By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter:@BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
On this, the 11th anniversary of the worst attack in history on American soil, carried out in the name of Allah against infidel Americans, it is appropriate to pause and reflect on what America should do to respond to the ongoing threat of Islam to the West.
While we are not at war with Islam, we must note that Islam is at war with us, a reality which we ignore or dismiss to our peril.
First, we must understand that the threat to our freedoms comes not from radical Islam but from Islam itself. While there may be moderate Muslims in America, there is no such thing as moderate Islam. It is the prophet himself, speaking under the inspiration of the god of Islam, who instructed his followers, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them” (Sura 9:5). This command of Allah has never been rescinded and remains in effect today.
While we can be grateful that most Muslims do not intend to obey this command of their god and his prophet, this should not blind us to the disturbing reality that many, many Muslims do. In fact, the more devout a Muslim becomes, the more of a threat he becomes.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and by far most influential expression of Islam in America, has as its stated goal in North America “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house...so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” (Emphasis mine.) Let us be clear: the goal of Islam is to destroy America. We don’t have to infer it; they are declaring it in no uncertain terms.
What can and should be done? First, it makes sense, as Andy McCarthy has suggested, to stop immigration altogether from Muslim majority nations. While many would-be Muslim immigrants to our shores surely would not have evil designs against us, we have yet to discover a way to distinguish the Muslims we must worry about from those we don’t. If our priority concern is the safety and security of the American people, the risk of unfettered Muslim immigration is simply too great.
Second, it makes sense to prevent Muslims from serving in the United States military. I would suggest it is folly of an extraordinary magnitude to allow men to wear the uniform who have a sworn, sacred and solemn duty to kill American infidels. There is simply no rational world in which that makes sense.
Surely this will prevent Muslims from serving who represent no threat to our interests. But the fault in that case lies not with us but with the Muslims’ prophet, their holy book, their god, and those Muslims who take seriously his grisly commands.
Again, until we are given a foolproof means of detecting dangerous Muslims and distinguishing them from the rest, simple prudence dictates this course of action. The Muslim doctrine of taqiyya, which commends the practice of lying to advance the cause of Islam, means that even the oath of service taken by a Muslim recruit cannot be trusted. Major Nidal Hasan took that oath, and yet 13 of his fellow soldiers lie dead today at his hand.
Third, sound, rational, clear-headed public policy would dictate that we stop the practice of building mosques in America, as Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders has suggested.
Religious liberty and First Amendment issues will naturally be raised, but such challenges are answerable if we apply the Constitution as given to us by the Founders rather than the one which has been distorted beyond recognition by activist judges.
(Some have suggested that Muslims have no First Amendment right to build mosques because Islam is a totalitarian ideology rather than a religion. This view, which would evade prickly constitutional questions, is unpersuasive to me. Islam has a god, a holy book, a prophet, places of worship, and prescribed religious practices. In other words, it’s a religion.)
So how can the building of mosques be stopped without violating the Constitution? The answer is quite simple: The Founders intended to leave to the individual states the authority to regulate religious expression within their own borders. While the federal government is restrained from interfering with the “free exercise” of religion by the First Amendment (“CONGRESS shall make no law...”), no such restraint is imposed upon the states.
As Associate Justice Joseph Story wrote in his monumental work on the Constitution, “The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment.” In other words, the First Amendment was not written to establish policy for any faith tradition other than Christianity. The Founders were simply not dealing with Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism or any other religion. This is why the Supreme Court in the 19th century could deny Mormon claims to polygamy, even though they argued for it on First Amendment grounds.
The purpose of the First Amendment then, is clear, according to Story. Its purpose is to prevent Congress from picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States, and to prevent the federal government from interfering in any way with the right of states to regulate religious expression as they see fit.
Thus, writes Story, “The whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the State constitutions.” In other words, according to Story, if we apply the Constitution as given by the Founders and not as mangled by the courts, states may prohibit the building of mosques if they choose to do so.
While this clearly does not represent the current understanding of the courts, according to the longest service associate justice in Supreme Court history, it is the correct one. And of course it is far from the only issue on which the courts have strayed far from the meaning of the Constitution as given by the Founders.
And while we may be years away from returning to an originalist standard of applying the First Amendment, the longest journey still begins with the smallest step and Story’s words may be that first step.
It’s worth noting in summary that, while I am speaking just for myself, these ideas are not my own. They come from noted prosecutor Andy McCarthy, prominent lawmaker Geert Wilders and eminent constitutional historian Joseph Story. While of course there are many who disagree vigorously with these thoughts, perhaps it’s time for a vigorous debate since so much is at stake.
While these steps will not protect us from the Muslims already among us who wish to do us harm in the name of Allah, these practical steps would stem the tide and create two large moats - the Atlantic and Pacific oceans - to protect the castle of American freedom from the very real threat of Islam. There is no time to lose.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)