18 December 2007

God Help That Sort-of Country

Right before you decry the United States as a lousy member of the world community and cast you lot with some other outfit, ask those folk if they have protection of speech as any part of their constitution. That is, if the have a constitution in the first place.
Celebrated author Mark Steyn has been summoned to appear before two Canadian judicial panels on charges linked to his book “America Alone." The book, a No. 1 bestseller in Canada, argues that Western nations are succumbing to an Islamist imperialist threat. The fact that charges based on it are proceeding apace proves his point.

After the Canadian general-interest magazine Maclean's reprinted a chapter from the book, five Muslim law-school students, acting through the auspices of the Canadian Islamic Congress, demanded that the magazine be punished for spreading "hatred and contempt" for Muslims.

Two separate panels, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, have agreed to hear the case. These bodies are empowered to hear and rule on cases of purported “hate speech." Of course, a ban on opinions - even disagreeable ones - is the very antithesis of the Western tradition of free speech and freedom of the press.
Could some Canadian please explain that "God keep our land glorious and free" part to me?

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