“Hello darkness, my old friend…”
Though not yet law, Canada’s Motion 103 (M-103) (against “Islamophobia” and “systemic racism”) has an intent, warns Salim Mansur, Western University’s associate professor of political science.
“I would go as far as to say that in Canada we do not have free speech,” he laments. “What we have is regulated speech.
“In fact, in all of the Western nations except the United States, there is no free speech. There is regulated speech. It’s only in the United States that we come closest to the ideal of free speech because of the First Amendment.”
That amendment reads as follows:
Amendment 1 (1791): “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In contrast, Canada’s “Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms” reads as follows:
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Section (1) not only negates the Section (2) “guarantees” of fundamental freedoms, but all rights subsequently enumerated in the Charter.
“What is not discussed,” further laments Salim, “is the fundamental principle – the foundation – of freedom of speech.”
And with that, our discussion returns to the fundamentals of how and why freedom of speech is the “mother of truth” – and is by many rightly considered to be “sacred.”
The alarming erosion of freedom of speech in the West “is a post-World War II phenomenon,” notes Salim. That phenomenon began with a consensus in the West that certain issues must be “fenced off” via “protected” speech. Questioning official views on those issues would henceforth be classified as “hate speech.”
“Holocaust denial” was among the first issues deemed to be “hate speech” and that was the beginning of the slippery slope towards further censorship of discussions about race and culture. Canada is well on its way further down the slope.
What’s the ultimate goal of M-103? Concludes Salim: “First, silence the non-Muslims. Then, silence the Muslims.”
Freedom of speech, to exist at all, permits no exceptions. Otherwise, warns Salim, eventually all will be silenced.
Worse, the debate that Muslims must have among themselves, so that Islam (like Christianity) can undergo its own reformation, will never be allowed to take place.
That’s just one reason why calling freedom of speech a “sacred principle” sounds Just Right to us.