Harper, Levant and
the Mohammed Cartoons

Yesterday, Harper in effect apologized for the Western Standard.
"Free speech is a right that all Canadians enjoy; Canadians also have the right to voice their opinion on the free speech of others...I regret the publication of this material in several media outlets. While we understand this issue is divisive, our government wishes that people be respectful of the beliefs of others." To the best of my knowledge, "several media outlets" means the Western Standard. If the cartoons were republished anywhere else, I must have missed it.
CTV and PoliticsWatch have the story.
What can I say? Harper is the Prime Minister; he has to act Prime Ministerial. A statement like this is probably the statesmanlike thing to do.
If it were me, however, I don't think I would have been inclined to say anything. Better to let it blow over. The more things said on the matter, the longer it is going to take. Ezra Levant was within his rights to republish those cartoons, and people were within their rights to complain about it. The Prime Minister really should not be getting involved. Quite frankly, he's not going to make anyone happy by saying anything, no matter what he says. In fact I'd be willing to bet that, were you to dig around for opinions, you'll find people saying he should have supported the Standard and other people saying he should have been harsher in what he said.
This is a no-win situation.
And, sorry to bring this up, but when was the last time a Prime Minister apologized for someone making fun of Jesus? Is Mohammed somehow special?
Or is it because Muslims are a louder group? You know what they say about the squeaky wheel.


Shane said...

Louder... more violence-prone... same thing...

A pragmatic government would look at the violent proclivities of certain ethnic and religious groups and act to encourage nonviolent groups to immigrate, and discourage violent groups to immigrate. Too bad we don't have a pragmatic government.

Ogilvie said...

Montreal's Le Devoir printed one of the cartoons, Calgary's Jewish Free Press printed some of them, and a PEI student newspaper did the same. Most of the attention has been on the Western Standard, for some reason. Probably that's because Levant the editor has been very out front with it all. Ezra Levant is a Jew, but he wrote a great piece on Christianity in the National Post a number of years ago, and he has often pointed out how badly the Canadian media treat Christians and Christianity in general (and I would add, Catholicism in particular))

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