The Debate Between Mark Steyn And The Muslim Petitioners Essay

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Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, everyone is guaranteed certain rights. One that stands out and is essential to our society is the fundamental freedom of expression. Anyone can speak their opinion in public. However, the government can in some instances limit these freedoms. The question that causes a lot of debate is in what instances can the government genuinely limit people’s rights while being justified in doing so. I believe the restrictions on speech in Canada are appropriate. I believe that the government was correct in not intervening with the debate between Mark Steyn and the Muslim petitioners because his article did not warrant enough to risk the safety of Muslims, and by coercing Maclean’s to post an opposing viewpoint would be a violation of their fundamental freedom of expression. Per Mill’s framework the government should not intervene in this case. Mill’s belief is that government intervention should only occur when there is physical harm. In this case, there is no physical harm, but there is offence as Muslims are targeted by the article. Mill believes that if something is offensive, society cannot do anything about it but avoid it or try to persuade the author to believe otherwise. The students attempted to persuade Maclean’s that the opinion stated in Steyn’s argument was incorrect and hateful, and to post an opposing view but had no luck. I believe the students should have then just informed people in Canada that Maclean’s is offensive, and

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