Khudayr Taher, an Iraqi Shi'ite author living in the United States, takes a tough line about Muslim immigrants. Here is a comment published on July 4 that the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) posts under the provocative title "Europe and America Should Deport All Muslims – Including Myself":
Khudayr Taher, Iraqi writer living in the United States.
Countries have the right to defend themselves and assure their citizens' safety from terrorism. Likewise, it is clear that the source of the terrorist crimes in Europe and America is the Muslims who live in these countries.
The security services cannot know people's intentions and sort out who is the noble immigrant and who is a terrorist criminal. [But] wherever there are Muslims, their presence has produced crimes of terrorism and murder. Among those Muslims in Europe and America who do not practice terrorism, most of them do not have loyalty and sincere attachment to these countries that have offered them all of the means of life in dignity - housing, studies, work, and citizenship…
The legitimate question is this: Since the security services cannot sort out the good immigrant from the bad terrorist… why don't these countries deport all Muslims, of all races, from Europe and America, and [thus] find rest from the danger of terrorism, and protect their peoples?
I, as an Arab Muslim immigrant, sincerely call on the countries of Europe and America to deport all Muslims from their territories - including myself, despite my love and my sincere attachment to the U.S.
Comment: Striking, no, how a liberal from the Middle East can resort to illiberal means to save liberal society? Very few Westerners would follow him down that path, although over time this equation could change. (July 11, 2007)
May 7, 2010 update: Taher responded to the May 1 attempt by a Pakistani to set off a bomb in New York's Times Square by advocating "the principle of collective suspicion":
The attempted car bombing in New York exposed a problem, [namely] that the Muslim diaspora in the U.S. is not carefully monitored, due to the laws [protecting] human rights. The Pakistani terrorist was able to act freely in forming contacts inside and outside the country and in preparing his criminal plans. Even though he comes from a country that is considered to be one of the strongholds of terrorism, [the American authorities] did not keep an eye on him. …
America is home to about seven million Muslims. Most of them, even if they are not terrorists, do harbor hostility towards the U.S. and feel no loyalty to it. As an Arab and Muslim, [I tell you] that it is difficult to find a Muslim who loves America; those [who do] constitute a tiny minority among all those millions.
The rationale and need to defend American security and protect lives make it necessary to make sacrifices and infringe on the laws and charters of human rights. The Muslims must be subjected to the principle of collective suspicion. Individuals whose presence causes concern or who have a potential to cause problems must be monitored, pursued and placed in preventive detention, which is not subject to time restrictions or require evidence. They must be stripped of their citizenship and deported. The collective deportation of all suspicious Muslims, and all those convicted of misdemeanors, is the best way to pressure [potential offenders], in order to deter them, threaten their personal interests, and cause them to follow the rules and inform on the terrorists among them.
Taher concludes with the paradoxical statement that Westerners "must first of all think of defending themselves against the threat of terrorism, [even if it means] sacrificing democracy, law, and the human rights charters – for this is a matter of life and death."
Related Topics: Counter-terrorism, Muslims in the West
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