Canada persecutes Mark Steyn for writing that Islam is a threat to the West. The New York Times, having ignored that drama for months, takes the opportunity to dilate tendentiously on the uniqueness of American tolerance for Free Speech, implicitly comparing Steyn to Nazis, and naturally burying his response in the last two paragraphs of a long article. The few European politicians and thinkers with the guts to stand up to creeping Islamization, find themselves betrayed and denounced in America, and likewise compared to Nazis and fascists, by prominent bloggers. Readers will recall the pitifully tepid response from the West to the beleaguered Danes during the Cartoon Jihad.
And now we have this, as reported by Josh Trevino: In Kuala Lumpar, at the Third International Conference on the Muslim World, three prominent Muslim leaders called on the West to renounce Free Speech in order to accommodate Islamic sensibilities; and the three Westerns who spoke uttered not a word of protest.
Now Conservatives have long had an ambiguous relationship with Free Speech; it has usually been Liberals who thrill to the invocation of Voltaire’s famous dictum, or nod sagely at Supreme Court opinions protecting the vilest pornography. But this pattern is eroding rapidly, under various pressures, not the least of which is, indeed, this amalgam of militancy and victimology from so many Muslim spokesmen. Liberals, in the face of these pressures, are prepared to jettison the principle of Free Speech. The Canadian human rights tribunal, before the bar of which Mr. Steyn must make his case that warning of the threats to the West from Islam is not hate speech, has never returned an acquittal. Any court in the world, dealing with actual criminals, which boasted such a conviction rate, would undoubtedly draw the ire of civil liberties Liberals from ‘round the world. This one, since it merely silences disfavored opinion, is uninteresting to them. A man could earn more sympathy from them by taking up arms against America, and being imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Indeed, such a man can now, thanks to the despots of our Supreme Court, expect more robust due process rights than a critic of Islam in Canada.
It is a pitiful spectacle to watch Liberals abandon one of their cherished principles under threat from the Jihad. The hectoring of its agitators is often so transparent as to be almost comical. And yet the Liberals (and not a few Conservatives) roll over, suddenly deferential to an alien system, from which has emerged some of the cruelest and most treacherous enemies our country has ever faced.
How often has it been left to Conservatives to preserve what is good in the Liberal tradition?