This post inaugurates a series co-written with my colleague Jeff Culbreath on the topic of disinviting Islam. Each individual post will be written by one of us, allowing us each the freedom to state opinions with which the other might not agree in every detail, but allowing us to show our general agreement on the topic by rolling out the series as a joint project. The first part will argue for a need to disinvite Islam. Part II will make policy suggestions. Part III will address the question of Christian charity.
It is no secret to the readers of What's Wrong With the World that I have expressed elsewhere, as has Jeff Culbreath, the position that Muslim immigration to the United States should be halted and that measures should be taken to make it clear that the religion of Islam is not just another religion and is not welcome in the United States.
Why, to begin with, should we disinvite Islam? To go into detail on all the reasons that could be adduced would take far, far more than a blog post, and much spadework has been done on this issue elsewhere. Indeed, one of the reasons that Robert Spencer's work is so valuable is that he has given all the ammunition necessary for the argument that Islam is incompatible with American values and that, e.g., our current non-discriminatory immigration policies are dangerous and out of touch with reality. Whether and to what extent he has personally made a point of the immigration issue is a question that is relatively unimportant in comparison with the sheer quantity and quality of detailed work he has done that supports, de facto, a restrictionist position.
In relatively brief compass, then, for so large a topic:
I. We should disinvite Islam because unrestricted Muslim immigration and/or a large Muslim presence in the United States unnecessarily increases the danger of terrorist attacks on American soil or on American airplanes.
It should not really be necessary to talk about this, nor should we have to document it at length. Please, do not waste our time with talk of Timothy McVeigh. Muslim attacks have taken place or have been intercepted before taking place time and time again in recent years against American citizens on American soil or airplanes, from 9/11 to Nidal Hasan to the Christmas underwear bomber to the plot against the fuel lines at JFK to a plot to bomb the subways in D.C. to the New Jersey Muslims planning to train abroad to commit terrorism at home--the list goes on and on and on. The most recent as of this writing is, of course, Somali immigrant Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the would-be Christmas tree bomber, but he won't be anywhere near the last. Jihad Watch, with typical dark humor, refers to such terrorists as "misunderstanders of Islam," and googling that phrase at Jihad Watch turns up a huge number of highly informative posts, a compendium of the acts and plans of those "misunderstanders" of the Religion of Peace here and abroad.
It is folly to try to tell us that this has nothing to do with Islam. This is not a matter of abstract argument. Tell it to the perpetrators, and let us know how that's working out for you after a few more plots and attacks. And tell it to all the air travelers and victims who have paid the price for multiculturalism in loss of time, loss of privacy, and loss of freedom, not to mention loss of life.
Really, point I is almost too easy to substantiate. It is so easy to substantiate that the really religiously committed multiculturalist tacitly acknowledges it when, as in the case of General Casey, he implies that the deaths of Americans really don't matter all that much, that non-discrimination is more important than saving lives. We should be willing to die for the religion of non-discrimination--no airport profiling, no sacrificing of diversity in the military, no matter what the cost. One blogger has said as much, calling on the people of the West to be "brave" by refusing profiling on airlines, because "it is more important to you to preserve an open and tolerant society than to survive this trip." (Link HT: VFR)
II. We should disinvite Islam because too many Muslims in the West stubbornly refuse to assimilate or to assimilate fully and, by their refusal, succeed in changing and interrupting Western life in unacceptable ways.
The only difficulty in discussing this point is one of organization of the wealth of material available. First, there are the many relatively small incidents of assimilation refusal and Muslim bullying, but those relatively small incidents may not be small to those directly affected. They also add up.
--A Muslim woman brings a complaint against a gymnasium for not taking her side when she was interrupted in prayer by another woman trying to get past her to a locker.
--Somali meat packing workers have caused enormous problems by demanding that they all receive the same time off for prayer day after day, resulting in unfair treatment of other workers and interruption of the plant's work.
--At George Mason University, Muslims have taken over the supposedly non-denominational "prayer room" and on one occasion refused to allow a Christian to pray the rosary there.
--Muslims have received the privilege of special religious footbaths, installed in state facilities, so that they can wash for prayer.
Under "miscellaneous and disturbing" we can file...
--A Muslim woman refuses to allow her face to be seen when she testifies in court, challenging the centuries-old Anglo legal principle that seeing the face is important for evaluating testimony. She sued over the judge's refusal to allow her to testify with her face covered.
--A Muslim woman demands that the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, make an exception for Muslim women to its standing security policy requiring that faces not be covered when traveling on public transportation. Grand Rapids caves and rescinds the rule.
--Muslim taxi drivers refuse to accept blind people with dogs.
--Muslim husbands in Western countries have put medical workers in intolerable positions by refusing to allow treatment of their wives by male doctors, even in emergency situations.
Under "serious problems" we can file...
--Medical workers demand that they be allowed to wear long sleeves, despite public health concerns.
--Muslims take over Paris streets during certain hours. A similar problem appears to be beginning in New York City now. Reportedly, the mayor of New York City has ordered that those clogging the streets with illegally parked vehicles for prayer not be ticketed.
--Attacks on Christian missionaries, preventing Christian missions work, that involve the police of a heavily Muslim town. (See my series of detailed posts about the persecution of missionaries at the Dearborn festival at my author page.)
--Honor killings in the West (too many to list)
--Female genital mutilation in the West (many incidents)
--A fatwa against American citizen Molly Norris for angering Muslims, together with the presence of people in the U.S. who might carry it out, forcing her to go into hiding.
Americans have legitimate reasons not to want a population that brings these problems with it. There is nothing wrong with not wanting our streets clogged week after week with praying (not to mention belligerent) Muslims and their vehicles. There is nothing wrong with wanting Western rules of hygiene observed in hospitals. There is nothing wrong with wanting our factories to be able to continue to operate even when it is sundown during Ramadan. And there is certainly nothing wrong with not wanting our citizens forced into hiding by a murderous immigrant population.
Moreover, it is entirely legitimate for us to say that we simply do not want our police forces and our social workers to have to deal with problems so horrific and so alien as female genital mutilation and with cultural groups that carry out these mutilations in secret. Honor killings, too, ought to be something that "does not happen here." The notion that our country should have a distinctive cultural quality and should be a haven from such practices is a good one and one of which we should not be ashamed.
But there is more than that. Last summer one author (Lydia) caused a great deal of shock by relating the issue of Muslim immigration to Christian parental rights. That post has been repeatedly denounced and even misunderstood. The point was not that liberals will come to like conservative Christians if we gang up on Muslims. The point was simply this: When one group of people abuses its freedoms, those freedoms become tenuous for other people. In our present, increasingly anti-Christian culture, the upside-down truth is that the people most likely to suffer are not those who are actually guilty of, say, threatening, abusing, and murdering their children for religious reasons but rather those who are entirely innocent, who adhere to a completely different religion that does not support such abuses, but who will be targets of opportunity for social workers once it becomes acceptable to say that our country has a growing problem with "religious fundamentalist" child abuse. Just as the refusal to profile in airlines and even ethnic quotas on stopping passengers mean that people who are extremely unlikely to be terrorists must submit tamely to humiliating and inappropriate pat-downs, body scans, and searches, so an increased awareness of Muslim abuse of parental authority, combined with a refusal actually to admit that Muslims are a special problem, is likely to result in increased persecution of innocent Christian families. The Melissa Busekros case in Germany illustrates this point quite well; German authorities specifically cited their interest in preventing the rise of "parallel societies" (a clear allusion to concerns about immigrant groups) as a reason for outlawing home schooling for everyone and for persecuting the completely German and mainstream Busekros family. Americans have a legitimate interest in not importing populations whose members are especially likely to abuse the freedoms that America offers. Doing so places those freedoms at risk.
The third type of objection to our importing these problems should be discussed as a partially independent point:
III. We should disinvite Islam because of the real danger that we will assimilate to Islam and change important things in our country that must not be changed. This will, among other things, make it difficult if not impossible to do any good for those who wish to leave Islam in the United States or who are victims within Muslim groups and families in the United States.
--I have already discussed above, as a very disturbing consequence of the development of unassimilated Muslim groups, the dangers to Christian freedom to evangelize. But it is especially important to emphasize the way in which the Dearborn police and mayor have become complicit in this problem. They have so internalized the norms of the Muslim populace that they consider the missionaries who simply engaged in peaceful conversations to be the problem, and they considered them to be the problem because the Muslims did not like their behavior. This means that, in effect, the City of Dearborn has assimilated to Islam in this area, not the other way around. What that means, in turn, is that it is now harder than it would otherwise be to evangelize the Muslims that do reside in Dearborn. Insofar as Muslim values are adopted by Western jurisdictions, our ability to help Muslims to (for example) leave Islam, understand the problems with Islam, and learn about Christianity is compromised. This is a point that too many Christians, concerned merely with reaching out to Muslims, do not understand. When too many Muslims are present, concentrated, and not well assimilated, you cannot help them. You will be stopped from doing so. Those who want to witness to or change Muslims have, therefore, an interest in limiting their numbers.
--This problem is particularly noticeable in the United Kingdom, where reports have surfaced of Muslims in the social work professions who betray women attempting to flee their abusive families. In a related and specific story, UK social workers attempted explicitly to dissuade a teenage girl from converting to Christianity, forbidding her to attend Christian activities, firing her Christian foster mother, and urging her to reconsider on the grounds of the danger to her from Muslims for converting. So much for the "helping professions." It is obvious that the UK is losing its ability to help the victims of Islam in its midst and that it is losing this ability precisely because there are already so many Muslims in its midst! When you invite Muslims to your country and treat Islam as just another religion, this is an entirely natural and predictable result.
Repeatedly, in ostensibly Western countries, courts have either been asked or, even more disturbing, have agreed, to consider "cultural" excuses for outrageous Muslim behavior.
--In Canada, defense attorneys for a brother who murdered his sister and her fiance literally argued "provocation" in mitigation of his crime, attempting to reduce the crime to manslaughter. What was the provocation? The daughter's bringing "dishonor" on the family by becoming engaged without the consent of her own male relatives and moving in with the family of her fiance. So the Western lawyers for a murderer in a Western country have deliberately attempted to get honor killings treated as mere manslaughter because they are honor killings.
--In Italy, a daughter was beaten by her parents and brother, but the sentence was struck down by the high court for "cultural" reasons on the grounds that the parents' motivation had been for her own good and not out of anger.
--A German judge, later removed from the case, expressly relied on the Koran's permission to beat wives in her denial of a fast-track divorce to an abused wife. It was the husband's culture, you see, that he was permitted to beat his wife, and his wife was supposed to have taken that into account when she married him.
--In New Jersey, a judge refused to consider a husband guilty of spousal rape in a protective order case because his religion (Islam) teaches that he should have sexual access to his wife at all times. While the decision was struck down by a higher court, it is extremely disturbing that it should have been made at all.
Some would try to say that these courts or judges are just being "bad judges" or "jerks" or "insensitive to domestic violence," and are not really enforcing sharia, as though it is illicit for Islam critics to mention sharia in these contexts at all. But these decisions expressly cite the religious beliefs of the Muslims involved, which are, like it or not, beliefs fostered by sharia. By deferring to these cultural beliefs and expectations, the courts are deferring to sharia whether they call it that or not. In America, it is entirely unacceptable that this should happen in any shape or form. It should not even need to be said, but laws against raping and beating wives and beating daughters, much less killing sisters, are good laws, and it should not make the slightest difference in a legal context to charges, sentencing, or other legal matters such as protective orders or divorce law if someone's "culture" tells him that such behaviors are permitted. Western laws should not budge on these matters, yet they are budging.
The very existence of large populations or heavy concentrations that hold these cultural views exerts a tacit pressure on the legal system of a region to accommodate it. The mechanisms for this pressure are multiple. There is, of course, sheer fear and intimidation, but that is only the beginning. Mayors, police, prosecutors, judges, and social workers want to be perceived as culturally sensitive. Those tasked with enforcing laws rejected by a resistant immigrant population are likely to suffer from sheer fatigue and frustration. And ultimately, democracy takes over. Today's immigrants are tomorrow's citizens, and their children, born on American soil, are today's citizens.
Muslim populations that do not assimilate produce members of the voting public who elect people who represent or at least defer to their values and who will appoint others who do the same. Where those values are destructive of important aspects of the American way of life, the result is disastrous.
End of Part I