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It is impossible to do as Gabriel Grosso suggests

Reader comment on item: [Symposium:] Why Does the World Hate America?
in response to reader comment: Learning from Europe's mistakes

Submitted by Stephen Berman (United States), Jan 22, 2003 at 16:27

Hi. I would like very briefly to address Mr. Grosso's comments about what the U.S. should do.

Mr. Grosso suggest deporting Muslim extremists from the United States. There are some severe, practical problems which may make this impossible. For one, the U.S. does not deport U.S. citizens. Unlike in Continental Europe, the English/American system extends citizenship to those born in the U.S. This is in contrast to the non-English world's Jus Sanguinis system. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that our Constitution does not allow exile as a form of punishment. Being a citizen means having the right to have rights. Without this, most fundamental right, all constitutional rights are meaningless and can be taken away at the whim of the majority. Few would go along with such a scheme.

Second. It would be very difficult to determine who is a radical, who is not, and to thereby eliminate those who wish to make war against us. It is not possible to point a radar at someone's head and find out what he is thinking. As seen from the September 11th hijackers, extremists can easily dress casually, go to drinking establishments, and engage in other un-Islamic behavior.

I wish I had some other suggestion how to handle this very serious problem, but I am afraid that we may be helpless. Democracy has not yet stood the test of time, and who knows if we can survive this experiment.

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