COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 22, 2015 — Allowing, or even encouraging, Islamic immigration to the U.S. from Syria and Iraq is dangerous policy. No amount of supercilious mocking of his opponents by President Obama will change that.
To say that Syrian refugees are no more dangerous than tourists, that there is nothing to fear from “widows and orphans,” or that there shouldn’t be a “religious test” for immigrants misses the point entirely—and purposefully.
These dodges do not face the threat head-on and are designed to derail the real conversation: national security.
Even the most limited government libertarian agrees that national security is an essential function of the federal government. To say that bomb-detonating and AK-47 toting Islamic terrorists are no more dangerous to our nation than tourists is so absurd as to need no further comment.
To say that “widows and orphans” pose no threat is to misrepresent the nature of the immigration flow from Syria and Iraq. While network cameras may focus on the pitiful child in a group of refugees, the wider shots reveal the truth: The majority are military-age young men. These are certainly ones we ought to be concerned about.
Why are military-age young men fleeing Syria and Iraq? Perhaps, like my great-grandfather who emigrated to America in part to avoid the Prussian draft, they are leaving to avoid being recruited into a war they would rather avoid. Yet in that mass are certainly ISIS operatives. We know this because they have told us so.
We also know this because eight people have just been detained in Istanbul for terrorist connections. How many more are there? The answer from almost a dozen federal officials is that we don’t know and we have no way of knowing.
Even if these young men are not radicalized now, they may easily pose a threat in the future. There are many mosques in the U.S. that will radicalize them. Like the Tsarnaevs, they may travel back and forth to their homeland, becoming radicalized.
Or like Maj. Nidal Hasan, they may just read about radical Islam on the Internet, gradually accepting the ideology.
Nor are the “widows and orphans” as benign as Obama says they are. There are female suicide bombers. The widows of slain Islamist soldiers are a fertile recruiting ground for female terrorists.
What about the children? Many are taught from an early age to hate Israel and the West. ISIS has used young boys to behead teddy bears and captives. What will those young minds grow up to be?
No one is calling for a “religious test” on immigration, which the president and his leftist allies very well know. The concern is about importing terrorists, and today the terrorists are Islamic extremists, Islamists who believe in a fundamentalist version of Islam. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Islamists.
Like it or not, Islam is the problem.
What we are witnessing is a clash of cultures; a clash of civilizations, even.
When the president unilaterally declared that the United States is no longer a Christian nation, he implicitly acknowledged that it was founded as such. The colonies, and later the country were founded by Christians on Christian principles, principles such as the equality of all humankind: men and women, black and white (or as Galatians 3:28 puts it, Jews and Greeks), slave and free.
That it took some time to realize these principles in practice does not diminish the country nor the effort spent in getting as far as we have come. Islam hasn’t even tried—because Islam holds different values.
In Islam, the Muslim is superior to the infidel, men are superior to women, and slavery is still practiced. Indeed, the African slaves sent to the Americas were mostly sold to Europeans by Arab slavers.
And yet, because of our Christian values of fairness and compassion, we allow those with different religions and possibly different sets of values to be tolerated in our midst. That idea was articulated as long ago as 1689, in John Locke’s “Letter Concerning Toleration.”
Locke posited only one requirement: that the person not be seeking to destroy the civil society. The one example that Locke cites of a destructive religion is Islam.
Islam has been at war with Christianity since its very beginning. John Locke knew what he was writing: The Ottomans had been turned back at the gates of Vienna only six years earlier.
It has been 14 years since Sept. 11, 2001, and only days since the Paris and Mali terror attacks. Brussels is on high alert. There are no-go zones (official or not) there, in London and Manchester and elsewhere in Europe. We, too, should know the nature of the threat.
Our president tells us that Islam is a religion of peace and we have nothing to fear from thousands of persons of unknown backgrounds but who come from regions that allow ISIS, Fatah, the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations to flourish.
The majority of Americans and the majority of our state governors disagree. Allowing these people to immigrate at this time is foolhardy at best and suicidal at worst.