Free Speech Is Great, But . . .

By Mark Krikorian on February 11, 2009
Free Speech Is Great, But . . .
The open-borders lobby's attempts to silence its critics.

by Mark Krikorian
National Review Online, February 11, 2009

Across the West we see efforts to restrict free expression of political ideas related to immigration. We’re familiar with what’s been happening in Europe: not only the Muhammad-cartoon riots in Denmark, but more recently a court in Holland applying Saudi blasphemy rules to a local politician. There was also a U.N. resolution passed in December prohibiting defamation of Islam with the goal of making such defamation a crime under international law.

Accusations of "Islamophobia" have been used as a cudgel to shut down debate even in Canada, where Islamic groups have used the law to try to silence National Review's Mark Steyn and others.

We are seeing a similar dynamic here. Obviously, the challenge that immigration-driven multiculturalism poses to free speech here is the decaf, low-calorie version of what Europe and Canada face. The cultural distance between our society and the bulk of our immigrants is much smaller than in Europe, and we have a much stronger sense of ourselves, which has resulted in more success in getting newcomers to assimilate.

But decaf or not, the challenge of multiculturalism is real.

The most recent salvo on this side of the ocean is a report released last week by the Southern Poverty Law Center tarring the three leading groups working to limit immigration — including my own Center for Immigration Studies — as part of a racist conspiracy, supposedly orchestrated by a retired eye doctor in Michigan named John Tanton. The fact that they went after mainstream groups rather than fringe ones shows that the goal is not elevating the tone of public discourse but shutting it down altogether. Perhaps a more honest title for the report would have been "The Protocols of the Elders of Restrictionism."

read the rest of this article at National Review Online.