Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Taking Responsibility

Ezra Levant and the editorial staff of the Western Standard made the decision to run the infamous Danish cartoons. The magazine is an independent enterprise, answerable to its subscribers. If subscribers have a problem with Ezra’s decision, they can cancel their subscriptions, or protest by way of letters. Occasional readers have been warned of the magazine’s intentions and can choose to pick one up at the newsstand, or not.

Last week, I said that printing the cartoons in Canada was not a free speech issue, because no one had attempted to prohibit their publishing here. An innocuous statement by the Foreign Affairs Minister praising Canadian media for not printing them, was not an order to refrain. Government had not directed media, it was simply commenting on the situation as it stood. So, in my opinion, there was no compelling reason for the media to offend a segment of our population in the name of informing the public, particularly when the cartoons are widely available to anyone who wants to see them.

Then Ezra Levant announced his intention to print the cartoons. Before the magazine had even hit the newsstands or mailboxes, The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada responded by lodging a criminal complaint. One would presume this was done in hopes of stopping the magazines from reaching customers. That action by this group -- and the simple fact that they felt free to try to take away the right of the Western Standard to exercise editorial judgement over the content of their magazine – prior to publication no less -- has changed this from an issue of ‘choosing not to offend’ to a free speech issue.

Today we read in the NP that new Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor has said that the publication of these cartoons ‘puts our troops at risk’. Three weeks ago, no Canadian media outlet had printed the cartoons and yet a Canadian diplomat was killed and Canadian soldiers criticly wounded by a murder-by-suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Terrorists decided to kill and maim, without cartoons as an 'impetus', and yet Minister O’Connor wants us to conclude that if in future, Canadian troops meet with violence, in a war zone, where radical Muslims despise and murder Westerners in the name of their god, that Ezra Levant is somehow culpable.

It all comes down to personal responsibility. If we accept that each of us is responsible for our own actions, then we have to conclude that if a maniacal psychopath murders people, he will do so regardless of what Ezra Levant prints in his magazine. Extremists can say it was the cartoons, American foreign policy, the greed and decadence of Western civilization – they can use any excuse they want, but nothing ‘causes’ someone to commit murder except the utter lack of respect for human life.

Minister O’Connor has given Islamic extremists an out. He has told them that if they commit atrocities against our citizens or against our soldiers, that instead of placing blame where it belongs – with them – Canada will look to Ezra Levant and say ‘see what you made them do.’

The ‘causes’ of murder-by-suicide bombings are a sense of entitlement, a lack of self-control and the realisation that the Western victim societies will look inward, and blame themselves, rather than force extremists to accept responsibility for their own barbarity. When radical Muslims decide to blow up people to 'make a point', they have exited the realm of civilized discourse and their sensibilities are not worthy of respecting.

And now, the European Union is going along with the insane anti-blasphemy idea put forward by the United Nations. Cultural and religious sensitivity is something that should be encouraged, not coerced. Irreverence and satire are legitimate and valuable forms of expression --they are part of the cultural inheritance of English-speaking countries. We test our institutions – cultural, political and religious – when we examine them with humour and skepticism. This kind of scrutiny enables us to grow – it helps us to separate what is essential from what is unimportant, what is holy from what is chaff. It prevents us from worshipping false idols, and gives perspective to issues and ideas that we take too seriously, or not seriously enough. Expunging these avenues of discourse from our conversational tool-box is a radical, ill-conceived plan. It will close the doors of communication rather than quell disagreements.

Drawing a co-relation between the cartoons and potential future violence perpetrated by Islamic murderers is a dangerous connection. It simplifies Islamic terror to ‘cause and effect’ – but words and cartoons don’t cause people to behave with violent frenzy.
Suggesting that printing these cartoons ‘puts our troops at risk’ is a short step from excusing or justifying future violence, as being in response to their publication by the Western Standard.
If A happens (the cartoons are published) and B happens (violent Muslims kill Canadians), it doesn’t follow that A caused B.

Did it ever occur to the Muslims who kill people in the name of their religion, that their violence and intolerance is not ‘sparked’ by cartoons, but rather, the cartoons were sparked by Muslim violence and intolerance.

If I have to order it from their website, I'll grab a copy of the Western Standard this month. And if radical Muslims kill our soldiers in the days and weeks ahead -- I'll blame the killers.



Krydor said...


Good luck finding the Western Standard in your local bookstore. Many of the big box distributors have pulled it to avoid offense.

Sara said...

If I am told my words are offensive and I agree i retract them and re-word,,, without question

If I am threatened by a person because of my words then I capitalize my words to show my disgust for violent threats...

I won't offend but I will defend when I am threatened...

Owlb said...

Canadiana, dear thinker,

I feel you've conflated two things in your latest blog entry, not wholly ill-motivated but with dubious outcome, from my point of view.

The first is Ezra Levant, Western Standard, and all Canadian publicly-addressed media's individual responsiblity not to hurt people for their core religious values. The attack on the Prophet Mohammed is an attack on a figure to whom many Canadians have turned as an inner anchor for their constellation of values; he is close to the very center of their ultimate values. Ezra has not produced a loving book of inter-religious dialogue, nor an academic study of the Prophet Mohammed where the sense of assault is muted by the techniques of critical-philosophical disquisition.

He has attacked his neighbours('religious core values).It's called hate speech. In doing so, he has told us nothing about his own core religious values - some kind of Christian, some kind of Judaist, some kind of secularist rationalist atheist, some kind of secularist irrationalist atheist as in Sartrean existentialism. Or yet other. Why has he tried to x-ray the souls of Muslim folk, without giving us a good x-ray of his own soul? What's he hiding in this religious assault he has made?

We don't know, and we don't know why he attacked a beleaguered Canadian religious minority in order to advance a tendentious political agenda of his own. Knowing that side of Ezra well enuff from his TV appearances, I'd say the best bet in interpreting his move at Western Standard is precisely to bring all Muslims into contempt, and thereby to prevent the Foreign Minister, Peter MacKay, from coupling the latter's denunciation of violent (Muslim or other) forces disruptive of order and lawfulness on the international scene with a simultaneous generous disclaimer to our own Muslim community that their loyality to this country is compatible with their deepest core values.

Instead of such a dual-track strategy and appropriate tactics as the Minister of Foreign Affairs has attempted with balance, you've mistakenly chosen to shift positions and to back Ezra's move to undermine the God-given task of the minority Conservative government to labour for the well-being and co-citizenship of all Canadians in peace and understanding, to advance justice for all.

You say that all kinds of freedom of speech trumps all kinds of other values absolutely. That Ezra calls the name of the game for Canada, that we can't triumph together over the world-polarity, which indeed will get worse in part due to the Ezras of this world.

Since Ezra's motive is multifactoral, I can't help adding to my sense of his motive a palpable desire on his part to get Western Standard more hate-Islam subscribers. He's recruiting.

No one is censoring Ezra, but now he too has licensed others to satirize brutally his own core values and his own deepest ultimate motivations (which he is keeping well-hidden). He brings suspicion on himself by any critical thinker who wants public justice for all. Most of the cartoons are innocuous, but the purpose of publishing them is to publicize a vile satire of a whole religion and its people. I want no part of any conservatism that veers over into such a hideous direction, which I consider to be contrary to Christian faith. If he's a Christian too, I certainly wouldn't take communion with him.

I support the War on Terrorism as much as all of us, and at the same time I support the project of deeper civility and understanding among all Canadians (and Americans).

He's taking away the breathing space of many Canadian Muslims, but not all. Some are in fit condition to fite back against his assault. He's moved the country into a whole new negative space on the issues at hand.

john d said...

maybe the nice muslim people would be so kind as to write a list of everything that is offensive to islam. i'm getting very nervous not knowing if i'm doing something sacriligious or disrepectful and may cause a riot or somebody to burn down my carport . this way we could save a lot of time , a lot of burned down embassies . a few beheadings , and a lot of letters to the editors and politicians .
i'm starting to grow a beard and my wife quit her job and now wears a bhurka and i've taken my daughters out of school what else should i be doing ? please tell me

Kelvin said...

owlb, I think it's difficult to say what exactly will be the context of the WS publication of the cartoons until someone actually sees it. The original depiction of the cartoons may have been offensive in the sense that they were published as editorial cartoons, and were thus stating the editorial position of the publisher. But at this point, I think it's fair game for anyone to show these cartoons to show what is at the core of this whole controversy without getting into whether the depictor is a bigot.

Shabbadoo said...

How is reprinting cartoons hate speech?

Nothing I've read suggests that the WS or Ezra supports the message behind the cartoons. Instead they support the freedom to print the cartoons. To call this an "attack" and an "assault" on Muslims is incredibly obtuse.

I haven't seen most of these cartoons online as it is, and look forward to getting this week's WS edition to see just what all the fuss is about. The 3 cartoons that I have seen have been pretty tame, and the fact that there are extremist Muslims willing to destroy and kill over them casts a shadow over all Muslims. The violent riots are what moderate Muslims should be upset about. Not a 6 month old reprinting of cartoons in a magazine with a readership of only 40,000.

Rick said...

Putting the blame where blame lies. On the perpetrator not the victim. My feeling is the liberal bleeding hearts tend to put more emphasis on blaming the victim than the perpetrator who ultimately is the individual inflicting the violence.
Typical of the Left.
Good column and keep up the good work.

Rick said...

I think that you and many others forget what this is about. It's not about Cartoons it's about Muslim hypocrisy. What is more reprehensible, cartoons that portray Mohamed or Muslims cutting off the heads of innocent people.
Therein lies the hypocrisy. Not a peep from the Muslims while murder is committed however raging riots for a few cartoons. Owl, you are of the left appeasing fools. Your type is the kind that weakens our culture and our way of life.

Anonymous said...

Had the Western Standard published the cartoons last September it would have been their right. Publishing it today I guess is their right as well. However it appears Ezra Levant is an asshole for publishing them now. Like it or not some people apparently are offended by them, why rub their noses in it. To what end?

Krydor said...


"He's taking away the breathing space of many Canadian Muslims, but not all. Some are in fit condition to fite back against his assault. He's moved the country into a whole new negative space on the issues at hand. "

What does "fit to fight back" mean? I'm genuinely curious. Should I be preparing my brain or my body for the impending fighting back?

W. Verwey said...

I have no problem with publishing those cartoons. As pointed out on CPAC tonight, on a media briefing, one of the Muslim spokepersons said he needed to see the cartoons for himself to make a judgement on the issue. What's the difference? That's the point of publishing them as I see it by the Western Standard.

Canadi-anna said...

owlb -- I really haven't changed my stance. I don't back Ezra Levant's move. I still believe the cartoons are offensive to Muslims and that it wasn't necessary to publish them. But that is no longer the issue. You say that no one is trying to censor Ezra Levant, and that isn't true.
When Mr. Levant said that he planned to publish the cartoons, I believed he was wrong. I still believe he was wrong. My opinion didn't change because the Western Standard decided to publish them --but because a Muslim group has filed a criminal complaint and our Defence Minister has suggested that future attacks against Canadian soldiers might be a result of cartoons in a magazine.

While I still have no plan to publish or link to the cartoons, I don't believe I have the right to impose my morality, my values, my principles on Ezra Levant or anyone else.

I don't believe the cartoons constitute 'hate speech' and I never did. My only concern about them ever was that Muslims apparently believe depictions of the prophet are blasphemy, but what is published in the Western Standard is not my call -- and it shouldn't be the call of anyone who is not on its editorial board.

This can't be about whether the cartoons should/shouldn't be published anymore -- they have been. The issue is what do we do now. If the offended parties wrote letters to the editor, boycotted the magazine or any number of other things to protest the cartoons, I'd be fine with that. But that apparently wasn't enough for some people. They want to interfere with Levant's right to publish, and other people's right to buy and read the magazine, and in a free society that's just wrong.

There is too much out there offensive to some group or another, to say that these particular things are so offensive that they cross the line.

We can't shut people up because we don't like what they have to say --and it isn't even what Levant is saying -- he didn't create the cartoons, he's simply reprinting them.

In my opinion the cartoons never constitued 'hate literature', nor do they portray ordinary Muslims in a bad light. Four of them are meant to be satiracle, and their commentary on radical Islam is valid. The fact that any or all of them offend religious sensibilities is not justification for any government agency to intervene on the behalf of the offended people to prevent their circulation -- and that is exactly what The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada wants -- they want to prevent people from portraying the prophet and criticising Islam.

'Blasphemy' and hurt feelings are not sufficient reasons to prohibit publication of material, or to charge someone criminally for printing it.
We learn respect for each other by being allowed to debate issues publicly. If we try to prevent all instances of hurt feelings, people start feeling entitled to life without insult. I maintain that it is important to avoid offending people whenever possible, but I also believe it's wrong to impose that belief on others. Had I been editor of the Western Standard, I wouldn't have published the cartoons, but even though I think they're wrong, I recognise that it isn't my judgement to make.

I don't know what's in Ezra Levant's soul, but I don't believe he has 'attacked a beleaguered religious minority'. Canadian Muslims seem proud and strong to me -- and I live in a hugely Muslim community.

I'm afraid that you and I or on different sides of this - I don't believe we achieve justice by shutting down people's right to communicate freely.

I don't agree with Ezra's decision, but I accept the fact that it was his decision to make.

Candace said...

The other Muslim hypocracy is the publishing of the cartoons in question by an Egyptian paper (no resulting riots) as well as multiple anti-Semetic cartoons in ME newspapers, on a regular basis. Is it surprising that a Calgary Jewish community paper also printed them?

So the west is not to offend Muslim sensibilities, but the other religions should turn the other cheek when they do it to us?

That makes no sense at all.

I would prefer that cartoons insulting any religion were not published. To be honest, my biggest concern over these being published in Canada has to do more with fear of reprisal than fear of causing offense.

Candace said...

Kate found some hypocrisy for us all to chew on- she makes a damn good point

Anonymous said...

This isn't about Muslims or free speech. Ezra Levant is self absorbed and desperate to get some headlines for his failing magazine.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Great Post.

Don't kill the messenger just because he is an Infidel and not a Muslim.

Canadi-anna said...

gritpatriot -- if you believe in free speech, you believe in it pretty much regardless of the motivation. When we protect the freedom rights of others even when we think they are being ignorant, we help to ensure them for ourselves when we think we're being brilliant.

bob said...

Gritpatriot, I hardly think the Standard is "failing", as you put it. I tend to back Canadianna's thoughts on this one.

Fido said...

What about the tabloids Grit Patriot.

'Peg City Kid said...

First off Canadiana, 8 soldiers have died in Afghanastan in the four years canadian troops have been there, the country Gordon O’Connor was referring to when he made that statement. That number will increase dramatically.


right on!

How does it reflect on somebody when they choose to express there opinion by offending people?? Not only that, but these cartoons are racist.

This is a school yard scuffle. Kid 1 calls Kid 2 a name. Kid 2 gets offended. Kid 1, seeing this, repeats the insult again, and again, and again until Kid 2, not knowing what else to do, slaps Kid 1. Of course the principle runs out, and all he is really interested in is the fact that Kid 2 hit Kid 1.

Granted, Kid 2 is a bit high-strung.

If you want to get technical, These cartoons incite hate and have caused riots and deaths around the world? Isn't publishing hate material or inciting racial violence illegal?????

"The ‘causes’ of murder-by-suicide bombings are a sense of entitlement, a lack of self-control and the realisation that the Western victim societies will look inward, and blame themselves, rather than force extremists to accept responsibility for their own barbarity."

Canadianna, you have no idea what you are talking about and the very fact you pretend you do is pretty ridiculous.

This is such a double standard that it makes me sick

"Sense of entitlement"

How about a sense they are entitled to live a free life without the constant assault from western and western supported governments.

"a lack of self-control "

Well, it's common knowledge that all Arabs are savages with no self-control. That's why they go blowing things up, isn't it?

“Personal responsibility”, please. When is the west going to start taking responsibility for it role?? I think you’re smart enough to realize that the west does have a role. Oh but wait! The right is never wrong.

I don't condone violence, but whether or not you choose to accept it, people have a right to retaliate against there aggressors.

Once again, a glaring example of how ignorant the west is to the east.

They blame us, we blame them, but nobody has really made an attempt to seriously resolve this situation.

Have we, or have we not already exercied and re-affirmed our freedom of speech??

john d,

You could try not being an insensitive jack-ass. You’d be surprised how far that goes.


If that was his intention. Somehow, I doubt it.


I'm going to print a cartoon of Jesus raping little children. It's within my right, and my intention is not to attack all Christians over the depraved and wide-spread actions of the church clergy, it's to exercise my freedom of speech.

And if you get offended, I'm going to print it again to re-assert that freedom.

But I think we can all relax, as I don't think WS is even on their radar.


That was the most amusing dribble I've heard in a while. Was that a exercise to see how ignorant you can be? Or of how many, of the very few supporting fact you can get wrong.

Good Work!!


You're a perfect example of how putrid and vindictive the right can be.

Canadi-anna said...

Peg - just a couple of points.

If the number of soldiers who dies increases, a magazine isn't going to be the 'cause' of it. Insurgents will be the cause of it because they want to destablize the nascent Afghani government.

If the West insists of accepting blame for the violent behaviour of radical Muslims, why would they ever stop? We have to say that there is NO justification for violent behaviour.

I don't agree that the cartoons are racist. They might be offensive to the religious sensibilities of some Muslims, but they aren't racist. The four that are meant as satire are valid in their reflection of Islamic society and Islamic violence.

The only ones who seem to be 'incited' by the cartoons are Muslims. When one speaks of literature or art as 'inciting hatred' -- it is meant that hatred is incited against those who are portrayed. I don't believe the opinions of non-Muslims has been affected by the cartoons, therefore your point is not valid.

'Sense of entitlement' -- Radical Muslims feel they are entitled to impose the values of their religion, and their opinions on the citizens and media of the rest of the world. That is indeed a sense of entitlement.

'Lack of self-control' -- you have implied that I have said that all Arabs lack self-control. I dare you to point out any racist or anti-Arab statements I've ever made in this post or any.
Do not read your own warped opinions into my writing and then pretend like it's based on anything I've said.
Yes, people who are violent lack self-control -- that doesn't just apply to Arabs -- it applies to anyone who chooses to use force over reason. The fact that the Arab world is so prone to violence is evidence of a value system that venerates shows of physical strength and force to the point of destruction of other human beings. How you can defend that by implying that I am racist is beyond stupid.
Are all Arabs violent? As I've said, Canadian Arabs have shown self-control and calm. I would guess that there are multi-thousands of Arabs in their own countries and throughout Europe who are aware of riots, and choose to stay home. Nothing I have said would suggest I think otherwise, so choose your arguements more carefully.

In your world the West is always wrong so your argument is kind of pot/kettle dontcha think? I don't suggest that the West is always right, but the Isalmic world tries to dodge responsibility for their extremists by pretending 'provokation'.
I would say that most of us in the West don't believe provokation in the form of the written or spoken word is enough to justify violence and murder.
Maybe it's just me, but I think personal responsiblity is an important part of civilization. It gives us sober second thought when our baser instincts click in because we feel insulted or offended.

You say: I don't condone violence, but whether or not you choose to accept it, people have a right to retaliate against there aggressors.

Cartoons are not aggressive. They impart no threat. They aren't menacing to personal security. If you mean 'aggressors' as in -- armies, soldiers, etc. then you've just proved you also believe the cartoons are a moot point when it comes to Islamic violence. If the violence is 'caused' at all, it isn't by some drawings, it is because they resent the West being there in the form of military forces -- so the violence exists apart from the cartoons.

Have we, or have we not already exercied and re-affirmed our freedom of speech??

Not if someone is eventually convicted of a hate-crime for having re-printed these cartoons.

Justthinkin said...

Great post Canadianna.

Owlb and 'peg city...you are tards. Until either one of you trolls have stood up and fought for something other than your own welfare, gimme,gimme system, bugger off. So where were you tards when a cross was put into a bottle of piss, or the Virgin Mary was displayed cover in elephant shit?? Hypocrites. So you are saying Christians had the right after these two things to cut off Muslim heads and blow up innocent victims??? Just wondering. Muslims, and their cult of Islam,is about one thing only,world domination.Get over it. It is not a "religion". It is a cult founded by a murdering,adutlerous,pedophile psychopath.Plain and simple. So what are you two trolls going to do to defend yourselves? I am not talking about western culture.I am talking about defending yourselves and your families from these guys. If it took you longer than 3 seconds to make up your mind,tough s**t. You are dead.I really feel sorry for those of your family you are supposed to defend and help.With help like yours,who needs enemies.

sara...bang on...you go girl!!

TrustOnlyMulder said...

Another well presented argument Canadianna.

Questions for anyone:

1) Can anyone show me a passage in universally accepted Muslim religious text that says displaying images of Mohammad is bad and does NOT refer to Allah determining their fate on the Day of Judgment?

2) Why would any religion expect non followers to obey their religious beliefs? Because i thought we had the right to practice whatever religion we choose. Not get forced into practicing another's religion.

Anyone want to comment on that?

Krydor said...


"2) Why would any religion expect non followers to obey their religious beliefs? Because i thought we had the right to practice whatever religion we choose. Not get forced into practicing another's religion."

Welcome to Chapter 57 in the book of unintended consequences. This is one of the unintended consequences of multiculturalism and suicidal tolerance.

Anonymous said...

Great rebutal and clarity Anna.

Here is a comic book explaining the Islam religion.


ndp nadine said...

I always thought Ezra was a little ass. The whole incident from 5 years ago or so when he withdrew from the byelection kicking and screaming and pouting to make room for the party leader to run proves it. He's very confrontational and pompous and loves being on camera too much. It's an attempt by Ezra to sell magazines and get Ezra on tv. What a wonderful batch of characters Calgary contributes to politics: Anders, Ezra, Hanger, Kenney...muhahahhaha.

Anonymous said...

Wow, someone from the NDP accusing someone else of loving the camera when Jack has done virtually every warm and fuzzy photo op that's physically possible.

Kim McKenzie said...

This is a great post - well-thought-out.

'Peg City Kid said...


The one cartoon that really gets me is the one of Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban. How is this not racist?? This cartoon goes to speak of the entire religion.

The West should accept responsibility for inciting violent behaviour of Muslims. They know these cartoons incited riots, why would they keep publishing them?????????????

'Sense of entitlement'
Radical Regimes feel they are entitled to impose the values of their religion. Not the people of the religion, say like, Christianity. This is a very old fact. It is no different than say China or North Korea.

And just while I'm on the topic, what exactly do you think the point of Residential Schools were???

No, the West isn't always wrong. I don't believe I've ever said that,

So Canadianna,

"Do not read your own warped opinions into my writing and then pretend like it's based on anything I've said"

Thank you.

"Not if someone is eventually convicted of a hate-crime for having re-printed these cartoons."

FYI..... A SLIGHTLY different topic;

David Irving was jailed today for expressing views contrary to those accepted by the norm, or 'Holocaust Denying'.

"I don't believe the opinions of non-Muslims have been affected by the cartoons, therefore your point is not valid."

Here's one for ya! Or maybe they're just useless white-trash. That's probably more likely, never mind.


Racist f**k-up.

An idiot like you probably thinks I would take offence being called a tard, but seeing as it’s coming from someone as ignorant and proud of it as you, but I don't. It holds absolutely no meaning.

First off, as I'm sure you can tell my previous post, if you bothered to read it, I really don’t like Christianity. So, where was I when a cross was put into a bottle of piss, or the Virgin Mary was displayed cover in elephant shit??

I don't f**cking know, I really couldn't care less, and if you ask me, that's a perfect representation of the state of Christianity.

I defend the right of freedom of speech, I may not condone what they are saying, but I defend it. You’re an idiot; you should look up big words like "Hypocrite" in the dictionary before using them in sentences.

Ok, Big Guy, just out of curiosity, what have you fought for? How in hell do you feel you somehow have the right to give me shit? Are you a soldier? A Vet? Have you picked up a weapon in defence of your country? What gives YOU the right to decide how the rest of us think??

How would you know what I've fought for????

"Muslims, and their cult of Islam,is about one thing only,world domination.Get over it. It is not a "religion". It is a cult founded by a murdering,adutlerous,pedophile psychopath"

You really are a peice of sh*t. I never took you seriously to begin with, now I just hate you. Pig. You’re dangerous. This is exactly the same thing Hitler said about the Jews. You suck. Get lost.

People like you are disgusting boils on the face of this planet and should be destroyed.

"If it took you longer than 3 seconds to make up your mind,tough s**t. You are dead."

WTF!??!? I almost want to laugh, but this guy really isn't funny. It’s really sad actually. I hope this guy finds whatever he’s looking for.

I apologize for the bleeps Canadianna, this guy is too much.

macbeth said...

PCK: Canadianna is much better at this than me, but you wrote:

The one cartoon that really gets me is the one of Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban. How is this not racist?? This cartoon goes to speak of the entire religion

It's not racist because the cartoons are about a religion and its adherents, not a race. Not all Arabs are Muslim and not all Muslims are Arab. If you published a cartoon satirizing Buddhism or Christianity, it wouldn't be racist either, because not all Buddhists are Asian, and not all Christians are white.

The West should accept responsibility for inciting violent behaviour of Muslims. They know these cartoons incited riots, why would they keep publishing them?

You missed the point. It's not Ezra Levant's fault that embassies are burning in the Middle East. Whose fault is it? The people that struck the matches. Provocation with words or cartoons doesn't justify violence. I'd be charged with assault (and rightly so), if you called me a fascist or drew a nasty picture of me and I burned down your house.

It has become a question of freedom of speech, which is an important pillar of Western society. It might also offend radical Muslims that women in western countries don't cover their hair, or that have the opportunity to get a university education, etc. If they start to get violent about this, does it mean we should change our values because we don't want to offend their sensibilities? Should we deny rights to women and all convert to Islam if a few embassies start burning for those reasons? If not, then why is this situation different?

Raging Ranter said...

I see once again that Canadianna has put forth a rational, cogent and reasonable position. Of course this irks the usual suspects of the knee-jerk multicultist crowd to no end.

Peg City Kid, if you choose to blame the West for everything, and side with suicide-bombing, wife-beating, west-hating terrorist-inducing Islamofascists, why not grow a beard and head over there to join the jihad? Maybe change your name to Peg City Kahdr while you're at it.

Owlb said...

Canadianna - I appreciated your reply to my previous post, but just haven't had time to get back to you, nor to keep my finger on the pulse of further Comments at your Place. I only add that the focus for me is, first of all, that we do restrict Hate Speech in Canada. So does Denmark, and so does Austria. The latter two have laws that actually make it criminal to deny publically the Holocaust. Now, Canada extradited the Zundel guy, to where I'm not sure. We got rid of him for anti-Semitic discourse (which included Holocaust denial, or revisionism to the point where the numbers of those exterminated were said to be minimal. This scares our Canadian Jews, and free talk like this is felt by them to a prelude to building a neo-Nazi movement here, and further bombings of Jewish centers and institutions. We have this legislation against Hate Speech on our books; it's obviously there to protext our Jews. The Gay movememnt has tried to ride those coattails, but some conservatives in the churches have said protecting Gay from hate speech could rule out reading publically and preaching on certain texts of Scripture. So, how do we legislate to prevent the worst kind of public discourse that does feed violence and shunning of our various minorities of Canadians, that some other Canadians want to enact deeds of hatred? Many Muslim Canadians have come to feel that these laws were put in place with no intention of equal justice. Permitting publication and dissemination of hate speech, some feel is reserved for Jews in order to get rid of Zundels, and to Gays to get rid of Rev Phelps, etc. Is the notion of an absolute freedom of speech actually coherent? I don't thinke so. So those are the concerns behind my initial response to Levant. But I am not trying to censor him; I am censuring him. Some of the other commentators have completely wiped away my longtime record of standing against those Muslims who engage in terrorism. I merely point out that, for all the mayhem and huge crowds most recently mobilizied altogether these forces with their sympathizers are a small minority of the total world population of Muslims is 1.3 billion, says Adherents.com. Recently, I saw a remark by a geostrategist that the terror movement of what I call Islamofacism at its utmost count, including inactive sympathizers is 12 million.Aggregately, that's a huge crowd, but proportionately it's a small section of all Muslims, most of whom are repelled by public mockery of the Prophet and by the resulting insult to the whole world community who revere him. I was hoping that Canada would be a place where our small Muslim community would not be stereotyped and many subjected to fear by the likes of Zundels, Phelps, and Levants. - Owlb

Canadi-anna said...

macbeth -- I totally agree with everything you said.

Peg, another time where we'll have to agree to disagree. The cartoon with a bomb in Mohammed's turban was not an indictment of a race or a religion. It was a comment that here is the most revered and honoured prophet and this (bombing) is what his adherents are doing in his name. That overshadows any valueable message of Islam, and the whole religion begins to be seen as incendiary. The message of the cartoon was aimed at what radicals were doing to Islam, not a commentary on Muhammed.

Owlb -- I really do understand your concerns. The problem with laws restricting speech is that laws don't change how people feel, they just drive the rhetoric underground, and then, the haters are both hidden and resentful. That's when they become more dangerous and more powerful, because then they claim that the government is trying to shut them up because it's a conspiracy. That piques the curiousity of the ignorant and enables marginal groups of radicals to recruit. Everyone wants to be in the club that knows all the stuff the government doesn't want you to know.
Funnily enough, Ezra Levant is Jewish and he is against 'hate laws' that protect Jews from holocaust deniers and the like. I think he's right. If nutcases want to go around spouting off their ignorant lies, we have to let them. Then we can laugh at them and treat them with the contempt and ridicule they deserve. When we try to shut them up or to jail them, we send the message that we are afraid of them. Fear gives them power.

Owlb said...

Canadianna - Thanks for sticking with me in the discussion. I'm glad you and I got to this point in our exchange. And I can let go of it now. Some fears we can dismiss, some we can't - rather, I can't. However, I do see now the coherence, first, in Levant's stance. Apparently, he's among those Jews who don't think anti-Semitism has to be constrained in the public media because of its proven deadly intent. More important to me, is the gracous continual clarification you've given us of your own stance. Again, you're a wise lady. Yrs. Owlb

Sara said...

CPAC on Goldhawk tonight has the childcare issue and people are welcome to call in if your interested... www.cpac.ca

"Fund the Child" Movement

INP said...
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INP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
INP said...

The word "racist" has lost most of its currency here in Canada due to its overuse. Noticing that Jamaicans seem to be the main perpetrators of gun crime in Toronto is enough to make some people scream "racism". These days simply noting the inherent differences in cultures and ethnic groups is cause to be demonized as a racist. So most of us just don't listen any more. As a result of this "cry wolf" mentality, our society is now desensitized and in danger of ignoring real episodes of racism.

It's the same with the term "hate crimes". If we allow those who are overly sensitive and neurotically predisposed to being offended dictate when and where hate crimes occur, soon, the term will mean as little as the term "racist" has come to mean. And that would be the real crime.

Bob Waters said...

It is not necessary that Muslims explain what is offensive to them.

The cartoons were commissioned, drawn, and published precisely because
they were offensive to Muslims. That was the whole point; there was no other.

Chuckercanuck said...


news broke today. I was thinking what time to invest, you know - how important is this?

with my answer, comes a corrolary prediction:

you will post something new today or tomorrow.

Sharon said...

Canadianna! Come back!!!! I miss your posts!!!!

Anonymous said...

So I'm not the only one looking for canadianna...are you ok?Lot's to talk about.VF

Anne (happier in Ontario) said...

Starting to wonder here....

Still check here at least once per day, are you coming back?

Bob Waters said...

Perhaps it might also be said that he who goads a homocidal maniac into committing homocide also has blood on his hands.

Nowhere is this a free speech issue. Everywhere it is an issue of deliberately extending a cordial middle finger to somebody else's religion.

Canadian Sentinel said...

Sigh... I miss Canadianna, though I've been working on my own blog quite a bit lately and haven't really gotten into the fray for a while here. Canadianna comes on for a while and gives us lots of excellent discourse wrt very important issues.

Then she's off to save the world, perhaps. I think our beloved Canadianna is actually a superhero... I think that'd be coooool!

Speaking of very important issues, have y'all heard of this, which I believe has the potential to make the Momo cartoon craziness look like small potatoes...



Anonymous said...

So if I had your number I would be calling to see if you are alright. this is the frustrating thing about the blogosphere!VF

Mike said...

I was beginning to think my browser was the problem until I read the comments.
Canadianna where are you??

Anne (happier in Ontario) said...

Goodbye Canadianna, will miss your insight!

vicki said...

Canadianna...hope you come back soon to get rid of the porn garbage here!!

No Display Name said...

I'm glad that the Western Standard exists, and that we live in a free country...for now.

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