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Kathy Shaidle

Mark Steyn Banned From Speaking after Muslims Complain

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Posted on October 21 2010 6:30 pm
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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There’s something about London, Ontario.

It was the scene of Ann Coulter’s world-famous “Take a camel!” speech earlier this year.

And in 2009, when Ezra Levant, Salim Mansur and I were scheduled to speak there, we were “banned” from one venue, found a bigger one — and sold out all 600 seats. That was after a smear campaign against me run by some powerful Canadian Liberal Party types, and abetted by the local paper, the London Free Press (which recently caved to Muslim pressures and pulled an important story.)

Now those belligerent local Muslims are at it again. They’ve succeeded in getting Mark Steyn banned from a London venue where he was scheduled to speak on November 1.

I’ll let event organizer extraordinare Andrew Lawton relate what happened:

Due to capacity constraints at the University of Western Ontario, the original venue for the event, we had booked the London Convention Centre (LCC,) London’s premiere conference facility. On Tuesday, I received a phone call from the LCC telling us that our venue had been pulled, and that Mark Steyn would not be permitted to speak there. The reason offered by the LCC was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients.

It’s interesting to note that the LCC is owned by the City of London, and is therefore a government operation.

It’s interesting that a government-run business decided that freedom of speech was no longer a concept to be upheld, and even more interesting is the fact that the Muslim community in London is applying pressure to a company to not entertain a speaker when only a day earlier they made a statement to the press saying that they didn’t care about Steyn speaking and wouldn’t do anything to counter it, (except “charity work.”)

Oh, and “not killing him,” as one of them joked. Ha ha. (“One of them” being the same lawyer who faced off with Steyn during his hate speech trial.)

Anyhow, Andrew continues:

The good news is that Steyn’s speech will still be going on as planned. Given the increasing demand, we’ve moved to an even bigger venue, and Mark will be speaking at Centennial Hall. You can find all the details on how to register here.

Some people drove from Montreal and Ann Arbour to hear Ezra Levant, Salim Mansur and I speak in London. The next day, Steyn called it “the biggest political event in London history, outside an election campaign.”

You see, you’d never know it from all these stories, but normal, ordinary people in London are starving to hear some kind of conservative, un-p.c., pro-Western Civilization message. I’ve rarely had as much fun, and left so pumped up, as I do when I speak in that quaint little city.

If you want a real rush, consider traveling up to join us on November 1!

UPDATE:

Mr. Steyn’s publicist said: “Mark is so ‘extreme’ and ‘controversial’ that he has been received at Buckingham Palace, the White House and by Prime Ministers of various parties throughout the Commonwealth and Europe. So he is delighted that London, Ontario has chosen to grant him the signal honour of their distinguished Lack of Freedom of the City award.”

UPDATE: Steyn responds — here.

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