Monday, November 23, 2015
On Islam, Immigration, and Humanity: A Nation’s and Camel’s Dilemma
I’ve remained largely silent on the Syrian refugee issue. But the rhetoric flowing from the crisis, and the hysteria over the president’s intention of permitting 10,000 refugees to immigrate to the US, has gone beyond the bounds of reason, civility and decency thus I feel compelled to state my position.
Anyone who has read my books or blog should be pretty much familiar with my perspective on Islam, its dangers, inequities, and the threat it holds for Western Civilization. In my first book “The Atheist Camel Chronicles”, back in 2008, I wrote this in the afterword:
“As …[Islam] … immigrates to industrialized nations the danger that it represents to the most basic freedom, freedom of speech and expression, is threatened. Already European countries whose Muslim populations are steadily growing are truncating the freedoms of their native populations out of fear of Islamic power.
The imposition of laws demanding “cultural sensitivity,” political correctness, and self-censorship under penalty of the law have been adopted by Great Britain, parts of Scandinavia and other Western European countries. These laws are in response to threats and intimidation, both veiled and overt, by an intolerant philosophy and insulated culture that laughs at the Infidel’s acquiescence and sees it as a weakness-and an opportunity. Parts of Europe have already begun the process of surrendering their birthright. They are losing their culture to Islamic fundamentalism.”
In other chapters of my books I warned against the spread of the most virulent form of Islam and what it could mean to the very survival of a civilized culture.
If I sounded like I opposed Islamic immigration it’s because I did. If it sounded like a warning that what is happening in Europe can happen here it’s because it can. My opinion in that regard hasn’t changed… I stand firm on those precepts. However, there comes a time when even the most closely held perspectives can – no- must, be moderated. That time is now.
Muslims in the United States’ represent approximately 0.8% of our total population. Compare that to France’s 7.5% almost ten times greater; Belgium at 6%, Germany 5.6%, Netherlands 5.5%, Greece 4.7%, United Kingdom 4.6%, Denmark 4%. In short, the US has one of the lowest Muslim populations as a percent to total population in the West.
Frankly, I’d like to see it kept that way.
Additionally, while Muslim immigrants to European nations have largely not assimilated into their adopted nation’s cultures...indeed are treated as 2nd class citizens to one degree or another … US Muslims have largely adopted our culture and blended into our society, facing less prejudice and overt discrimination than do their European counter parts (I know, hard to believe). That the US has experienced a much lower instance of Muslims going to fight along side ISIS versus the European nations ...not just in shear numbers but as a percent to their Muslim populations… testifies as to how Muslims perceive their acceptance and the opportunities that they enjoy in the US.
So, where does this leave the nation? Where does it leave me and my position?
It is impossible for me to watch the plight of these refugees and not reflect on their similarity to the almost one-thousand Jews desperately trying to escape Nazi Germany in 1939. In my minds eye I see the image of that ship, the SS St. Louis, filled with hopeful German Jewish refugees that subsequently were first rejected by Cuba and then refused entry to the US. They were ultimately sent back to Europe – condemning half of those innocent men, women and children to extermination. And why? Because they were “the other”, because we had met our quota of Jews, or because there may have been a Nazi saboteur among them? It makes no difference the reason, that shame must never be repeated.
The Syrian refugees are hoping to save the lives of their family, their children, from what is arguably the most heinous doctrine, regime and fighting force since the Third Reich or Pol Pot's Cambodia. The 10,000 proposed refugees will not impact the current 0.8% US Muslim population we have now one bit, it’s a rounding error at most. They will be subjected to between eighteen months to two years of delay as their applications are screened and vetted before they are allowed entry. Compare that to the 20 million people who have come into the US under the current “no Visa necessary” policy we’ve had in place for years. If I were an ISIS operative, I know which route I’d take.
If this nation succumbs to the hysteria of the xenophobes, if we abandon our humanity, if we deny our own immigrant roots and reject the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” when they need us most, then we have relinquished some of our freedom and civility. We will have forgotten the lessons of history, and repeated them leaving a legacy of shame for all time. If that happens the terrorists will have already won.