Video of Frank Gaffney’s speech can be found on Urban Infidel.
One of the unofficial mottos of the United States, this phrase-which is minted on this country’s coins and emblazoned upon our paper bills-embodies the common heritage of the American nation, which was created from the union of thirteen distinct, unique former British colonies. Over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it came to symbolize the melting pot forged from a collection of people who came to the United States from various European nations in order to reconstitute their lives.
It is a concept that, like many of its inhabitants, has become alien to contemporary America. We now live in a country comprised from a polyglot agglomeration of foreign tribes, individuals and extended families, many of whom would be unable to assimilate to American culture even if a coherent one still existed and they were encouraged to do so, both dubious propositions.
One of the most persistent questions raised by the September 11th attacks, and recurring periodically since, e.g. during the debate over the construction of Park 51, the debacle that the trial of Ft. Hood jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan has occasioned, and other terrorist attacks conceived by native or naturalized American citizens, has revolved around whether Islam as it’s practiced today can be reconciled with traditional American values embodied in documents like the United States Constitution.
This question is what brought Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, to the Women’s National Republican Club last week, where he addressed the “civilizational jihad” he asserts Islamists are waging against the United States, as well as the West more broadly conceived. While the sight of Mr. Gaffney delivering a policy address is far from unusual, the fact that the event was hosted by Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies reflects a growing recognition among some conservatives-albeit, not all-that our nation’s immigration policy has a deep and profound influence upon national security and foreign policy concerns.
While some believe that the growing diminution of the traditional demographic profile of America will lead to a more pacific, non-interventionist foreign policy-analogizing it to the anti-war sentiment which prevailed in this country before its entry into World War I-it can be argued that the government’s embrace of heretofore foreign ethnic and religious groups will foster an even more aggressive, and in many ways detrimental, foreign policy, which might well endanger American diplomats, servicemen and civilians in the future-as it has in the recent past. What’s more, the union of multinational jihadist platforms with digital technology has given an entire generation of Arab, Asian and African Muslim young men who are essentially unmoored-having been transplanted to a foreign land at a young age-a distinct cultural and political identity; one which involves the replacement of Western norms and mores with a muscular, revanchist interpretation of Islam. The fact that the dominant legal, cultural, and political class have spent the past five decades attempting to minimize or nullify these very same values speeds their mission.
A perfect illustration of this dilemma was discussed by Frank Gaffney in relation to the Somali community within Minnesota, which now numbers in the tens of thousands. Resettled in previously homogeneous, tranquil parts of the United States at the urging of a United Nations bureaucracy and with the assistance of the U.S. State Department, these refugees have children who are now returning to the homeland of their parents and enlisting in battle against the Transitional Federal Government which our government helped to establish and killing African Union peacekeepers whose mission it ostensibly supports. Beyond the validity of their refugee claims-many of which are wholly fraudulent-there is the inescapable conclusion one must draw that the wealth confiscated from American citizens in the form of taxes-and lavished upon social welfare programs necessitated by the Somalis inability to support themselves or their families legally-is being used in some small measure to defray the cost of living of those who intend on blowing other people up.
In addition to the expense-born in our pocketbooks and in the gradual erosion of American community-of this experiment, there is the the genuine threat posed by a large segment of migrants who dislike this country both because of specific foreign policy decisions and concrete Koranic injunctions. It beggars belief that the federal government would seek to import scores of foreigners from third world nations whose populations harbor significant hostility towards America while at the same time another branch of the state engages in nation-building experiments and military operations in those very same lands. The fact that this process is facilitated by the United Nations, a world body whose values are diametrically opposed to those cherished by most Americans, strains credulity.
One of the points emphasized throughout Gaffney’s lecture was the global, multidimensional nature of the jihadist threat. He focused extensively on the case of a particular individual who was detained while he and his hijab-clad wife filmed the support structure of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, an incident which would ultimately lead to one of the most critical pieces of evidence introduced during the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, at the time the largest Islamic charity in the United States. The HLF was eventually revealed to be not only a financial conduit for Hamas but also part of a network of institutions within the United States which were created under the auspices of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to achieve their ideological goals on American soil.
Although it might seem absurd to believe that bedrock American institutions can be undermined by a small coterie of Islamic ideologues, you have to consider the havoc the institutional left has already inflicted upon our society. An Iraqi refugee-with prior criminal offenses-has been charged with maliciously damaging federal property for attempting to destroy a Social Security Administration office with an improvised explosive device! The systematic execution of over a dozen soldiers by Nidal Malik Hasan is deemed a case of ’workplace violence’ by our federal government. A premeditated jihadist assault on LAX’s El Al terminal is not even considered a hate crime, and the head of the Justice Department cannot even utter the name of the religion whose doctrines inspired the man who attempted to obliterate Times Square with an explosive device which dwarfed that used in the Oklahoma City bombing.
In this context, it’s not difficult to see how a machiavellian political apparatchik with an outsized influence over the conservative movement, or an influential Democratic congressmen popular among both leftists and militant Muslims, or a presidential advisor with dubious ties to apologists for the Muslim Brotherhood can do permanent harm, especially when constitutional rights like freedom of speech are being used as bargaining chips in relations with the Muslim world.
The fact that a would-be facilitator of regicide and terrorist financier was able to enter the good graces of a sitting president and establish a program for Muslim chaplains, which still exists, because of the oleaginous influence of someone who purports to represent American Muslims illustrates the toxic combination of identity politics and K street lobbying. And while some maintain that establishing a pro-Arab/Muslim political infrastructure in this country is necessary to balance the existing pro-Israel bias among American lawmakers, it’s hard to imagine Israelis-regardless of the wisdom of their specific policy views-enacting violent revenge upon Americans for their government’s policy regarding the West Bank or votes on the UN Security Council.
Glenn Greenwald raises the question of whether Nidal Malik was engaged in an act of terrorism, since-from his perspective, at least-he was fighting those who had enlisted in an army which had attacked his coreligionists in the nation of Yemen. But a more pertinent question is why someone who places allegiance to a foreign religion or a terrorist group in the Persian Gulf above his oath to the U.S. Army, or even his obligation not to slaughter unarmed Americans, is in the United States to begin with. Why must the cult of diversity take precedence over the lives of ordinary American citizens?
And the answer is not comforting. It’s because our immigration policy is not designed with the interests of Americans in mind. Our laws are built to satisfy the demand of colleges and universities that need the tuition paid by tens of thousands of Saudi students. Of private and public institutions that demand the addition of Muslim chaplains, regardless of ideology. Of parasitical federal contractors which make a killing by resettling scores of refugees who are a drain on state coffers in towns and cities throughout the country.
The customary response from advocates of changing the cultural landscape of America is that we need to do these things in order to change the hearts and minds of those living in the Islamic world. We need to project an image of openness in order to change the negative image of the United States overseas. The problem is that it has not worked, and in all likelihood, will never work. Globalization, insofar as it facilitates the exchange of goods and services according to the law of supply and demand, is a good thing. However, importing the maladies, cultural neuroses and obscurantist religious dogmas of foreign cultures for the sake of appeasing the gods of diversity and multiculturalism, even as we engage in questionable foreign interventions urged on by figures whose interests are inimical to those of the United States, is madness.
The rotten fruit of the Arab Spring, like that from the most recent war in Iraq, is being brought to our shores, so this is as good a time as any to begin having a conversation about what we want our country’s future to look like. Like Frank Gaffney, I believe it’s time to discontinue the diversity lottery, stop issuing visas to imams for whom there is no demand, and begin to look out for the interests of Americans, first and foremost.