Saturday, May 24, 2008

Them Mozlems is still a-coming! Episode 3

Though not usually as entertaining as the lunacy that is still largely restricted to the internet, today's National Post editorial has a lot between its lines.

"Like many other media outlets, the National Post editorial board believes Section 13(1) is an unjustifiable infringement on free speech. We have therefore endorsed a proposal by Liberal MP Keith Martin that 13(1) be stricken from the law books. As a result, we have drawn the ire of critics who claim we are attacking a crucial tool needed to fight hate. These critics include the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), a leading advocate of powerful anti-hate laws."
I'm not a fan of restrictions on speech either. I'm actually quite willing to give every crackpot and hate-monger a soap-box if it means that I can keep mine. So far, so good.
"Earlier this month, members of this editorial board sat down with the CJC to discuss this issue. As expected, no one on either side changed their mind. "
As would be expected of passionate advocates of opposing ideas. Do you hear me? We disagree. Our disagreement was big, and strong! It was, like, THIS BIG! *stretches arms to show the bigness of the disagreement*
"But we were impressed to see the CJC. . . "
"acknowledge that, in certain cases, the current system had been improperly exploited to advance meritless complaints. We were also impressed that the CJC is mulling the possibility of endorsing changes to Section 13(1) that would require the attorney-general's approval before complaints could go forward."
More specifically, the CJC suggested a provision under Section 13(1) that would read:

C - The above provisions apply to, but are not limited to, vulnerable groups targeted on the basis of religion, race, gender, sexuality, disability, or age.
a) Except for Muslims.

Ok, maybe not. I am the biggest CanWest-Global hater I know, but at least the Asper rag is making some pretense at being consistent. What would the CJC say if this were a headline in Maclean's?

"The future belongs to Jews.

The Jews have youth, numbers and global ambitions. The West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it. It's the end of the world as we've known it."

That's what Maclean's published, except that I've made two substitutions. See if you can spot them. Is this "hate-speech"? You could make an argument either way. Would the CJC call a complaint about it "improper exploitation of the system to advance a meritless complaint?" Unlikely, given that they would probably be the ones initiating it.

I'm willing to tolerate hate-mongering - in fact I'd rather it be done in public, where it can be properly mocked, then let it be driven underground where it will seek other ways of expressing itself. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to make an ass of oneself, so long as the freedom to point it out is equally preserved.

If we ARE going to have laws about it though, they have to protect everybody. If they don't, then they themselves become a form of unfair discrimination.

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