In his ongoing blindness towards the reasons for reluctance to allow mass immigration of Muslim refugees to the U.S., Nicholas Kristof inverts them in his article titled “Would You Hide A Jew From the Nazis?” (NYT 9/18/16) During the thirties, Jews were victims of increasingly harsh and restrictive laws imposed on them in Nazi Germany and once the war began, they became dead men walking throughout Europe until 6 million of them were finally exterminated. The comparison of this unique genocide with the situation of Syrian refugees is preposterous. Despite the epidemic of Muslim terrorism throughout the world, the current refugees have been accepted into many countries in Europe as well as the U.S. There are numerous refugee camps that have been created for them in Turkey as well as neighboring Arab countries which share their language, religion and culture. The outcome of this generous in-gathering as well as previous welcoming immigration, has proved profoundly problematic and tragic for European countries where the incidence of rape, assault, murder and massacre has altered the lives of all these populations. In post 9/11 America, we are experiencing similar outbreaks of terrorism and wholesale murder by stabbing, shooting and bombing innocent men, women and children. Today’s news reports several bombings in the tri-state area as well as serial stabbings in Minnesota; the bombs were similar to those used in the Boston Marathon.
It has frequently been argued that not all Germans were Nazis - estimates of how many actually were vary but hover around less than 10%. That low number didn’t prevent the killings of over 60 million people in WW II, the deadliest war in history. So the fact that their numbers were “tiny” didn’t impede Nazis from fomenting mass destruction, just as the “tiny” fraction of Muslims dedicated to the idea of dominion over a world caliphate is meaningless as protection against their determined war of aggression. They are most specifically intent on harming and killing Jews, despite the fact that Muslim Arabs live side by side with Jews in Israel, vote, serve in the Knesset and work as teachers, doctors, lawyers and judges at a higher compensation level than in any Muslim country. Similarly, in the United States, contrary to charges of our Islamophobia, we have a thriving Muslim population that enjoys exactly the same benefits as any American of any other religion.
So the issue is not lack of compassion for Muslim casualties of civil- war but whether it is in the best interest of our national security to invite tens of thousands of people who cannot be properly vetted with the unlikely hope of weeding out that “tiny” fraction who are radical Islamists. Do these refugees have other options? Absolutely. They are not fleeing to avoid death as the Jews were attempting immediately prior to and during World War II. Syrians have several other options for sanctuary though admission to the U.S. may be the most comfortable. In that respect, they are no different from illegal immigrants from Mexico or Central America, some of the other millions of people who would prefer to live freely here than in their own despotic countries. But Nicholas Kristof isn’t suggesting that failure to expand our quotas for legal admission to our country is the same as failure to hide a Jew from a Nazi.
The fact remains that radical Islam is the closest thing there is to Nazism in today’s world. If we haven’t learned the lesson that these ideologies cannot co-exist peacefully alongside our own democratic principles, we do much more than invite strangers to our shore. We also invite our own self-destruction. During World War II, would you have urged an American Jew or anyone else to hide a Nazi?
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