Friday, May 09, 2008

Howard Rotberg interviewed by Jamie Glazov

Our friend, the writer Howard Rotberg, is interviewed today at Front Page. I'm glad to see Howard has a chance to tell his story about how Canada's largest book retailer effectively banned his book from most of the market in this country, a scandal stemming from an intentionally disrupted public reading and false accusations of racism by an 18-year old Palestinian book clerk whose word the book chain backed, in opposition to the author who has now been effectively forgotten. He has since been ignored by the police and other writers and their organizations in Canada. In his own words:
...what I see is that, in a country like Canada, without a strong national ethos, "multiculturalism and "tolerance" seem to have become predominant aspects of identity and culture, especially amongst left-liberals who are influential in our universities, our media, and other elites. I see myself as a casualty of the assault on freedoms which Islamists can so easily effect in this cultural milieu
So, as I discussed earlier, some three years before the complaints against Steyn and Levant, I experienced the success of Islamists in censoring my work simply because they did not like what was written in a novel. Unfortunately, although my book received good reviews, I received no support from Canadian human rights organizations, writers' rights organizations, or even Jewish organizations. Canada's monopoly book retailer, with 72% of the Canadian retail market, ended up effectively "banning" the book, and returning every one of the 300 copies on its shelves, even where it was selling well, and stating on its website (falsely) that the book was "unavailable." All this, because of a scheme by an 18 year old Palestinian book clerk, and some friends of hers, who shut down a lecture I was giving at one of their bookstores, yelling that I had "no right" to speak if I was "pro-Israel" and when audience members pleaded with them to be quiet, they retorted that I was simply a "fucking Jew." It took me a year to write the book but the 18 year old Islamist and her friends were able to “get rid” of the book so easily, in about a week’s time.
Heather Reisman may give some support to Israel, but in some respects she is politically closer to the "anti-Zionist" nihilist leftists who protest outside her stores than to a social democratic freedom fighter like Rotberg. I don't know if it's any consolation to Howard, but it seems that there is some segment of the Canadian reading public that sees through the pigeonholing of Heather Reisman by effectively pro-terrorist Canadian nihilists. For example, note one blogger, Winston, a Persian freedom fighter, on Heather's recent interview of Mark Steyn, here:
...Indigo/Chapters company (Canada's book chains) Mrs. Heather Reisman [...] and it was as if a moonbat is interviewing an intelligent person (Mark Steyn) and with really biased and one sided questions. At one point, she told Mark what he would do if he was "President of Great Britain". Hahaha... I thought Britain has ceased being a constitutional monarchy. LOL... Or she called Bush administration as "Bush's regime" and in response to that Mark said that "Anti-Americanism is a mental illness these days" and the crowd exploded in laughter. Ms. Reisman was surprised why hundreds of people were clapping and whistling for Mark and not for her. Probably she didn't know how Mark Steyn in popular with the people and she is not. ;-) I think Indigo/Chapters company definitely needs to hire a professional person to interview people.
Girl on the Right points to the embarrasment caused by another example of liberal core assumptions that become, in effect, an anti-freedom bias in Chapters' book ordering:
At 7pm, Heather Reisman and Mark Steyn took the stage. Heather, oh Heather. Many people in the audience were actually growing angry with her liberal ineptitude, but I figured "Hey, we knew what we were signing up for where Heather is concerned, so don't act so shocked." Though at one point, when she was explaining how Indigo didn't carry America Alone when it first hit the NYT best seller list because her buyer misjudged the popularity and didn't buy enough copies, I actually yelled "And this person still has a job?" Whatever
I hope Heather will learn something from her critics and come to see that in her attempts to do the rhumba of multicultural relativism, she is increasingly on the wrong side of history. Casualties of the Global Intifada against freedom, like Howard Rotberg, are the proof that one can't be all things to all people in the desire to corner the Canadian book market. One has to stand for truth and justice, and thus oppose much else.

1 comment:

Dag said...

It's not limited to the famous and well-to-do, of course. Here in Vancouver we have Rachel D. and Bill Simpson under daily attack from professional Leftist activist, paid for by our tax dollars! There is a growing push among the Left dhimmi fascists to shut up and shut down any opposition to their schemes to control the thought of all. From Geert Wilders to Mark Styne to Howard Rotberg to a homeless guy in the park in Vancouver, it spreads, it deepens, and it continues daily.

Does it matter if someone we don't like is shut down? Yes, it matters to us because we can't disagree with him if we can't read his work, hear his voice, or even see the guy. That right is taken away from us. Who has that right? Who elected these bureaucrats anyway?

Maybe we should move to the Maritimes to escape these Human Rights tyrants.