THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS
MEDIA COMMUNIQUE

June 27, 2008Using democracy to destroy it.

 

ISLAMIC CONGRESS RESPONDS TO CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION’S DECISION ON
HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST MACLEAN’S

Toronto – Legal Counsel to the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), Faisal
Joseph, responded today to the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s decision
not to hear a complaint filed against Maclean’s magazine. The complaints,
filed in April 2007, assert that an October 2006 article published by
Maclean’s, The Future Belong to Islam, subjected Muslim Canadians to hatred
and contempt.

“We are disappointed that the Tribunal made this decision without hearing
the compelling evidence of hate and the expert testimony we recently
presented to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal,” said Joseph. “The
Commission’s decision contradicts the findings of its own Investigator’s
report which states that this Article contains hallmarks of hate identified
by the Commission in its earlier case law,” continued Joseph, referring to
paragraphs 35 and 41 of the Investigator’s report, which state:

/Based on the excerpts cited by the complainant, it appears that the
article may bear some of the characteristics identified by the Tribunal in
Kouba as being ‘hallmarks’ of material that is likely to expose persons to
hatred or contempt. Muslims appear to be portrayed, for example, as a
‘powerful menace’ (in this case, a demographic menace), and as being
dangerous or violent in nature./

/.. [A]n argument could be made that the material in the complaint bears
some of the hallmarks of hate as identified in the Kouba decision, that it
does portray persons of the Muslim faith in a negative light based upon
broad generalizations, and therefore may expose persons of the Muslim faith
to hatred or contempt./

“Based on the Investigator’s findings a hearing was warranted to allow
evidence to be presented and arguments to be made,” continued Joseph.
“However we are not surprised at the decision in light of the inappropriate
political pressure that has been brought to bear on the Commission and that
has prompted the Commission to set up an internal review of its procedures
under s. 13(1).”

“The Commission’s decision also contradicts the recent statement of the
Ontario Human Rights Commission where it found this Article to be an
explicit expression of Islamophobia,” Joseph noted. “We now have two
different Tribunals, neither of which had the complete evidence presented
to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, making contradictory
findings.”

“My clients will take some time to determine whether we will apply to the
Federal Court for a review of the Commission’s decision or whether we are
satisfied with the opportunity we had to present our case to the British
Columbia Human Rights Tribunal,” Joseph concluded.

Contacts:

Faisal Joseph
Counsel to the CIC
519-640-6342

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