Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One standard for Mark Steyn and David Ahenekew

Rex Murphy avoids the issue when he compares the Mark Steyn case to that of the young Saudi woman who was gang-raped and then charged and sentenced. The issue there is what Canadians should do about human rights abuses in foreign lands. (Not going well in Afghanistan. Worse in Iran. We are pretty much irrelevant in Saudi Arabia.) We would do well to remember that our own Canadian version of blaming the victim in such cases as rape may be dead, but so recently that it's still warm.

If we should ever regain our healthy consideration of matters that are our own business and no one else's, then Mark Steyn's case might one day be compared to some other internal Canadian matter. Before he started writing for the new Maclean's, Steyn was perhaps better known for his snotty tone than for his extensive collection of stories documenting Islamic abuse of human rights. In my opinion, if a journalist like Steyn, with his hard-earned, and predictably-disputed reputation for soft-core racism is deemed to be exercising "free speech", then a respected indigenous leader like David Ahenekew's should have his Order of Canada restored.

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