Monday, February 13, 2006

Western Standard Publishes Political Cartoons

The publisher of the Western Standard, Ezra Levant, is publishing the infamous political cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammed. Mr. Levant says that he is doing so because these cartoons are, "... the central fact in the largest newstory of the month" and that the Western Standard is a newsmagazine. According to Mr. Levant.

"I'm doing something completely normal. I'm publishing the centre of a controversy. That's what news magazines do."

Mr. Mohamed Elmasry, leader of the Canadian Islamic Congress, warned on Sunday that his organization will seek to have charges laid against Levant's publication under Canada's hate laws.

Mr. Elmasry is, of course, perfectly entitled to try and abuse Canada's hate laws in order to try and silence the Canadian media if that is how he chooses to spend his time. One hopes that any Crown Attorney he approaches with his accusation hands him a copy of the Constitution of Canada and shows him to the door. We'll see. Meanwhile it is useful for the rest of us to recall that only last October Mr. Elmasry said some remarkably hateful things himself. You may recall this commentary from Damian Penny's blog, Daimnation.

On Oct. 19, Mr. Elmasry appeared on Michael Coren Live, a Toronto-area television talk show. As we have noted many times before, Mr. Elmasry takes a rather dim view of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants. So it was hardly surprising to hear him tell host Michael Coren that the Palestinian intifada should be seen as the modern day equivalent of the French resistance -- with Israel, of course, being cast in the Nazi role.

But then Mr. Elmasry went a step further. Not only were attacks against Israeli military targets acceptable, he said, but also those against civilians. The CIC president justified this on the basis that Israel has a military system that requires many young adults to periodically report for training or reserve duty. Speaking of the Jewish adults who are regularly blown to bits while they sit in buses and cafes, he declared: "They are not innocent [because] the total population of Israel is part of the army ... From 18 on, they are part of the soldiers, even if they have civilian clothes."

"What about women?" Mr. Coren asked.

"The same," said Mr. Elmasry.

"So everyone in Israel ... irrespective of gender, over the age of 18, is a a valid target?" asked Mr. Coren.

"Yes," replied Mr. Elmasry.

We have noted the irony of Mr. Elmasry's extremism before. But in light of such odious pronouncements, it is worth pointing it out again. Here is a man who obsessively lectures Canadians about their preconceptions of Islam. He then walks into a television studio and whitewashes the terroristic slaughter of Jews -- single-handedly reinforcing for viewers the poisonous stereotype that would have all Muslims cast as apologists for terror.

This whole business reeks of hypocrisy and bullying. I have nothing against peaceful protest by anyone, but this has gone beyongd the pale. The only hate being exibited towards anyone in this affair is by Muslims against non-Muslims ... a regrettable but true circumstance, for which those engaged in this grand manipulation have much to answer.

Hat tip to Cathy Shaidle of Relapsed Catholic.


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