.Sam Harris's problem with Trump's Muslim immigration solution – The European Perspective

Sam Harris's problem with Trump's Muslim immigration solution

Sam Harris is a brave man.

He has heavily criticized Islam in his books and in many publications and debates. Because of this, he was called by leftist ‘liberals’ an ‘Islamophobe’ and ‘warmonger’. As Sam sees himself a liberal, this frustrates him terribly. He wants to tell them: ‘Please understand, I am on your side, except for this one little thing: Islam’.

To no avail: they don’t heed his call to take their heads out of the sand and recognize that Islam is not really the ‘Religion of Peace’. Furthermore, neither they, nor Muslims at large accept Sam’s solution: reforming Islam by moderate Muslim reformers like Maajid Nawaz. Instead, the situation is getting worse and worse.

Along comes Trump, the first leading politician ever who evaluates the situation in many respects similarly as Sam does. Not only that, Trump actually tries to do something about it: limiting immigration to the US from some of the most Jihad-infected countries.

One would assume that Sam would say: “This is a small step, it has problems (like not affecting immigration from other Jihad-infected countries), nonetheless it is a step in the right direction.” Sam also knows that most Muslims in the countries affected by the immigration restrictions —even those who don’t actively pursue Jihad—have views that are diametrically opposed to Western liberal values. Sam himself asserted this in a now famous debate with the actor Ben Affleck on Bill Maher’s show. 

Sam also knows about the longer term effects of Muslim immigration in European countries: continued fundamentalism in 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants, high proportionality of welfare dependency and crime, and yes, growing Jihadism.

So how does Sam respond to Trump’s Executive Order (EO) to limit immigration from those Islamic countries? Well, of course he denigrates it and calls it ‘terrible’. In a blog post he lists his arguments against the EO:

  1. Unethical with respect to the plight of refugees
  2. Ineffective in stopping the spread of Islamism
  3. Internally inconsistent: it doesn’t contain a number of other, perhaps even more Jihad-infected countries

All of these arguments are flawed. 

He doesn’t supply any support for Argument 2., but it is clear that, though Trump’s EO will not stop the spread of Islamism in itself, it can very well be a small step in that direction: if you limit the import of more Islamists, it aids in limiting the spread of Islamism.

Regarding Argument 3, yes, Trump’s EO doesn’t affect ALL Islamic countries, but it affects some of the most Jihad-infected ones, and in that way, it is better than doing nothing – which Sam apparently advocates with regard to US immigration.

Argument 1 is the most powerful one. Still, one could ask: is importing these people into the US the best way to help them? Probably not: they’ll arrive into a country where they won’t feel at home (unless they settle in one of the Muslim ‘ghettos’). Their job qualifications will be mostly useless, thus they will be reliant on low-paid jobs and social security. Furthermore, as the experience with many recent immigrants to Europe from the Middle East and Africa shows, most of them are not ‘refugees’ but ‘economic migrants’, many of them motivated by stories that they’ll receive a house, a car and a woman, as soon as they arrive in Europe, and they don’t even have to work there to have a good life.

If they are war refugees from the war in Syria, they are mostly already staying in neighboring countries like Turkey and Jordan, where they can work and live in security until the end of that war.

Last but not least: the long term effects of Muslim immigration are dire for Western culture and citizens of Western countries. Muslims have a larger birth rate than Westerners and experience shows that they tend to integrate into Western societies much less easily than other immigrant groups. As Islamic values are in many cases diametrically opposed to Western ones, this causes large problems in living together with Muslim immigrants. 

The current problems in Europe as a result of Merkel’s invitation of immigrants in 2015 are a wake-up call for many Europeans: crime wave in Germany, German women afraid to leave home in the evening, Sweden becoming the rape capital of the Western world (only Botswana in Africa has a higher rape rate than Sweden), Jihadi attacks in Paris, Brussels, Berlin and other places, etc., etc.

These problems should be also be a wake-up call for Sam.

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