Ezra Levant Takes Down Canadian “Human Rights” Commission

by 1389 on January 20, 2008

in 1389 (blog admin), Canada, cartoon censorship, censorship, counterjihad, Ezra Levant, Foehammer, Kurt Westergaard (Mo-toons), litigation jihad, Mark Steyn, political correctness, video and film, YouTube

Who is Ezra Levant?

Photo of Ezra Levant

Ezra Levant is a lawyer, blogger, and journalist who was recently compelled to appear before a “human rights” commission in Alberta, Canada, to account for his decision to publish the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in Western Standard Magazine. Full details on his battle for freedom of speech and the press in Canada are on Ezra Levant’s blog.

Ezra Levant has delivered one of the most ringing, eloquent defenses of freedom of speech and the press ever given.

Ezra Levant explains: What’s this all about?

For readers tuning in for the first time, here’s a quick summary of what’s going on.

  1. Two years ago, the now-defunct Western Standard magazine reprinted the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. I was the publisher.
  2. In response, a radical Muslim imam named Syed Soharwardy asked the Calgary Police Service to arrest me. They didn’t, of course. So Soharwardy complained to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, a government agency. Here’s his hand-scrawled complaint [pdf]; here’s my reply [pdf]. For two years, using government lawyers and taxpayers money, they have been pursuing me, infringing on my natural rights of free speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.
  3. On January 11th, a government “human rights officer” interrogated me for 90 minutes. Instead of bowing my head, I used the opportunity to challenge the moral and legal basis of the complaint, and the human rights commission itself.
  4. I recorded the interrogation and posted video clips to YouTube. In the past week, they have been viewed nearly 400,000 times and were at one point the fifth most watched videos on all of YouTube. Though Canadian talk radio shows and op-ed columnists have covered the story well, I have seen only one newspaper report on the subject. I can’t understand why mainstream reporters and editors do not think it’s newsworthy that a publisher can be summoned by a government bureaucrat, and grilled as to his political thoughts. I’m pleased, though, that the support from pundits has come not just from the right, but from the enlightened left.
  5. I’ve got some ideas of what people can do. Although my case is being prosecuted by the hapless, lame-duck provincial government of Alberta, it is politically more likely that change will come first to the federal Canadian Human Rights Commission. That commission is currently hounding columnist Mark Steyn on similar thought crime charges.
  6. The blog posts below expand on various details of the case. If you are interested in the videos, they are all posted below, with commentary [see Ezra Levant’s blog]…

Watch Ezra Levant’s videos on YouTube

Opening statement (print version here)

What was your intent?

The real violence in Edmonton

I don’t answer to the state

Entitled to my opinion?

Attributes of free speech

How does the commission make decisions?

Closing argument

Details of the complaint

Also see:

Want to complain about this infringement on free speech?

Five Feet of Fury has contact information:

Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission
Northern Regional Office
800 Standard Life Centre
10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4R7
Confidential Inquiry Line (780) 427-7661
Fax (780) 427-6013

Southern Regional Office
Suite 310, 525 – 11 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2R 0C9
Confidential Inquiry Line (403) 297-6571
Fax (403) 297-6567


Free speech for the counterjihad: Why we are all in this together

Join The Mohammed Cartoon Blogburst - Learn Why it's Still So Important

Ezra Levant is far from alone in confronting the forces of government censorship and “political correctness” that seek to muzzle and strangle every voice in the counterjihad. Here are just a few recent instances of draconian pro-jihadist censorship that seeks only to keep the truth from coming out:

Your favorite blog could be next!


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Norski January 20, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for this posting – and the videos.

There are serious threats to freedom of speech today: And not just in America, Australia, or what ever country the reader is in.

I think this issue is important to everyone with an opinion: not just those with politically-incorrect positions. This is another post I’ve linked to from http://anotherwaronterrorblog.blogspot.com/ (“Another War-on-Terror Blog“).

2 bernie January 21, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Just FYI, I linked to your article from “The Right to Insult Muslims”

3 Tom Brodbeck April 22, 2008 at 10:28 am

There is something called hate propaganda in Canada and it is illegal. From the Criminal Code of Canada: 319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction. Wilful promotion of hatred (2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction. The law clearly shows you cant just say publicly whatever you want, not in newspapers, in broadcast and yes, not on the Internet, either. Apparently some people dont understand the law.

4 jack ellis March 15, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Ezra Lavant’s principled, courageous stand against both the Islamic extremist Jihadists and the no fun, PC bureaucrats in Canada and now most everywhere – he has inspired some of us to make similar fights for freedom South of the Canadian border.

The US Congress is looking to pass HR 256 the Federal Hate Crimes/Thought Crimes bill and few are resisting.

Well we are. Please stop by and join us:


5 Dave Larson December 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Dear Ezra:

Thanks for caring so much, and shaking the bushes. I am very, very proud of you, and grateful to live in a country with people of your calliber. Thanks, thanks and thanks.
I am a retired youth worker, and want to do something to “kill” the silly/insane/absolutely senseless H R Tribunal. What can I do as an old guy to make this happen.

D Larson 778 571 2714 Surrey BC

6 Ken Oblak January 24, 2012 at 3:12 am

Dear EZRA. you are a courageous advocate who cares deeply and understands the roots and privliges of our democratic system. Please keep up the good work. Canada needs more straight talking people like yourself. Too many Canadians take our rights and freedom for granted. Where are John Diefenbaker and T.C. Douglas when we need them?

7 1389 January 24, 2012 at 11:58 am

@Ken Oblak,

I have forwarded your message to Ezra Levant.

You can visit his website here: http://ezralevant.com/

Blog admin 1389

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