This past Saturday, authorities arrested Mohammed Hamzah Khan at O’Hare International Airport, where he intended to board a plane to Turkey and then join the Islamic State [ISIS]. Federal agents discovered pro-ISIS documents at Mr. Khan’s home, including a drawing of an ISIS fighter that said, “Come to Jihad.”
In August, 33-year-old Minnesota rapper Douglas McAuthur McCain became the first US citizen to die fighting for ISIS. Defense Secretary Charles Hagel says there are a dozen or so other Americans fighting for ISIS, and 100 US citizens with the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
McCain was a black American who converted to Islam, but he was an exception. “American” jihadists are almost always Muslim immigrants or the children of Muslim immigrants. McCain himself was caught up in fanaticism that foreigners have brought to our shores. Islamic violence and a whole host of host of other problems stemming from Muslim immigration were entirely avoidable. Indeed, the disadvantages of Muslim immigration are so great and the advantages so few that Western countries are justified in asking why they should permit any Muslim immigration at all.
Whenever fanatical, violent Muslims are in the news, liberals and even some conservatives point out that there are many moderate, assimilated Muslims. This does not change the fact there are many Muslims who would like to kill their non-Muslim neighbors.
In 2013, the Pew Research Center held face-to-face interviews with 9,000 Muslims in 11 countries in the Middle East and South Asia. A median 16 percent of those interviewed said suicide bombings or other violence against civilians are “sometimes” or “often” justified “to defend Islam from its enemies.” In Egypt, for example, 25 percent said suicide bombings and similar attacks in defense of Islam are at least sometimes justified. From 2010 to 2013, more than 38,000 Egyptians immigrated to the United States.
This chart shows the Pew data as well as the number of immigrants from each of the countries living in the United States, and shows how much their numbers have changed from 2010 to 2013.
Pew also asked Muslims what they thought of al Qaeda. A median of 13 percent had at least somewhat favorable views of the terrorist organization. This chart shows the results.
Many Muslim immigrants and their descendents living in the United States are probably unwilling to admit to a pollster that they have extreme views, but some are openly fanatic. In 2011, a Pew survey found that 1 percent of Muslims in America think suicide bombings and other violence against civilians is “often” justified, 7 percent say it is “sometimes” justified, and 5 percent say it is justified, but only “rarely.” Five percent of US Muslims also view al Qaeda at least somewhat favorably. In addition, 6 percent say there is a great deal of support for extremism among Muslims in America and 15 percent say there is a fair amount of support.
To put this in perspective, the low estimate of the US Muslim population is 2.75 million. That means there are over 350,000 Muslims in America who think blowing up civilians to defend Islam is acceptable in some cases, and that there are more than 137,000 with a favorable view of the organization responsible for the September 11 attacks.
And it takes far fewer than that to take the kind of action that is increasingly common throughout Western countries. Last month, the BBC reported that police conducted pre-dawn raids in Sydney, Australia, arresting 15 Muslims who were plotting to behead random Australians in the name of ISIS. The reporter said the plot “will shock many people here, including the vast majority of this country’s long-established moderate Muslim community.” The community was upset alright, but by the raids: Two hundred Muslims held a protest that night against what they called police brutality.
Liberals typically excuse bad behavior by blaming it on poverty and a lack of education. A recent survey of British Muslims, however, found that “people in education and high earners were more likely to support radical acts.” Also, Muslims who were born in Britain were more likely to sympathize with terrorist acts than Muslims who had immigrated.
Aqsa Mahmood, born in Scotland, is a good example. She is the 20-year-old daughter of a Pakistani immigrant and successful businessman, and was educated at the Craigholme School, Glasgow’s top private academy. One school friend describes her as a “usual, typical girl” who was “really confident” and could “talk to anyone she wanted.” Last November, Miss Mahmood dropped out of university and disappeared to join ISIS. In between tweets about her new life as a mother, she encourages her Twitter followers to “Follow the examples of your brothers from Woolwich, Texas and Boston,” referring to the murder of Lee Rigby, the Fort Hood shooting, and the Boston Marathon bombing. “If you cannot make it to the battlefield, then bring the battlefield to yourself,” she says.
Of course, it is Westerners who have brought the battlefield to ourselves. If there were no Muslims in our midst, ISIS would not threaten us. Instead, we have admitted into our countries the very people our rulers claim to be combating abroad. The Muslims who do integrate are a cover for those who want to harm us.
The European Union’s Anti-Terrorism Chief Gilles de Kerchove estimates that 3,000 Muslims from Europe have gone to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS. In Britain alone, the figure is at least 400. The British daily The Independent reports that 60 women from Britain have traveled to Syria and joined an all-female police unit called al-Khansaa, which enforces a strict form of sharia law on civilian women. The International Center for the Study of Radicalization says “The British women are some of the most zealous in imposing the ISIS laws in the region.” They are also reportedly running ISIS brothels where non-Muslim women from the Yazidi tribe in Iraq are forced into sex slavery.
Jihadist exports from the West can hurt us only if they come back. Even President Obama realizes that they can get combat training in Iraq and Syria, “then they come back, they have European passports, they don’t need a visa to get into the United States.” In August, Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said about 250 fighters had already returned from Iraq and Syria, and that close to 200 had settled in London. That same month, Britain raised its terror threat to “severe,” meaning a terrorist attack is “highly likely.”
Several countries have passed laws to revoke the citizenship or invalidate the passports of suspected terrorists. This year Britain approved legislation expanding the government’s power to revoke citizenship even if it results in statelessness. Since 2006, Britain has stripped 42 suspected terrorists of citizenship, with a record of 20 just last year. Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands are also considering denaturalizing citizens who fight for groups such as ISIS. The Canadian government has begun suspending the passports of Muslims who have either already gone, or intend to go fight in Iraq and Syria. The government said 30 Canadians are active in Syria, and 130 are fighting elsewhere, but would not say how many passports had been revoked.
Last month, Senator Ted Cruz introduced legislation that would make joining ISIS “an affirmative renunciation of American citizenship.” The legislation was blocked by Democrats who were worried about “constitutional implications.” FBI Director James Comey says that for now, US citizens fighting for ISIS are “entitled to come back,” but that authorities “will track them very carefully.”
The threat posed by ISIS is only the most recent example of violence and potential violence by Muslim immigrants. Here is a list of 60 jihadist plots that have been foiled in the United States since the September 11 attacks. This April, for example, Moroccan national El Mehdi Semlali Fahti was arrested in Connecticut for plotting to fly bombs attached to radio-controlled airplanes into a school and a federal building. Mr. Fahti was in the country illegally after overstaying his visa for seven years and lying to an immigration judge while seeking political asylum. The most famous recent plot that succeeded was, of course, by the two Chechen immigrants who killed three Americans and injured an estimated 264 at the Boston Marathon using pressure-cooker bombs.
Sometimes Muslims express their hatred differently. In Rotherham, England, Pakistani rape gangs “groomed” at least 1,400 young white girls from 1997 to 2013, according to a government report released this August. The author called the 1,400 figure a “conservative estimate,” and said authorities could have stopped the problem sooner, but they were afraid of being called “racist.” She noted that two reports on similar behavior released years earlier had been “effectively repressed.” More than a dozen similar gangs have been convicted of operating elsewhere in Britain.
Muslim rape gangs are also active in Australia. The most notorious was a group of 14 Lebanese convicted in 2002 of raping white girls as young as 14 in Sydney. These crimes are invariably committed against girls from the host population, not fellow Muslims, and the Sidney attacks were widely described as hate crimes.
Liberals say Muslim immigrants enrich us with their culture, but can even the most committed multiculturalists give us a single example of enrichment? It is debatable whether many Americans have gained any wholesome cultural experiences from our three million Muslims. However, nearly every American has lost civil liberties, been a victim of mass surveillance, and undergone cumbersome airport screening as a result of the Muslims among us.
There are other costs. School districts wrestle with the question of whether to serve pork in school lunches or celebrate Muslim holidays. Universities face demands to set aside women-only swimming-pool hours so that Muslims can escape the gaze of men. Activist Muslim groups try to shut down lectures by speakers critical of Islam.
And how many people chose not to run in the Boston Marathon this year? How many decided to drive after Iraq’s prime minister warned last month of an ISIS plot to attack subways in the United States and France? Even today, how many worry whenever they board an airplane?
Liberals should have their own reasons for not wanting Muslims in the West: Muslims are some of the strongest opponents of feminism and homosexual rights. Indeed, it was on these grounds–and not for racial or ethnic reasons–that the Dutchman Pim Fortuyn became his country’s most effective opponent of Muslim immigration.
Islam has caused tremendous destruction. Yet it gives believers a sense of commitment that has no parallel in the West. Viewed objectively–and setting aside, if that is possible, the immense suffering it has caused–Muslim dedication is a refreshing contrast to the aimlessness of so many Americans and Europeans.
But Islam has no place in the West. Unless our civilizations stay out of each others’ way, there will be perpetual conflict. Separation is the best solution–both for Westerners of all political persuasions, and for Muslims.