Insulting, or Telling It Like It Is?
Horrific crimes illustrate the caution needed with refugees.
Barack Obama mocked conservative Republicans and the tens of millions of average Americans concerned about importing waves of Muslim men from the Middle East, with no way to vet them properly. He accused us of being scared of women and children. In his State of the Union Address Tuesday night, Obama rejected “insulting” Muslims: “That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”
Yet two episodes in recent months highlight that we were and are right to be concerned, and Obama is a fool for ignoring these concerns.
One was the story of Farkhunda Malikzada, an Afghan woman falsely accused of burning a Koran at an Islamic shrine, and subsequently dragged into the streets by an angry mob and kicked, punched, beaten with sticks, pummeled with heavy rocks, run over by a car, dragged through the streets, and set on fire (after being soaked with fuel because her body was so wet with blood it would not catch fire).
As it turns out, the accusation against her was made by a man selling amulets to illiterate, superstitious women hoping it would help them get pregnant. She accused him of fraud and of dishonoring the Koran, and in retaliation he accused her of burning a Koran. At that accusation, the mob began to form.
It is important to keep in mind that the men who dragged her into the street and carried out mob justice were just average Afghani Muslim men. The killing of Farkhunda Malikzada wasn’t a trust building exercise at some al-Qaida training camp. These weren’t terrorist recruits forced to prove their commitment to jihad. These were just Muslim men going about their day, quickly incited by a single accusation, without any evidence it was true, dragging a woman from their own community into the streets and executing her in the most horrific, barbaric way.
Dozens of men rushed to the center of the mob to join in the killing. Hundreds more crowded in and cheered the lynch mob on while holding cell phones aloft and taking pictures and video of the killing. They were not shocked or horrified by the sudden descent into mindless fury, like a pack of wild dogs that happen upon a single, injured animal and tear it to shreds. These men were proud of what they did. It was, in the mob’s estimation, a righteous fury. No matter that there was no trial, no chance for Farkhunda to plead her case, just a single accusation uttered moments before.
The other example comes from Germany (and is being played out in other European countries). On New Year’s Eve in the city of Cologne, a series of robberies and sexual assaults against German women occurred. According to the police, the attacks were perpetrated by “mostly young men aged 18 to 35 from the Arab or North African region.”
In response to the Syrian “refugee” crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s borders and allowed in more than a million so-called refugees. Yet conspicuously obvious to any remotely astute observer was that these “refugees” consisted primarily of young, able-bodied Muslim men. The women and children Obama mocked concerned Americans over were few and far between.
In response to a reporter’s question on how women can remain safe during the six-day long upcoming celebration of Carnival (known for its alcohol-fueled, libidinous partying), Cologne mayor Henriette Reker rightly drew angry criticism when she recommended German women should stay an “arm’s length” from men they don’t know. So essentially, it is up to the women to avoid men — in the middle of a massive, crowded street party — by staying an arm’s length from them, in order to avoid sexual assault. Such a directive is reminiscent of another Muslim country, Indonesia, which responded to sexual assaults against women in the capitol of the Aceh province by implementing an 11 p.m. curfew for women.
Americans are an idealistic people, and rightfully so. Such optimism is deeply embedded in our national history, culture and psyche. We embarked on a radical experiment in individual liberty more than two centuries ago, based on the idea that all men are created equal in the eyes of God and the eyes of the law, and that free men are governed only after giving their consent. As such, we declare that we have freedom of religion, of speech, of association. We have the right to a trial by a jury of our peers, to confront our accusers, to demand evidence of guilt. We are innocent of a crime until proven guilty.
Yet it is painfully obvious that in the Muslim world, with few exceptions, there is no belief in things like innocent until proven guilty; certainly not for women like Farkhunda Malikzada. The ideology, process and framework of our American Republic were built of a foundation of principles established over centuries in Western society, rooted in Judeo-Christianity and the Enlightenment. Our cultures came to revere these principles and traditions, and to build upon them. Not so in many Muslim lands, where these principles are not only not followed, but openly and hostilely rejected in favor of the strict rules and violent punishments of sharia law.
We have an obligation — to our forefathers who shed blood and gave their lives in defense of the creation of this free land, and to our posterity, to whom we owe the perpetuation of the blessings of Liberty that we have long enjoyed — to protect this nation and the form of government that protects these freedoms. More importantly, we have an obligation to protect the Judeo-Christian culture and ethos that made such a nation possible.
And terrorists or not, it is clear that far too many of the Muslims being imported into the U.S. and other Western countries have no desire to assimilate into our culture, but seek only to take advantage of our wealth and impose their version of Islam upon us. Those Muslims who we can determine with a high level of certainty want to come and partake of the blessings of Liberty in a pluralistic society, and contribute to the rich cultural fabric of America in a peaceful way, should be welcomed with open arms.
But we are under no obligation to import tens or hundreds of thousands of people fundamentally opposed to our way of life, with no respect for the rights of others, no desire to share in our traditions, with no respect for our laws, and who are willing to commit violence to express their displeasure with our way of life. In short, we are under no obligation to commit suicide in order to prove our tolerance. And that’s telling it like it is.