Saturday, December 08, 2007

Silencing The Voices

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Being sidelined has its benefits. I've had a lot of time to think.

What follows is another of my long reads and delineates more of the trend of whining Muslims as they continue to attempt even more erosion of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. At present, the information in this posting may not be directly affecting you. In my view, however, the curbing of speech and press WILL directly touch you.

Mark Steyn, author of America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, and a Canadian magazine have caught the attention of the Canadian Islamic Congress, Canada's largest non-profit Islamic organization, which is now seeking to silence Maclean's Magazine for publishing an excerpt from Steyn's book. The opening portion of Maclean's Magazine's introduction to the excerpt from Steyn's book:

The Muslim world has youth, numbers and global ambitions. The West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it....
The following is the work of Mark Steyn and a short portion of the book excerpt entitled "The Future Belongs to Islam," published by Maclean's Magazine on October 20, 2006:

Sept. 11, 2001, was not "the day everything changed," but the day that revealed how much had already changed. On Sept. 10, how many journalists had the Council of American-Islamic Relations or the Canadian Islamic Congress or the Muslim Council of Britain in their Rolodexes? If you'd said that whether something does or does not cause offence to Muslims would be the early 21st century's principal political dynamic in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, most folks would have thought you were crazy. Yet on that Tuesday morning the top of the iceberg bobbed up and toppled the Twin Towers.

This is about the seven-eighths below the surface -- the larger forces at play in the developed world that have left Europe too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia and that call into question the future of much of the rest of the world. The key factors are: demographic decline; the unsustainability of the social democratic state; and civilizational exhaustion.

Let's start with demography, because everything does....

Europe, like Japan, has catastrophic birth rates and a swollen pampered elderly class determined to live in defiance of economic reality. But the difference is that on the Continent the successor population is already in place and the only question is how bloody the transfer of real estate will be.

If America's "allies" failed to grasp the significance of 9/11, it's because Europe's home-grown terrorism problems had all taken place among notably static populations....

On the Continent and elsewhere in the West, native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic. Time for the obligatory "of courses": of course, not all Muslims are terrorists -- though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists -- though enough of them share their basic objectives (the wish to live under Islamic law in Europe and North America) to function wittingly or otherwise as the "good cop" end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine. But, at the very minimum, this fast-moving demographic transformation provides a huge comfort zone for the jihad to move around in....
Read the entire article.

Where is Mark Steyn incorrect? And even if he is mistaken, why should not his voice be heard? Wouldn't reasonable rebuttal be preferable to silencing the voice?

The CIC's objections are being filed a full year after the excerpt from Mark Steyn's America Alone appeared in Maclean's Magazine. Why now? What has emboldended the CIC? The pulping of Alms for Jihad by Cambridge University Press? Back in August 2007, I referred to that pulping as "Twenty-First Century Book-Burning," compared it to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and stated as an introduction to that posting:

What you're going to read here affects you and your posterity.
But even I, doomsayer that I am, did not expect the attempted muzzling of a North American periodical to be pushed for so quickly on this side of The Pond when a magazine published a book excerpt.

Maclean's Magazine details the Canadian Islamic Congress's attack on freedom of the press [Hat-tip to Little Green Footballs]:

...Complaints were submitted to Human Rights Commissions in B.C. and Ontario on the grounds that "the article subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt," according to a CIC press release. In the release, the CIC labels Steyn's article as "flagrantly Islamophobic."

Faisal Joseph is the CIC's legal counsel on the matter. "In Canada, we have 750,000 law-abiding Muslims," he says. "When you read that article, it sounds to some people [like] there’s an attack from the 'Muslim' world against the 'non-Muslim' world. We take real issue with that type of characterization and the implications of it."

In response, a Maclean's spokesperson provided the following statement: "Mark Steyn is a thoughtful and experienced journalist, and the piece was a commentary on important global political issues. It was not in any sense Islamophobic, and "Maclean’s" is confident that the Human Rights Commissions will find no merit in the complaints."

At this time, the B.C. Commission has accepted the complaint, Joseph said. He will argue the matter at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearings from June 2 to 6.
As Stanley Kurtz points out in National Review Online: [Hat-tip to The DU d'RAT Review]:

...This is a big deal. The blogosphere has so far largely missed it, but this attack on Mark Steyn is very much our business. There may be an impulse to dismiss this assault on Steyn, on the assumption that it will fail, that Steyn is a big boy and can take care of himself, and that in any case this is crazy Canada, where political correctness rules, rather than the land of the free. That would be a mistake. The Canadian Islamic Congress’s war on Mark Steyn and Maclean’s is an attack on all of us....


The tiff over the excerpt from "America Alone" is only the tip of the iceberg....


American’s need to recognize the pattern here, and we also need to realize that it has already invaded the United States. American readers depend on international outlets. We often read our Steyn in Canadian publications. So an attack on Steyn in Canada is an attack on America. And recall the ongoing battle over "libel tourism," which resulted in attempts to use British law to pull "Alms for Jihad" from American library shelves. (Here’s the latest update on the libel tourism battle [Please also see this about Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, whom WC and I interviewed on "The Gathering Storm Radio Show" on November 23, 2007], and how the efforts of Saudi magnate bin Mahfouz threatens free speech, even in America.) And take a look at this list of Muslim libel cases in America. (Be sure to read the end of that account for an understanding of how enervating and intimidating these cases can be–especially for targets less well-placed than Steyn or Maclean’s.)


Connect the dots and you will see that the attack on Mark Steyn in Canada is part and parcel of a world-wide assault on free speech that has already reached well into America. This is our battle. It is essential that there be widespread public condemnation of the attack on Mark Steyn. Not only does this "human rights" complaint have to fail, it has to fail miserably and with embarrassment. Otherwise, whatever the formal result, the chilling effect will be one more victory for the forces trying to destroy our rights.
Read the entire article.

Interesting enough, in that August 2007 posting of mine, I cited this August 5, 2007 commentary by Mark Steyn, who commented on the pulping of Alms for Jihad and wrote the following toward the end of his essay:

We've gotten used to one-way multiculturalism: The world accepts that you can't open an Episcopal or Congregational church in Jeddah or Riyadh, but every week the Saudis can open radical mosques and madrassahs and pro-Saudi think-tanks in London and Toronto and Dearborn, Mich., and Falls Church, Va. And their global reach extends a little further day by day, inch by inch, in the lengthening shadows, as the lights go out one by one around the world.
As I see it, this recent action on the part of the Canadian Islamic Congress is another attempt to snuff out those lights.

The threat of silencing the voices which are sounding the alarm about the Islamic threat, both overt and covert, should alert the West as to the extent of the Islamic threat. But "should" doesn't mean that the necessary understanding exists or will be acted upon in a manner so as to stop the West's further slide into dhimmitude, cultural suicide, and the continued erosion of important freedoms.

The West, if it is to maintain freedoms long held dear, must refuse to continue down the path of catering to Muslim sensitivities at turn after turn. We must say with conviction, "This far and no further." And the West also must say with determination, "Grow up! Deal with the West's tradition of openness and outspokenness, even if you FEEL offended."

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/08/2007 01:08:00 PM