Hockey Sticks and Stones

by Mark Steyn

Readers have asked me how self-proclaimed Nobel laureate Dr Michael Mann’s suit against me and National Review is proceeding. I have a few words about it, in a piece on free speech, in today’s National Post of Canada:

As masters of devastating put-downs go, Dr. Mann isn’t exactly Oscar Wilde. Nevertheless, plonking and leaden and witless as his insults are, he has a perfect right to make them. Unfortunately, he’s one of those pathologically insecure types who feels he should be able to dish it out but that he shouldn’t have to take it.

I also have a few words to say about the judge.

I was talking to my comrade from Canada’s free-speech wars, Ezra Levant, who’s currently being sued by Khurrum Awan, one of the big losers of that campaign, and we discussed how, when you’re in a libel suit, your lawyers always advise you to clam up about it in case anything you say irritates the judge. And I said to Ezra that, when a hardware store owner is sued for defamation, it doesn’t impact his ability to sell hammers and two-by-fours and drywall. But, when guys who write about free speech and Islam and climate change are sued and agree to keep quiet about their cases, it’s effectively furloughing them (to use a current word) and handing a victory to the plaintiff before you’ve even started.

So Ezra’s writing about his case, and I’m writing about mine, and our respective judges will just have to cope with it as they see fit.

PS Mr Awan is fortunate I’m not as dweebily litigious as he is:

Maclean’s published another story by Steyn in April 2006 where he cited the Quran out of context and called Muslims “sheep-shaggers,” Awan said.

Er, no. That wasn’t me, that was the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Bonus! Muslim community leader goes on the BBC and calls for mass execution of homosexuals:

Gays would be executed in an ideal world, a leader of the Muslim community in Luton, England has said.

Abdul Qadeer Baksh made the comment during an interview with BBC Three Counties Radio.

And without fear of prosecution. Fancy that!

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