The Western Standard, a political magazine based in Calgary, will today reprint eight of the 12 Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed that have caused riots and controversy around the world, and one Canadian Muslim leader warns that hate-crime charges may follow.
Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant, a former Reform and Canadian Alliance activist, calls the cartoons "innocuous" and accused Canada's "mainstream media," including The Globe and Mail, of failing to stand up for free speech for refusing to print the images.
"I was prepared to see the most outrageous, depraved, blasphemous cartoons," Mr. Levant said in an interview yesterday. "I was surprised by how tame they were."
But the leader of the Canadian Islamic Congress, Mohamed Elmasry, warned yesterday that his organization will seek to have charges laid against the magazine under Canada's laws against distributing hate literature.
"It's unfortunate," said Mr. Elmasry, who had urged Mr. Levant not to republish the images. "I think he really goes against the will and the values of Canadians by this provocative action."
If the Western Standard's offices have not been torched after today, expect major Canadian media outlets to find their courage to reprint the Mohammed cartoons.
Only fear of violent reprisal has been holding them back, not respect for religious beliefs or any other excuse.
Even the threat of hate crime charges doesn't hold back the Canadian MSM. They know, after all, that those laws are only meant to be enforced against Christians and social conservatives, not secularists and social liberals.
Source: Globe and Mail