Editorial: Printing of Anti-Semitic Article Not a Matter of Free Speech

January 9, 2004

Source: Vancouver Sun


On January 9, 2004 the Vancouver Sun ran an editorial condemning an anti-Semitic article published by a Muslim newspaper. The editorial board wrote, "The article, which comes from the Web site of Edgar Steele, blames Jews for everything from starting the Second World War to the attack on the World Trade Center. Nusrat Hussain, the editor of The Miracle, said he does not 'necessarily' agree with the article but he published it because of the need for freedom of speech 'and that is what Canada is about.' Mr. Hussain could not be more wrong. His defence of Mr. Steele's venomous spew is both a profound misrepresentation of the rights and responsibilities of a newspaper and a dangerous misunderstanding of the nature of the fabric that holds together our multicultural society...While it is our [newspaper editors'] right and privilege to provide a sounding board for voices other than our own, it is also our responsibility, both legally and morally, to ensure that the words on our pages are not knowingly false or defamatory and that they cannot be construed to be inciting hatred. The rant by Mr. Steele does not meet any of those tests."