Mohamed Elmasry, an imam and president of the Canadian Islamic Congress and Naiyer Habib, took umbrage against an article written by Mark Steyn and published by Maclean's magazine. Their complaint was that the article, "The Future Belongs to Islam," portrayed Muslims as "a violent people" who held Canadian values "in contempt." Elmasry and Habib knew very well that if they took their case to court they would have absolutely no chance of winning. The writer and the magazine were well within their rights and well within the law. So the complainants took the matter up with the Canadian, Ontario and British Columbia human rights authorities.
So at the beginning of June, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal had its first day of hearings in the case. Human Rights Tribunals in Canada have become kangaroo courts that are running amok and trampling on every right of people who don't share the lunatic left-wing agenda of the activists who control them. Ezra Levant, a lawyer and former publisher of the Western Standard Magazine, who faces a lawsuit and a separate Human Rights Commission complaint over similar accusations, has led the charge against what he has identified as the abuses of law that are a routine part of the HRCs' procedures. Levant writes, "In a real court, Joseph [Habib's lawyer] and his bigoted client would be laughed out of court, and have to pay Maclean's costs. But this isn't a real court. This is a kangaroo court, with three leftist activists as panellists."
He is dead right. As he said, "MacNaughton [the Tribunal chairwoman] is a not a judge-far from it. Like the other two panellists, she is a radical activist, a social engineer of the first order, which is precisely why she was appointed to the Tribunal." To make matters even more bizarre, one of the complainants, Elmasry, is a known extremist with violent views. On the Michael Coren Show in Toronto in 2004 he stated that anyone in Israel over the age of 18 was a justifiable target of Palestinian attacks. Though he later apologized for his remarks and called them his "biggest mistake" in 30 years of public life, it is clear that his mistake was in allowing his opinions to become public knowledge. And this is the man who is using a kangaroo court to deny a journalist the right to state an opinion that he says paints him and his religion as violent!
Hopefully the end of the road is near for these Tribunals. Their lawless activities have provoked a backlash in the Canadian Parliament, with the Conservative government introducing a motion to Parliament's Justice Committee proposing to investigate the practices of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. It's not before time.