Coulter-Levant, Hate Speech not Free Speech

Tonight Ann Coulter is supposed to speak at the University of Calgary. As of this morning's CBC news the venue has been changed to a more easily 'secured' arena. It'll undobtedly turn into a huge media event as satellite units from all over North America are racing to get setup in time.

Ann Coulter's Canadian tour organizer Ezra Levant is already notorious in Canada as a rightwing nutjob. The philosophy and style of Coulter and Levant's speeches center on religious bigotry and racism and thereby fall far outside the lines of freedom of speech. Just imagine what would happen if their hate speech focused on the Jewish community instead of the Muslims. Imagine the reaction our neo-fascist PM Harper and his evangelical followers if Coulter-Levant were bashing The Rapture or Zionism.

The gates of the Canada's visa department swing wide to admit Ann Coulter. But when Dr. Mustafa Barghouti wants to visit, Foreign Affairs mouths some drivel about security and footsies his visa around until he has to cancel.

A hate-filled, void-headed troglodyte who says Muslims should travel by camel and not be allowed to fly? C'mon in, and a warm welcome to Canada. A dignified, well-spoken Nobel Peace Prize nominee who thinks the Palestinians deserve decent treatment? Forget it!

Coulter and Levant are self-styled "free speech" martyrs who cry foul anytime anyone challenges their perspective, but their commitment to free speech is best measured by how they defend it for those whose views they oppose. About Democrats, Coulter has said: "Let's repress them . . . I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment." And Levant backed the Conservatives' ban on U.K. MP George Galloway last year. This has further vindicated the anti-war movement's contention that unjust wars abroad will end up consuming the very liberties that make us who we are. - Common Dreams