Human Rights Complaints Launched Against Maclean's Magazine

    Maclean's Editor Prefers Bankruptcy Over Balance

    TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) announced
today that it has launched several human rights complaints against Maclean's
Magazine. Separate complaints have been filed in response to the Maclean's
article The Future Belongs to Islam written by Mark Steyn and published on
October 23, 2006. The complainants argue that the article subjects Canadian
Muslims to hatred and Islamophobia by representing that Muslims are part of a
global conspiracy to take over Western societies and that Muslims in the West
need to be viewed as the enemy.
    "This article completely misrepresents Canadian Muslims' values, their
community, and their religion," said Faisal Joseph, a former crown attorney,
who represents the complainants. "We feel that it is imperative to challenge
Maclean's biased portrayal of Muslims in order to protect Canadian
multiculturalism and tolerance."
    In response to the article, several law students met with editors
Kenneth Whyte and Mark Stevenson and proposed that Maclean's publish a
response. In response, Mr. Whyte indicated that Maclean's would rather go
bankrupt than allow a response to the article.
    Khurrum Awan, one of the complainants and a recent graduate of
Osgoode Hall, stated: "We made the mistake of believing that, as citizens of a
democratic society that values debate, we would have an opportunity to respond
to this article". Muneeza Sheikh, also an Osgoode graduate, agreed: "we found
Macleans response totally contrary to open debate". Naseem Mithoowani, a law
student, stated: "Having exhausted every avenue, we chose to pursue our rights
as Canadian citizens to bring this matter to the attention of the Canadian
    The Canadian Islamic Congress recently found that Maclean's has a
disturbing trend of publishing content that is Islamophobic. In its report
Maclean's Magazine: A Case Study of Media-Propagated Islamophobia, the CIC
identifies at least 18 prominent articles with similar inflammatory content
between January 1, 2005 and July 31, 2007.
    The complaints have been accepted by the British Columbia and Federal
Commissions. Hearings have been scheduled in British Columbia for June 2 to 6,
2008. The complaints filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission are still
in the preliminary stages of the Commission's process.

    The full report can be accessed at

For further information:

For further information: Legal Counsel for the CIC, Faisal Joseph, (519)

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