Canadian Arab News
|Memo to The Lobby’s media tyrants: defamation is not protected speech
July 8, 2008
The tyrant, by his nature, exists in a state of war with the society he governs. The interests of the state, the government and the tyrant are collapsed into a singularity, so a challenge to any act of government is deemed to be a threat to tyrant’s authority, and hence the state. Because the tyrant’s right to rule is illegitimate, it must be maintained by constant application of coercive force. There is no respect for the public good or the rule of law, for that would presuppose the existence of a higher, objective moral and legal authority.
When it suits the tyrant’s purposes, though, he can feign respect for the public good. To discredit political dissent he can recast a protest as a moral attack on everyone, e.g.: “Enemies among us hate our freedoms!” “No group has the right to tell you what to do!” “Don’t listen to conspiracy theories!” “Report suspicious people to the authorities!"
By playing the victim and pandering to public insecurity, legitimate dissent is made to look criminal and the political issue that motivated the protest becomes lost amid the cacophony of moralism and demagoguery.
What holds true for tyrants in general holds true for our media tyrants in particular. Since our media is transparently Zionist and anti-Muslim, the qualities of truth, story, and Israeli self-interest have been collapsed into a journalistic singularity. Any challenge to the integrity or honesty of such a story is a fortiori an attack on Israel; thus, any attempt to hold our media accountable to ethical standards of reporting must be resolutely rubbished lest the challenge engender critical thinking and informed debate.
Thus it came to pass that a human rights case brought against Maclean’s magazine for hatemongering has been drowned out by howls of hypocritical indignation and character assassination. Rather than report on the question of bigotry in the offending article, and give dispassionate analyses of it, tyrants on the Internet and in other media are busy manufacturing sympathy for the writer in question and misrepresenting the challenge as an attack on free speech.
On Oct. 10, 2006, Maclean’s published an article entitled “The Future Belongs to Islam,” written by Mark Steyn. In the article, excerpted from his book America Alone (note the appeal to victimhood) Steyn presents a dystopian future of the Western world overrun by Muslims:
“On the Continent and elsewhere in the West, native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic. Time for the obligatory ‘of courses’: of course, not all Muslims are terrorists -- though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists—though enough of them share their basic objectives (the wish to live under Islamic law in Europe and North America) to function wittingly or otherwise as the ‘good cop’ end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine. But, at the very minimum, this fast-moving demographic transformation provides a huge comfort zone for the jihad to move around in.”
Steyn’s basis for this conclusion is…well, he doesn’t give one. It is enough for him to depict Muslims as an alien people—hostile, violent, intolerant and a threat to our (gasp!) Western way of life. What weapon will these radicalized Islamic Europeans use to bring about the downfall of life as we know it? Sex—lots of sex. Having children, in Steyn’s logic, is a hostile act of demographic conquest that will engender civil war.
Published in the Georgia Straight, June 19–25, 2008. Reprinted with permission.
As a result of the article, the Canadian Islamic Congress helped launch a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission against Maclean’s for promoting group defamation and hate speech, contrary to Canadian law. In late June, the OHRC decided not to hear the case, because its code does not cover material printed in magazines. Nevertheless, in a rare public statement, OHRC’s chief commissioner Barbara Hall made some key observations that effectively supported the charge of hatemongering:
“The Maclean’s article, and others like it, are examples of [Islamophobia]. By portraying Muslims as all sharing the same negative characteristics, including being a threat to ‘the West’, this explicit expression of Islamophobia further perpetuates and promotes prejudice towards Muslims and others. An extreme illustration of this is a 'blog' discussion concerning the article that was brought to the attention of the Commission which, among many things, called for the mass killing, deportation or conversion of Muslim Canadians.”
Given this finding, informal though it may be, the plaintiffs are expecting a positive outcome from the more jurisdictionally powerful B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
Media reaction and inaction
Every journalism student learns that free speech must also be responsible speech. A person may not yell “fire” in a crowded theatre or violate laws against defamation. Hall’s statement was a clear defence of this venerable precept, which Steyn violated in spades.
As expected, Maclean’s issued a statement praising the OHRC’s decision to dismiss the case, but it did so in a way that betrayed its real motives. It added: “No human rights commission, whether at the federal or provincial level, has the mandate or the expertise to monitor, inquire into, or assess the editorial decisions of the nation's media…We enthusiastically support those parliamentarians who are calling for legislative review of the commissions with regard to speech issues.”
Translation: “We arrogate to ourselves the right to whatever we want and no oversight agency can tell us otherwise.”
This “Maclean’s-as-victim” schtick has become the staple of media coverage, as did vitriolic attacks upon the Human Rights Commission. One might have sympathy for Maclean’s and other media tyrants if they showed as much concern for the free expression rights of those with whom they disagree.
Germany and France, for example, can prosecute anyone who merely dissents from official zionist dogmata about the Nazi holocaust. German-Canadian immigrant Ernst Zundel, who wrote a tract taking issue with the number of Jews killed during World War II, was kidnapped from the United States and illegally sent back to Germany to stand trial for heresy. Today, his name is a term of the worst opprobrium, yet all he did was express an opinion. The B’nai Brith, Canadian Jewish Congress and other zionist agents had no problem deciding to “monitor, inquire into, or assess the editorial decisions” of his work.
The Lobby also went out of its way to vilify Professor Norman Finkelstein of DePaul University for exercising his intellectual freedom. I was even defamed twice in two separate CanWest organs by media tyrant Terry Glavin because I chose to exercise my right to free expression at the Vancouver Library.
Much of the emptiness of the zionist free-press argument consists in the fact that news critical of Israel or sympathetic to Muslims is systematically censored. We don’t read, for example, how settler thugs tied up a Palestinian to a pole and beat him.
Front pages aren’t apoplectic over the Israeli security forces’ beating and torture of journalist Mohammed Omer. The fact that Israel tortures 10-year old Palestinian children, and forces 70 percent of Gazans to live below the poverty line is similarly invisible to us, because the right to free speech is itself not free.
When groups like the Canadian Islamic Congress take action against Maclean’s or any other zionist medium, they do so, not to limit free speech, but to ensure that it is not used instrumentally by tyrants.
The ghost of bigotry past
The essence of Steyn’s bigotry is that Muslims are a threat to Europe because of who they are, not what they do:
“The larger forces at play in the developed world that have left Europe too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia and that call into question the future of much of the rest of the world… Some European countries will not be living formally under sharia, but—as much as parts of Nigeria—they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the ‘tolerance’ of pluralist societies.”
As you contemplate Steyn’s fearmongering for the fate of European civilization, and disdain for tolerance, I submit this nearly 86-year-old apocalyptic warning for your consideration:
|This anti-Jewish propaganda poster from 1943 or 1944 depicts the Nazi attitude that the Jew was responsible fror all Germany's troubles. The caption reads “The Jew: The inciter of war, the prolonger of war." Substitute "Muslim" for “Jew" and this poster would not be out of place in Mark Steyn's column or in the anti-Arab/anti-Muslim reporting of the Western media in general.
“Internationalization today means only Judaization. We in Germany have come to this: that a 60-million people sees its destiny to lie at the will of a few dozen Jewish bankers. This was possible only because our civilization had first been Judaized. The undermining of the German conception of personality by catchwords had begun long before. Ideas such as ‘Democracy,’ ‘Majority,’ ‘Conscience of the World,’ ‘World Solidarity,’ ‘World Peace,’ ‘Internationality of Art,’ etc., disintegrate our race-consciousness, breed cowardice, and so today we are bound to say that the simple Turk is more man than we are. No salvation is possible until the bearer of disunion, the Jew, has been rendered powerless to harm.”
(Adolf Hitler, Munich, Sept. 11, 1922).
Small wonder that Muslims have become the new Jews of Europe, but you won’t find this point of view discussed in the media. The Lobby ensures that some types of expression are freer than others.