Today, the Muslim law students who have lodged a human rights complaint against Maclean’s, have published an article defending themselves in Canada’s National Post. They claim to be believers in the marketplace of ideas, merely seeking a chance to respond to Mark Steyn. What they don’t say is that they have demanded the right to a cover story in Maclean’s, with full editorial control over content and art.
Imagine NR, after publishing, say, a cover story critical of Al Gore’s movie, being forced by a government body to allow Gore to write a cover story in rebuttal, with full editorial control. Imagine Gore running his legal case against NR for free, while NR is forced to shoulder court costs. And don’t forget that Canada’s Human Rights Commissions have the ability to compel apologies. Imagine NR’s editors being forced by a government body to apologize to Al Gore for refusing to give him control over their own magazine, or even for the content of one of their critical articles. Of course, the complainants against Maclean’s have nothing to say about these issues, all of which have been sharply raised by their so-called human rights case. Actually, Maclean’s already has published a rebuttal to Steyn by Canadian Muslims. It’s called “Mark Steyn has a right to be wrong.”
Ali Eteraz disagrees with Steyn, but has defended his right to free speech in the Guardian. (I link to Eteraz’s Guardian piece, and respond to his assessment of Steyn here.) In the comments section of a post called “Will Canadian Muslims Drop Complaint Now?” Eteraz responds to those who think they have some kind of enforceable right to be provided with a forum to respond to articles they don’t like. In this case, Ertaz is speaking, not to the Steyn complainants themselves, but to someone who supports their case:
With all due respect, this is the saddest and most pathetic thing I have ever heard.
“Please let us be heard?”
“Provide me a vehicle for debate?”
Is something wrong with you?
1 -Did you call Mark Steyn’s agent and try and set up a public debate? I bet he’d love a go; the right wing pundits do.
2 – Did you contact opposition publications to Macleans and publish stuff there? I bet they’d love a go to make Macleans look bad.
3 – Did you try and raise funds to start a new liberal magazine so you can respond to people like Mark Steyn?
4 – Did you contact the writer of Little Mosque on the Prairie, who is quite sympathetic to the CIC, and ask her to make a snide reference to the demographics issue that Steyn raises?
5 – Did you call Tarek Fateh, who and his associates seemingly have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER getting published works critical of Steyn?
6 – Did you even think about taking me up on my offer to get you guys published in the Guardian?
7 – Did you try and contact Anar Ali, the short story writer, to use her influence to write a rebuttal?
8 – Did you try to contact Irshad Manji — who last year wrote a piece damning all those who seek to stifle immigration — to help use her influence in challenging Steyn?
9 – Did you try to contact an agent for yourself or your other equally inept legal friends so that you might write an anti-Steyn?
I’m sorry if this sounds too much like a generalization, but I’ve dealt with individuals propounding the same kind of rhetoric you are — willful victimization, complete ignorance of how the world works, wallowing in self pity — and they often love to attach themselves to Western Muslim communities after 9/11 and drag them down. I’m sure you’ve got a few Muslim enablers as well. The individuals I am describing often tended to be highly educated, driven by some kind of parochial original sin which motivates them to teach utter and total despair to the community they attach themselves to, so that they may then save said community, and feel good about themselves.
I bet you and the other law students who have done nothing but toe the line the entire life (and have now turned into “humanitarians!” in what I figure is the last year of law school) had grandiose visions of having your name appear in Macleans as “defenders of the weak.” To be followed by a parade led by beautiful Muslim muhajjibas (oh, but how dare I suggest that YOU might be an orientalist).
Again, like I said, the statement of yours that I just quoted, is one of the saddest things I’ve read; quite helpless in fact. I never respond at this length in the comments, and felt compelled to do so, because you are just so far gone its tragic.
Anyhow this has been my last and final response to you.
Best of luck.