Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Freedom, Immigration, Law, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism, The Constitution | Tags: "Fixing The Middle East", Muslims and Islamic Law, The U.S. Constitution.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Europe is struggling to cope with the vast invasion of “Syrian refugees,”most of whom are not actually from Syria.” The northern Italian region of Lombardy has passed regulations forbidding access into hospitals and public buildings to anyone wearing face-covering garments, such as the burqa and niqab; this is the first regional law to explicitly outlaw Islamic face coverings in Italy.
Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni announced the new regulation for access to regional structures, prompted in particular by the Northern League after the November 13 jihadist attacks in Paris. The text makes reference to national legislation already in place, which prohibits people from going about in public dressed in a way that prevents facial recognition without a “justifiable motive.”
The secretary of the Lombard League, Paul Grima, said that current legislation is not respected or enforced,“ as thousands of Muslim women go about undisturbed with their faces completely covered by the burqa or the niqab, making it impossible to identify them.”
The new regulation, which will take effect on January 1, 2016, authorizes personnel to stop people from entering public buildings if their faces are not clearly visible, and thus prohibits not only the burqa, but also helmets and other headgear.
(click to enlarge)
Here’s a good explanation of traditional Muslim headgear, which is useful as we continue to see increasing numbers of Muslims here. In a very open country such as our own, such face-covering can become problematic. I see Muslim women in Hijab occasionally in a Seattle suburban grocery store, and once encountered a woman in full Burqa, and was surprised to see that it included gloves, so the hands were covered. States have had to rule on requirements for driver’s licenses, and I don’t know what the rules are for entrance into guarded buildings, or for voter registration.
It comes up whenever there is a terrorist attack, In the case of the San Bernardino shooting, there were protests over photographs of Tashfeen Malik without her face covered. (See just below) There are often reports of ISIS fighters using Muslim face covering garb to avoid detection.
In the United States this is particularly difficult because of the First Amendment to the Constitution regarding freedom of religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” That amendment, designed to prohibit the State from establishing a state religion, such as in England where the wars of religion between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France had caused so many years of bloody fighting, has continued to cause difficulty into the modern age with wider interpretation. Militant atheists have sued to prevent Christian crosses from appearing on any federal building or land, money, or in any representation whatsoever— as if the crosses on the graves of Christians at Arlington National Cemetery are an “establishment of religion.” With the direct assaults on the Constitution by Democrats in their own political quest for some other Utopia, it’s a big problem.
I believe that the establishment clause refers directly to creating a state required religion, but it is continuously problematic for the Supreme Court, and different courts are faced with the same problem over and over.
With Muslim immigration a whole new chapter opens. Thousands of Muslims are seeking new lives in America; some simply want American citizenship and the right to practice their religion, yet others are seeking to destroy. How do we tell the difference? For the Muslim American, the traditional exercise of Islamic Law—Sharia, in the traditional sense, is problematic. Honor killings will send the perpetrator to prison for life, or get the death penalty. Face-covering is unacceptable in all sorts of situations. Wife beating will get a jail term. Homosexuality is accepted, not a cause for execution. Any expectation of adopting Sharia as law in any part of this country would transform America in totally unacceptable ways. These are big, big questions that are deserving of far more serious thought than Donald Trump’s glib, thoughtless announcement to grab media attention, that he would ban all Muslim immigration.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has courageously called for the reform and moderation of Islam. He has taken measures within Egypt such as regulating mosque sermons and changing school textbooks to help halt the glorifying of hatred and violence. He even attended a Christmas Mass and spoke at the Coptic Orthodox Christmas service in Cairo, and wished the Christians a merry Christmas.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2016, Freedom, History, Law, Politics, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Kim Strassel, President Barack Obama
Kimberly Strassel had an important column Friday in The Wall Street Journal (subscription barrier) about the nation’s guardrails —”people who don’t think that rules of personal or civil conduct apply to them.”
Barack Obama has done plenty of damage to the country, but perhaps the worst is his determined destruction of Washington’s guardrails. Mr. Obama wants what he wants. If ObamaCare is problematic, he unilaterally alters the law. If Congress won’t change the immigration system, he refuses to enforce it. If the nation won’t support laws to fight climate change, he creates one with regulation. If the Senate won’t confirm his nominees, he declares it in recess and installs them anyway. “As to limits, you set your own,” observed Dan in that editorial. This is our president’s motto.
Mr. Obama doesn’t need anyone to justify his actions, because he’s realized no one can stop him. He gets criticized, but at the same time his approach has seeped into the national conscience. It has set new norms. You see this in the ever-more-outrageous proposals from the presidential field, in particular front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Mrs. Clinton routinely vows to govern by diktat. On Wednesday she unveiled a raft of proposals to punish companies that flee the punitive U.S. tax system. Mrs. Clinton will ask Congress to implement her plan, but no matter if it doesn’t. “If Congress won’t act,” she promises, “then I will ask the Treasury Department, when I’m there, to use its regulatory authority.”
The Left has moved decidedly much further left during the Obama administration, but their dreams of a glorious future when there is social justice for all and everyone is equal, are showing more and more evidence that is not what they want at all. They want to be — tyrants, fully in charge where no one dares to criticize them, or contradict them, or even argue — they want to be agreed with and admired. And those who disagree should be put in camps or something.
Different members of the Left have expressed their distaste for the Constitution, in whole or in part. The Second Amendment is unpopular with gun-grabbing Democrats, and they object seriously to freedom of speech. Which is obvious around college campuses just now, and few professors willing to explain to the snowflakes that there are advantages to allowing others to say things you don’t agree with.
That one sentence should raise the hackles of every American: “Mr. Obama doesn’t need anyone to justify his actions, because he’s realized no one can stop him.”
Kim Strassel adds: “The more unrestrained the idea, the more press coverage; the more ratings soar, the more unrestrained the idea. The humble candidates—those with big ideas, but with respect for order and honor —are lost to the shouting.” We need to do some serious thinking about this whole situation.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Iran, Iraq, Islam, National Security, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Progressivism, The Constitution | Tags: "Syrian Refugees", All About Compassion, No Way to Screen, Serious Questions
The question about Syrian refugees — is not a question of just how much empathy we have, nor is it about whether or not they are actually Syrian and actually refugees. President Obama insists it is all about compassion, and we are a nation of refugees, and rejecting widows and 3 year-old orphans is just not who we are as Americans.
At a moment in history when Paris has just been attacked by jihadists, and the example of supposed Syrian refugees are flooding Europe with the most dire results, we need to think very clearly about just who we are inviting in as refugees. There is, in spite of pious pronouncements from the State Department and Homeland Security, no way for us to screen those who seek admission. There is no effective government in Syria, and Syrian Americans say that one can buy any kind of credential they want or need in Syria if they can pay for it.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, writes that it is morally wrong to relocate refugees from the Middle East to the U.S. Welcoming refugees is not about making us feel good. The five year cost of resettling a single Middle Eastern refugee in the United States is conservatively estimated to be more than $64,000, compared with UN figures that indicate it costs about $5,300 to provide for that same refugee for five years in his native region.
In other words, each refugee we bring to the U.S. means that eleven others are not being helped with that amount of money. Mr. Krikorian uses the analogy of sending a luxurious one-man boat rather than twelve life jackets. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports a $2.5 billion shortfall in caring for Syrian refugees in the Middle East. The five-year cost of resettling just 39,000 Syrians in the U.S. would erase the entire current UNHCR shortfall.
Europe has cut a deal with Turkey regarding refugees. Turkey will shelter more Middle Eastern refugees within its own borders so fewer of the will head for other European countries. Turkey, in return for tightening its border control, will get several billion dollars from the EU, and assistance in Turkey’s efforts to join the coalition of 28 countries. President Obama wants to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees next year and every year thereafter. He says a “robust vetting process” will be in place. The State Department and Homeland Security obediently agree.
When questions about refugees from the Middle East arise, the word “Islamophobia”also arises. If you worry or object to a 10,000 yearly influx of refugees in perpetuity, you are Islamophobic and a bad person. Americans (excluding the college faculty) feel pretty strongly about free speech, even if college kids don’t understand. The kids are currently up in arms about words that might give offense. If they were properly taught, they would understand that a government that can put you in the gulag, or execute you for something you said—means that you are no longer free. You have no freedom at all. You are totally subject to the will of a bureaucrat who does not have your best interests at heart.
A little history should teach that is the rule in North Korea, was the rule in Stalin’s Russia, and in China, and in dozens of other socialist countries. In the Moslem religion, words that can be construed as insulting or denigrating the prophet get the death penalty. American college campuses have become a hotbed of politically correct speech. Kids have been driven out of school, their future ruined because someone took offense at something they said that someone else considered politically incorrect. Here in America we have the First Amendment to the Constitution that protects your right to free speech. The amendment is always under attack from those who are ignorant of its meaning and those who have a wish to become tyrants and rule.
And there’s the rub. Sharia is classical Islam’s societal framework and legal code. “It involves the organization of the state, comprehensive regulation of economic and social life, rules of military engagement, and the imposition of a draconian criminal code.” This is from Andy McCarthy. “Unlike the Judeo-Christian principles that informed America’s founding, classical sharia does not abide a separation of spiritual from civic and political life. Therefore, to rationalize on religious-liberty grounds our conscious avoidance of Islamist ideology is to miss its thoroughgoing anti-constitutionalism.”
“Sharia rejects the touchstone of American democracy: the belief that the people have a right to govern themselves and chart their own destiny. In sharia governance, the people are subjects not citizens, and they are powerless to question, much less to change, Allah’s law. Sharia systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is brutal in its treatment of apostates and homosexuals. It denies freedom of conscience, free expression property rights, economic liberty, and due process of law. It licenses wars of aggression against infidels for the purpose of establishing sharia as the law of the land.”
“Sharia is also heavily favored by Muslims in majority-Muslim countries. Polling consistently tells us that upwards of two-thirds of Muslims in the countries from which we are accepting refugees believe sharia should be the governing system.” Islam stands for submission. You must submit.
To the extent to which we are screening refugees, we are screening for terrorism, not adherence to sharia. We are not only vetting for the wrong thing, “we are ignoring the dynamics of jihadism.” The question is really “are we admitting Muslims who are apt to become violent jihadists after they settle here? “ (See Boston Marathon)
This is not meant to be alarming, but to approach the matter honestly. If people are worried, this is why. These are serious questions, and the administration is not interested in giving serious answers, but in slandering those who dare to ask, because they want their way. Muslims are said to be reliable Democratic voters.
For Further Reading:
“Refugee Resettlement Is Immoral,”Mark Krikorian, National Review
“The Controversy over Syrian Refugees Misses the Question We Should Be Asking” Andy McCarthy, National Review
“Je suis…qui?”Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review: A visit to the Banlieues and Muslim immigrants in France.
The photo at the top is from Dabiq, the Islamic State magazine, of Syrian Refugees leaving for Europe.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Election 2008, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Law, National Security, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: President Barack Obama, The Laws About Refugees, The War on Republicans
President Obama is accustomed to admiring treatment from most of the media most of the time. He was asked repeatedly at a press conference in Turkey on Monday why he continues to insist that he never underestimated ISIS, and his strategy, he believes, is working. Oddly enough, in the wake of terrorist attacks, and the Parisian roundup of the remaining terrorists who were responsible for ISIS attack on Paris, Obama has reserved his most intense anger for the Republicans. He says we’re playing into the hands of ISIS with our “anti-refugee hysteria.”
We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic,” Mr. Obama said at a summit in Manila, the Philippines. “We don’t make good decisions if its based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks.”
Mr. Obama said some of the same people who have suggested stopping refugees from coming into the country also have suggested that they are tough enough to just stare down Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,” Mr. Obama said. “At first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”
“Three-year-old orphans,” Mr. President? We just watched a massive attack by ISIS, the organization you claim is controlled, on civilians in Paris. I would suggest that Americans are not terrified by refugees, but just want them thoroughly vetted, and afraid you are incapable.
Europe is now dealing with the European Union policy on open borders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the name of wikkommenskkultur ( a culture of welcoming) suspended restrictions on refugees seeking asylum. Unchanged, Germany would have a million refugees by year’s end. Last week the interior ministry re-imposed the very restrictions Ms. Merkel had lifted. Germans are calling for her resignation.
Mr. Obama misunderstands. Americans are far more afraid of the administration’s lack of resolve, arrogance, and failure to understand the nature of the threat. The dreadful Iran Deal gives Iran the time and funding to complete their development of nuclear weapons, the desultory effort to contain ISIS in Iraq has such restraint on targeting that nothing is accomplished in fear that we might possibly hit a civilian or anything else that might elicit disapproval.
Veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson said that her sources have told her that President Barack Obama does not want and will not read intelligence reports on groups “he does not consider terrorists,” despite being on a U.S. list of designated terrorists.
“I have talked to people who have worked in the Obama administration who firmly believe he has made up his mind. I would say closed his mind, they say, to their intelligence that they’ve tried to bring him about various groups that he does not consider terrorists, even if they are on the U.S. list of designated terrorists. He has his own ideas, and there are those who’ve known him a long time who say this dates back to law school. He does not necessarily—you may think it’s a good trait you may think it’s a bad trait—he does not necessarily listen to the people with whom he disagrees. He seems to dig in. I would suppose because he thinks he’s right. He is facing formidable opposition on this particular point.”
In his latest harangue against Republicans and other American opposed to his insistence on continuing to import thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria and other parts of the Middle East and Africa, Obama said:
When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted … that’s shameful…. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.
We have noted that Obama has often tried to insert the idea of empathy or compassion into Constitutional law and federal law.
The law is about justice, and supposedly is blind to tests of compassion. Andy McCarthy wrote today: (Do read the whole thing)
Under federal law, the executive branch is expressly required to take religion into account in determining who is granted asylum. Under the provision governing asylum
(section 1158 of Title 8, U.S. Code), an alien applying for admission must establish that … religion [among other things] … was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant. …
The law requires a “religious test.” And the reason for that is obvious. Asylum law is not a reflection of the incumbent president’s personal (and rather eccentric) sense of compassion. Asylum is a discretionary national act of compassion that is directed, by law not whim, to address persecution.
There is no right to emigrate to the United States. And the fact that one comes from a country or territory ravaged by war does not, by itself, make one an asylum candidate. …
Other lawyers have noted today that the president doesn’t get to decide who is a refugee and who is not. John Hinderaker wrote:
There are strong practical as well as legal reasons for distinguishing between Islamic applicants for asylum and similar applications by Christians or others. We know that ISIS is trying to infiltrate terrorists into groups of migrants leaving Syria; there is some evidence that they have succeeded. As McCarthy says, no one has a right to emigrate to the U.S. The government’s first duty is to protect the American people, not to extend favors to foreigners. Moreover, Obama’s “compassion” argument falls flat. A recent Center for Immigration Studies report found that, for the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we could instead care for 12 refugees overseas. That is a much more cost-effective approach, and one that will not impose needless dislocation either on us, or on the refugees.
It would be interesting to know just who Obama considers “real terrorists,” and which advisers he actually listens to — but everybody says that he has only a very narrow group of people that he associates with. His selection of advisors seems to be confined to those who will do exactly as they are told and don’t even think of disagreeing. The rest have resigned, or left for other ventures. He doesn’t even seem to be particularly impressed with the attack on Paris. After all the more important big climate meeting is coming up, and there’s a world to be saved from the horrors of carbon dioxide.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Politics, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Democrats Attack, Free Speech, Silencing the Opposition
Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
–Harry S. Truman, Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, 8 August 1950
(h/t: The Global Warming Policy Forum)