The Corner

There’s a New Sharif in Town

Jonah, re: Omar Sharif saying that, when he has a problem with some guy, he finds it far easier to go to the neighborhood sheikh to sort it out than to have to mess around with all that western legal mumbo-jumbo. He’ll be happy to know they’ve introduced a similar system in British Columbia: The sheikhs sit on a “human rights” tribunal and lay down the smack without any time-wasting rubbish about rules of evidence, presumption of innocence, etc.

Andrew Coyne is live-blogging the first day of the Steyn/Maclean’s show trial from the Robson Square courthouse in Vancouver, and from the Omar Sharif perspective it seems to be going swimmingly. The Canadian Islamic Congress lawyer says that freedom of speech is a “red herring”. If it were, it would be on the endangered species list. And the New York Times guy says he “can’t believe what he’s witnessing”.

With their usual low cunning, the “human rights” sheikhs chose a courtroom that only seats 40 people so a big crowd (including CBC reporters) were wedged up peering through the glass in the door until the head sheikh (a judge best known for fining the Knights of Columbus for declining to rent their hall for a lesbian wedding) said the pressed faces of the people were distracting her and shooed them away. Typical. A third-rate bureaucracy that tells everyone from McDonald’s to Maclean’s magazine how to run their affairs can’t even organize a show trial with minimal competence.

Maybe the folks who can’t get in should file a “human rights” complaint against the “human rights” tribunal for denying them the human right to attend a human rights trial. Say what you like about Saddam’s justice system, but at least I’d be dead by now and out of my misery.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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