Few minutes ago I received this letter from Ezra Levant (addressed to me, possibly, because I have donated to his defense in the past) . It deserves to be heard and distributed widely:
Please help: tomorrow (Thursday) in a Toronto court house, I’m being sued by Khurrum Awan, the youth president of the Canadian Islamic Congress who tried to censor Mark Steyn.
In fact, he’s suing me for writing about what he did at Steyn’s trial — five years ago!
Of course, it’s just more “lawfare” — the abuse of our western legal process, as a soft jihad against our traditional freedoms.
I won’t get into the details of the lawsuit here — you can see Awan’s Statement of Claim, and my Statement of Defence, here
. I’ll make my official comments from the witness box. And you can see a column I wrote about it in the Sun, here
. And the great Mark Steyn himself wrote about the trial, here
But my point is, these radical, Islamic censors are still at it, still trying to silence their critics.
Awan himself gave away the game, in an interview he did after Steyn won his case. Awan told a reporter, “we do not plan to appeal the decision because we attained our strategic objective—to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material.”
That’s what this latest lawsuit against me is: the “strategic objective” of punishing someone who criticizes radical Islam. I published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed; I supported Steyn; and now I have a TV show where I regularly report on radical Islam.
Since joining the TV station, I’ve been protected by the company’s lawyers. But this lawsuit started when I was a blogger, on my own. So I’m on the hook for all of my legal bills. And unlike Awan, I don’t have a big benefactor financing me.
Would you please consider helping me out? I am reluctant to ask, because I know you’ve helped me before. But a lot is at stake here.
This lawsuit is an attempt to undo the free speech victories of the past few years, and to send a warning to any Canadian journalist who dares to speak freely about radical Islam or censorship. It’s designed to instill a sense of fear into the national discussion, to create a “libel chill”.
It’s not just me who’s being targeted — it’s everyone who might ever want to talk about radical Islam. That’s the “strategic objective” of getting everyone to shut up.
I’ve already spent tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers, preparing for the trial. The trial is scheduled to last a week, and could go longer. The total cost will easily reach $50,000 — even if I win, I’ll lose. That’s why they’re doing it.
Can you please help me level the playing field? Can you help fill up my legal war chest, so I can keep standing on guard for our western values of freedom of speech, and the separation of mosque and state? If you can help me with my legal bills, I promise I’ll keep fighting.
You can chip in right now using my secure PayPal button here
Whether you can donate $5 or $500, it all adds up. Let’s show them we’re as passionate about freedom as they are about censorship.
Wish me luck – I go to court at 10 a.m. tomorrow!
P.S. Please help me level the playing field in this lawsuit, by chipping in to my defence fund, here
P.P.S. And please visit www.StandWithEzra.ca
to see the latest news about the trial, and read comments from free speech supporters across the country!
P.P.P.S. Feel free to forward this email to your friends and family who care about freedom too!