Normally, it takes a lot to get me in Ezra Levant's corner but I'm going to be backing him on this one, if for no other reason than I'm getting tired of hysterical hyperbole from people like this (emphasis added):
"We will use every means within the Canadian legal system to stop this intellectual terrorism," Syed Soharwardy, president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, said yesterday.
Dear Mr. Soharwardy: This is "terrorism." Try to appreciate the difference.
FOLKS, YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT. I suspect I'm going to take some abuse over this, but I'm going to nip a couple arguments in the bud right now.
First, this has nothing to do with Ezra's intentions, honourable or no. It doesn't matter what his motivation is. I suspect it's partly just to be a jerk, and partly as a business decision to sell more magazines. Either way, you have no right to object.
As an analogy, I'm a big believer in freedom of religion. Now, whether someone is expressing that religion in an "honourable" way, perhaps as a force for social good, or being a real jerk about it, is not relevant. It's their right, and you don't have the option to decide whose right you're going to support based on whether or not you agree with it.
And what did Ezra "contribute" by publishing those cartoons? Who cares? He doesn't have any kind of obligation to contribute anything to the public discourse. He publishes a magazine and part of his job is, I assume, to make that profitable. If this is how he chooses to do it, that's his right.
I'm hoping my readers understand a really fundamental concept. You don't have to agree with Ezra's philosophy to defend his right to express it. It would be the height of hypocrisy for me, on my blog, to take numerous potshots at religion, only to turn around and slag someone else for doing the same.
And when religious fundamentalists, of all people, start throwing around accusations of "intellectual terrorism," well, it's time for you to pick sides.