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Monday, 14 April 2014

Canada: Nine Months in Jail for Blasphemy Against Islam

Caution: If you happen to be in Canada, and you say something in public that hurts the feelings of Muslims, you may well be sentenced to nine months in jail.
That’s what happened to Eric Brazau in Toronto. Mind you, I’ve seen a video of Mr. Brazau’s street-corner theatrics, and he also wore offensive attire, made insulting facial expressions, and laughed derisively at or in the general direction of Muslims. So he was lucky to get off so lightly. In the face of such heinous crimes, the judge was lenient — he/she/it could have thrown the book at Eric Brazau.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading and transcribing this discussion on Ezra Levant’s TV program:

00:08 If you commit the crime of sexual assault in Canada,
00:12 are tried, convicted and sentenced, your average time in jail will be about…
00:16 two months. But if you hand out fliers that are mean
00:20 to the ‘religion’, the set of ideas called ‘Islam’, well, you
00:24 will serve nine months in jail. That’s not just a theory, that’s a fact.
00:29 That’s what Eric Brazau served as a result of a recent sentence, and joining me now
00:33 in studio to talk about this is Chris Schafer, Straight Talk contributor, and legal expert.
00:37 Chris its great to see you again. It’s the first time we have had you on the show in your new capacity
00:41 as a SUN News Network Legal Beagle. In the past you were with the Canadian Constitution Foundation,
00:45 but any way you slice it, you’re for freedom. (CS) I am for freedom Ezra, and happy to be here.
00:49 Well, one of the freedoms I hold dear is the freedom of speech. I believe it is the freedom upon which all others are based,
00:53 and in fact if you take away my other freedoms, keep me my free speech, and I’ll use it to fight
00:57 for those other freedoms. In this case, Eric Brazau,
01:01 well, you read the full case and I’d like you to tell our viewers the facts. What
01:05 did Eric Brazau do, to get himself charged, not with the Human Rights Commissions,
01:09 but with a police criminal charge? Give us the facts.
01:13 (CS) Basically, he stood in a street corner and was a little bit over the top,
01:17 outrageous some would say, dressed up in theatrical
01:21 outfits and handing out pamphlets and having protest signs against
01:25 Islam. And basically had a little show and tell on the street corner
01:29 (EL) Was that here in Toronto? (CS)Correct. (EL) Well, I see that all the time I go by Dundas Square,
01:33 they are giving out Korans. I mean, actually, most of the street theater there is the Korans being handed out.
01:37 (CS) Go by the consulate, Israeli consulate in Toronto almost any day
01:41 and there’s self hating Jews there protesting outside and
01:45 other groups, Muslim religion protesting, they’re never arrested, charged.
01:49 I’ve hung out at out occupy Toronto, I’ve been to Line 9 protests, I mean, their specialty is
01:53 theatrical words designed to generate hate. So this guy was dressed up,
01:57 and he was handing out these pamphlets, and he was just sort of — was he ranting or…
02:01 was he just talking? What was he doing? (CS) He was protesting, he was ranting, he was
02:05 acting out aspects that he believed…
02:09 (EL) He didn’t touch anyone? (CS) To my knowledge there was no violence, the guy,
02:13 if you read the court decision, was a — came off as quite
02:17 pleasant in some respects, but… (EL) So, but he was charged with
02:22 the criminal code provision of spreading hatred. (CS) Correct (EL) Hatred is a human emotion.
02:26 I mean, you can’t just remove that from your heart, any more than you can
02:30 say, ‘you are now in love with him’. (CS) You stick ten judges in a room, Ezra…
02:34 and you’ll get ten different opinions of whether this material constituted
02:38 hate, and we saw that in a supreme court decision recently, in the Whatcott supreme court decision,
02:42 looked at criticism of homosexuality in Saskatchewan. Different judges at different appeal courts reach
02:46 different conclusions of whether that material constituted hate.
02:50 I’m willing to bet the same thing here. (EL) Some people hate the Toronto Maple Leafs,
02:54 they love this sports team. Some people hate this political party and love that political party.
02:58 Some people hate an ex-girlfriend. Some people hate Vladimir
03:02 Putin. I mean, why aren’t I allowed to have the human emotion
03:06 called hate? And if you tell me I’m not allowed to feel that,
03:10 is that going to change my mind? I draw the line as when you do something
03:14 criminal with that hate, like punch someone in the nose. But merely having a hurt feeling…
03:18 or hateful feeling, how can you criminalize that, Chris? (CS) Well we have.
03:22 There’s criminal code provisions for that, you know yourself, you know very well…
03:26 the human rights provisions that can drag you before human rights tribunals.
03:30 (EL) Nine months in jail, this guy before his hearings. So you know, he served
03:34 nine months for no violence, no threats…
03:38 (CS) No threats to my knowledge; it was criminal harassment.
03:42 (EL) Lemme… Lemme — as in he was taking, he took a picture of some people in a burka or something. (CS) Correct.
03:46 (EL) I thought that was allowed to take pictures of people in a public place.
03:50 I guess not if you are the wrong species… I mean, imagine if this rule was applied to
03:54 anti-Christian advocates. Or atheist advocates.
03:58 Let’s quote from the ruling, I want to get the ruling on the record here. This is from
04:02 Justice Clements, who issued the ruling, let me quote here. “Brazau’s
04:10 on his own audio recordings suggested he was very angry and had little interest
04:14 in discussion or debate.” Chris, I didn’t know it was against the law
04:18 to be very angry about things. And I didn’t know that you had to have an interest in debate
04:22 before you spoke. I didn’t know that was the law. (CS) Yeah, well, according to this judge
04:26 it is, again, it’s a very subjective section of the criminal code. (EL) That could apply to anyone!
04:30 What protester isn’t angry? If you’re not angry, you’re probably not protesting.
04:35 (CS) The unfortunate reality is that the knife doesn’t seem to cut both ways. (EL) Well, isn’t that the truth? Here…
04:39 Let me read another excerpt from the ruling here. Next one.
04:43 ”Clearly in that context he was not interested in nor did he intend to have
04:47 a discussion or debate on the ideas expressed in that document
04:51 I find he knew the material he was distributing would deeply wound
04:55 and anger Muslims.” I love how he uses the word ‘wound’. I know what a wound is;
04:59 if you have a wound you have to go to the doctor and get (treatment).
05:03 I didn’t know feelings, I didn’t know you could call a hurt feeling — I have no doubt he hurt some feelings…
05:07 just like people hurt my feelings, and everyone’s feelings can be hurt.
05:11 I didn’t know that wounding a feeling could put you in jail for nine months. If he just sexually assaulted
05:15 someone he would have been out in two months. (CS) Yeah, this is what we’re dealing with, Ezra,
05:19 you’ve been experiencing it, and this particular individual experienced the same —
05:23 these groups in society that use this sort of dark
05:27 politics or identity politics in order to quash out
05:31 language and speech they don’t want, and frankly they don’t want other people to hear.
05:35 I would much rather, like you and me Ezra, debate these ideas in a free society and let
05:39 the better ideas rise to the top and the weaker ones fall.
05:43 (EL) Yeah, you know, it’s funny — in a way, this judge is guilty of doing what he claimed Brazau did. This judge isn’t interested in debate…
05:47 this judge isn’t interested in discussion. This judge wants to put
05:51 people he disagrees with in jail! (CS) So what we need to do, Ezra, is —
05:55 I sort of have my hit-list of reforms that need, you need legislatures in this country,
05:59 federal and provincial, to get rid of these laws which restrict freedom, and if they’re not prepared to go that far,
06:03 then at least provide some interpretation, guidance to the
06:07 judges on how they apply this very subjective section of the criminal code,
06:11 and lastly, get rid of blasphemy laws in this country.
06:15 (EL) That’s what this is. This is a ‘fatwa’ against this guy for daring to criticize
06:19 the sharia Koran. Nice to see you on the show, Chris.
 story source


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