When I was a lad, we were taught in school that the United States was a great melting pot of immigrants who settled here to embrace the American dream. Although frequently settling in ethnic communities, they loved this country and strove to become a part of it. Often by the second generation they had shed their native language and integrated fully into the fabric of the country. Is that still the norm? Perhaps with some groups it is, but I seriously question whether everyone still shares that dream. Particularly, can large groups of Muslim immigrants embrace the cultural uniqueness of the U.S. in the same way that, say, Buddhists or Hindus or almost any other faith group can do? I find it doubtful.
Islam is not just a religion, it is a socio-political movement. It began as a militaristic, expansionist movement that gained converts by conquest, and, painting with a broad brush, any differences today are largely issues of practicality. Islam has a poor history of integration into Western democracies, as Europe has recently discovered. We’ve simply not had enough Muslims in the country yet to notice, but that is changing.
Ami Horowitz recently published this short, 4 minute video of interviews he did on the streets of Minneapolis with people of Somalian origin (I don’t know the citizenship status of any of them, so don’t know if they would properly be called Somalian-Americans).
It is particularly ironic that they all acknowledge they have great freedom here, but also want to deny it to others through preferring sharia law and wanting to make it illegal to poke fun at Muhammad. Most troubling is their preference to live in Somalia over this country! Somalia, on everyone’s top five list of greatest hell holes on earth – everyone’s except for these folks. As one of the young men explains, “I’m not Americanized…as far as my culture and my preferences and everything it’s still Somalia.”
And that is the great difference from past generations of immigrants from around the globe. Those people wanted to become an integral part of this nation, at least in its ideal form. These 2nd and 3rd generation Muslim immigrants have retained a radical separateness, to the point of not even wanting to live here. This is a recipe for future disaster, as we are already beginning to see with young Muslim radicals in the U.S.
Ami Horowitz noted in an interview that he did not cherry pick these particular people to advance an inaccurate or incomplete storyline. He said of the 15 or 20 people that he interviewed on the street, every one of them gave the same answers to every question. That is troublesome in its own right. On what issues can you ask 20 random people on the street in the U.S. and get the same answers? But when it comes to whether we should have sharia law in the United States and whether they would rather live somewhere else, these Somalians are all on board. Either they truly believe it, or they do not want to go on camera saying something different than what their community expects. Either answer is problematic for our country.
The Minnesota government is currently at loggerheads over a budget deal. The Governor wants to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to give free preschool to everyone. Here’s an idea. For half the cost of a year of preschool, let’s buy a one-way plane ticket for any person who prefers living in Somalia over the United States. Because we already have enough crazy people in this country.