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Magazine publisher Levant wins Danish cartoon dispute
by Joseph Brean
After a year-long investigation, the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission has rejected a complaint by the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities against former Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant over his republication of the Danish Muhammad cartoons.
The allegation that the February 14, 2006, issue of the now defunct magazine was likely to expose Muslims to hatred helped to spark a national debate about human rights law and free speech, and its rejection comes after similar complaints of Islamophobia against Maclean's magazine also failed.
In a report on his investigation, which recommended the complaint not be referred for a panel hearing, AHRCC Southern Director Pardeep S. Gundara wrote that the cartoons are "stereotypical, negative and offensive," and they "do reinforce stereotypes," but they were "related to relevant and timely news" and were "not simply gratuitously included."
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