Spencer, at FrontPage, says end all Muslim immigration

In an interview today at FrontPage Magazine, Robert Spencer makes what may be his strongest statement yet on the need to end Muslims immigration to the U.S. Also, notably, it is the first time he has addressed the issue at FrontPage. His previous online statement on the subject had been limited to passing comments at his blog. Here it is not only in a featured FP interview, it the culminating point of the article. Jamie Glazov asks him, “How do we stop the stealth jihadists?”, and Spencer gives three answers. The first is: enforce existing laws. The second is: reclassify pro-sharia Muslim organizations as political rather than religious organizations. And the third is:

End Muslim immigration into the United States, as a simple matter of national security. Immigration policy must work toward the integration of all immigrants, but the all-encompassing societal program of Sharia makes integration of pious, serious, informed Muslims ultimately impossible. While there is no doubt that there are many millions of Muslims who have no interest in jihad either by violence or stealth, no Islamic authorities anywhere in the world have declared heretical or in any way unacceptable the idea that unbelievers must be fought against by various means and subjugated under the rule of Islamic law. Unless and until that begins to happen, no one can be sure of the sentiments of any individual believer. Consequently, simply to protect ourselves, there should be an end to Muslim immigration, combined with a clear notice to Muslims in the United States that any action on behalf of Sharia supremacism is unacceptable.

As a practical matter for today, however, he immediately backs off:

In today’s political climate, of course, such a measure is impossible. It will be denounced as “racism,” despite the fact that Islamic jihad supremacism is not a race. But at very least, immigration officials should adopt a program to screen Muslims entering the United States for jihadist sentiments. This will provide grounds for deportation if an entrant renounces some aspect of Sharia supremacism on his immigration application and then works for it once in the country.

The back-off somewhat lessens the impact of his position—why pre-emptively yield to the other side like that? Still, he has stated the goal of ending all Muslim immigration, that’s the important thing.

Not only his statement strong on immigration, it is also unusually forthright on the idea that no Muslim authority opposes jihad. Spencer’s signature manner of dealing with this issue has been to ask, “Are there any Muslim authorities out there who will oppose jihad? I’m waiting … waiting …” The playful rhetorical strategy may seem effective in that it puts the burden of proof on the Muslims rather than on Spencer. But it also has several negative effects: it leaves forever open an issue that long since ought to have been closed, and it puts the focus of attention on some hoped-for and never-to-come gesture from the Muslim side, rather than on what our side needs to do. In this article, by contrast, Spencer is in effect saying, “Given that no Muslim authority can be reasonably expected ever to oppose jihad, here is what WE must do to defend ourselves from Islam.”

So overall this is a very welcome statement.

The above positive assessment of Spencer comes from a person whom Spencer has called, among many other things, “the lowest form of character assassin,” and “a despicable, deeply dishonest, and highly unbalanced human being.”

December 3

Hannon writes:

Spencer says “The second [stipulation] is: reclassify pro-sharia Muslim organizations as political rather than religious organizations.”

Are there are any Christian organizations so classified in the U.S. now? I assume in either case this would require a formal declaration of primarily political purpose, with, um, religious overtones? Would this be new ground for American legal convention?

LA replies:

I don’t think there’s any precedent for it. It would be a federal statute saying something along these lines:

All nominally religious organizations that have as their purpose the establishment of the sharia, the Islamic law, in the United States, in any way, shape or form, whether at the local, state, or national level, shall not be considered religious organizations under the Constitution and laws of the United States. The protections the First Amendment provides to religious organizations, activities, and persons shall not apply to them.

Such a law would be just the first step. It would allow Muslims organizations to be regulated and controlled, which religious organizations cannot be. But then a further law would be needed stipulating the actual regulations or restrictions. I’m not sure what Spencer has in mind. So here is what comes to my mind for such a statute:

The Islamic law, known as the Sharia, is, in whole and in part, incompatible with the laws and Constitution of the United States. [A list of particulars could follow.] Therefore no organization that promotes sharia shall operate in the United States.

Both of these proposed laws would be most likely be declared unconstitutional, in violation of the First Amendment. That’s why I think the clearest path is to bypass the courts and transcend the First Amendment by passing a constitutional amendment declaring that the religion of Islam shall not be practiced in the United States.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 02, 2008 08:51 PM | Send

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