Sunday, April 10, 2016

E Pluribus Unum: Our Homefront Victory

We should be grateful that while Europe essentially has created forward operating bases for jihadis in their Moslem ghettos, America has largely assimilated Moslem immigrants:

The United States has been far more successful at assimilating and integrating Muslim immigrants into American society and culture than has Western Europe. There are no Muslim ghettoes here like those in Molenbeek or the Paris suburbs, where authorities turn a blind eye to antisocial behavior and aggressive incitement by radicals preaching jihad. Of course there have been some heinous exceptions, such as the Tsarnaev brothers, the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan, or the killers in San Bernardino. And mosques in American cities have often been built with funding from Saudi Arabia, which promotes a harsh and puritanical version of Islam.

Nevertheless, at the grass-roots level, Muslims in the United States, like other cultural and religious minorities, have had no problem acclimating to mainstream norms. In a detailed 2011 survey, the Pew Research Center found that Muslim Americans are “highly assimilated into American society and . . . largely content with their lives.” More than 80 percent of US Muslims expressed satisfaction with life in America, and 63 percent said they felt no conflict “between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.” The rates at which they participate in various everyday American activities — from following local sports teams to watching entertainment TV — are similar to those of the American public generally. Half of all Muslim immigrants display the US flag at home, in the office, or on their car.

And there has been no "backlash" against Moslems, which has been long predicted here.

The American people realize, as I wrote just after the 9/11 attacks, that Arab Americans (not identical to Moslems, admittedly) came here for reasons many of our forebears came here for:

Above all, vigilance must not degenerate into paranoia. We must trust that our Moslem and Arab neighbors share our values. They or their parents or grandparents immigrated to America because they too cherish our freedoms and way of life. Like most Americans, they are here because someone in their family fled poverty, oppression, or both, to build a better life for their children. They are horrified and angry like all Americans. "They" are our friends and neighbors and are part of "us." Some, whether citizens or residents, will be guilty of cooperating with the enemy or even actively fighting us. This is not new. Fascism and communism had their admirers here even in our darkest hours during those fights. Those betrayers were guilty as individuals and not as members of any religion or ethnic group. Let us not descend into the logic of our enemies that the perceived or actual guilt of one condemns all similar innocents. Our enemies will have won the war in a fundamental and lasting way if we become like the terrorists even as we physically destroy our terrorist enemy.

While I am in favor of screening refugees from the Middle East to keep out terrorists, Moslem immigration bothers me no more than other immigration as long as we encourage assimilation--which also means restricting numbers at some level--and do not encourage Balkanization. We are a nation of ideas and not of blood and soil. Anybody really can become an American if they are coming here looking for freedom and opportunity.

As I've noted many times, when I see a head-scarved Moslem woman driving a mini-van around my city, I see a blow against the Islamist interpretation of Islam that breeds terrorist killers.

Nearly fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks, despite costly wars in the Middle East and terror at home and in the streets of our friends, the American people have proven capable of distinguishing between terrorists and fellow Americans. It is both a point of pride and of shame that if you want to find ghettos of totalitarian anti-Americanism you will have better luck going to American college campuses and faculty offices.

This is quite an American accomplishment when compared to Europe that largely decided not to "provoke" the ire of Islamists by participating in the 2003-2009 Iraq War and yet still managed to create jihadi forward operating bases within their cities.

But a word of warning, there are those who are trying very hard to create Islamist enclaves in America. Let's not declare mission accomplished on this question too early.

Tips to Instapundit.

UPDATE: Too many people worry more about the hypothetical "backlash" and ignore the actual "lash."

This fails to protect American Moslems from being preyed upon by the radical Islamists.

UPDATE: Just killing your way to victory over the jihadis by failing to distinguish between most Moslems and the jihadis doesn't work for long. Not that we would try anything like that, but note that Russia did not solve their Islamist problem in the North Caucasus with their brutal Chechnya campaign.