"Yet today I am an American citizen, one who has more reason than most to fear Islamic extremism. And that’s why I want to plead with my fellow Americans to calm down and think rationally about the dilemmas and trade-offs that we face.
"When Donald Trump set out his views on Islamic extremism in a campaign speech last August, I was surprised and excited...
"In it, he rightly condemned 'the hateful ideology of radical Islam' for 'its oppression of women, gays, children and nonbelievers.'
"We cannot pretend that all Muslim immigrants are perfect adapters; but similarly, we cannot assume that no Muslim immigrants are fanatics. In our immigration policy, we need to make all possible effort to welcome adapters and exclude troublemakers. The question is how.
"As an immigrant of Somali origin, I have no objection to other people coming to America to seek a better life for themselves and their families. My concern is with the attitudes many of these new Muslim Americans will bring with them — and with our limited capacity for changing those attitudes...
"Contrary to some of the president’s more strident critics, restrictions on foreign immigration are not immoral per se. Canada, for example, accepts only whole families, single women or children from Syria, but excludes single men as a possible security threat. Most countries have such rules. Recent terrorist cases suggest that the U.S. could do with tightening its rules, or applying them more rigorously...
"President Trump was right back in August. The threat posed by 'the hateful ideology of radical Islam' needs to be countered. American citizens — including immigrants — must be protected from that ideology and the violence that it promotes. But the threat is too multifaceted to be dealt with by executive orders. That is why Trump was right to argue in August for a commission of some kind — I would favor congressional hearings — to establish the full magnitude and nature of the threat.
"Until we recognize that this ideology is already in our midst, we shall expend all our energies in feverish debates about executive orders, when what is needed is cool, comprehensive legislation."
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