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The Erosion of Religious Freedom

Make All Immigrants Disavow Holy War

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If I am to be a guest in your home, you’re entitled to an assurance that I won’t hurt anyone or break anything while staying there, right? That’s only fair, especially if the would-be guest grew up in a bad neighborhood around people with anger-management issues.


Congress should pass such a bill at once, picking up on the widely popular proposal by Donald Trump for a timeout in Muslim immigration to keep the next Brussels or Paris from happening here. But do it in a way that neither singles out any religion nor requires blanket exclusions.

How? Simply by asking all non-citizens who want to spend any time in this country to disavow holy war in whatever form. Who can object to that? Certainly not the adherents of a “religion of peace” about which we’ve heard so much from George W. Bush and Barack Obama over the past few years.

No great world religion is entirely without its fanatically violent followers and its scattered sacred texts which some interpret to justify bloodshed. History records mayhem being committed by individuals professing to be Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, or whatever.

Yes, and by Muslims too, even as recently as the San Bernardino jihad massacre last December 2, which prompted Trump’s controversial but not unreasonable suggestion. Among followers of Islam in America, as many as one in five may find religious violence acceptable, according to a 2015 poll.

That may not bother you, but it tends to keep me awake at night.

So imagine the visa approval office in New York, looking at the applications of a Hasidic rabbi from Tel Aviv, a Jesuit seminarian from Rome, and a Wahhabi engineer from Mecca. If any of them avows a divine mandate to kill for God, somebody please stamp that paperwork “no entry.”


Nonsense, you say; no honest avowal would be forthcoming from a religious nut bent on murder. Maybe and maybe not, say I. But either way, there’s no harm in asking. It will trigger, at the very least, a brutally frank debate that our cringing, politically correct elites don’t want Americans to have.

How about it? Get busy today and ask any member of the US House or Senate who will listen, to sign on with legislation for the Immigration Nonviolence Oath. It might read this way:

“I, Jane Doe, do solemnly swear, as a condition of entering or staying in the United States, that I will not commit, abet, or foment violence or lawbreaking of any kind on the basis of the teachings of the Koran, the Bible, the Torah, Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, or any other religious authority whatsoever, on penalty of incarceration and deportation by due process of law.”

There are obvious loopholes, but they don’t disqualify the idea. Some visa applicants will swear falsely, some will go violent for reasons unrelated to religion, and outbursts of religious violence may erupt from US citizens or legal residents who never took the oath at all — think Fort Hood and Major Hasan.

Even allowing for all this, however, requiring the oath would be an admission there’s a rogue elephant in the room: commands of bloody jihad and brutal sharia imposed by Allah through the Quran upon millions of Muslims seeking to come here or already present here. Only a nation with a death wish would ignore this.


Aha, you say; the oath’s religiously inclusive wording only masks its plain intent to target aggressive jihadist Islam. Quite true, say I, and why not? Look at the data: for every instance of a crazed Christian shooting abortionists or a deranged Jew bombing mosques, there are a hundred instances of enraged Muslims wreaking havoc upon the infidel in this country and around the world. Any “disparate impact” the oath might have merely reflects that reality.

Yet reality is also complex enough to accommodate millions of goodhearted Muslims who do in fact want theirs to be a religion of peace. There is no reason to place those people under a blanket exclusion from entering the United States, since they should have no more hesitation to swear the Immigration Nonviolence Oath than would a follower of Moses’ commandment against murder or a follower of Jesus’ injunction to love our enemies.

“Welcome in, just so you keep it peaceable.” That’s the message a nonviolence oath would send US-bound visitors from all faith traditions. Saul Alinsky, whom even a conservative like me can’t seem to help quoting nowadays, advised making the other guy live up to his own professed standards. If Islam is really the benign teaching that CAIR says it is, let the faithful so avow in the name of their Deity. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see.


The other day I was with Republican congressmen from three states at a national security conference. All agreed the global jihad movement is a grave threat to America. But when I urged them to move a Muslim timeout bill such as their party’s nominee has suggested, they balked at going “the full Trump.” The oath proposal, which only goes “semi-Trump,” could still harvest a lot of votes and might just save a lot of lives. What are we waiting for, patriots?

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