Pastoral Issues


Allah Keep Our Land Glorious and Free?

by Pete Vere


Although my Canadian readership will recognize the above title as a play on our national anthem, I am having second thoughts about moving back to Canada. Not too long ago, Mark Steyn – a fellow Canuck – penned an excellent editorial in The Telegraph. It concerned the Islamification of Europe. As Mr. Steyn wrote, "To those of us watching from afar the ructions over the European constitution - a 1970s solution to a 1940s problem - it seems amazing that no Continental politician is willing to get to grips with the real crisis facing Europe in the 21st century: the lack of Europeans."

As many other commentators within the culture war have noted, the low reproduction rate among native Europeans coupled with increased Muslim immigration are quickly transforming Europe into another Islamic continent. Yet the European secularists refuse to face this problem. Having spent the past thirty years suppressing the consequences of biological coupling, the modern European remains clueless as to the consequences of demographic coupling.

Unfortunately, recent Canadian statistics and demographics demonstrate a similar trend. Thus Mr. Steyn’s observations could easily included our native land. A recent statistic quoted by the Canadian Society of Muslims on its website estimates Canada’s Islamic population at around 650,000. Over the past decade alone, this represents a growth from under one percent of Canada’s total population to well over two percent.

At first two-to-three percent of the population seems statistically negligible. Granted, the Muslim population more than doubled over the past ten years, but it still represents a small minority of Canadians. Yet factor Canada's declining reproduction rate as well as its liberal immigration policy into the equation. As an aside concerning the latter, in the aftermath of its 9-11 coverage, even Canada’s putatively conservative Globe & Mail questioned our government’s liberal immigration policy. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which is Canada’s closest equivalent to the CIA, had reportedly warned Canadian politicians that our loose immigration policy made us an attractive staging ground from which terrorists could easily attack American targets.

But returning to the subject at hand, Canada's Muslim population is much younger than our general population. Additionally, they enjoy a stronger reproduction rate. Has Pierre Trudeau removed the state from the nation's bedroom – likely located somewhere in the Burnaby-Douglas riding – only to see it replaced by the Sharia?

Speaking of which, one of my Envoy Encore readers recently emailed me a story published by Aljazeera. It detailed Muslim efforts to establish an Islamic tribunal in Canada. "Since arbitrators' rulings can be enforced by the courts," we read, "the development has raised eyebrows that Sharia will in effect be endorsed by Canada's secular courts." The story dismisses any negative reaction to this development as "overblown". It then equivocates the proposed Islamic tribunal with various Rabbinical courts already enjoying limited legal recognition under Canadian law.

Setting aside the Sharia's peculiarities for a moment – and like Kathy Shaidle, a fellow Canadian Catholic author, I find myself among the "some of us [who] think stoning rape victims is a bit peculiar" – there are other reasons to remain skeptical about this comparison between Islamic tribunals and Rabbinical courts. Does modern Judaism regularly attack civilian targets among the Gentiles? Does Isreal sponsor terrorist activities on western soil? Islam is alone among the five major world religions in employing forced conversion as a legitimate means of evangelization.

Actually, I take that back. Secularism, which is Canada's new state religion, also imposes forced conversion. Just look at poor Mark Harding. Mr. Harding is a Christian who recently ran afoul of Canada's hate police for drawing attention to certain peculiarities within the Islamic world. As Doug Coup reports in the Christian Times: "[Harding's] offending pamphlets discussed Islamic societies around the world where ‘Muslims are torturing, maiming, starving and killing Christians’ simply because of their faith. Harding argues that Islam ‘is full of hate and violence,’ and that its holy books teach that it ‘will always be at war’ with other religions. ‘Once a state becomes an Islamic state, no other religion is tolerated,’ he says.

"His outspokenness last June landed Harding in trouble with the Muslim community, and he is going to trial next month to face criminal charges on three counts of ‘incitement to hatred.’ Complaints were also lodged with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He was arrested and spent a few days in jail before a hearing last summer."

Canadians political and religious commentators need not find Mr. Harding’s situation surprising. After all, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is the same quasi-judicial body that silenced as hate literature certain biblical passages pertaining to homosexuality. It is not too much of a stretch to silence international headlines as well. And thus I am reminded of Mark Steyn’s response to a similar flap over Johnny Hart’s recent allegedly anti-Islamic cartoon:

"Although I agreed of course that Islamophobic cartooning was the most pressing issue of the week, in my usual shallow way I'd become distracted by some of the day's more trivial stories - the 11 Hindus burnt alive by a Muslim gang in Bangladesh, the 13 Christian churches torched by Muslim rioters in the Nigerian town of Kazaure, and the 27 Turks and Britons murdered by Muslim terrorists in Istanbul. No dead Jews in that particular day's headlines, but otherwise a good haul of Hindus, Christians and, of course, Muslims..."

Like Mr. Steyn, I too cannot help but these headlines distracting. They may be as trivial as the First Amendment that protects my expression of concern over their content from the Canadian Human Rights Commission, but nevertheless I find them distracting.

Of a similar trivial nature is my concern over Canada’s apparent elimination of free speech from our public discourse. Criticism of another culture can be branded "hate speech" unless the critiqued culture is distinctly Christian or American. Yet if civil liberties in the Middle East are an example of what we can expect in Canada’s tolerant and multi-cultural society, the culture of death propagated by our secularists will eventually give way to the Islamosphere’s culture of fear.

Pete Vere
The Catholic Legate
January 22, 2004