Recently a close friend received a notice of libel for an article he had written detailing the unsavory ties between a notable Islamic organization and the Muslim Brotherhood. Although most of the evidence adduced in the piece was conclusive, there was a degree of reasonable interpretation based on a number of obscure passages on the organization’s website, which my friend did not hesitate to point out. Some of his language was perhaps intemperate, but not appreciably different from what has been posted and printed in innumerable blogs, websites and political volumes, certainly since 9/11. (See, for example, Miroslav Marinov’s devastating takedown of CAIR-CAN, rebadged as the National Council of Canadian Muslims, on Blog Wrath.) The article contained a minor glissando, in which the organization in question was conflated with another radical semblable, since the two groups had worked together on numerous occasions and shared the same notorious board member — a man who had declared his greatest hero to be Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who regarded Hitler as a role model for Muslims. The acronymic error — one site’s alphabetical moniker mixed up with the other’s — was understandable in the circumstances and easily rectified.
Moreover the Islamic website my friend had consulted was under construction, doubtlessly in order for the organization to distance itself from its previous somewhat rancid embodiment. None of this prevented the offended group from retaining a prominent law firm to sue a private citizen of limited means on the shaky grounds of defamation. Within the terms of Canadian defamation law, which massively favor the complainant, a leftist judge would likely find my friend guilty — and leftist judges abound in the country, consciously or unconsciously working in tandem with disputatious Muslim councils and associations. These latter use the laws of our country to make non-Muslims less free, and leftist lawyers and judges enable them to do so. A decision by Canada’s Supreme Court rendered on February 27, 2013, stated that in certain cases truth is no defense in the framework of causing offense to designated minority groups.
Thus, such brawny Muslim organizations and their minions, initiating predatory defamation suits, are able to flaunt their thugismo with almost total impunity. The same applies to Muslims acting as individuals, whether lawyers, imams or students, amplifying the nuisance factor until it reaches untenable proportions. A human rights suit filed against publisher and journalist Ezra Levant by Calgary imam Syed Soharwardy for reprinting the Danish cartoons in his newspaper, The Western Standard, cost Levant 900 days of litigation, over $100,000 — and The Western Standard. This despite the fact that Soharwardy ultimately withdrew his complaint.
Similarly, a suit lodged by one Mohamed Elmasry, an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo and president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, against Canada’s largest weekly, MacLean’s magazine, for publishing a book excerpt by Mark Steyn about the Islamic threat to the West, led to the predictable result. The suit cost the magazine $2 million despite an eventual acquittal. Nonetheless, it was mission accomplished for the Islamic machine: MacLean’s now steers clear of sensitive Islamic subjects. (See Levant’s Shakedown for an account of these travesties of justice.) Under the peculiar laws governing the status of Canada’s human rights commissions, neither of the plaintiffs had to cough up a cent, enjoying a free ride on the taxpayer’s dime.
Civil suits are adjudicated differently, but those without deep pockets — that is, most of us — have little incentive and less chance of carrying on the fight indefinitely against obscenely wealthy Islamic organizations or individual Muslims who go proxy for them. They are very sure of themselves, strutting about the halls of power and justice like milites gloriosi in pinstripes. Indeed, the legal profession is brindled with Muslim lawyers who know the law intimately and are comfortable deploying it against non-Muslims who offend them, offering their services to their co-religionist clients at a reduced rate or even pro bono. In consequence, the verdict is largely predetermined: win or lose, the defendant’s life is almost always ruined. In my friend’s case, the plaintiff demanded exorbitant punitive damages and legal fees, as well as an over-the-top, reputation-killing retraction. The option of rejecting so outrageous a settlement and pursuing the matter in court is both too costly and too risky for the defendant, since the juridical apparatus in this country is weighted against the dispensation of elementary justice. Welcome to the Great White North.
“Suing over the back-and-forth of public discourse,” Steyn writes, “turns the entire citizenry into an enfeebled child.…To litigate every offence is to give a not especially distinguished judiciary the power to micro-regulate social relations.” Steyn knows whereof he speaks for he is once again being sued, not by a Muslim for a change, but by climate “warm-monger” and false Nobel laureate Michael Mann. Levant is also back in court, being sued by a former plaintiff in the MacLean’s burlesque, one Khurrum Awan, who is not a putative climate specialist but an actual Muslim. At least he is sticking to the standard plot line. Levant had called Awan “a liar,” an epithet corroborated by the fact that Awan, as Steyn comments, had been shown in the original proceeding to have “been guilty of telling an untruth about one of the central facts in the case.” Awan complained that as a result of Levant’s ostensible slur, he has been “shunned by his friends.” This palpably nonsensical, self-pitying and surely non-justiciable bleat may cost Levant another $100,000 in Canada’s superannuated justice system. “This is called lawfare,” Levant explains on his blog. “Muslim extremists who enjoy Canada’s free speech for themselves, seek to take it away from their Canadian critics. Using our own laws.” Once again, mission accomplished. Awan had boasted after the original trial: “We attained our strategic objective — to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material.”
Such trials have become part of the cultural atmosphere everywhere in the West. One thinks of the ridiculous charges levied against public figures like Geert Wilders in Holland, Lars Hedegaard in Denmark, and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria, among others, for telling self-evident truths about Islam. Trials are also conducted in the court of public opinion. One recalls in this connection the sanctimonious venom heaped upon Pastor Terry Jones for exercising his Constitutional rights in burning a Koran, whereby Westerners accept the Muslim claim of the inviolability of their Holy Book. The exception is when Muslims themselves are lighting the fire, as in the case of Arsala Jamal, the enlightened governor of an Afghan province, who was blown up in a mosque by a bomb planted under the pulpit — in effect, an exploding Koran, as Daniel Greenfield puts it — to scarcely a tongue-clucking in the legacy media, let alone the acknowledgment of so hypocritical a discrepancy.
Apparently, for many Muslims engaged in prosecuting their wars, schisms and sectarian vendettas, the Holy Book is not all that holy and can be torched at will. Western infidels, however, are appalled when one of their own is implicated. What we are witnessing is not only political correctness, which is mad enough, but political correctness gone even madder owing to the worst kind of obsequiousness and pietistic humbug, namely, condemning our own while refusing to offend the enemy even at his most murderous and morally rebarbative. We are now in league, in every conceivable way, with a violent and primordial part of the human family. The vocal exceptions are too few and too marginalized to make any compelling difference.
But far too many of us, and especially those in political office, will admit neither the present nor historical nature of a perennially aggressive and totalitarian faith. It comes as no surprise that Christine Melnick, Immigration and Multiculturalism minister of the province of Manitoba, proclaimed October as Islamic History Month. (Manitoba is the first province to implement the provisions of Islamic History Month Canada [IHMC}, launched in October 2007.) “We value and cherish our ethnic diversity,” said Melnick in a news release, “to which the Muslim community contributes so richly.” The substance of these contributions remains a mystery. (One recalls in this context the deplorably unfunny and overt propaganda sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie, which ran on national television from 2007 to 2012.) Since there are only 9000 Muslims in Manitoba, one may plausibly wonder why an entire month must be devoted to them. Interestingly, the Jewish population of Manitoba numbers 16,500 people and has contributed hugely over its 137 year presence to the cultural and economic vitality of the province -- judges, philanthropists, publishers, teachers, writers, farmers -- yet it has never been honored with a Jewish History Month. Neither has the approximately 60,000 strong Filipino community been ceremonially recognized.
Shahina Siddiqui, chair of Islamic History Month Canada (pictured here with Melnick), is delighted with the opportunity to “build a more inclusive, compassionate and multicultural Canada.” This is the same Siddiqui, by the way, who filed a formal complaint against B’nai Brith Canada, under the “discriminatory signs and statements” section of the Manitoba Human Rights Code, for hosting a conference on terrorism -- which she apparently did not attend but relied on the reports of others --“comments from some in attendance” -- as fodder for an obviously frivolous and ideologically motivated grievance. Moreover, defendant was kept in the dark regarding the identity of unfriendly witnesses, specific allegations, and the nature of a “secret expert report” commissioned by the tribunal. The trial lasted for five years before being reluctantly dismissed for lack of evidence. Siddiqui clearly beavers away with commendable alacrity, having lodged an earlier complaint against the Winnipeg Jewish community for co-sponsoring the film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. Accompanied by the timid acquiescence of Canadian officialdom, lawfare is plainly an integral part of Siddiqui’s compassionate outreach to the Canadian community. She has done her work exceptionally well, as attested by the complacent and liparose co-presence of the chair and the minister at the announcement of the new “historic” venture. The photo-op is illuminating: the ample cheek of liberal appeasement by the abundant jowl of Islamic advocacy.
In any event, we can be certain that the history to be celebrated will foreground something called “the Muslim cultural heritage.” Indeed, according to its newsletter, the IHMC, formerly affiliated with Elmasry’s litigious and partisan Canadian Islamic Congress, will focus on “the contributions made by the Islamic civilization throughout its history [and] disciplines that have contributed positively to human progress” — a contribution, be it said, that has been laundered and overhyped in the media and in our revisionist history books, at best the scrumpings of an intermittent and ostensible glory. And we can be equally certain that the “history” to be celebrated will bear no relation to the chronicle of terror, conquest, rapine, slaughter, oppression and intolerance that characterizes the bloody impact of Islam upon the world for the last millennium and a half. The hypertrophic dhimmi sensibility that typifies an increasingly pusillanimous official culture will not permit it.
Meanwhile the militant beat goes on. The day after the Jamal assassination, one Mahamoud Hirsi Jimale, a disaffected Somalian citizen of our big-hearted country, carried a satchel into the Prime Minister’s Office, threatening to blow it up. Interviewed by the press, his wife Elmi, a “stay-at-home mom,” deposed that her husband, “a gentle man dedicated to his Muslim faith,” had been mentally ill for the better part of two decades. It is also noteworthy that Elmi is the mother of seven children, probably tax-supported — “she wouldn’t say how they support their family” — and that after some twenty or so years in the country, still requires a translator to answer the reporter’s questions.
This is the rotten fruit of Canada’s longstanding multicultural policy and programmatic love of “diversity.” As a respectable correspondent of mine comments, “It’s all part of the Jihad. Note how he’s described as a pious, gentle soul who regularly prayed at the mosque (but his fellow worshippers just couldn’t remember him) albeit ‘mentally ill’! How convenient! He’s not responsible for anything! It’s never mentally ill Mennonites who are trying to blow up the PMO. Funny how that works” (personal communication). “Didn’t their parents and grandparents teach them to be decent people?” asks army veteran Harry Livermore in a poignant article titled Islam: Over a Thousand Years of Violence, “Just to be decent?”
It is in the name of such people, dedicated to their faith but not to the country that has welcomed, lauded, justified and subsidized them, that lawfare inflicts its sinister damage. The chancery rats are gnawing away at the joists and beams of the Palace of Justice. And we allow this travesty to continue.
Are we stupid, or what?