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On needing to justify a ban on Muslim immigration

Reader comment on item: Poland's Muslim Ban

Submitted by Prashant, Jul 1, 2018 at 20:15

Dear Dr Pipes,

Thanks for visiting Poland and writing the article about the Polish debate about Muslim immigration. Your article helped me understand the current situation in Poland and its historical context better. Thanks for also criticizing PiS for its questionable positions on the matters of economy, Holocaust, and many others. You were right in saying that PiS needs to be educated on these matters and not demonized.

I hope that opposition to Muslims by PiS is principled and not xenophobic. In general, massive and unconstrained immigration of one group of people into another nation is principally wrong but Islamic infusion into other countries (such as Syrian influx in Europe and Bangladeshi influx in India) is even more questionable. Opposing Islamic immigration without citing good reasons, will not be effective and will appear to be xenophobic.

Luckily, there is enough doctrinal and empirical evidence that Islam needs to change significantly before it becomes compatible with the rest of humanity and this evidence must be cited. Most people of the world Christians/Jews/Buddhists/Hindus/Jains/Sikhs have learned that --occasional celebrations aside-- they should practice their religion privately and without inconveniencing others. Muslims have not. Month long fasting during ramadan, Friday prayers on the streets, daily fast breaking parties for a month, prayer calls throughout the day and year, etc --in all humility-- are disruptive. Most of us love and respect our God just as much as Muslims do or more. We pray to Him tens of times a day but we do it quietly. We do not impose ourselves upon others. We are humble and undemanding. Are we not?

But prayers are just a minor issue. Islamic doctrine leaves a lot more to be desired. It is wrong to assume that non-Muslims do or should accept that their religions are bad or sinful. And, when Muslims brag that Islam is the fastest growing religion and it will "enter every home", we consider it impolite. And, we are not wrong? Are we?

But what you think about our religions is a small issue. Things get even more complicated as we go further. There is virtually no separation of church and state in Islam and there is no empirical evidence that Muslims --whether they are living in a Islamic theocracy or out of it-- care for separation of Church and State or democracy.

And, there is more. Laws against apostasy which either in theory or in practice recommend harming any one for their belief need to be abrogated. No one needs to be killed or harmed if they change or continue their beliefs. Just like Hindu people, politicians and priests are severely rebuked if they publicly support caste system, Islam has to evolve to a state in which Muslim people, politicians and priests are severely rebuked for supporting laws against apostasy.

This is just the beginning. Most of our world has come to believe that we should give men and women equal legal rights. For the most part, we do not appreciate polygamy. This holds for most religions or the world but not for Islam. The onus of providing evidence that women's rights are equal (not just protected!) falls on Muslims. But we have not seen enough evidence.

If opposition to Islamic immigration is backed by sound reasoning, it will appear less xenophobic. And that is what PiS and other civilizationist groups need to do. Any time we oppose something, we need to tell why we are opposing and, then, debate about it. PiS and its supporters should do the same.


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