TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ - Today the law students who launched human
rights complaints against Maclean's made a public offer to settle the matter
without a hearing before the quasi-judicial British Columbia Human Rights
Tribunal. The students and legal Counsel to the Canadian Islamic Congress
(CIC), are testing the sincerity of Maclean's editorial statement that the
magazine's editors were prepared to consider a reasonable response to
Islamophobic content, including the October 2006 cover story, The Future
Belong to Islam, by Mark Steyn.
Published after the Ontario Human Rights Commission's condemnation of
Maclean's, the editorial refers to a March 2007 meeting between the students
and Maclean's senior editors, Kenneth Whyte and Mark Stevenson, in the
presence of Maclean's legal counsel, Julian Porter. In the editorial, the
editors claimed that Maclean's had been prepared to "give them (the students)
an opportunity to have their say, but they gave us no opening for reasonable
"The assertion that the editors were prepared to consider a reasonable
counter-view article to Mark Steyn's Islamophobic polemic is a complete
fabrication," said Muneeza Sheikh, one of the students present at the meeting.
"They categorically refused to publish any response whatsoever, stating that
they preferred bankruptcy."
"Despite this response, we continued to try and resolve the matter. We
wrote directly to Ted Rogers and asked for a meeting," said Khurrum Awan, a
member of the student group. "Our legal counsel indicated at our press
conference last year that we were prepared to meet with Mr. Rogers or his
representatives to discuss a resolution. And in our op-eds, we made clear that
what we are seeking is a reasonable opportunity to respond." "Not once
did Maclean's reciprocate our desire to discuss a response that would resolve
the matter," said legal counsel Faisal Joseph. "However, in light of the
editors' latest assertion we are making a fair and reasonable proposal today.
In exchange for Maclean's publishing a mutually acceptable response to the
Steyn article from an agreed upon author, we would be prepared to settle this
"We hope that Maclean's will reciprocate our efforts to resolve this
matter without a hearing before an independent quasi-judicial body in British
Columbia," continued Joseph.
For further information:
For further information: Legal Counsel for the CIC, Faisal Joseph, (519)