The law has finally caught up with Zionist writer Ezra Levant who thought he could defame Muslims without facing legal consequences. No more. Judge Wendy Matheson ruled on November 27 that Levant had defamed lawyer Khurram Awan when the latter testified before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal about Mark Steyn's Islamophobic article published in Maclean's magazine in 2006. Steyn called for Muslim genocide.
2014-11-28, 09:53 EST
Ezra Levant of Sun News Network, a rightwing media outlet, always felt he could say or write anything about anyone and get away with it. And for the most part he did because lawsuits are very expensive in Canada. Yet a young Muslim lawyer Khurram Awan took on Levant in court for libelling him. In a series of blogs, Levant accused Awan of being a “liar,” a “jihadist,” and an “anti-Semite.” Levant used such headings as “Awan the liar,” and “Awan the liar part two.” The blogs related to Awan’s testimony before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal in 2008.
This was based on a complaint by a group of students against Mark Steyn’s article that appeared in Maclean’s magazine in 2006. Titled, “The future belongs to Islam,” Steyn alleged that Muslims would take over Canada because of their fast breeding habits unless “remedial steps” were taken immediately. Steyn had first articulated these ideas in his book, America Alone, in which he alleged that “genocide” of the European population was already underway because of fast increasing Muslim population. He applauded the Serbs’ genocide of Muslims in Bosnia and went on to suggest, “if you cannot outbreed the enemy, cull 'em.” Calling Muslims the “enemy”, he was essentially advocating genocide of Muslims everywhere, including Canada.
When Awan and a group of fellow law students launched a complaint against Steyn, Levant, a fellow rightwinger went on the offensive and tried to defame Awan through a series of blogs that were clearly Islamophobic. After demanding that Levant remove the completely erroneous and offensive material from the blogs or face a defamation lawsuit, the author refused leaving Awan with no choice but to launch an expensive court battle. His lawyer argued that Levant had caused tremendous damage to his client with the posts, which remain online years after they were originally posted. Awan was in the process of completing his articles and entering the market to seek work. This was a tremendous blow to his job prospects.
The court proceedings took a long time but finally Ontario Judge Wendy Matheson ruled on November 27, 2014 that Levant must pay lawyer Khurram Awan $80,000 in damages for what she said were blog posts “motivated by malice.” Judge Matheson also ordered Levant to remove the “defamatory words” about Awan from his website within 15 days.
While Levant claimed that as a media personality, his blogs were “fair comment”, the honourable judge disagreed. “I find that the defendant’s dominant motive in these blog posts was ill-will, and that his repeated failure to take even basic steps to check his facts showed a reckless disregard for the truth,” Judge Matheson wrote in her decision. Levant tried to belittle the complaint that Judge Matheson found the defendant "repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence."
"The defendant makes a general assertion that none of the words complained of were defamatory due to the defendant's reputation," she wrote. "There is, however, ample evidence before me demonstrating express malice on the part of the defendant." The judge further found that Levant appeared to have little regard for the facts. "He did little or no fact-checking regarding the posts complained of, either before or after their publication....and with one exception, when he learned that he got his facts wrong, he made no corrections," she wrote.
Levant himself is a lawyer and ought to have made him aware of the "serious ramifications" of his words on Awan's reputation, Judge Matheson added. "Yet, at trial, he repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence," she wrote. The judgement would have wide ramifications and would put other wannabe racists, bigots and Islamophobes that they will not be able to get away with their defamatory statements for too long.
Such court cases, however, are expensive but justice does not come cost-free. That was the reason why Awan and his fellow students had taken the Human Rights Tribunal route to seek justice.When that did not dissuade Levant and his fellow travellers, Awan went to court—and won.