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Ali Eteraz Has A Question On Muslims And Free Speech

by | 11th, December 2007

WRITES ALi Eteraz: “I have a question.”

Let’s say a magazine — a big magazine — publishes something xenophobic, bordering on the racist, like, I don’t know: “Hey, the Mozlems are breeding too fast and soon will take over!!!!”

What should Muslims do? They could: 1) Write a letter to the editor, right? 2) Maybe write many letters to the editor, right? 3) Maybe write in any publication they can, rebutting the piece, right? 4) Maybe even submit a rebuttal piece in the offending publication, right?

Let’s say they do all of those but aren’t able to accomplish number four. The magazine rejects their request for “equal space” to rebut (though is willing to guarantee publishing a letter to the editor).

Does that rejection give Muslims the right to sue the magazine, alleging that the magazine has violated their fundamental human rights, and take them to the court?

In other words, does the magazine “owe it to” Muslims to give them space?

Yes or no?

All this is happening in Canada right now, and my latest Guardian article covers it. Click the link to get familiar with the facts.

I honestly believe that the answer is no. The magazine doesn’t owe any such duty.

As much as I dislike Steyn’s argument, and all such Malthusian xenophobes like Huntington — in fact, if anyone can mock Steyn the way I mocked Huntington I will give them a prominent link from this blog — I can’t support the Canadian Islamic Congress’ decision to take the offending magazine before the Human Rights Commission.

Why don’t they just go publish their rebuttal elsewhere? In fact, if they are willing to drop their Human Rights complaint I will help them get published in Guardian.

The CIC is really not thinking this through. Under their standard, if in the future a Canadian Muslim starts a magazine and criticizes someone from the right wing, that right-winger then can go to the Human Rights Commission and demand “equal space” in the offending Muslim publication! Why would you want to go down this road?!

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Posted: 11th, December 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink