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Islam and Immigration

A country has the right to keep out those whose beliefs are hostile to its laws.

by James Leroy Wilson
September 20, 2007

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Islam and Immigration

There are three reasons often given to allow just about anyone into America. The first is that people should have the right to go where they please. The second is that multiculturalism and diversity is good for a country. The third is that even foreigners with widely divergent beliefs and attitudes will be converted by the American way of life and embrace freedom, openness, and tolerance.

Regarding the right of anyone to go where they please: Let's say there's a Marxist rebel army in Mexico. Are we saying that, if they are on the run with the Mexican army in pursuit, they have a right to retreat into America?
Can this rebel army cross back into Mexico for guerrilla raids, and then retreat back to their new base in the United States?

Should they be allowed to stay and establish their desired communist dictatorship within the United States itself?

Don't we have a right to keep out not only criminals, but also dissidents with anti-liberal views? Don't we have a right to keep out those who would overthrow our political system and our laws if they could?

On to multiculturalism. There is mounting evidence that the more diverse a neighborhood, the more crime and less community involvment – but let us leave that point aside. Let's instead imagine that a German neo-Nazi is fleeing Europe's hate-speech laws and seeks asylum in the U.S.

Is another neo-Nazi voice something we really need? We may want cultural diversity and differing viewpoints, but must we presume different viewpoints are equal to each other? Is so, why not let the neo-Nazi in? Are we to say he can broaden our perspective and enlighten us? While we tolerate intolerant opinions expressed by Americans exercising their free speech rights, how is it helpful to add to their number?

As to converting immigrants to the American way of life. Let's say members of an apocalyptic cult from Japan, India, England, or wherever seek to enter America with the intention of winning more converts before embarking on a campaign to get their leader, who they call the Messiah, crowned King. Would the United States have a moral obligation to welcome in such nut-jobs? Should we assume that, once here, they will see the benefits of liberal democracy and give up their cult?

Such an assumption would be an unfounded faith in the ability of liberal democracy to turn everyone into liberal democrats. All too often, what we see as prosperity and freedom, others see as decadence and blasphemy. Liberal democracy isn't a religion, and "faith" in its laws, systems, and culture won't save it from its enemies.

An English-speaking, highly-skilled immigrant with a clear criminal record may want to become a permanent resident of the United States. Just the same, if his beliefs are hostile to our social systems and our laws – if he would overturn them if he could - it makes little sense to admit him, or others with the same beliefs.

Which brings us to the problem of Islam. Islam is not just a religion, it is a political ideology. As Muslim immigration and birth rates increase their numbers, they are more likely to insist on enforcing their laws amongst themselves. Over time, their numbers could turn into majorities in certain neighborhoods, then cities. With increasing political power, there is an increased likelihood of Islamic law, or Islam-inspired law being enforced upon everyone.

If Islam is a threat to the United States and Western world, the threat comes not from terrorist attacks, because terrorism is not a means of conquest. Indeed, terrorism on U.S. soil is strategic folly, because it would probably create a backlash against Muslims already here and cause a crackdown on further Muslim immigration. It is more likely that if Islam prevails, it will through demographics, through population growth – first in Europe, then in North America.

If Western countries want to keep that from happening, they shouldn't let Muslims move into their lands.

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Vache Folle from Stormville, NY writes:
September 20, 2007
"All too often, what we see as prosperity and freedom, others see as decadence and blasphemy."

Frankly, that's how the religious right feels. By your reasoning the US should be entitled to expell all the Christianist nutjobs. I probably wouldn't put up much of a protest in that case.

Most Muslims I have known have been virtually indistinguishable from Baptists, and they have been entrepreneurial and fit right in with other Americans just fine. I reckon you'd have to make finer distinctions than just banning all Muslims. How about just crazy Muslims? And while we're at it, anyone with a really insane belief system.

James Leroy Wilson writes:
September 20, 2007
Restricting immigration and forcible deportation of American citizens are very different things. Reasoning that supports one does not entail the other; guarding the border is not the same as internal, police-state oppression. If Americans abandon their former beliefs, laws, and institutions and adopt up new ones on their own, that is a process that develops organically. I just don't see the need to encourage this process through alien influences.

Actually, what I have in mind would be something along the lines of a loyalty oath for those seeking permanent residence. Breaking the oath would be a sin in any religion, so the person who seeks to enter, if he doesn't believe his religious beliefs are compatible with America's laws, would have to choose one or the other. If a Muslim-born, secular-minded person has no problem signing it, I'd have no problem admitting him.

Jim from Toronto writes:
September 24, 2007
"Which brings us to the problem of Islam. Islam is not just a religion, it is a political ideology. As Muslim immigration and birth rates increase their numbers, they are more likely to insist on enforcing their laws amongst themselves. Over time, their numbers could turn into majorities in certain neighborhoods, then cities. With increasing political power, there is an increased likelihood of Islamic law, or Islam-inspired law being enforced upon everyone."

Not one of the dozens of English-speaking, highly-skilled Muslims that I've lived with worked with have ever suggested that they would prefer any sort of Islamic-inspired laws to be enforced on anyone.

To suggest that the majority of Muslims who immigrate to North America embrace these values is absurd. Then again, most highly-skilled Muslims entering Canada and the U.S. have probably not had US of A Precision-guided munitions dropped on their home.

Also in response to an article referenced in the article entitled "The Downside of Diversity", did you ever think that maybe diversity in America results in higher crime because these people aren't given the same opportunities? Did you ever think that maybe discrimination toward ethnic groups might be a contributing factor to an increase in crime?

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world ("Almost three-quarters of Torontonians aged 15 or older have direct ties to immigration"). Toronto also has one of the lowest crime rates in North America.

Maybe the fact that diversity is embraced explains why Toronto can be so multi-cultural and yet maintain such a low crime rate.

Stereotyping all Muslims in the world as a result of a very small proportion of bad apples is in itself a contributing cause of racism and discrimination. Comparing Nazis to Muslims is also offensive. I truly wish people would stop accepting the media and US Government negative portrayal of Muslims. Let's face it, the Government has to sell its wars and portraying Muslims as the enemy is a necessary evil to support this military-industrial complex.

I've said this 100 million times, but I'll say it again: If the 1+ billion Muslims in the world were all terrorists the world would have much bigger problems to deal with.

James Leroy Wilson writes:
September 25, 2007
I'm not saying that Muslims are terrorists. Moreover, I would end the War on Terror, get out of the Middle East, and establish good diplomatic relations with Iran.

What I am suggesting is that the more devout one is to Islam, the less favorable one would view Western laws and values. I don't think the original the original article is available, but last year I quoted Srdja Trifkovic on my blog (www.independentcountry.blogspot.com/2006/01/fascism-islam-and-immigration.html):
"For a Muslim to declare all of the above [the oath of citizenship] in good faith, and especially that he accepts the Constitution of the United States as the source of his highest loyalty, is an act of brazen apostasy par excellence, and apostasy is punishable by death under the Islamic law. The sharia, to a Muslim, is not an addition to the “secular” legal code with which it coexists with “the Constitution and laws of the United States of America”; it is the only true code, the only basis of obligation. To be legitimate, all political power therefore must rest exclusively with those who enjoy Allah’s authority on the basis of his revealed will. In America that is not the case and its government is therefore illegitimate.

It is equally sacrilegious for a Muslim to swear to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That vow, if it means anything substantial, means that he would be prepared to shoot a fellow Muslim, or denounce him to the authorities, in defense of his adopted homeland. That this is not how many if not most naturalized Muslims see it is a matter of record."

Doug Lapp from Mount Pleasant, MI writes:
September 26, 2007
Although I do not agree with a neo-Nazi, I would still fight for his/her right to be heard. Thomas Jefferson believed that only through open debate can the "truth" (whatever that may be) bubble to the top. The recent speech given by Ahmadinejad at Columbia University only serves to point out Jefferson’s belief in this process. Ahmadinejad’s own words illustrate how ridiculous his views are. Jefferson also believed this to be the case and that only an educated and informed population would be able to effectively govern itself. Unfortunately, many Americans do not take this issue seriously as can be evidenced by the election of such an intellectually inept President as George W. Bush.

We need diversity in order to develop the ideas that have not been thought of yet. Keith Sawyer has a book out called Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration. It raises several of these points and discusses how a society where people are willing to at least listen to each other can accomplish great things.

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