TORONTO, June 27 /CNW/ - 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.
For further information:
For further information: Faisal Joseph, Counsel to the CIC, (519)