Green Tide at the Gates?

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ParaPundit has another post up addressing Muslim immigration into the West. Randall states:

The more Muslims that come to Australia (or any other Western nation) the more there will be to complain and lobby for allowing more to come and to allow more radical ones to come. Until Islam grows up and goes thru something equivalent to the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment why should Western nations put themselves in the position of having to deal with this?

I haven’t stated a pro or con opinion on this topic because I am not totally sure how I will articulate agreements or disagreements with Randall’s position, and many of my concerns are procedural rather than practical, but I think this idea needs to be aired openly, because I believe many Americans, and to a greater extent Europeans, speak of it privately quite frequently. You see this sort of sentiment, expressed in far less measured and reasoned language on message boards, and I believe this sort of thing happens when the punditocracy consciously avoids discussing certain topics, leaving the inarticulate but unvoiced to speak up.

That being said, I know that the first reaction that occurs to many people is that it is fundamentally “unfair” to judge an individual based on group attributes (foreign citizenship). Certainly I have argued against the government making these sort of decisions in the case of citizens [1]. But I do know of a situation where we routinely judge people by their citizenship when they come to this country-asylum & refugee seekers. Back in the 1980s a graduate student that my father knew from Ethiopia got a green\card because his nation was judged to be a tryanny (it was under a Marxist dictator). The individual in question was intelligent and not in fear for his life, but he was from a country where there is a presumption of persecution. In a similar manner, Cubans, or during the Cold War, Soviet Jews, receive considerations that other groups of immigrants do not. What Randall is suggesting is basically the reverse-the presumption that someone should be kept out instead of let in, which means that some individuals will be unfairly targeted, just as many individuals did and do take advantage of the accident of tyranny in the old country to make a case for staying in the United States outside the purview of the law’s intent.

[1] This does not mean that as a legal point it is unfair treatment, non-citizens are routinely treated somewhat differently, I know as I was a green card holder for many years before naturalization.


  1. We (speaking for the citizens of the United States) don’t have to allow any immigration at all if we don’t want to. Therefore we should at least show some common sense and not let into the country who believe in a religion that is completely opposed to what our country stands for.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t much common sense going on in Washington. George W Bush says tht Islam is a “religion of peace”, but there are many passages in the Koran that say the opposite, and if the people who follow that religion interpret their religion as being one that tells them to kill for Allah, then it’s NOT a religion of peace at all.

  2. Speaking anecdotally: I live in a Toronto highrise with a high concentration of Pakistani and Bengali Muslims. I walk outside and what I see are fairly rotund women walking in shazeer-kameez pushing strollers with often 2 or 3 kids in tow. So yes, the high rate of natural growth coupled with the continued influx of Pak/Bangladeshis does concern me somewhat. It inhibits assimilation to a certain degree.

    It all depends on the degree of assimilation of the kids they’re producing – whether they adopt WASP ethos, or opt for African-American “gangsta/ghetto” culture (which would place them in permanent underclass status – there’s a good poem on the discussion board about that), or become swept into radical Wahabbist fundamentalism (which would be absolutely devastating).

    Will the second generation of Canadian Muslims become model minorities or social parasites? From my perspective, coming into contact with numerous South Asian Muslims on a daily basis, I don’t think this Muslim crowd is like the Algerians wreaking havoc in Paris or the Lebanese rapists in Denmark, or the Turkish gangstas in Germany or the Pakistanis rioting in Bradford. Those immigrants were uneducated and unskilled. Canada, fortunately, does a fairly decent of screening and weeding out undesirables. Most of the South Asian Muslims I come across here came via the Gulf State-route (Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar) and are fairly well-educated and speak fluent accented English – though they’re not nearly as affluent as the American South Asian diaspora. Not so sure about the Afghans though.

    …But then the first-generation is usually quiet, law-abiding and acquiescent. It’s the 2nd generation that experiences the “culture clash” and usually has/causes trouble. Still, the Muslims in Canada have been pretty quiet. But unlike in France or Britain or Europe where the Muslims have been around since the 60s, the Muslim community in Canada is still very young, and only just recently have they begun arriving (and breeding) in signifant numbers. So it’ll take another 15-20 years to judge how well they adapt. I’m thinking this community will be fairly successful and influential.

  3. … and in the event those Pakistanis do turn into Islamic fundies, Canada’s lame-ass terrorist-friendly laws will actually help them conduct their business of bringing terror to lucky consumers worldwide!

    Need proof? Look no further than current Liberal leadership’s “Tiger-Friendly” attitude. (Referring to their refusal to declare them as a terrorist group and clean up their front agencies in T.O.)

    What is disturbing in this particular case is that unlike the Muslim/Palestinian diaspora, the majority of Tamil[-Canadian] civilians don’t give a rat’s ass about the Tiger’s cause; there’s nothing remotely religious[1] about it and most expats have no intention of returning to Sri Lanka. As a result the Tigers in Toronto have basically become a gangster cartel a la THE SOPRANOS. They carry silenced glocks or MP5′s with them as they routinely go a-knockin’ on unwitting businessmen’s doors and ask them (pretty-please) for money, lots of money. And if the businessman has a tight fist or thinks the “Toronto Police” can protect him, never mind the consequences… These Tiger/Sopranos also do coke, heroin and other fun stuff on the side. Just the sort of guys you want to invite over for tea.

    They’re also fearlessly violent; far more than your average cigar-chomping gold-ring-wearing gangsta-rap-listening stereotypically “black” drug dealer. There was an incident some time ago where 2 rival tamil(-tiger) gangs had a shoot-out on the 401 (major 6-lane freeway) here. with AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. It’s like freakin’ Compton here now (exageration).

    [1] – fact; after the Jaffna Brahmin establishment (i.e. the hindu priests) steadfastly refused to “bless” the Tigers’ noble endeavours against the Buddhist singhalese, who did they turn to…? the CATHOLIC PRIESTS! ever a beacon of light in these troubled times…

  4. There seems to be a point that is lost in debates about immigration policy: Two or three orders of magnitude more people want to move to the United States than are going to be allowed to do so. We have to use some criteria for keeping out most of them.

    We are not violating anyone’s rights by keeping them out based on suspected or actual ideological leanings. They have no rights to be in this country until such rights are granted by the US government. We routinely have keep out communists because their ideology posed a threat to the US. Just because someone adheres to a religious ideology they should not somehow automatically immune to being judged based on their embrace of an ideology. Religious ideologies should not be exempt from the judgements that we routinely make about secular ideologies.

    We do not need immigrants in the first place. Why not filter who gets in based on ideological leanings? Doing so will reduce the risks that we take by letting in immigrants. While we are at it we should also filter based on intellectual ability and skills. This will further reduce the cost immigrants and if done well will cause those who come to the US to be a net benefit.

  5. “women walking in shazeer-kameez “

    you probably meant Salwar-Khameez

    “whether they adopt WASP ethos”

    Not necessary to adopt WASP ethos (whatever that is). The SIB (South Indian Brahmin) community in Canada (or Toronto at least) has formulated their own creed, work ethic, subculture, whatever you want to call it. Very successful, allowing them to maintain most Indian cultural trappings while having very high success rate in the capitalistic culture here. Things such as food habits (vegetarian cuisine), fine culture (music/dance), “mother language”, certain aspects of religion as well as “morals” are all maintained – and they fit like a glove into society. If I’m not mistaken they even manage to maintain arranged marriages or at least have a greater percentage of their kids go that route vs. “love marriage”.

    “Will the second generation of Canadian Muslims become model minorities or social parasites?”

    Who knows. depends on the infiltration of Wahabbism (?) I suppose. although my brother swears that at his south mississauga high school, a large number of the kids liked to boast about how they were going to join the Taliban or something, or maybe he was just making that up

    The fact remains that the big-L Liberal establishment won’t take security seriously (ever) and they won’t be voted out of office (ever) so you better hope those muslims in Canada don’t all spontaneously become “terrorists” or we’ll be in for a rough ride…

  6. Randall,

    “We routinely have keep out communists because their ideology posed a threat to the US.”

    If that is the case, then isn’t it possible that the DHS is already taking religious affiliation into account when processing new immigrants?

    You’re assuming that if the DHS were to use such determinants in immigration policy, then it would be public and non-classified…?

  7. Sorry to make these posts too Canada-centric but…Canadians have been blessed. Just look at where Canada is on the map. Canada has no mass illegal immigration problem to contend with. Europe only need look south and pray the exploding Muslim populations in the Mid-East and North Africa doesn’t declare a collective Jihad on them. Even Australia is too close for comfort to surging Islamic Indonesia.

    Canada need not worry about being swamped by Mexican illegals. And it has a whole ocean separating it from Africa and the Mideast. Not to mention its proximity to the rising dragons of Asia-Pacific (unlike, say, Europe). Canada can protect its borders at far less expense than America or Europe or even Australia (unless, of course, life becomes so unbearable in the US that Americans begins hopping the border en masse). ;-)

    “It’s like freakin’ Compton here now (exageration).”

    Toronto has a rising immigrant population. There’s a general belief (misconception?) that more immigrants = more crime. Yet, unlike Paris or London, Toronto’s crime rate is falling every year. In fact, Toronto has the lowest crime rate in all of Canada, and enjoys the distinction of being “The Safest City in North America”. It’s a peculiar phenomeon…Can anyone account for this?

    [Only 60 freaking murders/year for a metropolis of 4 000 000 where 50% of the population is non-white - this is remarkable. A racialist's worst nightmare] ;-)

  8. For those comparing the war on terror with the cold war and Muslims with communism, are you saying that the US is at war with ALL of the Muslim world? Because if you are, you need to tell me so I can run to a neutral place like Switzerland! You see I have important ties on both sides and I won’t participate in that war. Also, I am a Muslim and if the war is against ALL Muslims, I am forced to be the enemy without any decision on my part.

    If on the other hand the war is against Al-Qaeda and other violent fundamentalist groups, count me in.

    You see group rights rhetoric is all well and good but like everyone else MY rights is what matters to me most. And a war against all of Islam and an immigration policy against ALL Muslims both affect me personally.

  9. Zack,

    When you objectively consider who presents a greater risk of killing you in an indiscriminate act of mass murder, who do you fear most?


  10. Bob:
    When I objectively consider who presents a greater risk of killing ME, I think it would be an American, most likely to be either white or black. The reason is I live in the US and I am more likely to be killed in a traffic accident or other random act of violence than by terrorists.

  11. Just to clarify my views:

    In general I am pro-immigration. Like Godless, I am in favor of immigration being targeted to skilled and educated people from all over the world but I am more moderate in my views than him.

    If we are at war or are enemies with a specific country, I do believe we should in general halt immigration from there (exception: persected groups).

    I also think that all immigrants, including those from Muslim countries, should have to go through security checks (I think it already happens, though there is probably red tape involved).

    I do not however think all Muslims should be debarred from immigrating to the US. I also don’t think that it would be detrimental to the US to have Muslim immigrants. One reason is I don’t believe in judging someone on the basis of groups. We should make the judgment individually.

    Another reason is I think if we stop all Muslim immigration and/or take other actions against all Mulsims, we make this war on terror out to be a war against all of Islam. That is not right and would result in major problems for the world in my opinion.

    We should also consider the fact that there is a plus side to Muslim immigrants. Well-adjusted Muslims in the US can possibly positively affect relations between people in the Muslim world and the US.

    And lastly, to all those who think Muslims should not be allowed to immigrate, do you think I should be deported? Forget the group “Muslims.” Let’s talk about individuals. Should I be allowed to immigrate or not?

  12. Sen,

    “Sorry to make these posts too Canada-centric but…Canadians have been blessed.”

    I tend to disagree about the ‘blessed’ part … but I’m a rabble rouser, and I can’t stand Chretien — in addition, I can see some of the terrorist problems a little more clearly than others who might NOT have had personal contact with such individuals…

    ” distinction of being ‘The Safest City in North America’. “

    Actually I thought nextdoor neighbour Mississauga enjoyed that title. It deserves it more than Toronto, being the most well-managed, well-governed, well-developed suburban town in SE Ontario and probably Canada… meanwhile the last few T.O. mayors have been incompetent buffoons.

    I suspect those figures on gun violence in Toronto are probably true, but as NRA fanboys like to say, there’s more “unarmed crime” in T.O. than a number of other cities of similar size in America… breaking and entering, car theft, mugging, etc.

  13. Zack, were we at war with all communists? No. We were battling the ideology. We tried to prevent its spread. But obviously most individual communists were not going to launch attacks on their own or in groups. But get this: communists were far less likely to launch attacks without an order from a communist government than Muslims are to do so without an order from a Muslim government.

    Group average differences in tendency for particular behaviors are important. Knowledge of such differnce should be used when setting policy.

    Zack, are you a US citizen?

  14. Zack: “And lastly, to all those who think Muslims should not be allowed to immigrate, do you think I should be deported?”

    Well, if your adoptive country ever has to fight a war against Islam, and since you said:

    “I am a Muslim and if the war is against ALL Muslims, I am forced to be the enemy without any decision on my part”

    it seems you just answered your question.

  15. Johnny — Mississauga is brown-country. I know tons of Pakistanis who live their (including much family). If it’s that it is the lowest crime suburb, then Canada needs to open its doors to more Pakistani immigration.

    This is not an endoresement of Mississauga. It is about as bleak and boring as a southern Ontario suburb can get (or is that Markham?).

    But complimenting Mississauga does not imply dissing toronto. Toronto crime is _really_ low. I’ve walked thru the worst housing project in Canada, Regent’s Park, at 2am, and felt quite safe.

    And it is worth noting that the greatest increase in crime in Canada came in all-white PEI. The prairies also have a very high crime rates.

    As for Canadian immigration — keeping the doors open is a policy that has broad support in Canada. Yes, immigrant organized crime is a associated problem, but we let in 1 million Italians in the past fifty years, sufferred thru the attendent crime problems, and are not worse off for it. And Tamil crime is less of a concern to ordinary Canadians than Italian crime was.

  16. With all due respect, Zack, you are dissembling–neither a traffic accident nor a stray bullet from a drive-by have anything to do with my question to you.

    If you wanted to give a reasoned, rational response, you could at least point out that by far the greatest number of acts of indiscriminate mass murder in the US are perpetrated by white males of european descent between the ages of 14 and 25. However, these acts tend to result in no more than a dozen or so deaths. Timothy McVeigh, by far the most effective of these mass murderers, managed to outdo the typical casualty rate by an order of magnitude.

    When one compares McVeigh’s act of mass murder to similarly successful acts perpetrated by muslims against Americans, one would conclude that McVeigh was a rank amateur. His casualty rate was at the low end of such acts by muslims and the 9/11 attacks raised the casualty rate by yet another order of magnitude.

    In recent days, I have noticed you accused Randall of prejudice and you even went to the trouble of posting a definition of prejudice. I have to say that your mindless, knee-jerk, irrational responses on the topic of muslim immigration are the very picture of prejudice while Randall’s measured, calm and rational analyses of the situation are the very picture of rational impartiality.

    Would Randall’s suggestion to exclude muslims from immigrating to the US deprive deserving muslims of a valuable opportunity? Yes. Does current US immigration policy deprive deserving muslims of a valuable opportunity? Yes. Is there any feasible US immigration policy that would not deprive millions of eager would-be Americans of a valuable opportunity every year? No. Simply too many people want to immigrate to the US to allow them all.

    Since it is a given that the US must arbitrarily exclude millions of deserving wouldbe immigrants every year, what rational argument do you have against biasing the selection criteria to reduce the risk of subversive fifth elements and completely avoidable damage to the US economy?

  17. Randall: No.

  18. We are at war against Muslims who believe that they should kill all infidels who won’t convert to Islam.

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell apart the Muslims who believe in jihad from those who are the “peaceful” Muslims that George W Bush talks about.

    Furthermore, a peaceful Muslim is much more likely to convert to a jihad Muslim once they are in the country than is someone who is a non-Muslim.

    So I just don’t see how letting more Muslims into the country in any way benefits us. (Us being non-Muslim Americans.)

    I’m opposed to amount of immigration we have now, but if we have to let people in, there are plenty of non-Muslims to choose from.

  19. Bob — I think you are missing the point. and this is the key phrase:

    “selection criteria to reduce the risk of subversive fifth elements”

    If immigration policy were tailored to reduce harm to the US, Englishmen would be first off the list, especially English farmers. A single case of mad cow would devastate the US farming economy (look to what is happening in Canada).

    But the US is not stopping Englishmen from coming to the USA. (Derbyshire’s, Sullivans’, the land abounds with unreconstructed Englishmen. Hasn’t anyone thought of the children?)

    That’s just one example. there are many other risks to the US — from AIDs to espionage (Katrina Leung). US immigration has no blanket bans on Chinese immigrants though the danger of espionage certainly exists.


    The right answer is to look at the risks and benefits of a government regulation (including immigration restriction tailored to national origin). Would a blanket ban on chinese immigrants reduce espionage? — Certainly. Is it the most sensible way of coutnering espionage? — Nope. (If you disagree — we can go into this point further).

    The same point applies to all goverment regulations. What is the most cost-effective, low impact way of achieving a policy goal?

    (And, no, Bob. I am not American. And lately, I have become very grateful that I declined the option to become one.)

    Zack — This is how the smear works. Next question — why do you hate America so much? Don’t dissemble, just answer the question.

  20. Furthermore, as eufrenio correctly pointed out, Zack said “Also, I am a Muslim and if the war is against ALL Muslims, I am forced to be the enemy without any decision on my part.”

    Zack clearly indicates he is Muslim first and American second. Exactly the kind of immigrants we don’t need in this country.

  21. eufrenio: I am not sure you understood my statement: “I am a Muslim and if the war is against ALL Muslims, I am forced to be the enemy without any decision on my part.”

    To clarify, if the US decides to look at all Muslims as enemies, they have decided I am an enemy. Does that really make me one or would I really be fighting on the other side then? I don’t think so. I won’t think of myself as an enemy of the US, but I would be careful for my life and liberty. Because for me, my life and liberty are more important than Americans’, Muslims’, Pakistanis’ or any other group to which I belong or not belong.

  22. Zack clearly indicates he is Muslim first and American second.

    Gordon: I stated no such thing. Presumably, the set “ALL Muslims” includes Muslims who are Americans.

  23. Gordon, Bob, Randall: Do I belong to the set “Americans” in your opinion as true-blue Americans considering that I am not a US citizen, though I live in the US and am a Muslim.

    I await your wisdom.

  24. Zack: ” I won’t think of myself as an enemy of the US, but I would be careful for my life and liberty. Because for me, my life and liberty are more important than Americans’, Muslims’, Pakistanis’ or any other group to which I belong or not belong “

    The fact is, whether you like or not, you´d be an enemy of your elected country: first, as a Muslim, despite yourself, you´d have to take sides and your loyalty, as you made clear, lies foremost with your religion; and then secondly, by definition, you´d be an enemy in the eyes of your fellow MAJORITY non-muslims citizens.
    It must be a painful situation to be in, I have to say! :(

  25. well-what would you pick if you had to choose between your god and your country? as an atheist-i don’t have to make one-but questions like this did come up when german catholics had to fight austrians in the 19th century (they aquitted themselves well) or shia iraqis had to fight iranians (they stuck with their country). these questions require more nuance-the fact is, that as a christian country, and traditionally a protestant country, there is a presumption of patriotism made of such americans in a way that muslims, and earlier catholics & jews, did not have to make. is america’s civic religion of vague theism broad enough to pull islam into the tent? to some extent, that is to be determined….

    if asked to choose between israel & the US, what would most americans choose??? some of my jewish friends-who have are 4rth generation americans-have picked israel. if asked to choose between the destruction of the vatican and the destruction of the white house, what would most catholics choose? i don’t know the answer to these questions-but the key is that america tries not to put religious people in that position-having to choose between god & country.

    the key issue that we are discussing, the criteria for admission into this country, is narrow-not a broad one. the debate seems to be devolving into a “clash of civilizations” type discussion-which i hope to avoid.

    not to be hectoring, but the best way to re-rationalize this debate is for everyone to unilaterally take insults & insinuations off the table, whether of prejudice or patriotism or lack thereof.

  26. oh-and if i had to pick between liberty & justice and my country (the united states), i would pick the former. call me a traitor….

  27. Another reason is I think if we stop all Muslim immigration and/or take other actions against all Mulsims, we make this war on terror out to be a war against all of Islam. That is not right and would result in major problems for the world in my opinion.

    The system of governance of the United States of America was engineered for the enduring preservation of freedom. One of the most basic core values upon which the US is founded and that chosen to preserve freedom is the separation of church and state. Personally, I don’t think the US is at war with all muslims. I think the US is only at war with those muslims who oppose the separation of church and state.

    We should also consider the fact that there is a plus side to Muslim immigrants. Well-adjusted Muslims in the US can possibly positively affect relations between people in the Muslim world and the US.

    Having read the core texts of the Islamic faith, I have to say that the Hadith and the Qur’an on their face tend to mis-adjust Muslims. I am entirely open to the idea that many millions of muslims reinterpret the literal word of the Qur’an in well-adjusted ways; however, the literal texts and core doctrines remain a problem.

    Ignoring the bloodlust of passages about smiting fingers etc. and ignoring the historical record of Mohammed himself as a genocidal mass-murderer, the doctrine that a fragmented, obviously incomplete, randomly ordered collection of rambling, incoherent verses is ‘the complete, true and unadulterated word of God’ whereas the texts of earlier religions were incomplete and inaccurate destroys any confidence I would have in the well-adjustedness of adherents who espouse the doctrine.

    From what other sources I have read, I have every reason to believe that even the best educated, most erudite and open-minded muslim thinkers at overseas universities espouse and believe the most virulent, paranoid fantasies.

    Assuming there are well-adjusted Muslims, they are few and far between, and we then have the difficult task of identifying those few among the throngs of resentful, arrogant haters. If you can provide a reliable, accurate test for well-adjustedness, maybe you can propose an alternate rational immigration policy.

    While I hold basically liberal, humanist, freedom loving democratic values and espouse a “live and let live” attitude, I do not see my values as a suicide pact. Demanding an immigration policy that welcomes our enemies and those opposed to our corest of core values on the principle that it is wrong to filter by religion is suicidal and irrational.

    And lastly, to all those who think Muslims should not be allowed to immigrate, do you think I should be deported? Forget the group “Muslims.” Let’s talk about individuals. Should I be allowed to immigrate or not?

    If you act in a manner treasonous to the US or engage in sedition, I think you should be given the due process the constitution guarantees all citizens and then executed.

    For lesser crimes, I think the US has the power to give you due process, strip you of citizenship and deport you.

    If you are not yet a citizen and if the risk of allowing you to remain somehow outweighs the potential benefits you might provide, I think the US should deport you. Certainly, if it were shown that you committed any crime, it would increase the risk, but even if you did nothing circumstances could increase the risk. If there were a marked rise in the frequency or severity of attacks perpetrated by muslims, for instance, I think the US would have every reason to detain or deport Muslims just as they relocated and detained Japanese in WWII in response to an immediate threat.

    Of course, I think the US should deport every non-citizen who has been convicted of a crime and not just muslims.

  28. your loyalty, as you made clear, lies foremost with your religion

    eufrenio, I never said any such thing.

    My loyalty first and foremost lies with myself. Yes, I am a selfish bastard.

  29. Razib — Seriously. Did you really have any hope of civility when you raised this topic? You do not have the right type of readership for civility (and yes, I include myself).

    But on the topic of religious infuence in government affairs, the Catholic church has in the past two days put a lot of pressure on Canadian politicians to vote agians the gay marriage law. Bishops in Ottawa and Calgary have said the PM and the next PM (both Catholics)will go to Hell if they support gay marriage.

    The level of religious pressure being placed on Catholics had not been seen in Canada in many years.

    Can a Catholic be a member of the Liberal party? Most definitely. See The Pope is not the church.

    But if the Liberal party launched into a strong attack on Catholics and the Cathiolic church in response to the Pope’s anti-gay position, could a Catholic remain in the Liberal party?

  30. Yes, razib, what were you thinking? :-P

    Bob says:
    “… executed … strip you of citizenship and deport you … deport you … even if you did nothing circumstances could increase the risk … detain or deport Muslims.”

    Nowhere does he entertain the possibility that I might be a law-abiding nice guy who deserves a chance to live here.

    I guess it’s time I got out of here (this comment thread, not the US)!

  31. Gordon, Bob, Randall: Do I belong to the set “Americans” in your opinion as true-blue Americans considering that I am not a US citizen, though I live in the US and am a Muslim.

    I await your wisdom.

    Frankly, I don’t know enough about you to judge. If you are a true-blue American, you would put your patriotic duty to your country ahead of your sense of community to your religion. For instance, if you heard someone preaching sedition at the local mosque, you would report the event to the appropriate authorities. That’s not to say that the US would demand that you kill muslims for it. The US has some tolerance for conscientious objectors–not much but some. Just don’t expect to be given the keys to the kingdom after refusing to stand in its defence.

    If you are a true-blue American, you will understand the core values and ideas that make America, and where those values and ideas contradict your religion you will side with America.

    Now, if Canada and the US went to war, both sides would be smart to jail me. I would not enjoy it, but I would understand it fully.

  32. Razib — Seriously. Did you really have any hope of civility when you raised this topic? You do not have the right type of readership for civility (and yes, I include myself).

    i guess i took a leap of faith ;) there are very few religious people on these boards-and those that hang out are usually of the liberal variety.

  33. Nowhere does he entertain the possibility that I might be a law-abiding nice guy who deserves a chance to live here.

    What you fail to understand, Zack, is absent any contradictory evidence, I assume you are a law-abiding nice guy who deserves just as much chance as anyone to your life, to your liberty and to your pursuit of happiness. If you truly understood American values, you would understand that such assumptions go without saying. The presumption of innocence and the principle that everything not explicitly prohibited is allowed are core ideas founding the US legal and value systems.

    Regardless, the US deprives many millions of non-muslims who are at least as deserving as you of any similar chance to live in the US. Given that the US must deprive many millions of eager and deserving wouldbe immigrants every year, I think the US should bias its selection criteria to admit those least likely to support attacks against its core values and institutions.

    Do you have a rational response to anything I have said or will you continue to rely on wholly inaccurate and unsupportable insinuations of my alleged prejudice?

  34. Ikram,

    I am mystified by your statements regarding civility.

    It’s true that Gordon and euphrenio both mischaracterized Zack’s statement about the US choosing to be at war with Islam. However, I see no reason to assume their statements were anything worse than a careless reading of what Zack wrote. It’s also true that their responses were personal, but Zack personalized the issue in his question. Since Zack personalized the issue in his question, I see no reason to consider personalized responses uncivil.

    Your blatant smear of me by insinuating that I was trying to smear Zack was uncivil.

    Other than your uncivil behaviour and Zack’s sarcasm, I think the participants in this discussion have been perfect gentleman: godless, sen, johny rotten, Randall, razib and myself included.

  35. “I think the US would have every reason to detain or deport Muslims just as they relocated and detained Japanese in WWII in response to an immediate threat.”

    Do some research. It’s been well-established that neither the Issei nor Nisei communities were ever a threat to US National interests following Pearl Harbor.

    “For lesser crimes, I think the US has the power to give you due process, strip you of citizenship and deport you.”

    Hmm…? So if an Italian-born American citizen steals a car and then is caught and convicted – he should be stripped of his American citizenship and sent back to Italy?

    Or are we talking only Muslims here?

    Where is your legal justification for such BS?

  36. Zack implied that he could never not believe in Islam. And if there was a war between the U.S. and Islam he would be on the other side.

    People have brought up Jews and Catholics having split loyalties, but these are clearly useless hypothetical questions because nowhere in the world have either Jews or Catholics said that the U.S. is the “great Satan”, and there is no religious movement within either of those religions that preaches killing Americans.

    We ARE at war with the philosophy that blew up the World Trade Center, and it has not been made clear to me what percentage of Muslims adhere to that philosophy. It seems to me that quite a large number adhere to it. And those that don’t still sympathize with terrorists and would give them money.

    We just don’t need people like this in the United States.

  37. Godless, about half of Middle Eastern immigrants age twenty-five to sixty-four have attained at least the bachelor’s degree (see

    Randall, Gordon, and Bob, are you more concerned about lawful Moslem immigration or illegal Mexican immigration?

  38. Zack: ” My loyalty first and foremost lies with myself. Yes, I am a selfish bastard. “

    I suppose that applies to all humans. First you´re an individual, of course, but then there has to be a patriotic or religious allegiance that comes first to your mind.

    If you were granted US citizenship and there was a war between the USA and Islam, which side would you choose?
    If it´s too personal a question, then what do you think the average US muslim would do?

  39. Johnny,

    I have done my research and I have read copies of the legal documents compelling those of Japanese descent to move away from strategically important naval areas on the pacific coast or face internment. Those documents spell out the extraordinary reasons for the extraordinary compulsion. Those documents spell out ties of culture, religion as well as race that more tightly bound Japanese Americans to Japan than to their adopted home.

    Whether the threat was an actual threat or only a perceived threat, the threat was large and imminent at the time. Even if the threat were only perceived and if the reports of suspicious visible signals to ships at sea were no more than hysteria, that hysteria would have led to widespread violence against such a culturally insulated group near such militarily important infrastructure.

    Contrasted with the German American population, even those Germans who kept their distinct linguistic heritage shared our culture and predominant religious beliefs, and most second or third generation Germans did not even speak the language. Further, the German populations tended to center around rural farming communities and not around naval ports. On average, German-Americans did not have closer ties to Germany and did not occupy militarily sensitive areas.

    One does not execute criminals for petty crimes. Stripping an american citizen of citizenship is an extraordinary punishment that one expects would be reserved for extraordinary crimes. Regardless, whatever crimes might lead the US to strip a Muslim of citizenship (after due process of course) should also lead the US to strip an Italian-American of citizenship after due process.

    I get my legal justification from the Declaration of Independence, the Constituion of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights as well as any subsequent amendments. These documents establish your rights, establish limitations on the government’s power to take away your rights and establish the government’s power and duty to control naturalization.

    We can now take your name off the civil and gentlemanly list.

    Gordon and euphrenio,

    Zack did not imply or say anything about his relative loyalty to his religion or to his adopted country. He said he does not want to be labelled an enemy by the US, which is entirely different than declaring himself an enemy of the US.

    Frankly, I think Zack personalized the issue simply so he could point to the personal nature of the responses as evidence of the responders’ “obvious prejudice”. Doing so is far more comforting and requires far less thought than rationally examining the issues. By continuing to misinterpret his statements in a negative light, you play into his hand. He carefully avoided saying anything that would reveal his true loyalties. For all you or I know, he would put the US ahead of his religion. Give it a rest.

  40. Proborders,

    I am concerned about both lawful Moslem immigration and unlawful Mexican immigration, but for very different reasons. I am concerned about lawful Moslem immigration because it is lawful, and this lawfulness places us in needless jeopardy.

    I am concerned about unlawful Mexican immigration because the law is not enforced. Not enforcing the law encourages law breaking, punishes the law abiding and in this particular case invites a large number of political actors who do not necessarily share core American values and ideas and who further act as an economic drain.

    The large unregulated migration further impoverishes the lowest wage earners among Americans while discouraging industry from locating south of the border. As a result, the benefits of marginal efficiencies are lost, and the lack of industry in Mexico reduces the demand for rule of law.

    In short, everybody loses.

  41. Zack, You are not an American because you are not an American citizen.

    As I’ve already stated, yes, I would not grant citizenship to any more Muslims than already have it. Yes, if you are a Muslim then my statement really does extend to you.

    Will we American citizens keep out harmless Muslims with such a policy? Yes, of course. But we will keep out unharmless ones and we will reduce the total amount of Islam and hence the odds that second and third and later generation Muslims born of peaceful Muslism won’t turn to a more radical kind of Islam.

    You want to be judged individually. But we can not make accurate judgements at an individual level. I’m playing group odds. Immigration policy has to be set based on the odds about how people in various groupings will likely behave as a group.

    Do you want to keep out the dummies? One reason to keep out the dummies is that they are more likely to commit crime. Can I predict which ones will commit crime? No. Can I make accurate judgements about each individual? No. Can I predict which dummies will be more likely to demand welfare and state-subsidized medical care? No. I just say stop letting in any more dummies and that way we will reduce the size of future problems.

    Here’s the key point that you seem to ignore: Non-citizens do not have a god given right to live in the United States of America or to become US citizens. Keeping them out violates no rights.

  42. Godless,

    I agree the topic does not benefit from personalization. Personalization is just a neat bit of sophistry the PC crowd use.

    If one refuses to personalize the issue, the rejoinder is: “Your position is all well and good in the abstract, but as soon as it gets down to the details of actual people’s lives it is clearly immoral and wrong.”

    If one addresses the personalized challenge directly, one appears to be “attacking” the individual. It is especially risky to address the individual’s own words as Gordon and Eufrenio attempted because the slightest ambiguity or misunderstanding will appear profoundly unfair.

    The only things I know about Zack and Ikram are the sophistry they posted in this thread. Sophistry does not make them evil; it only makes them typical.

    Because I know nothing about Zack, I cannot directly answer his question: “Should I be deported?” I can only describe the conditions under which I think he should be deported. And, yes, I intentionally framed my answer within the broader context in which deportation is a relatively mild action.

    I did not accuse Zack or anyone else of treason or sedition. However, if reports are to be believed, some muslim clerics have openly preached sedition in American mosques for decades, and nobody can deny that some few muslims have planned and carried out dire acts of treason.

    Of course, I am sure there are white supremacists and apocalyptic cults engaged in both sedition and treason, so it is not a uniquely muslim phenomenon.

    The fact that Americans find dislocating innocent people for reasons of imminent security threats distasteful is all the more reason to stop admitting muslims sooner rather than later. After the muslim world grows up and ceases to be a breeding ground for virulent resentment, the world will thank us for re-opening our borders to muslims. If things get worse before they get better, the world will condemn us for protecting our children’s legacy.

  43. Not this thread again!

    I have realized that it was a mistake to personalize the issue. It sounded good at the time though. Instead of thinking about the Muslim hordes, I thought a personal example would work better. It usually does in real life but this is the internet.

    The other reason I personalized the issue is that it is personal for me. I have lived in the US for 6 years, but am not a citizen (at least not yet). I have also been having problems with the INS recently due to plain incompetence on their part. The issue of Muslim immigration would affect me personally and you shouldn’t expect me to roll over and accept it.

    Bob, regarding Japanese internment, I think you are wrong. It would be difficult for me to explain why, so I’ll refer you to Orcinus and Is that Legal. Look at their archives around the start of the year when Howard Coble brought up the Japanese internment for their own safety issue.

    Randall: I don’t want to keep out the “dummies”. I do think that immigration should focus more than it currently does on skills and education. I don’t want every immigrant to take IQ tests. And I do not favor this because the “dummies” have higher criminal tendency.

    Godless: Regarding collective responsibility of Muslims for terrorist acts in the sense that Americans have collective responsibility for slavery. It is a similar but somewhat different situation because of the lack of central authority in Islam. However, Ikram did say at the time that the responsibility he was talking about was not a legal one.

    Finally, Randall is right that no one has a right to immigrate to the US. True enough, but we in the US also decided some time ago to end all sorts of discrimination and this is regressing. Plus, act like it’s a war against Islam (as opposed to a war against specific Muslims or even states) and soon it will be. And that won’t be a good thing.

    Ok I said finally above but there is another point. Several people have asked or assumed what I would do if there was a war between the US and Islam. Randall points out that I am not an American and if he gets his way I won’t be. In that case, the question doesn’t arise ;-) Seriously though, I believe there won’t be a war with Islam. In respect of war with specific Muslim countries, my response can vary as I supported the war in Afghanistan and was against the one in Iraq (mostly because I didn’t trust the Bush admin. to do the right thing in the aftermath). If all hell does break lose and the US has a war with Islam, well my repsonse will depend on how I am treated. I know I won’t fight a war while my family is in internment camps. I will if I think we are justified. Regardless, my first priority will be my own life and liberty.

    Since I personalized this issue, I want to point you to my weblog in general and this post in particular to read about my religious inclinations and general views.