Orwellian ‘Hate Speech’ laws applied inconsistently in Canada
Calgary – Activists and Academics are increasingly questioning the purpose of Canada having ‘hate speech’ laws to criminalize certain forms of speech.
Critics say such laws are applied inconsistently and often serve the interests of powerful groups whilst doing nothing to prevent the tide of Islamophobia that has swept Canada since the disputed events of 9/11.
‘I can tell you that headline wasn’t in Calgary….it could be in the National Post but I can tell you that didn’t originate in Calgary’
That was the response of Rick Hanson, Chief of the Calgary police when confronted by Press TV with a hateful headline claiming that Iraqis worship the devil, printed by one of Canada’s most prominent broadsheet newspapers. The question was prompted after the police chief had given a speech in which he had affirmed his desire to use controversial anti-Hate Crime legislation to stamp out prejudice and discrimination in the city of Calgary. Canada has Hate Speech laws which criminalize certain forms of speech that are deemed to be illegitimate by the Canadian state.
Press TV was interested to discover whether or not Hate Speech laws were being applied consistently in Canada, even to powerful elites who seek to demonize Muslims. The police chief’s response was terse.
Critics say that Hate Speech laws are not applied consistently in Canada as every day we see the mainstream media stigmatizing and dehumanizing Middle Eastern people with impunity. On the other hand those anti-racists who criticize Israel’s policies of genocide and apartheid are finding their freedom of speech to do so increasingly challenged with powerful pro-Israel lobbyists seeking to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
Press TV got in touch with a prestigious Canadian professor and member of the Canadian Islamic Congress who had tried but failed to invoke Canada’s Hate-Speech laws to prosecute a journalist in Canada who had disseminated anti-Islamic conspiracy theories in an article published in a prominent Canadian magazine called MacCleans.
It is clear that Hate Speech laws are controversial. And when such laws are being applied inconsistently and in a politicized or ethnicized manner experts warn that they can only have a negative effect on society.