Filtered By - Free Speech
Caution and accuracy are not an offence to freedom of speech
Monday August 22nd, 2016
Normally you wouldn’t find even a sliver of daylight between my views on freedom of speech and those of John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF). But on this rare occasion there is. By “this,” I mean Carpay’s robust defence of an American non-profit group promoting gender equality, which targeted the bane of honour kill...
Anti-Israel crusader Max Blumenthal does not deserve the honour of a PEN Canada audience
Tuesday February 23rd, 2016
Marking Freedom to Read Week, on Wednesday, Feb, 24, at the Toronto Reference Library, PEN Canada will present, “Embattled Truths: Reporting on Gaza,” a talk by U.S. polemicist Max Blumenthal followed by a conversation with Toronto Star foreign affairs reporter Olivia Ward. Blumenthal is blurbed in the invitation as an “acclaimed U.S. journalist” who will &l...
Michael Ondaatje and the PEN Six get it horribly wrong
Monday April 27th, 2015
PEN international, a non-political organization now represented in 150 countries, was founded in 1921. Its mandate is to promote literature and support freedom of expression. PEN Canada joined up in 1926 and today boasts a membership of more than a 1,000 writers and supporters, including cultural luminaries such as Margaret Atwood, Adrienne Clarkson, John Ralston Saul, Charles Foran and ...
Civilized people choose words, not revenge
Thursday January 15th, 2015
In his Jan 14 column in the National Post, Andrew Coyne tackles the much-debated topic of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that deeply offend adherents of all three of the Abrahamic faiths, some of which – the ones insulting Muhammad, that is – Quebec media have freely published, but most English media have not (the National Post was one of the few that did). ...
Paris attack represents Islamist hate that knows no boundaries
Wednesday January 7th, 2015
It is a black day in France for loss of human life and — more important historically — a black day for democracy’s greatest gift to the world: the principle of freedom of speech. Three masked Islamic terrorists, armed with Kalashnikov rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade, stormed the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 and ...
The ‘Free Speech Movement’ was a sham
Wednesday October 1st, 2014
Happy 50th birthday to the Free Speech Movement. Those of us who were young adults at the time well remember the galvanizing effect on students everywhere of those culturally game-changing protests at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Their leader, Mario Savio, compared the Free Speech Movement to the civil rights movement, the university administration to the &l...
A new Salon des Refusés
Wednesday May 21st, 2014
In 1973, U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew spoke at Drexel University’s graduation ceremonies. Left-wing students hated what he stood for, but assumed his right to speak. But in 2014, the heirs of that “New Left” movement make no such assumption, as witness the recent rejection of high-achieving but politically incorrect U.S. graduation honorees. Worse, today’s gate...
Brandeis core values are offensive to the core
Wednesday April 9th, 2014
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the bravest women on the planet. To anyone who cares about women’s rights in patriarchal cultures, she needs no introduction. But to recap, Ali was raised in a strict Islamic society in Somalia. She is a survivor of female genital mutilation, civil war, physical abuse from a violent father and a forced marriage. Through good fortune and her own ...
University campuses are bastions of censorship
Friday March 28th, 2014
This column was drawn from opening remarks presented at a March 27 Macdonald-Laurier Institute debate in Ottawa, on the resolution: “Free speech in Canadian Universities is an endangered species.” In the past year, a wave of moral panic has swept universities over an alleged campus “rape culture,” which former governor-general Michaëlle Jean went so fa...
Blasphemy by any other name
Wednesday April 4th, 2012
A few months ago, a young Saudi man, Hamza Kashgari, expressed his views on the prophet Mohammed in a Tweet: “I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don’t understand about you. I will not pray for you.” A Facebook group of 20,000 soon demanded his execution for apostasy under sharia law. He is imprisoned awaiting trial and possi...
Two months in jail for a being crass and insensitive
Tuesday March 27th, 2012
I don’t tweet. At one time I was tempted to start, because one feels like a bit of a dinosaur if one doesn’t. But at this moment I am happy to be an electronic Brontosaurus. Much safer, as I have been known to utter spontaneous remarks under the influence of irritation or polemical truculence that I have come to regret later. Twitter is all about spontaneity. And I didn’t w...
Free-speech lessons from abolitionists
Wednesday April 6th, 2011
Barbara Kay, National Post · Apr. 6, 2011 | Last Updated: Apr. 6, 2011 4:25 AM ET For pundits committed to the widest possible speech latitude, these are times that try our souls. Rage-filled, soi-disant Christian pastor Terry Jones burned a Koran and sparked rioting and murder in Afghanistan. But as Lorne Gunter wrote in Tuesday's National Post, Jones is merely a &q...
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