Mark Steyn delivered a stinging rebuke of the progressive stance on mass migration of mostly male Muslim refugees into Europe at a recent debate in Toronto.
Steyn faced off April 1 with opponents in the Spring Munk Debates on the issue of refugee resettlement and whether Western countries should welcome thousands of Muslims from the Middle East and Africa.
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The Munk Debates, founded by Peter Munk, allow the audience to pick the winners based on online voting. When the dust had settled, Steyn's team was declared the winner. The scores are based on how many viewers report their positions being changed on the issue from pro to con or vice versa.
When the debate started, 77 percent of viewers reported being in favor of refugee resettlement as put forth by the Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty: "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
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By the end of the debate, only 55 percent agreed with that position and the "cons" moved from 23 percent to 45 percent.
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Steyn, author several books including "America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It," teamed up with U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage to debate former U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour of Canada and Columbia University history professor Simon Schama.
After Steyn described the culture of rape against women being imported by Germany, Sweden, France and Belgium, among other countries, rattling off statistics and anecdotes that included a child as young as 3 being raped in Germany, Schama accused him of being "obsessed with sex."
The audience broke into laughter.
Arbour accused Steyn and Farage of being "new-born feminists" for their focus on sexual assaults against women.
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Steyn delivered a rebuttal that saw Arbour shaking her head like a dazed fighter who'd just been hit with a right hook.
"I'm slightly amazed at our colleague's ability to get big laughs on gang rape," Steyn said. "Madam Arbour scoffs at the newfound feminists over here. I'm not much of a feminist but I draw the line at the 3-year-old getting raped and the 7-year-old getting gang-raped in a basement. And when Simon tells us that 'oh we're all obsessed with sex,' and maybe we don't get enough action in the Toronto singles bars.
"Madam Arbour, as she said, is a feminist of a certain generation, and those feminists were very clear, as Madam Arbour was very clear (with a study of rape) in Sudan, that rape is not about sex, whatever Simon may say. Rape is about power, which is what Madam Arbour says."
Watch video clip of Mark Steyn delivering knock-out blow to Louise Arbour and Simon Schama at Munk Debate in Toronto.
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Watch the entire debate Friday in Toronto.
Steyn provided a random sampling from 10 days of German migrant crimes in January.
"A 16-year-old boy raped inside Wolfsburg City Hall, a 13-year-old girl sexually assault near a railway station in Erlangen, three girls sexually assaulted in a swimming pool in Amsbeck, a 15-year-old girl raped at a railway station in Wuppertal. Attempted rape of a 15-year-old girl in Gelsenkirchen. I could go on and on," he said. "These are all rapes and gang rapes in public places. Trains, streets, parks, and even city hall. And I congratulate you on getting big laughs on that Simon because if I'd known that I'd be doing open-mic night on gang rape at a comedy club. It isn't funny. It isn't funny. And it gets to the heart of the question."
Arbour described a situation of desperate families fleeing war, which Steyn said is not the current reality in Europe.
"Are they really yearning to be free or are they just wanting to avail themselves of the economic rights?" he said. "The people who have entered Europe are not refugees in the traditional definition."
Men represented 61 percent of refugees entering Europe in 2015. In most civil wars this is the demographic that would be back home fighting for their country, Steyn said.
"What does it mean to breathe free?" he continued. "For a woman in Afghanistan it's literally a crime to feel the sunlight on her face.
"So what happens when you put a man from that society into a Western democratic town?"
Steyn described the situation in Sweden where the country's 100-year-old tradition of men and women sharing public bathhouses turning disastrous when invaded by Muslim men.
"Female patrons of public baths are now routinely assaulted. They are forced to segregate in the hot tubs," he said. "So goodbye to a century-old custom."
Swedish authorities responded with pictographs that instruct the migrants not to touch the breasts of women bathers. In Sweden and Germany the authorities warn women not to go out alone at night in certain areas and tell young women to dress modestly.
"Migrant rights trump female rights," said Steyn, who pointed out that Arbour had once documented the rape crisis in Sudan.
"More than 500 in just one night in just one town, Cologne, on New Year Eve were sexually assaulted with victims as young as 3. A 7-year-old girl was gang-raped by migrants just a few days ago, and on Wednesday a girl was gang-raped on the train from Finland to Sweden. But she's not interested in documenting that rape epidemic," Steyn said.
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Of the unaccompanied minors 90 percent are males, he said. That gives Sweden a more distorted gender differential than China after 40 years of its one-child policy during which most Chinese aborted girls. Among Sweden's adolescents it's now 123 males for every girl (China is 119 to 1).
"That's a fact. And I hope tonight we'll put off the sentimentalism and stick with the facts," Steyn said. Madam Arbour said some things I agree with. She said recently 'why are we always talking about the danger that these people will transform us? They may transform us for the better. So she and I agree that Immigration on this scale is transformative. The only difference is that Madam Arbour thinks it's for the better, and I don't. And I'm genuinely curious to know what aspects of Afghan and Syrian and Sudanese culture that she'd like us to be transformed by: women's rights, fast-track justice whereby gays get thrown off rooftops, polygamy, child rights, (female genital mutilation), the bracing commitment to free speech, I'd like an answer on that tonight from Madam Arbour."
Schama, the Columbia university professor of history, argued that the migrants are not part of the culture they are native to but rather trying to flee that culture.
"They are desperately fleeing the Isamofascists that Mark accurately describes," he said. "They're not their friends. They're not their secret co-conspirators. They're horrified. They're trying to get away from that culture."
He characterized the backlash against the migrants as little more than white supremacism, similar to anti-immigration movements that found traction in the U.S. and Britain between 1880 and 1890
"They were described as the unwashed, those who don't share our values," Schama said, citing a book popular around the turn of the 20th century, "The Suicide of the White Race."
"The populist Tom Watson described the millions of distressed as the scum of creation. Nonetheless the U.S. admitted 5 million of those refugees between 1880 and 1890 from Eastern Europe and Central Europe," which he said included many anarchists and communists.
Now another refugee crisis has enveloped the world and the West must do what it can to alleviate the crisis, Schama said.
"The issue is, are they all kind of the ravening sexual monsters of Mark Steyn's X-rated horror," he said
Schama then echoed President Obama's contention that violent jihadists are not true Muslims but rather work to "pervert" the faith.
"You know they're not all Salafists. And not all Salafist are jihadists, either," he said. "Do Salafist jihadists pose a mortal threat? You bet your life they do. There is a real war of that kind going on. But what do we do to actually resist the poison of apocalyptic millenarians? The answer is not to demonize all Muslims but actually to engage with them. Who are we engaging with? After the attack on Brussels, 150 imams got up and made a statement on their abhorrence of the act. There are even Quranic scholars such as Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, who is absolutely dedicated to denouncing jihadism as a perversion of the Quran. It can't possibly be true that you can't have a pluralist Muslim adoption of Western norms. In Britain we've lived with that for years and years before jihadism became the monstrosity that it is now."
Nigel Farage said the debate must start with a question: What is a refugee?
According to the 1951 Convention, it's a person with a "well-founded fear pf persecution" because of their religion, their race, or political opinions who are outside their own country and fear returning to it.
And there are no persons more fitting of that status then the Christians of Syria and Iraq, yet so few of them get admitted as refugees into the U.S. or Europe. From Syria, especially, the refugees coming to the West have been 97 percent Sunni Muslims.
"It sells wonderful: 'Give us your poor you’re your huddled masses' and in doing so it can perhaps make us feel a sense of our own moral superiority. But just look where that idea has gotten the E.U. over the past year," Farage said.
He then took to task the E.U., which has embraced the recently expanded definition of "refugee" put forth by the United Nations and its so-called 2030 Agenda.
"Jean-Claude Juncker, the unelected president of the European Commission, has changed the definition of what a refugee is, to include people who come from war-torn areas, and given that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says there are currently 59 million people displaced in the world, that's quite a big number but Juncker has taken it even broader, to include people who come from extreme poverty, and that would mean perhaps 3 billion people could possibly come to Europe," Farage said.
"All of this was massively compounded by Chancellor Merkel, who effectively did say 'give us your weak and your poor and your huddled masses,' in what I think has proved to be the worst foreign-policy decision in Europe since 1945, because her moral superiority was in my view based on a level of war guilt that still exists in Germany," he added. "But she opened up the doors and a million came in last year. But virtually none of them would qualify as refugees in any classical definition. And, in fact, most of them that came were somewhat aggressive young males, who when they arrived and got through the border punched the air, and chanted (Allahu Akbar), rather like football supporters."
That contrasts to earlier immigrants to the U.S. and Britain, he said.
"I remember as a young man, watching the BBC, and seeing Ugandan Asians, landing on the tarmac at Heathrow, humble, thankful and promising that they would repay the debt Britain had shown them and they would repay the debt by integrating and becoming part of our society.
"We're not saying all Muslims are bad. But what we are saying, is that if you allow a very large number of young males to come to European countries, and if they come from a culture, where women are at best second-class citizens, don't be surprised to see the abominations such as we saw outside the Cologne train station on New Year's Eve, and don't be surprised that the formerly rather sleepy town of Malmo (Sweden) has now become the rape capital of Europe."
Farage said he suggests that Europe take seriously the words of ISIS operatives who have said they plan to use the refugee system to infiltrate the West and could already have more than 4,000 trained fighters in Europe.
"Never before in any migration wave have we had a fifth column living within our communities, that hates us, and wants to kill us and wants to overturn our complete way of life," he said". I believe we in the West should give people refugee status, but not one person in a serious level of politics has dared to speak up for the Christian, for the Christians of Syrian and Iraq, who are only 10 percent of what they were only a few years ago….they qualify for refugee status because they've been persecuted for who they are. I want us to welcome genuine refugees not the disaster that is engulfing much of Europe today."
Arbour said her definition of a "refugee," based on the current state of armed conflict, should include "virtually every civilian who is not a combatant unless he is a war criminal."
Schama said, "There's nothing to be ashamed of about having an emotional response to the suffering of 4 million Syrian refugees."
Farage said that emotion glosses over the facts of rapes and assaults sweeping many European countries.
"We'd all rather pretend it isn't happening, but it is happening. Simon, you're in denial," Farage said. "I'll tell you what's sad... We've lived through 100 years of female liberation and emancipation, and now we have the mayors of towns in Germany, and Sweden and other part of northern Europe telling women not to walk out after dark on their own, and in the wake of the Cologne sex attacks the mayor of Cologne said to those women, they really ought to dress differently, and behave differently in public. That, Simon, is what is sad, and actually I find the sheer hypocrisy of those of you who have stood up and said you were going to defend female rights, when actually, you think migrant rights are more important than female rights in our own community. Shame on you!"