THOSE of us who regularly call for a sensible debate on immigration in this country are usually branded racists. Last year, Fintan O'Toole accused me of racism on national television. And last Tuesday, members of Residents against Racism heckled Michael McDowell even as he launched the multicultural magazine, Metro Eireann.
But neither Michael McDowell nor I is racist. We believe that the net gain to Ireland from immigration far outweighs the cost. That is why the Minister for Justice recently pledged ?5m for "integration measures".
And it is also why McDowell and Mary Harney have come out against Pat Rabbitte and Ned O'Keeffe on the issue of work permits for EU immigrants. Rabbitte and O'Keeffe think they have touched a chord with the electorate by supplying "anecdotal" evidence of Irish workers losing jobs to their Polish counterparts. Recent polls suggest they might be right. But I believe the majority of Irish people do not feel threatened by those coming from Eastern Europe.
And that is because it is generally understood that Polish workers benefit our economy and have perfectly integrated into this society. Having survived Hitler's camps and Stalin's gulags, they emerged from slavery to become model Europeans. That means they are fully committed to the rule of law and present no threat to this State.
As the Tanaiste wrote in Wednesday's Irish Times, "It was morally right to allow people formerly oppressed under communism the same chance we had for free, economic and social development in the EU. We saw our future and their future as bound up together."
Mary Harney recognises that we have nothing to fear from Polish workers. Like Michael McDowell, she knows that of all immigrants in Ireland, the Poles have adapted most successfully. She also recognises that it is shameful for Irish politicians who championed their Soviet oppressors in the Seventies and Eighties to now suggest that we consider denying them access to a new life of liberty.
But there is another reason why I think Pat Rabbitte's intervention in the immigration debate was misguided. By putting the spotlight on EU immigrants who pose no economic or political threat to us, he took the focus off those whose sole aim is to undermine this society. These are the people who have no intention of properly integrating, who contribute nothing toour economy and whose objective is to subvert Irishdemocracy.
I am referring to the only immigrants that we have anything really to worry about. These are Islamic zealots who instil terror within the moderate Muslim community, refuse to let their women work, hide behind multicultural sentiment and EU human rights legislation, and are subsidised by the State while devising ways of stirring up trouble here and abroad. And in case you think I am exaggerating, here are some facts that should help you put things in context.
My Muslim sources have confirmed that Dublin is now the European base for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is committed to the extinction of Israel and the eventual conversion or annihilation of the West. They also advocate the suicide bombing of civilians in both Israel and Iraq, and were behind the Paris riots of October last year.
Most disturbingly for us, however, is the presence here of Wahabbis from Saudi Arabia, members of the fanatical strain of Sunni Islam that guides al-Qaeda and spiritually links it to the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to senior Muslims I spoke to recently, "These individuals want to stoke up hundreds of poor Islamic immigrants so that the Paris riots will be repeated in Ireland within five years. There is a Europe-wide campaign directed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Dublin to strengthen their hold on vulnerable Islamic communities, thereby promoting segregation over integration."
It is with these madmen that our true immigration problems lie. But instead of having the courage to raise this ugly issue, Pat Rabbitte has shifted the emphasis on to our well-integrated Polish immigrants. And does he fear that questioning the right of Islamic fanatics to be here
'These individuals want to stoke up hundreds of poor Islamic immigrants so that the Paris riots will be repeated in Ireland within five years'
could be construed as racism, whereas complaining about European migrants is considered kosher in socialist circles?
That multicultural craziness needs to be resisted on all fronts. We still have time to avoid the problems of Paris, Birmingham and Bradford. But that will demand an open and honest debate about immigration in which peopleare not silenced by taunts of racism.
Unless that debate happens soon, people like Pat Rabbitte and Ned O'Keeffe will continue seeing threats where there are none. Meanwhile, our real enemies will continue plotting against this State. And when they eventually unleash their fire on the streets of Dublin, we will have only ourselves to blame.