Free Dominion, a socially conservative blog, has been served notice that the ironically named Human Rights Commission is considering charging it with a violation of the Human Rights Act after a woman, Marie-Line Gentes, took issue with comments posted on that blog by a visitor. The complainant, who is not a Muslim, took issue with these remarks made by someone named Bill Whatcott:
04/24/06 "I can't figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals."
03/09/06 "I defy Islamic censorship and speak about what I believe is the truth
about violent Islamism and its threat to religious liberty in Canada."
"How many of us pay nothing but lip service to the Muslim threat here in Canada?"
"Probably everyone want to jail a Muslim."
"I have to ask why we are importing them here?"
"Islamic fundamentalism and its threat to Canada's religious and civil liberties."
You don't have to personally support Bill's comments, or even read Free Dominion, to realise that something's amiss here. First, Bill should be able to tell anyone anywhere what his beliefs are; that's called freedom of speech and is of the utmost importance to the health of democracy. Second, an unelected, unaccountable, shadowy bureaucracy like the Human Rights Commission (HRC) should not be able to 'sue' Canadians based upon a person's sensitivity level. The HRC is supposed to deal with discrimination and authentic hate speech, not moderate public discussion, although opponents of the HRC have always claimed that's exactly what it was made for. Left or right, progressive or conservative, you have to admit that when something like this happens, all of our rights suffer.
Support Free Dominion, publish these quotes on your own blog. Cherish freedom of speech.
ps - To those who complain that this approach is heavy handed, of course it is. About as heavy handed than filing a complaint with the HRC about something you read on the internet.