Monday, December 10, 2007

Activist poker

Maclean’s magazine in Canada is being sued by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) over an excerpt from Mark Steyn' America Alone. According to the CIC,

the article is "flagrantly Islamophobic" and implies Muslims are involved in a global conspiracy to take over Western societies.
I have read the book. The point of most of it is that there's no need for conspiracies; demographics will do the job. I do recall Steyn claiming that both the childless Europeans and the childful Muslims were bringing about a crisis, but not that they were 'conspiring' to do so. It takes true conspiracy theorists to see one there.

Anyway, there's this interesting paragraph in Stanley Kurtz' post at The Corner.
Maclean’s published a total of 27 letters over two issues in response to Steyn’s piece–more responses than any Maclean’s cover story received over the past year. Yet when the law students demanded a longer response, Maclean’s was willing to consider it. The students then insisted that Maclean’s run a five-page article, written by an author of their choice, with no editing by the magazine. They also demanded that the reply to Steyn be a cover story, with art controlled by them, rather than the magazine. At this point, Editor-in-Chief Kenneth Whyte showed them the door, saying he would rather let Maclean’s go bankrupt than permit someone outside of operations dictate the magazine’s content.
What is striking there is the excalation. At every positive response, demand more. When they say 'no', accuse them of racism or some such. And even if the case fails, how many more will be frightened into silence?

[Thanks, Ninme]


Riri said...

Oh yes, we're clever ol' buggers, we just understood from the start that sexual intercourse is all we got to show 'em what we're worth.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Someone has got too much time on their hands. I dont have time to complain about anything I am so busy at work. But, if this is Muslim lawyers association then whatdya expect - this is going to be their bread and butter!

NoolaBeulah said...

Acute sensitivity is the biggest growth area on the spiritual market these days, and it ain't just Muslims. In fact, it started long ago. I know. I was there. In the Seventies with the Feminists, where every phrase and gesture was picked at for its offensive potential. All that's happened is that it has been globalised and now everyone (except white, heterosexual males who are not disabled) has a share in the market. Truly democratic, it is.

wodge said...

So let's get this straight, Mark Steyn got a cover story in this magazine plus however many pages that entails and CIC asked for an equally prominent amount of space to provide a rebuttal.

Now, to me that sounds fair enough. After all, how many people bother reading the letters page?

As for your complaint about them sueing Macleans. Sounds like a case of the pot calling the kettle black since the pro-israel lobby has been using the same tactic for years.

As for Mark Steyn's "theory".

Well, his numbers just don't add up.

wodge said...

Also, I seem to remember that there was another group of 'civilised' and 'enlightened' Europeans back in the thirties who came out with almost the exact same nonsense about being over by another group of folks of Middle Eastern descent.

Presumably, you'd label their opponents as the 'politically correct gone mad as well'.

NoolaBeulah said...

The question is this case is not the accuracy or otherwise of Steyn's figures. Demographic projections are shaky at the best of times, and even if they are precise about the present, they cannot be precise about what has not yet occurred.

But all that can be discussed, and the methodology can be criticised in open debate. This is exactly how it should be for Steyn's book, for David Irving, the Bible, the Koran, and anything else. What is happening in this case, if I've understood it correctly, is the demand for special consideration (did Steyn demand a cover story and control of the artwork?), and when that was not granted, an attempt to smother debate.

I grant you, this is a hole of our own digging, a weapon for those of whatever persuasion to require that 'respect' be imposed from above, by law. That is no way to gain respect, but is remarkably efficient in stirring resentment.