Saturday, October 24, 2009

Questions about the “Iron Veil”


A reader posed questions about my proposed strategy for the West of an Iron Veil. Below are the questions and my answers. The reader should first read the linked article above.

One question I have about your proposal would be about how one would legally determine who is a Muslim.

Its not a legal determination: It would be a forensic determination. And that would involve normal investigative procedures, including background checks, records, surveillance, interrogations, etc.

What about those who pretend to be non-Muslims? How would we contain the risk of prosecuting and deporting authentic non-Muslims on the basis of allegations they are secretly Muslims? . . . Presumably some non-Muslims would mistakenly be convicted of being Muslims and would be deported.

Any large complex enterprise such as this one unavoidably involves, unfortunately, collateral damage.

Would jury trials decide whether a particular defendant who claims he is not a Muslim is in fact a Muslim to be deported?

No, as this would be a forensic process whose primary responsibility is to ensure our safety, not a legal process whose primary responsibility is to ensure the rights of those who are threatening our safety.

Would we have problems distinguishing between someone who agrees with some tenets of the Qur'an, and someone who is a Muslim?

That distinction is meaningless for the pragmatic purposes of our primary responsibility, our safety, for a variety of reasons (which, incidentally, were linked in my Iron Veil essay), including the problem of taqiyya, that form a complex bundle.

Would people be compelled, by the threat of deportation, to publicly affirm their profound disagreement with Islam, even if they know nothing about it? Would some sort of McCarthyism become a problem? How would we avoid a policing of thoughts for anything "Islamic" as defined by the government? How, without risk of creating our own totalitarianism, would we have a government definition of "Muslim," and deportation as a punishment for being a Muslim? Would we ban the Qur'an?

If the West gets around to the intelligent position of implementing Iron Veil, it will also necessarily have concluded that Islam constitutes lethal sedition. Anyone supporting Islam, thus, would be logically seen as a threat to society. For Muslims who support Islam, I advocate deportation and global quarantine; for non-Muslims who support Islam, I advocate indefinite internmentperhaps with an added policy of release of those who recant, with their continued surveillance after their release. I dont think I would advocate a kind of Inquisition to ferret out non-Muslims who support Islam; it would just be a matter of apprehending and incarcerating those who reveal themselves to be such. If, however, there begin to crop up problems of violent attacks perpetrated by Islam-supporting non-Muslims, we could always ratchet up our measures of ensuring our safety.

Maybe one could find some legally clear and simple way to deal with these questions. Perhaps laws that accept at face value claims to be a non-Muslim, and only prosecute someone who publicly affirms he is Muslim, or tells others he is secretly a Muslim, or goes to an underground mosque regularly and participates in Islamic worship there. But mere ownership or study of the Qur'an would not be grounds for prosecution. . . [emphasis added by me]

It depends on why the person owns a Koran and why he is studying it. That would be part of the forensic investigative process, including seizure of records and computers and other kinds of surveillance and interrogation.

. . . and anyone who claims he is not a Muslim could not be prosecuted for being one, unless a high bar of evidence standards could be met to prove that he is secretly an adherent of the Qur'an and Muhammad in a traditional sense.

This statement reflects a poor apprehension of the unique nature of the danger of Islam, as I linked above under variety of reasons.

And what about any splinter Islamic sects that might arise and publicly disavow any union of religion and state, and clearly reject sharia law? Would they be in danger of deportation, too?

If this question refers to such splinter sects arising after total deportation has occurred, the members of such sects would be treated as Muslims who managed to slip through the cracks of the rounding up & deportation process, and would be summarily rounded up and deported. Their claims of being some kind of moderate flavor of Islam would be ignored.

What about Muslims who claim to reject Islam and want to leave the quarantine areawould we be able to take them in as refugees? 

One thing at a time. The enterprise will be sufficiently vast, complex and filled with potential problems, and the ensuing project of quarantine sufficiently complex and difficult to maintain indefinitely, that we ought not burden ourselves with sentimentally helping alleged apostates who want to leave the quarantine, since (among other problems) the possibility they could be double agents would be a factor. Perhaps after a decade or so of quarantine, when things have settled down and some degree of stability of the overall strategy has been achieved, we could begin to think about helping such refugees.

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