AWHILE AGO, I sent out an invitation to my friends and family to sign the petition to stop Muslim immigration, and one of my relatives, a young man who went on a solo trek through several Islamic countries in the Middle East the summer before, responded like this:
I will not sign it. It baffles me that you would promote such biased and discriminatory content.
To equate every Muslim in the world with the few radical Muslims that carry out terrorism is ludicrous. Are the progressive Muslims, gay Muslims (yes, there are gay Muslims) and non-practicing Muslims just as bad as suicidal terrorists?
I've read the Qur'an and the Hadith and I know what it says. The Bible also says some pretty bad things. But before you go on with your thinking, I encourage you to put down the books that you've been reading and actually travel to a Muslim country to make judgments of your own.
I'd be more than happy to go with you and give you a tour of the areas that I traveled this past summer and introduce you to the many friends that I made.
Now, I don't know about you, but when I get this kind of response, I get worked up. You might even call it "upset." My heart pounds.
I believe that my relative's reaction, and my reaction to his reaction, is the biggest barrier to stopping Islam's relentless encroachment. We don't want to bring it up with each other because it is so upsetting, so all the education that could potentially take place doesn't happen, so the ignorance remains in place. And it is that widespread ignorance about Islam that is allowing orthodox Islam to gain concession after concession in the free world. The single most important thing that needs to be done is educate non-Muslims about the basic elements of Islamic doctrine.
But for me (and probably for you), this heart-pounding reaction has happened many times, and I know now that every time it happens, my ability to communicate makes a leap forward, so now even though my heart still pounds and I feel upset, it doesn't last long because I remember the good that always comes out of it.
I also realize if I can't answer the person, even given some time to think about it, then maybe there's something I don't know or the person has a legitimate criticism and I should change my view. So one way or another, it's an opportunity to learn.
I recommend when you get this kind of rebuttal, that you take the time to think about how you will answer it and how you might answer it the next time anyone says something similar. We're collecting answers here: Answers to Objections.
Your feeling of upset will diminish if you can honestly see someone's challenge as a good opportunity to develop your knowledge and your ability to communicate it to others. It is not just about this particular person who is challenging you. By developing your abilities, you become more persuasive with everyone thereafter. As you improve, you get fewer and fewer challenges because you are answering objections before they even come up.
This is how I responded to my relative:
From your response, I'm thinking you must not have read the text of the petition. The main point the petition makes is that we cannot determine which Muslims follow pure Islam (which is a supremacist doctrine) and which do not. If a certain percentage of the Muslims who immigrate are "radicals" and if we have no way of identifying them until they kill someone, why should we allow any Muslims to immigrate at all? Do we have a shortage of Muslims? Do we need more?
And the ones who actually kill people may not be as dangerous as the "long-term" jihadists — those who are right now teaching hatred toward non-Muslims in American madrassas, preaching hatred in 80 percent of the thousands of American mosques, and infiltrating the U.S. government with the goal of overthrowing it.
I know there are plenty of nice people who are Muslims. I know some of them myself. But perfectly nice people can still strive to overthrow a government. And besides, you never know if their niceness is taqiyya.
It seems strange that you would encourage me to travel to a Muslim country. Almost all Muslim countries have a horrendous record of human rights abuses, especially to women — even though many of the people who live there are really nice people.
The countries that follow Islamic doctrine most closely — Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, have the worst human rights records.
Saying that the Islamic doctrine is supremacist does not insult the friends you made in Muslim countries. I may dislike socialist doctrine, but I know many people who believe in those doctrines that I think are really nice people. Let's distinguish between the doctrine and the person.
It just occurred to me that you probably read a standard version of the Koran, which is written in a peculiar order — the chapters are arranged from the longest chapter to the shortest. So even if you read the passages about abrogation, you would not have known which passages were abrogated and which weren't, which means you would be under the impression that the Koran is a hodgepodge collection of random writings. It is nothing of the sort. It is a single document written by one man, and the order in which it was written is known by all Islamic scholars.
The reason the order is important is that some verses abrogate or supersede other verses. The Koran itself contains instructions on how the abrogation is to be done. Pardon me if you know this already, but it seems from your comment that you must not know this.
The Koran is not like the Bible in several significant ways. The Koran is not a collection of writings from different people. It doesn't say in the Bible, "This is the word of God," but it does say that in the Koran. And the Bible doesn't give instructions on how to deal with contradictions. The Koran does. Another interesting difference is the nature of the calls to violence. In the Bible, they are descriptive. In the Koran, they are prescriptive (read more about that here).
Anyway, the earlier verses of the Koran were written while Muhammad lived in Mecca. They are mostly tolerant, relatively peaceful passages. After Muhammad moved to Medina and became a military leader, the nature of the new verses changed dramatically. They became intolerant and called for violence against non-Muslims.
So the Koran contains contradictions, but it tells the reader how to deal with them. It says that when passages conflict, the later ones are better than the earlier ones. The later passages abrogate the earlier ones.
Muslims who are ignorant of this might be perfectly nice people, but they are vulnerable to the ones who are not ignorant of this — vulnerable to being called upon to fulfill their Islamic obligation to jihad, and vulnerable to being converted to an orthodox Muslim.
All by itself, that would be a good reason to restrict or prohibit immigration by anyone who considers himself to be a Muslim. They, or their children, will always be vulnerable to an appeal to orthodox Islam, which mandates a continual fight against non-Muslims until the whole world submits to Islamic law. In fact, in a study in Britain, the researchers found the second generation more orthodox (more inclined to jihad) than their first generation immigrant parents.
The reason Jihadi recruiters are so successful is that they can refer to the Koran and the unambiguous example of Muhammad's (which every Muslim is obligated to follow). The message is unequivocal: For a Muslim, political action is a religious duty — political action aimed at fulfilling Islam's prime directive.
In your reading and travels, what have you come across that gives you the impression Islamic doctrine is not supremacist?
Do you know what taqiyya is?
He stopped talking to me about that topic at that point, and I didn't pursue it. I was concerned that if I pursued it, I would make him defend his previous point of view, but I thought if I left him alone, he might look into it to prove me wrong and make the necessary discoveries on his own. I have heard from many people who came to the counterjihad movement in just that way — looking into it to prove someone wrong, only to find out they were right.
I think one of the most valuable uses of the immigration petition is to spark conversations like this. Most people think the proposal is completely unthinkable, but if you earnestly make a good argument for it, people will say what they really feel, like my young relative above, bringing the issue into the open, and hopefully bringing them some information they've never heard before.
Also, if you get them to actually sign it, they have made one small commitment for the cause and if they do, because of the principle of commitment and consistency, they are more likely to take larger actions for the cause in the future.
As you can tell by my relative's response, he was nowhere near that point, but hey, we have to start somewhere.