Human Rights Complaint Against Maclean’s Dismissed

Human rights complaint against Maclean's dismissed

Canadian Press
June 28, 2008 at 1:20 PM EDT

TORONTO—The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed a complaint filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress against Maclean's magazine.

The Congress claimed an article written by Mark Steyn, entitled The Future Belongs to Islam and posted on the Maclean's website in October 2006, made a number of statements and assertions that were likely to expose Muslims to hatred or contempt.

In its ruling, posted on Maclean's website, the commission acknowledges the writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

But the commission also says that, overall, the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature, as defined by the Supreme Court.

Maclean's says it's pleased with the ruling, saying it's in keeping with the magazine's long-standing position that the article was a worthy piece of commentary, entirely within the bounds of normal journalistic practice.

Faisal Joseph, a lawyer for the Canadian Islamic Congress, says the Congress is disappointed the tribunal made its decision without hearing the compelling evidence of hate and expert testimony the Congress recently presented in a complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. That tribunal has yet to release a ruling.

A similar complaint filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission failed when the commission ruled in April that it did not have jurisdiction to hear it.