If anyone thought the battle for free speech in Canada had been won when section 13 of the Human Rights Act was repealed, they may have been mistaken; some of the most avid anti-free speech-ers are apparently far from content to give up the fight.
Among them, apparently, is Haroon Siddiqui who has penned an op/ed in the Toronto Star that is nothing short of Orwellian, in the worst way.
The essential theme of Siddiqui's screed is this: that since section 13, one of the premiere weapons of lawfair in Canada, has been taken away Muslims allegedly have it really bad; that not only has virtually every vulnerable group in Canada benefited from protection from hatespeech while Muslims allegedly have not, but the free speech of Muslims has been unfairly impugned.
And if you actually believe this tripe, you simply haven't been paying attention.
This Orwellian tirade comes mere days after Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen decided that Elias Hazineh, formerly President of Palestine House, won't face criminal charges for a speech made at a 2013 al-Qud's Day rally in which he openly incited violence against Israelis. Hazineh also happens to have rather deep Liberal ties, so it certainly couldn't have hurt his case in the eyes of a Liberal Attorney General.
Nor were any charges laid stemming from an incident in which Jewish protesters were assailed with Holocaust-themed taunts by frequenters of, of all places, Palestine House.
There's more that Siddiqui omits, and it happens to pertain to who is really attempting to curb free speech, and for whom: the utterly astounding length of time Ezra Levant spent being prosecuted -- many would rightly say persecuted -- by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal for daring to publish the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad which, at about the time he published them, just happened to be at the centre of one of the most compelling news stories of the day. Levant was targeted by known radical Muslims -- some would call them "Islamists" -- who have publicly made statements that could have also been considered for prosecution under hate crime law. Again, charges were never laid.
And that's just in Alberta. At the United Nations, a collective effort by various Islamic theocracies has resulted in the adoption of draconian anti-blasphemy resolutions at the committee level of the UN -- efforts to push such resolutions through the General Assembly have, to date, fortunately been unsuccessful.
Frankly, it's unthinkable that Siddiqui wouldn't be aware of any or all of this. Likewise, all of this is beside the fact that Siddiqui offers no evidence to support his absurd claims.
Make no mistake about it: his omission of the facts that reveal who has really held the upper hand via section 13, and who is out to milk it for all its worth, was quite deliberate. That Toronto Star publishers allowed this screed to be published while omitting those very important facts reveal in stark terms precisely where they stand on the issue of freedom of speech; it's the last place a newspaper should be caught standing.