In the Post's Issues & Ideas section today (free for the moment due to a publishing glitch), writer Bradley Miller suggests ethnic minorities are doing themselves harm by lining up beside 'fringe Christians' at rallies against same-sex marriage.
Miller suggests that by standing up for what they believe in, immigrants run the risk of 'stigmatizing (their) leaders as intolerant.'
The entire column is filled with invective for those immigrants who would go public with their beliefs:
These minority communities are making a strategic mistake. By opposing gay rights, they are betraying the very ideals that won them a place in Canadian culture. They are also encouraging an anti-immigrant backlash among those who already fear that immigrants are a threat to tolerant Canadian values.
And apparently, average Canadians are bound to start quaking in their boots about immigrants (not radical-leftists) co-opting the culture.
Trends in other proudly multicultural countries are instructive. Across liberal Western Europe in recent years, political parties have fought and won elections on anti-immigrant platforms. In Belgium, Switzerland, Scandinavia and elsewhere, politicians have capitalized on fears of swarming hordes of visible minorities co-opting the culture. Likewise, the recent defeat of the EU constitution in France was, in large part, an expression of fear at the idea of Muslim Turkey joining up and sending its workers west.
To Miller, apparently pluralistic and leftist are synonyms:
Even in the Netherlands, Europe’s most proudly tolerant state, the gleam has gone off multiculturalism. In the 1990s, after 30 years of heavy immigration from the Muslim world, the Dutch began to realize that many newcomers — North Africans in particular — hadn’t integrated into Dutch society and accepted its pluralist outlook.
And this is the most shocking portion:
Since his assassination days before a general election in May, 2002, (Pym) Fortuyn’s influence has dominated the political mainstream. Holland’s government has approved tough measures against immigrants and asylum seekers, and even held a commission to inquire into the activities of the country’s Muslim population. At the funeral of provocative filmmaker Theo van Gogh — murdered in the street by a Muslim fundamentalist last November — one government minister told the 10,000 mourners that Dutch tolerance “stops here and will go no further.”
This is the new face of the anti-immigrant movement. Rather than cast immigrants as libertines and layabouts who would threaten the traditional, Christian social order — as generations of bigots have done — the new nativists see immigrants as a threat to liberal values such as tolerance and secularism. As that idea spreads, it will find a natural home in Canada. Polls here have always shown that although Canadians don’t have many hang-ups about skin colour or religious affiliation, we want our immigrants integrated.
By bringing up the European public's reaction to two high-profile murders by radical Muslims, Miller is effectively equating those murders with peaceful protests by Canadian ethnic minorities, and suggesting that Canadian reaction will be to close the borders if immigrants don't close their mouths.
Irwin Cotler admitted yesterday that there really can't be guarantees of religious freedom under this same-sex marriage law. I think what we're being told is that if we just shut up, and change our beliefs to coincide with the 'correct' point of view, everything will be okay.