Can Rep. Ilhan Omar Really Serve Two Masters—Islam and the U.S.?
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One of the dogmas we are supposed to accept in the Through the Looking Glass world we now inhabit is that you can be two very different things at once. You can carry a Y chromosome yet be a female ; you can be Sub-Saharan African yet be just as “Swedish” as Swedish people. Nowhere is this Tertullianesque "I believe because it is absurd" dogma clearer than in what the Main Stream Media Narrative Enforcers claim has happened in the recent federal election in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District: the winner is loyal and patriotic “American,” no different from any other, but also a Somali Muslim who maintains key aspects of Somali-Muslim culture—head-scarfed Ilhan Omar. [By voting, Somalis commit to Minnesota and inspire younger generations, By Stephanie Dickrell, SC Times, November 11, 2018] But new psychological research suggests this is wrong.

To be clear: the Narrative insists you can identify with a group in which those who are not in your clan are potentially your enemies, depending on conflicts that occurred hundreds of years ago, and in which the clitorises of young girls, almost certainly including that of Rep. Omar, are cut off before their vaginas are sewn up into an organic chastity belt (with a hole the size of a match head fashioned to urinate through) to be torn open on their (arranged) wedding night.(See Infidel: My Life, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.) You can identify with, and hold to many aspects of, this culture and still be as “American” as George H. W. Bush appeared to be.

Of course, the Bible doesn’t agree: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other . . .” (Matthew, 6: 24). It seems obvious really: you can’t support two opposing teams; ultimately you have to make a choice and commit to one or commit to neither.

This is precisely why, in times of serious danger such as war, people who seem to have dual identities are seen as a threat. It is why Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II, it is why Germans and Italians living in Britain during the same war were put in a prison camp on the Isle of Man, and it is why  English Catholics were so distrusted and despised by the Protestant majority once the Pope had excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, resulting in repeated Catholic uprisings against her. [God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England, By Jessie Childs, 2014]

Now science has empirically proved that you can’t “serve two masters.” in the shape of a study by University of Michigan psychologist Daniel Kruger and his colleagues: You Can’t Root for Both Teams! Convergent Evidence for the Unidirectionality of Group Loyalty, Evolutionary Psychological Science, October 22, 2018.

“Four studies tested the existence of a social norm that one cannot simultaneously support two competing groups or teams,” wrote the research group, in summarizing their findings. “Our evolved coalitional psychology should be sensitive to individuals expressing mixed loyalties between rivals, as they represent substantial threats for defection.”

Hence people’s reactions to foreigners, and especially foreigners who fail to fully integrate, is so visceral—sufficient to demand internment on an island, for example. Although Darwinian Selection on humans for “survival of the fittest” has become weaker and weaker since the Industrial Revolution, there is still a degree to which we have inherited instincts and biases selected for in our deep evolutionary past in which our ancestors were part of bands who did battle with other bands. It follows that we should be acutely sensitive to markers of in-group loyalty as well as to any indicators that someone might defect.

Which is why female Muslim attire triggers widespread hostility. Because its wearers are directly stating that in a West-Islam war they will defect.

But at least you know that they will. It’s far worse not be sure. Subtler signs, such as the headscarf worn by Rep. Omar, strongly imply that she will defect but it’s not clear, because she also wears some Western clothing. Can you trust her or not? This leads to anxiety.

The only way around this, for foreigners, is a highly exaggerated display of loyalty to the adopted group: the complete rejection of the former group. Thus Somali-Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali now lives in the USA and is so committed to keeping it Western that she has been condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center. [The Southern Poverty Law Center runs “a scam,” charges Ayaan Hirsi Ali, By Emily Jashinsky, Washington Examiner, June 12, 2018]

Kruger and his team’s four studies:

  • The first found that if you manipulated Confederate attire such that it was partly Unionist, this provoked more attention and stronger negative reactions among a large sample than did “displays of consistent loyalty,” such as simply being Confederate.
  • The second study interviewed a subsample and found that it was the “norm violation” that somehow really upset them.
  • The third study was an online survey in relation to the state of rival universities.
  • The fourth study “examined naturalistic reactions…to social media advertisements suggesting mixed loyalty to the two rival teams featured in the first three studies.”

From this research, it became clear that there does indeed exist a “social norm” whereby we strongly dislike and distrust those who appear to support two teams. And we react in this way because we intuitively feel that those who propose to support two teams are untrustworthy and potential defectors.

We actually do prefer someone who is clearly supporting another team—even if they are our enemy—than we do a person who seems to support two teams, because the “fence-sitter” is disloyal and we don’t know where we are with them. They are, in some respects, a bit like a spy.

Indeed, the famous English headmaster Thomas Arnold (1795-1842) once told Queen Victoria that, “I look upon a Roman Catholic as an enemy in his uniform; I look upon a Tractarian as an enemy disguised as a spy”. [Church and State in Modern Britain, 1700-1850, By Richard Brown, 2002, p.540] (A “Tractarian” was a member of the Church of England who was, in terms of belief and practice, for all intents and purposes, a Roman Catholic, yet insisted he was a loyal Anglican. Several converted to Catholicism—two  became Cardinals.

As George W. Bush trenchantly put it, you really are either, “with us or against us”. [“You are either with us or against us”, CNN, November 6, 2001] You cannot be a Somali-American, because to be an “American” involves rejecting pretty everything that could possibly be associated with Somalia. Even being a Muslim-American, when the U.S. is under attack from Muslim terrorists and when Americans are overwhelmingly Christian, is pretty much impossible.

The inescapable conclusion: we now have people in Congress whose loyalty to America is questionable for sound reasons. Minnesota voters should think about that next time they enter the voting booth.

Lance Welton [Email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.

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