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The freedom paradox
Posted By Robert Ringer On 11/30/2006 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
I don’t understand the big deal that was made over a bunch of Middle Eastern guys kneeling down on prayer rugs at a US Airways departure gate. So what if some of them bought one-way tickets? And what’s wrong with babbling about Allah and bin Laden, switching seats before takeoff and asking for seat-belt extensions?
I mean, let’s be fair about this. After all, it’s quite possible that they weren’t intending to slit the pilots’ throats or crash the plane into George Bush’s bedroom. They could very well be peaceful souls who are simply misunderstood by the Western world. Shouldn’t they be treated with dignity and respect? Aren’t they entitled to their “civil rights”?
Answer: No! In a sane world, this event would never become a news story, because the six “imams” in question would not have been in this country in the first place. Let’s go back to square one so I can explain what I mean.
By square one, I am referring to the great paradox that few Americans are willing to face up to: In order to preserve freedom, some freedoms must be restricted. My libertarian colleagues bristle when I say such blasphemous things. And I don’t blame them. I don’t like hearing something like this, either. But, unfortunately, it’s reality.
The theoretical-libertarian side of me would like to erase national borders and eliminate passports. Travel where you want, when you want, without being hassled by government agents. In fact, that same side of me believes that in a peaceful world of goodwill, the only way to achieve genuine liberty is through the total abolition of government. That’s right, each individual would have the right to govern himself.
What a nice thought … except for one problem: We don’t live in a peaceful world of goodwill. We live in a world where lunatics hell-bent on enslaving and annihilating their fellow man are getting ever closer to making good on their clearly stated objectives.
Before a real solution to this very real problem can even be addressed, it’s necessary to dispense with two politically correct pieces of misinformation. The first is that Islam is, in the words of George W. Bush, “a religion of peace.” The second is that the savage criminals who carry out jihad against the West represent the views of a small minority of fanatics in the Middle East.
As Gregory Davis documents in great detail in his book “Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World,” 1) Islam is a religion that preaches violence against, and the domination of, nonbelievers, and 2) the views of the Islamic “jihadis” are actually mainstream in Islamic countries.
The reality is that Islam has brought nonstop bloodshed to the world since it came onto the scene nearly 1,400 years ago, and poll after poll has made it clear that a majority of folks in Islamic countries – yes, even 64-year-old grannies – support violence against Westerners.
In all fairness, I must say that I believe most free-speech and civil-rights advocates are well meaning – well-meaning, but naive. Sorry, but when someone points a gun at you and says he’s going to kill you, you don’t have time to engage in an intellectual dialog about free speech and civil rights. The first order of business is to kill the guy with the gun in his hand.
Like it or not – and a lot of people don’t – the United States is a country founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs and values. It’s not a question of good or bad; it’s just a fact. The good news is that people of other faiths – including fundamentalist atheists – are allowed to practice their religions in the U.S., in a peaceful manner, without government interference.
Which brings me to Islam. If, in fact, Islam is not, as many suspect, a peaceful religion, then a pragmatic person might be so bold as to suggest that there is no legal or moral obligation to allow such a religion to be practiced in this country.
We sometimes forget that in today’s world of draconian government, most of the laws already on the books violate the natural rights we inherited at birth. That being the case, it might also be reasonable for a pragmatic person to argue that a religion that is used as a foundation for advocating the overthrow of our civilization should be put out of business. After all, it would be but another in a long list of civil-rights violations by the government.
Obviously, such a measure would result in a deafening outcry from a majority of the population, because it would be a gross violation of the civil rights of Islamic citizens. I must confess that even I would be against outlawing any religion.
However, what I would favor is giving Islamic clerics and Islamic organizations nationwide an ultimatum: Speak out – loud, clear and often – against Islamic violence, and preach the gospel of peace and goodwill, or else. In the meantime, let’s all be grateful to US Airways for taking action and demonstrating that they know a duck when they see one.
Former Georgetown University professor Rob Sobhani, an Arab-American, explains the connection between civil rights and “racial profiling” very simply. He says that singling him out at airport security is not a violation of his civil rights. What he would consider to be a violation of his civil rights is if he got blown out of the sky and was not able to come home to his wife and children.
Sounds pretty reasonable to me. I hate the idea of violating any one’s civil rights, but I hate the thought of hundreds of innocent people crashing into a skyscraper even more. What civil-rights addicts fail to grasp is that confronting an enemy that threatens to destroy you is not really a civil-rights issue at all. It’s an issue that the grand old commie himself would undoubtedly suggest can only be settled through the barrel of a gun.
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