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The Warning of Muslim Democrats

Has America imported a dangerous fifth column?

By Hobbes  |  May 12, 2019

The 2018 class of Democrat congresspeople has, as loudly trumpeted by their supporters, been a powerful infusion of fresh blood into the ranks of boring, old politicians.  Considering that the modern Democrat party is composed of loosely-aligned interest and demographic groups, it's no great surprise that there are firsts, the most famous being that first representative of the millennials, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY).

But she is only slightly more visible than the two first female Muslims, Ilhan Omar (D, MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D, MI).  Being women of color would by itself make them relative rarities, but they underscore their differentness by wearing Islamic dress.  Indeed, the centuries-old rules of the House had to be changed by the new Democrat majority in order to allow hijabs - previously, any headgear had been banned regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin.

These two newcomers may not be quite as skilled at social media as AOC, but they still have a powerful knack for getting in the news - though mostly for what we regard as the wrong reasons.  Since Day One of their term, there's been a roiling controversy over their many vitriolic anti-Semitic comments, blurring the line between political opposition to the independent nation-state of Israel, which is OK, at least in principle, and derogation of people because they are Jews.  Being outspokenly anti-semitic is racist and, presumably, not OK.

For example, what, exactly, is the meaning of this statement?

I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.

On its face, this is completely inoffensive, and we agree with it wholeheartedly.  Indeed, it's a large part of our opposition to our current immigration mess - hordes of people come pouring across the border waving the flags of other lands.  It is not OK to pursue, become, or be an American citizen, while holding allegiance to some other country.  While dual nationality is occasionally legal, to us it seems an inherent contradiction in terms.

Yet when Rep. Omar said it, everyone knew she wasn't talking about Mexicans, Guatemalans, and El Salvadoreans, illegal or otherwise.  She was talking about full U.S. citizens who support the nation of Israel - a foreign country, yes, but one of our closest allies, and one which just so happens to be the only nation in the world run by Jews.  As even the liberal Vox had to admit:

Given her previous comments, the latest remarks struck many observers as playing into well-worn anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish attachments to Israel making them disloyal to the United States... It’s true that Omar’s comments on Israel keep falling into well-worn anti-Semitic tropes — and her defenders often prove too willing to paper this over and dismiss criticism from even progressive Jews as “smears.”

In 2012, she tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

These views aren't just ancient history.  Rep. Omar recently trivialized 9-11 and diminished the role of Islam in that atrocity.  Both Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib have ostentatiously taken sides in an active war, as Hamas fired hundreds of missiles into Israel.  Yes, they support the Palestinian side, the side which is murdering citizens of an American ally as well as the occasional American.

It's bizarre that Rep. Omar is not merely an elected member of Congress but that the Democrats have selected her to me a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee!  Vice President Pence has called for her removal, though partisanship being what it is, that seems unlikely.

Indeed, Rep. Tlaib goes one further than Rep. Omar, accusing Israel of “dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free.”

Wait a second - our Palestinian people?  Rep. Tlaib was elected to represent the American people, specifically American voters living in the state of Michigan.  She has no right to be calling any other people "our," particularly not people engaged in an active war against our ally.  And that's assuming you accept that the Palestinians even are a distinct people, as opposed to being just "Arabs" which is what everyone called them until the last few decades.

America First, or Treason?

The term "America First" has gotten a bad name because it was used by Americans who thought that Hitler was Europe's problem and that we had no business spending American lives overseas.  They argued that it was fine to feel bad for poor England, and if individual Americans wanted to help with money or as volunteers that was fine too, but that as a nation it wasn't our fight.  By the same logic, Jews attempting to escape the early Holocaust were largely turned away, most notoriously the MS St. Louis

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on the United States, all that was instantly over.  The most famous America Firster, Charles Lindbergh, immediately announced support for the war effort, and the organization was disbanded the next business day.

To their dying day, the America Firsters believed that, if America had been more determinedly neutral, Europe would have fought out its war on its own and we would not have had to get involved at all.  An alternative view is expressed in the fictional The Man in the High Castle, in which Hitler finished off England, then Russia, and only then turned his attention to defeating the United States, at which point he was too powerful to be stopped.

There's no way to know which view would have been correct, since history didn't work out that way.  In opposing America's entry into the war, but then wholeheartedly supporting the war effort once it came to us anyway, the America Firsters committed neither crime nor treason.  Yet their personal reputations were forever destroyed, and, it's interesting to note, they held no elective office or actual political power at any time.

Rep. Tlaib and Omar are different: they do, in fact, hold political power, and under our Constitutional order, it is apparently legitimate power.  They were duly elected by U.S. citizens in their district, and as far as we can tell, they are accurately representing their constituents' views.  Since we are not at war with "Palestine" - the United States does not even recognize the existence of such an entity to be at war with - then they do not seem to meet the definition of treason given in our Constitution - that is, "levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

One could argue that, while not being at war, the Palestinians of Hamas are still enemies of the United States - indeed, Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization for a quarter century.  But while Rep. Tlaib and Omar have defended Hamas' missile attacks on Israeli civilians as the moral equivalent of Israel's armed pursuit of Palestinian terrorist leaders, they don't seem to have given them "aid and comfort" in the material way that would be needed for a treason conviction.

The real problem isn't two people who argue for the wrong side, though.  America has had freedom of speech for centuries, and there have always been people arguing on both sides of every question.

What's new is for us to have duly elected representatives of the American people who are arguing for the other side.  There were a very few politicians who felt that we should not join Hitler's war - one Congresswoman even voted against FDR's declaration of war against Japan after Pearl Harbor.

But that was from a mistaken view of pacifists believing that all war is always wrong - this view is unrealistic given human nature, but it is not inherently evil.  No elected politician was arguing that Nazi Germany and England were moral equivalents, much less that we should join in on Hitler's side.  Despite there being large numbers of German immigrants and their descendants in the United States, just about everybody recognized that Hitler was evil.

Today, we have two representatives whose presence in Congress is living proof of the opposite.  Thanks to a half-century of feckless immigration laws, we now have enough people holding U.S. citizenship who do not believe that terrorism is evil - and they vote.

The last time we had a large number of Americans who believed that evil wasn't evil, the result was a civil war.  And just as today, it was the Democrat party that was on the un-American side.

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme!  And every time it does, the price goes up.