What's this all about?
For readers tuning in for the first time, here's a quick summary of what's going on.
1. Two years ago, the now-defunct Western Standard magazine reprinted the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. I was the publisher.
2. In response, a radical Muslim imam named Syed Soharwardy asked the Calgary Police Service to arrest me. They didn't, of course. So Soharwardy complained to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, a government agency. Here's his hand-scrawled complaint; here's my reply. For two years, using government lawyers and taxpayers money, they have been pursuing me, infringing on my natural rights of free speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.
3. On January 11th, a government "human rights officer" interrogated me for 90 minutes. Instead of bowing my head, I used the opportunity to challenge the moral and legal basis of the complaint, and the human rights commission itself.
4. I recorded the interrogation and posted video clips to YouTube. In the past week, they have been viewed nearly 400,000 times and were at one point the fifth most watched videos on all of YouTube. Though Canadian talk radio shows and op-ed columnists have covered the story well, I have seen only one newspaper report on the subject. I can't understand why mainstream reporters and editors do not think it's newsworthy that a publisher can be summoned by a government bureaucrat, and grilled as to his political thoughts. I'm pleased, though, that the support from pundits has come not just from the right, but from the enlightened left.
5. I've got some ideas of what people can do. Although my case is being prosecuted by the hapless, lame-duck provincial government of Alberta, it is politically more likely that change will come first to the federal Canadian Human Rights Commission. That commission is currently hounding columnist Mark Steyn on similar thought crime charges.
6. The blog posts below expand on various details of the case. If you are interested in the videos, they are all posted below, with commentary. Here are three of the more popular clips:
my opening statement: