Feb 22 2008
Oh, didn’t you know that Al Queda doesn’t really exist, the White House organized 9/11 and the Jews are behind the BIG CONSPIRACY?
Well, you would know it if you read and believed what you read in former Vancouver Courier columnist/Arab webzine writer/neo-Nazi website commentator Greg Felton’s book. At least, you would “know” that Greg Felton thinks these things, even if most educated people would dismiss them as the hateful ravings of a lunatic. When asked why the Vancouver Public Library’s people chose Felton to host a Freedom to Read event happening on Monday at VPL, the Library’s rationale seemed to pretty much boil down to: “well, it’s not hate speech”. Yet, as BC author and journalist Terry Glavin wrote in the Vancouver Sun, what exactly is the word for “Felton’s thesis, which is that a Zionist ‘junta’ was at work on Sept. 11, 2001, and that al-Qaida is a mere concoction in a secret plan to subvert the American Constitution, demonize Muslims and commit mass murder?”
This event isn’t about intellectual freedom; indeed, this incident seems to demonstrate that Canada is a country where the “freedom to read” is already so ingrained that the only books that don’t get read are the ones that don’t deserve it. When an author fills up a book with hateful lies, the vast majority of the population studiously ignores it.
That Felton’s book hasn’t been reviewed by mainstream media and no libraries in Canada stock it isn’t an indication of censorship; it’s really just that Canadians are too smart to waste their time with rotten books.