A Canadian human rights council has rejected a complaint from an online magazine editor against an imam the editor accused of engaging in "hate propaganda." The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits communication which "is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination."
Imam Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus Al-Hayiti did just that to gays, women, Jews and people he considers infidels in his book, "Islam or Fundamentalism ? In light of the Qor'an and the Sunna," Marc Lebuis said in his complaint. Al-Hayiti writes gays and lesbians should be "exterminated in this life" and beheaded if caught performing sodomy. Women are inferior to men. Jews "spread corruption and chaos on earth" and "injustice will never disappear from the face of the earth before Islam and Sharia are properly applied throughout the world." Those who leave Islam should have their necks cut, the book said.
But in a December 5 letter, a Canadian Human Rights Commission official said the imam's writing weren't likely to provoke hatred or contempt and the complaint would be dropped.
Lebuis filed his complaint last April, just after the Ontario Human Rights Commission dismissed a complaint against journalist Mark Steyn and Maclean's magazine accusing them of publishing Islamophobic articles. The commission said it lacked jurisdiction to act, but still criticized Steyn and Maclean's for "promoting societal intolerance" and disseminating "destructive, xenophobic opinions. (Steyn weighs in on the Lebuis decision here.)
At the time, Lebuis explained his complaint actually was an attempt "to force a debate on freedom of expression and bring the public and the media to denounce the new role that CHRC is taking on, that is: Censor of ‘blasphemy'." At the same time, he hoped to draw attention to Al-Hayiti's Salafi ideology, which he labeled dangerous enough to be outlawed.
But he didn't sound as if he expected a different outcome. That doesn't mean he feels like he lost:
"My sole purpose is to stimulate a public debate and strengthen freedom of expression. It is not racist or islamophobic to criticize the Salafi ideology. In fact, it is necessary to do so. It is ‘islamolucidity'."