Exclude Islamists, Not Muslims

December 9, 2015

Donald Trump was never the person to go to for serious, thoughtful policy proposals. Maybe after he’s done sucking up all the media attention, the rest of us can have a serious conversation.

NRO’s Mark Krikorian has some ideas.

“It’s Time for a Grown-Up Alternative to Trump’s Crude Muslim-Immigration Proposal”

But large Muslim populations, continually refreshed by ongoing mass immigration, are a problem. Polling suggests between a quarter and a third are not attached to the principles of the Constitution, supporting things such as sharia law over U.S. law and the use of violence against those who insult Islam. . . .

Even President Obama has paid (grudging) lip service to the ideological — as opposed to the violent — threat. In his Oval Office speech Sunday night he said “Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to . . . speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity.” So why aren’t we keeping out people who adhere to such interpretations?

Such screening would be stricter for people coming as immigrants than for nonimmigrants (visitors). So long as he’s not a terrorist, it doesn’t matter too much to us if a Turkish businessman attending a trade show in Atlanta supports the killing of homosexuals. But for people who want to become permanent (or even long-term “temporary”) residents, it does matter. At the very least, we should be asking things like whether they support freedom of religion and speech, regardless of content, even if it is insulting to other faiths. Of course people could, and would, lie, but the very fact that such a question is asked would send a message about what we expect of people hoping to live among us — that believing in Islamic supremacism is disqualifying even if you yourself do not use violence.

(Read the whole thing here.)

This echoes what Mark Steyn has been saying for a long time, and last week, when he remarked that we got the San Bernardino attack partly

Because no matter how massively you expand the panopticon Security State it can never have enough manpower to anticipate the moment a Syed Farook goes full Allahu Akbar. Because political correctness requires that we regard as just another part of the vibrant tapestry of diversity people who believe in everything ISIS believes in (sharia, female subservience, clitoridectomies, death for homosexuals) but stop short of chopping your head off. So we cannot stop them before they open fire.

Mass Muslim immigration is imposing strains on western society that we cannot meet now, and we will be buried by in the years ahead. Perhaps if we could talk about that honestly we wouldn’t be sideswiped by the next member of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves who — all together now — “appeared to be living the American Dream”.

Dream on… Because a moratorium on mass Muslim immigration is — all together now — “not who we are”.

Maybe we can finally talk honestly about the problem after all.

6 Responses to “Exclude Islamists, Not Muslims”

  1. Will S. Says:

    The problem with Krikorian’s proposed ideological test, is quite simply, that anyone could lie, just to be admitted. Heck, under Sharia principles, lying to unbelievers to advance Islam is encouraged:


    (Shoot, we just had a case up here where an Israeli immigrant swore allegiance to the Queen, then made a mockery of it, immediately renouncing his oath. Alas, the courts in Ontario will allow one to do so, and the federal government thus far hasn’t stepped in to stop such a thing.


    I have no doubt that Krikorian’s litmus test would accomplish precisely nothing.

    Krikorian is obviously intelligent and well-informed, as is evident in his essay, so he surely knows damn well the worthlessness of his proposal. But he’d rather preserve appearances, than take concrete action that would actually work to keep out Islamic fundamentalists – banning any further immigration and refusing to admit further refugees, of Muslim background. (That may be a challenge to enforce, but it can be done, more or less.)

    Donald Trump may be a pompous blowhard, a joker, who says one thing one day then another the next, but on this matter, he’s managed to articulate precisely what must be done, to prevent more such occurrences as we’ve seen recently in San Bernardino and Paris.

    Too much for some to stomach, I realize, but that’s often the case with hard truths.

    Trump’s view is more grown-up than Krikorian’s, because it is honest, and workable.

    • I disagree. Not to oversimplify, if you think the fact that people can lie (which Mr. Krikorian is aware of in the article) makes ideological or cultural tests utterly worthless, then I think the same applies to a religious test. (Our hypothetical Islamist applicant will say that he has recently converted to Christianity, or atheism. How would we know?) While on the other hand, if you think we can investigate his background to find out whether he was Muslim in the past (he can’t change the past), then I think the same could potentially apply to ideological or cultural tests. (If, say, he posted approvingly about attacks on Jews on Facebook in the past, how likely is it that he has suddenly lost his thirst for Abrahamic blood?)

      And certainly, if he later makes a mockery of what he said, then deport him, or perhaps there should be a more serious criminal penalty (as there would be for some other kinds of fraud). Based on your Ontario example, I surmise that detecting lies sooner or later is easier than your argument suggests, and the problem lies rather in the government’s will to follow through.

      There are other ways of investigating than simply asking the applicant, of course. I recall that the Netherlands or one of the countries thereabouts at some point a few years ago considered (or a thoughtful reformer proposed) having a video that showed some of the things that the (pre-Muslim-wave-migration) Netherlands thought of as its cultural distinctiveness—topless beaches, smoking marijuana, and other expressions of their version of freedom, I think. The idea was to show it to each immigrant applicant and ask him whether he’s willing to embrace the host culture he’s immigrating to—whether all this freedom is OK with him. Maybe he will lie about that too, but I bet it’s more difficult to fake it convincingly under those circumstances.

      Or maybe the interviewer should introduce himself as a Jew, or a homosexual, or maybe the interviewer should be an uncovered female, or maybe the interviewer should visibly handle a Koran with ungloved hands. I don’t know. I don’t have a program drawn up. This is the beginning of a national conversation about this kind of policy, not the end of it. My point is that I don’t see why it should be nearly so unworkable as you make it out to be.

      • Will S. Says:

        Yes, one could lie about religious affiliation. It would be necessary to go beyond simply asking, “Are you, or have you ever been, a Muslim?”, and actually investigate. “What church do you belong to? Name, address, contacts?” See if they have Arabic names or instead have Christian names; try certain pronunciational shibboleths on them, etc. And more.

        I sure as heck don’t like the idea of the Dutch test, though, because frankly, I don’t find our hedonist, pornified society defensible, a necessary price to pay for our freedom; I’d rather we didn’t have such, and I don’t want to tell any prospective immigrant that he or she must accept such things, when I myself strongly disagree with them, and don’t think that ending them would be a bad thing at all.

        That said, recall that it was noted about the 9/11 attackers, were that they were strip-bar frequenters, womanizers, heavy drinkers and partiers, who thought, based on their understanding of their own religion, that all such things would be wiped away with one ‘heroic’ act of war against the infidel, and that the gates of paradise would be opened to them for such an act of jihad. So even acceptance of topless beaches, strip bars, could be possible for a would be mujahideen; no guarantees they’d all be put off by such.

    • Or consider this, what I think is an intriguing example of someone who couldn’t manage perfect camouflage:


      It’s a commenter on this blog, a Progressive atheist classmate of mine from law school who posed as a conservative Christian but immediately gave himself away. It has been remarked on many places that Progressives tend not even to understand conservatives’ point of view. It’s possible that a similar rule would apply to at least some Islamists, and that that would make it more difficult for them to conceal how they really feel.


  2. […] has, at his blog, linked a counter-proposal to Donald Trump’s proposal to end Islamic immigration, from Mark […]

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