Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Chilling "Effect" of the Supreme Court of Canada's Whatcott Ruling

In effect, writes Janice Fiamengo, the problem is that it focuses on the potential "effect" of hate speech, and not on the far more deleterious "effect" that knee-capping free speech will have on a free society:
Rather than rehearse the entirety of the foolishness and illogicalities in the decision, I will make a few points about the preoccupation with “effect” as the determinant of unacceptable speech. In focusing not on the content of Whatcott’s expression—in which case the judges would have had to acknowledge the statements about God’s grace that soften his abrasive message—but instead on its presumed effect, the decision creates a legal nightmare that advances an unworkable concept of hate, exposes Christians to contempt, and insulates repugnant Muslim doctrines, simply because they are held by Muslims, from justifiable exposure and attack.
I would go even further and mention that because the SCC does not esteem free speech above all other freedoms (according to its ruling, there is no hierarchy of freedoms, and free speech is merely one of several "equal" freedoms--how, um, "multicultural," no?), it cannot help but make cockamamie decisions such as this one: How's that for cause and "effect"?

Update: Under the terms of the SCC Whatcott ruling, this Free Thinking Film Society event could be considered "hate speech":
Our April Event!
Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence

Join us for an evening with author Neil Kressel who will discuss his new book on antisemitism in the Muslim world. After the Presentation and Q&A, join us for a private reception where Mr. Kressell will be happy to autograph copies of his book.
"All religions and cultures suffer from sources that preach hate against the 'other.' Throughout history some have, tragically, practiced what their sources preached, while some have sought to dismiss or even counteract the hateful words of their sources. In this book, Neil Kressel shows how extremists within Islam, many in leadership roles, have exploited some of their hateful sources to preach and practice a virulent form of antisemitism. Read this book and judge for yourself."
     Alan Dershowitz   

The Sons of Pigs and Apes
Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence
Presentation, Q&A & Reception
April 10, 2013, 7 PM
Library & Archives Canada, 395 Wellington, Ottawa
Admission $20.00
STUDENTS get in FREE. Tickets at the door.

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