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A REAL ISLAM POLICY FOR A REAL AMERICA

Here is the speech, edited and polished, that I gave at the Preserving Western Civilization conference in February.
A REAL ISLAM POLICY FOR A REAL AMERICA
by Lawrence Auster
Preserving Western Civilization Conference
Baltimore, Maryland
February 8, 2009

To deal with the crisis facing our civilization, we must be both realistic and imaginative. The realism part consists in recognizing how bad our situation is. The entire Western world is at present under the grip of the modern liberal ideology that targets every normal and familiar aspect of human life, and our entire historical way of being as a society.
The key to this liberal ideology is the belief in tolerance or non-discrimination as the ruling principle of society, the principle to which all other principles must yield. We see this belief at work in every area of modern life. The principle of non-discrimination must, if followed consistently, destroy every human society and institution. A society that cannot discriminate between itself and other societies will go out of existence, just as an elm tree that cannot discriminate between itself and a linden tree must go out of existence. To be, we must be able to say that we are us, which means that we are different from others. If we are not allowed to distinguish between ourselves and Muslims, if we must open ourselves to everyone and everything in the world that is different from us, and if the more different and threatening the Other is, the more we must open ourselves to it, then we go out of existence.

This liberal principle of destruction is utterly simple and radically extreme. Yet very, very few people, even self-described hard-line conservatives, are aware of this principle and the hold it has over our society. Instead of opposing non-discrimination, they oppose multiculturalism and political correctness. But let’s say that we got rid of multiculturalism and political correctness. Would that end Muslim immigration? No. Multiculturalism is not the source of Muslim immigration. The source of it is our belief that we must not discriminate against other people on the basis of their culture, their ethnicity, their nationality, their religion. This is the idea of the 1965 Immigration Act, which was the idea of the 1964 Civil Rights Act applied to all of humanity: all discrimination is wrong, period. No one in today’s society, including conservatives, feels comfortable identifying this utterly simple idea, because that would mean opposing it.

To see how powerful the belief in non-discrimination is, consider this: Prior to World War II, would any Western country have considered admitting significant numbers of Muslim immigrants? Of course not; it would have been out of the question. The West had a concrete identity. It saw itself as white and in large part as Christian, and there was still active in the Western mind the knowledge that Islam was our historic adversary, as it has been for a thousand years, and radically alien. But today, the very notion of stopping Muslim immigration is out of the question, it can’t even be thought.

What would have been inconceivable 70 or 80 years ago is unquestionable today. A society that 70 years ago wouldn’t have dreamed of admitting large numbers of Muslims, today doesn’t dream of reducing, let alone stopping, the immigration of Muslims. Even the most impassioned anti-Islamic Cassandras never question—indeed they never even mention—the immigration of Muslims, or say it should be reduced or stopped.

You don’t need to know any more than what I’ve just said. The rule of non-discrimination, in all its destructive potentialities, is shown in this amazing fact, that the writers and activists who constantly cry that Islam is a mortal danger to our society will not say that we ought to stop or even reduce Muslim immigration.

Such is the liberal belief which says that the most morally wrong thing is for people to have a critical view of a foreign group, to want to exclude that group or keep it out.

The dilemma suggests the solution. What is now unthinkable, must become thinkable; what is now unsayable, must become sayable; and ultimately it must replace non-discrimination as the ruling belief in society. I know that this sounds crazy, utterly impossible. But fifty or a hundred years ago it would have seemed crazy, utterly impossible, that today’s liberalism with its suicidal ideology would have replaced the traditional attitudes that were then prevalent. If society could change that radically in one direction, toward suicidal liberalism, it can change back again. It’s not impossible.

To understand how this unnatural and anti-human liberal belief came into existence and gained such power over us, we need to understand the natural and human order that the liberal belief is attacking.

I would like to quote the Book of Ecclesiasticus:

In much knowledge the Lord hath divided [men], and made their ways diverse. Some of them hath he blessed and exalted, and some of them hath he sanctified, and set near himself: but some of them hath he cursed and brought low, and turned out of their places. (Ecclesiasticus, 33)
Every beast loveth his like and every man loveth his neighbor. All flesh consorteth according to kind, and a man will cleave to his like. (Ecclesiasticus, 13.15.)
This passage beautifully expresses the true order of the world in which we live, the world in which men have always lived, but which modern liberalism denies and demonizes. That world can be explained in terms of two dimensions, which I call the vertical axis and the horizontal axis. The vertical axis is the relationship between ourselves and that which is above us and below us, that which is better and worse, that which is more true and less true, the relation between God and man. The horizontal axis is the relationship between entities on the same level, between different people in the same society, or between different societies or different cultures.
On the horizontal axis, the question is: how similar are things to each other? How different are they from each other? How well do they get along? On the vertical axis, the question is, what are the standards by which we live? What is good behavior, what is bad behavior? To what extent are we following the good, to what extent are we falling short of it or turning away from it?

I would add that one doesn’t need to be a Christian or a religious believer to know that this hierarchical order of the world exists. There are many aspects of the order of being that can be grasped through natural reason alone.

What I’m saying here is nothing fancy or metaphysical, it’s something that all people know by common sense. We live within these two dimensions—the better and the worse, the more like and the less like—in everything we do.

That is, we did live within them, until modern liberalism came along and said that it’s wrong to discriminate between higher and lower, it’s wrong to discriminate between better and worse, it’s wrong to discriminate between like and unlike.

Modern liberalism says that there cannot be a truth or a standard higher than ourselves by which our actions are judged, because that would make some people better in relation to that standard than other people.

In the same way, modern liberalism says that it is evil to believe that some people are more unlike us than others, because that would also be a violation of the liberal principle that all people are equally like us.

The equality principle of modern liberalism says that unassimilable immigrants must be permitted to flood our society, changing its very nature. It prohibits normal authority such as the authority of parents and teachers over children. It banished the very idea of a morality that men ought to follow. And even God is banished if he’s a God who has any claims on us.

This is the ubiquitous yet unacknowledged horror of modern liberalism, that it takes the ordinary, differentiated nature of the world, which all human beings have always recognized, and makes it impossible for people to discuss it, because under liberalism anyone who notes these distinctions and says that they matter has done an evil thing and must be banished from society, or at least be barred from a mainstream career.

This liberalism is the most radical and destructive ideology that has ever been, and yet it is not questioned. Communism and big government liberalism were challenged and fought in the past. But the ideology of non-discrimination, which came about after World War II, has never been resisted—it has never even been identified, even though it is everywhere. What is needed, if the West is to survive, is a pro-Western civilization movement that criticizes, resists, and reverses this totalistic liberal belief system that controls our world.

I said at the beginning that we had to be realistic about the Islam problem. That meant understanding the forces that at present make it impossible for us as a society to discuss Islam honestly, let alone to do anything about it.

Realistically, from where we are now, a solution to the Islam problem is so far away it’s as though it were on another planet, another world, where liberalism has lost its stranglehold, allowing non-liberal things to be said and done.

Now it’s not only by conservative resistance that liberalism might be stopped. Liberalism may collapse of its own contradictions and irrationality. Liberals may slowly move to more realistic understandings. A recent example was a column by Ralph Peters in which he said that the entire nation of Afghanistan, all Afghans, are radically incompatible with ourselves. Given that Peters in his basic outlook is a vehement liberal, constantly waging war against bigotry and condemning the whole continent of Europe as incipient Nazis, that was a amazing thing for him to say. If that kind of understanding of the real differences between Muslims and ourselves expands, then even without liberals explicitly renouncing liberalism, they may perhaps move far enough away from liberalism to allow America to begin to adopt sensible policies with regard to Islam.

And other things may happen, acts of God, disasters, economic depressions, or unprecedented terrorist attacks, that may shock society out of its liberal attitudes.

But we don’t know that any of those things will happen, and we cannot count on their happening or on their having the effects we may hope for. Our task as Western patriots is to argue against modern liberalism, showing its falsity and destructiveness, showing that modern liberalism is wrong not just in its excesses, but in its fundamentals, because it is incompatible with our continued existence as a society. And in that process, all of the attitudes which modern liberalism enforces—the suppression of discussion about Islam, the suppression of discussion about immigration, the suppression of discussion about race differences and their significance—will be weakened, because each of those prohibitions is based on the idea that discrimination is the greatest sin.

Now that we have acknowledged the currently existing reality, and the tremendous change of thought that would be required to change it, let us take the imaginative and hopeful leap to a different reality, a reality in which society might actually do something about Islam rather than surrender to slow extinction at its hands.

What would be a real Islam policy for a real America? If there were a non-liberal president of the United States, and if he had enough support in the media and the Congress to get his program through, what would he do, and how would he propose it?

So now, as I begin to speak as that imaginary president might speak, let us imagine that we have leaped from our present planet of liberalism, where a solution is impossible, to the planet of reality. It may seem infinitely remote, but it is no farther away than a change in thought.

* * *
My fellow Americans:
I come before you this evening to discuss an unprecedented challenge in the history of our Republic, which will require unprecedented measures to meet it. We must think anew and act anew. But, in reality, what we must do is not new at all. It is the way things used to be, before we went so badly astray.

In my speech last week I spoke to you about the nature and doctrines of the Islamic religion; of the permanent state of war that it establishes between itself and all non-Muslim societies; of its ultimate aim of subjugating all of humanity to the law of Islam, known as the sharia; and of the fact that all believing Muslims, whether they are fanatics or moderates, whether they are jihad warriors or people who only believe in spreading sharia peacefully, are all part of one Islamic community, all strengthening in their respective ways the Islamic political agenda of bringing all non-Muslims under the rule of Islam.

I spoke of how, since the spread and imposition of sharia is a central function and goal of Islam, any increase in the number and influence of Muslims in a non-Muslim society helps advance sharia.

It is important to understand that what makes Islam dangerous to non-Muslims is not that Muslims are morally bad people. The problem is not that Muslims are bad people, the problem is that they are good Muslims. Our concern is with the religion and the political ideology of Islam, which makes all Muslims dangerous to us, since all Muslims, even if they personally have no aggressive intentions, even if they are personally fine and lovely people, are part of the Islamic community and owe their highest loyalty to Islam. Therefore any increase in the number of Muslims among us means an increase in the power of Islam and the further spread of the Islamic law.

My purpose is not to promote hostility against Muslim persons or to spark civilizational warfare between the West and Islam, but to reduce and end the current increasing civilizational warfare, by separating Islam from the West. We respect the right of Muslims to follow in peace their religion in their lands. But in order for us Americans to follow in peace our religions and flourish in our way of life, the followers of sharia need to leave our country and return to the historic lands of Islam.

I therefore will propose to the Congress tomorrow the following measures, which shall be called the American Freedom from Islam Act.

With the exception of immediate family members of U.S. citizens, diplomatic personnel, and temporary visitors for business and other legitimate purposes, all entry into the United States of foreign persons known or determined to be followers of the religion of Islam, whatever their nationality or country of residence, shall cease.
Any Muslim person with a temporary visa for business or diplomacy who advocates or promotes jihad shall lose his visa.
Any resident alien who openly espouses jihad or who participates in any pro-jihad activities or organizations will lose his residency status and be deported.
No resident alien who adheres to, or who on investigation is reasonably suspected of adhering to, the doctrine of jihad, will be naturalized as a U.S. citizen. In order to be naturalized, Muslims will be required to state under oath that they totally reject the doctrine of jihad and have no association with pro-jihad activities and pro-jihad persons.
Naturalized citizens, whether they were naturalized before or after the passage of this law, who associate with jihad supporters or participate in pro-jihad activities, have shown that their oath of loyalty to the United States was fraudulent. Their citizenship shall be revoked and they shall be deported.
All mosques, Islamic centers and schools that promote jihad or sharia in any form will be closed.
The United States shall encourage the voluntary departure of Muslim naturalized citizens and their native-born descendants by offering all Muslim persons over the age of eighteen $50,000 each in a one-time fee to give up any claim of U.S. residency or citizenship, to return to their native land, and never to seek to return. The federal government will assure that departing Muslims will receive a fair market price for their real property, investments, and other property that they must sell prior to leaving the United States.
My fellow citizens, that is the first part of the bill that I will propose to the Congress. The measures I’ve enumerated so far would retard the growth of Islam. But they would still leave in place the existing U.S. Muslim population with their belief in sharia. Over time, our will to contain and police them might weaken, while their will to expand their religion and their political power will continue. Also, these measures imply that America would have to become a kind of police state, forever overseeing its Muslim citizens, examining their statements and activities, turning America into something we, and certainly I, do not want it to become.
For these reasons further steps are needed, aimed not just at stopping and reversing the growth of jihad support in America, but at stopping and reversing the growth of sharia in America. And to reverse the growth of sharia in America means to reverse the growth of Islam in America, through the forcible or voluntary departure of sharia-believing Muslims.

Therefore I shall propose these additional measures:

Any legal resident alien who advocates or adheres to, or who on investigation is reasonably suspected of adhering to, the sharia law shall be deprived of his resident status and removed from the United States;
No resident alien who advocates or adheres to, or who on investigation is reasonably suspected of adhering to, the sharia law, will be naturalized as a U.S. citizen. In order to be naturalized, Muslims will be required to state under oath that they totally reject the Islamic doctrine of sharia and have no association with pro-sharia activities.
Any naturalized citizen who violates this oath shall lose his citizenship and be removed from the United States.
Any mosque or Islamic center in the United States that promotes or seeks to spread the sharia law shall be closed.
This second part of the bill, which deals with sharia, is more far reaching than the first part, which deals with jihad. Removing jihad believers from the United States means removing only the extreme wing of the Muslim community. But since belief in the sharia law, and the obligation to institute and live under the sharia law wherever one lives, and to impose the sharia law on non-Muslims, is the very essence of Islam, removing sharia believers from the United States means removing a large part of the Muslim community from the United States.
But now we need to consider a further problem. The measures enumerated so far will inevitably be attacked as in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Therefore, in order for the measures that I’ve proposed to stand and not be overturned, we must have a further law stating that the First Amendment does not apply to Islam, does not protect the free exercise of the religion of Islam, because Islam is not only a religion, it is a political movement aimed at establishing tyrannical power over non-Muslims, and specifically aimed at overturning our Constitution, laws, and liberties.

However, even such a radical law would not get us out of the woods, because it also could be overturned as in violation of the First Amendment. Therefore, in order for the measures I have proposed to be truly secure and not threatened by constitutional challenge, we must go to the highest level of our political system. We must pass a Constitutional amendment that prohibits the practice of Islam in the United States. Through such an amendment we will be saying that Islam is incompatible with our existence as a society. We will be making a fundamental statement about the kind of society America is.

And that, my fellow Americans, is precisely what the Constitution is supposed to be about. After the Civil War, slavery was prohibited, not by statute or presidential proclamation, but by an amendment to the Constitution declaring that slavery has no place in the United States. The same needs to be done with regard to the slavery that is Islam.

Such an amendment will be immune to any constitutional challenges, because it will be part of the Constitution itself. It will encourage many Muslims, at least those who care about their religion, and those are the ones we are most concerned about, to leave the United States on their own, without our having to do anything to make them leave, such as constructing a vast bureaucracy to investigate them and deport them. Simply as a result of our saying to them, “We have nothing against you as human beings, but your religion is a mortal danger to our entire way of life, and we cannot permit it to remain here,” the Muslims among us will begin to depart in a steady stream to the Islamic world, or perhaps to other Western countries where Islam is still welcome. It is my hope, however, that all Western countries will adopt laws similar to what I am urging here, resulting in the voluntary return of the great majority of believing Muslims in the West to the Muslim lands.

Here then is the constitutional amendment that I shall propose to the Congress:

Section 1. The religion of Islam, as propagated in the Koran and in the Islamic Traditions or Hadiths, and formalized in the Sharia Law, shall not be practiced, disseminated, or advocated within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. This article supersedes any contrary provision of this Constitution and of the laws of the United States.

Now that I have spoken to the American people about the steps we must take to preserve our freedoms and our very nationhood, I would like to speak to the Muslims of the world who are listening to me tonight.
I repeat that I have no ill will against you as people. I act with no animosity. I act in recognition of reality. And the reality is—and you know it, and now you know that we know it—that your religion commands you to make all peoples and societies submit to the Islamic law, wherever and whenever you have the power and opportunity to do so.

And one of the opportunities that have been presented to you is immigration. A half century ago, when we of the West began to admit large numbers of Muslim immigrants, we were, though we did not realize it, replicating what the city of Medina did in the year 622 when it invited Muhammad and his followers to emigrate there from Mecca. The most famous event in the history of Islam, the event with which the Islamic calendar begins, was an act of immigration. Muhammad and his followers moved to Medina, and within two years he had become the dictator of Medina, and Islamic law ruled in that city. That is a paradigm of Islamic expansion.

When we invited you Muslims into the West, we were, without knowing it, imitating what the Medinans did 1,400 years ago. You saw the significance of what we were doing, and you couldn’t believe the opportunity that we had handed to you. You had never imagined that we would do this. But we did it, we gave you the opportunity. And now we have to close off that opportunity by reversing the policies that brought you here.

I repeat, these proposals do not threaten you. We respect the religion of Islam when practiced by Muslims in their own countries. We have no designs on Islam. You have nothing to fear from us. We do not threaten you and your way of life. But you, as a religion and as a political movement commanded by your god to subjugate the entire world, most certainly threaten us. But you can only threaten us if you are in our lands. When you are in your own lands you pose no direct danger to us.

So, Muslims of the world, let us go on sharing in peace this beautiful earth that God created. But in order for there to be peace between us, there must also be fences between us.

Good night. God bless America, God bless Western civilization, and God bless the peoples of the world.

– end –

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