While Charles Schumer weeps and lawyers are deployed; as protesters protest and accusations fly — amidst all of the general hysteria about President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, let’s pause, take a deep breath, and for a moment consider the apparent purpose of the order itself:
To keep Americans safe.
That’s another way of saying, “insure domestic Tranquility.” It’s the kind of thing you want your president thinking about and using his powers to do. It is precisely what Obama did not do. On the contrary, Obama’s immigration policy adopted an adversarial posture to decades of U.S. immigration law and sought to defang border enforcement agencies. Moreover, it saw the massive importation of a people who have proved dangerous to ideals cherished by the West while simultaneously ignoring one of the great human rights disasters of our time for — dare I say it? — bigoted reasons. Trump is simply putting a freeze on these practices until a sensible immigration policy can be implemented.
Cleverly, opposition to the president’s immigration policy have coalesced around a singular word: Values.
Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to “stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values.”
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, along with others in the Silicon Valley, Lyft, AirBNB, and Netflix, said that it was time to “live our values” as “the conscience of our country and the promise of the American Dream [is] being called into question.”
And none other than the entire editorial board of the Washington Post called it “an assault on our values.”
I say that they have cleverly employed the word “values” because it requires no concrete definition, but nonetheless evokes warm and fuzzy feelings of freedom, liberty, and justice. I mean, how can any American be against that? This tactic has managed to divide Christians and other conservatives — but it shouldn’t.
Less cleverly, more than 1 million Britons have signed a petition calling for the cancelation of Trump’s state visit to the UK and, a full year before Trump took office, Parliament actually debated whether or not to ban him from the country — all of this in the name of values and, presumably, open borders.
There is something deeply ironic about a people seeking to ban a head-of-state from entering their country because he does not share their values, and this done as a punishment for his alleged ban on others entering his country because they do not share the values of the people he is sworn to protect.
This brings us to the “M” word.
Trump hasn’t issued a blanket ban on Muslims, but it seems he is planning to sharply curb the influx of people from known terrorist states. That many of those who will be denied entrance to the United States will be Muslim is obvious since all of the countries in question are predominantly Muslim.
This raises an interesting question: what is it about Islam that creates, in the words of the great political scientist Samuel Huntington, “bloody borders”?
It starts with values.
Orthodox Muslims — that is, those who seek to actively live by the life and teachings of Muhammad as recorded in the Quran and the Hadith — do not share the values, the fundamental assumptions, of America, be it America Left, Right, or Center.
I’m not talking about the sort of Muslim I debated on CNN International some years ago. When the producer called to ask me if I would debate free speech with a Muslim, I was elated. CNN International is based in London, a hub of Islamic activity in the West. Surely they could find a Muslim to debate me who really believed historic Islamic teaching.
Instead, I found myself debating a hippy, postmodern Muslim from North Carolina. She might as well have been a Methodist. She essentially agreed with everything I said, but her values were neither consistent with the mainstream of Islam nor with the laws of Islamic states. Indeed, nowhere does the Quran call for peace with unbelievers, much less free speech, which is anathema in any Islamic state you care to name.
No, whether my Baptist-turned-Muslim debate partner knew it or not, her values were rooted in a Judeo-Christian worldview, not in Islam. And that, broadly speaking, is true of most in the West.
Islam, on the other hand, is a religion — not a race, by the way — which has a disproportionate number of adherents in Muslim countries who believe that non-Muslims must convert, pay a tax, or die. That practice is being played out every day all over the world, at the cost of millions of lives.
Trump appears to be trying to right a wrong committed by his predecessor who effectively banned Christians from entry into the United States. Where were the screams of bigotry and charges of un-American “values” when the Obama Administration accepted 10,801 Syrian refugees and only 56 of them were Christian? Perhaps, like the global persecution of Christians, it went largely unreported.
The prevailing narrative that Muslims are the meek and mild of this earth who need the protection of the West does not conform to the reality of the geopolitical situation. And to let such people into our country, people of illiberal values, is to bring the Trojan Horse within the walls of the city.