In his new monograph on immigration and terrorism, Bearers of Global Jihad, Robert S. Leiken of the Nixon Center says something that is painfully self-evident, yet rarely expressed so plainly: The sole source of the growth of jihadism and terrorism in the West is Moslem immigration. Leiken emphasizes the European sources of the Moslem terrorists entering America. He recommends greater caution toward visitors and immigrants from Europe and more careful screening for possible sleeper cells and hit squads. But preceding these practical suggestions, Leiken's first recommendation, as Daniel Pipes summarizes it in the New York Sun, is as follows:
"Assimilating indigenous Muslim populations is critical to the West's long-term security."
It is discouraging to see writers such as Leiken and Pipes—who are hardly politically correct on the subject of Moslem immigration—resorting to the assimilationist mantra. Ever since immigration and multiculturalism became hot national topics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, open-borders conservatives have endlessly assured us that the cure for any and all immigration-related problems is assimilation, a procedure which they seemed to assume was as easy and automatic as the democratization of a Moslem country. Yet during those same years, the numbers and social pathologies of non-assimilating immigrants (including rampant anti-Americanism) have continued to increase, while the multicultural ideology (which is the political expression of the non-assimilating groups) has continued to gain power. None of this has had any effect on the open-borders optimists. As soon as any troublesome aspect of immigration is mentioned, they come out once again with the same old assimilationist clichés, as though they hadn't been saying exactly the same thing for the last 15 years and losing our country for us in the process.
These conservatives can't give up their hope in assimilation, because for them it is tied so intimately to the American Creed. To assimilate means to make similar or the same; and the American Creed teaches us that all people in the world are basically the same as us, or can readily be made the same as us. The problem, of course, is that Moslems by and large are not the same as us, nor can they be made the same as us, for the simple reason that they adhere to a religion and a set of beliefs that are radically incompatible with—and indeed hostile to—our culture and our very being as Westerners. Which means that most Moslems cannot be assimilated in any real sense, no matter what we do.
Consider the students at Al Noor, a private Islamic school in Brooklyn that was written up by the New York Times a few weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks. These mostly American-born teenagers told the Times reporter, Susan Sachs, that their "ideal society would follow Islamic law and make no separation between religion and state." They empathized with "the young Muslims around the world who profess hatred for America and Americans," and some said they would abandon America to "support any leader who they decided was fighting for Islam." They felt the anti-U.S. hatred of Moslems abroad was not directed at themselves, because, as a 16-year-old boy told Sachs, "Muslims are all one. They kind of think of us as just living in America [emphasis added]," an impression the boy did not contest. Yet even as they described America as an alien country that deserves the hate of Moslems, they refused to believe that Osama bin Laden or any Muslim could have attacked America; in other words, America is the antithesis of Islam and ought to be destroyed, but Moslems, as the very embodiments of goodness, are innocent of any attempt to destroy it. As Carol Iannone summed up the Times story in the New York Press, these young people "cannot be shaken from the conviction that America is intrinsically anti-Muslim.... Despite numerous concerned phone calls and offers of assistance to the school from the surrounding non-Muslim community, these young people nurse wholly unfounded suspicions of a backlash against Muslims, though, as they admit, none of them has experienced any form of harassment."
So, the nice Moslem-American students at Al Noor would like to convert America to Islamic law (that same wonderful system that has made Moslem countries a political and economic basket case); they side with America's mass-murdering mortal enemies even as they exculpate them of any wrong-doing; they speak of themselves as merely living in America rather than being American; and they harbor unconquerable suspicions against non-Moslem Americans. How in heaven's name can such people be "assimilated"? Short of shutting down their schools, removing them from their homes and communities, placing them in non-Moslem homes and communities, and converting them to Christianity, what can we actually do that would make them become the same as non-Moslem Americans?
Why we live in fear of domestic terrorism
In addition to the U.S. Moslems who support jihad and sympathize with terrorists, there are, of course, the terrorists themselves. Over a period of a few days this past January, commercial airline flights from London to Washington were repeatedly canceled after authorities received intelligence that Al Qaeda agents might be planning to seize control of a plane en route and crash it into the U.S. Capitol building. Such an attempt should have been no surprise, since Al Qaeda had tried and failed to destroy the Capitol on 9/11, and it was inevitable that they would keep on trying until they succeeded, just as they had with the World Trade Center. As reported in today's Washington Post, federal officials are saying that al Qaeda has operatives in the U.S. preparing a large-scale terrorist attack between now and Labor Day, focusing on targets such as airlines and ships and aiming to kill large numbers of people, all in the hope of throwing the presidential election in their favor, as they did in Spain.
Of course, tough-minded conservatives like to opine that we're in a war with "militant Islam," not just with "terror," yet those same conservatives seem to believe that we can win this war on militant Islam while leaving in our midst a large and expanding population of Moslems, a major portion of whom are pro-jihadist and anti-American. According to even the most hard-boiled thinkers among us, our domestic safety rests on two foundations: assimilation of U.S. Moslems, and security measures against terrorism. But the successful assimilation of all U.S. Moslems is a pipe dream, and our vaunted security measures only add up to managing the intolerable threat of domestic terrorism, not ending it.
The simple fact we must face is that we will continue living under the ever-present fear and reality of domestic terrorism as long as Wahhabi and fundamentalist Moslems continue to reside and move around freely in the United States and other Western countries. Therefore, if we want to eliminate the threat of domestic terrorism, and not just keep dancing around the problem, we must stop talking about assimilating Moslems and start talking about excluding and deporting them instead.
When I say this, I am not advocating the universal exclusion and deportation of all Moslem immigrants from this country. I am not seeking to set up a spy service to find out if a native American has converted to Islam. Nor am I saying that if an American becomes a Moslem he would lose his job or get deported.
What I am talking about is stopping and then reversing the Islamicization of America.
Here are five steps by which this can be accomplished:
1. End all mass immigration of Moslems into the United States, whether from Moslem countries or elsewhere. Moslems would only be admitted on a selective, individual basis, not on the basis of being part of a national quota, and not on the basis of having extended family members already in the U.S., as is now the case. Rather than admitting mass numbers of Moslems every year for no reason except their wish to come here, we would only admit individuals who had some particular and legitimate connection to America, such as business people, diplomats, spouses of Americans, and so on.
2. Deport all Moslem illegal aliens. Serious enforcement of existing laws, strengthened by a newly developed high-tech system that will enable authorities to know if visitors to the U.S. have overstayed their visas, will make it possible for the government to apprehend and deport a very substantial number of Moslem illegals. But perhaps even more important than the direct apprehension of illegals would be the changed atmosphere created by such an effort. Consider what illegal aliens from Pakistan did in February 2003 when the federal authorities engaged in even a small amount of proper law enforcement. As summarized by the New York Times,
"Land crossings from the U.S. into Canada have been jammed for two weeks because of unusual and chaotic exodus of illegal Pakistani immigrants seeking asylum in Canada out of fear of being arrested in US and deported to Pakistan; reluctant flight is prompted by rumors of dragnets and by new federal deadlines that require male foreign visitors, principally those from Muslim and Arab countries, to register with the government."
This, as far as I can remember, was the first time that illegals have fled from the U.S. instead of flooding into it. A further bit of poetic justice was that many of them now considered Canada a more welcoming place for them than the U.S. At least for a moment, America had lost its reputation as the ultimate harbor of Third-World immigrants.
There is a great lesson to be learned here. Immigrants tend to go to countries where they are welcomed, or at least to countries where the natives and the government do not actively tell them that they don't want them. For forty years, we've said, "Come on in," and they've come. But when, as with the Moslem registration program, we became even a little less accepting of illegal aliens, they began to leave on their own initiative. This voluntary mini-exodus was a hopeful glimpse of an America that might be—an America that defends its laws and its national integrity instead of turning itself into the doormat of the world. Just imagine how less toxic the illegal alien situation would be in California today if the state authorities in 1994 had enforced Proposition 187 (which prohibited illegals from receiving state benefits) instead of killing it. Enforcement would have signalled a new and frankly harder attitude toward illegal aliens that would have encouraged many of them to leave, and discouraged many others from coming here in the first place.
3. Deport all legal resident aliens with ties or loyalties to radical Islam. There would be no legal or moral problem in our doing this. Resident aliens are not citizens, and if it is necessary for our safety and security to terminate their resident status, we have the right to do so. Let us remember also that any serious Moslem is obligated by his religion to help spread Islam and Islamic law, Shariah; therefore no serious Moslem, even if he pays taxes and obeys the law, can be a truly loyal citizen of the United States. There is no reason for us to allow Islamic fundamentalists to remain in this country and become citizens. If we lack the will even to deport non-citizen Wahhabis and jihadis, then we might as well lie down and surrender to the global jihad right now.
4. Remove the citizenship of and deport all naturalized and native-born citizens who are supporters of jihad. This is the most radical step of all, but it is justified by the same considerations discussed above. Islam obligates its adherents to live under Shariah, wherever they are and to wage holy war against non-Moslems, particularly Christians and Jews. Any serious Moslem must obey that law. True, the requirements are put in abeyance when circumstances dictate, as when a Moslem population in a non-Moslem society is small and weak and must avoid antagonizing the majority population. But as soon as the Moslems gain enough numbers to exert political influence, the command to live under Shariah—and ultimately to impose Shariah on the whole society through jihad—kicks in. The growth of Islam in America is thus an existential threat to us and our entire way of life. We have no obligation to harbor within our country people who are religiously committed to the destruction of our country.
As an example of the hideous problems we and other Westerners now face as a result of our thoughtless immigration policies over the last 40 years, consider this report from the New York Times about Moslem radicals in Britain:
"LUTON, England, April 24—In this former industrial town north of London, a small group of young Britons whose parents emigrated from Pakistan after World War II, have turned against their families' new home. They say they would like to see Prime Minister Tony Blair dead or deposed and an Islamic flag hanging outside No. 10 Downing Street.
"They swear allegiance to Osama bin Laden and his goal of toppling Western democracies to establish an Islamic superstate under Shariah law, like Afghanistan under the Taliban. They call the Sept. 11 hijackers the 'Magnificent 19' and regard the Madrid train bombings as a clever way to drive a wedge into Europe.
"On Thursday evening, at a tennis center community hall in Slough, west of London, their leader, Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammad, spoke of his adherence to Osama bin Laden. If Europe fails to heed Mr. bin Laden's offer of a truce—provided that all foreign troops be withdrawn from Iraq in three months—Muslims will no longer be restrained from attacking the Western countries that play host to them, the sheik said.
"'All Muslims of the West will be obliged,' he said, to 'become his sword' in a new battle. Europeans take heed, he added, saying, 'It is foolish to fight people who want death—that is what they are looking for.'"
As we read this story (which is stunningly frank and non-PC for the Times), a question arises that we cannot afford to ignore. Under any sane understanding of law and politics, does a country have an obligation to keep within its borders an alien population—even if they were born in the country—that openly sides with the country's enemies, cheers for the mass murder of the country's citizens, and eagerly calls for the country's defeat and destruction at the hands of those enemies? I think not. As Justice Robert Jackson famously remarked, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Neither is a nation a suicide pact. As we are learning again from our troubles in reconstructing Iraq, the first necessity of a political society, preceding laws and constitutions, and making laws and constitutions possible, is the preservation of its own existence from external and internal enemies.
In asking myself whether the removal from America of both naturalized and American-born jihadis is too extreme a measure for us to contemplate, I'm reminded of Edward Everett Hale's famous short story, "The Man without a Country," in which the protaganist, Philip Nolan, after being convicted of joining in Aaron Burr's conspiracy against the United States, is sentenced to spend the rest of his life on a navy ship, never to set foot in the United States again. Yet Nolan's disloyal actions and hateful words against America, which earned him life-long exile from his native land, were child's play compared to what the jihadis would do to us. So it's important to keep things in perspective: I'm not saying that we should execute or punish or even imprison these domestic enemies who pray for and applaud our destruction. I'm saying we should send them back to the Moslem countries that they and their parents came from—where in fact they will probably be happier and more at peace than they are here, living among us infidels. The relocation of Western jihadis out of the Dar al-Harb, the Realm of War (where Islamic law tells them they have the total right to wage war against us), to the Dar al-Islam, the Realm of Islam, would be just and mild treatment of them, and would make us immeasurably safer.
What I've said about the jihadists and terror-supporters goes for the terrorists as well. The terrorists can only threaten us because they are here, and not only here in the U.S., but in the West as a whole, and freely travelling around from country to country—it's all part of one problem. If the U.S. and other non-Moslem countries forced or encouraged all radical and questionable Moslems to leave and didn't allow any to enter, the population that supplies and provides cover for the terrorists would be gone. It's elementary, my dear reader: we defeat jihad in America by removing the jihadists from America. Frankly, this seems a lot more doable and within our power than trying to turn every Moslem country on earth into a functioning democracy.
5. Publicly renounce and abjure multiculturalism as a societal philosophy. We must tell the world that we no longer consider ourselves equally open to all peoples and cultures in the world, that we are a Western society with a British-based, Protestant culture and a Judeo-Christian morality, and that we intend to remain so. Therefore no one should think of immigrating to or remaining in the United States unless he is prepared to make that culture his own.
A future of hope
The five-step plan I have outlined, while not removing all Moslems from America and not solving all problems connected with their presence here, would nevertheless accomplish something of inestimable value to us: it would reverse the current course of things. Instead of the present, continuing increase in the numbers and élan and power of Moslems in this country, there would be a steady net decrease in their numbers and élan and power. Instead of finding ourselves in the ever-deepening despair of seeing the power of Moslems with their Sharia and their mosques and their electronically amplified public calls to prayer and their hatred of Christianity and of Jews and their support for terrorism getting greater and greater among us, and seeing our own control over own society—and even our freedom to speak about what is happening to us—getting less and less, we would live once again in the hope that there is a future for ourselves and our country.
We got ourselves into this mess through our belief in universal non-discrimination, the utopian liberal ideology which told us to open our nation's borders on an equal basis to every people and culture in the world. Therefore the only way we can get ourselves out of this mess is by abandoning the belief in universal non-discrimination. Obviously, we should discriminate against those who are hostile to our society and our very existence.
There is nothing evil, immoral, reactionary, fascist, or racist in what I am proposing here. I'm saying things that once would have been the common-sense understanding of all Western people, prior to the suicidal "we-must-end-all-discrimination-against-everyone-in-the-world" brand of liberalism that became ascendant in the West after World War II, and that was made U.S. national policy under the 1965 Immigration Act.
My proposals so far have only dealt with fundamentalist Moslems. What about the non-fundamentalists, the so-called moderates? For all the reasons I've given, I believe it is not a good idea to allow entire populations of Mideastern Moslems to settle and live in a Western country. In practice, however, it would not be necessary to remove all Moslems from America. As a result of the large scale relocations and voluntary departures of Islamic fundamentalists that would occur under the steps I've set forth, the situation of the more assimilated and loyal Moslems who remained in America would also be transformed. The U.S. Moslem community would not only have ceased to swell due to immigration (because mass immigration would have been stopped—see Point 1 above), but it would have been absolutely reduced in size (because of ongoing forced and voluntary departures—see Points 2, 3, and 4 above). The radical and violent elements of the Moslem community, with their famous ability to intimidate and silence the moderates, would be gone. With the U.S. Moslem population reduced from what it is today to a much smaller number of non-fundamentalist Moslems, they would no longer be a significant or threatening element in our body politic, and could be tolerated as such. Only at that point would "assimilation" become a realistic and practicable goal, rather than, as at present, a euphemistic escape from a reality we are afraid to face.
Lawrence Auster is the author of Erasing America: The Politics of the Borderless Nation. He runs the weblog View from the Right.