From The Australian, Janet Albrechtsen writes the following:
... the West is killing free speech slowly - by more subtle means - through state-sponsored censorship under the grand name of protecting human rights.
The insidious role of human rights commissions was exposed in June when Mark Steyn and Canadian magazine Macleans were hauled before the Canadian Human Rights Commission for islamophobia.
While the complaint was ultimately dismissed, the fact that words warrant oversight by a state tribunal points to a rank attitude to free speech where a person is required to spend copious amounts of time and money defending words and ideas.
The same thing had happened in April, when the Ontario Human Rights Commission dealt with complaints against Steyn and Macleans. And in January, when conservative commentator Ezra Levant had to defend his publication of the Danish cartoons to the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission.
As Steyn wrote of his experience of heavy-handed state censorship, the media "seems generally indifferent to a power grab that explicitly threatens to reduce them to a maple-flavoured variant of Pravda ... As some leftie website put it, 'defending freedom of speech for jerks means defending jerks'. Well, yes. But, in this case, not defending the jerks means not defending freedom of speech for yourself. It's not a Left-Right thing; it's a free-unfree thing".