The human-rights tribunal system at work:
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has ruled that there is “no reasonable basis in the evidence” for the hate speech charge against B’nai Brith Canada that it spent more than five years investigating, based on an anonymous tipster, a complainant who was not there and the secret report of a secret expert.
The epic fallout from the conference on terrorism for emergency responders that the Jewish human rights group hosted in Winnipeg in October, 2003, began four months later, when Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association, filed a formal complaint under the “discriminatory signs and statements” section of the Manitoba Human Rights Code.
She said she had spoken with three police officers, including the Winnipeg Police Service’s diversity relations officer, who attended the workshop put on by the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center, a consultancy based in Arlington, Va.
“Based on comments from some in attendance that the presentation was biased against Muslims, I conclude that the content of the seminar presented a negative prejudice about Muslims in terms of being probable terrorists,” her complaint reads.
Even today, with the dismissal of the complaint and the release of an investigation report, B’nai Brith still does not know the identity of its accusers, nor what exactly is alleged to have been said at the conference. One of the few direct quotations in the investigation report, the word “ragheads,” was found to have been used as part of a warning not to dismiss Islamist terrorism with empty epithets.
B’Nai Brith became the proverbial liberal who was mugged (or conservative who was arrested):
B’nai Brith has long been a close partner of human rights commissions, especially in hate speech cases, and it defended this case in private for four years. The decision to publicly protest it last August goes some way to explaining the stinging tone of their submission, delivered the same week, to the Moon Report on Internet hate speech.
In it, Mr. Matas wrote that human rights commissions have shown “a disastrous combination of investigative zeal and substantive ignorance” that has left them vulnerable to abuse by “political Islam.”
“[L]ike generals, [they] are fighting the last war. They do not see new threats until they are overwhelmed by them,” it read.
Ezra Levant may never find himself wanting for book material, unfortunately.