We Americans like to think we're tougher opponents of jihadist Islam than the cheese-eating surrender monkeys of Europe.
That may be so in our heartland, but not so much in the our appeasement-inclined capital.
One indicator of wobbly Washington: the behavior of America's defender-in-chief President Bush, who recently attended an iftaar dinner and called it "an annual tradition here at the White House."
Iftaar is the traditional Muslim meal that breaks the monthly Ramadan fast.
By comparison, in a less politically correct era, President Roosevelt did not embrace German Oktoberfest during World War II. Instead he remained loyal to the noble martini—an American creation.
What a great source of amusement it must be for Osama that his murder of nearly 3,000 Americans has nevertheless driven Bush into a greater appreciation of Muslim diversity.
However, away from the White House—from which Karl Rove banished him anyway—Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo has different idea about hostile Islam. And he has put it into legislation: HR 6975—the Jihad Prevention Act.
The press release announcing the bill emphasized the warning signs from Europe:
"Amid disturbing revelations that the verdicts of Islamic Sharia courts are now legally binding in civil cases in the United Kingdom, U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) moved quickly today to introduce legislation designed to protect the United States from a similar fate.
"According to recent news reports, a new network of Sharia courts in a half-dozen major cities in the U.K. have been empowered under British law to adjudicate a wide variety of legal cases ranging from divorces and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.
" 'This is a case where truth is truly stranger than fiction,'" said Tancredo. 'Today the British people are learning a hard lesson about the consequences of massive, unrestricted immigration.'
"Sharia law, favored by Muslim extremists around the world, often calls for brutal punishment – such as the stoning of women who are accused of adultery or have children out of wedlock, cutting off the hands of petty thieves and lashings for the casual consumption of alcohol. Under Sharia law, a woman is often required to provide numerous witnesses to prove rape allegations against an assailant—a near impossible task."
Tancredo, in his announcement, concludes with this important point:
"'When you have an immigration policy that allows for the importation of millions of radical Muslims, you are also importing their radical ideology—an ideology that is fundamentally hostile to the foundations of western democracy—such as gender equality, pluralism, and individual liberty,'" said Tancredo. "'The best way to safeguard America against the importation of the destructive effects of this poisonous ideology is to prevent its purveyors from coming here in the first place.'"
The bill simply says that advocates of sharia would be ineligible for U.S. visas. And it would expel Sharia exponents already residing here.
Who can object?
If anything, the legislation is a too mild. Since Rep Tancredo is not returning to Congress, he could have plunked a landmark bill into the hopper.
Since ending all immigration on environmental grounds seems too radical for our Congress to cope with, Washington could at least remove some glaring enemies from the list of immigrant suppliers.
We could consider a bill stopping all immigration from countries that are national sponsors of terrorism, as named by the State Department.
There are only five of those, but they are a pretty bad bunch: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
Our much-touted "diversity" wouldn't suffer too much without them.
It's hard to fathom why our arrogant government continues to welcome many thousands of immigrants from these hostile countries as if we didn't have an enemy in the world.
According to a report prepared last year by the Government Accountability Office, the diversity visa program has been a dangerous open door: U.S. admits nearly 10,000 from "terrorism" states [Reuters, Sept 22, 2007].
The point is that there are plenty of things that could be done legislatively to protect America. But they have been left undone by the same worthless gaggle of elected officials who have allowed the economy to be looted by a gang of thieves in suits.
At any rate, it's good to know that not everyone in Washington is oblivious to the catastrophic immigration narrative being played out in Europe—the violence, terrorism, crime aimed at women and general social breakdown caused by the influx of millions of unfriendly Muslims.
When a culture hostile to the values of individual freedom announces that it is using terror and immigration to capture the homeland of western civilization, it is prudent to take those threats seriously.
Polling of Muslims residing in Britain indicates a deep unwillingness to assimilate to western values plus a murderous hostility.
According to a 2006 survey 40 percent of British Muslims desired sharia law be instituted there and 20 percent were sympathetic to the bombers who had murdered 52 in London the previous year. Another poll last summer discovered nearly one-third of Britain's Muslims believe killing for religion is justified and want to see a worldwide caliphate.
The recent acceptance of Islamic law into British society is a disturbing step toward cultural surrender, as shown here: Revealed: UK's first official sharia courts [Sunday Times, Sept 14, 2008].
Yet Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.
Its government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.
Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.
Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.
What kind of self-respecting country can toss aside its honored tradition of equality under law with so little concern?
It's not like sharia can be considered superior to British law in any way—quite the opposite. Islamic jurisprudence is based on primitive Koranic ideas from the Arabian desert in which brutal corporal punishments are employed—like amputation for theft and stoning for various offenses including suspected homosexuality.
Britain's moral cave in to sharia is most damaging to women's rights and safety.
Islamic law upholds polygamy, forced marriage of children and slavery. Women have no rights in marriage are exist as the property of the husband. In a sharia court, a woman's testimony is worth only half that of a man.
Muslim women will get it in the neck first of course, but Islamic authoritarianism will spread further unless it is restrained. The sons of Allah are notoriously offended by everyday freedoms we consider normal, from walking a dog to taking a swim. Liberty must be snuffed out because Allah hates reason and loves slavish obedience.
Rep. Tancredo is right to see the danger of increasing Muslim immigration to America.
Unlike naive triumphalists who believe our tradition of assimilation will prevent any jihadist tendencies like those being suffered in Europe, the Colorado legislator has seen the polling data of Muslims residing in America and is not comforted.
A Pew poll in 2007 found that Muslims on our side of the pond share the same feelings as their umma-brothers in Britain.
An alarming 26 percent — or roughly 100,000 — of younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings against non-Muslim "civilian targets" are cool.
For all intents and purposes, that's the same as the 35 percent of young Muslim Brits who told Pew the same thing after some of them bombed the London subway, killing 52 civilians and wounding another 700. [What Muslims Really Think, Investor's Business Daily, May 22, 2007]
With economic difficulty likely to continue for some time and in addition to the energy supply problem, prudent prevention of domestic terrorism is a highly desirable goal.
Let's be honest. We don't need the extra aggravation.
Rep. Tancredo is doing yeoman's service by continuing to protect America from determined enemies—even though terrorism has fallen off the public policy screen.
Tancredo, a great patriot, will be sadly missed when he leaves the House.
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She likes her martinis with a twist, because olives take up too much room. She appreciates the observation of the late President Gerald Ford: "The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?" Jerry Ford a martini fan! Who knew?