Such absurd conspiracy-theorizing has no place in government. Fortunately, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster may agree with me. On July 21, he fired Rich Higgins, a Trumpist member of the National Security Council’s strategic planning office, for writing a memo along those nutty lines:
“Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed,” the memo warns. It argues that this has led “Islamists [to] ally with cultural Marxists,” but that in the long run, “Islamists will co-opt the movement in its entirety.”
Higgins wrote the memo in late May, and at some point afterwards it began circulating among people outside the White House associated with the Trump campaign to whom Higgins had given it.
Higgins, according to another source with direct knowledge of the incident, was called into the White House Counsel’s office the week before last and asked about the memo. On July 21, the Friday of that week, he was informed by McMaster’s deputy Ricky Waddell that he was losing his job [Rosie Gray, “An NSC Staffer Is Forced out over a Controversial Memo,” The Atlantic, 2017.08.02].
…McMaster is not flawless. But he has devoted his life to America’s defense, on the front lines and in the strategy room; he has thought seriously about the threats we face and how to address them; and, unlike his predecessor, he is not the type to do anything rashly.
Those who want to see the Trump administration succeed ought to work with the national-security adviser, not against him. H. R. McMaster is not the enemy [Ian Tuttle, “H.R. McMaster Is Not the Enemy,” National Review, 2017.08.03].
Trump’s alt-right will say anything and turn on anyone, even a war hero and level-headed veteran, to cling to the fantasy that they are heroes saving America from Marxist jihad.
Of course, Kunath didn’t add the words “Europe” or “Islam” to his piece. These were added by an anonymous email forwarder who saw the perfect relevance. As the message summarizes, “The Euros will regret letting in millions of Muslims to leech off their generous welfare systems, and then still foment terrorism against the very same people who are their hosts.” It’s the world of the parasite.
Now the focus is on “depicting the current era of multiculturalism in Europe [and] their experience in the modern melting pot.” Once again, art teaches people to see truths that they wouldn’t likely figure out on their own [Brad Ford, “Lesson About European Cultural Suicide,” The Right Side, 2017.06.25].
This art piece sums it up… The Euros will regret letting in millions of Muslims to leach off their generous welfare systems, and then still ferment terrorism against the very same people who are their hosts [“Very Clever Piece of Art-Work,” Stormfront.org, 2017.06.07].
The Court’s ruling allows the Trump White House to keep out visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and refugees in general unless those individuals have family, jobs, university admission, or some similar “bona fide” relationship stateside. Absent any such bona fide relationship, the government’s compelling interest in national security prevails unchecked:
The interest in preserving national security is “an urgent objective of the highest order.” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U. S. 1, 28 (2010). To prevent the Government from pursuing that objective by enforcing §2(c) against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.
…An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded. As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security [Supreme Court of the United States, Per Curiam, Trump v. IRAP and Trump v. Hawaii, 2017.06.26].
The case may moot itself before the Supreme Court hears arguments on the merits in October, since the travel ban lasts only 90 days. The Economistreads sneaky genius on the part of Chief Justice John Roberts:
So, despite granting Mr Trump’s plea to hear his case and largely lifting the lower-court stays on the travel ban, Chief Justice John Roberts apparently worked out an ingenious compromise with his liberal brethren and the swing justice, Anthony Kennedy, that injects the Supreme Court only minimally into a big question on the scope of executive power in the Trump era. The chief justice has avoided making politically volatile judicial pronouncements on presidential immigration powers, anti-Muslim bias and the justiciability of tweets, and has positioned himself somewhere to the left of the court’s new conservative triumvirate [“The Supreme Court’s Curious Compromise on the Travel Ban,” The Economist, 2017.06.26].
But let’s entertain Senator Nelson’s position. Suppose Ms. Islam and I are wrong. Suppose the anti-Muslim propagandists to whom we’ve been responding are 100% correct: Muslims are waging civilization jihad, every mosque is a bastion of jihadi occupation, every Muslim will lie and do violence for Allah, and every liberal or Christian who promotes honest dialogue with Muslims is a dupe supporting terrorism and Sharia. I am not exaggerating—such are the core tenets of every presentation made by the anti-Muslim speakers whom Senator Nelson praises and whom Ms. Islam and I have decried.
If Senator Nelson and those tenets are correct and Ms. Islam and I mere dupes, then today’s ruling by the Supreme Court leaves America open to jihad. The anti-Muslim slideshows in Rapid City, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and elsewhere teach that all Muslims our out to topple Western civilization. These slideshows make no exception for Muslims with “bona fide” relationships with American citizens or institutions. The Muslims among us are part of the threat, perhaps the greater threat, since they have already established homes, mosques, income streams, and (gasp!) citizenship that allows them to vote, run for office, and change our laws to Sharia. The Supreme Court’s partial implementation of the travel ban does nothing to stop those most dangerous Muslims among us from bringing in their sisters and brothers and other partners in jihad.
If Senator Nelson were right, if I were defending radical Islamic terrorism, if I were faking peaceful atheism to hide a craving for violent theocracy, then I would cheer the Court as nine more useful dupes in jihad. Far from supporting the Commander in Chief’s “number one responsibility… to keep the American people safe,” the Court’s ruling leaves the door open for evil Muslims in America to invite their evil cousins from overseas and for those scheming liberal universities to keep recruiting jihadi students and professors.
A Pennington County GOP spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday, but South Dakota Republican Party Chair Dan Lederman said the state party supports the Pennington County chapter’s sponsorship of the event.
“Unlike the Democrats who demand that the members of their party fall into lockstep, the Republican Party is a big tent party that allows our members to have different views,” Lederman told [that Sioux Falls paper]. “Many of our members believe that if we are able to concur or combat Islamic radicalism, we must understand the threat and that is exactly what we have helped with in Rapid City” [Dana Ferguson, “Muslim Group Asks GOP to Drop Ties to Controversial Speaker,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.06.15].
At past speaking engagements, Guandolo has claimed that every major Islamic center and organization in the U.S. is part of a massive terrorist network, and that growth in Muslim communities is evidence of preparation for a jihad on U.S. soil.
“When they build a mosque they’re claiming territory, now all they have to do is occupy it,” Guandolo said at a conference in Colorado last August. “So they’re calling Muslims to occupy the land.”
…and one prominent Muslim South Dakotan’s response:
The idea that all major Muslim organizations in the U.S. are part of an extremist conspiracy to destroy America is an example of “getting a little carried away,” said local developer Hani Shafai.
Shafai, who was born in Palestine and is a practicing Muslim, has lived in Rapid City for about 35 years.
“I love the people, I love the area,” Shafai said. “This is home. I’ll defend it against anybody, I don’t care if they’re Muslim, Jewish or Christians.”
“Every religion and every society has its bad apples and its radicals,” he added. “But there are a lot of good people in every society. There might be some radicals, but most Muslims, if not the majority of them, are just hardworking people who believe in God and believe in the books that God has sent” [Anderson, 2017.06.15].
It’s bad enough that Republican elected officials like Al Novstrup, Shantel Krebs and Marty Jackley have graced these anti-Muslim events with their presence. Now Lederman is shielding his party’s sponsorship of anti-Muslim rhetoric with a false reading of tolerance. Tolerance does not mean total moral relativism in which anything goes. We can tolerate difference—different religions, different races, different political views, different lifestyles—while rejecting harmful lies and bigotry, the way South Dakota Democrats do:
While reasonable people can disagree about immigration and refugee policy, conspiracy theories and bigotry targeting a minority population should have no place in our political debates. Republicans should denounce this type of hateful rhetoric, not embrace it. Since Mr. Lederman refused to take the lead in denouncing hate, I call Republican elected officials and candidates like John Thune, Mike Rounds, Kristi Noem, Marty Jackley, Shantel Krebs, and Dusty Johnson to show some important leadership and make it clear that this kind of hate does not belong in their party or our state [Ann Tornberg, South Dakota Democratic Party chair, press release, 2017.06.15].
KOTA Territory News was denied access into the event, but given a statement by ACT for America. It read in part:
“The Rapid City chapter of ACT for America has decided to keep the “Understanding the Threat” event private due to previous mis-characterization and inaccurate reporting by members of the media… Learning about Islamic extremism is relevant in this age of terrorism, and the media has used a specific and intentional agenda to depict our attendees as bigots.”
This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it [Donald Trump, speech to leaders of 50+ Muslim countries, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as transcribed by CNN, 2017.05.21].
Trump also sat with his hands clasped in his lap during a Muslim invocation and offered no rebuttal to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who introduced Trump’s address to the summit by saying (through a translator) that terrorists (fueled largely by Iranian/Khomeinist extremists) have tried to “exploit Islam as a cover for political purposes”:
Islam and will always be the religion of mercy, tolerance, and coexistence as confirmed by brilliant precedents. In its prosperous times, Islam provided the best examples of coexistence and harmony among followers of religions and cultures. However, we see today that some presumed Muslims seek to present a distorted picture of religion, a picture that seeks to conflate this rich religion with violence. We say to our Muslim brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters everywhere, that one of the most important goals of Islamic sharia is protecting life, and there is no honor in committing murder. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance that urges its followers to develop Earth and forbids them from corrupting it. It considers killing an innocent soul tantamount to killing all of humanity. Our way to achieve the goals of our religion and win everlasting life in heaven is to promote the tolerant values of Islam which are based on peace, moderation, and refraining from destroying and corrupting Earth [King Salman, address to Muslim summit, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2017.05.21].
There you go, straight from the President and his new pal the King: there is no war of civilizations. Islam is a religion of peace. And we trust and love our Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia so much that the President is going to make sure that they “get a good deal from our great American defense companies.”
With the forum overseen by Trinity Episcopal Church Rev. Portia Corbin and First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) Rev. Carl Kline and attended by about two dozen members of the public, Fathi Halaweish, a representative from the Brookings Islamic Center and a 20-year chemistry and biochemistry instructor at South Dakota State University who originates from Egypt, led a 75-minute discussion about his faith and sought to dispel negative perceptions surrounding it.
…Kline also maintained that Christian-majority societies could seek better understanding with the Islamic faith by extending invitations to Muslims within their communities and allow them to share their experiences and beliefs.
Interviewer: You travel to countries where the Islamic State has a hold on many areas. Rumor has it that ISIS is getting funded by Western states like the US. What do you have to say about that?
Dogan: Yes, that is the truth. When it comes down to it, it is all about the oil. While travelling, I met several persons all saying that they had witnessed the US helping the Islamic State in different ways. One thing stood out because there have been so many people who had remarked on it: When the US dropped aid and weapons over the Iraqi city of Mosul that had been in the hands on ISIS since 2014. They simply said that they had made a mistake. The people I have spoken to, soldiers fighting ISIS in that area, told me that they had witnesses similar things around 8 times.
That the minorities that get attacked like they do in Iraq, are of course partly because of religions differences. But mostly it is because there are substantial amounts of oil in the areas where they live. Therefore it is very important for the US to divide as much as possible, making the areas unstable in order for them to come in and “rescue” the situation. This we saw in Libya, and we see it all over again in Syria. The US would like to tell us that they only want the “bad Bashar al-Assad” out, but it is not about that. Everything is about who controls the oil.
I spoke to a Turkish truck driver from north Iraq who said that he and four other drivers drove trucks full of weapons from Europe to the Islamists in Mosul. The weapons he told me was from Germany, but whether the German government has any knowledge of that I don’t know. But it is worrying when you hear such things over and over again [Sanna Hill, “Aid Worker Hatune Dogan: ‘ISIS Is Getting Help from the West,” Free West Media, 2017.01.03].
The mission of (Abu Bakr) Baghdadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is, he’s a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS [Sister Hatune Dogan, in Erick Stakelback, “Nun: ‘Islam Is ISIS. Whoever Says Otherwise Is a Liar’,” Christian Broadcasting Network, 2016.01.02].
Jensen and Dogan display the kind of fear, exaggeration, and willful falsehood motivating many of our Republican legislators.
“Words hurt. They marginalize. They make us the other,” said Taneeza Islam, a Sioux Falls lawyer and community activist. “We are beautiful Americans, and we will no longer stand by to allow for inflammatory rhetoric by our state leaders.”
Members of other faiths appeared, as well, including Father Larry Ort of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookings. “Radical Islamic terrorism” disparages all Muslims, Ort said.
Hult reports that “several lawmakers were on hand,” but alas, the one who gets the ink is Senate Majority Leader R. Blake Curd, who apparently came to poop on the party (the Muslims’ gathering, not his political party):
Senator Blake Curd said, “What we can see is a meaningful look at the immigration system. The reforms that are necessary. Making sure that we understand who comes to the United States. That they are coming here to become a part of that intricate fabric that is the United States to make it a stronger community and a stronger country. Those are the people that we want here.”
Senator Curd told us, he believes the intention of the resolution is not to discriminate towards any religion [Kole Fehling, “Community Comes Together for Muslims,” KDLT, 2017.03.04].
It takes some pretty strong partisan blinders—or maybe just the smug majoritarianism of a rich white male Christian in South Dakota whose never really experienced an attack on his faith by his community leaders—to not see the ill will toward Islam embodied in the original text of SCR 15 and the current language that brackets one specific religion with negative terms
The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States [Julia Edwards Ainsley, Dustin Volz, and Kristina Cooke, “Trump to Focus Counter-Terrorism Program Solely on Islam—Sources,” Reuters, 2017.02.02].
The President apparently has such a low opinion of the strength and skill of the United States that he thinks we cannot deal with multiple proven security threats at once.