Here we go.
Bill 59, introduced in the National Assembly by Minister of Justice Stéphanie Vallée, is ostensibly designed to crackdown on hate speech, but the head of the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC), Jacques Frémont, has been http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/national-post-view-quebec-hate-speech-bill-would-re-establish-bureaucratic-despotism" rel="external" target="_blank">quoted saying that he would use the new powers to target "people who would write against … the Islamic religion … on a website or on a Facebook page."
The law would allow the QHRC to "apply for a court order requiring [alleged hate speech] to cease" and would further impose a fine up to $10,000 if "a person has engaged in or disseminated such speech". The exact monetary value of the fine would be determined by the Human Rights Tribunal.
And religious nuts have never cried wolf when it came to criticism, right?
Under the proposed law, the QHRC would keep a list – available online – of all those who have been engaged in 'hate speech', as determined by the Tribunal. This measure has been http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/bill-59-and-the-hate-speech-dilemma-in-quebec" rel="external" target="_blank">compared with the registration of sex offenders, to which only police have access.
In another particularly troubling detail, the Commission would not need to wait for a complainant to come forward and it could initiate an investigation itself.
I can hear the ghost of McCarthy saying "I have a list of names..."
An NSS spokesperson commented: "It is very worrying to see a democratic legislature using tricks taken straight from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) playbook to effectively ban blasphemy and criticism of religion.
"None of these events are isolated. They all take place in the broader context of a relentless assault on free speech being pursued though any number of means. Aside from violence and terror, this agenda is being advanced at the UN by the OIC, and in legislatures such as this case in Quebec, or in the UAE, which recently made it illegal to 'offend God'.
"The OIC desperately wants to see criticism of Islam criminalised globally, and too many 'useful idiots' in the West buy into their perversion of 'human rights' language to achieve this sinister aim. In August a senior Saudi official said that free expression was an 'abuse of religious rights'. The West must not be lazy in resisting this; or worse, compliant, as this piece of legislation is. Religions shouldn't have rights, and religious believers have no 'right' to remain unoffended by satire, criticism or ridicule."
If I'm going to end up on a watchlist, ending up on one that criticizes religion would put me in good company.