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B.C. Human Rights Commission rejects complaint against Maclean's

2008-10-11 00:45:27

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This is not a big surprise to us, the BCHRT took an enormous amount of scrutiny and flak over this case, and many people used this case to call their integrity into question.

They also stood to be blamed for "stopping free speech", regardless of the validity and proof of this case.  In essence they realized their existence and authority as a tribunal was, is and will be questioned if they found any other ruling.

Not withstanding those points, this also raises the question of how hurtful and hateful these kinds of articles are, and how they can stereotype and create undue fear against Muslims.  It wouldn't be surprising if the judges simply don't like Islam or are Islamphobic or anti-Islamic and let their bias, and lack of understanding about the history, and current events of Muslims and Islam, play a role in their decision.

Essentially, the Tribunal knew this would be the safest decision to make for their own benefit regardless of how relevant the case was proved.  They knew there would be a huge backlash from anti-Islamic extremists who will complain free speech was impeded.

At the end of the day, there is legislation in place which would have allowed them to make either ruling, and they realized this, however as has been mentioned, they wanted to play things safe for their own good.

This is disappointing, but the good that has come of this, is hopefully people will ask why don't Muslims like this?  Sure, there are the racists who insist "Muslims hate free speech", and "Muslims don't like our freedoms", and "Muslims are afraid of the truth", but seriously it comes down to the fact that we don't like lies and hate being spread about us.

In perspective, no one who sues a news publication, group or person for libelous, false and reputation damaging statements questions the reason for the most part.  It's easy to understand that if someone damages your reputation with things that are untrue, you are going to want to defend your reputation, especially when the claims are untrue.

And last but not least, we've seen it again and again, people comment on the writings of racists like Mark Steyn and say "if this isn't true why don't Muslims stand up or speak out?".  We did, and as usual only extremists Muslims get heard in the media, and when a group of Muslims did try and reply to these accusations, MacLean's said "we'd rather go bankrupt", refused to publish any comments from opposing sides, and they don't belong to a press council.

Some people then complained that "this should have gone before a court of law", and "Muslims are using hate crime laws and the BCHRT tribunal".  The funny thing about this, is that we know if they were taken to court people would be saying the same old things.  The other funny thing is that the majority of complaints accepted by the BCHRT have nothing to do with Muslims or Islam, in fact complaints of other faiths, cultures and creed account for the most complaints with the BCHRT.  Even more funny, we know that if we replaced "Muslims" or "Islam" with any other faith, the public wouldn't be screaming murder and complaining about free speech.

It comes down to another interesting point, that the people most concerned about free speech happen to be hate groups and racists, in fact when Keith Martin introduced a bill to remove Hate Crimes from the Charter, the KKK was very vocal in their support for this.

What we're seeing is an absolute quagmire of justice, based on Islamophobia (people who fear Muslims due to the media portrayal that all Muslims are violent), and anti-Islamic people (those who have always hated Islam due to their own extreme religious views).

The truth is, according to the Gallup report that 93% of Muslims are peaceful and do not have any extreme or violent views, this should be evidence enough of why so many Muslims don't like lies being spread about them and hate incited against them.

Anyone who has experienced racism can probably understand this, that racists think it is ok to persecute every single person of a particular race if they can find one bad example of someone from that race.

In conclusion, it is absolutely impossible for Muslims to win in these situations, no matter what Muslims do we'll always be accused of some kind conspiracy or devious plot behind it.  And of course the same things will be said about why we're being quiet, if we don't try and respond and get our voices heard when this kind of libel is published about us.

As Muslims we believe in democracy, free speech, and we want to live peacefully and harmoniously in Western Societies, we just hope the world will wake up and see there are large groups of people from other faiths who don't feel that same way and are trying to create fear and conflict where none exists.

Full Article:

B.C. Human Rights Commission rejects complaint against Maclean's

Last Updated: Friday, October 10, 2008 | 8:14 PM ET Comments37Recommend25

The B.C. Human Rights Commission has rejected a complaint that a Maclean's magazine article about Islam violated Canada's anti-hate laws.

It's the third time the complaint has been dismissed by various human rights commissions in Canada after it was filed by two members of the Canadian Islamic Congress, which claimed the piece by columnist Mark Steyn raised hatred against Muslims.

The article, titled The Future Belongs to Islam and posted on the Maclean's website in October 2006, discusses the global ambitions of young Muslims and suggests the West doesn't have the will to withstand the challenge.

In the B.C. complaint, the Islamic Congress claimed the writing suggests Muslims pose a threat to Western society, to democracy and human rights — a violation of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

But the provincial human rights panel dismissed the claim, saying the group failed to prove the article rises to the level of hatred and contempt.

In June, the Canadian Human Rights Commission also rejected the complaint, saying the views expressed aren't extreme, and a similar complaint filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission failed when it ruled it didn't have jurisdiction to hear it.



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