Canada's Maclean's magazine wins hate speech case

Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:36pm EDT
 

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A rights tribunal on Friday dismissed a case against Canada's Maclean's magazine, which was accused of spreading hatred against Muslims in an article by conservative writer Mark Steyn.

The 2006 article "The New Word Order" may have caused some to fear Muslims as a threat to western society, but that did not mean that it promoted religious hatred, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled.

"The article, with all of its inaccuracies and hyperbole, has resulted in political debate which in our view (the human rights code) was never intended to suppress," the three-member panel ruled.

Media and civil rights groups had opposed the complaint against Maclean's by the Canadian Islamic Congress, fearing that a ruling against the national newsweekly would lead to restrictions on freedom of the press.

Maclean's is owned by Toronto-based publishing and telecoms group Rogers Communications Inc.

Steyn argued in the article that the Islamic world would eventually dominate the non-Muslim world because it was younger and had a higher birth rate and global ambitions, while the West was "old and enfeebled."

The article was an except from Steyn's book "America Alone".

The Canadian Islamic Congress lost similar complaints against the Maclean's article in Ontario and before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, editing by Rob Wilson)