Friday, January 22, 2010

Shut up, already! Khurrum Awan sues Ezra Levant; comparisons made to Wilders trial and Fort Hood denial

The news going around the Canadian blogs today is that Khurrum Awan is carrying through with his previous threat to sue Ezra Levant. The details of the case are provided by Ezra at the link, along with his reminder of his need for financial donations:
instead of just fighting this lawsuit passively, what if I could use it to go on the offensive, and really root around inside the Canadian Islamic Congress, and expose their anti-Semitic, anti-Canadian ways? The trial will be partly about what I’ve written -- no problem. But it will equally be about Awan’s reputation, and that of the CIC. It will give me a chance to ask Awan questions he’s never been asked before, and to see documents he’s never had to disclose before.

I’ll be able to expose the CIC for the venomous outfit that it is. I can picture spending at least an hour talking with Awan about his organization’s call for the decriminalization of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups.

My friends, I don’t like being sued. But I have to tell you, of all the junk lawsuits thrown at me because of my campaign for free speech – and there have been plenty – this one is in some ways the most important. If I handle this one right, I can expose the true nature of the CIC and the radical Islamist, pro-terrorist groups in Canada with whom Awan has consorted.

Let me quote a Jew now, just because it will irritate Awan. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote nearly 100 years ago, “publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” I'm going to bring some klieg lights to trial on this one.

I believe that nothing will disinfect our public square better than scrutiny and publicity of how illiberal Islamic fascists are waging war against our values. I hope that the lasting impact of this trial will be the complete and final detonation of the CIC’s credibility.

Bring it on.

Can you help me, please?

As I mentioned, this lawsuit will probably cost me $50,000 to fight. And it’s just one of many suits and complaints that the same cabal has hit me with, again and again.

Over the past two years I’ve been hit with three human rights complaints, over twenty complaints to the law society and this is the fifth defamation suit. That's 28 suits and complaints. And they’re all junk lawsuits – SLAPP suits designed to shut me up.

I won the three human rights cases, and the first twenty law society complaints have all been dismissed. So far I have a perfect track record: 23 out of 23. Unfortunately, even if you win these sorts of nuisance complaints, you don’t get your legal costs back, so it’s been expensive.

If you’d like to help me, I’d appreciate it. It's expensive fighting two dozen legal fights, even if they are junk.... And I certainly don’t want this suit to change what I say or do in my life, especially my ability to criticize radical Islam and its politically correct allies.
Again, the details on how to donate are found on Ezra's post.

What links can we draw between what appears to be a lawsuit largely intended to hassle and fetter one of Canada's leading critics of Islamic "lawfare", by making a mountain of the molehill that, included in Ezra's reporting on the Canadian Islamic Congress' attempt to use the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal to punish Maclean's magazine for publishing Mark Steyn's columns denouncing the failure of Europeans to reproduce and to protect Western cultures from "Islamization", was an observation that Khurrum Awan under cross examination appeared to have been caught in a lie?

Phyllis Chesler draws the comparison to what is going on in Europe with Geert Wilders:
I have been privileged to meet and hear Dutch Parliamentarian and possible future Prime Minister, Geert Wilders, speak in New York City. Together, with other invited guests of the Hudson Institute, we watched Wilders’ short film, Fitna, which shows terrorist scenes of devastation around the world — we have all seen them on the nightly news. Fitna also has real mullahs reading aloud from the Qu’ran — reading passages that in all truth are contained there. The film, accompanied by a brilliant musical soundtrack, allows us to connect the dots. It does not preach so much as “show.”

Nevertheless, just as Kurt Westergaard’s “Danish Muhammed cartoons” were hardly offensive by Western standards — that did not stop a global jihad against them which continues to this very day. Yale University Press refused to publish the cartoons in a book they themselves commissioned about the cartoons. And Canadian author Howard Rotberg had to become a publisher himself in order to have his say despite Canada’s political correctness where certain subjects are concerned.

And, “lawfare” (war by legal action) and the lawsuits do not stop coming. The same litigious Muslim-Canadian who sued Mark Steyn for telling the truth and for daring to venture his own witty opinion, (which opinion “offended” certain professional easy-to-offend Muslims), is now suing Ezra Levant. Kathy Shaidle has a good piece about this here. Shaidle quotes Levant himself about Khurrum Awan, the man who is suing him. And, by the way, Awan is a second-generation Canadian Muslim.
By 2003/2004, I, and a handful of others, had already understood that free speech/truth speech were under siege in the West, and that the first row of attackers were precisely those Western intellectuals who prided themselves on their commitment to free speech but who behaved like totalitarian censors. No, they did not burn books; they simply refused to publish or review them. They “disappeared” certain authors by not interviewing them. Or, these cultural gatekeepers demonized the book, its author, and the ideas presented. They, the censors, labeled anything that ran afoul of the Party Line as a “fascist, racist, Islamophobic” work.

American professors became very careful and exceedingly quiet on campus when the subjects of Israel, American imperialism, or Islam were raised. Many Jewish students cared more about “not offending” the Muslim students than they cared about telling the truth about jihad, or about the war against the Jews.

Those who saw things as I did began publishing samizdat, American-style. The conservative media and the internet became the above-ground venues for our “underground” publishing ventures. I — a radical feminist, an American patriot, and a Zionist — really fell down Alice’s rabbit hole; my mates in the bunker were conservatives with whom I both agreed and disagreed on the burning issues of the day. This was clear: We all knew we were in a war, we all feared the fifth column in our midst, and none of us had any intention of surrendering. The other issues were important, but not as important.

We live in curious times. On the one hand, it is not difficult to find commentary, such as in this interview with sober ex-Muslim scholar Ibn Warraq, pointing out what is becoming obvious to large numbers of people on all sides of the current "clash of civilizations" - Ibn Warraq is speaking to the question of how Western societies can mix the need to tolerate cultural differences with the need of those same societies to remain coherent, orderly, and free:
there has got to be a common core of principles which are accepted by everyone, otherwise you will have chaos. Society cannot exist unless you have agreement on the basic principles; so that would mean Muslims having to shed some of the principles they were brought up on. There is no compatibility between Islam interpreted strictly and liberal democracy; this is obvious; take the position of women; they are considered inferior; men have the right to beat them; they have less rights in inheritance and so on.
And yet at the same time, we live in a world where official parlance cannot make any such simple statement. For example, Diana West is reporting how, in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti and the spectacular result in the recent Massachusetts Senate election, the official Pentagon report on the Fort Hood mass murder is being relatively ignored. The report - on the murderer, Nidal M. Hasan who, as a vast array of evidence has shown, was clearly motivated by his not-uncommon understanding of Islam, an understanding and the violent dilemmas it posed for him that he himself outlined logically in a Power Point presentation to fellow service people - is
86 pages long and doesn't mention the words "Muslim," "Islam," "jihad," "Sharia" (Islamic law), "Koran" -- despite the fact that we know, among other things, that the killer, who initiated his massacre with a cry of "Allahu Akbar," was a Muslim inspired by Islam to perform an act of jihad as sanctioned by Sharia derived from the Koran.

These facts, however, rate official silence. So what else is new? From the Bush years to the present, see-no-Islam denial has turned U.S. government attempts to assess and discuss national security issues into Kabuki gibberish, a perpetual exercise in make-believe that the core doctrines and traditional institutions of Islam -- not "radical Islam," not "Islamism," not other aliases -- pose no threat to the core doctrines and traditional institutions of the non-Islamic Free World. Naturally, mum's the Pentagon word over jihad at Fort Hood. Or, rather, "self-radicalization" is the word. It is mentioned more than a dozen times in the report.

I can't imagine a greater dereliction of duty than this failure of U.S. government leaders to recognize, articulate and defend against what in military parlance is known as the "enemy threat doctrine." But this dereliction, this failure will trigger no investigations or court proceedings on how and why our leaders consistently mask, soft-soap and otherwise fail to assess and repel the existential threat posed by the imposition or accommodation of these same Islamic doctrines.

Talk about irony: Within days of the report's release, one of the few politicians in the world who understands, articulates and fights the imposition and accommodation of these same Islamic doctrines went on trial in the Netherlands for doing exactly that.

I refer again to Geert Wilders...
I am of the view that most things that can be explained by the deeply human traits of laziness and the need for deferral of conflict should be so simply explained. I rather doubt there are many people in the Pentagon who actually think that the Fort Hood massacre was anything other than an Islamically-inspired, Jihadi attack, however much they would admit the possibility of multiple interpretations of Islam and however much we must acknowledge that Islam is a political religion that mitigates against Western forms of "corporate personhood"(Western capacity to create all kinds of associations and representative figures) and so its responsible or representative actors are as much lonely individuals as corporate entities (see Roger Scruton's discussions of Malise Ruthven, here and here). But there are many who will go along with not saying so publicly, lest their careers suffer the arbitrary and irrational sanctions of political correctness.

It is the essence of the human to want to defer conflict. But proper knowledge of this fact requires we also know when we are becoming cowardly and foolish in following one imperative and not another. Sometimes a little conflict is necessary to defer potential for larger conflict. We are living in dangerous times. I think we need to heed Ibn Warraq's words above and see that we need to give up the liberal ideology that thinks if only we are nice and appeasing to Muslims, in the name of their alleged victimization, especially to Muslims who insist on outlawing any criticism of Islam according to the dictates of Sharia law, then we will have peace, forgetting that "peace" is what Islam calls "submission". Rather, we need to assert that any successful integration of Islam in our now global civilization, with its single global economy, will require Muslims giving up certain Koranic imperatives, indeed whatever makes Islam more of a totalitarian political ideology than the kind of private religion that could find a place in the highly-differentiated structures of our shared modern civilization. Of course it is just the assumed impossibility of this "giving up" that lead some, like Nidal Hasan, to violence and self-destruction. Their dilemma must be named for what it is; we must give it the respect it's due, that we push Muslims, others, and ourselves to think through what we really believe when faced with the need to make choices between a Western-led modernity and Sharia. To this end, we might start by offering support, as we can, to Ezra Levant for daring to criticize what he chooses to call "radical Islam" and its attempted enforcement of an orthodox, Sharia-informed ban against criticizing Islam.