That's the argument Haroon Siddiqui makes in defending the labelling of dissent in Canada as hate speech.
Other commentators have invoked the free-speech argument, in its various formulations – free speech is so precious that even hate speech should not be censored. Or hate speech may be curbed but only through the Criminal Code. Or hate speech is best dealt with under human rights statutes, which should be tightened to allow only "vexatious" cases, not "frivolous" ones.
But freedom of speech is not absolute. "Except for the U.S., virtually every Western democracy has laws against hate," notes Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress. "Our anti-hate laws are probably the most underused."
Let's call this sort of argument what it is: suppression of speech. For people like Siddiqui, anyone who points out that jihadis are invariably Muslim and that Muslim extremism is problematic for civilization is xenophobic or Nazis. What Mark Steyn wrote is so offensive to the Siddiquis of the world that questioning policies which encourage declining Western populations and do nothing to prevent other cultures from overwhelming ours is hate speech.
Notice that Steyn's piece is not that all Muslims have a drive for jihad. He doesn't say that all or even most Muslims want to saw off the heads of Westerners. What he does say is that those cultures which encourage large families will end up overwhelming those cultures (mainly Europe, atm) which do not.
This is probably the part of the column which bothered Siddiqui the most:
On the Continent and elsewhere in the West, native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic. Time for the obligatory "of courses": of course, not all Muslims are terrorists -- though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists -- though enough of them share their basic objectives(the wish to live under Islamic law in Europe and North America)to function wittingly or otherwise as the "good cop" end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine. But, at the very minimum, this fast-moving demographic transformation provides a huge comfort zone for the jihad to move around in. And in a more profound way it rationalizes what would otherwise be the nuttiness of the terrorists' demands. An IRA man blows up a pub in defiance of democratic reality -- because he knows that at the ballot box the Ulster Loyalists win the elections and the Irish Republicans lose. When a European jihadist blows something up, that's not in defiance of democratic reality but merely a portent of democratic reality to come. He's jumping the gun, but in every respect things are moving his way.
You may vaguely remember seeing some flaming cars on the evening news toward the end of 2005. Something going on in France, apparently. Something to do with -- what's the word? -- "youths." When I pointed out the media's strange reluctance to use the M-word vis-à-vis the rioting "youths," I received a ton of emails arguing there's no Islamist component, they're not the madrasa crowd, they may be Muslim but they're secular and Westernized and into drugs and rap and meaningless sex with no emotional commitment, and rioting and looting and torching and trashing, just like any normal healthy Western teenagers. These guys have economic concerns, it's the lack of jobs, it's conditions peculiar to France, etc. As one correspondent wrote, "You right-wing shit-for-brains think everything's about jihad."
Actually, I don't think everything's about jihad. But I do think, as I said, that a good 90 per cent of everything's about demography. Take that media characterization of those French rioters: "youths." What's the salient point about youths? They're youthful. Very few octogenarians want to go torching Renaults every night. It's not easy lobbing a Molotov cocktail into a police station and then hobbling back with your walker across the street before the searing heat of the explosion melts your hip replacement. Civil disobedience is a young man's game.
If Siddiqui disagreed with Steyn's position, he had options for expressing himself. Trying to silence opposing viewpoints is the most anti-democratic of them, but most attractive to jackbooted thugs.