To Colby Cosh | 20Feb2008 | Wallace Klinck

Human Rights Commission and Anti-"Hate" Legislation

From: Wallace Klinck Date: February 20, 2008 11:08:21 PM MST (CA) To: [email protected] Subject: Human Rights Commission and Anti-"Hate" Legislation

Dear Colby Cosh,

I appreciated your column in the National today re the CJC and the destructive and dishonest (truth is no defense in their hearings) activities of the CHRC tribunals. I append a file containing some commentary on this whole question of censorship in which you might be interested.

I cut and paste below part of an agreeable exchange with a professor in the West in which I said:

"I am not impressed with Levant's support for the ultra violent and intolerant Zionist "state" in the Middle East -- nor some of the language he uses to express his views. If we have unrest and violence in and emanating from the Middle East, surely no even moderately unbiased mind should have difficulty in understanding why these events have transpired. (Have you ever gone to Alfred Lilienthal's site?) I do support anyone's efforts to defend freedom of speech and association. And I think it is well-known what interests promoted Human Rights Commissions and so-called anti-"hate" legislation in the first instance. No doubt that is why the politicians are so jittery or reluctant to take a principled stand on the question of protecting basic freedoms. Their continued political tenure is more important than the fundamental freedoms of their electors -- and in the final analysis, genuine statesmanship being virtually non-existent, they almost invariably will sell out these rights for their own positions of advantage. Unfortunately, some of the people who are complaining now did not seem concerned when others were being persecuted by the HRCs, which seems hypocritical in my opinion. (Depends on whose ox is gored.) This does not, however, invalidate their now expressed valid complaints about these HRC abuses. We have to proceed from where we are. We have to realize that people from other cultures simply do not have a background in Christian principles and the institutions which the British stream of history has developed in regard to truth and openness in searching for it. They do not appreciate that fullest access to information and opinion is necessary to our way of life, to our spiritual and intellectual development and overall social progress -- and seem to exhibit a basic psychological insecurity revealed by their inability to tolerate diversity of ideas which may not accord with those in which they have been steeped culturally. That is why it is dangerous to allow ourselves to be "swamped" by rapid and massive intrusion of people from other cultures. Individuals are likely to be absorbed or to integrate -- but large numbers, essentially uninformed about our cultural background and institutions, mass together into ethnic blocks which generate cultural conflicts divisive and destructive to our social viability. Christian culture is in fact very tolerant--which makes it vulnerable to external attack, especially when citizens themselves do not have a well-defined concept of their own culture and institutions. Unfortunately, there has been a substantial, no doubt, engineered, degradation of such awareness. I think that only a profound cultural regeneration will, or can, resolve our current descent into the abyss of confusion and totalitarianism. The internationalist forces of totalitarianism are determined that no such regeneration will be allowed to occur--and Human "Rights" Commissions are regarded as a key weapon in their arsenal of weapons employed for the aggressive concentration of world power. "

Wallace Klinck

National Post | 20Feb2008 | Colby Cosh

The CJC's disingenuous stance

Yesterday, Bernie Farber and Len Rudner, two officials of the Canadian Jewish Congress, were given space in these pages to defend Canadian human rights law from the frequent criticisms it has received from National Post editorialists and contributors. Why would a newspaper do such a thing? Because unlike Messrs. Farber and Rudner, it believes that a wide-open marketplace of competing ideas is the best guarantee a liberal democracy has against the spread of noxious and nonsensical doctrines. I suppose that after the authors' naked pandering to fears of violence and vandalism, and their hilariously revealing hints at possessing some special expertise in the super-sciency-sounding field of "antihate," one could say, "Q.E.D., gentlemen," and be done with the subject.

[W.Z. Over the years, Bernie Farber has been a fervent proponent and supporter of the d&d policy, which fraudulently equates immigration infractions with war crimes. He continues to call for the denaturalization and deportation of Helmut Oberlander, Wasyl Odynsky, Vladimir Katriuk and others, who have been victims of this policy.

Similarly, Len Rudner has been at the forefront in supporting the suppression of free speech. On 07Nov2003, Mr. Rudner filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) against Dr. Lubomyr Prytulak and his website (the web name has since been seized by his enemies). In a letter to Mary Gusella (Chief Commissioner of the CHRC) dated 20Dec2003, Dr. Prytulak expressed his concern that Richard Warman was the lead counsel on Internet prosecutions. Eventually, Dr. Prytulak reached a compromise with the CJC and decided to close down his site in mid-March 2006.]

But responsible journalism demands, if nothing else, that the record be set straight about the example they used of how strong protections for free speech -- the kind we are promised in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but not granted in the practise of federal and provincial human rights commissions -- can lead to bloodshed. Farber and Rudner begin their piece by throwing the placid appeal to reason out the window at once and memorializing Pamela Waechter, who was fatally wounded in a mass shooting at the offices of the Jewish Federation of Seattle in July, 2006. "Her crime, and that of five wounded co-workers, was being Jewish," they write. And they are right.

But could there be any relevant details they left out? With all their talk of swastikas on synagogue walls and "white supremacists," one might imagine that Pamela Waechter was murdered by some rampaging neo-Nazi skinhead. The perpetrator was in fact one Naveed Afzal Haq, whose Pakistani father founded the local Islamic centre and who shouted at his victims, "I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel." In a call to 911 operators Haq also said, "These are Jews and I'm tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East." It is bizarre, and definitely in questionable taste, for officials of the CJC to use such a case as a pretext for defending laws which have become controversial because Muslims have been using them to suppress implied criticism of their faith. Hate laws that are only ever used against the official-language media [W.Z. ??? To my knowledge, the vast majority of CHRC cases are directed against politically-incorrect individuals], and that essentially stop at the door of the family home and the mosque, won't do much to save Jews from Muslim fanatics. Some free, frank and timely discussion of Islam's compatibility with Western society just might.

In support of human rights commissions, Farber and Rudner paint a picture of a rising tide of "hate crime" as defined under the Criminal Code -- i.e., otherwise illegal acts conjoined with signs of prejudicial motivation. This is another weird argument for them to make. The inescapable conclusion, if you believe them, is that the recent empowerment of those commissions to cut hatred off at the root, in the realm of texts and images, has completely failed to protect the public. But statistics of the sort they cite are not of much use anyway: police are still learning to look for elements of "hate" in investigating assaults and vandalism, and it is impossible to distinguish the effects of that expensive, onerous education process from any actual increase in racist or interreligious violence.

What the CJC fails to appreciate is that any belief about the changing quantity of hostility in Canadian society is compatible with strong views in favour of free speech. It's true that there is a tendency within the "antihate" community to conjure up a Nazi bogeyman whenever human rights commissions are criticized: Farber and Rudner's Tuesday op-ed, in its calculated misrepresentation of Pamela Waechter's demise and its self-glamourizing claptrap about "barricades," provides an outstandingly shameless example of the practice -- all while denying that it ever occurs.

But if our streets were flooded with real Nazis, our devotion to the spirit of free expression, and our determination to resist illiberal ideas, would become the more important, not less. The original Nazis, after all, didn't exterminate the Jews of Europe and only then suppress free speech and the press; Hitler had the relevant guarantees in the Weimar constitution suspended in 1933, just one month into his chancellorship. An expert on hatred ought to have figured out that genocide, far from being prevented by governments and their instruments of control and censorship, almost inevitably takes place under their concealing shadow.

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