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13 October 2012

Close the borders to Muslim immigrants: Salim Mansur’s House of Commons testimony

veilorig192-150x150.jpgWhen Salim Mansur, a political scientist at the University of Western Ontario, asked me to provide a promotional blurb for his 2011 book Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism, I was only too happy to oblige. Here’s what I wrote:

In an age of ideological conformity such as ours, it takes courage to speak against the prevailing orthodoxy. This is a courageous book. Professor Mansur exposes how multiculturalism corrodes the values and traditions that sustain Canada as a liberal democratic order. The result is a book to galvanize Canadians against the apostles of extremist progressivism.”

I would like to restate that view. Mansur, a practicing Muslim, is one of the few intellectuals in Canada willing to speak truth to power on this issue even if that truth is unpalatable — and therefore politically incorrect — to the elites hellbent on re-engineering Canadian society in their own ignorantly destructive image.

Indeed, earlier this week, on October 1, Mansur appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and, more or less, warned that unless Canada abandons its current multicultural policies and, accordingly, its immigration policies, we will in the not too distant future “severely undermine our liberal democracy.” In particular, he focused on the need to curtail immigration “from Muslim countries for a period of time given how disruptive the cultural baggage of illiberal values is brought in (to Canada) as a result.”

Not surprisingly, nary a word of Mansur’s testimony made it into the mainstream media, at least as far as I could determine. With a view to correcting that deficiency, let me provide what no one else seems willing to even acknowledge. I shall eschew commentary in order to let Mansur have his full say, although I have Boldfaced those parts of his statement that seem to me most relevant, and most provocative.

Honourable Members,

Many thanks for inviting me to share my thoughts with this Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. I appear before you as a common citizen deeply apprehensive and concerned about the drift of our country as it changes due to the rate of immigration that is without precedent among any of the advanced liberal democracies of the West. My expertise, or to the extent my expertise is recognized by this Committee for which I have been invited to appear before you, is that of a professional academic, a researcher, writer, author and public intellectual of some recognition in this great country of ours, and I am both proud and humbled to come before you as an unhyphenated Canadian.

Let me state right at the outset, before I share with you my perspective on immigration, I support all measures under consideration that modern technology provides for in securing our borders, monitoring those who seek to gain entry into Canada, those who arrive here without proper documentation and claim refugee status, and those in legions outside of Canada who want to come here as immigrants. I believe it is a no-brainer to work towards a more secure Canada, and to implement smart cards, biometric systems, and other tools available now or will be in the future for the purpose of keeping Canada and Canadians secure from those who would do us harm. I have no doubt on this matter that were we to have the thoughts of our founding fathers inform us, and those remarkable leaders who have come after them such as Laurier and King, Pearson and Trudeau, Knowles and Douglas, they would remind us that a constitution agreed upon by a free people to provide for, as John A. Macdonald put it, “peace, order and good government” is not a suicide-pact.

In the small amount of time I have before you I want to stress upon the first principle behind the Immigration policy as it has evolved since the centennial year and presently stand. Needless to remark that Canada is an immigrant country, and our history tells us as we should know it has been immigrants from Europe over the past several centuries that built this country. On the whole they built it well and, indeed, so well that Canada has come to be an eagerly sought country for people from around the world as I did. But, and here is the point, at some stage of Canada’s historical development since at least 1867 those who built Canada in the early years of its history could have reached an agreement to close the door to further immigration. They did not. They believed the strength of their country would be maintained through a judicious policy of accepting new immigrants from Europe. But the key point here I want to emphasize, and I have written about this at length in the public media, is they all believed that immigration judiciously and carefully managed (I emphasize manage) in terms of numbers and source origin of immigrants should be such that the nature of Canada as a liberal democracy is not undermined.

It is numbers and the nature of numbers that matters and, given the nature of things, determines how existing arrangements are secured or undermined. Since the open door immigration policy was instituted around the time of Canada’s centennial year, the nature of immigration into Canada started to change from what had been the pattern since before 1867 to around 1960. During the past fifty years immigration from outside of Europe, from what is generally designated the Third World, has rapidly increased in proportion to those immigrants originating in Europe. Furthermore, given the revolution in transportation with the introduction of wide body trans-continental jetliner that has made mass travel economical and easy the distinction between immigrant and migrant workers has been eliminated. This means, and it is not simply in reference to ethnicity, that Canada is rapidly changing culturally in ways our political elite, media elite and academic elite do not want to discuss. But the fact that this is not discussed, or driven under the carpet, does not mean the public is not keenly aware of how much the country has changed in great measure in a relatively short period, and if this pattern continues for another few decades there is the likelihood that Canada will have changed irrevocably, and not necessarily for the better in terms of its political tradition as a liberal democracy.

So in terms of first principle, we need our governing institutions and those individuals we, as Canadians, send to them to represent us, to boldly re-examine our existing immigration policy and re-think it in terms of what it represents and how it will affect the well-being of Canada in the years to come. I do not need to remind you that any set of policy, however benign or good the intent is behind the making of such policy, is riddled with unintended consequences. History is a paradox. What you intend is not how things turn out in the long run, and not even in the short term. Pick any example you want, and think it through and see for yourself the paradoxical nature of history and how it surprises us by confounding our expectations.

I have at hand the recent publication of Statistics Canada, Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population: 2006 to 2031. In other words, this projection affects me now and what remains of my life, but more importantly affects my children, my students, my friends and neighbours in their life time. Your views, as our representatives, are critical and will affect all of us, and you will be responsible in terms of our history, if you take your place in these hallowed halls with the seriousness it demands, for the good and the bad that come out of your decisions.

Let me quickly, time permitting, point out from this Statistics Canada publication the following:

  1. Given the nature of our immigration policy since the 1960s, the foreign born population is growing about 4 times faster than the rest of the population; consequently, in 2031 there will be between 9.8 million and 12.5 million foreign-born persons compared to 6.5 million in 2006, and the corresponding number in 1981 was 3.8 million.
  2. According to Statistics Canada projection, the population estimated for 2031 will be around 45 million of which 32 per cent, or around 14.5 million people will be foreign-born.
  3. One more interesting, and yet critical, figure is the cultural/religious make up of Canada in 2031. The fastest growth, according to the report, is “the Muslim population… with its numbers tripling during this period. This increase is mainly due to two factors: the composition of immigration… and higher fertility than for other groups.” The figures are for Muslims in 2006 at around 900,000 constituting 2.7 per cent of the population, and rising to in 2031 to around 3.3 million constituting 7.3 per cent of the population.

If the levels of immigration in Canada is being maintained, and defended, on the basis of the needs to deal with the problems of Canadian society in terms of an aging population, fertility rates among Canadian women, skilled labour requirement and maintaining a growth-level for the population consistent with the growth of the economy, then this policy needs to be seriously re-evaluated.

We cannot fix the social problems of the Canadian society by an open immigration policy that adds to the numbers at a rate that puts into question the absorptive capacity of the country not only in economic terms but also, if not more importantly, in cultural and social terms and what this does to our political arrangements as a liberal democracy.

The March 2012 Herbert Grubel and Patrick Grady study for the Fraser Institute on Immigration and Refugee Policy should end once and for all the naivety that immigrants add in the short and medium term to economic gains for the country. Indeed, the cost-benefit analysis the Grubel-Grady study provides, based on government sources and revenue Canada numbers, indicates immigrants are a net cost to the rest of the society. “The fiscal burden imposed by the average recent immigrants,” Grubel and Grady write, “is $6,000, which for all immigrants is a total between $16 billion and $23 billion per year.” This is unfair, unsustainable, and disruptive to the Canadian society when set against the demands of Canadians for their needs, especially in distressing economic times as we have been witnessing since 2008.

The flow of immigration into Canada from around the world, and in particular the flow from Muslim countries, means a pouring in of numbers into a liberal society of people from cultures at best non-liberal. But we know through our studies and observations that the illiberal mix of cultures poses one of the greatest dilemmas and an unprecedented challenge to liberal societies, such as ours, when there is no demand placed on immigrants any longer to assimilate into the founding liberal values of the country to which they have immigrated to and, instead, by a misguided and thoroughly wrong-headed policy of multiculturalism encourage the opposite. It is no wonder that recently the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the British Prime Minister David Cameron, among other European leaders and a growing body of intellectuals, have spoken out in public against multiculturalism and the need to push it back, even repeal it.

I have written a book on the wrong headed policy of multiculturalism published recently under the title Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism. Time forbids me to discuss this matter at any length, but I would surely hope members of this Committee might take the time and read my book even if they disagree with me. Here I want to leave you in your deliberations to reflect upon the following situation of a paradoxical nature:

We may want to continue with a level of immigration into Canada annually that is about the same as it is at present; i.e. somewhere in the vicinity of 300,000 immigrants, refugee claimants, and students and workers under visa provision entering Canada.

We cannot, however, continue with such an in-flow of immigrants under the present arrangement of the official policy of multiculturalism based on the premise all cultures are equal when this is untrue, and that this policy is a severe, perhaps even a lethal, test for a liberal democracy such as ours.

This means we cannot simultaneously continue with both, the existing level of immigration and official multiculturalism, as they together endanger greatly our liberal democratic traditions.

If we persist we will severely undermine our liberal democracy or what remains of it, compromise the foundation of individual freedom by accommodating group rights, and bequeath to our children and unborn generations a political situation fraught with explosive potential for ethnic violence the sort of which we have seen in Europe as in the riots in the ban lieu or suburbs of Paris and other metropolitan centres.

In conclusion, I want to emphasize we need to consider lowering the number of immigrants entering into Canada until we have had a serious debate among Canadians on this matter. We should not allow bureaucratic inertia determining not only the policy, but the existing level of immigrant numbers and source origin that Canada brings in annually. We have the precedent of how we selectively closed immigration from the Soviet bloc countries during the Cold War years, and we need to consider doing the same in terms of immigration from Muslim countries for a period of time given how disruptive the cultural baggage of illiberal values is brought in as a result. We are, in other words, stoking the fuel of much unrest in our country as we have witnessed of late in Europe. And lest any member wants to instruct me that my views are in any way politically incorrect or worse, I would like members to note I come before you as a practicing Muslim who knows out of experience from the inside how volatile, how disruptive, how violent, how misogynistic is the culture of Islam today and has been during my lifetime, and how greatly it threatens our liberal democracy that I cherish since I know what is its opposite.

Thank you.

Mansur’s testimony did not go down well with most of the committee members, who were eager to establish their multikulti bonafides and ensure their respective constituents that they, too, prayed at the altar of diversity. It is worthwhile reading their questions of Mansur, as well as his responses. For the most part, we get duck-and-cover banalities from the politicians, a least in comparison to Mansur’s display of courage. Too bad so few other Canadian intellectuals — particularly non-Muslims — aren’t willing to display equal moral fortitude. But then I guess you don’t get government grants by criticizing government policy.


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