The Corner

Herman Cain and Mosques

Herman Cain followed up his Sunday comments on banning the construction of mosques at a private gathering later in the day, as reported by Stacy McCain. But it’s not a clarification or a walk-back — “I don’t back down one iota” — he just repeats that Islam doesn’t separate religion and government and the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the construction of some mosques.

I’m the last person to defend Islam, and I’m not doing so now, but Cain is clearly wrong. Yes, of course, Islam is more than just a spiritual system — it’s also a political system, a system regulating economics, war, the subjugation of infidels, personal hygiene, and every other aspect of life. And of course radical elements — i.e., orthodox Muslims — are behind the construction of many, if not most mosques in the West. Both of these facts make Islam a unique danger to our Republic and are arguments for enhanced scrutiny of mosques and all Muslim organizations, the use of undercover agents to infiltrate them and track their activities, a resumption of the use of ideological exclusion in visa and immigration matters, and the categorical rejection of all special demands, whether wearing a hijab in a driver’s license photo or giving legal authority to sharia courts in family-law matters.

But — if Muslims want to build a gathering place, consistent with normal zoning and fire-safety laws and the like, where they just worship and break bread with their fellows, they have every right to do so; suggesting otherwise is dangerous folly, cutting down the law to get after the devil. If a large and growing Muslim population represents a threat to liberty — and I believe, with Cain, that it does — then that’s yet another reason to reduce future immigration. But once you admit people, we’re bound to judge them individually, by the same yardstick we use for everyone else.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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