Khurrum Awan

Ezra Levant, Sun News Network host, ordered to pay $80,000 in libel case – CBC

by on Dec.06, 2014, under Legal, Uncategorized

The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 27, 2014 10:00 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 27, 2014 10:35 PM ET

An Ontario judge who heard a defamation lawsuit against Sun News Network host Ezra Levant has ruled that he libelled a Saskatchewan lawyer in a series of blog posts.

Justice Wendy Matheson has ordered Levant to pay $80,000 in damages to Khurrum Awan and remove “defamatory words” about the man from his website within 15 days.

Matheson found that Levant’s “dominant motive” in the blog posts was “ill will.”

She also found that he demonstrated a “reckless disregard for the truth.”

Awan was completing his articling and looking for work as a lawyer when the statements were posted online by Levant.

Levant’s posts centred on Awan’s testimony at a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal case

Some of his blog posts are titled “Awan the liar,” “Awan the liar part two” and so forth.

Awan’s lawyer had argued that Levant had caused tremendous damage to his client with the posts, which remain online years after they were originally published.

He had said the blog posts were based upon what Levant observed over two days of Awan’s testimony at the human rights tribunal and were comments on a matter of public interest.

But Matheson found that at trial, Levant “repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence.”

“The defendant makes a general assertion that none of the words complained of were defamatory due to the defendant’s reputation,” she wrote. “There is, however, ample evidence before me demonstrating express malice on the part of the defendant.”

Levant also appeared to have little regard for the facts, Matheson found.

“He did little or no fact-checking regarding the posts complained of, either before or after their publication….and with one exception, when he learned that he got his facts wrong, he made no corrections,” she wrote.

The fact that Levant himself is a lawyer ought to have made him aware of the “serious ramifications” of his words on Awan’s reputation, Matheson added.

“Yet, at trial, he repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence,” she wrote.

Levant, meanwhile, wrote on his website that he is reviewing the ruling with his lawyer but plans to appeal “all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

He called the ruling a “shocking case of libel chill” and asked supporters to help him foot the bill for his appeal, which he estimates will cost at least $30,000.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ezra-levant-sun-news-network-host-ordered-to-pay-80-000-in-libel-case-1.2853107

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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Ezra Levant loses $80,000 defamation lawsuit – CTV

by on Dec.06, 2014, under Uncategorized

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 27, 2014 10:27PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 28, 2014 7:18AM EST

TORONTO — An Ontario judge who heard a defamation lawsuit against Sun News Network host Ezra Levant ruled Thursday that the controversial media personality libelled a Saskatchewan lawyer in a series of blog posts the judge said were “motivated by malice.”

Justice Wendy Matheson ordered Levant to pay $80,000 in damages to Khurrum Awan and remove “defamatory words” about the man from his website within 15 days.

“I find that the defendant’s dominant motive in these blog posts was ill-will, and that his repeated failure to take even basic steps to check his facts showed a reckless disregard for the truth,” Matheson wrote in her decision.

Awan was completing his articling and looking for work as a lawyer when the statements were posted online by Levant. Awan was seeking $100,000 in damages.

Levant’s posts centred on Awan’s testimony at a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal case about a complaint regarding an article in Maclean’s magazine from 2006, titled “The future belongs to Islam.”

Awan was a law student when the article was published and was among a group of students who alleged the article was Islamophobic.

The human rights tribunal hearing took place in 2008, before the inception of Sun News Network, so the posts were on Levant’s personal blog.

Some of blog posts are titled “Awan the liar,” “Awan the liar part two” and so forth.

Awan’s lawyer had argued the blog posts included statements labelling Awan as a jihadist, an anti-Semite, a liar, a perjuror and alleging that he acted in a conflict of interest.

He argued that Levant had caused tremendous damage to his client with the posts, which remain online years after they were originally published.

Meanwhile, Levant’s lawyer had said his defence was primarily one of fair comment.

He had said the blog posts were based upon what Levant observed over two days of Awan’s testimony at the human rights tribunal and were comments on a matter of public interest.

But Matheson found that at trial, Levant “repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence.”

“The defendant makes a general assertion that none of the words complained of were defamatory due to the defendant’s reputation,” she wrote. “There is, however, ample evidence before me demonstrating express malice on the part of the defendant.”

Levant also appeared to have little regard for the facts, Matheson found.

“He did little or no fact-checking regarding the posts complained of, either before or after their publication….and with one exception, when he learned that he got his facts wrong, he made no corrections,” she wrote.

The fact that Levant himself is a lawyer ought to have made him aware of the “serious ramifications” of his words on Awan’s reputation, Matheson added.

“Yet, at trial, he repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence,” she wrote.

Levant, meanwhile, wrote on his website that he is reviewing the ruling with his lawyer but plans to appeal “all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

He called the ruling a “shocking case of libel chill” and asked supporters to help him foot the bill for his appeal, which he estimates will cost at least $30,000.

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Levant ordered to pay Saskatchewan lawyer 80K in defamataion suit – CP24

by on Dec.06, 2014, under Uncategorized

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 27, 2014 7:40PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 27, 2014 11:05PM EST

TORONTO — An Ontario judge who heard a defamation lawsuit against Sun News Network host Ezra Levant ruled Thursday that the controversial media personality libelled a Saskatchewan lawyer in a series of blog posts the judge said were “motivated by malice.”

Justice Wendy Matheson ordered Levant to pay $80,000 in damages to Khurrum Awan and remove “defamatory words” about the man from his website within 15 days.

“I find that the defendant’s dominant motive in these blog posts was ill-will, and that his repeated failure to take even basic steps to check his facts showed a reckless disregard for the truth,” Matheson wrote in her decision.

Awan was completing his articling and looking for work as a lawyer when the statements were posted online by Levant. Awan was seeking $100,000 in damages.

Levant’s posts centred on Awan’s testimony at a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal case about a complaint regarding an article in Maclean’s magazine from 2006, titled “The future belongs to Islam.”

Awan was a law student when the article was published and was among a group of students who alleged the article was Islamophobic.

The human rights tribunal hearing took place in 2008, before the inception of Sun News Network, so the posts were on Levant’s personal blog.

Some of blog posts are titled “Awan the liar,” “Awan the liar part two” and so forth.

Awan’s lawyer had argued the blog posts included statements labelling Awan as a jihadist, an anti-Semite, a liar, a perjuror and alleging that he acted in a conflict of interest.

He argued that Levant had caused tremendous damage to his client with the posts, which remain online years after they were originally published.

Meanwhile, Levant’s lawyer had said his defence was primarily one of fair comment.

He had said the blog posts were based upon what Levant observed over two days of Awan’s testimony at the human rights tribunal and were comments on a matter of public interest.

But Matheson found that at trial, Levant “repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence.”

“The defendant makes a general assertion that none of the words complained of were defamatory due to the defendant’s reputation,” she wrote. “There is, however, ample evidence before me demonstrating express malice on the part of the defendant.”

Levant also appeared to have little regard for the facts, Matheson found.

“He did little or no fact-checking regarding the posts complained of, either before or after their publication….and with one exception, when he learned that he got his facts wrong, he made no corrections,” she wrote.

The fact that Levant himself is a lawyer ought to have made him aware of the “serious ramifications” of his words on Awan’s reputation, Matheson added.

“Yet, at trial, he repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence,” she wrote.

Levant, meanwhile, wrote on his website that he is reviewing the ruling with his lawyer but plans to appeal “all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

He called the ruling a “shocking case of libel chill” and asked supporters to help him foot the bill for his appeal, which he estimates will cost at least $30,000.

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Ezra Levant ordered to pay $80,000 to Regina lawyer – Global News

by on Dec.06, 2014, under Uncategorized

TORONTO – An Ontario judge who heard a defamation lawsuit against Sun News Network host Ezra Levant ruled Thursday that the controversial media personality libelled a Saskatchewan lawyer in a series of blog posts the judge said were “motivated by malice.”

Justice Wendy Matheson ordered Levant to pay $80,000 in damages to Khurrum Awan and remove “defamatory words” about the man from his website within 15 days.
Related

Broadcast watchdog calls out Sun TV, Ezra Levant for on-air insult
Ezra Levant brings back Muhammad cartoons during Sun TV launch

“I find that the defendant’s dominant motive in these blog posts was ill-will, and that his repeated failure to take even basic steps to check his facts showed a reckless disregard for the truth,” Matheson wrote in her decision.

Awan was completing his articling and looking for work as a lawyer when the statements were posted online by Levant. Awan was seeking $100,000 in damages.

Levant’s posts centred on Awan’s testimony at a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal case about a complaint regarding an article in Maclean’s magazine from 2006, titled “The future belongs to Islam.”

Awan was a law student when the article was published and was among a group of students who alleged the article was Islamophobic.

The human rights tribunal hearing took place in 2008, before the inception of Sun News Network, so the posts were on Levant’s personal blog.

Some of blog posts are titled “Awan the liar,” “Awan the liar part two” and so forth.

Awan’s lawyer had argued the blog posts included statements labelling Awan as a jihadist, an anti-Semite, a liar, a perjuror and alleging that he acted in a conflict of interest.

He argued that Levant had caused tremendous damage to his client with the posts, which remain online years after they were originally published.

Meanwhile, Levant’s lawyer had said his defence was primarily one of fair comment.

He had said the blog posts were based upon what Levant observed over two days of Awan’s testimony at the human rights tribunal and were comments on a matter of public interest.

But Matheson found that at trial, Levant “repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence.”

“The defendant makes a general assertion that none of the words complained of were defamatory due to the defendant’s reputation,” she wrote. “There is, however, ample evidence before me demonstrating express malice on the part of the defendant.”

Levant also appeared to have little regard for the facts, Matheson found.

“He did little or no fact-checking regarding the posts complained of, either before or after their publication….and with one exception, when he learned that he got his facts wrong, he made no corrections,” she wrote.

The fact that Levant himself is a lawyer ought to have made him aware of the “serious ramifications” of his words on Awan’s reputation, Matheson added.

“Yet, at trial, he repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence,” she wrote.

Levant, meanwhile, wrote on his website that he is reviewing the ruling with his lawyer but plans to appeal “all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

He called the ruling a “shocking case of libel chill” and asked supporters to help him foot the bill for his appeal, which he estimates will cost at least $30,000.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1697442/ezra-levant-ordered-to-pay-80000-in-defamation-suit/

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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Supreme Court Ruling on Omar Khadr is the Right Call – Can the Liberals take advantage?

by on Jan.31, 2010, under Politics

The Supreme Court’s decision that Omar Khadr’s constitutional rights were violated by Canadian officials who interrogated him knowing that he had been tortured, coupled the Court’s decision to “leave it to the government to decide how best to act” in light of its declaration, is the right call. In making this decision, the Court has been mindful of the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, and has struck an appropriate balance between its obligations to protect constitutional rights while not unduly interfering in how the government acts in policy-making areas. However, the Court’s ruling has provided the opposition with an opportunity to continue building an already developed, critical narrative of Stephen Harper’s attitude towards democratic institutions and constitutional norms.

Although advocates for Omar Khadr and various public interest groups that intervened in this case are disappointed that the Court did not ask the Harper Conservatives to request Khadr’s repatriation, the Court unambiguously stated that the conduct of Canadian officials in this case “offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.” Neither did the Court leave the government with a “do-nothing” option in the face of this finding. Rather it warned that “courts are empowered to make orders ensuring that the government’s foreign affairs prerogative is exercised in accordance with the constitution,” and left it up to the Harper government to determine “how best to act” in response to its declaration that a serious rights violation has occurred.

Unfortunately, Stephen Harper’s past statements, as well as the recent ones of his Minister of Justice, indicate that he is about to tell the Supreme Court that the best way to act is to do nothing.  And therein lies an opportunity for the Liberals to strengthen a critical narrative of Stephen Harper, which posits that he simply ignores democratic institutions, constitutional norms, and human rights concerns that step in his way.

This narrative was ignited by Harper himself, when he first shut-down Parliament in order to save his government, and then shut it down for a second time in order to scuttle the work of the committee probing the alleged abuse of Afghan detainees. Further, this is a narrative the Canadians care about, as evidenced by Harper’s recent 10-point slide in public opinion polls. Now, Harper is about to provide Liberals with an opportunity to extend this democracy-based narrative by defying the Supreme Court of Canada and refusing to act in the face of its finding that the actions of Canadian officials violated basic constitutional and human rights. He is set to dig deeper into the do-nothing, ideological trench he has built around the Khadr case. Lets hope that the Liberals are on the ball on this one. The Supreme Court’s balanced ruling, coupled with Harper’s impending defiance of perhaps the most respected institution of our democracy, has given them something to run with.

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Why Barack Obama has failed to deliver Healthcare Reform

by on Jan.29, 2010, under Politics

Much has been written and said about healthcare reform in the U.S. and about Republican, Scott Brown’s, recent victory in Massachusetts – a senate seat held by Democrats for over 50 years.

The loss is clearly a setback in Democrats’ efforts to overcome lobbyists and deliver meaningful reform to millions of Americans without health care. So how did Democrats go from a historic presidential win and from significant majorities in Congress to now being subject to Republican filibusters and impending electoral losses?

The answer lies in the general decency of Barack Obama and the Democrats. Their interest in in bringing Americans together across the political divide, and in uniting a country fractured by 8 years of the Bush administration’s wedge politics, led him to involve Congressional and ordinary Republications in the health care debate.

Unfortunately, the Republicans of today have moved further and further to the right and never had any interest in delivering the kind of healthcare envisoned by Obama. Instead, they have successfully used the opportunity to participate in healthcare reform to frustrate and scuttle it , and to  formulate a narrative which, although based on paranoia and misleading facts, holds sway over many Americans. Also, their filibustering has led many Americans to conclude that even though they voted for change through Obama and the Democrats, it remains politics as usual in Washington.

For this outcome, Obama has to bear some of the blame and could take a tactical page out of George W. Bush’s book. Bush after his second electoral victory declared that he had earned political capital that he fully intended to spend it. For 8 years, Bush and his crew enforced countless policies that, although popular with his Republican base, held little sway among other Americans. It is high time that Obama did the same. Americans gave him and the Democrats overwhelming political and democratic capital that they should have forcefully spent over the protests of Republicans who are more interested in politics than contructively improving the Democrats’ efforts to reform healthcare.

Although the loss in Massachusetts is a blow, there is much time to go before the next Congressional, Senate, and Presidential elections.  Before then, Democrats must start spending the capital they have been given by the American people and deliver healthcare and other reforms. Otherwise, they are on a fast-track to significant Republican gains in the upcoming elections.

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I am finally online and you shall be hearing from me

by on Jan.29, 2010, under Uncategorized

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Colleagues.

Since my days of advocating for minority rights, free speech, and the right to respond of minority communities in Canada, as part of the Maclean’s case, I have been thinking of putting up a website to provide a resource for the favourable media coverage of the case , and to counter the far-right propaganda of the right-wing blogosphere.

So finally, after much delay, I am here. Thanks to all of you who helped and who continue to support me. The world shall be hearing frequently from me, in the weeks and months ahead. It is high time that more liberals and progressives get online to counter the far-right bigotosphere.

On here you shall find some of the media work done by my colleagues and I on the Maclean’s case, media articles from other sources, and links to some of the presentations I have made before Parliamentary committees.

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My interview with Amanda Lang of the Business News Network, re The Maclean’s case

by on Jan.20, 2010, under Media Interviews

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Prof. John Miller (Ryerson School of Journalism) speaks about my role in the Maclean’s case : “Who is the better champion of free speech? Maclean’s or the Muslim law student?”

by on Jan.20, 2010, under Academia

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My interview with Steve Paikin on TVO’s The Agenda, re Maclean’s & Islamophobia

by on Jan.20, 2010, under Media Interviews

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