Thursday, February 14, 2008

Levant says he'll sue to recover costs from the man who dropped human rights charges

The Calgary Muslim leader who brought charges against former Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant under the Alberta Human Rights Act is dropping the case.

Having mounted a bully pulpit and received loud (and, at times, hysterical) support from the right-wing blogosphere, Levant is not about to let his free speech campaign be derailed by a little thing like his opponent backing down.

Instead, according to a story in the National Post, he is suing Syed Soharwardy to recover his costs in defending the case.

The complaint was launched after the magazine republished the so-called "Danish cartoons" depicting the prophet Muhammad in satirical and unflattering ways. (See the earlier posts for more background).

Soharwardy's statement in backing down effectively says that most Canadians weren't affected by the publication.
"I believe Canadian society is mature enough not to absorb the messages that the cartoons sent. Only a very small fraction of Canadian media decided to publish those cartoons."
Levant's response is that he doesn't trust the man and that his climbdown is only a "temporary, tactical truce".
"I don't believe him. He thought this would be easy to do, just sic the human rights commission on me and it would be done. But I decided to fight back," said Mr. Levant.

"He's hurting right now. . . . What he's now saying he is going to do is not a true reflection of his feelings."

Mr. Levant said he plans to launch a civil lawsuit against Mr. Soharwardy to recover the tens of thousands of dollars he said he has spent battling the complaint.

"I put in at least 100 hours fighting this guy. He may want to run away from this issue, but I'm not going to. His values are out of sync with Canadian society."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your tone seems a little negative toward Mr. Levant. Surely his fight for freedom of the press should be vigorously supported by thinking people in the publishing industry?

Or is it OK for unelected tribunals to decide what we may or may not publish?

9:20 am  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

Ezra would be the first to say that I have the freedom to comment (quite mildly, I thought) on his words and actions.

9:57 am  

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