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[Toronto Sun] Show diplomats the door

Here’s a thought on handling attempts at censorship from foreign governments: Kick them out

By Ezra Levant

The Iranian Embassy sent a formal request to Canada’s national Library and Archives last week demanding they cancel the screening of a movie that criticizes Iran’s nuclear program.

And the Library agreed.

It’s a Canadian government institution, owned by the federal government and funded by taxpayers.

And they actually took instructions from a foreign tyrant.

Canada imposes trade sanctions against Iran. We are among the most vocal critics of that country’s dictatorship. A Canadian delegation, led by Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, even walked out of the United Nations last year rather than listen to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak.

It’s not only a principled stand. It’s personal, too. Remember that Iranian police raped and murdered a Canadian citizen, Zahra Kazemi, as political punishment.

But a letter from their embassy was enough for Canada’s Library to collapse.

The Library had a contract with Ottawa’s Free Thinking Film Society to screen a movie called Iranium, about Iran’s nuclear threat.

No wonder Iran wanted to censor it.

That’s not the surprising part. The surprising part is the Library complied.

Maybe they were inspired by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which just recently banned the classic rock song Money for Nothing.

If it’s OK for the CBSC to ban a song because a single person was offended, why couldn’t the Library ban a movie?

The film organizers managed to get the Library to rethink their contract-violating ban. For a while. Because then the Library claimed they received security threats and cancelled the film again.

Why expect less?

They probably did get threats. If the Iranian government had no compunction attacking democracy activists in Iran itself, why would it hesitate to attack Canadian critics?

Cabinet ministers Jason Kenney and James Moore immediately condemned the Library’s collapse. Moore, the heritage minister, ordered them to reschedule the film. And no doubt Ottawa Police will be there to keep the peace.

This is a troubling shakedown in our nation’s capital, orchestrated by foreign interests. But it’s not unique.

Just a few weeks ago, Ottawa Police suggested that Coptic Christians restrict their celebrations of Christmas, out of fear of attacks like those in Egypt.

It’s the job of police to protect people at a church, not to tell them to stay away from their church.

But perhaps the most brazen foreign censor in Canada is Communist China. China has a pathological hatred of a peaceful spiritual sect called the Falun Gong. In China itself, Falun Gong adherents are routinely arrested and tortured. Roughly half of the people in China’s forced labour camps are Falun Gong. As documented by former Canadian MP David Kilgour, the most grotesque punishment meted out by the Chinese government is forced organ harvesting, where Falun Gong adherents literally have their bodies cut open and their organs seized by the government and sold for cash.

It’s a tactic Nazi “doctor” Josef Mengele would have approved of.

No trick too low

China’s hatred for the Falun Gong colours much of their diplomatic activity in Canada. Nothing is too petty for the Chinese Embassy to do.

In 2008, they pressured the Ottawa Tulip Festival into kicking out a Falun Gong band from playing in the festival as planned. In 2002, the same festival banned a Falun Gong float from the parade. In 2007, the Chinese Embassy tried to organize a letter-writing campaign to the CRTC to stop a TV channel critical of the Chinese regime from getting a licence. They even pressured a seniors’ association into revoking the membership of a 73-year-old woman who was Falun Gong. It’s endless.

Here’s a better idea. Let’s treat these extraterritorial acts of censorship the same way we treat espionage.

When we catch a foreign spy, we deport him. So let’s do the same thing with foreign embassies corroding our freedom.

Next time a Canadian Falun Gong is bullied, we kick out a Chinese diplomat.

Let’s start with a flourish by kicking out two Iranian diplomats.

— Levant will appear regularly on Sun News Network

Źródło: Toronto Sun

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