On the “noxious” fruits of Canada’s hate speech laws

That’s what American legal, political and media commentator Glenn Greenwald [you may have to click through an ad] calls them anyway. No “American exceptionalism” chauvinist (closer to the opposite at least at the current time), he does think America has it right — and Canada wrong — on free speech.

I’m curious if anyone has a reaction to what he has to say on the Levant (Danish Mohammed cartoons), Steyn (anti-Muslim book excerpt published in MacLeans) and Thobani (anti-American comments) cases. Does Greenwald have his facts right? Does anyone have a view on whether these cases should be subject to investigation and/or prosecution? I won’t pretend to have thought about this carefully, let alone to know Canadian free speech jurisprudence, but these all strike me as cases that should (as a matter of natural law) be well within the realm of protected speech in a stable democracy. (I can imagine justifiably wanting stricter controls on hate speech in an emerging democracy. To paraphrase Nietzsche, the health of a society may be measured in part by how much dissent it can tolerate.)

(Thanks to MCP for fixing the link.)