I am in recent close conversation with a person dear to me who is very worried about the Muslim invasion of his European city. His experience is quite real, as he now cannot walk in areas he used to because of the danger, and he sees and hears live and up close the recent migrants aggressively challenging passers-by, especially females, and notes that the rape rate has increased. I checked, BTW, and it has.
The problem is, he overestimates the numbers by more than 10x, and this adds to his wrath. He doesn't get numbers that well anyway, and maybe it would be just the same if he knew the proper statistics. Because...angry people arriving at the train depot in the center of town, hanging around until the local government does something about them, often refusing to work, and trying to accost and corner young women has its own effect regardless of whether you get the numbers right. It is virtually certain that many of the arrivals are not bothering anyone and would dearly love to have a nice European job. But he doesn't see those. He sees the others, where last year there were none. So, with the crap that spills out of his mouth, he would be regarded by most Americans as a bigot.
On the other side, I have lots of nice people posting on FB heartwarming stories of Syrian medical students who aren't being welcomed, or Palestinian musicians, or cute children looking sad, and all that. Tonight's claim was about families carrying starving children, and how evil bigoted Americans were keeping them out.
Starving is a big word. Hungry, I will acknowledge, but you have to go a long time to starve. Last I saw, 12% of the migrants were children. Many of those were smuggled across Turkey for a high fee. So if I agree with those who want to highlight what wonderful people we are discriminating against that the situation for many is indeed dire, and that some of them are children, can we not have the implication that this is some sort of huge majority, rather than something less than 10% of the total? I think helping that 10-% is a good thing. We should do something, and I'm willing to discuss what that might be. However we just had a fundraiser at church for a Sudanese group where the people are literally eating grass because they are starving, and there are many other world-wide causes that might be equally deserving."Syrian refugees," even though they are not so much Syrian and not so much refugees, are the fashionable topic, because it provides everyone with an opportunity to kick other Americans who are competing with your tribe for power in government. Nigeria, Uganda, Yemen, Ukraine, Venezuela? You bastards can go pound sand. You aren't the hip conflicts.
As regards American Muslims, it is clear that most of them are not violent extremists, and hinting that the next ones we take in are likely to bring down the Republic, it's just not true. Europe has it worse, we just get lots of focus because we are as big as all of Europe put together, so occasional incidents seem disproportionate. It is a very similar situation to the anarchists over a century ago. They can be dangerous, and we don't have good protections, but they really aren't going to make a big dent in population, nor even in our habits, as we seem to resume life as usual just a week after every incident.
But the other obvious thing is the reverse: Even in America, with a watered-down Islamic extremism, there is much more danger in mass events from the few Muslims than from, say La Raza, even though there are many Hispanics, or the Black Panthers, even though there are many African Americans, and that goes double for White Supremacists, Tax Protesters, Radical environmentalists, or whatever. Worldwide, Islam is fighting lots of groups on lots of borders: Hindus in India, Communists in China, secularists in Europe, Jews in Israel, Zoroastrians, Bahai, animists, and of course Christians, Christians in many places. They are more violent. Whether that is tribal violence (heightened or mitigated by Islam, pick your theory) or Islamic violence that has influenced tribes doesn't much matter for the larger discussion, because measurement isn't going to be definitive. But pick up a world map and just look at it.
So we settle into two camps, one saying that Muslims aren't any worse than others, and heck, we made 'em mad so it's our fault (and Israel's), the other saying that they are all dangerous and we should kick them all out. Both POV's are pretty much insane.
I wonder if what might be driving your friend's perception is at least partially fear of what level of problems will be necessary to make the authorities in his country rethink their resettlement policy.
No, not all Muslims are dangerous. A Muslim immigrant owns in my HOA. He has been a responsible homeowner, both when he lived here and when he rented his unit out. I doubt that he is a taquiya type. He just wants to make money, not bomb us.While I have often discussed HOA issues with him- at one time we were both on the HOA Board- I have NEVER discussed international or domestic politics with him. I see no need to generate potential conflict.
The recent experiences our country has had with the Boston Marathon pressure cooker bombings and the San Berdoo shootings indicate to me that it is foolhardy for us to let masses of people from Muslim countries enter our country. We don't need that potential grief. The USG's proven inability to adequately screen such migrants is a very strong argument for not letting masses in.
I knew a Palestinian Christian family- from the Bethlehem area BTW- who had a number of family members in the US before the Six Day War of 1967. They were STEM people with graduate degrees- just the kind of immigrants we want. The patriarch of the family was a civil servant in the West Bank, which was then under Jordanian administration. The patriarch told his children to get out of the West Bank, because as Christians they would not be able to get promoted to positions commensurate to their abilities. Muslims would get promoted in favor of Christians, the patriarch informed his children. Given the abilities his children and grandchildren have exhibited in the US, I very much doubt his advice could be dismissed as sour grapes.
A neighbor of mine is a Sephardic Jew from Morocco- she married a US serviceman. She does not have a good view of Muslims as a group- though she has good relations with the aforementioned Muslim.
My point is that religious minorities I know from Muslim areas do not have a benign view of Muslims as a group. That should tell us something. It ain't just Donald Trump and knuckle-dragging Teabaggers.
There is a tribal and political aspect to Islam which makes it difficult for Islam to coexist with other religions. God and Caesar are one and the same in many Muslims countries, which is NOT the position of countries like the US which spring from the Christian tradition. This sets up a potential conflict when Muslim immigrants want the same political setup in the US. The fewer Muslims we have, less the possibilities of such conflict- and we have already seen enough examples in the US of such conflict.
We can't do a mass eviction of Muslims from the US- at least those who are US citizens - so there is no point to advocate it. Selective evictions would be another matter. I consider selective eviction both feasible and desirable. The only Muslims we should boot out of the US are those who are violating immigration laws and non-citizens who are advocating terrorism. Just don't let any more - or as few as possible- into the US.
I would like to see some action against CAIR. CAIR is a fifth-column in this country. My suggestion would be to make some outrageous statement which would cause CAIR to file a defamation lawsuit- and then sandbag CAIR with discovery petitions. But we would need an attorney to go pro bono. Alan Dershowitz, are you listening?
The only people from Muslim countries we should let in are those who have worked for the US- such as translators from Iraq. Or non-Muslims who are being persecuted for their religion. There is no need to prohibit entry of Muslims into this country- just shut down entry from certain countries, as President Carter did to Iran after the embassy takeover. Donald Trump could have expressed himself better.
I don't care if the libs/progs consider my position to be "racist" or "bigoted" or whatever shaming term they want to use. If they consider me to be a nativist parochial non multi-culturalist, my reply is "Vayanse a la mierda, pendejos sin cajones." [translation: not safe for work.]
I grant you that a lot of the things that occupy the public mind as dangers aren't all that dangerous in context. Some of them become hot-button political issues, though, when the public becomes convinced that our collective response to a danger is deranged. A minor bacterial infection is not necessarily a big deal, but it's a big deal if the doctors suddenly start administering steroids instead of antibiotics. Ebola was rare, but it was a big deal when we perceived that hospitals weren't grasping basic quarantine discipline. A political upheaval is sometimes people trying to yell, "You're doing the exact opposite of what you should be doing if you want this problem to remain relatively small and manageable! And the downside is horrific!"
Personally, I've had a horrific conversation with a Pakistani doctor in a residency program. He was convinced that evangelists assassinating each other was how you determined which religion was actually true. The one who lived had God on his side.
Class is not a reliable signifier of compatibility with America.
The largest problem with muslims is that they are constantly being invited to commit acts that are felonies in the US by their co-religionists who issue religious court decrees (fatwas) to that effect with applicability inside the US. Moderate muslims generally ignore the violent court decrees but if you take seriously your family's safety, the whole process is a bit disturbing because moderates and extremists aren't easy to tell apart. What is even more disturbing is that the US does not properly track these decrees and take forthright action to stop them and they are the ones who are supposed to handle this stuff. If a bunch of frat boys run a fraternity court and hand out paddlings, we break that court up. It's illegal hazing. Sharia courts that advocate greater violence within the US are not treated as seriously. That's all sorts of messed up, not least because unilaterally, these courts (who are often outside the US) will claim moderate american muslims as their bailiffs to enforce their decrees.
So it's not just terrorism that is a problem with Islam. It's the acceptability within that faith to incite violence across international borders and a lack of effective internal discipline to keep these problems largely in house. Islam is having a civil war and all the West's casualties are about 5% of that war's casualties. We're collateral damage. We have no obligation to accept that.
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