While VisionTV did not broadcast Mr. Ahmad's derogatory comments about Jews, or his theories of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, Mr. Roberts said the decision about whether to allow him on Canadian airwaves should have perhaps taken those views into account.
The producer was apparently "distracted" by family matters, including his daughter's upcoming wedding.
"So the show was pulled and another show was put in its place, but it ended up being a show that also included him [Mr. Ahmad]."
(Maybe the producer should have taken some time off instead of accidentally allowing a purveyor of hate propaganda to have airtime in Canada? Just a thought.)
One of Mr. Ahmad's followers is, according to the Post, "Qayyum Abdul Jamal, who was arrested last summer for allegedly belonging to a Canadian terrorist group accused of plotting truck bombings in downtown Toronto."
Vision promises to set up a new task force to review standards and procedures.
Sounds like a start, but if you read today's editorial in the Post (Hateful Vision), you will see that the whole organization could use a good shaking up to put some balance in its obvious left-wing agenda. The Post points out a double standard in Vision and in our society in general when it come to bigotry:
While we accept that the July 21 broadcast was an accident, the incident fed into existing complaints about the network. Since its inception, VisionTV has shown a pronounced liberal bias. Evangelists have had to pay hefty sums to get their shows on the network -- and even then, they have appeared late at night or very early in the morning. Meanwhile, the channel's own original programming has been dominated by schismatic Catholics (those who favour female ordination, for instance) and United Churchers who question the divinity of Christ or who favour gay marriage.
Canadians also are understandably upset that Mr. Ahmad appeared on VisionTV in the first place. Our society (rightly) has zero-tolerance for traditional Archie Bunker-style racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Yet when the same hatred spews forth from someone speaking Arabic or Urdu, the instinct of some liberal Canadians is to permit it (or at least look the other way) in the name of cultural sensitivity.
This relativism comes across as hypocrisy. As you read this, an Albertan youth pastor is facing human rights charges because he disparaged gay activists in a letter to a Red Deer newspaper. What message does it send to this country that such a man must be shut up, while a Muslim who foresees the "total extermination" of Jews has been permitted to preach on a television network available in eight million Canadian households?
Meanwhile, CBC reports that B'Nai Brith Canada has asked Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion to "remove new star candidate Jocelyn Coulon from an upcoming byelection in Montreal's Outremont riding because of his past stance on Israel" (H/T National Newswatch). Apparently Coulon has a "well-documented anti-Israel bias, which is supposedly "out of step with current Liberal policy".
Coulon insists he is merely a "proponent of healthy debate" when he writes such things as feeling that the international community should not isolate Hamas; that it is committed to fighting corruption and helping people.
The Gazette reports that MoOse Moghrabi, legal counsel for B'nai Brith's Quebec region has grave concerns about Coulon:
"His hostile attitude toward Israel, his anti-U.S. rhetoric and his calls to end the isolation of a government controlled by Hamas, a terrorist group banned in Canada, ought to disqualify him as a candidate for the Liberal Party.
"Surely, the Liberals cannot continue to countenance having an individual with such biased views as their point person on foreign policy issues."
Considering that Outremont has a considerable Jewish population, it should make for an interesting byelection.