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Wednesday, August 06, 2008 

Ezra Levant - The Canadian Martyr of the Right Wing

It is hard to imagine anyone more self righteous and self worshiping than Ezra Levant. His recent foray into the 'online martyr business' has been entertaining and has provided endless fodder for the rightwingosphere to rant for over a year. As a reason for fundraising, well let's just say that I would wager that the Paypal link to Ezra from the unwashed Right wing crowd has been humming steadily.

"Some 900 days after I became the only person in the Western world charged with the “offence” of republishing the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, the government has finally acquitted me of illegal “discrimination.” Taxpayers are out more than $500,000 for an investigation that involved fifteen bureaucrats at the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The legal cost to me and the now-defunct Western Standard magazine is $100,000."
Ezra the Persecuted
-A Canadian Martyr-

Photo: REUTERS/Patrick Price

Still waiting for a fatwa to be placed on Levant's head. Desperately wanting to be Canada's version of Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn.

Levant's douchebaggery aside--the Alta HRC's dismissal was still disturbing for those of us who think the complaint against him was a theocratic exercise completely lacking in merit. The investigator went on ad nauseum about the "context" of reprinting the cartoons as if to suggest that passing them on without comment could run afoul the statutory standard.

Its also disappointing that it took three years to get to this point. No one should have a complaint like this hanging over their head for that long even if they are a grade A windbag like Ezra Levant.

Unfortunately the involvement of the RWA types in the whole exercise obfuscated important issues about the regime surrounding HRCs in Canada.

I always stop at Ezra's first lie. Since there was never was any "fatwa," that means I didn't get past the headline (which contained another lie).

Perhaps someone can help me here.
Levant is a lawyer by profession and he's constantly on the internet and has been back and forth with the HRC business.

So, how does he earn any income? Or are wealthy conservatives financing him.

With all the weight of the HRC and then his personal appearances and speaking commitments how does he have time to practice law?

I suspect he's being subsidised by conservatives because he would otherwise have trouble making ends meet. Remember his magazine tanked!

He sounds and acts impulsive and is the antithesis of a lawyer.
Frankly, I don't think he could manage by himself and probably needs others around him to prevent him from derailing entirely.

Quite frankly I don't think he could organise anything by himself.
So what about the financial end?
Are conservatives subsidising him or what?

I don't support Ezra Levant because he is a right winger. I do support him because he is right.

I do not agree with everything Mr. Levant has to say or write. I do agree that he should be able communicate his thoughts so long as he does not libel or slander anyone. That means he can publish whatever he wants so long as he does not cause injury to anyone through any deliberate false statements.

When Ezra Levant published the Danish cartoons in his now defunct Western Standard, he offended many Muslims with the cartoon pictures of Muhammad and other Muslims. According to the Islam, one must not show images of Muhammad. I would argue if that rule applies only to Muslims or everyone. I would guess that Mr. Levant would argue the same.

Mr. Levant argued at the Alberta HRC that he did not need to justify to a government body--to the state--why he published the cartoons. Free expression needs no justification from the state. One picture showed Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. Would Muhammad be offended? Mr. Levant did make a comment that Muhammad is dead. That question cannot be answered.

I don't need Muslims, Catholics, Jews or any other group of people telling what not to publish in case I offend them. I won't make statements that I know are false. I will make statements that I think are true or just my opinions, even if these may offend other people.

A few years ago, author Deborah Ellis publish Three Wishes. It was about the thoughts of Jewish and Palestinian children. The Jewish community was offended not because the information in Ms. Ellis's book was false. I think the Jews were offended because some parts of her book made the Jews and Israelis look bad. Members of the Jewish community want restrictions placed on the book in Ontario's school boards. Some boards did ban Ms. Ellis's book; others did not. I thought Three Wishes was great not because I agree with the participants' thoughts. It was great because I could learn to understand how they felt living on the land between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas.

I do not want Ezra Levant to become a martyr for free speech. I just want him to be able to speak and write freely as I want for myself.

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