Ezra Levant was one of the few publishers in Canada to reprint the notorious “Mohammed cartoons” in 2006. Two years later, he’s been hauled before a “human rights officer” to explain why offending the delicate sensibilities of sharia-minded imams is legal, legitimate and necessary.
Everyone remembers the Mohammed cartoons. Those ten cartoons, each with its own level of offensiveness towards Muslims. Each an affront to anyone professing to believe in Islam and Mohammed as the messenger of Allah.
Very few publishers in North America chose to reprint the cartoons, which originally appeared in the Danish newspaper Jylland Posten in September 2005. Ezra Levant of the now-defunct Canadian magazine, The Western Standard, was one. Known for his controversial conservative commentary, pro-Israel stance and libertarian beliefs, Levant believed that publishing the cartoons was a necessary exercise in free speech.
On the very day that the Western Standard with the infamous cartoons was being printed, Levant appeared on Calgary radio to debate Syed Soharwardy, an imam trained at an anti-Semitic Saudi university, who advocates Sharia law in Canada. The debate centered around the cartoons and all the accompanying shouldas, wouldas and couldas. Soharwardy did not know that Levant was about to publish the cartoons (a.k.a. offend Mohammed), but that did not matter. Levant was the clear winner in the debate and that offended Soharwardy, who marched down to a Calgary Police station and demanded that they arrest Levant for offending him during the debate and simply discussing the cartoons in the media.