"Ezra Levant is off the hook and he isn't happy about it. Two years ago, his now-defunct Western Standard magazine - a rare conservative voice in liberal Canada - became one of the few publications to dare reprint the notorious Danish cartoons of Mohammed.
The magazine was headquartered in the province of Alberta, leading two different local Muslim groups to file complaints against Levant with the Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Established in the 1970s to hear discrimination complaints in the areas of housing and employment, Canada's HRCs slowly morphed into a combination censor board/secret police, "investigating" so-called "hate sites" on the web, fining Christian organizations and individuals found guilty of "offending" gay activists, and charging Canada's oldest magazine, and its columnist Mark Steyn, with "flagrant Islamophobia."
Levant was interrogated by a government bureaucrat this past January - an interrogation he videotaped and posted on YouTube. Levant's mocking, impassioned performance, which challenged the HRC's very legitimacy, was viewed hundreds of thousands of times, made Levant an overnight free speech hero, and ignited a national debate about Canada's beloved policy of multiculturalism.... His legal bills topped $100,000, and he estimates the cases have cost Alberta taxpayers $500,000.
Then, for reasons that remain unclear, one Muslim group - the Supreme Islamic Council run by Imam Syed Soharwardy - suddenly dropped its complaint against Ezra Levant in February. Finally, on August 6, the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities complaint was dismissed by the Alberta HRC. Levant had "won" what he'd taken to calling "the first blasphemy case in Canada in 80 years."
Like Mark Steyn, he wanted to take the matter further so he could get a precedent-setting verdict in a higher court. There are still 17 other cases against him, however, so he may well have that chance yet.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, DISSECTING LEFTISM, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)