Fears over the threat of ISIS attacks in America has many in the United States questioning whether it is wise to allow tens of thousands of Muslim Syrian refugees into the country. There are also Christian Syrian refugees in the U.S. now, but their numbers are relatively few in comparison to the Muslim refugees.
The argument stems from the belief that the Islamic State could plant infiltrators who are posing as "peaceful" Muslims. Some claim this belief is racist since it would paint all Muslims with the same brush. Unfortunately, the issue is complicated by the fact that ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic groups may follow the doctrine of Al-Taqiyya, or Al-Taqiyah, where the Prophet Mohammed commanded his followers to lie about their motivations in order to conquer enemy countries.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the history of Kenya's terrorist attacks by Islamic militants has the Kenyan security forces preparing extra measures for when Pope Francis begins his African tour this month.
Republicans especially are concerned about the threat of ISIS in America. Marco Rubio reversed his stance on the Syrian refugees after hearing that one of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks infiltrated the country as a Syrian refugee. Jeb Bush said the U.S. efforts should be refocused on rescuing Christian Syrian refugees, while Ann Coulter bluntly said, "No more Muslim immigration."
Arkansas Republican Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman believe plans for allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into America should be put on hold temporarily, but they also say the policy should be adjusted based upon the United Nations application process.
"The United States' reliance on the United Nations for referrals of Syrian refugees should also be re-evaluated," they said. "That reliance unintentionally discriminates against Syrian Christians and other religious minorities who are reluctant to register as refugees with the United Nations for fear of political and sectarian retribution."
Ben Carson also said President Obama and Hillary Clinton's plan to allow 65,000 Syrian refugees into the United States required a "suspension of intellect."
"Bringing people into this country from that area of the world I think is a huge mistake, because why wouldn't they infiltrate them with people who are ideologically opposed to us?" Carson asked. "It would be foolish for them not to do that."
Islam Has Many FacesUnfortunately, condemning all of the Muslim Syrian refugees based upon their religious beliefs ignores the complexities of Islam. While the Shiite and the Sunni are the most well-known Muslim denominations, there are many Muslim groups who disagree on how to interpret the Quran and the Hadith. Some argue that Islam is a religion of peace, while others look to the 12th Imam prophecies and other Quran verses for advocating jihad. Non-Muslims can find these disagreements very confusing because the Quran is not presented chronologically as with other religious texts like the Bible.
Even al-Qaeda and ISIS have theological differences which divide them. Islam does specify a system of governance, but the motivations of both ISIS and al-Qaeda narrows down to their interpretation on "takfir," which makes the distinction between a Muslim apostate and a sinning infidel. Although economic issues in Third World countries can be a large contributing factor for ISIS recruits, the Islamic State members earnestly believe they are trying to purify the world based upon takfiri doctrines.
The theological differences can lead to open conflict. Some al-Qaeda members will engage in modern practices that ISIS members claim makes them apostate Muslims. ISIS has openly embraced slavery and crucifixion while al-Qaeda has either been silent or condemned the taking of slaves in some cases.
ISIS members will even argue among themselves where it is right to enslave the Yazidis, an ancient Kurdish sect that borrows beliefs from Islam. But others in the Islamic State argue that the Quran supports slavery. Those labeled as "kuffar" can be enslaved while lapsed Muslims must die.
For example, according to MEMRI, a Dutch ISIS fighter named Abu Aicha said, "[T]he Yazidi women we take as slaves are women of the soldiers that fight us. The prophet took slaves as well."
ISIS And The Syrian RefugeesWhile it is wrong to paint all Muslims with the same brush, we're still left with questions in how to best deal with Syrian refugees. How does the United States filter out potential terrorist infiltrators? Do we block all of them and cause suffering for the fear of a few? Or, do we accept most of them based upon the understanding that compassion might have a price to be paid?
To a limited extent, the situation can be compared to the arguments over capital punishment in the United States. The belief is that some of those sentenced to die might in fact be innocent, so it is worth abolishing the death penalty in order to save the few. But is it worth withholding justice based upon uncertainty?
These questions are overshadowed by the fact that Islam literally has an official doctrine related to infiltrating countries. The doctrine of Al-Taqiyya allows Muslims to lie or deceive when they are under threat. The Quran allows Muslims to profess false friendship with non-Muslims and even outwardly deny their faith as long as their intentions are worthy.
In the Hadith, Mohammed declared that "war is deceit," and Allah is described in the Quran as the "best of schemers." Muslims also consider how Mohammed signed a 10-year truce with the Quraysh residents of Mecca in 628 AD. A little more than a year later, Mohammed broke the truce and conquered the city after having adequate time to prepare for war.
Relying on the example set by Mohammed, Yasir Arafat once admitted that he signed the 1993 Oslo Accords only as a means of deception.
"This has to be understood... this agreement... is the first step and not more than that, believe me. There [is] a lot to be done. The jihad will continue... Jerusalem is not for the Palestinian People. It is for all the Muslim Uma," Arafat said, according to the Jerusalem Post. "This agreement I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammad and Quraysh. Muhammad had accepted it and we are accepting now this peace accord."
In the same manner, ISIS members may declare peace, quietly slip into American society, and await the day of their planned attacks. The question is: How can the application process for Syrian refugees take these factors into account? There has to be a balanced way to help the refugees while reducing the risk of a terrorist attack in the United States, but since Al-Taqiyya is based upon deception, this task is very difficult indeed.
[Image via Hannah Arendt Center for Politics]