A number of specific policies for dealing with domestic Islam have been proposed since 9-11, mainly by pundits well outside the political mainstream. A few of these proposals have already been discussed at length by the contributers and commenters here at W4. As Lydia McGrew reminded me yesterday, the first and most obvious thing to do is simply to enforce our own just laws, many of which are winked at, flouted or ignored in the name of sensitivity to Islamic cultural practices. Beyond this fundamental beginning, I’d like to summarize what I consider to be the best and most realistic proposals in order to create a practical guide for political action on the national level.
1. Halt Muslim immigration. This policy should be specifically directed at the immigration of Muslims, from any nation, and not simply at immigration from Muslim states or from states known for their Islamic extremism. (According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations there are an estimated 7 million Muslims in this country, along with almost 2,000 mosques and Islamic centers, forming what amounts to an impenetrable Islamic sub-culture on American soil.)
2. Halt the issuance of all student, religious and immigrant visas to Muslims, and revoke those presently in effect. (Of the 48 Islamic terrorists apprehended between 1993 and 2001, only 12 were in the country illegally.)
3. Codify Islamic jihad and sharia as hostile, foreign, political ideologies. This might take the form of a Jihad-sedition law, as once proposed by our own Paul Cella (but incorporating sharia as well), establishing that the preaching of jihad and sharia is tantamount to advocacy of “overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States”.
a. Require an oath renouncing jihad and sharia from all resident alien Muslims as a condition for remaining in the United States.
b. Require an oath renouncing jihad and sharia from all government employees, including military personnel.
c. Monitor all mosques and Islamic schools for promulgation or advocacy of jihad and sharia.
d. Forbid the public advocacy of jihad and sharia in print and on radio, television, and the web.
4. Require all Islamic literature, books and websites originating in the United States to be communicated in English. The use of Arabic will not be forbidden, but requiring English translations will make public advocacy of jihad and sharia more difficult to hide.
5. Revoke the passes of Muslim prison chaplains and halt all religious accommodations for incarcerated Muslims.
6. Cease all religious accommodations, including the provision of military chaplains, for Muslims serving in the armed forces.
7. Remove all Muslim accommodations in government agencies, offices, and facilities (foot basins, prayer rugs, Ramadan observance, etc.).
8. Notify all businesses, private institutions, schools and local agencies that anti-discrimination laws do not require accommodating the religious practices of Muslim employees, customers, associates or volunteers.
9. Forbid all federal funding of Islamic organizations and charities.
10. Encourage states with Muslim enclaves to enforce their ban on first-cousin marriage, or to enact such a ban, and further to ban all sexual relations between first cousins. (Only 24 states ban first-cousin marriages presently. This is a powerful tradition for many Islamic cultures.)
It is certain that some or all of these recommendations would be challenged in court on 1st Amendment grounds. Lawrence Auster (not a writer I would normally recommend), forseeing the constitutional challenge, proposes an amendment to the Constitution declaring that:
“The religion of Islam, as propagated in the Koran and in the Islamic Traditions or Hadiths, and formalized in the Sharia Law, shall not be practiced, disseminated, or advocated within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
A constitutional amendment is a good idea, but this one seems to be needlessly draconian, totally eliminating the possibility of a legal, small and manageable Muslim population. The goal, after all, is not to compel every last Muslim to leave the United States, but simply to eliminate, or reduce to the point of irrelevance, the social and political influence of Islamic doctrine and ideas in this country. If necessary, then, I suggest an alternative amendment to the Constitution, a fusion of Auster’s proposal and the Communist Control Act of 1954 (inspired by Daniel Greenfield):
“Islamic organizations and their individual members, regardless of their assumed names, whose object or purpose is to replace the Government of the United States, or the government of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, with a system of Islamic law - as propagated in the Koran and in the Islamic Traditions or Hadiths, and formalized in the Sharia Law - whether by force and violence or by political subversion, are not entitled to any of the rights, privileges, and immunities attendant upon religious bodies created under the jurisdiction of the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof; and whatever rights, privileges, and immunities which have heretofore been granted to said party or any subsidiary organization by reason of the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, are hereby terminated. Individuals adhering to a body of religious beliefs that includes jihad and sharia are not entitled, in virtue of such religious membership or belief, to the special protections afforded to religious practice under the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof.”
What does this accomplish, exactly? First, it ties the problem of Islam to its violent, subversive, and totalitarian political doctrine – which is the only justification for its repression in the American cultural milieu. Second, it repeals the religious rights and immunities of Islamist organizations and their members, however small. That means that individual Muslims, insofar as they belong to any standard Islamic group, need not be accommodated in their religious practices. Third, it does not require the total suppression of Islam, which is to say that it does not close the door on the (admittedly remote) possibility of assimilated Muslim communities that credibly renounce political jihad and sharia. Restrictive measures would be allowed under the Constitution, but not required: national, state, and local governing bodies may act at their own discretion. Finally, if there were not sufficient support to pass this as a constitutional amendment, it might still be viable as statutory legislation and withstand the scrutiny of the courts, which cannot be said of language that bans the practice of Islam carte blanche.
In any case, there must be a sea-change of public opinion – that it’s OK to legally “discriminate” against a socio-political ideology that has been at war with Christian civilization for centuries, even if that ideology is known as a “religion”. This kind of discrimination is not unjust; on the contrary, it is obligatory upon all who are in any way responsible for the common good of this nation. No individual or group has an unqualified "right" to practice a religion in the United States that constitutes a perpetual threat to its neighbors. Changing public opinion on this point will necessitate a sustained campaign of articles, books, lectures, debates, and so forth by informed thinkers across the political spectrum.
Finally, the mere act of introducing laws can also establish political momentum, even if these laws are not ultimately passed or enforced. That’s how the Left moves public opinion so effectively: by promoting their causes at all levels, and in every venue, until the public gradually gets used to their ideas. Oklahoma, which recently passed a popular referendum that forbade its courts from considering sharia law, provides an instructive case for our side. The “Save Our State Amendment” obtained over 70% of the popular vote on November 2. Although the amendment to the Oklahoma constitution is now under judicial review, nevertheless it sent a clear message to our political elites, to our friends overseas, and to Muslims themselves that Oklahomans are not asleep, that they consider Islamic law to be a threat, and that they are in no mood to cozy up to Islam. Non-Oklahomans sat up and took notice: similar measures are planned for more than a dozen other states in 2012.
LOCAL AND COMMUNITY ACTION
Implementation of the above policy suggestions will take time, and indeed, they may never happen at all. Yet it is still possible to make some progress against the establishment of an Islamic sub-culture in the United States through personal, local and community action. Every water cooler conversation in which the truth about Islam is discussed, and potential remedies explored, creates a data point and possibly a shift in public opinion, however slight. The same goes for articles, essays, blog entries and letters to the newspaper.
In conversation with others, it is absolutely critical to distinguish the domestic problem of Islam from our wars being fought in the Middle East. In fact it should be pointed out that peacefully dealing with Islam in the United States will radically diminish the need for wars and bloodshed overseas. Domestic Islam is the proverbial “elephant in the living room” that our government will apparently go to any lengths to avoid acknowledging, as the new and outrageously intrusive TSA procedures demonstrate, so just getting people used to talking about it is helpful.
Constructive action might also include the following:
1. Agitate. When the hospital you work for removes the crucifix in the chapel to avoid offending Muslims, don’t just roll over, say something. Be offended. Be more offended than the Muslims are. Organize like-minded employees, start a petition, take it all the way to the top. You are a Christian, you live in a largely Christian community, and if Muslims have the right not to be offended, so do you.
2. Obstruct. Find a way to stop the building of new mosques in your neighborhood. Go to the meetings, get on the committees, make a big fuss about every conceivable problem. And if it doesn’t endanger your cause, make it clear that besides the technical objections, you and your neighbors oppose the mosque precisely because it is a mosque. That your community is home to anti-Muslim sentiment is important information for your potential new Muslim neighbors, who might on that basis reconsider their choice of a neighborhood.
3. Discriminate. If you are an employer, find a way not to hire Islamists or potential Islamists. That sounds harsh and unfeeling, but remember you are dealing with more than a person who needs work: you are dealing with someone who, whatever his personal merits, adheres to a religious doctrine of violence, cruelty, deception and aggression towards infidels, and who is furthermore tied to an Islamic sub-culture that radicalizes its “moderates”. If you are a printer, refuse to print Islamic literature - in any language. Etc.
4. Censor. If you have responsibilities for a place that sells, displays, or makes available religious literature – anywhere from a campus bookstore to a public library to a private conference room – make the Islamic stuff disappear (without lying, stealing, or destroying personal property, of course). And if you can’t ethically make it disappear, make it difficult to access. When you’re sold out, delay re-ordering until it can’t be helped. You get the idea.
5. Organize. Form groups that address the problem of Islamization in your community and propose solutions. Attend the meetings of city councils, boards of supervisors, and other governing bodies to make your views known.
6. Christianize. Islam is ascendant because Christianity is in retreat. The resulting secularism leaves a spiritual vacuum, and the most aggressive religious views will inevitably fill the void. Secularism has neither the resources nor the political will to effectively oppose Islam: a restoration of Christian culture is necessary. Learn your Christian faith and especially its history vis-à-vis Islam. If you’re a young man or woman, get married and have lots of Christian children. If you head a business or corporation, fill up your calendar with Christian holy days, display Christian images and symbols throughout the workplace, place Christian literature in lobbies and lunch rooms, and generally make it known that there is no room for another dominant faith. Let Catholic parishes have triumphant processions in the streets; let religious statues adorn the lobbies of hotels and offices; let the Christmas crèche be displayed in public parks and municipal buildings; let restaurants return to “fish Fridays”; let public meetings of every kind begin with Christian invocations – in short, let the triune God return to the public square in America.
What about discrimination laws? In the first place, discrimination laws are not as restrictive, in practice, as most people think. I’ve been to a public school in southern California which displayed the Bible on the table in the lobby, had Good Friday as a school holiday, and used the New Testament as part of its character education program. All perfectly legal, even in California, and it established a culture in that school that was strong enough not to be seriously challenged. I assume this is a model that can be legally replicated by school boards across the country.
Having said that, it is inevitable that you will run up against discrimination laws at some point, along with other rules prohibiting "harassment" and the creation of a "hostile work environment". My advice is simply to break them – carefully, discreetly, and without fanfare, but do break them when they are tyrannical and unjust, as they are in the case of forcing unwanted religious associations, and especially when preventing the free exercise of the Christian faith.
For those who have the time and financial means, deliberately challenging the non-discrimination regime in the public eye is a worthy endeavor. We need the test cases. A library which refuses to carry the Koran because it is the Koran; a planning commission that refuses to approve a mosque because it is a mosque; a hospital that refuses to Islamize its worship space; etc. - these things may end up in court but will also be tried in the court of public opinion. If handled correctly they may generate enough sympathy to inspire changes in the laws. At minimum, flooding the court system with Islam-related discrimination cases sends an important message to American policy makers and to Muslims themselves.