obligation of buying ad space for their public notices, Transcontinental’s direction expressed its “agreement” with the goverment and pulled the caricature from the paper’s website, even though this action hadn’t been requested.
Here’s a link to the offending cartoon at the Montreal Gazette (for now).
Reality check: Just for once, the government has found a way to get the public interested in at least one type of art and, predictably, not by funding it. And just think how much better off we’ll all be when the government’s job includes policing this kind of thing for “Islamophobia.”
See also: Anti-Islamophobia legislation is just the beginning, of course.
When Cassandra Vera, a 21-year old student from Murcia, received a notification from the Spanish National Court, she didn’t know that she would become famous against her will. The court’s prosecutor accused her of glorifying terrorism and humiliating victims of terrorism. Last January, she shared her story on Twitter: “The prosecutor is asking for 2.5 years in prison, plus 3 in probation, for jokes about Carrero Blanco [Francoist Prime Minister killed by ETA in 1973]. That’s all: jokes about a dictator.”
A local non-political group showed up with a float showing Chancellor Merkel behind prison bars, with the caption: “This is how traitors end up.” It is German equivalent of the popular U.S election slogan used by many Trump supporters for former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: “Lock her up.”
A police complaint was filed the following day. The day after that, police rolled into action, and the State Attorney of Landau district opened an investigation against the subversive “miscreants.”
For the most part, email and social media have been fantastic developments for keeping family, friends, citizens, colleagues, businesses and customers in touch, informed and connected – instantly.
While apps such as Facebook and Twitter have hurt my business – newspapering – they have democratized the news, opening up information gathering and dissemination to nearly everyone with a smartphone. In the long run this is a positive, liberating information and reducing the number of filters between newsmakers and ordinary people.
Threats are uncalled for, calling her out for trying to railroad through an anti-democratic Islamist motion that threatens our right to free speech is entirely justified.
I recently attended a symposium, held at the University of Toronto and sponsored by a group of politically savvy libertarian and conservative students, on the topic of free speech and expression in the current repressive cultural and political milieu. The audience of almost every other conservative symposium I have attended has been composed chiefly of elderly white men, with a modest sprinkling of women and a sparse handful of younger people. On this occasion I was gladdened to note that the age gap had been bridged, dividing equally between older and younger, while the distaff representation was comparatively prominent.
The fact that the symposium was organized by two student groups worried about their political and economic future, Students for Liberty and Generation Screwed, explained the mixed composition of the conference attendees and signaled a more hopeful future for the nascent conservative movement growing on campus as well as in the non-academic world. This young, right-leaning cohort — politically active, intellectually engaged, well-educated and civil — are in marked contrast to their leftist counterparts consisting of a mélange of snowflakes and hooligans, who were soon to make their presence known at the event.
This five minute video addresses the issue of Islam in Canada, and in the rest of the West. I made it in part because the Canadian Parliament this week will discuss a motion, M103, discussing limitations on “Islamophobia.”
Iqra Khalid, Muslim 5th Columnist – Do not trust this person.
The most damaging assault by Islamic fundamentalists on Western values – and indeed Western civilization itself – is in the realm of free speech.
There have been attempts to quash free speech right here in Canada.
The Canadian Islamic Congress objected to Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, and Calgary imam Syed Soharwardy actually filed a human rights complaint against former Sun News Network host Ezra Levant for publishing the prophet Mohammad’s cartoons back in 2006.
Privately, a handful of liberal Muslims endure a daily barrage of angry emails because they challenge the obscurantism that characterizes radical Islam.
Turns out, there are a lot of people concerned about free speech in Canada.
And concerned about losing it.
“It’s great to be in a room full of severely normal people,” said Conservative leadership candidate Dr. Kellie Leitch, drawing cheers.
About 1,200 people showed up to The Rebel’s Rally For Free Speech at Canada Christian College to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government’s M-103 motion being debated in the House of Commons this week, which many criticism is, in essence, an anti-blasphemy law seen in many Muslim countries that prevents criticism of Islam.
“We need to fight back against all of this politically correct nonsense,” said Leitch.