An illuminating look at the key research on this subject.
Eric Holder once called the United States “a nation of cowards,” when he claimed that Americans are largely afraid to have an honest discussion about race. He was partially correct: Leftists like Holder are fearful of discussing race in any manner that depicts African Americans as something other than the perpetual, pathetic victims of white bloodlust and simpleminded bigotry. The meek responses that Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and Hillary Clinton recently bleated out when confronted by some of the aggressive racists in the Black Lives Matter movement, were classic illustrations of this cowardice.
Equally pitiful has been the Left’s propensity for turning two blind eyes to the very obvious problems posed by Islam and the value system inherent in its scriptures. For the most part, leftists are content to simply depict anyone who’s willing to have a substantive conversation about those problems, as a dimwit, a Nazi, or both. Thus, when Donald Trump recently suggested that it would be advisable to temporarily stop Muslim immigration into the U.S. until the government is able to get its woefully deficient vetting process in order, he was instantly ridiculed and excoriated by a conga line of glib, self-congratulating know-nothings. Hillary Clinton, for instance, called Trump’s remarks “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.” Dawud Walid of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations characterized Trump’s proposal as “fascist.” Martin O’Malley called Trump “a fascistdemagogue.” CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen saw, in Trump, “the traits of a proto-fascist.” And White House spokesman Josh Earnest informed us that Trump’s remarks “disqualif[y] him from serving as president.”
Not to be outdone, numerous high-profile Republicans showed themselves to be just as cowardly, and just as dumb, as the aforementioned leftists. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Trump’s views are “not what this party stands for and more importantly … not what this country stands for,” given that “freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle.” Jeb Bush’s assessment was more pithy, calling Trump “unhinged.” Chris Christie portrayed Trump’s remarks as “the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.” Lindsey Graham warned that Trump’s “bombastic rhetoric” was “downright dangerous.” And John Kasich cited Trump’s words as proof that he “is entirely unsuited to lead the United States.”
Implicit in each of these criticisms is the premise that newcomers from all faith traditions are more-or-less equally able, and equally willing, to assimilate into Western society, embrace Western values, and abide by Western laws; in other words, that it ultimately makes no difference what religion is practiced by those who immigrate to America. But quite frankly, no informed individual could possibly believe such a thing, particularly in light of the fact that in recent years researchers have accumulated a great deal of data regarding the attitudes, beliefs, and allegiances of Muslims around the world. Consider just a few of these vital facts, and contemplate whether you think they should at least be factored into the formulation of American immigration and refugee policy:
- 39% of people in Afghanistan believe that suicide bombings are “often or sometimes” justified, as do 25% of Egyptians, 26% of Bangladeshis, and 62% of Palestinians.
- Fewer than half of Pakistanis and Malaysians have a negative view of al Qaeda. Barely half of Nigerians and Tunisians have negative opinions about the Taliban. And a mere 16% of Pakistanis hold Hamas in low regard.
- In a 2011 survey of Muslims in seven Middle Eastern countries, nowhere did any more than 28% of respondents accept the notion that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were carried out by Arabs.
- In most of these same Middle Eastern countries, significant majorities of Muslims view Westerners generally as being “selfish,” “violent,” “greedy,” “immoral,” “arrogant,” and “fanatical.”
- In Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Pakistan, the proportion of Muslims who hold Jews in low regard is nearly 100%.
- In every sub-Saharan African nation where the Pew Research Center has conducted polls in recent years, a majority of Muslims believe that women should not be permitted to decide for themselves whether or not to wear a veil. The same is true of Muslims in Afghanistan, Egypt, and Iraq.
- Overwhelming majorities of Muslims throughout South and Southeast Asia, as well as in the Middle East, believe that wives should “always” obey their husbands. And in almost all of these same countries, solid majorities oppose the idea that daughters and sons should be entitled to equal inheritance rights.
- In Islamic strongholds like Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Morocco, and the Palestinian Territories, more than 80% of survey respondents believe that their respective governments should be based on strict Sharia Law. And among those who favor Sharia, anywhere from 29% to 61% wish to impose it not only on fellow Muslims, but on all citizens regardless of their faith.
- Among Sharia supporters throughout South Asia and the Middle East: (a) a majority believe in employing the types of severe corporal punishment mandated by Islamic Law—e.g., whipping criminals or amputating the hands of thieves; (b) between 80 and 90 percent of Afghanis, Pakistanis, and Egyptians favor the death penalty for apostates (those who leave Islam); and (c) more than 80% of Jordanians and Egyptians believe that stoning is the appropriate punishment for adultery.
- It is common for majorities of Muslims in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa to believe that honor killings are sometimes justified as punishment for pre- or extra-marital sex.
- More than 70% of Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordanbelieve that religious leaders should have much, or at least some, influence in politics.
- In many Islamic countries, very small minorities of the population view polygamy as morally unacceptable. For example, only 8% of Egyptians, 6% of Jordanians, 5% of Nigerians, 11% of Malians, 8% of Senegalese, and 18% of Iraqis object to the practice.
- Among Muslims throughout Asia, Africa, and Southern and Eastern Europe, the percentage of Muslims who say that homosexuality is morally acceptable rarely exceeds 3%.
To what degree can we reasonably expect newcomers from places like these to assimilate into Western society? What problems, if any, are likely to arise from their views regarding the use of suicide bombings against civilians; their support for genocidal terror groups; their low regard for Westerners generally; their profound hatred of Jews; their unwavering rejection of women’s rights; their opposition to freedom of religion and freedom of thought; their preferred criminal-justice practices; their support for varying degrees of authoritarian theocracy; and their views regarding marriage and sexuality? Do such considerations even merit a conversation? Or should we simply be content to console ourselves with soothing bromides about the unquestioned importance of “diversity”—until the values and traditions that have long bound our society together are entirely dissolved by the multiculturalist delusions and fairy tales of the Left?
For an in-depth look at the key research that has been conducted regarding these beliefs, click here.