In 19th Century Europe, the big question was The Jewish Question. What do you do about the Jews? Do you give them the same rights as other citizens? If you do, won’t they take over? Are they interested in becoming citizens or do they just want to pursue their group interest?
Hitler regarded the Jews as too smart for regular Germans and he wanted to expel the Jews before they destroyed Aryan culture. Unfortunately for him, nobody wanted to take the Jews, so he fell back on wiping them out.
After the Holocaust, racial thinking fell into disrepute among the elites. You could no longer question whether groups were any different. You could not notice patterns. Any hint that one group may be better at something than the norm would only presuppose that other groups were less adept at certain things and this was surely only a step away from genocide and was therefore a thought crime.
The Jewish Question was no longer allowed to be a question that could be raised in polite company. Of course Jews and Gypsies and every group had to be given equal rights and equal opportunities alongside the core citzenry. National borders were remnants of nationalism and nationalism caused the Holocaust and was in disrepute. We were all one.
As populations grew and affordable family formation became more difficult, Europeans had fewer children. So they imported quiescent Muslims to do their manual labor keep their economies rolling. Unfortunately, Muslims were slow to assimilate and this provoked forbidden questions.
In the West in the 21st Century, the big question is The Muslim Question. What do you do with Muslims? Do you hope they will assimilate to your culture? If they instead change your culture in ways you hate, how do you react? Is Islam compatible with Western-style democracy, women’s rights, gay rights and free speech? Does Islam attract and develop a certain way of thinking and living that is inimical to western norms?
I was transfixed by 9/11. I was shaken up the slaughter of 3,000 innocent Americans by Muslims (mainly from Saudi Arabia). Since that day, I’ve read countless books about it and watched many documentaries. I’ve read hundreds of articles about Islam, most of them negative. And yet I’ve never read anything like this blog post by Lawrence Auster advocating that we criminalize Islam in America.
Believe me, I’m appalled at his sentiments. I can’t think of anything more anti-American. I am only writing about it to bring attention to the problem of racism and bigotry in our country and to agitate for greater government control of such hate speech.
With all the anti-Islam feeling in the West, why isn’t anyone advocating this? Now, I’m jolly glad they don’t because Americans believe in liberty and justice for all. A lot of people bluster about Islam but they don’t have a coherent program for dealing with it. I’m curious why that is and I’m terribly grateful for this kindly attitude towards all of God’s creatures.
Frankly, I think we should have more Muslim immigration to America and every time I meet a Muslim, I try to hug them and to encourage them to bring more of their family and relatives to this country. As far as I am concerned, you can never have too much diversity. I love learning about other religions and there’s just so much wisdom in Islam. Muslims in America have made such awesome contributions, the thought of them leaving makes me want to cry.
Perhaps the biggest Muslim contribution to American public culture is the foot-washing ceremony. As the New York Daily News noted: “Growing numbers of Muslims living in the United States are seeking to wash their feet in the sinks of public rest rooms. The foot-washing is part of wudu, the ritual ablutions a Muslim performs before the five prayer sessions he or she observes every day at intervals from morning till night. The ablutions can take several minutes and involve repeated washing or rinsing of the hands, mouth, nostrils, face, arms, forehead, hair, ears and, finally, the feet.”
If you are lucky enough to have devout Muslim co-workers, you might find yourself using a bathroom after he has performed his ablutions and the holiness is still in the air and all over the floor.
I don’t push for Auster’s position. I fight against it! It feels Nazi-like to me, but just as I can’t stop watching movies about WWII and I’m awed by Nazi uniforms and the behavior of some gangsters, so too I’m just fascinated by Lawrence Auster’s argument below. More generally, I’m fascinated by the idea that not all people, cultures and religions are equally likely to assimilate into America and prosper. I’m fascinated by the idea that there is forbidden knowledge and that there should be limits on religious tolerance in the name of preserving your own way of life.
I can’t think of thoughts that are more heretical.
It seems to me that there are peoples, cultures, and religions that see the United States of America as the enemy. If so, should America view them as the enemy?
Here is a “1991 internal memo of the Holy Land Foundation that was uncovered by the Justice Department in a raid on a suspect’s home in Virginia, and presented in the current trial of HLF for ties to terrorism. Here is the key paragraph:”
The process of settlement [of Islam in the United States] is a “Civilization-Jihadist” process with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that all their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” their miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who choose to slack.
So how should America respond?
All of the millions of Mexicans who’ve come to the United States and settled here illegally. Do you think they have the best interests of American citizens at heart or do they want to create a different country here? I suspect they want an America in their image, much more like Mexico.
When Europeans came to what is now America in the 16th and 17th Century, did they have the best interests of the natives at heart? No, I don’t think they really cared about what was best for the Native Americans. Instead, they cared primarily about what was best for them and their progeny and so they took care of the Indian problem. That’s pretty much the way of the world. Peoples, usually united by similar genes, bond together to rule over a particular land and when they see it as in their interest, they expand and conquer other peoples and they continue to pursue their group interest until they are destroyed.
If Muslims and Mexicans want to shape America in their image, I don’t blame them. I expect them to try to make America more Muslim and more Mexican and I expect them to organize in their group interest and to pursue what is good for them with little thought for what is good for WASPs and what is good for Jews.
The founders of the United States were excellent at organizing in their group interest and to create a country that would allow their progeny to prosper. Jews are excellent at organizing in their group interest and they have prospered in America, increasingly shunting aside the old WASP elites, because, frankly, Jews regard themselves as smarter and more competent at pursuing their group interest than other groups. WASPs think, in general, that pursuing your ethnic interest is disgusting. So more organized tribal groups such as Jews, Arabs, Asians, etc are increasingly triumphing over the unorganized WASPs of America.
I feel great trepidation about quoting Lawrence Auster below. There’s something that feels Nazi-like about it. I feel like a little Hitler even mentioning such things. I feel that by simply quoting the below ideas that I am supporting a Krystalnacht against Muslims when I hate the idea of any criminal violence against Muslims or anyone. I don’t want Muslims beaten and robbed. I want them treated with dignity. I’m not sure how suited they are for America just as I’m not thrilled with the presence of millions of Arabs in Israel. I don’t want these Arab Israelis hurt. Perhaps they could be encouraged to leave and allow the Jews to sort out their own destiny?
I know there are Americans who admire Japan’s immigration policy — no immigrants! Japan is particularly intolerant towards Muslims. Japan is a land without Muslims and I don’t remember anybody protesting this.
I admit that occasionally I have anti-Muslim thoughts and I am thoroughly ashamed of this. I am only writing this out so I can confront myself and condemn and my hidden bigotries.
Frankly, I blame the media and the Republican party for putting bigoted thoughts in my head, because my natural self has only love for all of humanity and equal respect for all religions and cultures.
There are only two races! The decent and the indecent!
I hate to admit this, but there’s a nasty and shameful part of me that would love to see America stop accepting immigrants and that would love the idea of bribing our unproductive citizens to leave (say $20,000 each so long as they never return), but most of me hates such thinking and fights to the death against such bigotry and I only keep bloviating here so that we can all better understand the wickedness and stupidity of opposing diversity. Aren’t we all God’s kids? Surely what unites us is greater than what divides us?
I bet many Americans wish Muslims well, would even pay them to leave, and would love to see them band together somewhere else in the world and create beautiful societies. Let them show us what they can do somewhere far away and we can then watch on TV and read books about them and rethink our prejudices.
How would I feel if somebody proposed a plan to make Judaism illegal in America? I would hate it.
I don’t want America so deeply involved in the Middle East. Let the Jews and Arabs sort out their own destinies.
Lawrence Auster wrote in 2007:
The memo didn’t outline anything violent or illegal or seditious. The memo did not call for overthrowing the government. We need to realize that it is, literally, not against the law to seek to destroy Western civilization. Acting entirely within the law, Muslims could gain power in America and then legally change the laws. As long as the only threat that we can imagine taking action against is a criminal threat, we are helpless, as Dreher seems to be helpless in this column.
So this is not a criminal matter, but a political matter in the highest sense, and thus a constitutional matter. Since Muslims, admitted legally to the U.S., and acting within the law once they are here, have the divinely mandated aim of destroying our system, and can destroy our system, we must respond accordingly. It is not a matter of calling Muslims criminals or terrorists. It is a matter of determining that the religion of Islam is antithetical to our culture and civilization and therefore must, at the least, be severely restricted.
This can be accomplished in two ways. Congress could pass a law declaring that Islam is not a religion in the usual sense but a political movement inherently dangerous to our civilization, our laws, and our liberties. This would remove First Amendment protections from Islam and enable the government to pass further laws regulating, restricting, or even prohibiting Islam. Any such laws would, of course, face continual constitutional challenges.
Which leads to the second and more radical approach. We could pass a Constitutional amendment declaring that, notwithstanding any other provision in the Constitution and any laws of the United States, the religion of Islam cannot be practiced in the United States. By placing the prohibition of Islam in the Constitution, by saying that Islam is incompatible with our existence as a society, we would be making a fundamental statement about the kind of society America is, and that is precisely the kind of thing that belongs in the Constitution. After the Civil War, slavery was prohibited, not by statute or presidential proclamation, but by an amendment to the Constitution, indicating that slavery has no place in the United States. Up to that point, slavery had been legal in much of the U.S., and during the Civil War had been ended by presidential proclamation under wartime powers. Slavery was only truly extirpated from the U.S. by the Thirteenth Amendment, which superseded all previous laws and all Constitutional protections that had given slavery a place in this country. It is time to think about doing the same with regard to Islam.
With the Thirteenth Amendment as our model, the amendment could be written as follows:
Section 1. The religion taught by the Prophet Muhammad in the Koran and in the Islamic Traditions or Hadiths, and formalized in the Islamic schools of jurisprudence, also known as the Sharia Law, shall not be practiced within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. This article supersedes any contrary provision of this Constitution and of the laws of the United States, and of the constitutions and laws of the several states.
Section 3. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. The constitutionality of any laws passed by Congress pursuant to this article shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary.