Since 9/11, Europe and Asia. Where, When, and How have countries restricted immigrant rights for fear of outside threats? What kinds of rights have been restricted? Where have changes gone wrong? Where succeeded? What is best way to use immigration law to fight terrorism and protect citizens while still respecting the rights of immigrants?
The subject of Immigration Policy and the Terrorist Threat needs to be examined in a long-range, strategic and comprehensive fashion. The first issue is what is the nature of the global conflict since 9/11? What is the global terrorist threat?
The Pentagon speaks of the GWOT, the Global War on Terror, but that is not quite accurate. We are no more in a war against terror, than World War II was a war against Blitzkrieg. We are not meeting today because of the threat from Basque terrorists, or the Tamil Tigers, or the Provisional IRA. They do not represent a global challenge.
My first point. Today, we are in a global conflict with what has been called Radical Islam or militant jihad. This, of course, is not the religion of Islam, but an anti-democratic political ideology that uses violent means, and that claims to speak for the religion. When I say “we” I don’t simply mean the United States, I mean liberal democracy, all liberal democratic nation-states. Thus, the democratic world is involved in a Global Conflict with Radical Islam (GCRI).
In many ways this new Global Conflict will be similar to the Cold War?what John F. Kennedy called the “long twilight struggle.” Like the Cold War this Global Conflict will probably last for decades?In the US, Republican and Democratic Presidents will come and go?In Britain, Labour and Conservative Prime Ministers will come and go. And like the Cold War our opponents in this new global conflict seek ultimately to replace liberal democracy with an anti-democratic political regime?in their case, a universal caliphate, or the establishment of their version of shariah, or Islam law within a political regime.
My second point is that there can be no serious immigration policy without a serious assimilation or integration policy. I will use the terms integration and assimilation interchangeably.
There are different kinds of integration—economic, linguistic, popular, civic, Within the context of the GCRI integration must be national democratic—constitutional patriotic. That is to say, naturalized citizens should internalize the democratic ethos and national narrative of the democratic state in which they live. Patriotic Integration, political loyalty is what matters.
My third point is that the existence of a critical mass of an immigrant population not completely integrated into the liberal political values of the democratic state constitutes a major strategic factor in global conflict between democratic states and the jihadists of Radical Islam. Perhaps, the greatest long-range strategic weakness in the global conflict is existence in democratic nation-states of Immigration Without Assimilation (IWA).
Today there are several generations of Muslim immigrants in large numbers who are not democratically and nationally integrated in the sense of being political loyal to the democratic system of the nation-state in which they live. Some are sympathetic to the jihadists, many are not but, at the same time they reject what they consider Western values. In any case, for millions of Muslims living in democratic states there is a great deal of ambiguity over the so-called war on terror---over the issue of whether they prefer to live under a democratic constitution or under Shariah---thus, over the crucial issue of ultimate political loyalty.
Let us examine some evidence.
The British Sunday Telegraph reported Feb 19 that 40% of Muslims in the UK favored the establishment of Shariah (Islamic law) in predominately Muslim areas in Great Britain. 41% of Muslim opposed it. 20% of those polled have sympathy “for the feelings and motives” of the terrorists who bombed London on July 7, 2005. The poll was conducted by the respected ICM (Independent Communications and Marketing) firm.
Sadig Khan, a leading Muslim Member of Parliament found the results “alarming.” The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said, “The poll confirms widespread opposition to the War on Terror”----not the War in Iraq---the War on Terror, or the long twilight struggle that the democracies are in. The Labour Member of Parliament, Sadig Khan noted that “for all the efforts made since last July, things do not appear to have gotten better” between the British majority and Muslims living in Britain.
How well are Muslims in America assimilating in the sense of national democratic political loyalty?
One could ask how well are Muslim Americans assimilating in the sense of national democratic assimilation or patriotic assimilation? Since September 11, 2001 there is an increasingly large amount of antidotal evidence. In addition, the response of Muslim American organizations and Muslim American leaders to the War on Terrorism provides some important information. There is some empirical evidence from both before and after 9/11. Unfortunately, almost none of the evidence available is encouraging.
A Hamilton College and Zogby International random survey of 500 American Muslims released in May 2002, is revealing. Only about one/third of Muslim Americans believed that Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks of September 11, only 51% believed the US military campaign against Al Qaeda and the Taliban was justified. Yet, ninety percent of those surveyed were US citizens. Thirty percent were born in the US (including eight percent African American), about one-third were born in an Arab country, about sixteen percent were born in Pakistan, and the remaining twenty-one percent were born in different places around the world. Interestingly, sixty-one percent were college graduates or had graduate degrees. These survey results suggest that among Muslim immigrants economic and linguistic assimilation is succeeding, but national democratic assimilation is more problematic.
A different empirical survey of Muslims in America was conducted before 9/11 by Kambiz GhaneaBassiri. He examined Muslims in the Los Angeles area, in what Islamic expert Daniel Pipes described as “perhaps the most sophisticated study to date of Muslims in the United States,” the study found that only one of ten Muslim immigrants surveyed felt more allegiance to the United States than to a foreign Muslim nation. Specifically, 45% of the Muslims surveyed had more loyalty to an Islamic nation-state than the United States; 32% said their loyalties “were about the same” between the US and a Muslim nation-state; 13% were “not sure” which loyalty was stronger; and 10% were more loyal to the United States than any Muslim nation.
Antidotal evidence also suggests problems.
A moderate American Islamic leader Khalid Duran noted that three of the most important Muslim American organizations CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the American Muslim Council, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council are “Islamist and so seek to forward goals deeply at variance with mainstream American principles.” Another moderate American Muslim leader Muhammed Hisham Kabbani declared that Islamic extremists have “taken over 80% of the Mosques in the United States. Both the liberal New Republic and the conservative Washington Times have called the executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, an apologist for Hamas terrorism.
Let’s Examine the Issue of Extraterritoriality for Islamist Groups Within Democratic States
There exists today hundreds of areas within the geographical boundaries of liberal democratic nation states in which those democracies do not exercise control and in which the residents of those areas (overwhelming Muslim) are unable to exercise their democratic rights. These extraterritorial zones exist throughout Europe in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain. The French and Swedish Police call these areas “no-go zones.” Areas on the outskirts of large cities in Paris, Marsailles, Bordeaux, Malmo, Stockholm where the police do not go---where the police are afraid to go.
These no-go zones are controlled by gangs, in some areas the Radical Islamists have influence and a rough form of Shariah law has been established. In other no-go zones their influence is minimal. Fred Siegel a historian at the Cooper Union writes in the New York Sun, “In practice Shariah has already been partly imposed by Islamic thugs in sections of the British Midlands, as well as the suburbs of Paris and Stockholm. Since women walking [alone in Western clothes] are subject to stoning and rape even non-Muslim women have donned the chador as a way of protecting themselves.”
Bruce Bawers is a gay American journalist who left the US for Europe because he was concerned about homophobia and the influence of the religious right at home. He is fluent in Dutch and Norwegian and has written a new book for a major publisher Doubleday, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is destroying the West from Within. Bawers describes enforced gender apartheid, the oppression of women and gays, and the suppression of free speech in the extraterritorial zones of the democratic states of Europe.
He says that immigrant Muslim women accused of leading a “European life” are forcibly sent back by their male relatives and clans to their native lands for re-education. In their places, brides steeped in Islamic tradition are imported from the old country. Needless to say, that ultimate indicator of integration---marriage—that is to say---interfaith, interethnic, and interracial marriage is anathema in the extraterritorial zones.
The ideology of multiculturalism---in this case, the concept that immigrant populations should not assimilate to the majority culture, but maintain their own customs, traditions, values, principles, and mores, even if those values conflict with democratic core culture---has prevailed and hindered democratic states from protecting the rights of citizens and residents.
Acceptance of multicultural ideology has led to indifference to extraterritoriality. The existence of extraterritoriality has led to a failure of democratic governments to protect not only their citizens, but non-citizen residents, and minorities.
Thus, the actions of the Radical Islamists and the inaction of democratic governments have led to a violation of democratic rights for immigrants, gays, Muslims, and particularly for immigrant Muslim women. This action and inaction has also led to a violation of rights of religious freedom for non-Muslim women in the no-go zones who are forced to conform to Islamic law. The rights of free speech and democratic civic life for moderate Muslims and non-Muslims alike have also been under attack both in extraterritorial zones and throughout democratic states in general.
It is perhaps ironic that an embrace of multiculturalism by liberal democracies has resulted in severe discrimination, even oppression, against women, gays, immigrants, and minorities, but more than ideology is involved---fear has entered the picture.
Flemming Rose is the cultural editor of the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands Posten, who commissioned the cartoons of Mohammed that Radical Islamists incited violent opposition to. The Danish editor said that he worried that democratic journalists are becoming intimidated by Radical Islamists and beginning to self-censor themselves. So to test this theory he asked the 25 top cartoonists in Denmark to draw cartoon involving Mohammed, what they drew was up to them. 12 agreed, 13 declined.
One of those who declined specifically mentioned the murder of the Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh by a Radical Islamist. It was also noted that the one of the most popular and outspoken members of the Dutch Parliament, the Somali-born former Muslim Miss Ayaan Hirsi Ali has to spend most of her time in hiding because of innumerable death threats.
After the cartoons were published in the Fall of 2005 there was a major debate in Denmark for 3 or 4 months, but nothing happened outside of Denmark. In December Radical Islamist Danish Imams went to Iran, Lebanon, and Egypt to incite opposition to the Danish government and Danish Press. They added several cartoons to the list that were not published in Denmark, although they falsely said they were. The result of this incitement by Danish Imams was riots and killings. British Muslims protesting in London carried signs calling for another Holcaust.
A German journalist, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, Washington bureau chief of Die Zeit, noted that once the cartoons became news several European newspapers (including left of center papers like LeMonde in France and El Pais in Spain) published the cartoons, much as they would published controversial pictures of Abu Grave our anything else that was newsworthy. But, the US State Department blasted the European papers for publishing the cartoons. Kleine-Brockhoff noted that “It is a peculiar moment when the government of the United States, which likes to see itself as the home of free speech, suggests to European journalists what not to print.”
Only three US papers to date have published the cartoon: Austin-American Statesmen, NY Sun and Philadelphia Inquirer.
However, officials at the European Union are not supporting the free press in Denmark, but beginning to investigate the Danish Press for so-called “racism” and “xenophobia.”
The problem is not simply multicultural ideology, but what could be called the Weimar syndrome. During the Weimar Republic in Germany during the late 1920s and early 1930s, democratic citizens were intimidated by internal anti-democratic forces (Nazis) and did not defend themselves and protect the rights of either the Jewish minority or the majority of German citizens.
The Weimar Syndrome could be defined as a liberal democratic nation-state unable to defend itself against internal anti-democratic forces. The reasons for the Weimar Syndrome are at first ideological (anything goes latitudinarianism or multiculturalism) and second, and most importantly, intimidation. The recent brutal murder in Paris of a young Jewish man by anti-Semitic Radical Islamist thugs has shocked all of France and is reminiscent of what occurred in during the last days of the Weimar Republic in Germany.
All of the events and incidents that I have discussed in the last five minutes are the results of a policy of Immigration without a serious attempt at integrating or assimilating the newcomers into the democratic nation-state and democratic ethos. They are the result of IWA---Immigration Without Assimilation.
CONCLUSION: WHAT SHOULD THE DEMOCRACIES DO IN THIS GLOBAL CONFLICT WITH RADICAL ISLAM OR THE WAR ON TERROR?
(1) Democratic governments should smash the no-go zones and end extraterritoriality. The French Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy in France to his great credit, has started to do this. He stated there should not be any no-go zones and sent his police in to enforce this.
2. Democratic governments should end official and unofficial multiculturalism. They should end the current de-facto policy of IWA, Immigration Without Assimilation and begin serious projects of national democratic assimilation or integration of newcomers.
3. New Policies might be needed to empower Muslim women and smash gender apartheid within Western democracies. I believe the Dutch are starting to take measures to restrict the importation of foreign brides in arranged marriages. Certainly democratic states should stop tolerating polygamy and begin enforce laws against it. Interfaith and Interethnic marriages should be made easier.
4. Democratic governments should defend the free speech and association and the rights of moderate Muslims from Radical Islamists within the West.
5. Democrats governments are formed on the principle of government by consent of the governed. Illegal immigrants are in a democratic state without the consent of the governed. They have no moral or legal right to be in the democratic country. Therefore Democratic states should defend their borders from illegal migration without hesitation or apology. Any procedures regarding immigration and assimilation law of any kind (including the deportation of illegal aliens) should be decided by national democratic institutions and these same procedures can be revoked by national democratic institutions. “We the people” of a particular liberal democratic nation-state decide the immigration policies of that particular state, not unelected and unaccountable international (or transnational) lawyers or judges). Democratic governments should adhere to the principle of democratic sovereignty. In order to be valid within the liberal democratic system specific immigration rights beyond borders would be have to part of a treaty agreed to by a national democratic legislature and, by the same token, this treaty could be revoked by the same national democratic legislature.
6. On January 28 of this year, the El Paso Times reported that the national head of the US Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar declared that men in Mexican military uniforms crossed the US border near Sierra Blanca. He said that the local sheriff Leo Samaniego believed they were Mexican soldiers and that “I would have a tendency to agree with him.” Further, Aguilar stated that the charges by the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary that the men were really American soldiers disguised as Mexican soldiers “doesn’t make any sense.” Apparently there are border incursions of this type (usually protecting drug smugglers) 200 times a year, about every three weeks. Yesterday, a group of Texas sheriffs (many of them like Aguilar and Samaniego, Mexican-Americans) testified before the Congress pleading for some back-up on the border by the US government.
Therefore, point 6, the Bush Administration and the Congress should listen to Aguilar, Samaniego, and the Texas sheriffs and give them the help they need defend a border that is currently too porous. Too open to all---to Radical Islamist terrorists, as well as individuals seeking to work in this city of Los Angeles.
7. In the US, the Immigration and Nationality Act declares that applicants for American citizenship must not only have knowledge of the history and government of the United States, but be attached to the principles of the Constitution and should be well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States. Obviously individuals who seek to replace the US Constitution with Shariah law should not become citizens of the United States since they would violate the premise that a newcomer must not simply understand the principles, but be attached to the principles of the Constitution. Therefore, it makes sense not to issue immigrant visas to aliens who advocate the establishment of Shariah law.
During most of the 20th century committed anarchists, Nazis, and Communists were not permitted to permanently immigrate to the US because they sought to replace the American constitution with an anti-democratic political system. Today these types of restrictions on anti-democratic ideology should apply to those who would replace the US Constitution with Sharia law. They should not be permitted to permanently immigrate to the United States.