On Islam

Martin and Gracia Burnham

Martin and Gracia Burnham

I have been touched by Radical Islamic Terrorism albeit indirectly. I don’t just mean in the way that all Americans were affected by 9/11, to me it’s more personal. During the dark days of Afghanistan and Iraq, before the surge, my two oldest sons both enlisted in the military. One served in Afgahnistan with the storied 82nd Airborne (hooah!) and the other, an Arabic linguist was never stationed abroad but served in places he may never be able to speak about. More recently, I was in Paris one week after the recent terror attacks. I arrived the day of the shootout in the suburb of St. Denis where the terrorists blew themselves up after a an hours long siege with police. From Paris I travelled to Brussels in the heart of a complete lockdown. Before the trip I took out a $1 million life insurance policy, that covered acts of terrorism, to reassure my wife — unfortunately I think it made her more nervous. Finally, the picture above is of my friends Martin and Gracia Burnham. The Burnhams were missionaries (Martin was a pilot) in Papua New Guinea. They were kidnapped, along with 18 others while on vacation in the Philippines by the Muslim terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. After more than a year in captivity, Martin was killed in a rescue attempt. Gracia was wounded but survived the ordeal.

Therefore, I find it absurd that America tolerates a group of people in their midst who hold the strictures of their religion higher than the US Constitution. People who choose to follow their backwards superstitions rather than assimilate into American society. People who believe that infidels are cursed and bound for damnation. People who protest, complain and even go to court when their religious symbols are desecrated. People who describe themselves as warriors or soldiers in their God’s army. People who hold archaic views on the roles of men and women. People who use social media and send proselytizers to convert American youth to their cause. People who look forward to and work towards the day that a theocratic government will be established under their king.

Of course those of you who know me have also figured out that I am talking about Christians. For those of you who don’t know me I should probably share my bona-fides:

I am a born-again Christian, a homeschooling father of eight, a deacon in a Baptist church, a Sunday School teacher, a sometime preacher and I believe so strongly in traditional marriage that I am trying to arrange marriages for my four daughters!

Of course my description of Christians was deliberately inflammatory, but everything I said is rooted in truth. In regards to Donald Trump’s statement that he would place a moratorium on Muslims entering the country, I see many of my friends citing Sec. 313. [8 U.S.C. 1424] as legal justification for such an action. The aforementioned section prohibits naturalization of persons:

(4) who advocates or teaches or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization that advocates or teaches (A) the overthrow by force or violence or other unconstitutional means of the Government of the United States or of all forms of law; or (B) the duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers (either of specific individuals or of officers generally) of the Government of the United States or of any other organized government because of his o r their official character; or (C) the unlawful damage, injury, or destruction of property; or (D) sabotage; or
(5) who writes or publishes or causes to be written or published, or who knowingly circulates, distributes, prints, or displays, or knowingly causes to be circulated, distributed, printed, published, or displayed or who knowingly has in his possession for the purpose of circulation, publication, distribution, or display, any written or printed matter, advocating or teaching opposition to all organized government, or advocating (A) the overthrow by force, violence, or other unconstitutional means of the Government of the United States or of all forms of law; or (B) the duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers (either of specific individuals or of officers generally) of the Government of the United States or of any other organized government, because of his or their official character; or (C) the unlawful damage, injury, or destruction of property; or (D) sabotage; …

They claim (or imply) that all Muslims fall into these categories. They point out that if Muslims really followed the teachings of the Koran they would be like ISIS or Al Qaeda. The fallacy is similar to suggesting that all Christians are “pro-life” or “pro-gay marriage”. The truth is that many people self-identify as Christians whose beliefs differ greatly on these and many other issues, in that regard Muslims are no different.

If painting with such a broad brush could result in legal consequences for all Muslims based on the action of a few means that in different times, the same broad brush could result in legal consequences for all Christians as well. Some of my friends have been gleefully sharing this article on social media as an exemplar for the United States. The headline reads,

While we fight over Trump, France closes 3 mosques, finds hundreds of weapons

I am a Francophile. I love French food, French art, French literature, and French history — notice French food came first 🙂 I speak prefect second year French and I have made dozens of trips to France, Belgium, and French Canada.

Even so, I do not want the US to be France. France was able to close 3 mosques and find hundreds of weapons (not all in mosques) because they are almost in a state of martial law. I speak French well enough that when I was over there a few weeks ago, I heard commentators speak about the extraordinary emergency powers the French government had taken after the Paris attacks. For the first time since WWII, municipal leaders could unilaterally order curfews. The national government placed limitations on speech and movement. The police could now perform warrantless searches, hold people without charges, and with France’s strict gun-control laws — mere possession of a firearm is a serious criminal offense.

In WWII, similar thinking led to the internment of the Nisei. Nisei comes from the Japanese word for two, ni. The Nisei were second generation US citizens born on US soil and Roosevelt (Franklin) used Executive Order #9066 to summarily deny them of their constitutional rights.

In this climate, some are using terrorism to call for limiting the civil liberties of Muslim US citizens. Is it so far-fetched to believe that there could be a climate where gun violence leads to calls to limit the rights of gun owners? Where anti-abortion violence leads to calls to limit the rights of pro-lifers?

Oh, wait we are already there!