The Canadian Islamic Congress Wednesday offered to withdraw human rights complaints about allegedly Islamophobic journalism in Maclean's magazine in exchange for the publication of a rebuttal within three months by a mutually agreeable author.
"If Maclean's is ready to consider an opportunity for the Muslim population to have its say, we are ready for reasonable conciliation," said Faisal Joseph, lawyer for the CIC. "One way or another it's going to be dealt with, either by agreement or by an imposed decision."
At a press conference at a plush Toronto hotel, Mr. Joseph lamented that the Rogers media empire, which publishes Maclean's, has been represented in the media as the plucky victim against the unchecked power of human rights commissions and their complainants. "Somehow David and Goliath have been interchanged," he said.
According to his proposal, the CIC's hate speech complaint before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, scheduled to be heard next month, will only be withdrawn if Maclean's publishes a "counter-view response" to a 2006 article titled The Future Belongs to Islam. That article, an excerpt from a book by conservative columnist Mark Steyn called America Alone, is the most controversial of the 22 articles the CIC has singled out as offensive.