Hurray for the new media.
Two years ago, Ezra Levant edited a magazine that reported on the bitter controversy over cartoons featuring the prophet Muhammed. The cartoons first appeared in a Danish newspaper. Levant reprinted them.
The reprint angered a Muslim living in Canada. So he complained to Alberta’s so-called “Human Rights Commission.” This dishonestly named commission can persecute people for saying anything that might offend somebody else.
Levant appeared before the commission. Closed-door proceedings. No reporters. No lawyer. No rule against bringing a video cam, either. So he did. Go to YouTube and see his defiance for yourself. Plug the words “Ezra Levant” into the search engine. Hundreds of thousands have seen the two-minute video.
Shirlene McGovern, the so-called “human rights office” who questioned him, quit because of the backlash. Levant says that McGovern had started to make small talk and shake his hand, but he “upset her by not being complicit” in what he calls his “own prosecution.”
On camera, Levant tells McGovern she’s a thug for assailing his freedom of speech. He says, “I don’t grant you the right to sit in judgment on whether or not I’m reasonable. . . .” in how he exercises his freedom of speech.
The complaint has now been withdrawn. But Levant is still challenging the abuse in court. A truly inspiring defense of First Amendment rights.
Of course, in Canada “freedom of speech” doesn’t fall under the heading of “First Amendment rights.” We’ll be happy to let them borrow it though.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.