Brian Kotowski: History repeats itself
Steamboat Springs — The Donald Trump show continues to attract spectators similar to passersby to a train wreck. His latest feat: calling for a temporary ban on all Muslim travel to the United States. Tremendous outrage has ensued.
Hillary Clinton’s tweet is representative of reactions from both sides of the political divide, “This is reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.”
Despite my own revulsion for Mr. Trump, fair’s fair — it was just five years ago President Barack Obama imposed a six-month moratorium on all Iraqi immigration to the U.S., citing security concerns.
In 1980, President Carter signed executive orders 12172 and 12206. One required 50,000 Iranian students living in the U.S. to report to immigration — 15,000 of those students were ordered to leave the country.
The other “… invalidate[d] all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly.”
One wonders if Mrs. Clinton finds it reprehensible that Presidents Obama and Carter implemented measures that Donald Trump can only fantasize about, and, if not, why.
I am unperturbed by the actions of our 39th and 44th presidents regarding their efforts to identify, isolate, and protect the nation from potential threats.
For me, the more pressing concern is how the recent carnage in California is nothing new and its motivations predate the American founding.
When Charles Martel found himself having to defend against a Muslim invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, it wasn’t because the Umayyad Caliphate was outraged by Western prejudice.
When Constantinople was renamed Istanbul after 1483, it wasn’t because the Ottoman Empire was outraged by Western prejudice.
When the Venetian fleet was obliged to confront a Muslim invasion off the coast of Greece at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, it wasn’t because Muslims were outraged by Western prejudice.
When the Germans and the Austrians staved off conquest at the Gates of Vienna in 1683, it wasn’t because the Ottoman Empire was outraged by Western prejudice.
When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were dispatched to London in 1786 to determine why our maritime civilians in the Mediterranean were being murdered and enslaved, they discovered that it wasn’t because Muslims were outraged by Western prejudice.
Adams and Jefferson were received by the envoy from Tripoli, Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. He told them (as reported by Jefferson to Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay), “All nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. ”
Islam is not just a religion. Alone among the major faiths, it is a political movement. Its followers have been trying to implement the same theocratic policies for more than a millennium.
San Bernadino, Paris, Chattanooga, Charlie Hebdo, Fort Hood, 9/11, etc., I am unconvinced that these are the perversions of a peaceful worldview. They are in lockstep with the precepts explicitly spelled out in the sura and the hadiths, as delivered by Allah’s Messenger to the Whole Mankind, the Prophet Muhammed. The prophet’s choir continues to sing from the same hymnal it has been using for 1,400 years.
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