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OTTAWA, Jan 6 (Reuters) - An Islamic group's demand that a Canadian magazine publish its response to an article that said Muslims were set to swamp the West has sparked warnings of government-imposed restrictions on freedom of expression.

The Canadian Islamic Congress, one of Canada's largest Muslim groups, says Maclean's, a popular Canadian weekly news magazine, subjected Muslims to hate speech with an article in October 2006 by best-selling author Mark Steyn that said a high Muslim birthrate, combined with Muslims "hot for jihad," could conquer a West that is unwilling to stand up for its civilization.

The Islamic group has asked a government body to step in to guarantee it the right to an equal-length rebuttal to the article, which was an excerpt from Steyn's September 2006 book "America Alone."

"This article completely misrepresents Canadian Muslims' values, their community, and their religion," said Canadian Islamic Congress lawyer Faisal Joseph.


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