Just hopped back from Kangaroo Court

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The Article

I spent the entire morning at the B.C. edition of the “human rights” tribunal against Maclean’s and Mark Steyn and Canadian freedom.  It adjourned early today so lawyers could prepare their closing remarks for tomorrow.  I couldn’t have been happier.

I decided to go and attend this event in person because I doubt I’ll make it to Iran anytime soon.  And this is right in my home town.

For details, I’ll leave you to read the excellent live blog-a-palooza posted at Maclean’s.ca by famed columnist Andrew Coyne (see specifically HERE for today’s ordeal).  He was sitting over to my right a few ‘roos away from me.  He’s doing a superb job capturing—live, and then busily in far away corners of the courthouse corridors during “court” breaks—the essence of the sham “trial” and all the subtle nuances. 

I was lucky enough to sit beside Mark Steyn himself, who, after we chatted a tiny bit beforehand in the lineup to get in (yes, it was packed today), sat as bemused as most of us ‘roos were, in the cramped kangaroo gallery.  He couldn’t have been more gentlemanly and enjoyable despite the absurd, faux scandalous circumstances he finds himself in.  For example while it has been noted in newspaper articles that many Steyn supporters (and they are legion) in the gallery choose, in protest, to not rise (real court-room style) when the pretend “judge” enters and seats herself at the big imposing bench, Mark told me that he rises only out of deference to the fact that the tribunal chairman is a woman.  So I did too.

The proceedings were interesting only to the extent that it was utterly amazing to hear things like Osama bin Laden’s name in the same sentence as Mark Steyn’s name, and it was Mark Steyn—not bin Laden—who was on “trial” here!  And it is apparently Steyn who is to blame for some Muslims’ feelings being hurt and for feeling castigated by many folks in North America (and Belgium, apparently, and California…), not Osama bin Laden. 

Several times, people were heard to smirk at some of the issues raised by the complainant’s lawyers and their witness. So your feelings were hurt, were they Mr. Habib?  And your wife’s feelings too?  Voila! —and this sort of thing is to be taken as some sort of definitive, conclusive argument.  I saw many heads shaking left to right in disbelief.  As was my head.

Joel Johannesen
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