Writing a Wrong

Friday, April 04, 2008

Transcript

A group of Canadian Muslim students has filed a complaint under their country's Human Rights Act against Maclean's magazine for a piece they feel violated their human rights. The case has sparked a debate in Canada about press freedoms and multiculturalism. One of the students who filed the claim, Naseem Mithoowani, explains why they did it.

Comments [139]

melkinny360

Hi,
I want to read more about that.
...............

Mar. 24 2011 02:02 AM
Chandler

How dare you, Vivian Schiller(sp.) terminate the contract of one of your news contributors for simply expressing his "feelings" about his sensibilities toward MUSLIM TERRORISTS! Were you absent from 8th grade class the day they taught your classmates the meaning of their 1st Amendment rights? If this is allowed to stand, YOU and others like you, are setting a precedent for unbridled anarchy in this Nation; and such demonstrative civil disobedience will most certainly bring YOU down with it! Shame on you and shame on NPR for trampling on the 1st Amendment Rights of the press!

Oct. 21 2010 01:38 PM
David from US

Maleeha Sheikh -
"Mark Steyn should be allowed to say whatever he feels but there needs to be a counter-argument or else the public will be influenced by his one-sided and extremely racist view."

Who orders the magazine to publish the other side of the argument? When that happens, is that freedom?
Start your own Magazine and make your own arguments!

May. 12 2010 03:26 PM
wudjab from Tortonto

I think Khurrum Awan (post # 12) is indulging ins some classic taqiya. (aka deception)

He says "Finally, we did not ask for a five-page article with art direction of the magazine's cover. We asked for a mutually acceptable response from a mutually acceptable author. The chief editor of Maclean's, Ken Whyte, refused to consider any response. His assertion that he offered to consider a reasonable proposal from us is a fabrication."

which of course is a complete lie.

Because the CIC lawyer Mr. Faisal Joseph clearly said this during the press conference last week ""To us, there isn't much difference, but to [ Maclean's] it might be huge," Mr. Joseph said, explaining that they no longer want to control the art design, and do not expect "unfettered" editorial control over the rebuttal, only that it be "long enough" and "mutually agreeable." He also said the demand that Maclean's make a nominal financial contribution to a race relations charity has been dropped"

http://www.nationalpost.com/related/links/story.html?id=483738

The more we expose these liars the sooner they can be dismissed.

May. 06 2008 10:17 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

There is so much heat and so little light in this set of posts (and the story that generated it) that I conclude that it has been a terrible waste of my free time.

I found the interviewees lacking credibility, the point of law arcane and most of the posts irrational.

In my experience, their are people of good will of all faiths and of no faith. Likewise, there are misguided legions which are, most unfortunately, the majority in even the democratic West no less in the despotic Muslim regimes the West supports or in the various tribal areas where our control is challenged.

At least David from Calgary offered a slim ray of hope, though investing time exploring a site about Muslims in Canada might not be a whole lot more useful to me than any of the above. It couldn't be less useful, though.

Apr. 11 2008 02:59 AM
Ben from Canada

I'm usually a big OTM fan and not at all a Mark Steyn fan, but I was disappointed of your anemic and one-sided coverage of this case. As every major Canadian media outlet and civil liberties has condemned the complaint and the out-of-control human rights complaint system, I feel the issue deserves far more attention and research from a media-oriented show.

Apr. 10 2008 08:58 AM
David Liepert from Calgary

I think everyone agree's that Mark Steyn can say what he wants to. I think the CIC has been clear that that's why he's not named in the suit. Wouldn't it be useful to listen to those who know what they're talking about too? When you only hear lies, misrepresentations and half-truths you're being manipulated, whether you prefer it that way or not.
Muslims in Canada want free speech, we're happy to listen, but we'd be more encouraged if the rest of you were willing to listen too. It's hard to sit back and watch the world be stampeded over a cliff when a little more honest conversation is all that's needed. None of us are behaving very well right now, and every group can point fingers at the rest to justify their own transgressions, but that's not working very well for any of us, anywhere.

Apr. 08 2008 02:35 PM
Johan Boyden from Canada

I think Naseem did an good job representing the case. Shame on McLeans Magazine for refusing to print a re-buttal. And shame on Mark Steyn for continuing to misrepresent the issue.

Apr. 08 2008 02:25 PM
Oyster

Muhammed said: "Moreover, in his articles about Muslim he has referred to them as the new owners of Europe, who will organize a bloody takeover of it and impose Sharia. Now if a Muslim said the Jews run the world secretly, and will impose the Talmud and the Noahdic Laws on the nonbeliever, he would be rightly and roundly condemned."

And either side should be free to roundly condemn the other, but not coerced by a government to be silenced either way. There are some things a society must handle on its own without government intrusion. Seems to me that Canada's government is heading in the same direction some others have and it hasn't helped them one damn bit: Everything not forbidden is mandatory.

Tell me. How's that workin' out for ya?

I'm so lucky to have been born American.

Apr. 08 2008 01:41 PM
David Liepert from Calgary

I've noticed few of you want to discuss the real issue: whether it's right for the Western media to promote a radicalized view of Islam. I'd like to ask whether it's even expedient.
Mark Steyn and Osama bin Laden both benefit from radical Islam- Mark because fear puts money in his pocket and Osama because it increases his base. It is very possible to read the Quran both to support and deny violence. The same holds true for the Bible and the Torah. It is also unquestionable true that -at the time it was revealed- the Quran didn't promote conflict at all.
God's command that Muslims fight the People of the Book only until they know they're beaten is a good example. At the time there were only 20 thousand Muslims in the world, and there were rumors of an army of 200 thousand Christians massing in Syria to exterminate them. The Governors in Basra and Damascus slaughtered two Muslim embassies, and the Muslims marched out to fight and die for Islam. Instead, that Ayat brought a peace that lasted generations, because it wasn't telling Muslims when to fight, it was telling them when to stop! The Sunnah of the so called "Ayat of the Sword" is a Sunnah of peace.
That's what's being taught in most Mosques in Canada. When Steyn and Osama say otherwise it sometimes drowns that message out among the ignorant. Islam isn't a threat to anyone, but ignorance is a threat to everyone. Let the educated moderates have more of a voice, and it will benefit everyone but the opportunists.

Apr. 08 2008 11:06 AM
Muhammed

Vic, I suggest you re-evaluate your comment. There is only one country in the Muslim world running on a Muslim model, and that is Iran. The others are all secular dictatorships, run by Western theories of government, and supported by Western democracies. And the people most repressed in those countries are orthodox muslims, who are banned from wearing the veil are routinely tortured and jailed, and from practicing their faith in public.

Apr. 08 2008 12:10 AM
Muhammed


Adam, as I said the ratio of Islamist violence to American government violence is 100:1. You said 10,800 have died by Islamists hands since 9/11, well a million have died in Iraq and Afghanistan at Mr. Bush's hands. I thank you for making my point.

RC, alqaeda activity in iraq:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_Iraq
scroll down to strength and activity.

So Mr. Alan Pollock, how do you feel about Louis Farrakhan? Do you find him amusing?

I'm willing to concede the wogs quote may have been a mocking quote by Steyn, but the chinks and japs lines still stand having read them a few times in my mind.

As I've repeatedly said I'm not for the human rights complaint, but if Mr. Steyn can have his articles printed regularly in a national newsmagazine, there's no reason why Adam Gadahn, an equally inflammatory white male should not. You ready to defend that? I certainly am not. I say both of them can screw off and leave the rest of us alone.

Apr. 08 2008 12:07 AM
Muhammed

Gary, go back to english class. I clearly wasn't testing the veracity of the quote, I was showing how the term can be used as a perjorative, but in actuality is a neither a positive or negative term. I would like to ask why no one has refuted my argument that Steyn's allegations of Muslims being the new owners of Europe taking over in a bloodbath and imposing the Sharia on the disbeliever and killing them are any different from classic antisemitism. As for RC's comment about the size difference, the reason behind the lack of practice of non-Islam in principle is similar, that ground considered sacred by solely one religion is respected by peoples of other faith. In Islam's case, the entire Arabian peninsula is considered sacred, and no other religion makes a claim to it. Moreover Saudi Arabia preferentially treats those of white skin, always succumbing to pressure from Western governments whenever their citizens commit murder in the kingdom, while never doing the same for those of darker hues. And yes, indo-canadians do not get paid the same as white canadians in saudia. I do know, because some of my best friends are indo-canadians, and one look at their skin was an automatic reduction in their pay scale, benefits and access to services.

Apr. 08 2008 12:07 AM
Vic Semprini from Seattle, WA

Thank God for Mark Steyn, and thank God for everyone out there standing against the HRC and all the other political thugs out there who are out to limit free speech. This whole thing is a sick joke, and if the implications weren't so deadly serious, it would be laughable.

Mohammed: your claim that there's very little Muslim terrorism would also be laughable if the truth was not so very, very grim.

People such as yourself should be loudly condemning the subset of the world's Muslims that use terrorism as a tool to establish oppressive societies that not only repress free speech and free thought, but also oppress women, execute homosexuals, actively engage in genocide and engage in all other manner of violations of basic human rights.

Go Mark Steyn!!!!

Apr. 07 2008 11:51 PM
Elizabeth Ross from Boston, MA

I wonder what the Candadian Law School student who complains about the Steyn article thinks about the virulent antiJewish antiZionist invective published by Canadian Muslims. These kind of complaints are disingenuous to say the least when one examines the kind of speech toward nonMuslims that Muslims tolerate and promote!

Apr. 07 2008 05:48 PM
Andy Gill from London, UK

Where can I get a copy of this obviously excellent magazine?

Apr. 07 2008 04:40 PM
Hafsa from Canada

I find it quite intriguing that the interviewer is questioning whether “alarmist and offensive” publications should matter to the society at large – if such is the case, then why is the United States of America robbing its own citizens by extravagantly spending their revenue to bring down the “alarmist and offensive” nations of the other world (I’ll let you guess these countries…you might get a hit) – if it’s okay to use guns and bombs to “teach” others/foreigners of how to live a liberal and so-called democratic life, then why should we be so conservative in engaging in discourses that are “alarmist and offensive”….the day the President of United States offers an apology to the whole world for the “alarmist and offensive” acts, that same day I will personally offer an apology on behalf of the complainants… Perhaps the United States could have a 1st Amendment reflecting the “absoluteness” of such apology!

Apr. 07 2008 04:09 PM
RH Potfry from http://www.thenoseonyourface.com

Muhammed-- all you have are names that Steyn has used, allegedly? That's the basis for your argument?

You. do. not. have. the. right. NOT. to. be. offended.

No one does.

Apr. 07 2008 04:02 PM
phil Howerton from Charlotte, NC

I assume everyone here is aware that if you get off a plane in Saudi Arabia with a Holy Bible in your possession the authorities will burn it before you leave the airport.

Apr. 07 2008 03:55 PM
Joe Melnick

Let's bring this back to the OTM piece, which is faulty from the start:

"A group of Canadian Muslim students has filed a complaint under their country's Human Rights Act"

No they didn't. This would have been cleared up in 30 seconds by a real journalist. Also, Steyn would have been included in the piece. If he were asked to participate and refused, this would have been made abundantly clear. To not allow him a few moments to answer the charges is irresponsible.

And for Muhammed and the others on the left: if anything I've said offended you, I promise to march into the largest church in Saudi Arabia and apologize publicly. No? Ok, I'll travel to Mecca and make a statement there. Whoops, non-muslims not allowed in that city, I totally forgot.

Apr. 07 2008 02:34 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

J.R.

If one like Mr. Steyn uses derisive terms to describe others of a racial, ethnic, or religious origin different from his own and sometimes opposed to his political and social views, why then are Mr. Steyn, his Likud pals, and the ever-loyal followers so quick to cry "anti-Semitism" and make references to "New World Order things" when Neo-conservatism and its policy positions are questioned?

Can one scream persecution when one persecutes others?

You, too, R.C. And throw in Anna Keppa just for giggles.

Expecting a mindless anti-Semitism charges in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..........

Apr. 07 2008 02:32 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

R.C.

Not everyone who is Jewish is a Neo-conservative.

Not every Israeli citizen is a Neo-conservative.

This public service announcement was brought to you by The Basic Common Sense Association. At Basic Common Sense, we seek to provide you with the logic that you forfeited for the Neo-conservative cause.

Apr. 07 2008 02:27 PM
Jon

For a sense of proportion, do recall that one hundred thousand Canadians are killed every year, and still no law exists to protect them. Apathy can be as bad as antipathy (active hatred). That the victims are children too small to effectively protest is even more abhorrent.

We pore over one-man global content--or use a convenient search engine--and find a single instance of "chink" and "wog," which we have to isolate from their respective contexts in order to manufacture our racist Mark Steyn. Meanwhile, our universities use every means possible to silence dissent of decades of genocide in Canada.

We sue a Steyn but allow a Morgentaler.

Apr. 07 2008 01:44 PM
Eric

I find this entire discussion unintentionally hilarious. Steyn uses two derogatory terms to convey the mindset of the hypothetical person/group he is describing and to read this page, we're facing another "Night of Broken Glass". It speaks to the problem in Western society: Our sensitivities are completely out of whack. We're to ignore the crazed, racist ravings of this or that Imam, but God (science, mother nature, FDR, whatever it is we believe in these days) forbid we use the term "wog" even in a historical context.

Regardless, Islamist blowhards can say whatever they want as long as no one acts upon their words. Problem is, people are acting upon their words. I haven't heard as of yet about any Steyn readers attacking "chinks" "wogs" or "japs". Its amazing who western society is choosing to fight. We look the other way at honor killings and forced marriages of minors, but go into hysterics about the Canadian Nazi Party (until that is we find out its fictional).

And Muhammad

I find it comical that you feign outrage when someone accuses you of justifying the attacks of 9/11 while at the same time decrying the provocation of Ronald Reagan.

And comparing salary disparities in Saudi Arabia to stonings and executions of Muslims who convert to another religion nicely illustrates your moral abdication, kind of like marginalizing the victims of 9/11 (after all its only 1 compared to 100)

Apr. 07 2008 01:27 PM
Jay

Mr.Steyn is obviously anti-muslim does not realize that it is these muslims and other immigrants who are providing the lifline to the Canadian economy or probably he won't even have a job right now. If he is man of his words and philosoply he should join the effort to rebutt his point. Not Mr. Elmasry of CIC it is Mr Steyn who is hiding behind the Mclean's. If he had any class he would play it fairly and allow Muslim group to respond.
Mcleans on the other hand is a cheap class magazine using 3rd rated tricks to attract readers in the name of freedom of press.
Naseem, very rightly said, that if you are a muslim you are automaticaly considered anti-west. West should know that they have learned everything from Muslim societies in 18th and 19th century.

Apr. 07 2008 01:11 PM
Gabriel

Muhammad:

How refreshing. Someone who lived in Saudi.

I lived in the Gulf also.

Really, that's the worst example of "racisim" you found there? Worse still than other "Faith" communities not being able to practice their religion? An indo-Canadian makes what a white Canadian makes. So where's the racism?

Retarded as the system may be, there is at least a logic to it. And that is that all these people are expats, and the understanding is that after their work term, they will return to their motherlands.

And besides, who gets the rough end of the stick at the end of the day, engineering companies there would much rather hire "3rd world engineers" at a 1/3 of the rate that the 1st world charges.

Isn't it the same story here? Do you know how much engineering work is outsourced- to China and India?

But perhaps your statement on what is "truly" racist is a reflection of your own inherent prejudice against non-Muslims, whcih is why you find it so easy to "minimize" the gravity of the issue.

Apr. 07 2008 11:15 AM
ProTolerance from Toronto, Canada

Muslims in the West are currently facing discrimination not unlike that faced by the Japanese after World War II and the African American community in the 50s. Fortunately, the hatred and contempt has not gotten to that extreme – yet! Canadians from the Muslim community, (and I stress Canadians, as there are many out there who seem to think that they are more Canadian than others) must stand up for their rights and actively fight discrimination. That is exactly what the 4 law students are doing. Many out there are twisting the facts [Maclean’s allegedly agreeing to print an article (completely false) & other similar misrepresentations] to gain support and somehow rationalize their own prejudices. I am sure the truth will come out during the hearing processes. Despite the outcome, the complainants have already won in my view, by demonstrating that Muslims can and will stand up for a tolerant Canada.

Apr. 07 2008 10:57 AM
RickZ from Queens, NY

What I find telling is what these poor widdle Mohammedan lawyers in Canada find to be egregious on Maclean's part. They wanted Maclean's to give in to their demands for rebuttal (without paying for it, I might add), with absolutely ridiculous conditions attached to their demands. Which makes their compalints just grist for their victimhood mill. What Mohammedans want is sharia implemented, and one of the tenets of sharia is blasphemy. So as a kuffir, I'm supposed to be subject to this 7th Century set of laws. What about my outrage at the lack of respect for Freedom of Speech as expressed by Mohammedans? Doesn't that rate at least some whining and seething on our Western part, plus a couple of riots, maybe even a beheading or two?

As for the words 'chink', 'gook', et.al., fer chrissakes, grow a thicker skin, and that applies most especially to the Mohammedans of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage. I sometimes eat chink food for lunch. I've been known to have a nice dego red with my dinner. Are you so easily offended that everyone should self-censor themselves? That's somehow 'free speech'? Me? I take koranically-inspired murder by Mohammedans seriously. That ol' 'actions speak louder than words' thingy.

Signed,
A Bohunk

Apr. 07 2008 10:31 AM
Jay Tea from http://www.wizbangblog.com

By the Muslim complainants' logic, MacLeans should be given several minutes of a future broadcast, free of any editorial interference beyond technical adjustments, to answer this segment.

Good thing for OTM that they're not based in Canada...

J.

Apr. 07 2008 05:29 AM
Adam

Dear Muhammed and associated sympathizers,

We're not stupid. You may be be used to docile and cowering populations who submit to the wonderful doctrines of Islam, but we know all about the jiyza, taqiya, etc; many of us have actually read the Koran. Out of the ~1.2,1.3 Billion Muslims in the world, it has been estimated that anywhere between 7-11% are radicalized. So let's say there are 100 million Islamists out there who believe the whole "behead those who insult Islam," "Jews are the sons of apes and bigs," "Slaughter or convert the infidel" business.

There are 300 million Americans. You can roughly divide us into thirds: 1/3 liberal leaning, 1/3 conservative, 1/3 apathetic (approximations used for example). So that makes about 1/3 of the population privy to the actual intent of the Islamists, about 50 million American adults.

We've been at war with radical Islam long prior to 9/11:
- Achillie Lauro (cruise ship)
- Lebanon Marine Barracks
- Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia
- Embassy bombings in Kenya/Tanzania
- Miscellaneous Iranian Terrorism

I could go on and on, but since 9/11, the count of violent attacks in the name of Islam has reached ~10,800. Go and search for violent attacks carried out by Mormons. Go ahead, do it. Crickets you say? Thought so.

Apr. 07 2008 03:18 AM
Adam

Dear Muhammed and associated sympathizers,

We're not stupid. You may be be used to docile and cowering populations who submit to the wonderful doctrines of Islam, but we know all about the jiyza, taqiya, etc; many of us have actually read the Koran. Out of the ~1.2,1.3 Billion Muslims in the world, it has been estimated that anywhere between 7-11% are radicalized. So let's say there are 100 million Islamists out there who believe the whole "behead those who insult Islam," "Jews are the sons of apes and bigs," "Slaughter or convert the infidel" business.

There are 300 million Americans. You can roughly divide us into thirds: 1/3 liberal leaning, 1/3 conservative, 1/3 apathetic (approximations used for example). So that makes about 1/3 of the population privy to the actual intent of the Islamists, about 50 million American adults.

We've been at war with radical Islam long prior to 9/11:
- Achillie Lauro (cruise ship)
- Lebanon Marine Barracks
- Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia
- Embassy bombings in Kenya/Tanzania
- Miscellaneous Iranian Terrorism

I could go on and on, but since 9/11, the count of violent attacks in the name of Islam has reached ~10,800. Go and search for violent attacks carried out by Mormons. Go ahead, do it. Crickets you say? Thought so.

Apr. 07 2008 02:51 AM
Gary Rosen

Muhammad is apparently bucking for Weasel of the Year award. He prints a fabricated quote that is grossly antisemitic and then claims he is *defending* Jewish use of the word "gentile". Not to mention he didn't respond to R. C.s annihilation of his ludicrous comparison of Saudi Arabia to the Vatican, because he can't.

Apr. 07 2008 01:33 AM
Alan Pollock from San Diego

Poster Muhammed displays an unfortunate shortcoming: lack of humor.

Muhammed reads flip comments from Steyn's articles with a straight somber face because he's presumably incapable of recognizing humor.

Humorlessness is not far from over-sensitivity.

Apr. 07 2008 01:24 AM
JD Lloyd from Iowa, USA

It seems fitting that OTM ran this piece during NPR's pledge drive. I think my donation will be much better suited going towards Mr. Steyn and Mr. Levant's legal fees. I am no journalist, but even some cursory google searches show that this story was either just ill researched, or purposefully misleading.

Apr. 07 2008 12:50 AM
Charles from USA

I think it's interesting that some people are so quick to call Steyn a racist, and yet the most actual evidence they come up with is the fact that he used this word or that word in something he wrote in the past 10 years!

Would it be too much to ask you to find, say, A SINGLE COMPLETE SENTENCE in which Steyn expressed a racist thought?

Yes. I think it would be.

It was helpful of commenter "Mark," in comment 67 above, to quote the whole paragraph in which Steyn twice used the word "wogs."

In this case, the context makes it OBVIOUS that Steyn was using a device known as 'implied quotes' or 'period quotes.' He uses the term "wogs" in the process of describing the thoughts that are commonly attributed to 'old-school, imperialist racists.' His second use of the term is intended to highlight (what he asserts are) the parallels between an old racist ideology (imperialism) and a new one (multiculturalism). Both ideologies, he asserts, take a condescending - and, you might even say, racist - view of people from other ethnic or religious backgrounds, hence the use of a condescending and racist term; he's speaking out AGAINST this kind of view.

I like to think we're all bright enough to understand this; it seems, rather, that some people are so desperate to discredit and vilify Mark Steyn, that they're willing to short-change their own intelligence to do it.

Apr. 07 2008 12:36 AM
Charles from USA

I think it's interesting that some people are so quick to call Steyn a racist, and yet the most actual evidence they come up with is the fact that he used this word or that word in something he wrote in the past 10 years!

Would it be too much to ask you to find, say, A SINGLE COMPLETE SENTENCE in which Steyn expressed a racist thought?

Yes. I think it would be.

It was helpful of commenter "Mark," in comment 67 above, to quote the whole paragraph in which Steyn twice used the word "wogs."

In this case, the context makes it OBVIOUS that Steyn was using a device known as 'implied quotes' or 'period quotes.' He uses the term "wogs" in the process of describing the thoughts that are commonly attributed to 'old-school, imperialist racists.' His second use of the term is intended to highlight (what he asserts are) the parallels between an old racist ideology (imperialism) and a new one (multiculturalism). Both ideologies, he asserts, take a condescending - and, you might even say, racist - view of people from other ethnic or religious backgrounds, hence the use of a condescending and racist term; he's speaking out AGAINST this kind of view.

I like to think we're all bright enough to understand this; it seems, rather, that some people are so desperate to discredit and vilify Mark Steyn, that they're not above playing a little dumb to do it!

Apr. 07 2008 12:32 AM
R.C.

Muhammed:

After perusing the Wikipedia article you cited, I agree with you: Steyn should not have used the word "Chink."

I was unfamiliar with its history, and was not aware that the word itself had derogatory associations; I assumed it was comparable to "Brit," which can only be construed as offensive if the tone or context makes it clear that it was intended to be offensive.

All the same, the fact that Steyn used the term in a trio, parallel to "Jap" and "Brit," may indicate that he did not intend to use it as a pejorative. I can't know what he was thinking, but it's plausible he was thinking, "Could someone interpret this as a trio of ethnic slurs? Nah. How could they...I put my own ethnicity in the mix!"

(I'm going on the assumption that Steyn regards himself as ethnically Anglo. But if he considers the "Brits" to be a group outside his own, then of course he *could* be using all three terms as insults. In either case, "Chink" should not have been used, but the latter case would indicate more culpability on his part.)

Apr. 07 2008 12:02 AM
R.C.

Muhammed:

You state: "Al-Qaeda...is only a fraction of the resistance in Iraq, by American estimates. I believe it was something like 2% of attacks on Americans in Iraq."

Against that statistic (source?), I offer some links:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23651109/
http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/121503C.shtml
http://engram-backtalk.blogspot.com/search/label/Al%20Qaeda%20in%20Iraq

I observe: Your statistic was "attacks on Americans in Iraq"...presumably since the cease-fire ended in 2003. The links above deal with more current violent fatalities in Iraq, which are attributed very heavily to foreign fighters recruited under the AQI banner.

And, I note it includes only attacks on Americans, not, say, on Shia Iraqis civilians. I don't actually it terrorism when Al Qaeda attacks "hard targets" such as American soldiers in-theater. (It's combatant-on-combatant.)

I do consider them terrorists when they use suicide bombs to slay Shia in the hopes of starting a civil war between Shia and Sunni; a plan which succeeded for a while (Golden Mosque bombing), resulting in still more innocents killed. (And a lot of not-so-innocents.)

So, I think you and I are discussing different things here. But if your intent was to assert that Al Qaeda isn't operating in Iraq, or wasn't for a long time the biggest threat in Iraq, well, I think you're mistaken.

Apr. 06 2008 11:51 PM
Muhammed

The difference between Hamas and Hezbollah offering restitution to Israeli schoolchildren victims, is that Israel has murdered far more Palestinian, displaced them to the seven seas and the four winds, then any reactive measure by Hamas or Hizbullah. According to wiki, the Vicennes was in Iranian waters at the time of the incident, making it highly unlikely that the attack was an accident. These "accidents' are too numerous to even be called accidents, and are in any objective person's eyes the deliberate targeting of civilians. America and Israel, according to human rights organizations in their own countries have killed more Muslim/Arab civilians by a ratio of more then 10:1.

Apr. 06 2008 11:49 PM
Maleeha Sheikh from Ontario, Canada

I think what the human rights complainants are asking for is simply the will to speak. What has been said in the Macleans article is deeply offensive towards Muslims, especially because there are already so many stereotypes and prejudices against us. It becomes more and more prevalent in the media and almost seems to be accepted. This needs to stop and the fact that these law students are finally doing something about it shows that at least someone is making a stand. Again, what you guys are arguing for is not for people to stop speaking what is on their mind but to involve the community that is in question to be able to speak as well. Mark Steyn should be allowed to say whatever he feels but there needs to be a counter-argument or else the public will be influenced by his one-sided and extremely racist view.

Apr. 06 2008 11:29 PM
R.C.

Muhammad:

You've gotten some facts wrong, I'm afraid.

First, with regard to that shoot-down by a civilian airliner: I believe it was a U.S. military ship, not a warplane. Reagan gave medals to the crew in general; common enough for a successful tour of duty in a war zone, or some such.

Your implication was that the shoot-down was intentional and the medal was granted for that act alone. I ask you: Under what conceivable motive?

Had it been an intentional shoot-down, it would have of course constituted a violation of the laws of war: An intentional attack on an illegitimate target. I scarcely recall the incident, but what I read from a brief online review includes (a.) the claim that the shoot-down was an accident, and (b.) $131 million paid as a settlement for the loss of life.

I haven't noticed, say, Hamas or Hizbollah expressing so $131 million worth of regret over the slaying of, say, an Israeli schoolchild by rocket, suicide bomber, or surprise shooter. Perhaps I missed the news that day?

I also think you also misuse the word "junta" but I'll write that off to over-enthusiastic partisan exaggeration.

My real "beef" with your post is with this sentence: "...[Al Qaeda is responsible for] only a fraction of the resistance in Iraq, by American estimates. I believe it was something like 2% of attacks on Americans in Iraq."

More on that in my next...

Apr. 06 2008 11:26 PM
R.C.

Mark:

What exactly is a "Paint-By-Numbers Neo-conservative?" Does the term have any meaning in your vocabulary, apart from "person with whose policy opinions I disagree?"

"That you are a mindless loyalist to Steyn and the Neo-conservative cause is easily seen." This is "seen" from..what? My insistence that a man who accuses another of using a racial epithet should provide a cite? Or of my *criticism* of Steyn's use of "wog?" Are you sure you're reading my posts, not someone else's?

Actually I suspect that it's because I don't discount Steyn's entire thesis out-of-hand purely because he's politically incorrect, racially insensitive, and a proponent of the Iraq war. You're aware, aren't you, that these items aren't very relevant in a discussion of long-term Muslim integration here in Canada?

"Whether WNYC and/or Bob Garfield have offshore banking ties to Likud, AIPAC, Heritage, or AEI remains a matter for discussion and investigation by the New York State Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service."

What on earth are you talking about? Is this another of those Illuminati/New World Order things? Do black helicopters follow you home? Are you the only one who knows 9/11 was an inside job? Is your yarmulke fabricated by Alcoa?

And what's this got to do with Steyn?

Apr. 06 2008 11:03 PM
J.B.

R.C. Yes. In fact, you've helped to show that OTM is not deliberately trying to ignore Mr. Steyn as Gary suggests. In any case, this was not my main point.

Gary, I'm not trying to get on your case. I just wanted to be clear that if one should be so supportive of Mr. Steyn airing his views, shouldn't there be similar support for the Muslim Law Students who are trying to air their views?

For the record, I totally believe that free expression should not be compromised, but also believe there is an attached responsibility that goes with it.

Apr. 06 2008 10:52 PM
Muhammed

With respect to chink and jap, I think you should ask Chinese and Japanese people how they fell about those labels. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chink

Apr. 06 2008 10:45 PM
Muhammed

RC, with respect the most widely used definition of terrorism is the deliberate violent targeting of innocents by a party. If the republican guard of Iran is somehow given the title of terrorists, the US army can be too. For example, when the US shot the Iranair passenger plane down killing more then 300 people, and Reagan subsequently gave a medal to the pilot, that is a most despicable act or terror. And yes, a soldier and a terrorist can be applied at the same time to one person. I hope and pray that Al-Qaeda and the bush junta destroy each other and leave people who don't believe in the clash and crash of civilizations alone. Al-Qaeda is an evil and filthy organization that should be wiped out, but it is only a fraction of the resistance in Iraq, by American estimates. I believe it was something like 2% of attacks on Americans in Iraq.

Patricia, my point was not to make an antisemitic slur as my post clearly indicates. It is to point out that gentile is usually just referred by Jews to a non-jew. Kafir is no different. It can be used positively and negatively. The word is ininofitself not a slur, in the way that the n-word is.

Anna, you still have not apologized when you attacked me by saying I am calling for the killing of all non-muslims and that I justified 9/11. To accuse others of ad hominems reeks of hypocricy.

Apr. 06 2008 10:43 PM
R.C.

J.R.

I grant that, used as a trio, "Japs," "Chinks," and "Brits" isn't particularly offensive; in each case it's a shortening of the a longer national identifier.

I don't know about the word "wog," though. I confess I didn't know what it meant, or to whom it applied, until a moment ago when I looked it up. (I had the impression it was used for Italians?)

From what I read on Wikipedia, "wog" is no shortening of a particular nation-state's name, but rather a xenophobic "everybody but us" kind of notion: Europeans on the Continent use it to refer to people originating far south or southeast of themselves, while British use it to refer to anyone but themselves. The Wikipedia article notes: "Wigg's coinage, sometimes paraphrased as 'Wogs start at the Channel' or 'Wogs start at Dover', is used to characterize a stodgy Europhobic viewpoint, and more generally the view that Britain (more so England) is inherently separate from (and superior to) the Continent." I suspect this is a Briton's version of "gaijin." Or, if you will, "kafir."

So, I think "wog" is probably beyond the pale, and merits the criticism it has seen here...unless it was used in an explicitly tongue-in-cheek manner.

Apr. 06 2008 10:43 PM
R.C.

Anna Keppa:

Well stated as regards fallacies (Ad Hominem, Credentialism, and Appeal to Authority).

Now, I'm fond of appeal to authority myself in some circumstances. I have to take the historian's word for it that Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon Bonaparte ever existed; I wasn't there. (But I acknowledge that Appeal to Authority can always be trumped by facts in evidence.)

One word of caution: You run perilously close to "Straw Man" when you recommend that Eva "try and talk some Islamic person out of engaging in female genital mutilation." I think even Eva is willing to use the threat/reality of force (through the police power of the state) to prevent *that*.

And I have a question: Forgive my ignorance, but what does "IOW" stand for? "In other words," perhaps? But that wouldn't scan; you say "IOW that you offer...."

Apr. 06 2008 10:33 PM
R.C.

J.B. and Gary:

Isn't the fourth response in this very thread, in fact, a response from Mark Steyn?

Apr. 06 2008 10:25 PM
Anna Keppa

Eva drips with condescension and snot: "But I wouldn't expect a former DJ who never attended University, id est Mark Steyn, to grasp the significance of technological advances. A man who doesn't understand the sciences is more than likely to fret over how existing technologies can be exploited against us, while missing the larger significance of our scientific decline. No wonder he's frightened of Muslims! Sigh..."

Sorry, sweetie, but you have outed yourself with a CLASSIC AD HOMINEM, namely (or "id est", if you will) by asserting that Steyn can't POSSIBLY understand the issues, because he's not as educated as you are!!! Why, you've even thrown in Credentialism and the Appeal to Authority into the pot as well!!!!!

NEVER MIND that YOU have made no case whatsover for how and why Steyn's varous arguments about Islam and the West are undone by forces he lacks the education to comprehend.

IOW that you offer as fact matters which are not in evidence.

I could go on, but ....you are obviously a fraud.
BWAAAAhahahahaha!!!

You are SO busted.

Apr. 06 2008 10:16 PM
JR from Canada

Mark, R.C., Muhammed,

"... Japs build your car and the Chinks supply your cuddly toys, but you'd have to be nuts to give the Brits the sirloin..."
So we're to assume that "Japs", "Chinks" and "Brits" are to be taken as derogatory references? Since Steyn is of "Brit" heritage I think you're being way over 'sensitive'.

"We're told the old-school imperialists were racists, that they thought of the wogs as inferior."
I took "wogs" in this context to imply language that "old-school imperialists" might be assumed to use. Again, you're reaching.

Racist? Hardly! At worst, Steyn could be accused of being a little politically incorrect. Good for him!

Apr. 06 2008 10:13 PM
Anna Keppa

Eva, what you call "civility" I call submission and appeasement.

Read this:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=29494&only&rss

"In the YouGov survey, nearly half of all Arabs in the Gulf, Levant and North Africa said they have met someone who holds extreme religious views.

Asked under what conditions violence is permissible, more than 60% cited Western interference in a Muslim country, while 55% said offensive words or behaviour was a trigger."

Got that? Unspecified "intereference" makes violence (everywhere on Earth, as our correspondent Muhammed seems to think?) permissible, as does "offensive" (not "needlessly" offensive) WORDS.

From your wimpish perspective I guess that means WE need to tone down our WORDS so as not to provoke Islamic VIOLENCE, where the threshold of "offensiveness" includes confronting anti-Western, indeed barbaric Islamic behaviours and practices.

Sorry, but that is nothing less than appeasement.

I would enjoy seeing your civility applied to try and talk some Islamic person out of engaging in female genital mutilation.

Apr. 06 2008 10:06 PM
J.B.

Gary,

You complain that OTM is not pratcising responsible journalism since they "do not allow" Mr. Stryn any comments in response. First off, there's no proof that that they did not allow him to respond. We don't even know if Mr. Steyn asked to be heard.

More importantly, are you equally upset then for the Muslim law students who essentially just wanted to respond but were refused? Do you therefore believe that MacLean's did not exhibit responsible journalism?

Apr. 06 2008 10:04 PM
R.C.

Muhammad:

Per our earlier discussion of "kafir," here are two examples of how the tone of usage of a term can make the difference between technical accuracy and mindless hate-filled invective:

"You and your brother by another Neo-conservative mother, DHH...": Now when one American foreign-policy "hawk" describes another as "neo-conservative" he means it as a compliment. But not here; Mark's *tone* makes the pejorative.

One hate-speech "giveaway" is the absence of any supporting argument. I, apparently, am a conservative: No evidence given...unless my focus on fact versus fallacy is evidence.

I'm even "neo-conservative"; my words not only give away my conservatism, but also that I came to it recently! Or does Mark merely use the word as a code-word for "Jewish?" ...as so many Canadians apparently do?

Similarly, what does it mean, the label, "Mark 'Pool Boy' Steyn?" Are 'pool boys' all evil? Dishonest? Unintelligent? Playthings of wealthy "desperate housewife" pool-owners? Here again, the tone makes the pejorative.

I could collect more such examples, but I've never been much of a collector. I'm neither a philatelist nor lepidopterist...and I don't have room in my house or yard for a complete collection of all the ill-considered fatuities penned in this discussion thread.

Apr. 06 2008 09:47 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

Maclean's. McCalls.

About the same interest in self-serving myopic types who cannot think without their credit cards and cell phones.

Apr. 06 2008 09:43 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

R.C.

The lone issue remains only whether Mark Steyn, a confirmed employer of mindless racial pejoratives and a Paint-By-Numbers Neo-conservative boor, violated the rules established under Canadian law and, as such, whether his publisher, McCall's, violated said rules as well.

That you are a mindless loyalist to Steyn and the Neo-conservative cause is easily seen.

Whether WNYC and/or Bob Garfield have offshore banking ties to Likud, AIPAC, Heritage, or AEI remains a matter for discussion and investigation by the New York State Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Apr. 06 2008 09:42 PM
Gary from Los Angeles

On The Media's absurd left-wing bent has been obvious for years, but this goes beyond the pale. To not allow Steyn any comment is simply bad journalism, and reveals how far OTM will go in their crusade for a simple-minded "multiculturalism" that is in direct contradiction of liberal principles, such as freedom of speech. For shame.

Apr. 06 2008 09:38 PM
Anna Keppa

Per Eva: "And combined Asian powers probably won't need to blow anything up in order to defeat the West."

Bingo! THE POINT IS, if THEY defeat us ECONOMICALLY it will be via superior education, organization and technology NOT by having to blow us up, as the wretched and backward Islamists. seek to do.

Q.E.D.

Apr. 06 2008 09:20 PM
David from Calgary

Steyn sells books promoting an us vs. them mentality, and quotes obscure Norwegian clerics for support. Thosse views don't represent Canadian Muslims, but when we try to present our perspective, there's little mainstream interest- at least not in Canada.
You've heard how Macleans feels. I've sent articles to the National Post by well respected, practicing Imams that Jon Kay has described as "good" and "interesting", but that he won't use because they aren't representative of what his audience wants to hear. Imam Hamid Slimi, the Chair of the Canadian Council of Imams (and a frequent consultant for the US State Dept.) has launched a magazine- Faith of Life- that presents real mainstream Canadian Islam in all it's conflict-resolving, peace inspiring glory and no non-Muslim picks it up. I've written a book entitled "Me and You Beyond Belief Together: A Path to Peace All Our Faiths Can Share" (that's even a finalist in an independent booksseller's book of the year contest- it's not crap), but mainstream publishers and literary agents say it's not what North Americans want to read. The media is convinced you WANT to be spoon-fed your stereotypes, and can't deal with the fact that real Muslims might actually have something useful to say.
We've been knocking politely at the door for years. Khurrum and his colleagues are just trying to make it stay open long enough for a real conversation to get started. If you're interested, check out www.faithoflife.net.

Apr. 06 2008 08:16 PM
R.C.

Oh, Mark, Mark, Mark,

I thought I had a kindred spirit in you. You did your homework, presented facts, and I applauded you!

I applauded too soon. While you're willing to help someone else obtain citations he was unwilling to give, you fail to provide your own.

How can my criticism of Steyn be construed as mindless follower-hood on my part? I realize that this thread of conversation is a long one, but if you're going to criticize a post of mine, at least take care to make certain it's my post (not DHH's) and that you haven't misconstrued it!

Again, let's stipulate that Steyn uses racial pejoratives. In fact, lets stipulate he uses them a million times a minute. Fair enough: But is what he says about Muslims accurate?

My point is that all the ad-hominems were *not* relevant to that question, and that those who indulged in such sidetracks are not contributing to the "marketplace of ideas" but rather poisoning the well of civic discourse.

Apr. 06 2008 08:04 PM
R.C.

Muhammed, here is Part 4...

What of the Al Qaeda combatant in Iraq?

He has no well-defined chain of command; the organization he does have is not led by civilians but by other combatants; the organization is not the military of the government of any particular nation-state; if it were, it isn't a democratically selected one with laws governing the selection of the government. He wears no uniform, and does not bear arms openly. He selects civilian targets intentionally, and tries to maximize, not minimize, damage to innocents and to civilian infrastructure. He hides in hospitals and mosques, thus risking injury to the innocent civilians and medical personnel legitimately there. Finally, he captures civilians, soldiers, clergy, journalists, and medical personnel without distinction, and instead of treating them in accord with the Geneva Conventions, he saws their heads off with knives in front of cameras, or tortures them, or subjects them to extreme deprivation of various kinds.

Even the criminal, despicable, and outrageous actions of U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib didn't fall that low. That, to me, is the definition of "terrorist."

So, while I can understand outrage against "collateral damage" (what a heartless term!) done during U.S. acts of war, I have trouble calling it "terrorism."

Perhaps you have a better definition?

Apr. 06 2008 07:51 PM
R.C.

Muhammed, here is part 3:

Building upon the definitions given above...

A spy for a foreign power is not really a terrorist, although he does not openly display his allegiance through a recognizable uniform. If he is also a saboteur and detonates a bomb on a military base, he is not "bearing arms openly" and is falling yet farther away from the protections of being a "soldier" and more toward the outlaw status of "terrorist." But as he has not yet attacked civilians, he is still called "irregular" not "terrorist."

Part 4 forthcoming...

Apr. 06 2008 07:50 PM
R.C.

Muhammed, here's part 2 of my post:

The hallmarks of a "soldier" are:
- He must report to a well-defined chain-of-command
- That chain-of-command should report to a civilian government
- That government should (ideally) be democratically selected by the people of a nation-state
- The manner of selection of that government should be in accord with the laws of that nation-state
- He must bear arms openly
- He must wear a recognizable uniform
- He must attack military targets, not civilian targets, medical personnel, or journalists
- He must reduce the risk of damage to civilians, medical personnel, and journalists as much as is feasible without making attacks on legitimate (military) targets impractical
- He must grant prisoners of war the protections afforded to them by the Geneva Conventions in proportion to the degree to which those prisoners, themselves, complied with the Laws of War when in combat, but with a minimum threshold provided even for non-signatory forces.

Now, as I understand it, the more of those tenets a combatant violates, the closer he comes to qualifying as a "terrorist."

Part 3 forthcoming...

Apr. 06 2008 07:48 PM
R.C.

Muhammed:

I might find some agreement with you, were it not for your tendentious use of the word "terrorism":

You say: "Muslims are not a threat to free societies, for if they were there would be far greater terrorism then there is. Terrorism by Muslims is minimal, while terrorism done unto muslims is pervasive throughout the world, done by the approval of Western governments."

What is a "terrorist"?

As I understand it, "terrorist" has a specific meaning, originating in "international law" through various treaties, the Geneva conventions, et cetera.

These exist to encourage warring parties to fight in a humane and civilized way; to do so, they define a "soldier" as an armed combatant who complies with all the "laws of war" and a "terrorist" as one who complies with none of them. (An "irregular" is someone who falls between those two extremes.)

I'm running out of room here...I'll relate the second half of this in a separate post.

Apr. 06 2008 07:47 PM
Patricia from NYC

To Muhammad (comment 68)!!!

I see you go to Stormfront for your antisemitic quotes...

Just as a correction, Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat is actually a part of a collection of Biblical commentaries in the sixteenth century. The actual text in this volume says that it is forbidden to steal even a small item from a Jew or non-Jew, from children or from adults. One of the commentators remarks that in dealing with an idolator it would be permissible to use artifice or stratagem to effect repayment of a loan. He then adds that others say that to do it intentionally is forbidden, but if the idolator makes a mistake in one’s favor, it is proper to accept the advantage that accrues. However it is pointed out that the famous Rabbi Maimonedes is vigorously opposed to such procedures.

Apr. 06 2008 07:41 PM
orthodoc

Muhammed,

Your comment:
"This from a Jew on a Gentile:

"When a Jew has a Gentile in his clutches, another Jew may go to the same Gentile, lend him money and in turn deceive him, so that the Gentile shall be ruined. For the property of a Gentile, according to our law, belongs to no one, and the first Jew that passes has full right to seize it."

--Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 156"
is taken from one of many virulently anti-Jewish websites which deliberately fabricates "quotes" from the Talmud, and attempts to use them against Jews. There is no tract of this name in the Talmud; the name originally comes from a 19th century crackpot names Edith Starr Miller.

I am assuming that you were unaware of the origin of this quote.

Why you attempt to pillory Mark Steyn for some made-up comment, and use made-up quotes to bolster your case, is another matter.

Apr. 06 2008 07:40 PM
Jackson from Oregon

#68

"To use this as an example that Gentile is a perjorative and Jews are racist would be disgusting and irresponsible."

Especially since it's fraudulent. What next, citing the "Protocols of the Elders?" Isn't such punishable in Canada?

Apr. 06 2008 07:38 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

R.C.

You and your brother by another Neo-conservative mother, DHH, consistently denied the absence of such vitriolic, 1950s National Review language on the part of Mark "Pool Boy" Steyn.

Now, with said information having been presented to you, rather than admit your blatant pro-Steyn bias (not to mention his wizardry with removing mildew from around the cement pond), you claim that Steyn's pendantic, if not pre-pubescent, biases and rants were hardly the point.

Oh, but they are, dear R.C. of the Loyal Steyner Mind, they are, indeed. Without such abusive language and limited intellectual capacities, Steyn would have only his talents for sweeping leaves out of backyard pools on which to survive.

Next time you attempt to scrap with someone on matters Steyn, one hardily suggests that you first make sure that examples of his Likud-AIPAC rantings prior have been removed from public view. Else you'll only wind up sitting before yet another rough meal of crow and gagging on the toughest of birds.

Ring R.C. out. He's through. Back to day care. Said another Neo-conservative hypocrite in for his/her lesson in defeat.

Apr. 06 2008 07:28 PM
R.C.

Mark:

No crow on my menu, though I've had to swallow some before, and though I find it less than appetizing, I acknowledge that it's good for the soul.

You'll note that I didn't debate whether Steyn had actually used the terms; in fact, I allowed for it: "Steyn could tell a hundred million "pollack" jokes an hour...."

I'm not Steyn. I find his use of the terms described above to be distasteful and his use of them a moral failure on his part.

But what's worse, in my view, is how they needlessly distract from the central question of whether what he says is *true*. In the marketplace of ideas, that should be the primary concern of both the writer and the reader.

The point of my observation (which I grant I should have made more clearly) was about Muhammed. I was trying to scold/nag him into making better arguments. Call it a pet peeve of mine: I think intellectual discourse should be founded on (a.) non-fallacious argument (no ad hominems) and (b.) assertions that are backed up, not merely stated in a vacuum.

So, Mark, you've helped me nag Muhammed (thank you!) by actually tracking down the citations for the offending comments. That took you...what? 5 minutes? Less?

Muhammed, THAT is how it's done. You were asked to back up your assertions several times, and refused to do so. Now, see how easy that was? Follow Mark's example, next time around.

Apr. 06 2008 07:17 PM
bob

there is a war, as full in scale as any other. on one side are basic individual freedoms, on the other is a violent and hyper aggressive islamic movement that will scream and murder anyone who dares to express themselves. muslims believe the repression from which they came, where free speech is a crime and freedom of religion reason for murder should rule in the west. they believe that words and even thoughts are illegal, that dissent should be crushed and that disagreement to any of the previous is racism.

Apr. 06 2008 07:14 PM
Richard Cook from Atlanta, GA

Thank you Anna for making the critical point that most here have ignored: it oughtn't matter if Steyn had referred to someone with an ethnic slur. He didn't, as any close reading of his work reveals, but in a legal sense the question should be 'so what if he had?' If you cannot allow someone to say something offensive, you aren't having a free and open debate. The fact that there is a governmental panel whose job it is to determine whether what someone said is legitimate discourse or not ought to frighten everyone. What if Muhammed's words were the ones being squelched by the government? Putting the parameters of public debate up for definition by whatever population has a majority - or the ear of the state - is an exceptionally bad idea, and one that should be anathema to any Westerner.

Apr. 06 2008 07:12 PM
R.C.

Eva:

I'll grant that technological innovation (and, in fact, general educational excellence) is more important in the long run. An excellent argument in favor of school vouchers and free enterprise, no?

But I don't think your ad hominem aside about Steyn ("a former DJ who never attended University") helps your argument.

You should debate whether the man's assertions are factual. Contemptuous references to his biographical details argue more convincingly that you're biased against his opinions out of snobbery, than that you've given them a fair hearing and defeated them logically.

On a related note: Here's a list of some other folks who lack a University degree:

Bill Gates
Sheldon Adelson
Larry Ellison
Li Ka-Shing
Roman Abramovich
Paul Allen
Michael Dell
Amancio Ortega
Kirk Kerkorian
Donald Newhouse
François Pinault
Stanley Ho
David Geffen
YC Wang
Jack Taylor
Steve Jobs
David Murdock
Henry Fok
Ralph Lauren
Richard Branson

...but they're a bunch of college dropouts, so we know their opinions are utterly without value. Right? Right?!
(h/t http://www.pennylicious.com/2006/10/09/billionaire-dropouts/)

Apr. 06 2008 07:03 PM
eva from california

R.C.,
Perhaps in looking at the larger debate, you are missing the focused debate, which is not "whether Muslims are in fact a threat to free societies because they are Muslims" but whether filing this complaint under a Human Rights Act made any sense in the first place. IMO, it did not, and the students (and recently graduated students) involved were ill-advised and should retract the complaint.
But the larger debate involves not just asking "whether Muslims are in fact a threat to free societies because they are Muslims", but in asking ourselves what our responsibilities are as members of a free society. To paraphrase the early work of Samuel Huntington, with rights come responsibilities... Again, I strongly support the right to free speech and disagree with the "human rights" complaint against Steyn, but I am also old-fashioned enough to understand that, given these rights, there is an individual responsibility for civil speech in our society as it relates to (see Huntington) stability. And there is no diminishment of the right to free speech when an individual criticizes the lack of civility (not to mention the lack of common sense) in vitriolic statements, including ethnic slurs and some of the posts on this board.

Apr. 06 2008 06:59 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

R.C.

You have an order of Crow awaiting your consumption.

Apr. 06 2008 06:57 PM
Muhammed

RC, as I've stated the links are directly in kinsella's article, steyn has not refuted the chink etc. allegations, so I don't see any reason for a retraction. If I had the time, I would find the article and give you a link, but I do not.

This from a Jew on a Gentile:
"When a Jew has a Gentile in his clutches, another Jew may go to the same Gentile, lend him money and in turn deceive him, so that the Gentile shall be ruined. For the property of a Gentile, according to our law, belongs to no one, and the first Jew that passes has full right to seize it."
--Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 156
To use this as an example that Gentile is a perjorative and Jews are racist would be disgusting and irresponsible.
I don't see how this is any different from kafir. Yes, some idiots use the word despicably, but that does not make the word itself derogatory.
Muslims are not a threat to free societies, for if they were there would be far greater terrorism then there is. Terrorism by muslims is mininmal, while terrorism done unto muslims is pervasive throughout the world, done by the approval of Western governments.

Apr. 06 2008 06:56 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

WOGS
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0802/steyn1.asp
Jewish World Review

Battered Westerner Syndrome inflicted by myopic Muslim defenders
By Mark Steyn

Paragraph 14

"Once upon a time we knew what to do. A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband's funeral pyre. He replied that in British culture it was the custom to hang chaps who did that sort of thing. There are many great things about India -- curry, pyjamas, sitars, software engineers -- but suttee was not one of them. What a pity we're no longer capable of being "judgmental" and "discriminating." We're told the old-school imperialists were racists, that they thought of the wogs as inferior. But, if so, they at least considered them capable of improvement. The multiculturalists are just as racist. The only difference is that they think the wogs can never reform: Good heavens, you can't expect a Muslim in Norway not to go about raping the womenfolk! Much better just to get used to it."

Apr. 06 2008 06:55 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

CHINKS
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_200103/ai_n8932180/print

The American Spectator
Why Canadians are taking vinegar shower
By Mark Steyn

Paragraph 3

"How rational any of this is is anybody's guess. Who's to say that the vinegar those Ontario schoolboys were showering in doesn't use some preservative made from crushed Holstein testicles? Ah, how the sweet allure of globalisation sours on the tongue: it's one thing to let the Japs build your car and the Chinks supply your cuddly toys, but you'd have to be nuts to give the Brits the sirloin concession. If I follow this FMD thing correctly, your agriculture minister was worried that disease in the 'national herd' (a quaintly Stalinist concept) might depress meat exports. So he ordered the slaughter of every four-legged friend between Ruislip and Rockall in order to send a signal that he was serious about containing the disease. But, by the time the news got over here, it looked more like a signal about the seriousness of the disease rather than the seriousness of the containment. ..."

Apr. 06 2008 06:54 PM
R.C.

Muhammed:

Re: "The non-practice of non-Islamic religions in Saudi Arabia is no different then the non-practice of religions in the Vatican."

Saudi Arabia:
geographical area: 2,149,690 sq. km.
population: 27,601,038

Vatican City:
geographical area: 0.44 sq. km.
population: 821

And keep in mind that every inch of Vatican City is actually a part of a church building or an avenue or drive for a church building.

One *could* argue that allowing non-Muslims to conspicuously pray to Jesus while inside Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque in Mecca) would be comparable to the pope permitting a Muslim to conspicuously pray while inside the Vatican.

But to argue that the forbidding of Christian (or other) worship in all of Saudi Arabia is equally comparable is laughable.

In short, your example is not convincing, because the comparison is so outlandishly mistaken. Some people compare apples and oranges; you've here compared apples to Aldebaran on the basis that they're both red.

Apr. 06 2008 06:52 PM
R.C.

Muhammad:

"Kafir" is not a pejorative?

Well, that rather depends on the tone and context in which it's used, does it not?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w26DSCYGdM8&feature=related

There are definitions, and then there are implications and undertones. Sure, "kafir" has a perfectly neutral definition, as does the Japanese word "gaijin."

For that matter, words such as "colored" and "negro" and "nigra" and a variation of the latter which I'll not use here can be described as neutral in the sense that they refer to a person of sub-Saharan African ancestry...and what could possibly be wrong with that?

No, no. It's the tone and usage that distinguishes between the bigot and the non-bigot. The Muslim who uses "kafir" or "kuffar" (transliterations vary) in a technical, scholarly way is being no bigot. The Muslim who raps, "dirty kuffar, you'll get what's coming to you" is in another category.

Apr. 06 2008 06:39 PM
R.C.

Question:

Has Muhammed yet, after about four or five requests, been able to track down a citation for "chinks" and "wogs" being used by Mark Steyn?

Thought not.

But whether Steyn is a user of racial pejoratives or not isn't relevant to the larger debate. The larger debate is about whether Muslims are in fact a threat to free societies because they are Muslims. Steyn could tell a hundred million "pollack" jokes an hour and still be right, or wrong, about that topic.

Apr. 06 2008 06:28 PM
David Parsons from L.A.

Imagine a playground of children, with a single bully whom no one likes. The bully runs up to the teacher and complains that the others are whispering things about him. The teacher threatens the children with punishment for whispering things, and the bully stands next to the teacher and smirks.

Welcome to Canada.

Apr. 06 2008 06:28 PM
Patricia from NYC

I find the way Muslims in the West try to have free speech curtailed deeply offensive. Since Voltaire, we in the West have developed a society where a free market of ideas exists, where speech is allowed and blasphemy isn't a crime.

Since the mass immigration of Muslims in the West, we are back to the 16th century and the wars of religion. Islam as it exists today isn't compatible with either modernity or openness... It is a religion of the dark ages. Muhammad trying to say that the fact that in Saudi Arabia t5here are no churches is akin as no mosque in the Vatican... Except that there is a mosque in Rome!

We hear all the time from Muslims that they want respect. Well respect must be earned and neither Islam nor Muslims have earned it. Islam hasn't contributed anything to civilization in 1000 years. Muslims in the West behave as if they want to conquer it and treat the natives as kaffirs. As to their whining that Muslim lands were colonized, from Muhammad to the siege of Vienna they did the conquering... What they don't like is to be on the receiving end.

Mark Steyn was perfectly right to publish both his book and his article. What Muslims could have done was to debate it... They prefer prior restraint. This shows they are just waiting to dictate to us their law... Well the answer is NO!!!

Apr. 06 2008 05:55 PM
eva from california

Anna,
That was a rather unconvincing defense of your own vitriolic statement. Further, I think you've clearly missed the point of Swift, Johnson and Dante.
Maybe those who value Western civilization, rather than taking up arms, should ensure that we don't lose our edge to a more agile competitor than Islam.
While the Steynists fret over Islam, they've quite managed to ignore that, in its rapidly expanding technological superiority, Asia poses a much greater threat. And combined Asian powers probably won't need to blow anything up in order to defeat the West.
But I wouldn't expect a former DJ who never attended University, id est Mark Steyn, to grasp the significance of technological advances. A man who doesn't understand the sciences is more than likely to fret over how existing technologies can be exploited against us, while missing the larger significance of our scientific decline. No wonder he's frightened of Muslims! Sigh...

Apr. 06 2008 05:45 PM
Muhammed

Anna, there is not one point you have referred to that is actually of substance. The non-practice of non-Islamic religions in Saudi Arabia is no different then the non-practice of religions in the vatican.
Kafir is not a bigoted word, it is the equivalent of a gentile in Judaic terms. Crusaders is an accurate use of the word, considering the fanatical evangelicalism of buffoonish Generals such as General Boykin. Moreover, I am not an Islamist, but do have sympathies for Muslim people who wish to be ruled by their own governments, not those propped up by the West and imposed through Apache helicopters and M2 Tanks.

Apr. 06 2008 05:43 PM
Anna Keppa

Eva, you said:

"For examples of truly ad hominem attacks, one can simply refer to previous posts by "Anna Keppa", e.g.:

"It's no wonder you are all so angry and want to kill non-Muslims, as they expose your intellectual and cultural barrenness every single minute you take a breath." "

Sorry, but that's not an ad hominem attack. I was offering an explanation as to why angry Islamists such as Muhammed are so... angry. I didn't say "you're just a Muslim, so you can be ignored". I raised plenty of other substantive arguments which M has slunk away from.

Second, Steyn doesn't claim to be Locke or Hume or Smith. On top of that, if you think the classics are just chock full of civility, you ought to try reading Swift, for example, or Johnson, or Dante. Or Paine.

Third, you should ponder Stanley's point. The Western Canon is precisely what the Islamists despise and wish to destroy. Those who value Western Civ and all the good it has leashed upon the world need to take up arms, intellectual and otherwise (where necessary), against those who would try to use our institutions to destroy us. Simply saying "we're better than that" is a sure recipe for seeing one's country being slowly eaten up by an alien, primitive and yes BARBARIC culture.

Finally, I am sure Danny Perle was very civil, but I doubt that mattered a whit when Sheik Kalid was cutting his head off.

Apr. 06 2008 05:30 PM
Muhammed from Toronto

Gerard, I routinely call for a non-interventionist foreign policy on behalf of our federal government. I suggest you do too.

Sean, it's evident you don't really believe in facts. Not one of my arguments has been refuted thus far. Steyn, the most widely read columnist in the English World? care to back that up. The steynians here will make up a ridiculous defense for him no matter what the facts. Gook is a slur, no matter how you try to slice it.

Anna, I suggest you go back to your elementary school and take remedial classes in English. Somehow, in the narrow walls of your mind, I have called for the death of all non-muslims and have justified 9/11. You should be ashamed.

Apr. 06 2008 05:20 PM
Sean F

Muhammed:
You have been discredited and you are flailing in the dark with your conspiracy theories and false accusations.

Further, it is laughable that you claim the media should selfcensor Steyn when in fact he is the most popular and widely read columnist in the English-speaking world. The media should emulate him rather than censor him, because he writes what people want to read, mostly because it speaks the truth, unlike his critics who insist on quoting his work inaccurately and making false statements.

Finally, media censorship may be the norm in Saudi Arabia, but not in America, and not in Canada either. Steyn has the right to publish like anyone else, and there is no question it is not hard for him to find a publisher.

Apr. 06 2008 05:04 PM
Stanley from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

The central point to understand is that Islam is incompatible with Western civilization. Just as the Nazis used democratic means to gain power in Germany and then shut down the democratic regime, so Muslims will use our institutions to gain power in Western societies and then, when they are numerous enough among our population, impose sharia [Islamic law] on us. While this isn't the conscious goal of all Muslims, it **is** the goal of those who are most serious about their [totalitarian] religion -- those who make the most noise and threaten (and sometimes commit) actual violence. In other words, good Muslims (i.e. those who are serious about following the dictates of the Koran) are a mortal threat to Western countries. They're just doing what their book tells them to do -- by deception at first, and then, when their numbers among us suffice, by raw power. (Deceit and then brutality are also what their book prescribes.) See, for example, this: http://blog.vdare.com/archives/2007/10/29/book-recommendation-religion-of-peace-by-gregory-davis/

Apr. 06 2008 05:01 PM
eva from california

My goodness, Anna. Perhaps you should re-read my comment. Your insistence that I have "placed myself "squarely in the the camp of the complainants in this case" is inaccurate, especially since I clearly stated that I strongly defend Mark Steyn's right to free speech.
I also never called you "naive", if you would care to re-read my post.
Your 3:55 p.m. post seems to ignore the point of my post, which was to remind readers of the larger responsibilities and ideals of Western civilization, and the Western canon. I do believe that the works of Locke and Hume and Smith survive in part because they did not lose themselves in vitriol, but in thought. There is great humor and play and quite a bit of ribaldry in the works of the Athenians, but they always come back to the hard work of philosophy, science and governance. They do not rest on paranoia or ad hominem attacks against the other. In fact, their greatest criticism is reserved for themselves. And that, in part, is why they still provide great insight.
For examples of truly ad hominem attacks, one can simply refer to previous posts by "Anna Keppa", e.g.:
"It's no wonder you are all so angry and want to kill non-Muslims, as they expose your intellectual and cultural barrenness every single minute you take a breath."

Apr. 06 2008 04:54 PM
Mohammed Shokr from Toronto

The interview was not fair to the Muslim lawyer. At the end the host quoted the editor-in-chief of Maclean's saying that he would allow a reasonable response from the Muslim lawyers, however they requested a 5-page article response, authored by a writer of their choice without editing by the magazine and the subject should be placed on the cover of the magazine.

These are obviously non-reasonable demands. So, to the benefit of the listener, the guest should have given a chance to respond to those "allegations" during the interview. By mentioning those statements only after the interview is a planned tactic (the way I see it) to leave the listeners with a final impression very much against the position of the Muslim lawyers.

Apr. 06 2008 04:40 PM
Jack from Chicago

This report and the one last week on gun control suggest OTM is not putting enough thought into the subjects it interviews. Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather hear the views of someone with intimate knowledge of the subject than the opinions of Brooke or Bob but it seems like OTM could get somebody closer to the topic. Ideally, with something so controversial, both views could be presented.

Apr. 06 2008 04:19 PM
Jesse from Montana

To: NPR On The Media

From: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Re:Steyn and Writing a Wrong

On the Media should do an on the media piece on the On the Media Writing a Wrong's hit piece on Mark Steyn. You're screwup on this ranks up there with...oh, Hillary's visit to Bosnia taking incoming sniper fire, just to pick a random example.

However, as it seems to be de rigueur for left wing media cadets and wonkettes to misquote, mis-attribute, mis-characterize, and otherwise doublethink their "journalistic" reports into Monty-Pythonesque parodies of reality...
probably not going to happen.

PS Muhammed, you still haven't answered the question.

Apr. 06 2008 03:58 PM
Anna Keppa

Eva, if you distinguish between "offensive" and "needlessly offensive" you have placed yourself squarely in the camp of the complainants in this case.

The First Amendment in the US, at least, doesn't make that distinction, since making one would assume an arbiter. And just who would that be, but the government? Or a Human Rights Commission that violates the human rights to counsel and public proceedings, just fer instance???

As for my being "naive": I've found that line of ad hominem argument rather common. It saves you the trouble of having to actually make a case!

If YOU take the time to read the conversation Styeyn was having it was clearly about jihadist enemies, distinguishing their goals from the communist enemy of Vietnam aka gooks. I never said the term was "restricted to" anything; I merely said STEYN used it in the context of the communist enemy in Vietnam.

If you think Steyn deserves to be hauled before a Human Rights committee for his "needless" offensiveness, you too are at one with the Islamists.

Do you , or not? If so, why?

Apr. 06 2008 03:55 PM
Gerald Langlois from Hawkesbury

Deborah: I wanted to comment to you through your site, but could not find the entry. Can you let us know, on your site, how we contact you? Thx

Apr. 06 2008 03:34 PM
Ralph Seliger from New York

I listened intently to this segment, with a great deal of sympathy for the person who felt aggrieved. After the interview was over, OTM read Maclean's written response to the legal complaint. Recounting their demands for a five-page, unedited, cover article by a writer of their choice seemed to blow the complainants out of the water. Why didn't you begin this segment with that devastating reply rather than end with it?

Apr. 06 2008 03:29 PM
Gerald Langlois from Hawkesbury

Mohammed: I am not sure why you state it is particularly "my" government? From your post you are in Toronto, so one would think that it is "your" government as well, no? "Supporting mass murder of muslims"? Don't think so, only the nutters and headhackers that quote the Quran before sawing off the heads of the infidels, or the freaks that fly planes into buildings, or blow themselves up in pizza parlours, or bomb subways, planes, trains, and...... Oh well, I guess you get the picture.

Apr. 06 2008 03:27 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

Just how long has Mr. Garfield known Mr. Steyn?

When was the last time Mr. Steyn and Mr. Garfield met to discuss matters financial?

How loyal is Mr. Garfield to Likud, AIPAC, AEI, Heritage, and the Neo-conservative movement?

Who purchased Mr. Garfield's new luxury car?

Questions that Mr. Garfield and WNYC need to answer.

Journalistic credibility - to say nothing of Congressional financing, could be at stake.

Apr. 06 2008 03:27 PM
Mark from Albany, NY

WNYC must undertake an immediate full and open investigation into the financial background of Bob Garfield to determine whether the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and/or Likud Party have established offshore bank accounts in the British Channel Islands, Cayman Islands, and Bermuda on Mr. Garfield's behalf.

Mr. Garfield, as a champion of free speech, please provide the following financial and personal records to the state Attorney General's Office:

All of your financial data, both within and beyond U.S. boundaries, including bank records, hedge fund data, stocks, bonds, limited liability partnerships, and all IRS filings;

Testimony under oath about your affiliations with Mr. Steyn, AIPAC, Heritage, AEI, and Likud;

Any and all personal and professional travel records outside the United States;

Any and all communication records from your home, office, WNYC, On The Media, and NPR telephones and cellular telephones;

Any and all email records from your home, personal, laptop, WNYC, On The Media, and NPR computers and,

To post all of these records and the full transcript of your testimony on the WNYC website.

Surely, Mr. Garfield, you and your bosses at On The Media, WNYC, and NPR have nothing to hide.

Apr. 06 2008 03:21 PM
eva from california

Dear Anna,
Re: your defense of Steyn's use of the term "gook"
First, let me say that I strongly defend Mark Steyn's right to free speech, and I thought his article made some interesting, if well-worn, points about demographics.
But while I would like to think that Steyn is working in the best tradition of Western ideals, as outlined by a great tradition of Englightenment thinkers, I find his use of the term "gook", well, not so much offensive as NEEDLESSLY offensive. Perhaps I just haven't read enough John Locke and Adam Smith, but I don't find that these great men ever needed to stoop to low language to make their point.
If you truly love the West, perhaps your fidelity includes honoring the tradition of thoughtful language to ensure that one's point is not obscured. It requires a great deal of naivete to believe that "gook" was ever restricted to, as you put it, "military slang toward one's enemies."

Apr. 06 2008 03:00 PM
DNJ

I don't see how respect for other cultures requires you to dismantle the most deeply-cherished aspects of your own.

Apr. 06 2008 03:00 PM
Anna Keppa

Naiyer Habib is unclear on the concept of freedom of speech and the press: in Western culture, and until the infamous Alberta case (a CHRC ruling that itself violates all norms of due process) no one can BE FORCED TO publish a rebuttal of an article appearing in their publication.

So it's only natural that Islamists can consider it "reasonable" that a publication was FORCED to do their bidding!

But, hey, Naiyer, we too can be "reasonable": just let Ha'aretz columnists, for example, publish rebuttals in Lebanese, Syrian, Saudi and Palestinian publications, OK? Or how about rebuttal time on Al Jezeera?

Or just let Jews have the pulpit in one of your anti-western mosques to counteract the anti-Semitic poision your mullahs preach!

Now THAT would be being "accomodative"!!!

By now, however, everyone knows that accomodating Islam is a one-way street.

We will fight you; you can count on it. No cultural beheadings for us, thank you.

Apr. 06 2008 02:52 PM
Randy Jackson

I've thought about writing a legitimate response, but the comments posted by the anti-Steyners are too nonsensical and ludicrous to warrant such. How do you properly respond to such utter madness?

Rather, I'll just suggest that Mithoowani and co. call the damn whaaambulance.

Seriously.

Apr. 06 2008 02:44 PM
Naiyer Habib from Canada


It was raesonable request for pulishing the rbuttal in the MacLeans magazine which has been publishing biased publication over time as noted by Naseem.
In 2002, the Alberta Human Rights Commission ruled against the magazine Alberta Report for spreading prejudice against Jews. The magazine agreed to give adequate space for a rebuttal.

Why such inflammatory ongoing majority publication against Muslims and putting forward a defence to have freedom of speech.

Let us have society of moral and character and be accomodative. Have panel discussion or opportunity
for rebuttal what is said and published if such situation demands.

NH

Apr. 06 2008 02:36 PM
Muhammed from Toronto

Gerald, I would urge you to go to your federal government and call them to stop supporting the mass murder of Muslims throughout the Muslim World and stop militarily and financially supporting the bellydancing kings and dictators of the Muslim World. The only book signings at Chapters Indigo are those of Muslim-hating lying fascists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Jesus, Steyn described a whole race as callow gooks and chinks, not just one individual in the instance I referenced. There is a difference.

DHH, again Kinsella's letter references that I alluded to, and Mr. Steyn has not refuted any of the allegations that I brought up. You stated, correctly, that he was misattributed the mosquitoes line, but not the chinks line. Moreover, in his articles about Muslim he has referred to them as the new owners of Europe, who will organize a bloody takeover of it and impose Sharia. Now if a Muslim said the Jews run the world secretly, and will impose the Talmud and the Noahdic Laws on the nonbeliever, he would be rightly and roundly condemned. There is no difference between the two, and Mark Steyn is only adapting classical stereotypes of antisemitism, and the old stranger around the block to those of the new stranger around the block.

Apr. 06 2008 02:28 PM
Anna Keppa

Muhammed,
You have blithely ignored my challenge to explain why practic of non-Muslim religions is outlawed in Saudi Arabia -- mis-directing us to mistreatment of freign workers there.

You have also heavily implied that the West "deserved" Alaqeda's 9/11 attacks based on our "murders" in the Middle East. Care to explain yourself regarding this self-evident truth? Nahhhh!!!

Next, please explain why your co-religionists routinely refer to non-Muslims as infidels, Crusaders and kafirs -- those aren't terms of indearment, are they? Why do YOU get to use those terms and not be confronted with their inherent hatred and bigotry?

Oh and btw: what about the" apes" and "pigs" thing Muslims have for Jews???

Finally, on the "gooks" reference: obvously, military slang toward one's enemies doesn't indicate "bigotry".

Face it, Muhammed: the Arab world made contributions to world culture waaaaay back when, until the 15th century or so. Since then, and ironically enough, you've give us ZERO. Just look at the pitiful number of inventions patented the last fifty years from Arab countries --- fewer than 100, versus millions in the West.
It's no wonder you are all so angry and want to kill non-Muslims, as they expose your intellectual and cultural barrenness every single minute you take a breath.

It's gotta suck to realize that no Arab nation has ever built an automobile, let alone an airplane.

Apr. 06 2008 02:24 PM
DNJ

I do not know how the peaceful expression of an opinion can ever be, whatever that opinion is, a violation of someone else's "human rights."

What a dark world for us all if that becomes the rule.

Apr. 06 2008 02:21 PM
SM from Canada

The question of who really is the plaintiff in the complaints against Maclean's will say alot about the credibility of each side.
Steyn has provided links to copies of official HRC documents showing Mohamed Elmasry as the complainant.
http://www.steynonline.com/images/macleans%20hr%20canadian%20hrc%20redacted.pdf
http://www.steynonline.com/images/macleans%20hr%20bc%20elmasry.pdf
The law students repeatedly claim that they are the complainants, yet they never provide any documentation for that claim.
If they are what they say they are, where's the proof?

Apr. 06 2008 02:14 PM
Deborah Gyapong from Ottawa

Thanks, NPR, you have given a softball interview to someone who is part of a movement in Canada--not Muslim-dominated, by the way, they are but one special interest group--that is trying to put out what little freedom of speech Canada has left.

Not only that, you have tacitly given support to a censorship regime whose supporters also want to expand to include restrictions on the Internet, kinda like the Chinese firewall. This coalition of politically correct would-be censors likes diversity only when it pertains to skin color, sexual orientations, and external cultural manifestations under the banner of multiculturalism, but abhors real diversity of opinion and wants to make sure there is less of it.

You did ask some challenging questions on the principles involved and you get a passing grade for that, but barely.

Apr. 06 2008 02:13 PM
Deborah Gyapong from Ottawa

Have you bothered to find out anything about Canada's dangerously illiberal "human rights" regime? Their investigative techniques? The fact that investigators have admitted planting "hate" messages on targeted sites under assumed names and there's now a criminal complaint filed that they pirated an innocent young woman's unsecured Wi-Fi to do so? Do you care? Do you know that before these tribunals one is guilty until proven innocent? That the hate provision in subsection 13(1) is so vague that the general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Alan Borovoy warns that even legitimate journalism covering trouble spots around the world could run afoul of this law, that says any material (truth is no defense) that is likely (no need to prove that it has in any measurable way) to expose a person or group to contempt or hatred. Did you know the normal rules of evidence don't apply, and basically, the rule of law is replaced with mushy, administrative procedures that seem to be made up as the investigations go on?

Apr. 06 2008 02:13 PM
Deborah Gyapong from Ottawa

You have allowed your interviewee to broadcast far and wide a number of false assertions about the article in question. You have allowed her to claim that Steyn said Muslims are breeding like mosquitoes when he was in fact quoting a European Imam. The CIC complaint is full of missing quotations and misrepresentations of what Steyn actually wrote. Did you bother to do your own checking in advance? The complaint even attacks Steyn for a review of a dystopic novel. That's where the twisted imagery of bloody civil war comes from, a review of a novel!!!! It has nothing to do with Steyn's body of work, which is more a critique of Western civilizational exhaustion than of Islam.

Did you even bother to read the except of America Alone or the other articles in the dossier the law students compiled? In a half day's research of material easily available on the web, you could have handled this far more fairly. Instead you have given this woman a propaganda platform that is dangerously defamatory. In today's climate, if these attacks on Steyn are believed, you could be putting his life in danger by allowing them to be broadcast far and wide without correction.

Apr. 06 2008 02:13 PM
Deborah Gyapong from Ottawa

This interview represents an amazingly sloppy piece of journalism. Why didn't you research this adequately before putting this woman on and letting her rhyme off her assertions unchallenged? First of all she is not one of the complainants to the Canadian Human Rights Commission or the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, the two human rights bodies that have agreed to hear the complaints. Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress is the complainant. The CIC also filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, but that body has said it does not have jurisdiction.

I hope that you give Mark Steyn an equal opportunity to tell his side of the story. At least he has a sense of humor, unlike your earnest but inaccurate guest.

Apr. 06 2008 02:12 PM
Gerald Langlois from Hawkesbury

Mohammed: Your comments on this subject are hilarious. Keep up the good work. You might, however, try directing your concerns to your local imam and enlist his or her (oops, sorry about that) support in curbing the fanaticism that seems to be pervasive in the some mosques these days. It does give muslims a rather bad name, as I am sure you will agree. Or better yet, try your hand at writing a book and explaining all your concerns and complaints in print. I am sure a title like "Islam, the religion of peace as we know it", will get you a place at the center table of Chapters/Indigo in Toronto.

Apr. 06 2008 02:10 PM
Charles from USA

Muhammed: The Kinsella letter to which you linked either quoted Steyn out of context, or blatantly misquoted him. I would encourage you to check out Steyn's response to the letter on his site:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/blogcategory/31/107/

All Steyn has had to do is simply republish the articles cited by Kinsella. Amid all the lies and distortions that are going around about Steyn, his ACTUAL words are his best defense.

Apr. 06 2008 02:06 PM
Jesus Morales

Oh, MY! Steyn has done it again! He's used the 'c' word again!

"Or some callow, untested youth like Barack Obama,.."

Oh, the carnage, the misery, the absolute horrendousness of it! How can we survive?

Apr. 06 2008 01:58 PM
DHH from Germany

Muhammed,

it doesn't work that way: If A claims "B wrote something nasty!" and B responds with "Uh, no, I didn't!", then it's A's turn to prove his claims, not B's turn to prove the non-existence. How should someone prove that he /didn't/ do something? If someone accused you of racist comments, how would you prove that you didn't make them? Wouldn't it be the attacker's turn to bring some proofs?

So, again: Where did Mr Steyn call people "Chinks" and "Wogs"? In the articles referenced by Mr Kinsella, Mr Steyn only mockingly references old-school imperialist terminology.

I partly agree with your criticism of the US stance towards Saudi Arabia, though. This "They're our friends!" stuff is disgusting. But let's not digress - I'm still waiting for the sources of Mr Steyn's alleged "Chinks" / "Wogs" remarks...

Apr. 06 2008 01:33 PM
Patrick from USA

I am certain that Valerie, Muhammed, etc. support restricting speech on all who "defame Christians and Christianity." No way Canadians would let Robert Mapplethorpe's exhibits in their country, right?

Seems to me the most effective way to stop people from criticizing a religion or its adherents is to threaten or commit violence against those who do.

Let's see, very few publications reprinted the "Mohammed cartoons." And Theo Van Gogh has been remarkably silent on the issue of Muslim repression and violence lately. Hmmm.

Apr. 06 2008 01:32 PM
Muhammed from Toronto

Describing Asians as callow is straight from his book. The other stuff is found at :
http://www.warrenkinsella.com/index.php?m=03&y=08&entry=entry080302-221852

Apr. 06 2008 01:31 PM
Jesus Morales

Muhammad's comment includes the words "...callow Chinks and Japs, Wogs ..." YOU CANNOT DENY IT! By his own logic (and Elmasry's), he is bigoted and racist. Haul him before the 'Human Rights' tribunals, the scoundrel!

Please learn how to read and understand what others say, Muhammad, before you cast aspersions. Read Mr. Steyn's work and point out EXACTLY where he commits bigotry and racism - don't use quotations (look it up) of others to tar him with your unpleasant fantasies.

Apr. 06 2008 01:16 PM
Muhammed from Toronto

Actually DHH, you made the claim that Mr. Steyn has refuted the allegations against him made by Warren Kinsella etc. That is clearly not true. And yours and Anna Keppa's comment that gooks is just military slang, that speaks volumes about Steyn's defenders. Terrence, as I've stated, I don't agree with the human rights complaint, but to deny Steyn's racism and bigotry is absurd and fanatical.

The problem with you Anna, is that the ratio of Western government sponsered murder to Al-Qaeda sponsored murder is approximately 100:1. I would encourage people such as yourself to look objectively at murder committed by governments elected and supported by yourself.

Having lived in S. Arabia for a decade, I can safely say that the most notable and disgusting bigotry done by Saudis is done not against people of other faiths, but against Third World peoples. For example, an engineer from a Third World country will earn 1/3 of the salary compared to an engineer from a first world country with the same position. The individual from the first world will also receive free schooling, healthcare and benefits, something not offered to the Third Worlder. Moreover, the Saudis are not my friends, but America's, as repeatedly shown in military purchases and the excellent relations that the two ruling dynasties in those two countries enjoy.

Apr. 06 2008 01:16 PM
Steve Perry from Montréal, Canada

Muhammed,

"Repeatedly"? Find even one. I'm with DHH - but let's give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are relying on secondhand wilful misquotes. Do yourself a favour and think for yourself - you might like it.

Apr. 06 2008 01:10 PM
Chris from http://republicinformer.com

Anna,

If I might quote an extremely insightful observation from Mr. Steyn himself in order to punctuate what you've stated:

"Another reader sent round a mocking e-mail —"Are you man enough to shoot a nun in the back?” — and was promptly rebuked by one of his female friends: “This is a one-off situation you describe and so you can’t suddenly leap in to tar every Muslim with the same brush: It wasn’t a response from the Muslim world, it was the reaction of one person.”…

If, say, I were to shoot a staffer for The Nation in the back in the name of National Review, you would expect at the very minimum my bosses here to suspend the column at least until I’d been acquitted at trial. If, instead of that, Rich Lowry and Kate O’Beirne were marching through the streets chanting “Behead the enemies of National Review!” and William F. Buckley were to issue a statement offering the publishers of The Nation the choice between conversion to conservatism, paying a poll tax to him, or death, and if it were rumored that Rick Brookhiser, John Derbyshire, and dozens of other “moderate” NR writers strongly disagreed with my decision to shoot the Nation guy but didn’t dare say anything, I think the reasonable person would conclude that the problem is more than just one fringe nutter."

Apr. 06 2008 12:46 PM
Terence from usa

muhammed:
You offer no insight into the debate other than veiled mud slinging at Mr.Steyn for his attempts to report on actual quotes made by certain muslims. It is evident that after Macleans published his opinion piece, dissenting letters to the editor were given space alongside those in support. It seems this was not enough for the complainers, who then wanted editorial control of the magazine to present their case some months later. That is an absurd concept. Expecting a national magazine to turn it's front page and content into your official blogspot because of some perceived slight is a ridiculous notion.

Apr. 06 2008 12:44 PM
Anna Keppa

Muhammed's blatant attempts at re-direction utterly fail to address all the violence meted out to, or threatened against, those who criticise Islamic radicalism. Unless and until he utterly renounces those who seek to KILL non-Muslims for their offenses against Islamic doctrine or practices, attempts to equate Steyn comments he finds offensive is laughable.

Just point out to us, for example, ONE instance where criticism of Christianity by non-christians is met with placards calling for beheadings and murder.

Here's a free clue, Muhammed: your religion is INHERENTLY bigoted against those who do not practice it.

Try explaining why it's illegal to practice Christianity or any other religion in Saudi Arabia.

As for Steyn's comment about "gooks" : that was the common term for "the communist enemy" in Korea and Vietnam. John Mccain still uses it to refer to his North Vietnamese captors. Gotta problem with that? Too bad.

Apr. 06 2008 12:33 PM
DHH from Germany

Muhammed,

well, Mr Steyn obviously releases his incriminated columns, and so far, nothing in them has substantiated his attackers' claims, so, I don't exactly feel like it will happen when he releases the next set...

But face it: You made a claim - it's your turn to back it up with sources, not Mr Steyn's turn to refute every unsourced statement that is attributed to him. So, can you back up your claim about "Chinks" and "Wogs"? If not, will you retract it and apologize? Or will you decide to simply running away from the discussion?

And re your "gooks" example: To me, it reads like usage of the military slang term which describes the military opponent - it's directed at the Viet Cong / Viet Minh, not at people from Vietam in general... But I'll ask my grandfather if he felt racially intimidated by being called a "Jerry" and a "Kraut" in WWII... Oh, the horrors of war...

Apr. 06 2008 12:24 PM
Joseph from Philadelphia, PA

The one positive to result from this absurd case is that Steyn's brilliant article, published a year and a half ago, will now be read by more people. As for American law being superior to Canadian or Australian law re free speech--it is, though for objective reasons, not inherent ones. The "chilling effect" that those on the left are so quick to see in other areas would become a certainty if speech is subject to lawsuits for causing offense to some group/individual or another. See Steyn's comment above for the real complainant behind the lawsuit, and what he espouses.

Apr. 06 2008 12:23 PM
Muhammed from Toronto

DHH
All the racist garbage that I cited that Mark has written has
not been refuted, not a single iota in both the links you gave me.
Another instance of Steyn's ugly bigotry:
gooks
"http://mediamatters.org/items/200608240014"

Apr. 06 2008 12:09 PM
Chris from http://republicinformer.com

"The complaints were filed because the Muslim community was denied the opportunity to express itself on issues that relate directly to it."

You speak for the entire Muslim community? I had no idea that the experiences of individuals in the Muslim community (or any community) could be subsumed by a small group of college students.

You claim that because MacLeans did not grant you the opportunity to respond in their privately owned magazine, that somehow free speech your right to respond in general was infringed. From where I sit, as this case has received ample media attention, you have responded and received an audience for your message 100x larger than the MacLeans readership.

I am glad you brought this case against MacLeans, actually. This is a front line in the battle to save western culture and individualism from creeping Sharia. I can't think of someone more up to the challenge than Mark Steyn.

Apr. 06 2008 12:09 PM
Jay Tea from http://www.wizbangblog.com

Khurram, here's what would be my answer: you want to answer it, feel free. Just don't expect MacLean's to pay for it.

I'm sure there are plenty of outlets for your outrage and grievances. Why should MacLean's essentially GIVE you absolute control over material it pays for?

Start your own magazine or web site, or buy one, or find one willing to publish your howls of outrage. You have every right to answer what MacLean's says.

But they have no obligation to do it for you.

J.

Apr. 06 2008 11:58 AM
DHH from Germany

Muhammed,

when and where did Mark Steyn call people from certain countries "Chinks" or "Wogs"?

Considering the constant lies (most famous the misattribution of the "breeding like mosquitoes" line, which actually was uttered by a Muslim cleric) against Mr Steyn, I'd really like to see some hard facts. So far, the allegations against Mr Steyn of him making racist remarks seem to be nothing but hot air:
http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/1112/
http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/1127/

In short form: Put up or shut up (and apologize)...

- DHH

Apr. 06 2008 11:56 AM
Khurrum Awan from Toronto, Canada

I am one of the law students who has filed the human rights complaints against Maclean's Magazine before the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The complaints were filed because the Muslim community was denied the opportunity to express itself on issues that relate directly to it. The complaints are the result of a demonstrable bias by Maclean's, where Muslims are not allowed to respond to serious allegations made against, regularly, by right-wing Islamophobic columnists such as Mark Steyn.

The fact situation surrounding our complaints indicates that the limitless model of free speech does not work. The remedy for harmful and hateful speech is supposedly more and better speech. But when a national magazine prefers bankruptcy to publishing a response to an article which subjects Muslim Canadians to hate, it is evident that the "more and better speech" model works only for Rogers Inc., the legal owner of Macleans, but not for the remaining 30 million citizens of Canada.

Finally, we did not ask for a five-page article with art direction of the magazine's cover. We asked for a mutually acceptable response from a mutually acceptable author. The chief editor of Maclean's, Ken Whyte, refused to consider any response. His assertion that he offered to consider a reasonable proposal from us is a fabrication.

Apr. 06 2008 11:53 AM
Muhammed from Toronto

Jay Tea: Go ahead lol. As I said, I don't agree with the complaint, but the media should have self-censored this idiot a long time ago. Moreover, my comments were directed at one white, non-muslim male, not the entire populations of white non-muslim males. There is a difference, and a large one at that.

Apr. 06 2008 11:45 AM
Chris from Washington, DC

Valerie - Why should we, or anyone, respect Canada's attempts to create a multi-cultural society? Respect is generally earned, not innate, and I find the idea of creating a multi-cultural society as wrongheaded as creating an ethnocentric society. So, no, I won't respect Canada's attempt to make a multi-cultural society.

What logical or moral difference is there between government enforced multi-culturalism and government enforced ethnocentrism? Answer, none. In both instances the government is enforcing an idea of how its society should look and feel based on sex/color/religion without respect for the individual. They are equally tyrannical visions. As opposed to the eugenics of early 20th century progressives, the modern liberal government enforced bigotry is merely packaged in gauzy 'togetherness'. It is still a government attempt to enforce a cultural vision on the citizenry. Ask yourself this question, would Hitler have been any better if his goals were to get rid of overrepresented Jews in a multicultural vision of Germany?

Somehow the ends justify the means.

Apr. 06 2008 11:33 AM
ohplease

memri.org translations of arabic newspapers reveals all

Apr. 06 2008 11:19 AM
Jay Tea from http://www.wizbangblog.com

I find Muhammed's remarks very offensive and distasteful. In fact, I find them downright oppressive to me, as a white non-Muslim male. Can I, as an American, file a complaint with the Human Rights Council?

J.

Apr. 06 2008 11:13 AM
Muhammed from Toronto

While I don't agree with the human rights complaint, Steyn's long-standing record of bigotry and racism should have been condemned and disassociated by the media much earlier. Steyn has repeatedly referred to East Asian people as callow Chinks and Japs, Wogs for Middle Easterners, and hiding behind himself being a "culturist". When one reads his poorly researched and laughable new screed, one thinks that he is reading the "Protocols of the Elders of Makkah." He also somehow believes Muslims came to the West legally through the system to conquer it, while aggressive Western armies throughout the Middle East are there to liberate it. I suggest to Mark that he look up the word invasion in the dictionary, and see what it means.

Apr. 06 2008 11:07 AM
Jay Tea from http://www.wizbangblog.com

Alan Dershowitz famously said that "the best answer to bad speech is more speech." The traditional Muslim response to what they feel is "bad speech" is violence -- note the reaction to the Mohammed cartoons. In Canada, it seems, they have moderated their response to be "shut them up."

Sooner or later, the very laws and procedures will be turned against them. I'd dearly love to see some Canadian Jew take down the words of some of these Muslims and bring similar charges against them.

Alas and alack, I live in the United States, and I'm not Jewish. So I can just sit back here and watch with interest.

J.

Apr. 06 2008 11:06 AM
Levs

"Asked about the arrests last summer of the 18 Muslim men and boys who were allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in southern Ontario, 73% of Muslim respondents said these attacks were not at all justified."

Frankly I'm worried less about the feelings of naive or disingenuous apologists and more about if just one of those 27% can figure out how to shoot straight...Aren't you -- and if not, why not?

Seems like you are picking the wrong battle unless I'm missing something. Please rethink, painful I know but let's get real.

Apr. 06 2008 11:01 AM
Mark Steyn

As the author of the offending article that's the subject of the "human rights" complaints, I was interested to hear your interview with one of the "complainants".

The only problem is that Naseem Mithoowani and the other "Muslim college students" are not the complainants in either of the two "human rights" cases proceeding against my article. In both cases, the complainant - or plaintiff - is Mohamed Elmasry, head of the Canadian Islamic Congress. One can understand why Dr Elmasry prefers to hide behind his fresh-faced sock puppets. He is famous for declaring on Canadian TV that all Israeli civilians over the age of 18 are legitimate targets for murder, and is thus a somewhat problematic poster boy for the cause of a hate-free Canada. Nevertheless, he is the "complainant" and Ms Mithoowani is not.

It's hard to see why NPR's media show would collude in her misrepresentation, but the original court documents can be seen at my website:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/782/36/

Oh, and by the way, I didn't say Muslims are "breeding like mosquitoes". Those are the words of a Muslim, a famous Norwegian imam called Mullah Krekar. If Ms Mithoowani has a problem with his statement, she should take it up with him. But apparently she'd rather it be ruled illegal to quote leading Muslims accurately.

Apr. 06 2008 10:33 AM
Isaac Griffith from Japan

I also found your comments and the style of your interview distasteful. As the posters above have noted, Canadian laws and norms are not American, and American norms are not inherently superior. I personally feel that speech that singles out and attacks specific groups, especially when the intended effect is to promote a climate of xenophobia and intolerance in general society, can and does constitute a violation of civil rights. I also noted with interest that this piece followed a piece on the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, where people exercising "free speech" played a major role in inciting violence and ethnic cleansing. In America we tend to view the individual rights granted by the bill of rights as natural and self-evident pre-requisites for a free society, but since many of them obviously can be abused maybe we shouldn't be quite so quick to castigate others for having a different interpretation of the balance between individual rights and individual obligations to society.

Apr. 05 2008 09:20 PM
Sally Griffith from Japan

I agree with the comments posted by Valerie, particularly point three. I am an Australian, and we too do not have unfettered freedom of speech. While I can understand why Americans may feel that freedom of speech is sacrosanct, since I grew up in a society that imposes reasonable limits on what people can say I naturally see this as preferable. Canada is not America, its laws are not American, and the interviewee was acting in accordance with Canadian laws. To criticise her actions based on American norms is ridiculous and offensive.

Apr. 05 2008 08:55 PM

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