Books, Pop Culture and Political Humor from J.D. Rhoades, best-selling author, attorney, and award-winning newspaper columnist.
"Like [Lee] Child, Rhoades dishes out one airtight action scene after another, mixing in just enough character-building moments and holding our interest in a full cast of nicely developed supporting players."-Booklist
What happened in Paris this past Friday the 13th is tragic. Almost as tragic are the number of people in the West whose first reaction was to surrender to the terrorists.
Because, make no mistake: When you use things like the terror attacks in Paris, Beirut and Egypt to ramp up hatred and distrust of all Muslims, when you agree with Donald Trump that maybe we “should look at” closing down mosques, when you use your position as governor of a U.S. state to claim that you’re going to deny legally accepted Syrian refugees into your borders, then you are giving in to terrorism. You are, in fact, giving Daesh exactly what they want.
(A word of explanation: “Daesh” is one name for the group that some call ISIS, some call ISIL, and some just shorten to “Islamic State.” It’s how you pronounce the initials of their name in Arabic. It also apparently sounds a lot like the Arabic word for either “trampling and crushing” or “overbearing bigot,” because Arabic is a very, very strange language.)
In any case, the murdering SOBs hate the name Daesh. In fact, it makes them so mad that they threaten to cut out the tongue of everyone who calls them that. So I call them Daesh mainly because they hate it so much.
Anyway, Daesh has said explicitly in its online pronouncements that one of its main goals is to “eliminate the gray zone,” i.e., the place where Muslim and non-Muslim can co-exist. They say they want to divide the world into the same black and white as their flag, a place where ALL Muslims feel threatened and excluded by non-Muslims and vice versa.
They want to create a world in which Daesh can say, with justification, “Hey, Joe or Jane Muslim, the only safe place for you or for your family is with us and our insane seventh-century interpretation of Islam. We’ll kill you if you stray from our path; the Westerners will just kill you anyway.”
Once they have all Muslims gathered under their banner because the non-Islamic world has driven them out, then they can begin the apocalyptic end-of-days battle they so deeply desire.
To that end, they sow destruction and discord, knowing that America and the rest of the Western countries will be tempted to abandon the values that make them great and draw people to the West.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and their aftermath led to not only a shameful willingness to give up more and more of our civil liberties, but also to an explosion of anti-Muslim bigotry.
The attacks of Friday the 13th, 2015, have led to even more fear, which manifests itself in calls to turn away the very people — including women and children — who are running away from the horrific scourge that is Daesh and to send them back into the very hell that these devils have created, a place where their only choices will be to join the armies of jihad as conscripts or to die.
In Daesh’s own words, “Those leaving will only find refuge in the land of the Caliphate.” And this is what we want to agree to?
Another problem with this whole idea of state governors trying to bar refugees from coming to their states is that it’s blatantly unconstitutional.
The Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the Constitution, and years of Supreme Court precedent interpreting that, are very clear that it’s the federal government, not the states, that has “power over immigration, naturalization and deportation.” That’s the 1942 case of Hines v. Davidowitz, if you want to look it up.
You can also look up the case of Shapiro vs. Thompson from 1966, which reiterated the long-held Constitutional principle that it’s a fundamental right to live in any state you want. Once again, the people who claim to revere the Constitution act like they know squat about it.
So I’m looking at you, Gov. Pat McCrory. I’m looking at you, Ben Carson, and now-former presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, and Donald Trump, and even John Kasich (John, you broke my heart. You were supposed to be the sane one).
I’m looking at all of you, whatever your party. When you say “all Muslims are terrorists,” or “stop all refugees at the border,” when you callously propose throwing women and children back into the clutches of the animals they’re running from, or when you say we need to throw aside basic constitutional principles, you're retreating. You’re giving up. You’re helping to create the world that Daesh wants.