Friday, June 06, 2008

Hate Speech or truth denied?

With the growing influence of Islam withing western culture, we are increasingly faced with the threat to free speech like never before.

In an article by James Allan, professor of Law, he gives examples of how free speech is being suppressed with laws that were designed to prevent hate speech.

Back in the 1960s and 70s, Human Rights Tribunals were established in Canada at the federal and provincial level.

One of the provisions these codes share is a hate-speech one, that it is an offence for any person to publish "any statement that ... is likely to expose a person or group or class of persons to hatred or contempt".

And truth is no defence here. Unlike in regular courts where fair comment and truth are defences to any defamation action, in these so-called Canadian Human Rights Tribunals truth is not a defence.

What you say can be wholly true and accurate, and you can prove it, but you still cannot say it.

These tribunals can decide to hear any complaints they wish and, as I said above, you will have to hire a lawyer but the complainants won't spend a cent of their own money.


To be in breach of these hate-speech provisions you don't have to counsel violence; you don't have to urge discrimination; you don't have to express hatred; you don't even have to have said or written something that did, in fact, subject some group to hatred or contempt. All that is needed is that your comments, in the view of the sort of people chosen to staff these tribunals, are "likely" to expose someone or some group to contempt or hatred.

What we have to realize is that within the culture of the religion of Islam, there is no room for criticism, no room for doubt, no room for individual expression, in fact no room for any of the qualities of a western culture that we seem to take for granted.
When I refer to culture wars, this is what I'm trying to explain.


Jeannie said...

It's too bad that a law can't be brought in to make it that every law must be interpreted in the context for which the law was written. Not that this would necessarily help in this regard. I know it has been used to stifle neo-Nazi skinhead propaganda.

Lexcen said...

Good point Jeannie. Maybe if we could enshrine the law in mathematical code it wouldn't be open to ambiguity.

BEAJ said...

The laws were there to prevent Jews from having the same fate they had in Nazi Germany.
Propaganda is usually based on many lies and half truths, but the law is written in such a way that it can stifle the truth.