Sunday, December 27, 2015

Trump’s Ban-All-Muslims Policy Undermines the Fight Against Islamic Jihad

Is Donald Trump’s controversial new policy announcement to ban all Muslims from entering the United States until ironclad screening processes can be implemented by our government a good idea?

The New Jersey Star-Ledger doesn’t think so. And neither does just about anybody else. Trump's open bigotry is a challenge to mainstream Republicans, said the Star-Ledger in an editorial. The Star-Ledger brushed off Trump as a bigot, labeled his rhetoric “hate speech,” and basically viewed Trump’s popularity as evidence of something fundamentally wrong with the Republican Party.

There’s also something wrong with the Left, though. From President Obama on down, the Left seems more outraged by real or imagined prejudice against Muslims than the murderous Islamist Jihadists themselves. Perhaps it’s because of the Left’s blind spot blocking its realization that we are at war with an Islamic enemy.

The Star-Ledger does have a point, though:

The mistreatment of Muslims is, in fact, a national security threat. It plays right into the hands of the Islamic State, whose leaders openly admit their goal is to make Muslims in the West feel isolated and turn against their own communities.

I left these comments, edited for clarity:

The covert smearing of the entire Republican Party is just as bigoted as Trump’s call to ban Muslims—only less honest. That aside, Trump is dangerous. Bigotry has no place in the fight against Islamic Imperialism. It is not just evil. It is practically counterproductive.

We are not at war with Islam. But we cannot ignore the fact that we are at war with a malignant manifestation of Islam that combines faith-based belief with aggressive action; specifically, an ultra-conservative, fundamentalist merger of Islamic religion and political power. In my view, the best way to understand what we are up against is to look back at the Empire of Japan.

Japanese militarism was forged out of a merger of Shintoism and state. Shintoism, the official state religion, was the ideological driving force behind the Japanese government’s hold on the people and thus of Japanese imperialism, spawning such tactics as the Kamikaze—the Japanese equivalent of Jihad suicide bombers—and the banzai charge, the call to die for the Emperor rather than surrender, no matter how hopeless the chance of victory. State Shintoism enabled the Japanese government to orient an entire culture around war and regional hegemony. The Emperor under state Shintoism was held up as God’s representative on Earth.

After the Japanese surrender that ended W.W. II, the allied occupying force of General MacArthur was given these instructions from the State Department:

Shintoism, insofar as it is a religion of individual Japanese, is not to be interfered with. Shintoism, however, insofar as it is directed by the Japanese government, and as a measure enforced from above by the government, is to be done away with. . . . [T]here will be no place for Shintoism in the schools. Shintoism as a state religion—National Shinto, that is—will go . . . Our policy on this goes beyond Shinto . . . The dissemination of Japanese militaristic and ultra-nationalistic ideology in any form will be completely suppressed. [Quoted from “Gifts from Heaven”: The Meaning of the American Victory over Japan, 1945 by John David Lewis for The Objective Standard.]

Our leaders recognized the ideological source of the Imperial Japanese government’s power—state Shintoism—and took steps to make a resurgence of that threat impossible by imposing a separation of Shintoism and state. The emperor was stripped of political authority, and reduced to a figurehead, like the Queen of England.

The lesson: Peaceful Muslims—those who want to observe Islam in private while respecting others’ right to their freedom of conscience—are our allies. Though his ban-all-Muslims policy is bigoted, I don’t believe Trump himself is a bigot. But he is a dangerous fool. The enemy is not private, peaceful Muslims. Since the fight is largely ideological, we need Islamic reformationists—a faction led by leaders such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Muhammad Syed—who are fighting the ideological battle from within Islam. A ban-all-Muslims policy undermines Enlightenment principles and thus those Muslims and ex-Muslims fighting to drag Islam into enlightenment. Fundamentally, the enemy is political Islam. Private Jihadists can be deadly but are not an existential threat to society or civilization.  Ex political power, Jihadists are marginal criminal organizations like the Italian or Russian mafias, the drug cartels, etc. Political Islam—i.e., ISIS, Iran, the former Taliban, the Sharia regime in Egypt before it was ousted by the military—is an existential threat. Just think of Imperial Japan. As long as political Islam is tolerated in any form anywhere in the world, the recruiting of private Jihadists will continue and expand, and so will the long-term threat of Islamic Imperialism. Islamic statism is the inspiration for all Jihadists.

Any effort to justify or respect religious control of political institutions is to support Islamic Jihad. In this regard, we in the West must re-examine our worship of “democracy”—the absolutism of the vote. It doesn’t matter if a Sharian caliphate is elected by popular vote. Religious enslavement should never be a voting option. In this regard, Bush 43’s “Forward Strategy for Freedom” was a dismal failure. The right to vote is not freedom. The right to vote is a derivative of freedom. Bush’s strategy didn’t bring freedom. It brought the vote divorced from the principles of individual liberty—and a series of elected Sharia regimes. Many bemoaned the overthrow of the elected Sharia government of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. But a Morsi regime is exactly what we should never tolerate, even at the price of a military dictatorship. Egypt’s military regime is not a threat to the West. The Morsi regime, regardless of it’s intentions, was.

We must recognize that political Islam is the enemy, no matter its manifestation. America would never tolerate the imposition of Christian law, no matter how large a voting majority Christians have. If we are to eradicate the Islamic imperialist threat, we must insist with the same moral vigor on the separation of mosque and state everywhere, no matter how large a majority Muslims may have in any given country.

The separation of religion and state is a must, lest we face some future Islamic equivalent of the Empire of Japan, this time armed with modern weaponry. The way we handled Japan should be the model for how we approach the Islamic threat today. We must insist on the strict separation of mosque and state, in the same way as America has the separation of church and state, while simultaneously protecting the right of individual Muslims’ freedom to the peaceful observance of Islam. Our guiding principle in the War against Islamic Jihad should be the First Amendment, which guarantees both freedom of religion and freedom from religion.


I suspect that many, many Muslims are just as horrified as we are. And just as frightened. Or maybe more so. Westernized Muslims are as much ISIS’s enemy as we are. The Star-Ledger is right that “The mistreatment of Muslims [in the West] plays right into the hands of the Islamic State.

We need to encourage peaceful Muslims to speak up within their families and communities, despite their fear. Islamic reformationists need to know they have friends in the West who have their backs. Trump’s solution to the militant Islamist would constitute a major strategic blunder.

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Steve Jackson said...

I think Trump is right. We have a problem with Islamic terrorism because of Islamic immigration. There wasn't a threat prior to large scale Islamic immigration.

The comparison with Shintoism is mistaken because the allegiance of Muslism is to the Umma (the spiritual Islamic state). We could wage war against Iran and Saudi Arabia all we want and it wouldn't end Islamic terrorism. Why would foreign policy have prevented the Boston Marathon Bombing, for example?

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

Yes, there are differences. But the main commonality between Japan and Islamic imperialism is state sponsorship of religious aggression. Destroying state sponsorship of Islamic terrorism wherever and whenever it arose would not prevent every terrorist attack. But it would destroy the incentive and reduce terrorist groups to little more than criminal organizations, like the drug cartels. Longer term, a proper foreign policy would end the threat to Western Civilization posed by the Islamist movement. Winning the Unwinnable War by Elan Journo offers a good discussion of this point.

Steve Jackson said...

I don't mean to be obtuse, I just don't understand the argument. From: (A) Longer term, a proper foreign policy would end the threat to Western Civilization posed by the Islamist movement to (B) we would end the threat of Islamic terrorism, seems to involve a number of sub-arguments. I'm not sure what they are.

For example, if you are arguing:

1. Countries such as S.A. and Iran are funding and supporting Islamic terrorism.

2. Islamic terrorists in the West are following S.A. and Iran;


3. Stopping S.A. and Iran would end Islamic terror

then please explain why the Boston Bombing, San Bernadino, Ft. Hood wouldn't have happened.

A couple of years ago a Jihadist in France got in his car and ran 13 people over, killing 2. This required funding from Iran? Now, you might say he was radicalized by S.A. support of Wahabbism in the West, but destroy S.A. and you'll get people in any number of 50 Islamic countries that will inspire terrorism.

As I'm sure you know, Muslim Algerians in France riot every new year. This year they overturned "only" 900 cars. Again, if we deal with Islamic countries this wouldn't have happened? Something tells me they would torch Paris if we got tough with S.A.

What about the rape Jihad (Cologne, Sweden, Rotherham). Again this all the doing of Islamic countries? Maybe Muslims rape because their religion says it is ok?

If your claim is we would avoid another 9/11 but we would still get gangsterism such as rape Jihad, San Bernadino, etc. my response is why do we have to accept even that?

Does Journo say why a better foreign policy will end rape Jihad or car driving Jihadis?

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

"please explain why the Boston Bombing, San Bernadino, Ft. Hood wouldn't have happened."

I didn't make that claim. That would require omniscience. Nor did I say we should "accept" "rape Jihad, San Bernadino, etc," any more than we should accept any rape or murder. The conflict is both military and ideological, and both must be integrated.

Steve Jackson said...

I still don't understand. If we had a great foreign and military policy we wouldn't have to worry about San Bernadino, etc.

Say we did everything you want, would you not worry about rape Jihad?

Again, I'm not trying to be obtuse. I don't see how a better foreign policy would have prevented Cologne. Jezeloo, a Muslim just killed someone today at a refugee center just killed a Swede.

Are you saying that thanks to immigration we just have to accept this stuff?

Steve Jackson said...

Let me put it another way: do you deny that Islamic immigration tends to increase crime/jihad even in the asbcense of a better foreign policy?

My belief is that Islamic immigration increases crime/jihad.

I gather you don't agree with that.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

I don't think we should admit all Islamic immigration willy-nilly. The immigration policy should take into consideration many factors, including the area of the world the Muslims are coming from. On specific standards and tactics, I have no idea: That's up to military and intelligence experts. I'm saying a blanket ban-all-Muslims policy, which is basically a religious test, is not right or feasible. We don't have to "just accept this stuff." But neither can we eliminate the risk entirely any more than we can eliminate the risk from Italian or Russian immigration of admitting gangsters. The aim should be to minimize the risk.

Steve Jackson said...

"On specific standards and tactics, I have no idea: That's up to military and intelligence experts."

Most Islamic countries don't have laws against domestic abuse or, if they do, don't enforce them. So if the military/intelligence experts said there is no way to adequately screen Muslims you'd agree with Trump on a ban on Islamic immigration?

Jesus, I hope Israel doesn't follow the standard "open immigration" line of Objectivists such as Craig Biddle. The Jews would be in gas chambers by now.

As bad as Russian or Italian gangsters are, they don't believe that raping Gentile women is a religious obligation.

Steve Jackson said...

For the record, I and others have REPEATEDLY asked open immigration Objectivists such as Yaron Brook, Craig Biddle, Leonard Peikoff, etc. what they think about open immigration of Muslims into Israel and they refuse to even acknowledge the question.

I can only assume that Biddle, et al. believe that it is so obvious that Israel should allow mass Islamic immigration even if it results in Israel becoming Islamic, mandatory FMG, etc.

If you have additional information please let us know.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

I won't comment directly about Israel or other Objectivists' positions. I will say this: Open Immigration does not mean open borders. Context is important. Freedom of migration among peaceful individuals and peaceful nations is a rights-respecting policy, and I support it on principle. But the screening process must reflect reality.

Steve Jackson said...

You said that Donald Trump is a "bigot" for wanting to ban Islamic entry into the USA.

But since you concede that screening of Muslims is very difficult, why not just say that Trump's view - whether right or wrong - is made in good faith.

As far as undermining the fight agianst radical Islam, the head of the FBI said recently that "moderate" Muslims are giving no help in the fight against radical Islam. The San Bernadino couple had a bomb making factory in their garage and none of the "moderate" Muslims decided to tell the police.

Are people in Germany who are sick and tired of Islamic immigration bigots? Is Israel's law of return bigoted?


Michael A. LaFerrara said...

I said "Though his ban-all-Muslims policy is bigoted, I don’t believe Trump himself is a bigot."

I define bigotry as "painting with a broad brush": i.e., "Some Muslims are terorists, and others are terrorist supporters, therefore all Muslims are terrorists or terrorist supporters."

I don't know Trump's motivations. But even if made in good faith, his policy is still bigoted. I might add that that is not the worst of it. There shouldn't be a religious test for entering America. There shouldn't be an ideas test. Bad ideas in and of themselves are not a threat, until and unless accompanied by credible evidence of actual or impending rights-violating actions. As to the "moderate" Muslims, any Muslim who has knowledge of terrorist activity but fails to report should be considered enemy combatants and treated accordingly. All Muslims face a choice: You're either for Jihadist Islam or you're for civilization.

Steve Jackson said...

There shouldn't be a religious test for entering America. There shouldn't be an ideas test. Bad ideas in and of themselves are not a threat, until and unless accompanied by credible evidence of actual or impending rights-violating actions.

I don't mean to be condescending, but have you ever thought about how this would work in practice?

Israel decides to allow open immigration. It refuses to screen people based on religion or ideas. In short order Israel would become Islamic.

And not just Israel, but most all of Europe would become Islamic if your policies are followed.

I mean, the immigration screener would ask the applicant "Do you believe in Jihad? Do you believe in FGM, etc." What do you think the Muslims would say?

Are you aware of what's going on in Europe?

madmax said...


Is there any argument on this earth that would ever cause you to consider that Muslims are to be judged as a group and not as individuals? And related to this, are you willing to accept the possibility of a future America where your mother, your wife or your daughter have to accept the daily perpetual threat of gang rape and mutilation all for the sake of ideological conformity with what you consider to be "individual rights"?

Take your time and consider your answer. And don't try to mimic Rand or whatever Objectivist philosopher you may have read. Truly contemplate the reality of the future I offered in that first paragraph and... ...think.