Home Will Banning Muslim Migration Ruin the Anti-ISIS Coalition?
Home Will Banning Muslim Migration Ruin the Anti-ISIS Coalition?

Will Banning Muslim Migration Ruin the Anti-ISIS Coalition?

The most common attack on proposals to end Muslim migration to the United States is that this policy would somehow interfere with the coalition to fight ISIS.

Lindsey Graham asked, “How do you go to any of these countries and build a coalition when your policy is simply because you’re a Muslim you can’t come to America?” “This policy is a policy that makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out ISIS," Jeb Bush objected.

The White House agreed, “We have an over-60-country coalition fighting with a substantial number of Muslim-majority fighters who are absolutely essential to succeeding in that effort.”

But there are two things wrong with this argument.

First, no Muslim country or faction is fighting ISIS because they like us. They’re not doing us any favors. They’re protecting themselves from the Islamic State.

The insistence of ISIS that it is the supreme authority over all Muslims has even led it into battles with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. No one fighting ISIS is doing it because of our immigration policy. Jeb Bush referenced the Kurds. The Kurds want their own homeland. Those who want to come to America don’t want to fight ISIS. Those who want to fight ISIS aren’t looking to move to Dearborn or Jersey City.

Second, Muslim countries in the anti-ISIS coalition have much harsher immigration policies for Christians than anything that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz have proposed for Muslims.

When Obama gave his speech, the first Muslim country he mentioned in the coalition was Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia bans all religions except Islam. No churches are allowed in Saudi Arabia. Christmas parties are targeted with police raids. Converting to Christianity is punishable by death. Non-Muslims are entirely banned from some Saudi cities and the legal system discriminates against them.

Saudi Arabia also engages in blatant racial discrimination and denies basic civil rights to women. And yet there are no problems with having Saudi Arabia in the anti-ISIS coalition. Certainly the Saudis don’t worry that we’ll drop out of the coalition because they ban Christianity.

Other Muslim anti-ISIS coalition members include Turkey, whose leader threatened to ethnically cleanse Armenians, Egypt, where discrimination against Christians has led to government persecution, the UAE and Qatar, where churches are not allowed to display crosses, and Somalia, which banned Christmas.

Saudi Arabia’s Islamic justice system is often indistinguishable from ISIS. Turkey and Qatar’s governments have ties to Al Qaeda. Both also have alleged ties to ISIS.

And they are the core of Obama’s Muslim anti-ISIS coalition members.

Why exactly does the United States have to worry about meeting their standards for accommodating Muslims, when they have no interest in meeting our standards for the treatment of Christians?

Muslim coalition countries routinely block citizenship for non-Muslims, some forbid marriages to non-Muslims, yet we’re expected to provide citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Muslims, many of whom support ISIS, Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, just to maintain this coalition?

What use is an anti-ISIS coalition that not only forbids us to protect our own national security interests, but actually demands that we undermine them to accommodate some larger Islamic agenda?

But despite claims by Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and the White House, the anti-ISIS coalition has no interest in our immigration policy. Its Muslim components are divided into local militias and regional powers. The militias are fighting ISIS for the sake of their own interests and their own survival. All they want from us are guns and they don’t care about our immigration policy. The regional powers want us to overthrow Assad. Their own interests, not our immigration policy, are their priorities.

The majority of the Muslim anti-ISIS coalition hates us. Some members actually sponsor terrorism against us. We will not alienate them with a migration ban because they are not our friends.

The Muslim countries in the coalition against ISIS are absolutely unashamed of putting their own religious and national identities first. Yet Bush, Graham and the White House would have us believe that we will destroy any coalition with them against ISIS if we put ourselves first for once.

We need to stop worrying about offending Muslim countries that deny Christians and Jews basic human rights and start looking out for our interests, our own security and our own welfare.

Not only won’t this weaken the coalition against ISIS, it will make it stronger. Countries can be united by shared values or shared interests. No matter how much presidents from both parties may pretend, we have no values in common with Saudi Arabia. We are not united with it or the rest of the Muslim members of the coalition by shared religious or cultural values. We are occasionally united with them by shared interests. It’s time that we were honest about that with them and ourselves.

Jeb Bush’s pretense that we must have shared values to have shared interests is a common foreign policy fallacy. Instead of trying to build shared interests around shared values such as democracy or interfaith dialogue that we clearly do not share with them, we should just focus on our interests.

Saudi Arabia is a brutal totalitarian monarchy that hates everything that we care about from our religion to our way of life. Picture anything from a 4th of July barbecue to Christmas and the Saudis will have banned everything from the beer to the pork chops to the men and women sitting together.

But we both hate ISIS and that’s all that we really need for a coalition against it.

If we are ever going to have an adult relationship with the Muslim world, it will be based on our interests, not values. It will work because both sides know exactly what they are getting out of it.

The Muslim world wants to know what to expect from us. It hates Obama because of his unreliability. To them, his political ideology resembles some species of mysticism which they do not share. It much prefers an arrangement based on mutual interests over our misguided mystical attempts to discover shared values by pretending that Islam is just Christianity misspelled.

It’s not an immigration ban that poses a threat to the coalition, it’s the insistence that shared values come before shared interests. If we are to have shared values with a Muslim coalition, that requires us to prosecute blasphemy against Islam, provide a special status to Muslims and a lower status to non-Muslims. Such an approach is incompatible with our own values, yet we have begun doing just that. Locking up filmmakers and condemning cartoonists has given us more in common with Saudi Arabia and ISIS. And it would be unfortunate if we had to become an Islamic state to fight the Islamic State.

We can best fight ISIS by being a free nation. There is no use in defeating ISIS just to become ISIS. That will not prevent us from joining coalitions of shared interests with anyone else, but it will stop us from trying to find shared values with Islamic tyrannies of the axe, burka and sword. A ban on Muslim migration will allow us to fight ISIS abroad instead of fighting ISIS and becoming ISIS at home.


  1. Anonymous2/2/16

    Graham and Bushes debate comment premises set off alarm bells in my head. What's concerning is that Cruz doesn't strike down those and other fallacious ideas. Sometimes I think for all their tough talk even Cruz and Trump really don't understand the situation.

  2. Anonymous3/2/16

    It's shocking this needs to be said!

    This article isn't clever philosophical jiu jitsu turning assumptions upside down. It's a simple compilation of a few basic facts ...

  3. Anonymous3/2/16


    Your columns are brilliant and often make me see things that I haven't seen before. This column is different because this concept is so obvious to thinking people. Any politician that makes the claim that the problem with "proposals to end Muslim migration to the United States is that this policy would somehow interfere with the coalition to fight ISIS" should be disqualified from holding public office. You really have to be an ignoramus or a person of very low intelligence to believe this.

    - Halevi

  4. I didn't even need to read the article:

    What Anti-Isis coalition?

  5. It is outrageous that we need to speak such truths to our politicians and elites in the West. The socialists and other hard left ideologies despise Western Christian capitalist society so much that they will deal with the devil and push this agenda, along with many others, to weaken and attempt to destroy our society. Why do we keep electing politicians that actively advance and support our destruction? I hope we are beginning to wake up to the truth. All the Saudi and Quatari money and influence must also be fully exposed and ended. Thank you Mr. Greenfield.

    1. Conflating socialism with this issue just shows how little you grasp the problem. It has nothing to do with it

  6. Daniel, This is good as spiritual pick-me-up. Thanks

  7. This sound rebuttal to the doves who think they can love Muslims into modernity will fall on the overgrown deaf ears of our Leftist president who is too busy feeling to step back and think.

  8. The eye-opening book for me was Anonymous Conservative's The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics. It literally makes no sense to a normal person why someone would so blatantly Neville Chamberlain up the situation with pointless appeasement, cowardly retreats from even a hint of confrontation (not the same as avoidance of unnecessary confrontation), and treasonous backstabbing of your own in-group in order to pointlessly attempt conciliation with the out-group. Once you discover that these are all hallmarks of r-selected rabbit psychology, much more of liberalism makes sense.

    And I use liberalism loosely; Lindsey Graham and ¡Jeb! Bush are hardly bulwarks of conservative values here.

  9. Y. Ben-David3/2/16

    Actually, I was under the impression that the Saudis have essentially pulled out of the war against ISIS. They stopped carrying out boming raids against them months ago. I read an article that said many (or most?) Sunnis view ISIS as the "bulwark against the Shi'ite Iranians" (just like the Appeasers in the 1930's said that Hitler was the bulward against Bolsevisim) and really don't care what they are doing in Iraq and Syria. They certainly aren't bothered by the terrorism they carry out against non-Muslim minorities or the terrorist attacks in the West. So what is the meaning of this artificial "coalition" against them in any event. The Jordanians also pulled out of the fight after their pilot was killed. The Turks also seemed to be quietly pleased by the ISIS attacks against the Kurds in Turkey. The whole war seems to be to be phony.

  10. DenisO3/2/16

    Jeb Bush must have an adviser who believes a bellicose posture will get him elected, and that just shows how out-of-touch he is. There is no appetite for sending more of our young and treasure to die in the Middle East. I can't believe he could be that idiotic. Lindsey 'Amnesty' Graham is a known chicken hawk, and former Army lawyer who never got within a light year of combat. He always talks tough, and is anxious to send us into another war, or extend old ones, to alleviate some psychological need. Jeb and he are losers, like Obama, who would love to be seen as a "leader", somehow, as the curtain drops on his "act" in American history.
    ISIS is a religious tool designed to create martyrs who will die for those who want to overthrow the dictators the West set-up to protect their oil supply. Religion is a much more efficient way to motivate a revolution of the Proletariat, --the other way to gain power and wealth.
    Saudi Arabia and the other Royals have paid "protection" to Al Qaeda and all the religious terrorists, to leave them alone, but they can read the tea leaves, and know it is only a matter of time. The U.S. has the Oil, now, and can supply their Western allies, so they know they are out on a limb against the Revolutionaries. ISIS wants the holy cities to keep their religious image, so that excuse will be the reason the Royals will be deposed.

  11. Excellent prognosis, Daniel. I especially loved "pretending that Islam is just Christianity misspelled." As for Obama's "mysticism," he has totalitarian serum running through his veins, so it should be of no surprise that he'd name Saudi Arabia as our "number one" ally in the anti-ISIS, but wholly dysfunctional coalition.

  12. Succinct. Straightforward. Easily understood and explained to others. In other words, brilliant! Thank you.

  13. Common 'tater4/2/16

    I am sorry I am late to the forum, but I had to curtail my two cents worth rather abruptly about 24 hours ago.

    Essentially, I agree with much of what you have said, and you have said it in a forceful manner. However, I do disagree with you on the following points:

    1. There is no coalition. The US and Western Europe are stupid enough to fight the oil sheikhs war for them. We are but hirelings sent to do their work for them. They are too incompetent anyway. The Russians are bombing everyone but ISIS for their own political and military gain.

    2. While our citizens and our nation have little, if any common values or shared visions of government with the KSA and fellow oil sheiks, our political leaders have a lot in common. Things like avarice, narcissism, power hungry, incompetence, immoral, unethical, etc.

    In reality, Syria's neighbors do not want the Syrian rebels and refugees. They certainly do not want the Christians and Yazidis. They do not want armed men from different clans, tribes, and political loyalties flooding their countries, even if they are Muslim.

    The only ones over there that share any kind of values or common interests with the US are the Israelis, possibly Jordan. The rest should be left to fend for themselves in their Islamic paradises.

  14. Unless we get out from under Liberals and their political cartels, America is screwed. On the news, they showed a town in Michigan where Muslims already dominate in population and have run Christians out. Michigan will have to be taken back by force eventually. Right now, it's a write off. Jeb Bush is another stand-in for the Bush oil cartel. Everyone knows this, and the people are rejecting it this time around. The Clintons are just criminals with their charity, obviously taking bribes for favors when she is elected. There is no way she will ever be prosecuted. Obama is not a Christian. He hates us just as much as he hates Israel. Pretty soon, unless the Liberals go, it will be a race crime to say anything bad about Muslims. I guess it already is, since the Justice Department tried so hard to make the San Bernadino shooters white and failed, but sent Lynch so no one would say anything bad about Muslims. The whole thing is about to collapse, and I think at some point we will be hit with a huge EMP that will make the country collapse and it will never recover.

  15. Invest more to promote a fight between Sunni and Shiite fanatics so they leave everyone else alone.

  16. Anonymous4/2/16

    One other thing. If we aren't admitting Muslims, reasonably rational military-age non-ISIS males will have a higher propensity to fight ISIS rather than immigrating here.

  17. Excellent piece! "Islam is just Christianity misspelled." Now that's funny!

  18. Anonymous4/2/16

    "Islam is just Christianity misspelled" reminds me of the all-too-common defense of islam by the stupid, ignorant or mendacious: Christianity is just as bad.

  19. If Christianity is just as bad as Islam, then why don't you go to one of those nice Muslim Hospitals that treat all faiths or get money from some of those nice Muslim charities who support all denominations? Gee, bet you can't find one.

  20. Anonymous6/2/16

    Sharia Law should be legally typified as apology of terrorism and punished with life imprisonment. The likes of Trump and Cruz should be demanded a clear positioning…


Post a Comment

You May Also Like