"London’s Muslim community will show people how wrong controversial author Mark Steyn is by doing good deeds and working with others, a representative of the community says."--Kate Dubinski, London Free Press
"Speaking with The London Free Press, Ms. Da Silva implied the Convention Centre did factor Mr. Steyn's potential to create controversy into its denial of a booking. "We read the article in The London Free Press about who the speaker was ... and we thought that perhaps this event was more high-risk than we originally thought," she was quoted as saying."--canada.com
"Jerry [Agar] spoke to Strictlyright.com’s Andrew Lawton about Mark Steyn’s visit to London, Ontario. The controversial writer is due to give a speech but the government owned building will not rent out the venue because they are nervous of Steyn’s attitude towards Muslims."--Newstalk1010
And how could we forget this one, Chief OHRC Commissar Barbara's Hall's comments after her outfit (reluctantly) dismissed an Islamist's "human rights" complaint?
...The human rights system exists in Canada, in part, to shine a light on prejudice and to provoke debate – and action. We called for debate and dialogue; we still do. We have taken controversial views before and no doubt will again. That is inevitable because we have a mandate to promote change – away from unfair stereotypes and discriminatory behaviour and towards a culture of human rights. We agree with the Editors of Maclean’s: critics are entitled to their opinions. Sometimes we must be critical. We have that duty, enshrined in law, to speak up on human rights issues of the day – and we will continue to do so.And, finally, the mother lode, from the Western Gazette:
Andrew Lawton, a blogger for StrictlyRight.com who is helping organize the event, said they chose Steyn precisely because of his controversial background.
“We definitely knew that we wanted to shake things up again this year,” Lawton remarked.Better alert the Guinness Book of Records people re that last one, no?
Steyn’s personal views on human rights, free speech, and particularly Islam have made him a controversial figure for years. An article he penned for Maclean’s in 2006 titled “The Future Belongs to Islam” resulted in complaints to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
This controversy only added to his appeal, Lawton said.
“Controversy is a lot easier to sell in terms of getting people out to an event and getting publicity for it,” he said. “It makes it a lot more fun and makes it a lot more appealing for people, especially students, to go.”
Update: In a comment below, Andrew Lawton says the "c" word never passed his lips during the interview with the Western Gazette. Talk about putting words (and one in particular) in someone's mouth.