Friday, December 23, 2005

Elmasry Wrong Again

You may remember Mohammed Elmasry, the University of Waterloo professor who claimed that Israeli citizens were fair game for Palestinian attacks. (He later apologized for the remarks.)

Well, he's back in the local paper again. Today's Kitchener-Waterloo Record reports the following remark regarding the recent Canadian Supreme Court decisions legalizing swinger's clubs (R v. Labaye and R v. Kouri): "This decision doesn't reflect attitudes of most Canadians and it's doing more harm than good." Well, gee, the last time I looked, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms didn't say, "The following rights are protected, provided most Canadians agree". The whole theory behind enshrining civil rights in a document like the Charter is that those rights can't be taken away just because most people disapprove. As Robert Jackson remarked in the flag salute case, "The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities."

But wait, the irony factor gets bigger. The Record also reports, "Elmasry ... said the ruling only protects the interest of a small minority." Now consider that Elmasry is the "Chair and National President" of the Canadian Islamic Congress, and he's been quick to attack any perceived slight against the rights of Muslims. Well, aren't Muslims just a "small minority", too? Elmasry doesn't seem to understand that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Muslims and other minorities.

Here in Canada we're an ecumenical bunch: busybodies of all religious persuasions disapprove of your right to have consensual sex in the way you want.


Anonymous said...

Your comments about the Charter are irrelevant. The arguments before the Court were about the definition of indecency. The Charter did not enter in to the decision.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

You seem to have a reading comprehension problem. The Charter protects freedom of thought, opinion, and expression, and as such, protects "indecent" expression. Whether the court referenced the Charter in their decision is irrelevant.