All Men Are Brothers (2016Mar23)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016                                            6:29 PM

All Men Are Brothers

(or – It’s A Mistake To Be Afraid)

There’s a reason why Europe is more exposed to terrorist cells—in the US, we encourage integration of immigrants. Perhaps we have clumps of ethnicity or religion, particularly when the incoming culture is insular to begin with, but that is the exception rather than the rule. In Europe, from what I understand, Middle-Easterners have their own communities—and the Europeans prefer it that way. I heard that in Brussels recent reports about potential extremist suspects went unexamined partly due to their habit of letting that conclave ‘police itself’. That sounds suspiciously like they’re saying the immigrant community is officially invisible—the better to ignore and isolate them.

But we have such conclaves in the US, too—some of the blame falls on the immigrants for shunning the whole melting-pot experience and remaining purposely insular. But let’s face it—this behavior is easier to come by when the natives aren’t too fond of you to begin with. Britain had a fairly hands-off approach to their Middle-Eastern immigrant communities, just like Brussels—until the terror attacks there made that policy seem too lax.

But properly policing such areas is just a detail—these areas are obviously neglected by civic authority in many ways—and for the same reason they are so cohesive—the immigrants have not been made entirely welcome. They have not been absorbed by their new homelands, they have only been tolerated within them. Even some parts of the US have these hardened nodes of acculturation.

With the recent bombings in Brussels, I’ve seen two reactions—one is an obvious increase in police presence in Brussels’ immigrant community—and the other is candidate Ted Cruz’s call to restrain Muslim-Americans within their communities.

As for Europe, they, like us, will need the good graces of their Muslim nationals to combat terrorism. For Europeans to crack down on already-neglected communities within Europe—and to start shunning desperate refugees fleeing the violence in the Middle East—is exactly what they shouldn’t be doing. By lumping their potential allies in with their enemies, they are well on their way to making all Muslims their enemy.

America’s Cruz doubles down on his error—as usual. Not only does the same principal apply to the US as to Europe—but here in America, most Muslims don’t live in one lump community—most of them live next door to some other kind of American. The few ‘communities’ that Cruz’s plan could apply to, therefore, includes the merest fraction of all Muslim-Americans. But that’s Cruz—the flag-bearer of the party of stupid.

We have to act on intelligence related to a suspected terrorist. But we also have to give all Muslims the respect and due-process we owe to any citizen. The Brussels attack, like the Boston Marathon bombing, was executed by a pair of brothers. The fear and isolation of the West creates a simmering pot, reduced to a smaller and smaller, hotter and hotter core of frustration. We ostracize them into a small community, they often divide themselves by gender—so you get a bunch of young males sitting around—neglected, underserved, frustrated, feeling excluded from opportunity and equal rights—and eventually angry.

We must continue to hunt down terrorists. But isn’t it even more important that we avoid, as far as possible, manufacturing new ones? Set aside fairness or justice or even good manners—we still need Muslims to be our friends and allies in the fight against extremism.

That isn’t to say that we should stay as we are—part of the problem is we’ve been too insular already, too ready to neglect people we don’t know or understand. We should not be discussing stemming the flow of immigrant refugees—we should be planning how we can dazzle them with the peace, plenty, and security that all people deserve—and that we, with a lot of effort and a little courage, have the capacity to offer them.

Every refugee that we can comfortable ensconce in the lap of the West is not just subtracted from the ranks of potential terrorists—he or she will become one more champion of freedom and liberty, ready to defend it with their lives. If we fail to do this, our cowardice will doom them and us. When FDR said ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’, he wasn’t just saying that we should overcome fear—he was saying that fear is the enemy. Or, as may be the case in our current situation, fear creates the enemy.

One response to “All Men Are Brothers (2016Mar23)

  1. I agree with all you had to say. The Europeans haven’t changed much. America started so people could be free to believe what they want and not be persecuted for it. In Britain, two young Muslim men went “on patrol” for sharia law. They saw two men drinking beer on a bench, The Muslims told them it is wrong. They want Sharia law in Britain and then the world. They are so isolated in a ghetto like situation with no one hiring them. We are far from perfect, but I heard a statistic that 10% of Muslim men in the USA are doctors. It is sad that many can’t fulfill their dreams in their homeland if they even dream of a future.
    Muslims aren’t allowed to hold hands until marriage. ISIS entices them with wives who have been kidnapped, money, and a purpose. What little I know of men, no kissing or holding hands makes me laugh in a sad way. Hormones people.
    I have a conspiracy theorist “friend”. She thinks Obama is planning martial law and has been saying this for awhile. Now it is this situation that will cause it for as she said, “look at who he is visiting, dictators”. Last time it was something else. She has no tv, not to say they present all sides of things, but if she heard him vs. Cruz yesterday, maybe she would change her mind.
    I wrote an incomplete statement the other day. Guas come under massage TOOLS. You wouldn’t believe the amount of tools people have come up with to ease pain. I love the one that I bought.
    You write so well. It is a joy to read what you have to say. How about a post on the different forms of music in the area of mazurkas, sonata, etc. It seems to me that when I research, they eventually want money. And the way they go about it is a waste of my time. America business techniques are getting me very angry. Contacts, auto-shipments, etc. Finally my cable company must have gotten enough complaints over the robot woman who answers the phone and makes it so difficult to speak to a non-robot. Maybe there is some hope. In the good ole USA, money rules.

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