The GOP's Muslim Problem

Trump's entry ban and Gingrich's loyalty test unfairly and foolishly conflate Islam with terrorism.


In its newly published 2016 platform, the Republican Party promises to defend religious freedom and oppose religious intolerance. Yet the party's presidential nominee has proposed a religious test for entering the United States, and last week one of his leading advisers proposed a religious test for remaining in the United States.

Donald Trump and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have backed away from their startling proposals, which in any case are unlikely to be implemented because they are blatantly unconstitutional. But these abandoned plans to exclude and expel Muslims reflect a more enduring problem for Republicans, too many of whom unfairly and foolishly equate Islam with terrorism.

Last December, after a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people, Trump recommended "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." Critics of that idea included Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, whom Trump picked as his running mate last week.

"Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional," Pence tweeted on December 8, as CBS News correspondent Lesley Stahl pointed out in an interview with him and Trump on Sunday. Trump responded by saying that what he really wants is "extreme vetting" of people coming from "terror states and terror nations."

That idea is reflected in the GOP platform, which says, "We must apply special scrutiny to those foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States from terror-sponsoring countries or from regions associated with Islamic terrorism." Toward that end, the platform recommends reviving the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, a post-9/11 program that required people from designated countries to provide detailed information about their travel plans—a far cry from the blanket ban on Muslims that Trump originally proposed.

Gingrich's idea was even more outrageous. "We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported," he said on Fox News. "Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door."

Since sharia is the code of conduct that observant Muslims follow, Gingrich was essentially saying that Muslims are welcome in the United States as long as they forsake their religion. That is not the sort of demand you make if you respect religious freedom, as Gingrich supposedly does.

While it took Trump months to abandon his Muslim exclusion plan, Gingrich retracted his Muslim expulsion plan within a day. "If you are a practicing Muslim and you believe deeply in your faith but you're also loyal to the United States and you believe in the Constitution, you should have your rights totally, completely protected within the Constitution," he said on Facebook. "You should have nothing to fear. Your children should have nothing to fear."

Despite his magnanimous willingness to respect the rights that the First Amendment guarantees, Gingrich still thinks Muslims, unlike followers of other religions, should have to prove their loyalty. As Yale religious studies scholar Eliyahu Stern notes, that attitude "is disturbingly reminiscent of the accusation, in 19th-century Europe, that Jewish religious law was seditious."

Like Jewish religious law (halacha), sharia draws on various sources and is subject to interpretation by various schools and scholars. There is no single, undisputed version and no central authority to impose one.

When Gingrich says "sharia is incompatible with Western civilization," he has in mind the theocratic, infidel-slaying version favored by Islamic extremists and, perversely, by their most vociferous opponents in the West. But that is not the only version, as becomes clear if you listen to Muslims who condemn terrorism and have no desire to impose their religion on others.

If you insist that the only authentic version of sharia is totalitarian and murderous, you are siding with the terrorists and declaring war on 1.6 billion Muslims.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. As a devout Muslim who believes in Shariah, I hope that Trump and Gingrich resume the House UnAmerican Activities Commission so that I can explain to them how the Western Secular Caliphate is a far greater danger to national security than ‘Islamic Radicalism’. You don’t have to let them in. But godammit stop bombing them.

    1. People should be able to decide for themselves how “radical” they want their Islam to be. But the ones who desire to punish everyone else for daring to not share their “radical” and who cannot peacefully co-exist in the world with others, then sadly, we have limited options for them. If you think for one minute the world is going to keep putting up with their brand of crazy, you got another thing coming. Like I said, America doesn’t have a Muslim problem. Muslims have a Muslim problem.

    2. Amen to that.

    3. I think part of the problem, as I understand it (and dajjal, feel free to correct me), is that Islam most closely resembles the period of the Protestant Reformation in Christianity, where, due to the fragmentation of religious authority, there are many diverse sects, and each of them thinks that the other is completely batty. Plus, several of the sects want to kill or convert to their point of view anyone who disagrees.

      1. Yes but a bigger part of the problem is that the west consistently undermines any attempt at reformation. The only difference between ISIS and Saudi Arabia is the size of the sword they use to behead the infidel. Yet one of them is our ‘ally’. Why?

    4. You’re not a devout Muslim Weigel, you’re just another Obama-loving leftist JournoList shithead with a mental problem.

    5. You had me at “Shariah”.

    6. Well said.
      within the followers of Islam, regardless of whether they constitute 1% of 50%, are going to be more than the rest of society will tolerate.

      It will eventually become necessary to make the murders stop. At that point, the general population will be ready to accept nearly anything to make that happen. There will either be an all pervasive police state, or a mandate for every follower of Islam to be expelled or killed.

      This is not a desirable thing, but it will be a sure thing.

      So, dajjal’s comment will well taken. If the Muslim community can’t resolve this issue themselves, they will suffer the largest portion of the end result. May not be “fair” or just, but there is little doubt of the end result.

      I know that some Muslim’s believe that they will become a majority of the population before the end game comes and they will be the ones in control. But if you look around, look in Europe, I believe that the point of “open season” on Islam is not so far away as that.

      1. Think of it this way. The termites in my house have to go. I can’t eliminate them one by one because they hide. Unfortunately, the pesticides to kill them will kill lots of “good” insects as well. Eventually, the “good” insects are going to die because the termites must go. The threshold is higher for people than termites, but these people are mass murdering other people. If you think this can continue without the conclusion being “get rid of all the Muslims in this country”, you are a fool.

        It would be unfortunate if it came to this, but I fear that there is no will, and/or no power, to avoid it in the Muslim community.

        1. The threshold is higher for people gun owners than termites, but these people gun owners are mass murdering other people. If you think this can continue without the conclusion being “get rid of all the Muslims gun owners in this country”, you are a fool.

          The left will be more than happy adopt your logic.

          1. there is a difference though legal gun owners actively call for and demand that criminals be locked up we do not hear that from the Muslim community towards muslim terrorist.

            1. So…you’d be alright with it if the gun owners didn’t “demand that criminals be locked up?”

              Not doing something is an offensive action?

          2. The left will be more than happy that you’ve adopted their logic.


            Never forget that genocide has always been the tactic of the collectivists.

          3. So, is there some country filled with gun owners that they can be deported to? I’m pretty sure the US is that country, so the rest of the world should be sending their gun nuts here.

          4. I am not telling you how I think, I am telling what the reaction will be. I may or may not approve of gravity, my beliefs have no impact on gravity however.

            And your point is absolutely true, and helps make my point. The left is counting on this to allowed to continue so they can have that police state enforced on a disarmed population. This is the scenario I refer to when I mentioned a police state as a possible result.

        2. France had better do something soon. It sounds like the entire city of Marseilles and large tracts of Paris are war zones and breeding grounds for radicalized Islam. Belgium has the same issue, as well as parts of London, and now Germany is starting to experience the same. How anyone thinks this can continue for much longer is beyond me. Entire European cultures are going to be destroyed by this insanity. Imagine Europe with no tourism because people are afraid to go there.

          1. Imagine Europe with a minority of Europeans because they’re afraid to live in the freshly colonized lands of their ancestors.

          2. France is done.

            At this point, something like 25% of their young people are Muslim. And their Muslim communities are infected with “civil” sharia (meaning, sharia should be the law of the land) as well as Islamist jihadi nutters.

            That’s too many to be assimilated into a western society. The grinding friction of the large population of Muslims against the secular/Christian population will fundamentally transform France over the next generation.

    7. You don’t have to let them in. But godammit stop bombing them.

      This makes a lot more sense than our government’s current policy, which seems to be ‘Bomb them and kill their families, and then import the ones left to live among us’, which seems like a recipe for disaster, which is quickly becoming reality.

    8. As a devout Muslim who believes in Shariah

      So do you cherry pick the aspects of Sharia that you support, or do you think apostasy and blasphemy warrant a punishment up to and including death? Do you support the jizya tax on dhimmis?

      1. Are you in charge of what other people believe and why?

        If something doesn’t fit into one of your prespecified categories, is it your categories that are mislabeled or other people’s beliefs that are wrong?

      2. Radical Bombisism mantra #11: “They must be killed because they believe infidels must be killed!”

        1. One of the things I’ve noticed at the mosques and among the Muslims I’ve known over the years is that they seem to be the only group of people I’ve met who like to argue among themselves more than libertarians.

          1.2 billion people who agree that there is no god but Allah, agree that Mohammed is his Prophet, and don’t seem to agree on much else. 1.2 billion people with 1.2 billion unique perspectives!

          And yet there is a seemingly never-ending supply of people who seem to want to say that if every Muslim’s political opinions don’t match their own biased preconceptions, then they must not really be Muslims.

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  2. Oh, we’re sorry but the Republicans don’t have a Muslim problem. Muslims have a Muslim problem. The entire Middle East is filled with Muslims who have a Muslim problem. The name of the game is who owns the problem and Republicans don’t own the problem.
    Besides, Muslims want to vote for Democrats anyway and Democrats want them to become the new aggrieved minority class. It’s called Progressive Politics. While I don’t think they told black Americans have gotten the Memo yet, I think they already know something’s up. I mean, black Americans have been The Official Oppressed Minority of The U.S. for a long time. There’s bound to be tension. Hispanics and Asians are just looking at each other asking, “What are we? Chopped liver?” Evita of the Ozarks will figure it all out for everyone. There’s plenty of room on the Democratic Party Plantation and if there’s not an entitlement with your name all over it, she’ll create one.
    Get a grip.

  3. Leave the Middle East, including (and especially) Israel.

    Let the savages in that region sort their shit out.

    Severely restrict all immigrants from those countries.

    1. Agreed on a lot points. Carter restricted immigration from Iran. This did not start with Trump.

  4. the Republican Party promises to defend religious freedom and oppose religious intolerance. Yet the party is about to nominate a presidential candidate who has proposed a religious test for entering the United States

    I don’t see what the problem is. Like many other nations, the US bans communists and fascists from entering the country because their beliefs are not compatible with the US Constitution. Yet, it is not illegal within the US to be a communist or fascist, or identify yourself as such. I don’t see Islam as being fundamentally different from communism or fascism: Islam is a belief system that is intrinsically incompatible with the US Constitution.

    I oppose an immigration ban on Muslims because I think it’s bad public policy, but it doesn’t violate freedom of religion in the US, which is something that only applies to citizens. In terms of policy, what Obama has done and what Trump seems to favor as well is simply to remove visa-free travel from potentially dangerous countries and require individual visa applications with background checks.

    1. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed with the Creator certain inalienable rights. And that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men”. Inalienable means just that. Natural law applies to all peoples at all times.

      1. So I guess we owe due process to our enemies in war, right? And we can’t spy of foreign nations because of their privacy rights. And we also shouldn’t be able to deport criminal aliens because they have the same rights as citizens. And of course, we can’t prevent even criminals or terrorists from entering the country. We can only throw them in jail after they commit a crime.

        Good luck with that position. And if you think that is what the founders actually believed, you don’t know much about the founders or the history of this country.

        1. ^THIS^

          Pay attention Imperator03, maybe you will learn something. In the real world, there is no virtue in inviting and welcoming people into your house who want to take it from you and make you sleep in the yard. And, in the real world, it is stupid to invite and welcome people into your country who want to destroy it.

          This is the division that separates practical libertarian thought (pretty rare here) from the impractical. The act of using libertarian ideals to destroy, if not the form, then the actuality of the nation-state it lives in, seems to thrive here.

          If we invited and gave voting rights to the entirety of the Venezuelan population next year, we would have a full-throated socialist as president the next election and within a decade we would BE Venezuela.

          We can certainly welcome immigrants. But only at a rate, and with proper screening, so as to maintain the character of our nation-state. It is ironic to be sure, but full-throated libertarianism can’t survive because it destroys the society from which it emerges.

          1. its kind of like who would invite a vampire in their house? only fools

        2. Nevertheless, freedom of religion applies to all people in the U.S., citizens and non-citizens alike. As does freedom of speech and other First Amendment rights.

      2. What’s the point of quoting the declaration here?

      3. I actually do understand and agree with the concepts you put forward Imperator but this is one area I absolutely agree with John on. You can not apply the bill of rights in our constitution to other people across the world; it’s a legal construct that only applies to citizens because the law the United States simply does not apply elsewhere. Period. It’s something to aspire to, not some godly construct that’s enforced by divine will.

        If you want the Bill of Rights, or our Constitution, to extend to those places you necessarily need to invade those places, abolish their set of laws, and replace them with our own by force. That, or those places need to willingly ask to become a territory of the United States of America. You can not force people to be free. Conversely, if people want to be free they will probably need to use force. If you think we can force social change at gunpoint, you’re probably not a Libertarian by definition.

        1. You can not apply the bill of rights in our constitution to other people across the world

          So, foreigners accused of crimes aren’t entitled to due process? We can just grease em at our leisure?

          Here is a/the rational way of looking at this:

          American citizens are afforded the protections guaranteed in the Constitution at all times. Non-American citizens are afforded the protections guaranteed in the Constitution UNLESS war has been declared against them. A formal declaration of war is permission from Congress for the Executive to violate the Constitution wrt non-US citizens.

          1. UNLESS war has been declared against them

            Who is them? I don’t think an official war has ever been declared on a group of immigrants from anywhere. That and official declarations of war have fallen out of fashion, and de facto declarations of war have of late been applied only to non-state actors of whom there is no citizenry. So in effect “stateless people” would then be entirely immune to any immigration restrictions, assuming that immigration restrictions amount to a violation of the Constitution, which is a liberal stretch to say the least.

            1. Who is them? I don’t think an official war has ever been declared on a group of immigrants from anywhere.

              Nothing precludes declaring war against a group/non-nation state.

              So in effect “stateless people” would then be entirely immune to any immigration restrictions, assuming that immigration restrictions amount to a violation of the Constitution

              I make no such assumption. A1S8 gives Congress the power to make rules of Naturalization. So it’s not unconstitutional. I think many of the rules they make are stupid and don’t align with my philosophical positions, but they aren’t unconstitutional.

              1. Nothing precludes declaring war against a group/non-nation state.

                Except precedent and practice. But neither of those things stopped FDR from going the president-for-life route, for example.

                I think many of the rules they make are stupid and don’t align with my philosophical positions, but they aren’t unconstitutional.

                Props for honesty on that point. Too many libertarians want to argue that the Constitution is the soul of libertarian philosophy and that anything that deviates from one is necessarily a violation of the other. Not that I agree that immigration restrictions are any more of a violation of liberty than traffic laws on government roads, they are, but their ostensible necessity is a byproduct of statist monopolies and artificial restrictions placed on property owners.

              2. I suspect that nearly everyone here is in favor of stopping the nonsense of psuedo-wars. They are not a GOP thing, they have been used in place of declarations of war at least since the Kennedy administration.

                And of course, most of the issues you are beating on would be fixed by having an actual declaration of war. Of course, it goes hand in hand with disassembling the Imperial Presidency that we currently have.

                It is worth keeping in mind just how many pseudo-wars we have had. This is probably no exhaustive but; Korean War, Vietnam War, Serbia, Desert Storm, Libya.

      4. Inalienable means just that. Natural law applies to all peoples at all times.

        So unencumbered and unrestricted immigration of any and all persons on earth is an inalienable right? Since it’s a natural law, theoretically it ought to apply everywhere. So if your backyard were a sovereign state, the sum total of Earth’s population is entitled by natural law to move into your backyard?

        1. A backyard is not a sovereign state, and a sovereign state is not somebody’s backyard. The false analogy between the two is the source of much confusion. It seems evident that the world is not going to get rid of all border controls any time soon, although I still hope that someday it may. In the meantime, I think some people are also getting confused between “citizens of” and “people lawfully present in” the United States. The rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights apply to everyone in the latter category; many of them apply even to people unlawfully present here.

      5. Yes, natural law must be inherent if it in fact exists, as I believe it does. Show me where in the US Constitution that US citizenship and thus the jurisdiction required for rights protected by the Constitution is extended to every human on Earth. Or, show me where the US Constitution mentions immigration policy.

        The right to believe whatever you want to believe and practice it in whatever fashion you choose (provided doing so doesn’t infringe on the rights of others) is, I believe, a natural, inalienable right. But discriminating on that basis when deciding who to allow on to your property is not a violation of that right. In fact, that’s the exercise of another inalienable, natural right which the founders also acknowledged: the right to property. No one is (I hope) seriously proposing that the US eliminate Islam from the world or prevent foreign Muslims from practicing their religion. But preventing Muslims from entering the US on the basis of their religious beliefs or identification would not violate their rights, natural or otherwise.

        Whether or not such a policy is moral or smart or whatever is another question.

        1. To elaborate on your point, natural law is indeed inherent, as the Declaration states. As Jefferson noted, we institute governments to secure our rights. And the Bill of Rights, likewise, doesn’t grant rights, but merely lists a few especially contentious ones to make clear that the law of government doesn’t supersede natural rights. That said, governments are instituted among men and for men. They are not a Platonic essence. Lincoln did not speak of a government of the world, by the world and for the world. The United States is not a universal project. It is one effort to construct a system to protect the natural rights of those from whom it draws its powers, the citizens of the United States. When we extend natural rights beyond our own people – people who lack the rights and obligations associated with the social contract that is the Constitution, it is not by law alone but out of our generosity as a free people. Other societies are free to follow our lead and some have. But you can’t invoke your status as an American in order to vote in France or England. Nor can someone who is not American claim the fullest measure of privilege in participating in American society.

      6. There’s no inalienable right to emigrate to another country, unless you are willing to sign onto full anarchism and say there should be no countries at all.

        1. unless you are willing to sign onto full anarchism and say there should be no countries at all.

          Even then it’s not a natural right, because then it would be a natural right that supposedly entitles people to violate the property of others. A natural right to “freedom of movement” is a destructive myth that is itself, a violation of natural law.

          1. Well, there’s freedom of movement, it just stops at my fence. And I lean an-cap.

            1. What you just described is called “property rights”, not “right to free movement”. I don’t dispute the valid existence of what you describe.

      7. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed with the Creator certain inalienable rights.”

        For a given value of “we” that excludes an awful lot of Muslims.

        1. Why don’t people understand that the MAJORITY of Muslims don’t share our reverence for individual freedom.

          And when you live in a country where the majority of the people don’t want individual freedom (like say, most Muslim countries, maybe all, look whats happening to Turkey), don’t come complaining to me about how bad it is.

          You were warned. Not just by me – but by the Muslims.

      8. Inalienable means just that. Natural law applies to all peoples at all times.

        There is no inalienable right for you to live in my house, nor is there an inalienable right for you to live in my country. Quite the opposite: I have an inalienable right to freedom of association, and as far as national boundaries are concerned, for better or for worse, we exercise that right democratically by setting immigration rules.

      9. You forgot ,”among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Are you actually operating under the delusion that a mass migration from the Islamic world is going to bring people who respect those rights? If so, you should take that comedy act on the road.

  5. Dajjal suggests we stop bombing them. I think that’s a great idea. In fact, leave the area to fend for itself. All of it. We shouldn’t have gotten involved in the first place.

    Of course, that would mean they keep their “refugees”. Works for me.

    I’ve read Al Qur’an and much of the Hadith. Jacob Sullum would be well served to read them before continuing to write from apparent ignorance (which is the more gracious interpretation of his actions). If he has read them, he’s not being honest, either with himself or us. Exactly how is one to interpret “convert, be enslaved, or be killed” in any way that isn’t evil? The terrorists are following Muhammad’s instructions to the letter. Peaceful Muslims are most certainly not following the tenets specifically defined in their “holy” texts. I’m not interested in anyone’s excuses.

    Doubt me? Go to Project Gutenberg and download Al Qur’an. It’s free. Google for Hadith. Read them yourselves.

    Islam is barbaric and evil. It is rank superstition Muhammad made up to conquer his pathetic little sand box. Today his followers are trying to conquer the world.

    Our concept of religious freedom presupposes a peaceful religion. Islam is anything but peaceful. Keep it there and I’ll gladly ignore it. Bring its evil here and I’ll defend against it to the fullest extent possible.

    1. “I’ve read Al Qur’an and much of the Hadith”

      “And like all idiots, I then decided to assume all Hadith is believed universally by all Muslims.”

      Seriously, it’s like taking the writings, often questionable, of Catholic theologians over the centuries and deciding to attribute those beliefs as beliefs held by all Christians, everywhere.

      “Our concept of religious freedom presupposes a peaceful religion.”

      Call me when you start showing enough consistency in your supposed beliefs to call for the exclusion of the Jews.

      1. So could you cite one instance of a Catholic theologian’s “questionable writings” — specifically, those that pertain to violence — that more than 10% of Catholics still adhere to today?

        Yeah, I thought not.

        1. Haha. No response. 12 hrs later.

      2. Throw out hadith entirely and you’re still not left with an ideology that is worth defending.

        1. There’s also no Christian equivalent of hadiths and your analogy is retarded. You know less about Catholicism than you do about Islam.

          1. And he knows little of either.

          2. Agreed. I’m not sure from whence this argument springs.

          3. Holy Tradition is the Christian equivalent of Hadith.

      3. So I guess now would be a bad time to mention virtually the entire old testament and how homosexuals deserve death and what not. Sure, the New Testament and Jesus happened. That, and the whole reformation thing. But lets not pretend that shit isn’t still in the book, huh?

        1. There has never been any notion within either Christianity or Judaism that any part of the Biblical text (outside the 10 commandments) was itself WRITTEN by God. The reason a reformation could occur was precisely because once you accept that the text is written by humans (however INSPIRED by God), then you have room for humans to differ with other humans. A reformation cannot happen within Islam. Individual Muslims may well reform their own beliefs to reconcile with ‘modernity’ or ‘other’ – but not WITHIN Islam. And since the penalty for blasphemy/heresy is death, the rational course for most Muslims is going to be to do nothing and risk nothing to change anything – and to, pragmatically, distance themselves from those who use the religion for jihadi purposes.

          Most Muslims are not the enemy and certainly not terrorists. But the overwhelming majority are in complete denial.

      4. While all Hadith may not be universally believed by all Muslims, Shariah is full of the very worst parts. Shariah IS barbarism.

        My supposed beliefs? Really? I think all religion is rank superstition.

        I actively believe that there is no such being as Yahweh/Allah. I can even proffer proof: When has Yahweh/Allah ever done anything? In order to do the vile things they do, all persons who profess religion must take matters into their own hands. That fact alone serves as proof that the supernatural being the atrocity is blamed on does not exist.

        Allah is powerless to behead. It takes a barbarian. Allah is powerless to stone anyone for anything. Allah can’t ceremonially cut off your hand or foot. Allah can’t do a thing at all without a true believer to do it for him.

        Make a list. Pick any item on it. Any item at all. Allah didn’t do it. Neither did Yahweh. Not one thing. People did.

        If Allah/Yahweh existed he would be able to do his own abominable acts.

      5. You want to cling to your superstition? Fine by me. You mind your business and I’ll mind mine. Push Shariah on me and mine? You and I have a serious problem. Pull some of that euro style islamic bad behavior? You have a serious problem that we need to end promptly and permanently. Push old Jewish law on me and mine? There’s that serious problem again. Christianity as law? Another serious problem.

        I tell people to read it themselves and make their own decisions. When people do, the notion of peaceful Muslims tends to fade away pretty quickly. When compared against what the documents actually say, your excuses are at best shallow. There is no good side to convert, be enslaved, or be killed.

        I still believe we should have kept out of the region.

    2. I’ve read Al Qur’an and much of the Hadith. [?] Doubt me? Go to Project Gutenberg and download Al Qur’an. It’s free. Google for Hadith. Read them yourselves.

      It’d be far better to read what Muslims, especially scholars, write for other Muslims and for converts.

      Here’s a Sunni site and a Shi’ite site.

  6. In all of history Islam has never been associated with terrorism. Unless you count Shia vs Sunni. Or 100,000 skulls a year piles in India for 50 years.

    Moderate elements are emerging but they are not yet dominant.

    1. Well try this in a search engine: Fethullah G?len

  7. No where in current Jewish halacha do you find calls to kill non-believers. Sharia? Well look it up.

    1. “If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.”

      Deuteronomy 17:2-5

      “Look it up”.

      Sharia only calls for killing non-believers if you include certain Hadiths. Which not everyone who follows “sharia” does. In halacha, it’s in the basic book of laws.

      1. I guess that is why we have such a problem with Jewish terrorism. Every country with a significant Jewish population must have a problem with the occasional Jew going on a murdering spree against the unbeleivers. Meanwhile, countries with Muslim populations are as peaceful as church on Sunday.

      2. Yes, the Jews were actually quite militant at one time in their history, until the Romans thoroughly and mercilessly crushed them. That caused a reevaluation and reinterpretation of their texts. The same has not yet happened with Muslims.

      3. Even for the most conservative Orthodox Jews who believe that the deuteronomical rules should still ideally be applied consistently, they are suspended until the restoration of the temple and the gathering of the diaspora.

        Your local community college probably offers a comparative religions class if you ever get tired of sounding like an abject moron and drawing false equivalences.

        1. It is a fact that all Abrahamic religions have this type of stuff in their holy texts. It’s a complicated subject. Do you even differentiate between terrorists who are Sunni or Shiite? Or do you just say ‘Muslim’? Honestly curious. Maybe if you answer that question honestly you’ll see the point but maybe not.

          Either way you’re going to have to find a way to argue that freedom of religion isn’t something we should have while also arguing that we should have a Bureau of Approved Religious Institutions. (Note we already have something like such a bureau given that some religions get tax exemption but some don’t.)

          1. Also this was not intended to be a reply to you specifically Pat, my bad!

  8. Intensive vetting. Can’t see why this is a ‘problem’. At all. Make sure we’re letting in refugees and immigrants and keeping out jihadis. Seems sane.

    Americans like Sullum only accept Muslims who’ve forsaken their religion now–the people they refer to as ‘moderates’ are the ones called ‘radical’ in Islamic society precisely because they do not accept sharia as written in the Quran. But he, and his ilk, must forever refuse to see that, lest reality pierce the walls of falsehood that they think protect them.

    With fresh corpses still unburied from the Bastille Day Slaughter, everyone should have a Muslim problem.

    1. “sharia as written in the Quran.”

      As written in HADITH. Learn the difference if you want to talk on the subject.

      1. Yes because the distinction makes everything different. If only people knew that it is the Hadith that proscribes Sharia, they would see it in a whole new light.

        Shorter EBS “Muslims are honorary brown people. Leave them alone!!”

        1. The Quran on apostasy:

          Quran (4:89) – “They wish that you should reject faith as they reject faith, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

          That isn’t a “mere” or “debatable” hadith, nor is it a text in question. Of course, there are hadith on the subject, and they uniformly command Muslims to kill apostates.

          It does, however, directly oppose the liberal concept of freedom of religion. It’s pretty tough on blasphemy as well:

          Quran 33:57ff – “Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment. … Accursed wherever they are found, seized and massacred completely.”

          Like the Reason writers, I have know several American Muslims who completely reject this explicitly the anti-liberal crap in sharia law. My brother-in-law is Muslim, and he no more endorse this crap than he would national socialism. However, unlike the Reason writers, I lived in the Middle East for six years, and know that it is chock full of nuts who believe this crap is the religious duty of Muslims.

      2. The Quran itself isn’t much worse than the Old Testament (but the difference between it and the New Testament are stark). The hadiths are much more troublesome. Although you can argue which ones are legit, the main ones held to be true by most scholars and Islamic sects tell of Muhammed essentially doing exactly what ISIS is doing. He even condoned the assassinations of poets who mocked him. Sounds a little like Charlie Hebdo, doesn’t it? I’ve read the Old and New Testaments, the Quran, and several of the main hadiths. Interpreting the teachings and actions of Jesus to justify commiting violence involves some pretty heavy mental gymnastics. Interpreting the teachings and actions of Mohammed to justify peace and non-violence takes even heavier mental gymnastics.

        1. Thing is, no Christians that I know of, follow the old testament. Hell, they don’t even follow the new testament, they’re just like any other secular, except that they go to a building on Sunday to proclaim their righteousness. After that, they go home and engage in unbridled hedonism, just like the rest of us.

        2. It is important to understand that all of this goes back to who Jesus and Mohammad were, and what was different about them.

          Jesus was not a political leader, military leader, and was essentially non-violent focused on eternity. A man who famously said “render unto Cesear what is Cesear’s and unto God what is God’s”

          Mohammad was a political leader, leader of government, leader of military, and leader of his religion. Mainstream followers of Islam, see the idea of secular government as blasphemy. This is the case because the leader of Islam should be the titular head of the religion, military, and civil government. So mainstream followers of Islam believe that the primary and fundamental basis of our government and our society is illegitimate and in fact blasphemy to Allah.

          This is the root of Islam, the most basic and fundamental of it’s ideas, and utterly incompatible with western ideals and government. If you don’t get this it is only because you are unwilling to understand.

          1. Also important to note the primary ways in which the religions spread in their early years. Christianity exploited pre-existing Roman institutions (primarily roads and transportation systems) to spread as a religious minority in a larger empire. Islam expanded primarily via military expansion as a political system following the mutually destructive wars of the Byzantines and Sassinids.

          2. If your laws are found in your holy texts or enforced by your clerics congratulations, you’re a theocracy.

        3. The Quran itself isn’t much worse than the Old Testament

          There are fundamental differences: the OT is supposedly “divinely inspired” but not actually a literal copy of God’s word; the OT and its draconian rules have been superceded by the NT; and neither the OT nor the NT claim to be God’s final revelation. That gives Christians a great deal more flexibility in their faith than Muslims.

      3. From Wikipedia, for the love of the gods–

        Muslims who reject the Hadith as a source of law, sometimes referred to as Quranists,[66][67] suggest that only laws derived exclusively from the Quran are valid.[68][page needed] They state that the hadiths in modern use are not explicitly mentioned in the Quran as a source of Islamic theology and practice, they were not recorded in written form until more than two centuries after the death of the prophet Muhammed.[66] They also state that the authenticity of the hadiths remains a question.[69][70]

        The vast majority of Muslims, however, consider hadiths, which describe the words, conduct and example set by Muhammad during his life, as a source of law and religious authority second only to the Qur’an.[71] Similarly, most Islamic scholars believe both Quran and sahih hadiths to be a valid source of sharia, with Quranic verse 33.21, among others,[72][73] as justification for this belief.[67]

        Thank you for playing, please take your consolation prizes as you leave the stage

    2. I don’t care at all about the following:

      (a) Transgressions that happened hundreds, or even dozens, of years ago, by anyone. Stop nattering on about shit the Jews did 3,000 years ago, or seventy years ago, or that Christians did 400 years ago, or even that Muslims did in the distant past.

      (b) Exactly what page of what document a given whackjob wrote some atrocity.

      I do care about what’s happening now, and about the stated motivations of the people doing it.

      1. Without knowledge of the past how does one reason in the present?

  9. Before this article’s theme can be sung, there needs to be light thrown on the human rights abuses prevalent throughout the Islamic world . Billions live under a fascist style subjugation that persecutes women, promulgates hatred among the populace, and restricts the free exercise of religion.

    The facts won’t allow me to buy into the narrative that 1.6 billion Muslims are singing “Let it be”.

    1. What’s more troubling than that is what’s now happening across Europe, in particular, France, as a result of mass immigration from Islamic countries.

      1. So of course all libertarians should embrace mass immigration from Islamic countries to America.

        1. I think that’s a Cosmo belief, not a libertarian belief. Sharia is completely incompatible with libertarian principles.

          1. Except for its legal system (competition among courts); and criminal vs civil laws; and a bunch of other things which are more libertarian in Sharia than in western(Napoleonic or common) law.

            1. Behead the raped?

  10. When will we come together and realize how stupid religion as a whole is?

    1. When will we come together and realize how stupid religion as a whole is?

      Well, Christianity is about 2000 years into it and and atheists make up maybe 15% of what were formerly mostly Christian areas. So, Christianity is just starting to figure it out.

      Islam is about 1400 years in…so what, 600 years from now?

      (partially tongue in cheek)

    2. When humans stop having the unquenchable need to answer “why?”

    3. Haybob|7.20.16 @ 9:15AM|#

      “When will we come together and realize how stupid religion as a whole is?”


      1. Oh, you.

    4. People tried in the 20th century, and it didn’t work out so well…

      1. This is true. Morals are important, but morals that respect all people are most important.

  11. Yep the GOP has a problem with Muslims — along with Christians, Jews, Hindus, atheists, gay people, transgenders, and radical (aka liberal) Muslims.

    Look, I have no problem with a peaceful worship/following of Islam, as with any religion or idea, and I don’t believe we should be trying to ban any one faith from this country. However, the entirely-peaceful or liberty-minded followers seem to be a minority. Terrorists are also a minority. The vast majority of Muslims, it seems, don’t believe in spreading Islam by flying planes into buildings, but would be all in favor of doing so through legal means — taking over the government and THEN enforcing the religious dogma. As an imperfect metaphor, instead of Saul Alinsky-ites they’re Hillary Clinton-ites. A cursory glance at Pew polls of belief in enforcing sharia law, or a cursory glance at most of the Islamic governments, indicates that many Muslims are perfectly fine with theocracy.

    We all say that what’s happening in Europe will never happen to us, but clearly progressives want to move in a similar direction, especially with Muslims becoming their new pet victim class — how soon will it be before drawing Muhammad becomes a hate crime, per the word of the Supreme Clinton Court? Do we really think that basic liberty for all isn’t at risk of being voted away?

    1. Since I can’t edit my post (hint hint Reason), let me clarify — no Muslim ban is acceptable. Extra scrutiny or limitations on immigration from the Middle East are perfectly reasonable, at least for now, and they should not be dismissed out of hand.

      1. “Acceptable” to who? The US could ban everybody whose last name starts with the letter “K” and it would be legally acceptable, and probably not worry too many people either. Immigration is not a right and it isn’t necessary for it to be non-discriminatory. In fact, immigration is highly discriminatory everywhere in the world.

    2. “Look, I have no problem with a peaceful worship/following of Islam”

      And I have no problem with chickens that grow puppydog ears, but I don’t expect to see one of those either.

    3. Look, I have no problem with a peaceful worship/following of Islam,

      All we ask is for a definition of peaceful.

  12. “the Republican Party promises to defend religious freedom and oppose religious intolerance”

    Radical Islamic jihadist are religiously intolerant.

    The GOP platform opposes religious intolerance.

  13. Has reason ever ran an article about Islam’s Libertarian problem? Or its women problem or its freedom problem or its terrorism problem? You would think that Republicans just picked Islam out of a hat and decided to pick on it.

    I wish reason would realize how silly and stupid it sounds to those outside of the hive.

    1. The writers are completely, willfully deaf and blind on this issue. Useful idiots.

      1. The Reason Staff is claiming credit for this article.

        No one person was willing to put their name on it.

        Reason is just trolling the Reasonettes with ckick bait to keep their ad rates up.

    2. Well no but they did run a series of articles about a minor plagiarism scandal surrounding Trump’s hot wife.

    3. It amazes me that supposed secularists will turn around and declare statements like:

      “If you insist that the only authentic version of sharia is totalitarian and murderous, you are siding with the terrorists and declaring war on 1.6 billion Muslims.”

      Or, you know, we could recognize that religious law, including sharia, is unacceptable in a society that supposedly holds secularism as one of its highest values.

      Of course, if Protestant Republicans were suddenly demanding a return of something like the Test Act, Reason would be decrying it as a supposed threat to secularism.

  14. There was just an Afghan refugee who attacked people on a train in Germany, with an axe, while shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ or whatever non-sense it is they say, and apparently, he had a little ISIS flag on him.

    foolishly conflate Islam with terrorism

    How is that possible? People are committing acts of extreme violence and claiming they’re doing it in the name of Islam and we’re supposed to just do the mental gymnastics and contortions necessary to delude our own selves into denying reality? What the fuck? Are all of these people really Buddhists or Christians pretending to be Muslims?


    1. It is foolish to claim that all Muslims are or support terrorism. It is not however foolish to associate Islam in general with terrorism. It is the truth. Denying it and pretending that saying Islam has a terrorism problem and its presence is often associated with terrorism is the same thing as saying all Muslims are terrorist is just lying.

      1. I’m certainly not saying all Muslims are a problem. But there IS a problem. Not admitting it and figuring out a way to deal with it, just for the sake of being PC, is extreme foolishness.

          1. And maybe you should do something about it. Or is killing the fleas just too collectivist for you?

            1. Some of them, I assume, are good people fleas.

              1. Some of them, I assume, are good people fleas.

                Are you equating people to fleas?

                1. I’m making a joke. Apologies, gatekeeper.

                2. No. you are. You are the one who made the analogy. Not me.

          2. For those unable to grasp the analogy, above…

            The IMPORTANCE of the Muslim “problem” causes me the same level of consternation as my flea problem. Certainly worth spending trillions on and shitting on individual liberty for.

            1. The flea problem, by itself, ignoring bubonic plague, will not kill you.

              The Muslim problem may very well, indeed quite a number he in the US just this year alone.

              But by all means, invite more fleas, and barbarians in, eventually even you may figure out where the real threat is.

              But probably too late, for you, or the rest of us.

              1. The Muslim problem may very well, indeed quite a number he in the US just this year alone.

                As I cite below, my odds of dying from a terrorist in a given year, both here and abroad are about one in 20,000,000. Twice that of getting struck by lightning. Not something we need to be prioritizing.

                1. And yet, there are lightning rods and surge protectors in every direction.

                  1. As there are cops and agents in every direction.

                    And I don’t worry about either lightning OR terrorists.

                    1. Of course, the real issue is if the government is literally funding immigration to the country as opposed to the country just meeting people at the border and determining if they are refugees.

                    2. The US is great because it was built on people who gave all up to come here, not because we paid to ship people in.

                2. And as I note below that number of Americans being killed by Muslim terrorists seems to be on an upward trend.

                  You want to speculate about whether that is a temporary blip or not?

      2. Islam may be a contributing factor.

        I’d argue that living under authoritarianism has been the greatest contributing factor to terrorism–going back to when modern terrorist organizations like Egyptian Islamic Jihad began.

        Oppression breeds revolt, and in that culture, religion may have focused that revolt in a certain way.

        It’s entirely possible that Bush era necons were fundamentally wrong on the question of what to do about the causes of Islamist terrorism–and fundamentally correct about oppression being its most significant contributing factor.

        1. That explains why all of the Muslim countries with democratic elections are bastions of freedom and peace as compared to the autocratic ones.

          Self determination for the oppressed Palestinians! Uh, what’s that you say? They elected Hamas overwhelmingly to represent themselves? But people everywhere long for freedom and apple pie! This is unpossible!

          1. If oppressed voters turn to authoritarianism, that doesn’t mean oppression isn’t the cause of the problem.

      3. Not all Scottish lads drink and get into fights, and associating them with drinking and brawling is the height of bigoted foolishness.

      4. Only a small minority of Southern racists joined the KKK, and of those, only a smaller minority ever carried out any terrorist acts. Most of them, even if they sympathized with KKK church bombers or thought they were justified but unhelpful to the cause, were perfectly willing to limit themselves personally to supporting oppression under the color of law. So, I guess racism is ok now?

    2. To be fair, Turks have lived in Germany for decades more or less peacefully.

      IMHO what we’re seeing is more of a Middle East problem than a Muslim problem.

      1. The Turks who emigrated to Germany were brought up and educated in Ataturk’s secular Turkey rather than an Islamic sheikdom or caliphate or a defiant colony.

        That is why batshit crazy Muslims comprise a much smaller fraction of total Muslims in Germany than in France, Britain, or Scandinavia.

        In related news, Erdogan started bashing statues of Ataturk throughout Turkey a couple of days ago.

      2. Ataturk, and his legally enforced secularism of Turkey is one of the largest contributing factors to that. It should come as no surprise that Turkey is becoming more Islamic as the western, primarily urban secular Turks are having less children compared to the eastern, more Islamic Turks.

      3. Hope did the peaceful Turks get to Germany? I seriously want to know.

    3. Not to mention that numerous polls have been taken in Muslim countries and they overwhelmingly support terrorism and jihad.

      someone will surely point out that this not ALL Muslims. And that is undoubtedly true. But, how do you separate them? And, since the predominate “libertarian” ideal here is to let EVERYONE in, what difference does it make?

      This is why, though I favor the libertarian ideal, I generally can’t vote for Libertarian candidates. I can’t bring myself to vote for cultural suicide on general principles.

  15. Even if Islam was positively correlated with terrorism, since when is it the government’s job to do something about what people believe?

    I support limiting immigration from countries with large amounts of anti-American terrorist activity–certainly when we can’t tell the difference between anti-American terrorists who mean us harm and innocent people coming from that region. That policy is in line with the government’s legitimate responsibility in defending our rights from foreign threats and is in no way predicated on the government discriminating against people because of their religious beliefs.

    In short, other people’s rights don’t disappear even IF IF IF the government respecting them might be dangerous. This is true of our Second Amendment rights–even IF IF IF the government violating our Second Amendment rights meant less murder, I’d still insist that the government respect our Second Amendment rights anyway. Even IF IF IF the NSA violating out Fourth Amendment rights prevented terrorist attacks, I’d still support the Fourth Amendment anyway. IF IF IF violating the Fifth Amendment rights of accused rapists meant there would be fewer rapes, I’d support the government respecting those rights anyway.

    Why would I treat our First Amendment religious rights differently even IF IF IF Islam was positively correlated with terrorism?

    1. There’s an argument to be made that a lot of adherents to this religion are antithetical to individual rights.

      1. Sharia?

      2. So what?

        Communists are also antithetical to individual rights. but the government still has no business policing what people believe.

        The government policing what people believe is fundamentally antithetical to individual rights.

        1. The left completely disagree with you about that. Policing what people believe is exactly what they want.

          1. Yeah, the left is wrong about that.

    2. Even if Islam was positively correlated with terrorism, since when is it the government’s job to do something about what people believe?

      Its not. They can believe whatever they want.

      What they can’t do is inflict violence on others, even if that’s what their beliefs tell them to do.

      I don’t see anyone saying we should deny rights to Muslims because they are Muslims.

      I do see people saying that we shouldn’t allow some? most? any? Muslims to immigrate to the US. And that’s perfectly consistent with saying we shouldn’t deny rights to Muslims because they are Muslims, because nobody has a right to immigrate to the US.

      1. When we see people saying that gun ownership is the cause of violent crime or mass shootings, is it really unreasonable to assume they want to violate people’s Second Amendment rights?

        To watch people blame terrorism on Islam and assume they don’t want the government to do anything about it is to assume the world is far more libertarian than it is. And I see people call Obama out for being reluctant to blame Islam for terrorism all the time. What do they want Obama to do about Islam? Even if they want to blame him for not doing enough about Islam, they need to be called out for that.

        There isn’t anything wrong with pointing out that even IF IF IF Islam were the problem, the government shouldn’t do anything about it. There isn’t anything wrong with pointing out that whatever the government does about supposedly dangerous religious (or political) beliefs will necessarily violate some of our most fundamental rights either.

        1. The government shouldn’t spend money to import people. End of issue. If Muslims who want to escape their countries can get here, fine, but I don’t think the government should be paying for them to get here. There’s an iron rule about this.

        2. The government shouldn’t spend money to import people. End of issue. If Muslims who want to escape their countries can get here, fine, but I don’t think the government should be paying for them to get here. There’s an iron rule about this.

  16. Wow was this article written backwards. Terrorism / intimidation / spreading the faith by the sword is a key component of Islam. Denying it won’t change it.

    Believers are explicitly commanded in the Koran to use violence to spread the faith. In the Koran, there are examples of butchery to spread it. Just in case that wasn’t clear enough, the Hadiths have lots of stories of the Prophet using violence, rape, raids, slavery, and brutality to spread his crazy cult.

  17. Since sharia is the code of conduct that observant Muslims follow

    I would like to see the Reason writers write an article on Sharia and explain to us how it is compatible with Western culture or what sort of special problems, if any, it might pose for us.

    It seems this is a very important discussion to have, because like the article above states, Sharia is the code of conduct that observant Muslims follow.

    1. Yeah. I’m just too dumb to understand the Reason writers’ concept of a sharia-compliant libertarian society without their explanation. An explanation of how sharia could be used to celebrate weed, Mexican Catholics, and ass sex would be illuminating.

      1. Oh, several articles, I like it!

        Sharia and Weed

        Sharia and Mexican Catholics

        Sharia and Ass Sex

        They should get right on that.

    2. Its my understanding that sharia is not just a code of conduct for people to follow. It is a code of law for society to adopt. And one that is antithetical to liberty.

  18. Wow, that was a lot of words to say what almost all Reason readers already know: Politicians support Constitutional Rights that align with their platforms. “We support freedom of speech as long as it is not hateful”. “We support freedom of religion as long as it is Christian”. “We support due process unless you are sexual predator”. “We support due process unless we want to put you on a secret ‘watch list'”.

  19. It is not a mistake to conflate Islam and Terrorism – it is a mistake to conflate Muslims and Terrorism. The vast majority take their religious writings as literally as most Christians take theirs (meaning not very).

    The problem is that even a small percentage of 1.6 billion people who are eager to impose their view of Islam upon the rest of the world through violence is a lot of &$% people. An even (frighteningly) larger percentage of muslims throughout the world believe in death for apostasy, blasphemy and homosexuality.


    The GOP’s real problem is that their ideas about these “crimes” don’t differ much in terms of their being crimes against God. They certainly have a problem with conflating Muslims with terrorism but they are just as bigoted as those they have pledged their fight against, their means of discrimination is simply much less violent.

    1. Ah, but the GOP does not believe that homosexuals should be killed. You see that IS the difference. If you are a libertarian, you have no problem with people having distasteful ideas, so long as they do not impose them on others.

      It appears to me that YOU are all about forbidding people with having what you consider distasteful ideas and you equate having those ideas with imposing those ideas on others. Who is the bigot again?

      1. I am pretty sure “I don’t like you and don’t want you around” is not the same as murdering you.

        1. And I said as much. Both groups literally and wholeheartedly believe hellfire is to follow; just one of them wants to hasten the process.

      2. It appears that YOU did not read through to the last line: “their means of discrimination is simply much less violent”.

        Honestly I have no idea what I wrote that you are responding to. Islam and the GOP (according to their platform and SEVERAL of their prominent members if you go by their voting record and WORDS) are both extremely bigoted groups. One of them wants to kill people for their ideas, the other wants simply to impose theirs through discrimination.

  20. Wow Trump is really brining out the cocktail weenies at Reason. Meanwhile the rest of us will be marking ranges on our property, sighting in, and buying more hardware.

  21. I have an idea. And bear with me, cuz this is some novel stuff.

    How about…we grant the power to the government to investigate, arrest, try, convict and punish those among us who violate the rights of others?

    I know this is some crazy fucking shit, but…

    1. Sure. And after someone puts a bullet through your head in the name of Allah, I am sure you will feel much better knowing that he is going to a nice prison for the rest of his life. We wouldn’t kill him because I am sure you don’t think the state has the right to take anyone’s life via the death penalty.

      I wish I could live in your world where everyone is just like me and can be deterred by the threat of prison or even death from doing crazy shit. Sadly, I live in the real world were a decent number of people view dying in the process of murdering others as a good thing and something to be celebrated.

      Maybe we should just pretend those people don’t exist. Ignorance seems to be bliss.

    2. The complaint by the author seems to be that noting that a number if people who are violating rights have something in common is somehow bad.

      1. Noting commonalities isn’t bad. Taking action against those with commonalities, who’ve otherwise done no harm is immoral.

        1. The complaint in the Staff post is that Republicans generally conflate Islam with terrorism. That is not true on its face (pains are often made to distinguish between radicals and the rest). Even if it was, conflation is not taking action.

    3. How about we accept the limitations of our facilities for doing so, and not let in people who are likely to need investigation, arrest, trial, and conviction, after having left a giant trail of bodies in their quest to destroy our civilization?

      1. and not let in people who are likely to need investigation, arrest, trial, and conviction, after having left a giant trail of bodies in their quest to destroy our civilization?

        Couldn’t agree more. We shouldn’t let criminals or terrorists into our country.

        …but the VAST, VAST majority of Muslims aren’t criminals or terrorists.

        1. The problem Francisco is that the “radical” Muslims – that is the Muslims follow the teachings of their “holy” book – swim in a sea of “moderate” Muslims (those who don’t outwardly commit violence) who in the main agree with the goals of the “radical” Muslims (to spread Islam across the world wiping out everything else but Islam) and of which very few will actually warn the infidel (the rest of us) when one of their co-travelers decides to return to pure Islam with a vengeance.

          – the VAST, VAST majority of Muslims don’t want to embrace our values – freedom, individual rights, etc etc.

          More Muslims mean more Muslim violence.

  22. conflate Islam with terrorism.

    I actually see the media CLAIMING this as a defense mechanism more than its actually done. No one says “Islam is the enemy”; they say that specific groups of muslims are the enemy

    The counter reaction from liberals is that “PEOPLE LIKE ISIS ARE NOT REALLY ISLAM” – which isn’t only false – its a ridiculous argument that pretends to defend “all islam” when no one was accusing “all islam”

    My comment from yesterday =

    i think there’s a false choice constantly being presented, where people say

    You’re a) blaming the religion! you should b) blame the individuals!

    there’s no necessary either/or

    In the depths of the cold-war, there were rebels who were openly committing mass-murder, atrocities in the name of communism (e.g. khmer rouge)

    there were also self-declared communists living peacefully in communes in western states, who openly espoused support for the mass murdering fuckers.

    Is it wrong to blame ‘communism’ for the acts of the baddies? And if you do blame communism, to some degree, does that require you to punish the non-violent communists?

    You don’t have to absolve the ideology entirely just because a minority represents its most-violent aspect. You also don’t have to wage war against ‘mere adherents’ simply because they non-violently support odious beliefs.

  23. So, what’s been going on in this post? Only eighty-three comments so far? Seems like insufficient participation to solve this problem.

  24. “Since sharia is the code of conduct that observant Muslims follow”

    HM can correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought sharia was the legal code that’s supposed to be implemented in Muslim-ruled countries.

    For Muslims living in non-Muslim countries, sharia would be relevant only if they want to turn their country into a Muslim country.

    1. I’m nowhere near as informed as Heroic Mulatto on the subject, but I was under the impression the Islamic code of personal conduct was referred to as akhlaq, while sharia refers to a larger legal system in a Muslim community as determined by jurists through fiqh, the study of divine law.

    2. They want to turn every country in a Muslim country – that is one of the religions explicitly stated goals. They use a combination of demographics, conversion, and intimidation to get it done. How is has worked since the 7th Century.

    3. You can also see Islamic law implemented when there’s space for parallel systems of justice. Sort of how ecclesiastical courts in England work. In countries with poor civil institutions, Sharia courts may actually be seen as preferable to the civil ones. But that all depends on how corrupt either the secular or ecclesiastical court is and how harshly or benignly the law is interpreted. One of the big Western projects in Afghanistan was making criminal justice reform a priority in order to build trust in civil institutions and divert them away from ecclesiastical ones.

  25. I’m not quite getting what exactly is the “problem” the GOP has here. That tongues in academia and among the left (redundant I know) will get clucked at them for the above listed reasons? Seems like the republicans are taking the side of “easy answers” on this issue, and that is probably going to be more popular and net more votes. Especially given the recent attacks.

  26. Based on the data from the CDC report, deaths due to homicide accounted for less than 1% of all U.S. deaths, with the odds of being murdered in a given year at 1 in 18,989.

    In the last five years, the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack have been about 1 in 20 million (that’s including both domestic attacks and overseas attacks).

    (2013 article)

    Funny how the criminal justice system works fine and is the right course of action for dealing with a “problem” that is 1000 times more likely than dieing at the hands of a terrorist, but when it comes to terrorism we MUST DO SOMETHING even if it means trampling the rights of individuals in the process.

    Cuz, getting dead by a terrorist is much worse than getting dead by a thug. Cuz feelz.

    1. Of course, when we’re not bashing govt for worrying about a “non-existent problem”, we’re bashing them for 15 years and billions of dollars dumped into profiling, phone-tapping, groping, “secret listing”, eavesdropping, enemy-combatant’ing, whatever-else-the-nsa-is-up-to, and all around operating like authoritarians. Not taking a side here, but I’m not so sure security is a topic where you can have your cake and eat it too, notwithstanding catchy Ben Franklin quotes.

      And thugs mostly kill each other. That’s rather like including americans who died fighting alongside ISIS in the stats of terrorist deaths. What are the death numbers for the average suburbanite?

      1. What are the death numbers for the average suburbanite?

        When you exclude inner city crime, the US homicide rate is similar to most of Western Europe and somewhat lower than England’s.

    2. This is an excellent example of “how to be stupid with statistics”

      1. Gilmore, you’re a fucking prick. While you’re a very intelligent person, you’re not half as smart as you think you are. And anything you gain in brains you make up for with asshole.

        Fuck off and die in a fire.

        1. You’ve said that before. I’m not sure why i should care more now?

          Pretending that terrorism is like a recurring force of nature which produces “X # of casualties a year” like lightening strikes is stupid.

          pretending that the 1000s of deaths that something like 9/11 produced should be amortized over ensuring years is stupid.

          Pretending that a wide range of other nations aren’t also themselves currently experiencing terror attacks which can kill hundreds in any given instance is stupid.

          Throwing out some heavily diluted numbers and pretending that you’ve accurately described the “problem” is ridiculous.

          I’m not suggesting any particular necessary response to terrorism. I’m not saying we need to wage endless military campaigns abroad … or any other straw man that you might construct if someone points out your case is paper-thin. I’m just saying your approach to the issue – which pretends that “Terrorism” is akin to the threat of Bird Flu, or shark-attacks – is silly.

          Terrorism is a political problem. Its a foreign-relations conflict between the “west” and “islamic revolutionaries”; its not a public-health problem.

          If you want to make an argument that “there’s nothing we can practically do about terrorism”, fine – but at least acknowledge what the issue *is*

          1. Okay, I take back the “you’re a very intelligent person” part.

            Stuff is stooopid cuz Gilmore sayz it is.

            We are the most powerful nation on the earth, both economically and militarily. The notion that the next 10 nations combined could overthrow the US is absurd. Terrorism, is a pimple on America’s ass. Terrorism cannot forcibly affect our nation or our way of life anymore than you can change the depth of the ocean by pissing in it. Terrorism only works with the consent of the terrorized. They don’t change us. We choose to change ourselves. Their only weapon is our own fear and why in the fuck would I actually fear, to the point of trying to PREEMPTIVELY rid the world of it, something that is 1000 times less likely than simple murder and half as likely as getting struck by lightning?

            Do you advocate shitting on the rights of innocent people because you’re afraid of being murdered? Do you think there should be a “war” on murder? Do you take off work and sit in your basement during thunderstorms because you’re afraid of being struck by lighting?

            I worry about terrorism like I worry about fleas on my dog, which is to say, I don’t. When they rear their ugly little heads, I get some shampoo for $2.49 and kill them. That we should be spending TRILLIONS of dollars on a War on Terror AND in doing so freely granting the terrorists the only weapon that can actually hurt us AND forsake our principled in the process, is as Gilmore says…


      2. The problem with terrorism isn’t just the dead bodies.

        Its the reaction to the dead bodies. Either a jackbooted police state, or craven submission.

        That’s why stopping terrorism has a different priority than stopping homicides.

        You aren’t an indirect victim of random homicides the way you are or will be an indirect victim of terrorism as it continues to reshape our society.

        1. This is an interesting point. Terrorism is a not just murder but also a sincere threat for far more violence. They aren’t saying “we will continue to infrequently pick off a few people unless our demands are met”.

          9/11 was the end result of decades of attempts and testing ways to both hijack planes and do as much damage to the WTC as possible.

          The recent car attack in France was, by my count, the end result of a series of at least five attempts at testing the system and “optimizing” the kill count via car-based attack in France.

          It may not add up to much, but they’re working hard to change that.

          1. Its not even the promise of more murder.

            Its the way it reshapes society that makes it an attack, not just on the specific targets du jour, but on everyone.

            Who would deny that we aren’t all victims of the 9/11 attacks, via the police state that it engendered?

            There is no way to co-exist with a non-trivial terrorist movement. You either destroy them, or surrender to them. That’s why a pure after-the-fact law enforcement approach treating terrorists as no different than ordinary criminals is misguided.

            1. “Who would deny that we aren’t all victims of the 9/11 attacks, via the police state that it engendered?”

              Well putting it quite this simply sounds rather close to heckler’s veto type justifications. What if a man turns to violence to defend himself from unjust treatment by the law, and the state as a result doubles down on its behavior? We don’t blame the victim.

              But I agree overall about your conclusion that it’s more than just law enforcement. Even without a state, this would essentially be a group trying to impose itself as the govt by threatening to kill everyone who stands in opposition (i.e. how govts always start). That seems like a legit case for self-defense right there. We don’t need to wait until they attempt to make good on their threat in every individual case before we take the threat seriously.

            2. Absolutely – our federal government is nothing like the one I grew up with. And the single thing that it significantly worse was our reaction to 9-11.

        2. So stop reacting to dead bodies.

          That’s what they want you to do and it’s your own choice as to react or not.

          Treat them like the criminals they are and show them that:

          a. You’re not afraid.
          b. You aren’t going to change your way of life.
          c. You’re not going to sacrifice your principles to fight them.

          The day after 9-11, Bush went in front of the nation and told us we need to fear terrorism. What a good leader should have told us was to grab a nut and go to the airport and get on your planes.

    3. Based on the data from the CDC report, deaths due to homicide accounted for less than 1% of all U.S. deaths, with the odds of being murdered in a given year at 1 in 18,989.

      In the last five years, the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack have been about 1 in 20 million (that’s including both domestic attacks and overseas attacks).

      The odds of an American being murdered are 1 in 18,989. Stop.

      That second stat is irrelevant because the odds of an American being murdered are 1 in 18,989.

      That terrorism is far less likely isn’t seen as important. What IS seen as important is that terrorism comes from somewhere else. So we can at least try to keep it out. See? Then maybe the odds of an American getting murdered will be 1 in 18,990. And those are better odds.

    4. You might take not that the upward trend of the 2nd cause of death you list above seems to be quite dramatic.

      You see any evidence that is just a temporary blip or a permanent situation now?

  27. …startling proposals…

    Here’s why not that many people were “startled”. A couple million Americans have now been rotated through various Muslim countries over the past 25 years. I doubt many of them came back thinking about how wonderful the Muslims are, what great communities they have built, and how their 7th Century tribal lifestyle would fit right into American society. Most, like me, came back glad to be away from them and have no desire to spend taxpayer money to import them in large numbers.

  28. Unfair, yes. Foolish, no.

  29. Well, whatever else you think about the relative merits of scrutinizing Muslim immigrants, there are lots of really strong parallels to the left’s gun control policies. Namely, that you’ll only succeed in screening out honest people who probably weren’t going to be a problem to begin with, and that you’ll suddenly wind up with a suspiciously large number of non-Muslims immigrating from Muslim countries.

  30. The problem is of course that Islam isn’t a “religion”.

    It is a VIOLENT political ideology of conquest.

    It is right now conquering Europe (or course that is a charitable description as it is more like Europe is committing suicide) and eventually we’ll be facing the same thing here.

    Are all Muslims going to be violent towards you personally? Of course not, especially when they are in the minority. But I suspect no one reading here would really want to be a non-Muslim in Pakistan where they aren’t the minority.

    But it is clear that “radical” Muslims swim in a sea of “moderate” Muslims who in the main agree with the ultimate goad of the “radicals” (the spread of Islam) and more often than not will not warn the infidels when one of the “moderates” decides to return to Islam with a vengeance.

    Anyone who thinks that America is not going to have the same problems Europe is having with their new residents ie Sweden now being the rape capital of the world and thousands of sexual assaults all across Europe are living in a fantasy land.

    We’ve already forgotten San Bernadino and Orlando, and 9/11 is just an excuse to pretend that we are still the US.

    But we’re not, we’re half way down the road to what Europe will be in 20 years – a Muslim dominated violent hell-hole.

    Better wake up to reality.

  31. “…too many of whom unfairly and foolishly equate Islam with terrorism.”
    You’re kidding right?

  32. The GOP does not have a Muslim Problem;
    the USA – and Western Civilization – have a Muslim Problem!

  33. For your sake, I sincerely hope you are not as naive as this article makes you sound. Islam is at war with the West, whether you like that or not. The vast bulk the 1.6B Muslims you defend support the advancement of Islam into the West in an effort to overrun and replace it with shariah. All surveys of Muslims countries prove this, as well as most surveys of the Muslims already in this country. If they succeed, Western Civilization, and the Judeo-Christian ethic which underlies it, will be destroyed. Including Libertarians.

    1. I agree Strelnikov.

      I think it’s amazing to watch Reason magazine transform into an irrational Sharia defending, Trump and GOP haters, while Hillary and Democrats seem to be an after thought wedged in between caustic breaths.

      You’d be forgiven for thinking that Reason magazine was a Left wing rag.

  34. Ten Arabic Words: Bracken’s Challenge to National Security Professionals | Gates of Vienna

    If you are a politically-correct bliss-ninny with a coexist bumper sticker slapped on the back of your Subaru, and you don’t have the slightest clue what the following ten words mean, then this essay is not meant for you. You are excused.

    dawah, dhimmi, hijra, jizya, kafir, shaheed, shariah, takfir, taqiyya, ummah…..essionals/

  35. There is no such thing as a Moderate Muslim, only Apostate ones, and there is no peace in the Religion of Islam, only a cult of death and ruination?. we had better stop this practice of surrendering ourselves to our sensitivities and start acting on our rights to Self Preservation, because we are at war with Islam and despite what you are told, there is no such thing as a MODERATE nor Peaceful Islam?
    If you are a Muslim that Practices Quranic, Sharia Law, than you are Devout Muslim. You’re Not a Radical nor have you Radicalized Islam, and you certainly didn’t Hijack the Islamic Faith, You Are in fact a DEVOUT Muslim to your Quran and a loyal follower of your prophet Muhammad.
    If You are a Muslim that does not adhere to Quranic Law than you’re an Apostate and many are irresponsibly and dangerously labeling them as MODERATES, of which, they are not. Matter of fact, they are even more dangerous because their actions are the most hidden. 2015/12/06/there-is-no-such- thing-as-a-moderate-muslim-only-apostate-ones/

  36. There is no radical or moderate islam. There is only islam. There is only the Quran.
    Islam has been warring within itself for centuries: Sunni vs Shia.

    I never say radical Islam because they aren’t radicals. They are fundamentalists. They practice Islam as Muhammad and 1400 years of Muslims have practiced it. We saw Muslim terror which caused the crusades. We saw Jefferson have to deal with Muslim pirates. We’ve seen it repeated throughout the world.

  37. Islam is the problem. Mecca should be nuked just as you Rhomites want Israel nuked and the six million Jews of the country incinerated thereof. Muslims are terrorists and that doesn’t bother you New Leftist retreads.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  38. EVEN IF Sharia law is a peaceful secular law it is a still a system looking to displace centuries of western legal traditions and that is NOT a good thing.

  39. There is nothing unconstitutional about barring any group for any reason from immigrating here. The constitutional provisions Sullum is trying to inject are for citizens not the whole world.
    There are no innocents in war. Non-combatants provide breeders, feeders, moral, financial, logistical supports, the articles and implements of war, etc. To win wars it is not sufficient to defeat an enemy on the battlefield. This is not 1700. An enemy must have its complete support structure torn down including the non-combatants that make it all possible. Sullum is exhibiting evidence of a lack of knowledge of how wars are properly conducted.
    Rule 1: Don’t let the bad guys get inside your perimeter.

  40. ” Muslims who condemn terrorism and have no desire to impose their religion on others.” You mean like all the Muslims who come forward publicly to condemn all the bombings, murders, stonings, done in the name of Islam by devout followers of Islam? Yeah, I don’t see a lot of those Muslims.

    ” Never forget the following fact: The more a Muslim is devout and religious, the more they become dangerous, full of hatred and has tendency to violence?”…..mic-world/ Read this article and know the truth, Jacob Sullum.

    The message originally written and sent in arabic by Magda Borham (not her real name) from Egypt.

  41. Rather than call American citizens racist for not wanting to admit and support floods of refugees of unknown origin the current administration should stop bombing the Middle East creating them. That said a country taking refugees from countries it is essentially at war with is unheard of and ridiculous. After the French truck attack on civilians someone perhaps distastefully joked he bet the attacker’s name was ‘Mohammed’ and he shouted ‘Alahu Akbar’. The sad thing was his joke turned out to be precisely true. The joke is on us. Sure, the majority of Muslims are peace loving just as are the majority of Christians in our nation which is bombing them. But halting their immigration until we can be sure of such basic things as they aren’t actually militants coming in from Iran under cover only makes sense. By pretending otherwise the current administration and Reason authors are only ensuring Trump’s election.

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