"If you want freedom…" Q&A: Ezra's battle against Islam and himself

January 16, 2008 by  

Mark Hubbard wrote, in part:

Finally, Ezra Levant’s defense of free speech in the YouTube clip Sandi put up was inspirational: you’d have to go a long way to find a better advocate of free speech for your speaking engagement, who also has public exposure. So, what is your gripe with him?

I like Ezra. I think he had fun with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. I think he enhanced his notoriety with that stunt. Good for him (and I mean that). However, I don’t think he has contributed, at all, to the prospects for a freer Alberta or Canada.

A condemnation of the Alberta Human Rights Commission should not treat as essential its procedures: that Canada’s human rights tribunals have more inclusive policies in respect of evidence is not the essential problem with them; nor is the essential issue something relating to who one can have as legal counsel etc. Procedure is not the issue. Substantive law is the issue. If a person can be charged and convicted for believing and saying that everything is physical and nothing is supernatural (or the corollary: that it is irrational to defend or obey the alleged whims of an alleged god), then the right to a choice of lawyers, or to protections against hearsay, or to other procedural matters is hardly the point: the problem is that a law makes the expression of such a belief illegal, and that peoples’ belief in the supernatural has resulted in such laws being made.

Ezra beefs that the Complainant is Islamic, and that the Complainant is a “fascist”, etc. But, like an Islamic person, every religious person (Christian, Jewish, etc) believes that obedience to the will of their god is the highest virtue, that belief in their god’s alleged commandments (as set out in holy books) constitutes knowledge, that there exists a supernatural realm, etc. Ezra blames the Imam for outrage over insults concerning Mohammed (insults that, according to the imam, are not permitted by the laws of Allah), but Ezra – taking care to say that he is Jewish (impliedly in a religious sense) – takes no exception to the idea that it is right to obey allegedly divine commandments. Where does a nod to the idea that obedience is a virtue leave Ezra if the Imam’s god allegedly commanded that no person allow the ridicule of Mohammed, and that man must create governments having and using the power to punish those who ridicule Mohammed?

The case against those who are putting Ezra through the ringer is rightly founded on the facts of reality, upon rationality, and upon rational self-interest. Those who – like Ezra – implicitly take the position that obedience to allegedly divine authority is a virtue can therefrom make no logical argument that it is wrong for men to govern in accordance with the commandments of Islam’s god.


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