(The author lived in Saudi Arabia from 1981 to 1997.)
We Americans promised to “never forget” the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, but President Barack Hussein Obama and his allies spent eight years trying to persuade the nation that Islamic terrorism had nothing to do with Islam, that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was “contained,” and that al-Qaeda was “on the run.” Meanwhile, ISIS still murders Christians in areas under its control, its supporters have perpetrated deadly attacks in Europe and the United States, and al-Qaeda remains a potent presence across the Middle East and North Africa. As part of its response to the terror and turmoil in the Middle East, the Obama administration stepped up the flow of Middle Eastern refugees to the United States.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump has suggested a pause in migration from certain Muslim countries since before he took office, believing that America has a dysfunctional immigration system that is being exploited by deadly adversaries. Trump has been attacked relentlessly by the national liberal media and the political establishment of both parties, as well as by the international community, for taking this position. Some claim that his proposal is unconstitutional and therefore illegal, because it constitutes a ban based on religion. But the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1977 that “the power to expel or exclude aliens [is] a fundamental sovereign attribute exercised by the government’s political departments largely immune from judicial control.” Furthermore, the Muslim countries affected by Trump’s “travel ban” (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen) have a combined population (approximately 150 million) that constitutes less than ten percent of the world’s total Muslim population of about 1.8 billion. Hence, to call Trump’s immigration moratorium a “Muslim ban” is an absurdity.
In fact, according to federal law, specifically the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act of 1952, “Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens, or of any class of aliens, into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants.” That act has been used several times by presidents to keep out individuals associated with subversive or dangerous groups, such as communists during the Cold War.
As it turns out, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump’s “travel ban” in a decision announced on June 26. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion, stating, “The Proclamation is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority.”
To understand why Trump’s idea of a moratorium on immigration from certain Muslim countries makes much more sense than continuing or increasing the flow of Muslim migrants, we need to look at what Muslims believe and what they are called upon to do, based on their holy book, the Koran, and their prophet, Muhammad.
According to Islamic teaching, the Koran came down as a series of revelations from Allah through the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad, who then dictated it to his followers. Muhammad’s companions memorized fragments of the Koran and wrote them down. These fragments were later compiled into book form after Muhammad’s death.
The Koran is comprised of 114 suras, which may be considered chapters. While in Mecca, in what is now the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad respected the monotheism of the Christian and Jewish inhabitants. At that time, the Allah of the Koran was claimed to be the same God worshipped by Jews and Christians, who revealed himself to the Arab people through his chosen messenger, Muhammad. It is the Koranic revelations that came later in Muhammad’s career, after he and the first Muslims left Mecca for the city of Medina (also in Saudi Arabia), that transformed Islam from a benign form of monotheism into an expansionary and militant movement that persists to this day.
Westerners who read a translation of the Koran often have a hard time understanding it, due to being unaware of an important principle of Koranic interpretation known as “abrogation.” The principle of abrogation dictates that verses revealed later in Muhammad’s career abrogate, or cancel and replace, earlier ones that they may contradict. As a result, passages revealed later in Muhammad’s career, in Medina, overrule contradictory passages revealed earlier, in Mecca. The Koran itself lays out the principle of abrogation: Sura 2, Verse 106 states, “Whatever a Verse do We [that is to say, Allah] abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?”
To confuse matters even further, though the Koran was revealed to Muhammad over a period of two decades, it was not compiled in chronological order. When the Koran was finally collated into book form, the suras were ordered from longest to shortest, with no connection whatever to the order in which they were revealed and written down or even to their thematic content. As a result, to find out what the Koran says on a given topic, it is necessary to examine the other Islamic sources that give clues as to when in Muhammad’s lifetime the revelations occurred. After such examination, one discovers that the Meccan suras, revealed at a time when the Muslims were small in number, weak, and vulnerable, are generally benign, while the later Medinan suras, revealed after Muhammad had made himself the head of an aggressive army, are downright belligerent.
For example, this often cited passage was revealed just after the Muslims reached Medina and were still vulnerable: Sura 2, Verse 256 says, “There is no compulsion in religion.” In contrast, Sura 9, Verse 5, commonly referred to as the “Verse of the Sword,” revealed toward the end of Muhammad’s life, declares, “Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the unbelievers wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform the Islamic prayer, and give alms, then leave their way free.”
Having been revealed later in Muhammad’s life than Sura 2, Verse 256, as well as all of the other peaceful revelations, of which there are more than a hundred, the Verse of the Sword abrogates all of the earlier peaceful verses.
Sura 8, revealed shortly before Sura 9, reveals a similar theme: Sura 8, Verse 39 commands, “And fight them until there is no more disbelief and polytheism and the religion will all be for Allah Alone.” (By the way, polytheism also includes Christian belief in the Trinity.)
The Koran’s commandments to Muslims to wage war in the name of Allah against non-Muslims are unmistakable. Furthermore, they are absolutely authoritative, because they were revealed late in the prophet’s career and so cancel and replace earlier instructions to act peaceably. Without knowledge of the principle of abrogation, Westerners will continue to misread the Koran and misdiagnose Islam as a “religion of peace.”
But Islam is far more than just a religion. It includes a mandatory and highly specific legal and political plan for society called Sharia, which translates approximately as “the way” or “the path.” The precepts of Sharia are derived from the commandments of the Koran and the Sunnah, which are the teachings and actions of Muhammad, since he is considered to be the ideal man. Together, the Koran and the Sunnah establish the dictates of Sharia, which is the blueprint for the proper Islamic society. Because Sharia originates with the Koran and the Sunnah, it is not optional. Sharia is the legal code ordained by Allah for all mankind. Hence, to violate Sharia or to not accept its authority is to commit rebellion against Allah, which Allah’s faithful are required to oppose.
There is no separation between the religious and the political in Islam. Rather, Islam and Sharia constitute a comprehensive means of ordering society at every level. While it is theoretically possible for an Islamic society to have different outward forms — an elective system of government, a hereditary monarchy, etc. — whatever the outward structure of the government, Sharia is the required content. It is this fact that puts Sharia into conflict with forms of government based on anything other than the Koran and the Sunnah, such as the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, for example.
Sharia governs virtually everything, from washing one’s hands to child-rearing to taxation to military policy. It is plain to see that any meaningful application of Sharia is going to look very different from anything resembling a free society in the Western sense. The stoning of adulterers, execution of apostates and blasphemers, repression of other religions, and a mandatory hostility toward non-Islamic nations, punctuated by regular warfare, will be the norm. It would not be a stretch, therefore, to classify Sharia as a form of extreme authoritarianism. To put it bluntly, Islam is a type of totalitarianism that is presenting itself as a religion.
We hear a lot about jihad. Jihad literally translates as “struggle.” Strictly speaking, jihad does not mean “holy war.” However, the question remains as to what sort of “struggle” is meant: an inner, spiritual struggle against carnal appetites, or an outward, physical struggle against a perceived opponent.
As with any case of trying to determine Islamic teaching on a particular matter, one must look to the Koran and the Sunnah. From those sources, it is evident that a Muslim is required to struggle against a variety of things: laziness in prayer, neglecting to give alms to the poor, etc. But it is also true that a Muslim is commanded to struggle in physical combat against the infidel, as demonstrated in the Koranic verses cited above. In addition, Muhammad’s impressive military career serves to confirm the central role that militant action plays in Islam. More than a few apologists claim that Muhammad’s military actions were purely defensive in nature. In fact, in order to keep the Muslim movement economically solvent, Muhammad led many raids on caravans and plundered whatever could be taken.
The belligerent verses of the Koran and the violent precedents of Muhammad set the tone for the Islamic view of politics and of world history. Islamic scholarship divides the world into two spheres of influence, the House of Islam and the House of War. Islam means “submission.” The House of Islam includes those nations that have submitted to Islamic rule, which is to say those nations ruled by Sharia law. The rest of the world, which has not accepted Sharia law and so is not in a state of submission, exists in a state of rebellion against the will of Allah. It is obligatory for Muslims to make war on non-Muslims, until such time that all nations submit to the will of Allah and accept Sharia law. Islam’s message to the non-Muslim world is the same now as it was in the time of Muhammad and throughout history, namely, submit or be conquered. There is a sword on the flag of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. The sword is there, because that is how Islam was spread: through intimidation, coercion, and violence. The only periods since the time of Muhammad when Muslims were not actively at war with non-Muslims were when the Muslim world was too weak or divided to make war effectively.
The lulls in the ongoing war that Islam has declared against the infidels do not indicate a forsaking of jihad as a principle, but merely reflect a change in strategy. It is acceptable for Muslim nations to declare a truce at times when the infidel nations are too powerful for open warfare to be feasible. Jihad is not a collective suicide pact, but continued combat is encouraged on an individual level. For the past few hundred years, the Muslim world has been too politically fragmented and technologically inferior to pose a major threat to the West. But that is changing.
Due to the state of war between Islam and infidels, lying to the infidel is considered part of Islamic tactics. The parroting by Muslim organizations throughout the non-Muslim world that “Islam is a religion of peace,” or that the origins of Muslim violence lie in the misguided minds of certain individual fanatics, is essentially disinformation, which is intended to induce the infidel world to let down its guard. Of course, individual Muslims may genuinely regard their religion as peaceful, but only because they are ignorant of its true teachings, just as many Christians are ignorant of their religion’s true teachings. Muslims who regard Islam as peaceful are apparently not aware that unbelievers are described in the Koran as “the vilest of animals.” Sura 5, Verse 51 warns, “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”
It is worth noting that Muslims generally present their religion as peaceful while living among the infidels, but such Muslims are nearly non-existent in Muslim nations. A Muslim apostate once suggested a litmus test for Westerners who believe that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance: Try making that point on a street corner in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. He claimed that you would be beaten senseless within five minutes.
During the 16 years that this writer lived in Saudi Arabia, not once was a vehicle sighted sporting a bumper sticker that read “Celebrate Diversity” or “Coexist.” By now, the reason should be obvious. In fact, this writer recalls an incident reported in one of the English-language newspapers published daily in Saudi Arabia: A man in a town in the southern part of the kingdom had stated that he no longer believed that Muhammad was a messenger of God. The local authorities deemed his offense to be so outrageous that there was only one suitable punishment: He was beheaded.
During times when the greater strength of the infidel world requires that the jihad take an indirect approach, the natural attitude of a Muslim to the infidel is one of deception and omission. Revealing openly the ultimate goal of Islam to conquer and plunder the non-Muslim world when the infidels have the upper hand militarily would be strategically stupid. Fortunately for the jihadists, most infidels do not understand how one is supposed to read the Koran, nor do most infidels trouble themselves to find out what Muhammad actually did and taught, which makes it easy to give the impression, through selective quotations and omissions, that Islam is a religion of peace.
For example, this writer has attended public events in which a panel of Muslims tries to educate the local non-Muslim citizenry about the goodness of Islam. The presenters invariably like to recite this verse from the Koran: “Whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.” However, the audience is not given the context of that passage. The prohibition against murder in that verse was directed at the “Children of Israel” and not at Muslims. It was part of a warning to the Jews not to fight against Muhammad; otherwise, they would receive a fearful punishment. Question: Why did the Muslim panelists at those public functions so shamelessly try to deceive their audiences? Answer: Since there is no equivalent to the Ten Commandments under Islam, bearing false witness to promote Islam is permissible. (And if you have read this far, then you can probably guess by now that there is no Golden Rule under Islam, either.)
As Harvard’s late Samuel Huntington predicted, and many other scholars today concur, a “clash of civilizations” is indeed emerging between the West and the Islamic world, which raises the obvious question: In light of this growing conflict, how many more millions of devout Muslims, who pray for the coming of a day when Sharia is universal and the infidels are converted, subjugated or slaughtered, do non-Muslim Americans want in their country? After all, massive immigration – not just illegal but also legal immigration – impacts the culture, particularly when the new arrivals have very different beliefs and do not assimilate, and the culture will shape the politics and the kind of government and freedoms we have. Also, everyone has God-given rights and everyone should be treated equally under the law, but not all cultures are equal, and a country has a right to preserve its culture and national identity, by deciding who comes here and how many. It would be wise to heed the words of Alexander Hamilton:
The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family.
Foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners. They will also entertain opinions on government congenial with those under which they have lived. The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.
Five to 20 percent of Muslims worldwide reportedly support violent jihad, which means that for every 20 Muslims allowed into the United States, between one and four will probably support Islamic terrorism. Of course, one can bet that they will not admit to that in an immigration interview!
Much of Europe is having second thoughts about having thrown open their doors to immigrants and refugees from the Islamic world, who have formed large unassimilated enclaves and “no-go zones” inside their host countries, which in turn are breeding terrorists, as the deadly attacks in Paris have proved. Europe has taken in a veritable Trojan horse. America harbors a fast-growing fifth column, as well. The 1960 census revealed that only a few thousand Muslims lived in the United States. Now there are more than three million.
It is worth noting certain observations presented in a book authored by Dr. Peter Hammond, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat. Here is a commentary adapted from Dr. Hammond’s book that appeared on the Front Page Magazine website:
Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult. It is a complete system.
Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all the other components.
Islamization occurs when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their so-called “religious rights.”
When politically correct and culturally diverse societies agree to “the reasonable” Muslim demands for their “religious rights,” they also get the other components under the table. Here’s how it works.
As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country, they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness. [Examples: United States, Canada, Australia]
At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. [Examples: United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark]
From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. [Examples: The Netherlands, Sweden, France]
At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world.
When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats. [Examples: Kenya, Israel, India]
After reaching 20%, expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and church and synagogue burning. [Example: Ethiopia]
At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare. [Examples: Lebanon, Chad, Bosnia]
From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels. [Examples: Sudan, Albania]
It is good to remember that in many countries, such as France, the Muslim populations are centered around ghettos based on their ethnicity. Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. Therefore, they exercise more power than their national average would indicate.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia … could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”
As concerned, patriotic Americans, we need to wake up and smell the coffee, and stop drinking the Kool-Aid.