Original Article

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=184732

All we want is a chance to respond

Naseem Mithoowani, Khurrum Awan , Muneeza Sheikh and Daniel Simard, National Post

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2007

On Dec. 4, the four of us announced that we had launched human rights complaints against Maclean’s with respect to its October, 2006 article, “The Future Belongs to Islam,” written by Mark Steyn. In light of the attention our complaints are receiving — most recently, through an article by Ezra Levant published on these pages (“Censorship in the name of human rights,” Dec. 18)–clarifications are in order.

First, it is important to examine the actual content and thesis of Mr. Steyn’s article. Its basic premise is that, just as the “white man settled the Indian territory,” Muslims in the West are poised to take over entire societies, and the “only question is how bloody the transfer of real estate will be.”

Perhaps the Maclean’s article is best summed up by the following extract, in which Mr. Steyn inserts what he terms the “obligatory” of courses: “Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists — though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists — though enough of them share their basic objectives.”

What should we do when a Canadian magazine publishes an article alleging that many Muslims are “hot for jihad,” and that they share the same basic goals of terrorists? True to Canada’s tradition of free speech, we decided to engage Mr. Steyn in a debate about his views.

We decided to follow the example of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), a small but strident group of self-described “liberal secular Muslims,” which has come to the defence of Maclean’s. In its most recent media release, the MCC advised: “Mark Steyn’s article was definitely alarmist, but the answer to his challenge is to write a counter piece and demand that Maclean’s publish it.”

Unfortunately, the MCC’s advice came about nine months too late. On March 30, 2007, we met with Maclean’s senior editors and proposed that they publish a response from a mutually acceptable source. The response was negative, which resulted in our human rights complaints.

In his National Post article, Mr. Levant devotes much attention to the importance of freedom of expression in Canadian society. We agree, which is why we asked Maclean’s for an opportunity to debate Mr. Steyn. It is also why Mr. Steyn is not a party to any of our human rights complaints. We haven’t asked him for an apology or a retraction. Neither have we filed hate-speech complaints against him. He is free to do and say as he pleases.

What we did ask for, however, was an opportunity for the Muslim community to participate in the “free marketplace” of ideas. It is our belief that in its truest form, freedom of expression results in a lively debate among all interested parties — not just among those who play by their own exclusionary rules. If Maclean’s wants to publish articles alleging that many Muslims are “hot for jihad,” it has to provide an opportunity to respond.

This issue isn’t about attacking journalists or stifling free expression. It’s about ensuring that our media outlets provide a forum for open debate and argument. While we do not agree with Mr. Levant’s characterizations — and he may not agree with our position — the very fact that we can respond to one another in the same publication shows that some media outlets still value the showcasing of differing opinions. It is our hope that, as a result of these human-rights complaints, Maclean’s can join their ranks.

- END -

 

Comments

  • Mark Webster  On December 22, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    …If Maclean’s wants to publish articles alleging that many Muslims are “hot for jihad,” it has to provide an opportunity to respond.

    in the “free marketplace” of ideas, no one has to provide anything. They may be free to invite a response, but there is no obligation to do so. This is akin to the so called Fairness Doctrine – utter nonsense. If I disagree with what is published in Maclean’s – barring libel, I do not have the right to force them to do anything.

Trackbacks

  • By Steynianism 2.0 « Free Mark Steyn! on December 22, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    [...] with a forum to respond to articles they don’t like; “With all due respect, this is the saddest and most pathetic thing I have ever heard”. Via …. [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Bright Blue Line

Using Minds, Not Force for Improving Policing

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips) **Facebook.com/MattWalshBlog

The Woman and the Dragon

Taking aim at feminism in the Church and family.

Joffre The Giant

Excursions in Christian virility.

Haley's Halo

Giving the manosphere a friendly Christian sidehug since 2010

Dalrock

Thoughts from a happily married father on a post feminist world.

Blogging for a free world

Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither (Benjamin Franklin)

The Prophet Of Wrath

The writings of Sidney Allen Johnson

ridingacross

Christianity & Bike Travel

marginalizedactiondinosaur

Just another WordPress.com site

Catherine Wheels

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Tea and Politics

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored (A. Huxley)

The WebElf Report

We Started It

Free Canuckistan!

.. "They'll Have To Kill Us All!" ~ Mark Steyn

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 587 other followers

%d bloggers like this: