A debate seems to be raging in Canada over Muslim attempts to use anti-discrimination legislation against critics of Islam.

Link to BBC Article

Though the legislation was put in place no doubt with the best intentions, the way the case is handled will decide whether free speech, as well as social and political freedoms, continue in Canada.

All I can say is that words are inherently discriminatory, thought is inherently discriminatory - and that can't and shouldn't be targeted by any anti-discrimination legislation.

The original article by Mark Steyn did not advocate discrimination against Muslims, rather it was a call for the West to put its own house in order. In fact, if I was a proper Muslim (rather than one only in a spiritual sense), I would be quite pleased to be told that "the future belongs to Islam" and that, for example, Europe is "too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia".

If someone puts forward a logical argument, even if Steyn's is a rather long, colourful and rambling argument, it can hardly be considered discrimination.

If it is argued that what is discriminatory is not the original article but the Editor's restriction of a right to reply (which would be a fair point), the claim does not stand up to scrutiny, as the Editor claims to have published 27 letters against the point of view taken in the article (I haven't checked that, though I did read the original article in the popular Canadian magazine, Macleans).

So this seems to be a case of a standard tactic used by Islamists - use any excuse to browbeat anyone who makes any case, however logical and reasoned, against any aspect of Islam or any Muslim practice, however abhorrent. Just as well that the vast majority of Muslims are not Islamists.

Mark Steyn's original article used demographics to suggest that the West would succumb to Islamist domination because of the youthfulness of the Muslim world combined with the intensity of their will to impose Islam on the world. He summarised the global advantage of Islamists with the equations:

The West: Age + Welfare = Disaster for you

The Muslim World: Youth + Will = Disaster for whoever gets in your way.

Steyn's view of the importance of demography is, as far as I can see, only very partially correct. His view of the weakness of the West versus the youth and strength of Islam is also only partially correct. As a student in the 1960s, I remember similar arguments for the inevitable triumph of Marxism.

However, those Muslims who are taking the case to government Commissions and similar bodies are simply demonstrating Steyn's point about "disaster for whoever gets in your way".

Western civilisation will certainly not survive without free speech. And that is what Islamists are targeting, whether in newspapers, radio, TV, internet, or even companies, schools and universities.

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Prabhu Guptara