The Corner

National Security & Defense

Could Someone Please Inform the Federal Judiciary That Jihadists Are Muslim?

There is much more to say about the decision of a federal judge in Hawaii to once again enjoin the Trump administration’s proposed short pause on immigration from six terror-prone countries, but for now let me say this: It is simply extraordinary that yet another federal judge, presumably having lived in these United States since at least September 10, 2001, apparently believes the only real reason for the administration’s actions is anti-Muslim animus. This is sheer nonsense. No, it’s worse. It’s dangerous nonsense, and even a cursory look at the six countries included in Trump’s temporary travel ban exposes the court’s legal, intellectual, and moral bankruptcy:

Syria not only contains the capital of ISIS’s caliphate, it’s also home to thousands of al-Qaeda-affiliated and other jihadist terrorists, and its government is a Hezbollah-, Iran-, and Russia-supported genocidal regime that is largely responsible for the worst humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century.

Iran is a sworn enemy of the United States, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, and is likely the world’s foremost terror-exporting nation-state.

Yemen is the home of one of al-Qaeda’s most potent remaining branches, is torn apart by civil war, and does not have a functioning government by any reasonable standard.

Libya is split between warring jihadist militias and nominal American allies. ISIS attempted to establish a fallback stronghold in the city of Sirte, and it has been torn apart by civil war.

Somalia is a failed state. Its own jihadist army, al-Shabaab, has exported terror beyond its borders, and Somalian immigrants have not only conducted terror attacks in the United States, they’ve sought to join with ISIS to carry out terror attacks at home and abroad.

Sudan long ago harbored Osama bin Laden, but in more recent years has launched its own jihadist genocide, killing tens of thousands (or, more likely, hundreds of thousands) of innocent men, women, and children.

But to a federal judge in Hawaii, all this is largely irrelevant. Donald Trump is a bad man, and his irresponsible statements about Muslims are apparently more relevant to the court than actual wars, ongoing genocide, and the intentions and capabilities of regimes that are the sworn enemies of the United States.

Someone needs to inform the federal judiciary that jihadists are Muslims, and targeting jihadist-infested nations for a short entry ban is not the same thing as targeting the broader Muslim community. Trump’s ban doesn’t touch cardiologists in Indonesia or programmers from India. Instead, it pushes the pause button on entry from six of the most hostile and violent nations in the entire world.

That’s unreasonable? That’s anti-American? That’s unconstitutional? Only with those who’ve lost their judicial and moral bearings and have sacrificed the Constitution and common sense on the altar of their own politics. The court says it can’t turn a “blind eye to the context in which a policy arose,” but what’s the more meaningful context? Campaign and other statements that don’t reflect the text of the actual document at issue, or an ongoing war that has cost thousand of American lives and inflicted tens of thousands of grievous injuries? The court is captured by politics, and the American constitutional structure — and American national security — are its chief casualties.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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