I am uncomfortable with the tone many conservatives have begun to take with regard to the religion of Islam. As always, my principle concern is with my own liberty, individual sovereignty, and constitutional rights. When we begin singling out religions for arbitrary treatment by the federal government, I immediately see red flags and slippery slopes and question if such rhetoric is either necessary or useful.
Therefore, over the past few days as our political establishments and the media have flawlessly failed to deal with Donald Trumps proposed ban on Muslim Immigrants (getting everything wrong from “It’s unconstitutional” to “It’s never been done before”), I have tried to thoughtfully consider the situation. My recommendation was to stall all immigration and to secure our borders. Clearly, this precarious situation is primarily precarious because we have a terribly flawed immigration system in the first place. I don’t see the point of focusing on “Muslims” or even “Muslim Countries” when Jihidists could come from any country, of any ethnicity, and simply banning the ones who self-report their faith is probably going to fail anyway. Not to mention, Islamist immigrants aren’t the only immigration problem we’ve faced over the last three decades.
With regard to Islam itself, however, I do believe that there is a general ignorance concerning Islam amongst Americans, who are only familiar with non-political religions. Islam is both a religious and political doctrine. American Muslims who keep to their religious faith, but who choose to recognize US Law over Islamic Law, are sacrificing half of their religious doctrine in order to enjoy the freedom and liberty in what used to be a Constitutional Republic. Any Muslim desiring to devoutly practice Islamic faith can do so free of suspicion or molestation in the Western World; and millions of Muslims avail themselves of that liberty without incident.
The threat we face is not men and women who worship Allah and attend Mosque. The threat we face is political Islam and those who believe that Islamic Law should be the law of the land. Many Muslims who have settled in the Western World seem perfectly happy living under laws derived from the Enlightenment. They avail themselves of the opportunities of capitalism and they do no harm. These Muslims, insofar as they do not ascribe to their political doctrines, are not a threat and should not be treated as a threat.
However, we Americans face an incredibly difficult challenge. It is a fact that Muslims throughout the world who only recognize Islamic Law have been trying to force or kill the people who do not. How can we tell the difference between a person peacefully practicing an Islamic Faith and a person who believes in Political Islam – that is, in the entirety of Islamic doctrine? The fact is, we really can’t.
So when Islamists (those who accept all of Islam, both the religious and political doctrine) start gunning down folks in Paris and California, Americans (with no means to tell a religious Muslim from an Islamist) are left feeling generally unpleasant about the entire thing. This isn’t bigotry. It’s fear. What are these Americans supposed to do? It is a fact that their lives are in danger because of Islamists who will kill them for their refusal to live under Islamic Law (Sharia). It is not irrational for them to desire to protect themselves.
Truly, until religious Muslims in the West figure out a way to differentiate themselves from those who believe in both political and religious Islam, how can they expect Westerners to feel comfortable with them? Though, maybe we ought not hold ourself merely to a standard of expectation.
I am not afraid of Muslims in the United States. Why? Because Muslims have lived amongst us for generations without incident. Before 9/11, how many of us had a problem with our Muslim neighbors? None of us. Christian, Jewish, and Muslim children attended school together without incident. We were neighbors without incident. We were friends without incident. Have we forgotten this so quickly? The power of liberty to join us of many faiths together into a peaceful coexistence has prevailed for hundreds of years.
I refuse to allow a large and frightening minority of Muslims, who believe in Islamic Law and Islamic Supremacy, to turn me into a fearful or hateful person. I understand why this situation is so complicated. Political Islam is no less of a threat than Communism or Fascism – and we are right to want to address that threat with the same strength and resolve with which we’ve addressed Communism and Fascism; but not all Muslims accept political Islam. These are facts.
All that said, were I a liberty-loving religious-Muslim, I would be doing everything in my power to establish a means of demonstrable separation between myself and those threatening the lives and liberty of so many innocents across the world. Some are trying, but far too few. If such a separation cannot be formed, then we will continue to face many dangerous and trying times ahead, where not only our lives, but our liberties, could be at stake. Even in the face of such confusion and danger, I will not hate another individual for their faith, their appearance, or because of my own fear. I despise fear with every ounce of my soul and I despise what it does to Man. With that fear I will take no part.
Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker