The third day of Ezra Levant’s trial attracted even more people than yesterday. The courtroom was already full shortly after they opened it. The clerks had to bring more chairs during the first break. The grumpy Mark Steyn spent the day in his corner, resigned to the fact that he had to spend his time listening to the charming Muslim guy, who tried to destroy him seven years ago. Blazingcatfur kept scribbling in his notebook, though from time to time it was difficult to suppress his emotional reactions.
A new addition to the crowd was Christie Blatchford (she said she was working on articles about the trial).
The situation developed according to the “good news-bad news” principle. The good news was that the cross-examination of Khurrum Awan finally finished. The bad news was that after he was done, two other soldiers of Allah bound on eradicating “Islamophobia” – one magazine at a time – took the stand. First we heard from Faisal Joseph, the lawyer for the British Columbia case. Then we enjoyed Naseem Mithoowani, the second member of the unholy Muslim trinity that started the Maclean’s mess.
While on the stand, Awan followed faithfully his defense strategy – to display the mental sharpness of a character from a Polish joke. After listening for a while, it was hard to believe that this guy graduated from law school and even got a job. He looked more and more like some random Parkdale guy kidnapped from the street to be tortured by evil lawyers.
The morning started slowly – Iain McKinnon, Ezra Levant’s lawyer, had to introduce additional documents and give explanations to the judge why he didn’t do it earlier, while at the same time handling the objections of Brian Shiller (Awan’s lawyer). McKinnon showed a letter from CIC’s Mohamed Elmasry, in which he wrote that his organization had a “dedicated legal team” with Awan as part of it. The letter was a correction to an article in National Post.
By now your intuition should tell you what his reaction was – he flatly denied Elmasry’s statement. He never discussed the letter with him and had no idea how his boss came up with the legal team idea. At the same time he admitted that he was well aware of the incorrect publication, but he never read Elmasry’s reply.
McKinnon continued to grill Awan over his credibility on the issue of selecting a mutually agreeable Muslim author to rebuke Steyn in Maclean’s. He quoted letters and press releases from Awan’s group, written and signed by them, in which they write as a collective. Naturally, according to our Islamophobia buster, nothing in them was related to his personal position.
Then McKinnon asked Awan directly whether he was aware that Ezra Levant called him a “liar” based on his flip-flopping over the issue of the mutually agreeable author. Now on the stand he shows similar behaviour.
Awan went into a long monologue about the “liar” term. He supposedly was called that word over his human rights complaints. Then he pointed out at the different meanings and levels of the term liar. It could be used to describe an error or applied derogatorily to a Muslim, who supposedly deceives the unbelievers, or it could indicate fraud.
After that McKinnon continued with questions about the allegedly anti-Semitic positions of CIC. The organization had a press release in 2006, in which they demanded that Hamas and Hezbollah be taken off the terrorist list. Did Awan take part in writing that? The reply was no.
The lawyer said that CIC and the Canadian Arab Federation maintained that both groups should be delisted because the current situation is hypocritical, with Israel committing war crimes against Palestinians. Do you know what Hamas is? Yes, replied Awan.
Then were you aware of their position, being a youth president of CIC? I wasn’t completely aware of it, said Awan.
McKinnon: as a youth president, aren’t you supposed to know the position of CIC? After all, you testified on their behalf at the HRC hearings.
Awan’s answer was refreshingly weird: I provided the testimony as community service on behalf of CIC, not as a member.
After an unsuccessful attempt to get an explanation of what testimony as community service means, McKinnon continued: At the time of the press release were you aware that many countries in the world considered Hamas terrorist organization? And you were aware of the CIC position but didn’t distance yourself?
I wasn’t completely aware of all that, replied the Polish joke character.
McKinnon switched to another area – jihad – asking if Awan ever denounced jihadists publically. Here the dialogue continued back and forth over what jihad and jihadist mean. Awan weaseled his way out by playing with the meaning of the words in the Western media and in Islam. I think McKinnon could’ve handled this part better, but he obviously didn’t have enough knowledge about that Koranic principle.
The next issue were Awan’s statements about Levant and Steyn. He called both racists and Islamophobes and stated in a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star that Ezra Levant was Islamophobic, based on his record.
The reply was that Levant is Islamophobic, because he published cartoons of prophet Mohammed as a suicide bomber. McKinnon objected that at that time the news of those cartoons spread all over the world and Levant published them to illustrate that news.
Awan was stubborn: no, he published them to discredit Muslims.
McKinnon: When you label Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant as Islamophobic, don’t you consider the effects of that on their careers?
No, said Awan, a national magazine was providing a platform for those views. Maclean’s chose to publish Islamophobic material, so we considered them racist, especially after they refused to remedy the situation.
Then McKinnon said that Awan was supposedly emotionally and professionally hurt by the blog posts of Ezra Levant. There were many other articles with similar statements. Why didn’t they have the same effect?
Yes and no, replied Awan. There were other articles, but none matched the degree of Levant’s insults.
McKinnon: But didn’t National Post call you an extortionist? Again, Awan wasn’t aware of such article.
McKinnon tried to emphasize the bright side – newspapers and magazines published flattering articles and editorials about Awan. He was also chosen as one of the 40 best professionals in Saskatchewan under the age of 40. Wasn’t that nice? That’s not relevant, said Awan, I worked hard for it.
As a last act of that ordeal, Brian Shiller came up with the “brilliant” idea to have Awan read a letter from the ex-Premier Dalton McGuinty to CIC, in which the Premier praised the organization and its contributions to multiculturalism and the bettering of the life in Ontario.
It was hilarious to listen how a guy, who tried to ruin free speech, read a letter from another guy (who bankrupted Ontario with his green schemes, corruption and theft), praising the non-existent contributions of an organization with anti-Semitic bias.
Finally, Awan disappeared from the stand.
Faisal Joseph took his place. He was the CIC lawyer who handled the claim in British Columbia. There was a slight delay, because initially he couldn’t decide on what to swear to tell the truth – he said it could be either Bible or Koran, but then he picked a Koran.
His voice was barely audible, but from what I heard it was clear that he maintained the same ironclad defense strategy – Awan was just an insignificant guy, who testified, but had nothing to do with preparation of the case or giving any legal advice. Any document that claimed otherwise was incorrect or misunderstood.
After he left, we listened to Naseem Mithoowani. As I mentioned before, she was one of the trio that started it all.
She was questioned by Angela Chaisson, also from Clayton Ruby’s firm. The lawyer was interested in the initial meeting in the offices of Maclean’s. The three students were concerned about the Mark Steyn articles published in the magazine. Naseem felt that they were an attack against the Muslims as people. She said she wouldn’t have problems if someone attacks Islam as ideology (yeah, right).
They started all that to restore the dignity of the Muslim community. They had no involvement with CIC.
The group went to Maclean’s, where they first asked them to spell their names (she thought that was humiliating). The trio began with their complaint, but the editors interrupted them that Mark Steyn was a popular journalist.
Then the students made their offer – the magazine had to publish an article with the same size by a mutually agreeable pro-Muslim author or donate $5,000-$10,000 to a Muslim charity in order to remedy the damage.
Well, unlike Don Vito Corleone’s offers, the Muslim student offer was something that the magazine could refuse. The trio quickly found itself out of the offices in shock, discussing its options.
Angela Chaisson asked: Did you blackmail Maclean’s and threaten with legal action?
At this point Naseem burst into an uncontrollable loud laughter, not very different from the laughter of Hilary Clinton when she talks about Bill. Not at all, she said, we were shell-shocked and treated in dismissive way, so we started evaluating our options.
At that time the court session ended, so the testimony is continuing tomorrow.
Well, dear readers, what do you think? Imagine that three random students show up at a national magazine and demand editorial control or $10,000. They’ll end up kicked out after a nasty encounter with the security. In our case, they “spontaneously” trigger a series of events that cause huge expenses and nearly destroy the lives of several people.
If you really believe that this is an act of young idealists and not a well thought-out provocation of an organization or organizations, I have a nice piece of swamp land in Florida that you can buy from me.
The trial continues tomorrow…
© 2014 Blogwrath.com