Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mark Steyn, Unplugged

Mark Steyn on CAIR: "Dialogue up to a Point"

(CAIR is the US-based Council on American-Islamic Relations)


Mark Steyn on al-Husainy: Democrats Wrong to Invite Imam's Prayer

(Imam Husham Al-Husainy is director of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, Michigan)


Judge for yourselves.

Is Mark Steyn truly an advocate of unfettered free speech?

If so, can his position as a self-syled champion of civil liberties be reconciled with the call he makes in these videos for the silencing of certain, allegedly "non-moderate" Islamic-American voices in the public square?

It appears that the issue boils down to this.

Mr. Steyn has regularly called for the muzzling of Islamic-American leaders whom he deems as inadequately moderate. Certain Islamic-Canadians leaders, in turn, now seek to muzzle Mr. Steyn.

I think we should be hearing from all of them.

Why? In spite of all the dubious positioning and hot air by both sides, the issues at stake go to the very root of crucial policy deliberations throughout the Western world.

Not only is the dialogue essential - it is the only way to move forward.

Canadian law does not, and must not, preclude this critical discussion on a central issue of our time.

Finally, one last point. The videos make it plain that Mr. Steyn invites political dialogue with moderate Islamic-Americans. As hyperbolic as his views may be, he does not suggest in any fashion that all Islamic-Americans are extremists. Significantly, many Islamic-Canadian leaders do not endorse the human rights complaints against Mr. Steyn.


Comments invited and welcome. Having said that (and based on recent experience), I'm reminding readers on all sides of the aisle that I will remove any comment containing profanity, racism, vulgarity or gratuitous personal attack.

And for readers who are new to this issue, there is more here.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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