Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Professor Moon in the Amethyst Room with a self-interest

I see that Professor Richard Moon is all over the news and blogosphere today. He is a University of Windsor law professor who was paid to write a report for the federal Human Rights Commission concerning the controversy brought on by the CHRC’s administration of Article 13 of the Canada Human Rights Code. This is the one that allows identifiable groups; e.g. gays, Muslims, etc. to bankrupt individuals or corporations if members of the groups can say they were offended by the comments of the individuals or the corporations.

I first met Professor Moon in a Green Room at a television studio, last spring, a short time after it was announced he had this CHRC gig.

The Professor and I were invited guests on a talk show to debate the impact of religion on politics, but, having been following and contributing to the raging free speech debate, I was more interested in sounding him out on the subject. He was understandably not that forthcoming, since he had not started to write it. However, when I suggested that I didn’t think that HRCs need necessarily be abolished he seemed both agitated and surprised that such an idea would even be considered. In fact, I got the impression it was the first time anyone had suggested such a thing to him.

He casually remarked that Ezra Levant had been bombarding him with questions, which led me to believe that he wasn’t really paying attention to Levant who has made it quite clear that he thinks HRCs should go.

The other thing that struck me from Moon’s telephoned testimony to the MPPs yesterday was his comment that the poor Muslims had no platform to rebut Steyn’s “glib” and “juvenile” writing. He claims he would not censor Steyn, but Steyn's views should not go unanswered.

The Professor, who professes to want to go back to hiding under a rock, is more than disingenuous with this.

First, he cannot be so dissociated from the real world not to know that Elmasry and the sock puppets got more international ink and air time to counter Steyn and Mclean’s than any allegedly offended group in history. The fact that they wasted their 15 seconds of fame trying to claim Mclean’s was unfair for not turning itself into an Islamic rag, instead of doing the right thing and defending Islam, is not Steyn’s or Mclean’s fault.

Second, he sounds very much like Ontario HRC Commissioner, Barbara Hall, in making these kinds of comments, which leads me to the next observation.

Any university professor who can augment his annual salary with a special report in his area of expertise for $50,000 would be remiss if he didn’t make the same noises as the person who hands out these contracts (Hall) and if he didn’t defend the very institutions that would be most likely to send another one his way (HRCs).

In short, his testimony was a very opportune free advertisement for his services to HRCs, courtesy of the Ontario taxpayers. He admitted that he wasn’t much interested in testifying until he learned that the centre ring attraction, Mark Steyn, would be there. To get the same advertising for his services would have cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Steyn should consider sending him a bill for marketing services, since Steyn traveled there on his own dime.

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