I told you about this situation earlier.
Below is Rory’s email to friends:
From: Rory Leishman [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Joe Ruscitti, recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of the London Free Press, has disclosed in his weekly column for the newspaper that I have resigned as a freelance columnist for the Free Press in protest over his decision to censor my last column on Islamist extremism
I have been told by two friends whose judgment I esteem that I have made a mistake in resigning on principle over this matter. Perhaps so, but what is done is done. However, this is not the end of my punditry: I plan to go on working as a freelancer for other news outlets.
As for the Free Press dispute, I think readers of my column might find the comments appended to Joe’s column particularly interesting. They include several kind comments, which I much appreciate, as well as some vitriolic abuse. One critic, Leila Paul — presumably the same Leila Paul who is running for London city council and was formerly employed as a news anchor for the CBC in Vancouver — has suggested that the Free Press would have been open to a libel suit if it had printed my disclosure that two prominent local imams, Sheik Jamal Taleb and Dr. Munir El-Kassem, had taken part in a recent lecture series at the London chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada, an Islamist organization dedicated to promoting the ideas of Hassan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Here, in part, is what she wrote:
What follows are three non-lawyers talking about libel law — always a bad idea and NEVER worth reading.
Note the irony: Paul denounces me as a hatemonger, yet accuses me of libel. Another critic states: “Rory” is a hatemonger. Free speech is a poor rationalization for that.”
I am not the least bothered by such vilification. It reminds me of the quip by the great Dr. Samuel Johnson: “Attack is the reaction: I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.”
Besides, Smith is misinformed: What I wrote in that censored column indisputably falls within the meaning of fair comment as spelled out by the Supreme Court of Canada two years ago in WIC Radio Ltd. v. Simpson.
One last observation: Joe has kindly informed his readers that I have posted my censored column on my own website. That’s good.
However, the Free Press has still not published any report about the poem glorifying a homicide bomber in the July issue of the London newspaper Al-Bilad or informed its readers about the association of prominent local Muslim leaders with the Muslim Association of Canada, which, to repeat, avows on its website that it “adopts and strives to implement Islam … as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam, Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood” — and the jihadist memorialized in the Hamas Charter for having declaimed: ““Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
The question remains: Why will the Free Press not cover these stories with their obvious local interest and serious implications for our national security?
All the best,
PS: Should you wish to do so, here is the link for sending a letter to the editor of the London Free Press.
PPS: Feel free to circulate this note far and wide.