Brian Lilley writes:
Now before I explain why all of this prosecution of thoughts and writing in Canada matters to the rest of the world, let us consider the implications. Over the past number of years, many critics of the decision of President Bush to go to war in Iraq have asked why Saudi Arabia was not targeted. Saudi Arabia, after all, was home to 17 of the 19 hijackers that perpetrated September 11th. To make such an argument in Canada could be considered hate speech. Writing that 17 of the 19 September 11th hijackers were Saudis could see you hauled before a human rights tribunal and the fact that what you wrote is true would not matter.
Again, it might be hard to see how this impacts America, but then again the Romans had trouble seeing how the sacking of their outposts might one day lead to the Eternal City being overrun by Visigoths. (…)
Many writers when looking for a quote to defend free speech turn to Voltaire, I’ll offer you a little JFK. “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” Canada and Britain are now obviously nations afraid to let their people judge truth and falsehood. Could America be next?
Speaking with Mark Steyn at an event in Ottawa, I explained my sacking of Rome theory; that these small battles against free speech in nations such as Britain and Canada were like the battles that led up to the sacking of Rome. Those battles weakened the Empire and eventually led to the fall of Rome itself. Steyn agreed. America, he says, is foolish to think that it can and will prevail as the one outpost of free speech if all the other Western nations fall. Already campus speech codes, hate speech laws, historic revisionism and multiculturalism have left Americans unsure of what is acceptable to say, think or write. If the trends in Canada and Britain continue, people in America may soon be asking if what they want to say, think or write is legal.