"Over time, the prosecution of anti-Semites such as Ernst Zundel, James Keegstra and Malcolm Ross created a legal template for Canada's hate-speech jurisprudence. It created a moral template as well: Censorship advocates justified their speech codes by appealing to the horrors of the Holocaust. To oppose hate-speech laws, many human-rights types argue to this day, is to give comfort to fans of Mein Kampf.Expect to see a continuation of efforts to rein in the use of hate crime laws in Canada to allow for the expansion of the anti-Muslim hate campaign known as the 'war on terror'.
It goes without saying that the battle against anti-Semitism is an important one. And those who've made it their life's calling deserve our respect. That said, it is clear that Canadian Jews put their chips down on the wrong side of the hate-speech issue. On a purely gut level, it may seem comforting to have laws on the books that gag society's bigots. But, as is always the case with ideologically motivated censorship, the long-run cost exceeds the benefit.
That cost includes the crippling of debate that inevitably arises when you declare any point of view -- no matter how odious -- be off limits. As the recent human-rights cases against MacLean's and the Western Standard show, there will always be complainants and commissars willing to expand the definition of prohibited speech to encompass legitimate discourse. Ironically, the censorship regime that well-meaning Jewish intellectuals helped put in place to fight anti-Semitism a generation ago is now being applied to prosecute the pundits blowing the whistle on the one truly genuine threat that Jews are facing worldwide: militant Islam."
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