London, Ontario Convention Centre Refuses to Host Controversial Speaker

The National Post – October 22, 2010

Organizers of an upcoming talk by conservative writer Mark Steyn planned for London, Ont., say they were muzzled by a local city-owned convention centre. A trio of bloggers who run the site StrictlyRight.com inquired about booking a Nov. 1 speech for Mr. Steyn at the London Convention Centre. The group announced that it had received a phone call from the centre saying it would not be allowed to make the booking. The Convention Centre said it was a business decision, but organizers of the speech said they were told otherwise.

“The reason offered by the LCC was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients. It’s interesting to note that the LCC is owned by the City of London, and is therefore a government operation,” wrote Strictly Right’s Andrew Lawton at the website.

Mr. Steyn’s talk will explore his familiar themes of Muslims and free speech. London Convention Centre general manager Lori Da Silva said denying next month’s Mark Steyn speech was a “business decision” in part due to concerns for security, and fairness for the centre’s other clients who might not enjoy a “rowdy” crowd at the same time. Asked if the content of Mr. Steyn’s work had anything to do with the Convention Centre’s decision, general manager replied, “No, we’re looking at the security risk.” Mr. Steyn’s best-seller, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, warns of potential threats from growing Muslim minorities to Western liberal democracy. Strictly Right have since relocated the talk to London’s 1,600-seat Centennial Hall.

British Colombia’s Rights Commission Rejects Muslim Complaint about Magazine Article

The Human Rights Commission in the province of British Colombia has rejected a human rights complaint against Maclean’s magazine that claimed an article about Islam violated anti-hate laws. The commission found that an October 2006 article by Mark Steyn, “The Future Belongs to Islam,” did not violate such nor raise hatred against Muslims. It is the third dismissal by a human rights commission in Canada, all of which have responded to complaints by members of the Canadian Islamic Congress.

The article is an excerpt from Steyn’s book America Alone, and discusses the global ambitions of a growing number of Muslim youth, and suggests that the West “lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it.”

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British Colombia’s Rights Commission Rejects Muslim Complaint about Magazine Article

The Human Rights Commission in the province of British Colombia has rejected a human rights complaint against Maclean’s magazine that claimed an article about Islam violated anti-hate laws. The commission found that an October 2006 article by Mark Steyn, The Future Belongs to Islam, did not violate such nor raise hatred against Muslims. It is the third dismissal by a human rights commission in Canada, all of which have responded to complaints by members of the Canadian Islamic Congress. The article is an excerpt from Steyn’s book America Alone, and discusses the global ambitions of a growing number of Muslim youth, and suggests that the West lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it.

Rights Panel Rights Action Against Maclean’s Magazine

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed a complaint against Maclean’s weekly news magazine over a controversial article on the future of Islam. The Canadian Islamic Council launched a dual complaint of Islamophobia to the Canadian Commission as well as the provincial British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal over a article, The Future Belongs to Islam, written by Mark Steyn, appearing in October 2006. The decision by the B.C. Human Rights commission is not expected for several months.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission Acknowledges Islamophobic Content in Maclean’s Articles

Canadian law students Muneeza, Sheikh, Naseem Mithoowani, Khurrum Awan and Ali Ahmed, and CIC (Canadian Islamic Congress) president, Dr. Mohamed Elmasry both filed complaints to the Ontario Human Rights Commission about an article, “The Future Belongs to Islam,” (an except from Mark Steyn’s American Alone: THE End of the World as We Know It) appearing in Maclean’s Magazine, a weekly current affairs publication, in October 2006. The article suggested that Muslims pose a threat to North American life. While the Commission stated that this “media coverage has been identified as contributing to Islamophobia and promoting societal intolerance towards Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Canadians,” it announced that it will not proceed with legal action. In Ontario, magazines are not covered under the Human Rights Code. Related complaints against Maclean’s have been filed with the British Columbia and Federal Human Rights Commissions. Its code covers publications. Hearings have been scheduled before the BC Commission from June 2-6, 2008 under s. 7(1) of the BC Human Rights Code, which prohibits publications that subject identifiable communities to hate. The Federal Commission is currently in the process of investigating similar complaints.