Wednesday, January 28, 2015

David Matas Makes the Case for Censorship--Again

In the Canadian Jewish News, "International Human Rights lawyer" David Matas tries to argue that "blasphemous" speech should be allowed but "hate speech" should be prohibited. Thus, Charlie Hebdo should be allowed to publish 'toons that may be perceived as "blasphemous" by some Muslims. At the same time, however, French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala should not be allowed to say hateful things about Jews because that incites the majority to feel hateful toward a minority. A crucial part of Matas's argument also had to do with "hate" being an emotion unlike "blasphemy" which, um, is not.

The problem with Matas's spiel--and I'd urge to read it yourselves because I can't possibly simulate the circuitousness of its prose, which twists this way and that in an effort to arrive at logical conclusion (which it never does)--is that one individual's "hate speech" (which Matas says must be verboten) is another one's "blasphemy" (which he says must be permitted). For example, many Muslims see Charlie Hebdo 'toons as "hate speech." On that basis, going by Matas's argument, they should be censored. For non-Muslims who believe in free speech, however, the 'toons, though crude and rude, do not constitute "hate speech." On that basis, therefore, they should not be censored. So to whom to we give the power to decide what is--and isn't--"hate speech"? To Muslims? To Jews?
To "human rights" bodies? To the courts?

I say that unless speech is actionable under our laws of libel or slander,  or unless it calls for the murder of an individual or a group of individuals, it should--it must--be allowed.

As for Matas's exquisite display of hair-splitting of "hate speech" versus "blasphemy," it really amounts to an attempt to argue that "free speech" is for me not thee. And, as we know, that ends up biting the "mes" on the arse as the "these" avail themselves of the same restrictions. Matas should know how that works. After all, being one of Canada's foremost Jewish proponents of censorship didn't spare him from being on a receiving end of cockamamie "human rights" complaint--a prosecution that was to last for many years--launched by a Muslim who was offended (which, by the way is a feeling--you know, like "hate") by something he said.

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