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Jeffrey Sheff's legitimate question

Reader comment on item: Europe's Civilizationist Parties
in response to reader comment: Europe's Islamization -- any alternative?

Submitted by Prashant, Dec 9, 2018 at 13:10

Dear Dr Pipes, in his post entitled 'Europe's Islamization -- any alternative?' Jeffery Sheff raised a legitimate question about both Islamic and non-Islamic immigration of people into Europe. His title used the world 'Islamic' but the contents of his message did not make an explicit argument based on any religion. His question is legitimate and I, as a thankful legal immigrant to the US, will reply to him from both religious and economic angles.

I entirely agree that controlling immigration to an acceptable level is the right and responsibility of any government. So any action that governments in Europe, USA or elsewhere take to control immigration should be supported by all right-minded people. Europe should control immigration into their countries and spend the resources that they save for the benefit of their own citizens. That is just common sense.

While legal immigration can be controlled, it is, unfortunately, not easy to control illegal immigration. No society can control all thievery. Without any ambiguity about it, illegal immigration is like willful stealing by some. We would like to eliminate all thievery but, often, fail to do so. The conditions in the poorest sections of Asian, Latin American, and African countries are so abject that if the western countries open their borders, all people from all countries will migrate to the West and we will become one homogeneous lot. So it is in the interest of the western societies if the (so called) third world countries are productive and prosperous so the need to emigrate subsides.

Governmental humanitarian aid to developing countries is a self-defeating argument. We went that route throughout the period between 1950 and 2000. It did not work that well. Aid is no one's birth right. Developing economies must raise themselves by themselves (I am stealing this phrase from Bhagvat Gita).

So what can the western world do? This is exactly the question that Mr Sheff asked. I would say that besides controlling legal immigration to their comfortable levels and controlling illegal immigration as much as possible, the western governments should not make it easy for illegal immigrants. The welfare to the illegal immigrants should be minimized. In addition, the old rhetoric that we do not want to impose our values on others should be curtailed. We must say that we want to politely spread our values because they are better. USA and Europe should support democratic nations and societies and oppose those nations that do not offer freedom of speech. Who the US (or any other country) chooses to be her friends is her prerogative. We should make it very clear that we do not like the nations that are not decent democracies. This milieu needs to be created around the nation and world so even leftists understand it well. The countries that do not give freedom of choice to their citizens must be decried by all. You are not a decent democracy if you do not have multi party elections every few years or if you have the name of a religion in your name.

This brings me to the religious side of this argument. Jeffery Sheff started his discussion with Islam in mind. Islam is a special case. First, it is an political doctrine amalgamated with religion. No country or people other than Muslims have the declared or undeclared agenda to convert the entire world to their way of thinking. Such is not the case with Islam. Muslims have an expressed desire to make the entire world Islamic. And worse, whatever Muslims convert to Islam, they protect using unfair means. It is enough to say here that most Islam-controlled nations are constitutionally Islamic and do not care much for democracy or human rights for their Muslim and non-Muslim citizens. Even women's rights in Islamic nations fall into 'different but equal' paradigm.

When it comes to Islam, it should be treated as a political issue and not a religious one. Is Islamic law different from secular laws? Why? Why is it better than secular laws shared in spirit by most non-Islamic countries? If it is good why can't it be adapted and adopted by all countries as a secular notion? If it is bad why is any country following it without debated adaptation? Ditto of Islamic social and economic practices. Is an Islamic nation democratic enough for a non-Muslim immigrant? If not, then it is not good enough (just as any other dictatorship is not good enough).

Western nations cannot accept all immigrants who want to emigrate their native states. They cannot overnight eliminate the economic reasons behind unnaturally high emigration/immigration. But they can advertise and advocate the modern democratic values that bring prosperity to all countries. That is what they should do.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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