On March 22, sometime in the late morning, I heard a breaking news story: “Shooting Incident - London, England.” Although I didn’t realize it at the time, it would affect the way I viewed the safety and security of my own country.
Are we the next Europe?
My initial response: “Not if President Trump has anything to say about it.”
Promising to eradicate ISIS and bolster national security during his presidential campaign, Trump began the effort early on in his administration by implementing an Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." Reminiscent of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the McCarran-Walter Act, Trump's order was created in an attempt to protect the citizens of the United States from foreign nationals hell-bent on committing terror attacks on U.S. soil.
Unfortunately, due to swift action and improper planning, the implementation of the original EO was chaotic at best. Then, faced with bi-partisan pushback, due to what some interpreted as unconstitutional racist tactics against Muslims, Trump’s executive order was challenged and blocked by the courts.
So what now? Is America really facing an urgent threat on our own soil? And with each passing day that President Trump’s Order is caught up in bureaucratic red tape, is the danger growing; or is it irrelevant to the kind of threat actually facing the U.S.?
Let’s consider terrorism in Europe.
While most recent attacks, like the one this week in London and the November 2015 attacks in Paris, were perpetrated mainly by citizens already living in Europe, it has been proven that some criminals are actually immigrating into Europe to do harm (Berlin attack, 2016). Undocumented and lying about their affiliations, criminal past, age, and extremist beliefs, these people could be ticking time bombs; sleeper cell terrorists infiltrating European countries.
A large number of them have already perpetrated crimes of rape, sexual assault, anti-Semitic hate crimes, and initiated violent protests. This is their way of thanking the countries who have opened their borders to them, by attacking their people and destroying their property.
Angela Merkel has welcomed immigrants and found escalated crime where the immigrants are now living. Some citizens of Germany who live in these areas are dismayed with Merkel and her lack of action to control the rising crime, anti-semitism, and an overall change of Germany’s societal values - to the point of emigration.
There is also the matter of British sharia courts, or councils, as they prefer to call themselves. For years they’ve been quietly flying under the radar. With complaints surfacing, these courts are now facing scrutiny. These religious extremist courts can be discriminatory, abusive and endorse and legitimize violence against women, in particular marital rape.
When taking all of Europe's collective information into consideration, does it imply President Trump’s executive order may not do enough to keep America safe? Should the EO have more restrictions? And even if additional restrictions are added, the assumption exists that it would face further backlash and legal hurdles.
President Trump can try to implement a number of laws, but would they be targeting the real source of extremism facing this country? And will they ever get implemented beyond the paper they are written on? Or will “well-meaning” Americans stop them "dead in their tracks"?
This is what puts America at risk. Most humans are hardwired to see the best in people. It’s this and similar thinking that will allow home-grown terror and immigrant invasive crime to continue to ramp up in the United States, as is happening in Europe.
So to answer to the question of whether or not America is the next Europe: yes it is, if unwary Americans have anything to say about it.
Being a compassionate, empathetic human is a good thing, but not at our own expense. Just ask the Europeans.