Raising the Standard at UGA since 2013.

Politicizing Safety: The Travel Ban and Media Misinformation

A few more interested in image than in their safety. (Photo Courtesy of Daniel Cuadra and Wikimedia Commons)

Last week saw the signing of a new executive order placing a 90-day moratorium on travel to the United States from six “Muslim-majority” countries. Trump and his core team tweaked the order in minimal fashion from the earlier ‘Muslim ban’ (or ‘travel ban’ if you prefer), deemed unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, in attempt to address some perceived flaws of the first order, this most recent injunction deleted Iraq from the list of countries barred, removed the preference for Christian refugees from Syria, and also provides an exemption to travelers holding valid visas.

Regardless of the Constitution and the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act’s limpid prose giving the President this power, and notwithstanding the order’s necessity, Americans should brace themselves for another tidal wave of sophistical, demagogic, platitudinous rhetoric from the Left.

America’s newspapers—even your featured assistant editor’s beloved paper of choice, the Wall Street Journal—have resorted to hobgoblinizing this executive order as well as the last. The Washington Post, for instance, makes sure to note in the headline and opening paragraph of its piece on the executive order that the travel ban applies solely to “Muslim-majority nations.” In addition, one cannot help but notice that the term “Muslim ban” is ever-so-conveniently littered throughout the piece. The Post, of course, like the rest of America’s mainstream press, wants to ensure that its readers recognize that, lying just beneath this order’s veneer of ‘safety,’ is a bigoted hatred for Muslims.

To prove this point, it is often noted that the number of people who commit terror attacks from the ‘banned’ countries is relatively small; ergo, the attempt to bar their nationals’ entry into our country can only be explained wholly by Islamophobic inclinations. Were he alive, Mark Twain would be reveling in his famous axiom that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Again, with despondency, I give you the Wall Street Journal’s reporting of the matter. In the Journal’s article apropos the new executive order, the author includes a chart that lists, inter alia, the “Nationality of people who committed terror attacks or were arrested for crimes related to plotting attacks on or after Sept. 11, 2001” up to 2016.

With respect to the six countries proscribed from U.S. entry by President Trump’s executive order, the chart gives the following numbers: five Somalis, two Yemenis, an Iranian, and no one from Libya, Sudan, or Syria. I must confess, these numbers so stupefied me that my comprehension required a second reading.

Not only, as this chart preaches to readers, does the Muslim world produce so little terror, but, apparently, the preeminent source of terrorism since 9/11 has in fact been Americans. Indeed this chart indicates that 81 “American nationals” have been implicated in terrorism-related crimes since 2001, which far surpasses the number of nationals from any other part of the globe. The mendacity of statistics like these is hard to overstate.

In reality, between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014, based on data from the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration’s research, at least 380 of 580 individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses were born abroad. Of the 380 foreign-born, at least 24 were initially admitted as refugees and at least 33 had overstayed their visas.

Of those born abroad, at least 28 were from Lebanon, 62 were from Pakistan, 22 were from “Palestine,” 20 were from Yemen, 21 were from Somalia,19 were from Iraq, 17 were from Egypt, 10 were from Afghanistan, and 16 were from Jordan.

These staggering numbers are, of course, not even counting those terrorists who were first-generation Americans born of refugees or migrants, which should hardly be immune from the discussion (e.g., the Orlando nightclub shooter; the Boston Marathon bombers; and the male San-Bernardino shooter to name a few). The categorization of these cases as “homegrown terrorism” by U.S. nationals is nothing short of a statistical stratagem and a perfect example of why an overwhelming proportion of Americans distrust and despise the media.

The fact that the six nations banned by President Trump’s travel ban have Muslim majorities is only pertinent to the discussion insofar as it explains why the countries are on the list in the first place—because of their inordinate production of jihadist fascists that believe terrorism is the vehicle to eschatological paradise. And, in light of statistics regarding the countries from which the terrorism emanates, arguments that the six countries on Trump’s list present no cause for concern are staggeringly inane.   

Now, while Tavis Smiley, Charlie Rose, and other Leftists believe that the proportion of terrorists is either equal in all religions or greater in Christianity, the naïveté and neurosis is not so profound amongst the rest of America. Of course, this is not to say that all Muslims are terrorists. No logical person would even imply such an idiocy. However, nearly all terrorists today are Muslim, and one who denies this fact should not be taken seriously in any capacity, especially as regards matters of public safety.

And yet, this happens to be the position of an unsettling proportion of America’s “leaders” and “journalists.” Their source of consternation is not the egregious evils emanating from the Muslim world, but rather Americans’ recognition of these evils as such.

Indeed, somewhere along the way, America’s intelligentsia, corporatists, media giants, and members of the Left have generally decided that Americans need an education on the irenic nature of Islam. They have forgotten that we the people are a generous, tolerant, and compassionate people. With that said, however, our benevolence only extends so far.

We are, understandably, not willing to extend our selflessness to the point of suicide. Many Americans are perceptive and recognize that Western Europe is a vignette of the costs of unmitigated migration from the Muslim world.

Americans have realized that fallacies surrounding Islam—whether they derive from ignorance, misinformation, or puerile idealism—cost lives, as does heeding the hubristic rhetoric of highbrows.

Is it too much to ask that Americans’ politicians prioritize Americans’ safety over political correctness? Donald Trump thinks not, as evidenced by his wise executive order.

But alas, it seems to this observer that too many pundits, politicians, and loyalists of the Left have forgotten that the State’s raison d’être is the safety and security of the consenting citizens and their property. So, just as a reminder, I would like to inform the media and the soi-disant courts of law in this country that Americans do not need portentous pontificates; we need protection.

— Ross Dubberly is Assistant Editor at THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE.