Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hey, get your fingers out of my EYE!

I have been following with much interest the BC Human Rights brought against writer, Mark Steyn and MacLean's Magazine. A group headed by Mohammed Elmasry is accusing them of islamophobia and has taken the case to the BC Human Rights Commission, which is obviously staffed with store mannequins because the case is ridiculous but they've let it proceed.

These guys claim that Mark Steyn's writing - a column and a book, America Alone - exposes Muslims to hate and that MacLean's is complicit for publishing excerpts from the book.

No word on where they're going to bury free speech.

Section 7.1 of the BC Human Rights Code prohibits "any statement, publication, notice [etc.] that... is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred of contempt."

As Andrew Coyne points out, the 'legislation' says "is likely to," not "absolutely does."

About a month ago, I watched Billy Connolly’s film “The Man Who Sued God.” What made me think of this film was Andrew Coyne's mention in the June 16th edition of MacLean’s, of Section 7.1 of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

In the film, Billy Connolly (his character, anyway) attempts to sue an insurance company that will not pay his claim when his boat is destroyed, citing its “act of god” clause. He claims there is no god and therefore they must pay.

The case is finally settled when the defendants are left to prove or disprove the existence of said being in order to establish their right to even include “act of god” at all. Interestingly, as art usually imitates life, there is no end to the personalities and posing and posturing and presumption of special-ness among the ‘religious’ characters in this film.

As this relates to the BC case and Mark Steyn’s book, it can quite easily be argued that the Christian bible and the Islamic Q’uran , Scientology or Tom Cruise (or any religious text, or heck even my own blog) expose adherents to no end of hatred and contempt. Could it not then be argued that whoever brought this case has no case to bring really, given their own ‘religious’ texts absolutely expose their own groups to contempt and ridicule?

As case in point, recently the Concerned Christians group wrote a letter that got them into very hot water. The short form is that they claim that gay people are exactly like paedophiles.... except that is bullshit... and they directed that 'information' specifically to a man called Rob Wells.

The group was ultimately forced to apologise (if the letter they wrote can be considered an apology). However, could members of this organisation not proceed with a similar case, given that the letter and the resulting furor certainly exposed them to a lot of heckling?

I scanned their website yesterday and I was instantly struck by the presumptive bent the site takes. I’m sure it exposes its members to no end of scorn from those of us who don’t replace reality with fantasy for starters but who have moderate, inclusive views (and who know that paedophile (mental illness) does not equal gay person (normal permutation of humanness).

It would be a very interesting exercise to have the group that brought this case against Mr. Steyn and Maclean’s prove that their own texts, blogs, websites and publications at no point expose their members to any of the very things Mark’s book or MacLean’s Magazine is purported to have done and that at no point do those or will those texts, etc. ever contravene section 7.1.

Considering B.C. HRC code’s language is so loose, could it be that difficult to swing this case back at the accusers?

If they cannot prove they are not also contravening section 7.1, and surely they cannot, the Human Rights Tribunal must toss this case or launch a thousand others.

Click here for Ezra Levant's very excellent commentary on a similar case and its outcome.

As it is written somewhere, one should not attempt to pick a sliver from another’s eye without paying attention to the stump in their own.

But here's the core of it for me: since when, in Canada, does the law - or something that presumes to pass for law - require people to be afraid of other people. And since when do we have these quasi legal groups trashing free speech because they're afraid of a loud Islamic guy?

I'll be damned if I'm going to roll over because someone from some religion doesn't like it that I disagree with them.

Here it is for the record. I disagree with your religion, whatever it is, because it is first of all made up and serves no purpose other than separating human from human, inciting fear, teaching children to be slaves to bullshit and giving the 'religious elites' (preachers, imams, ministers, bishops, rabbis, all of 'em) a false pulpit from which to promote "We're better than you." Total, utter, stinking garbage.

Oh. And for the record, statistically, religious people get up to a lot more scandals and into a lot more legal trouble than us heathens and YEAH I can prove that!

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