EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – JUNE 11, 2008
By Rich Trzupek
Last week witnessed the Trial of the Century, although – to be fair – it wasn’t actually a trial and it hasn’t been much of a century so far. Still, we must be grateful for what we have.
It was a classic battle, pitting freedom of the press versus oppressive government. What was most surprising was not the fact that this “trial” did not occur in a country ruled by a totalitarian regime, like Iran, Cuba, China or any of the other usual suspects. Rather, it took place in that bastion of democracy, that liberal-haven to our north: Canada.
This was a not a surprise, because the trial was part of a logical, liberal progression that started under the country’s ultra-liberal, ex-Nazi sympathizer premier: the late, not-so-great and entirely unlamented Pierre Trudeau.
What was most surprising was the fact that a trial this important was ignored by so many for so long. Last week’s events in the Great White North are a harbinger of things to come in the States – of things that are already have come to pass to some extent – and that will only get worse under the Brave New World that our new Dear Leader, Barack Hussein Obama promises to impose on us.
If a group of our fellow countrymen dare to exercise their constitutional right not to listen to crappy music by boycotting the Ditzy Chicks, excuse me – the Dixie Chicks – because the Chicks have exercised their constitutional right to have a dopey opinion, well then there is no shortage of pundits, politicians and pathetic panderers to puerile privilege prepared to pummel the protesters. (Sorry, there has been a tragic outbreak of alliteration in the Chicagoland area…). “This is censorship!” they’ll cry.
Similarly, if the government suggests that it might be worthwhile to attempt to tap into communications between Osama bin Laden and Ali bi Krazy, because it’s 2008 and we have this little communication tool called the internet and, much to our surprise, internet communications also pass through the United States, this plainly won’t do either. This is “domestic spying”! This is the first step in taking away our ancient right to surf disturbing porn sites in peace! If the Continental Army didn’t suffer though Valley Forge so that we could anonymously oogle nude, bisexual, Amish cheerleaders, then what was the point?!
But, just across the border, the government of Canada, through its bizarre mind control ministry, otherwise known as the Human Rights Commission, tries to muzzle free speech and we hardly hear a word. Where are outraged pundits? Where, Sweet Jesus, are the outraged liberals? If freedom of the press is not a liberal virtue, then what’s left?
Canada’s biggest news weekly, Macleans, published excerpts from Mark Steyn’s best seller “American Alone” back in 2006. (A book that the brilliant, and brilliantly satirical, Steyn advertises thus: “Best seller in America – Hate crime in Canada”).
In his tome, Steyn presents a carefully thought out, convincing and amusing case that radical Islam represents a dire threat to western, Judeo-Christian civilization. He points to increasing Muslim birth rates, combined with decreasing birth rates in the west, along with a substantial minority of fanatics in the Muslim population who – by their own admission – do not approve of western culture. His conclusion? The west is in for some very tough times.
A small, yet terribly aggrieved, group of Muslims complained. That’s fine, but in Canada you can complain to the Humans Rights Commission, which operates official, yet oddly extra-legal, tribunals designed to ensure that no one gets their feelings hurt – ever.
The persecution (yes, yes, I know what this word is supposed to be – I’m simply being accurate) admitted that Steyn noted that the majority of Muslims are not nut-balls, but that wasn’t good enough. Apparently Steyn should have made the point in ALL CAPS, or added a couple of “really, reallys” to satisfy them.
If in fact they could be satisfied, which I doubt. All they wanted, they piously explained, was editorial control over Macleans for a week in order to print a 5,000 word counter-argument. Oh, and they get to design the cover too. That’s all.
Since the magazine wouldn’t surrender to these very reasonable demands, the complainants took the only step they had left to get their message out: they took Macleans to kangaroo court. And when I say the “only step they had left”, I am of course discounting letters to the editor, interviews on the television and radio, articles in other publications, access to the entire internet and shouting across the fence to their neighbors, for none of these other modes of communication are available to them, apparently.
They sniffed that Steyn’s book (no matter the disclaimer about the reasonable Muslim majority) had incited hatred and violence against the Muslim community in Canada. One must acknowledge that there have been peaceful, democracy-loving Muslims who have been the target of unreasonable violence and hatred in North America. However – and this may be a stretch – I think that the fact that their crazy co-religionists blow up embassies, office buildings and each other in the name of religious revolution has a little more to do with eliciting this reaction than the musings of an accomplished, insightful author.
We should not excuse violence and hatred that harms an innocent. Of course. Do we even need to say this? We should, however, be realistic enough to admit where said violence and hatred comes from, and – no matter what – we should not assume that the situation will be improved by stifling the free exchange of ideas.
Can’t happen here you say? It’s already happening here. Just last week, the City of Bloomington arrested a young man who got into a verbal (non-physical) confrontation with another young man. One of these young men happened to be gay. The other was not. One of them was not arrested. The other was, and was charged with a “hate crime”. Care to guess which young fellow was arrested? And that’s not the first time that the Thought Police have used “hate crime” statutes as a means to impose their will in this country.
Tell me that we won’t see more of the same once “President Touchy-Feely, We All Have To Respect Each Other” assumes office. “We all have to respect each other” is classic liberalspeak for: “you better start thinking like I do, or there WILL be consequences”.
Or, to quote William F. Buckley Jr.: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
God help us.