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.