Recently, I had a conversation with my friend, Peter Gadiel, who lost his 23-year old son, James, killed in the 9/11 attacks on the 103rd floor of the Trade Towers. Peter told me his home town of Kent, Connecticut, had planned to erect a plaque in James' honor. Peter had suggested that, in addition to the name and dates, the plaque should include language what identified the cause of James Gadiel's death—murder by Muslim terrorists. But the town selectmen felt that was too stark a description and at that time refused such language.
As a Democrat and a social liberal, but one who believes in truthful reporting, I was of course shocked at this refusal. I hope the Kent selectmen will reconsider.
And I suggest that Americans better take a hard look at this fanatical situation.
First the plain truth: Islam is a faith born certainly in part in violence, which has not evolved in any substantial way since its 6th century inception. Islam's peaceful adherents, who no doubt represents that religion's majority, are, I am sure, as shocked at the dastardly acts of those like Major Hasan as we all are. But the record of both native-born Muslims and Muslim immigrants to Europe and the US is far from reassuring.
You may recall my dismay at the behavior of my university, Yale, when the Yale Press canceled the scheduled publication in an academic work of 12 cartoons spoofing Muhammad that appeared in a Danish newspaper four years ago. Yale's decision, which also affected any future pictures of Muhammad, came after consultations with Muslim clerics, diplomats and counter-terrorism officials. (New Criterion editor Roger Kimball suggested that it also may have been made out of fear of Saudi donors.)
We had better begin to recognize the uncomfortable truth that Islam just isn't another religion which benignly promotes peace on Earth and good will toward men (and certainly not towards its women in most Middle East countries).
My alma mater's gutless censoring of this book of cartoons reminded me of the recent book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West by Christopher Caldwell. Europe's current Islamic immigration situation is certainly a cautionary tale for the USA. European governments serially sought to propitiate the most radical Islamists by not allowing that religion, unlike all others, to be spoofed in their mass media. Now the infection has spread to America—and to my alma mater.
Noted American scholars such as the late Samuel Huntington of Harvard and Lawrence E. Harrison, director of the Cultural Change Institute at Tufts University's Fletcher School, have long warned us of the potentially dire cultural consequences of importing, without need or restrictions, radically alien immigrants into the U.S. As Caldwell reported, many Islamic aliens in Europe have shown no interest in the European way of life, culture or history. In fact, they often come with dangerous animosities based on their extreme views.
Caldwell's comparison of Europe's plight with the Cold War put ice down my spine: "Imagine that the West, at the height of the Cold War, had received a mass inflow of immigrants from Communist countries who were ambivalent about which side they supported", he writes. "Something similar is taking place now".
There has been nothing, Caldwell suggested, quite like the recent influx of Muslims into Europe—he refers to it as "a rupture in its history". "In the middle of the 20th century, there were virtually no Muslims in Western Europe", he writes. "At the turn of the 21st, there were between 15 and 17 million Muslims in Western Europe, including 5 million in France, 4 million in Germany, and 2 million in Britain."
OK, so Major Hasan was born here and is likely unrepresentative. But the essence of his motivation is being spread like a cancer among young, susceptible people all over the world.
Our present immigration policies leave the door wide open for too many migrants of all races and religions. But we must, as common sense American citizens, understand that those who embrace Islam come from a religious background which has carried its medieval founder's violent principles, as well as his benign ones, forward into our modern era.
Anyone who expects Hasan's acts and the other acts of violence to be isolated incidents, I suggest, is not looking at the straightforward statistical potential for further dangerous violence, as Muslim numbers expand in our country.
Was the Ft. Hood incident an anomaly? Or a statistical likelihood?
And why does America have to take this risk?
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.