Canadian opinion columnist Mark Steyn

Americans don’t think very often about Canada, and for good reason. In global terms, it is irrelevant, a nation so insignificant that it exported its national sport from cities like Winnipeg and Quebec to hockey hotbeds such as Phoenix, Ariz. While we’re appreciative of the maple syrup and the occasional celebrity it contributes – speaking of which, Canadians can take Pamela Anderson back if they like, as we appear to be done with her – Canada’s latest contribution to Western culture is even less desirable than the little coven of Canadian neocons that have invaded the conservative American commentariat.

Mark Steyn is an overexposed, overrated, Canadian opinion columnist much favored by the strong government element of the right-wing blogosphere. This doesn’t mean he’s not a talented, intelligent, accomplished and amusing writer; he actually is, but he’s also not the distillation of P.J. O’Rourke, Ann Coulter and P.G. Wodehouse that the many gushing tributes to him written during the past few years might otherwise lead one to believe. Steyn is a prototypical war cheerleader, with all of the typical war cheerleader’s ignorance of both military history and military strategy, and a conventional pundit with the conventional pundit’s inability to either correctly forecast political events or admit obvious past errors.

But one of the areas where Steyn is good, very good indeed, is on the subject of the demographic challenge posed by the impact of immigration throughout the West. Only Pat Buchanan has been more prescient than Steyn, and with the exception of Buchanan and Michelle Malkin, few writers have been more boldly outspoken about the increasingly dire situation in which the West finds itself due to its stupid and suicidal flirtation with multiculturalism. Because of Steyn’s personal background and professional connections to the United Kingdom, he is more aware than most of the impact of Muslim immigration and the various challenges to Western societies posed by it.

On Oct. 20, 2006, the Canadian magazine Maclean’s published an article by Steyn entitled “Why the Future Belongs to Islam,” which explained how the religio-demographic equation of youth plus will make the Islamic domination of an aging Europe not only possible, but probable. He concluded, quite logically: “If you’re not shy about taking on the Israelis and Russians, why wouldn’t you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Spaniards?”

The Canadian Islamic Congress took exception to this prediction of Islam’s ultimate victory, presumably because it takes the form of a Cassandra-style warning rather than a properly submissive celebration. They complained that Steyn and the magazine are “attempting to import a racist discourse and language into mainstream discourse in Canadian society.” It would seem that the inherent irony of immigrants complaining about an unwanted importation into Canadian society escapes the Congress, along with the concept of freedom of speech and the important distinction between “race” and “religious affiliation.”

All of this would be nothing more than one small organization complaining about a political critic, were it not for the fact that the Canadian Jewish Congress began lobbying to make hate speech a crime in 1953. The Jewish Congress finally succeeded in 1970, establishing a law which has been upheld in several constitutional challenges before the Supreme Court of Canada. There is no Canadian First Amendment; there are, however, three separate Canadian human rights tribunals before whom the Canadian Islamic Congress has lodged official complaints. The first tribunal, the provincial one in British Columbia, is scheduled to begin hearings in June. And so the Law of Unintended but Totally Predictable Consequences strikes once more.

Given the vagaries of what passes for Canadian law, there is little that anyone not sitting on a Canadian human rights tribunal can do about this outrageous persecution of Mark Steyn for his supposed thought-crimes against Islam. Those interested in supporting Steyn and the cause of free speech in Canada may wish to consider visiting Free Mark Steyn or the home page of the beleaguered “one-man global content provider” himself. All men who value freedom and human liberty must wish Steyn the very best of fortune in his battle; if the Canadian free-speech fascists are successful in silencing him, he will not be their final victim.

Steyn may be correct about the long-term effect of Islam in the West. He may be wrong. But the question is irrelevant because in a free society, one has the fundamental right to be wrong. I do not defend Mark Steyn because I agree with him (often I do not), but because a dangerous injustice is being committed against him.

Americans must realize that this insidious form of intellectual totalitarianism is not accidental, it is the inevitable result of the multicultural ideology, which nothing more than a sophisticated form of the old strategic principle of divide and conquer. Hate speech is free speech; to eliminate hate you must also eliminate freedom.

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