Joe Can’t Get It Right

TORONTO, June 27 /CNW/ – Legal Counsel to the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), Faisal Joseph, responded today to the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s decision not to hear a complaint filed against Maclean’s magazine. The complaints, filed in April 2007, assert that an October 2006 article published by Maclean’s, The Future Belong to Islam, subjected Muslim Canadians to hatred and contempt.  “We are disappointed that the Tribunal made this decision without hearing the compelling evidence of hate and the expert testimony we recently presented to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal,” said Joseph. “The Commission’s decision contradicts the findings of its own Investigator’s report which states that this Article contains hallmarks of hate identified by the Commission in its earlier case law,” continued Joseph, referring to paragraphs 35 and 41 of the Investigator’s report, which state:

Based on the excerpts cited by the complainant, it appears that the article may bear some of the characteristics identified by the Tribunal in Kouba as being ‘hallmarks’ of material that is likely to expose persons to hatred or contempt. Muslims appear to be portrayed, for example, as a ‘powerful menace’ (in this case, a demographic menace), and as being dangerous or violent in nature.

(A)n argument could be made that the material in the complaint bears some of the hallmarks of hate as identified in the Kouba decision, that it does portray persons of the Muslim faith in a negative light based upon broad generalizations, and therefore may expose persons of the Muslim faith to hatred or contempt.

“Based on the Investigator’s findings a hearing was warranted to allow evidence to be presented and arguments to be made,” continued Joseph. “However we are not surprised at the decision in light of the inappropriate political pressure that has been brought to bear on the Commission and that has prompted the Commission to set up an internal review of its procedures under s. 13(1).”

“The Commission’s decision also contradicts the recent statement of the Ontario Human Rights Commission where it found this Article to be an explicit expression of Islamophobia,” Joseph noted. “We now have two different Tribunals, neither of which had the complete evidence presented to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, making contradictory findings.” 

“My clients will take some time to determine whether we will apply to the Federal Court for a review of the Commission’s decision or whether we are satisfied with the opportunity we had to present our case to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal,” Joseph concluded.

There’s a couple of rather offensive things that stand out in this whimpering press release.  

The first is that Mr. Joseph does not inspire a lot of confidence in getting his details or his facts straight.  He wasn’t exactly the shining light during that farcical Star Chamber proceedings in BC, and it looks like the dull flicker hasn’t really broken out in this press statement either. Note above how he interchanges the Canadian Human Rights Commission with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.   It was the Commission who pulled the plug on his clients’ grievances.  The Tribunal never got involved at all and yet he treats both the Commission and the Tribunal like they were the same entity.  That’s pretty sloppy for a lawyer.  But given what I’ve seen of the Serenity Now! and Serial Complainant lawyers who are part of this whole human rights racket, I can’t really say that I am surprised.  Still, Mr. Joseph is a partner at Lerner’s.  We might expect this kind of inaccuracy from an articling student (and maybe not even then), but a partner?  I guess the practice of law isn’t what it used to be.

My second discomfort is his comment above about “inappropriate political pressure”.  

Joe, in case you haven’t figure it out, in Canada we still have the right to speak out against injustices.  That means we can say what the hell we want about the Star Chambers and their flagrant abuses.  We can even demand for their dissolution if we want.  That’s called freedom of speech.  This isn’t Saudi Arabia, Joe – although I grant you the Star Chambers are looking more and more like their courts.

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