Tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether they’ll hear my appeal in the case of Awan v. Levant.
As you know, Khurrum Awan was the youth president of an anti-Semitic group called the Canadian Islamic Congress, a group that lobbied for the legalization of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
I called Awan an “anti-Semite”, and he sued. But the court said that was defamatory, because it was expressed as a fact instead of an opinion. And because I had “malice” towards Mohamed Elmasry, the CIC’s national leader, who had gone on national TV to say it was legitimate for terrorists to murder any adult Israeli.
Well, the court ordered me to pay Awan $80,000 plus his legal costs.
Naturally I appealed. Imagine being a student on a university campus, and it’s Israel Apartheid week, and getting into an argument with someone from an extremist Muslim student group who supports legalizing terrorist groups.
If you called that Muslim activist an anti-Semite, but didn’t clarify that it was your opinion and not a scientific fact, that Muslim activist could take you to court.
It’s obviously a shocking case of libel chill.
Well, the Ontario Court of Appeal disagreed — their ruling overturned the trial judge on one point, but not enough to change the outcome. So earlier this year I appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Supreme Court doesn’t take every case that is sent to it. Frankly, my odds are slim. But I still decided to request a hearing.
Here's my lawyer’s 29-page argument.
Tomorrow, the court will announce their decision. And either we fight one more battle, or my nine-year war ends here.
Please read my final court argument. Some of it is technical legal jargon and some of it relates to other issues. But to me, this comes down to freedom of speech as a peaceful way to fight against Muslim extremism and anti-Semitism.
Wish me luck tomorrow, that we will have a chance to fight another day.
But if not — if the Supreme Court refuses my leave to appeal — please know that you have my deepest thanks for having supported me for so many years.
P.S. If I lose tomorrow, I will have to pay Awan $80,000 plus legal fees. If that is the case, I will pay it from my own savings — I will not ask anyone else to cover that punishment. But if you support my lawyer’s written argument, please consider chipping in to help pay for his fee to draft it. You can do that by clicking here. Thank you.
P.P.S. If you prefer to contribute by cheque, please make it payable to “Linden & Associates in Trust” and put “Ezra Levant Defence Fund” in the memo, and mail it to:
Linden & Associates
200 Bay Street,
North Tower, Suite 2010