Emotions Run High Over Maclean's Article

June 7, 2008

Author: Petti Fong

Source: The Star


A high-profile B.C. Human Rights Tribunal heard yesterday that an article published in Maclean's magazine drew responses from readers that called for the mass killing, deportation and forced conversion of Muslims.

Faisal Joseph, the lawyer representing the Canadian Islamic Congress, said there is a conspicuous link between the 2006 article published in Maclean's and real evidence of hate.

"There has never been a case in this country where there has been such clear, concise evidence of hatred," said Joseph in his closing summation yesterday to the three-member tribunal hearing the case.

The tribunal looking into the article, "The Future of Islam," published by Maclean's in 2006, yesterday concluded a week of testimony that drew larger than normal crowds for a human rights hearing. The article is an excerpt of a book, America Alone, by Mark Steyn.

The hearing has become polarized between those who see a freedom of speech issue and those who see hatred against a religious community.The tribunal was called after two members of the Canadian Islamic Congress – president Mohamed Elmasry and Dr. Naiyer Habib – complained, saying the article promotes hatred against Islam and incites fears Muslims are taking over the world by criminalizing the religion and its followers.