Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jay Currie: trapped in Section 13: not kosher

Jay Currie decides to fire off a human rights claim against a Judeophobic cartoon that appeared in Le Devoir, the Quebecois establishment newspaper, last summer. Jay thinks we can bring the Canadian Human Rights Act into disrepute by showing how this legislation (specificially Section 13) is a very broadly worded attack on free expression that can only be effectively applied arbitrarily, from within a set of politicized assumptions about who are deserving victims (and cannot be treated with contempt in the media) and who are fair game. In this case, it is more a question of whether the offended can have a go at claiming some "human rights" money for the kind of thinly-veiled antisemitism that is now mainstream among the Canadian left-liberal opinion, and even coming to the surface in major political parties.

Then, a commenter points out to Jay that in re-publishing the offending cartoon, Jay is himself contravening the Canadian Human Rights Act. Be aware: nothing is kosher in Canada, unless the very religious law givers at 344 Slater St., Ottawa, say so.

UPDATE and related: a story on the antisemitic Quebec cartoons from the Brussels Journal.

Also: Tahir Aslam Gora, The Hamilton Spectator (Apr 17, 2008):
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has accused Canadian media in general of contributing to racism and Islamophobia, in the context of complaints filed to the commission about The Future Belongs To Islam, a controversial book excerpt published by Maclean's magazine in 2006.

The commission ruled it didn't have jurisdiction to proceed with the complaints, but lectured the media.

"The commission has serious concerns about the content of a number of articles concerning Muslims that have been published by Maclean's magazine and other media outlets.

"This type of media coverage has been identified as contributing to Islamophobia. The commission recognizes and understands the serious harm that such writings cause."

It's interesting that the commission views such writings as doing serious harm. The question arises why the commission considers opinion pieces such as The Future Belongs To Islam so offensive but is not familiar with the violent terrorism-inciting messages by some of the radical Islamic groups in Ontario.

For instance, a well-known Toronto-area Islamic fundamentalist wrote on Facebook last week: "Jews who support Zionism and Israel ... since they are killing Palestinians ... killing them is not bad ... they all are mass murderers ... and they deserve to die."

The commission appears to be trying to be "fair" in its recent statement slandering the media for contributing to Islamophobia.

But to be fair, does the commission know about the many ethnic media outlets that spread direct hatred and arrogant stereotypes against fellow Canadians -- Christians, Jews, whites?

If not, the commission would be better off expanding its studies to all the actually influential media outlets in Canada. That might make its statements more fair and balanced rather that portraying a one-sided story.
Unfortunately, this fine point about "human rights" commission hypocrisy ends by propagating the widely-believed myth in the possibility of "fair and balanced" media. This is an inherently liberal elitist idea, for there can be no determination of "fair and balanced" without such an elite determining who is too "extreme", and who not. The Canadian "human rights" commissions are the institutionalization of this inherently political or ideological denial of politics and ideology.


jaycurrie said...

Well I am kinda hoping Sean (the commentor and a buddy) fires up his fax machine and files a complaint. Effectively I am quoting LeDevoir. Kinda like Mark Steyn quoting the imam who said Muslims are breeding like mosquitoes.

Thanks for the link.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

I'll file a complaint against you Jay. I'll cut you a deal too, you get to keep 40% of the take of my damage settlement for pain and suffering.