Rights commission dismisses complaint against Maclean's
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed a complaint by a Muslim organization against Maclean’s, ruling that the views expressed in one of the magazine's articles were not "of an extreme nature."
The Canadian Islamic Congress had alleged that the article written by Mark Steyn entitled "The Future Belongs to Islam" and posted on the magazine’s website in October 2006 discriminated and spread hatred against Muslims.
The article, an excerpt of a book authored by Steyn, talks about Islam being a threat to North American institutions and values. It used statistics to show higher birth rates plus immigration mean Muslims will outnumber followers of other religions in Western Europe.
"The writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike," wrote Lucie Veillette, secretary to the commission.
"Overall, however, the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature as defined by the Supreme Court."
The commission said there was "no reasonable basis in the evidence to warrant the appointment of a Tribunal."
On its website, Maclean's said it was pleased the complaint was dismissed and that the decision was in keeping with its position that the article "was a worthy piece of commentary on important geopolitical issues, entirely within the bounds of normal journalistic practice."
But it added that no human rights commission should have the mandate to monitor or assess the editorial decisions of the nation's media.
Faisal Joseph, a lawyer for the Canadian Islamic Congress, told the Canadian Press that the Congress is disappointed the commission made its decision without hearing "the compelling evidence of hate and expert testimony" the Congress recently presented in a complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. That tribunal has yet to release a ruling.