Don’t fool yourself.
During the last 20 years I’ve written extensively about two things. One is the dangerous rise of Islam in the West. The other is the ideological destruction of the American academy. The aftermath of the Hamas atrocities of October 7 has brought both of these concerns to the fore. In the wake of the most horrific attack on Jews since the Holocaust, there were massive rallies across the country in sympathy with the terrorist perpetrators, and the participants in these demonstrations belonged largely to two groups: (1) college students and (2) Muslims.
If the jihadist butchery of October 7 was monstrous, the spectacle of huge crowds applauding it was appalling. It shocked many people. It shouldn’t have. Many of us have spent years writing endlessly about the ugliness of Islamic ideology – notably the murderous hatred of Jews that is enshrined in the Koran, taught in the madrassas, and preached in the mosques – only to feel that our words were falling on deaf ears. Similarly, many of us have been writing for a long time about the far-left professors, especially at our so-called elite colleges, who teach their students that America, the West, Christians, Jews, and white people are always the oppressors and aggressors and that people of color, especially Muslims, are always victims. The public displays of solidarity with Hamas are at once a dramatic illustration of both of these phenomena and the strongest argument yet for major action on both of these fronts.
First, something drastic needs to be done about American higher education. The ideological depredation wrought by far-left faculty and administrators at private colleges needs to be addressed by responsible-minded trustees, alumni, and donors. Speaking of donors, something needs to be done about them, as well: as Eli Lake reported on October 25, not a few U.S. colleges have accepted fortunes from Muslim countries and have built whole campuses in those countries – with the syllabi tailored, of course, to local requirements. That repulsive intellectual compromise needs to be quashed. Then there’s the matter of administrative bloat: as the College Fix website noted on October 24, Harvard has over 1.3 administrators per student. Most of these people are superfluous at best and mischief-makers at worst – DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) bureaucrats who strive to protect students from “microaggression” but who shrug indifferently at cries of “kill the Jews.”
As for public universities, responsible state and municipal leaders could do worse than to emulate Florida Governor Ron de Santis, who appointed anti-ideology crusader Christopher Rufo as a trustee at Sarasota’s New College and – in an October 24 order – banned chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, a student organization that provides support to Hamas, from Sunshine State campuses.
There’s more. Professors who brainwash instead of teaching must be fired en masse. Identity-studies programs, and other departments that offer nothing other than propaganda, must be closed down unceremoniously. These programs are a scam, and any parent who cares enough to look into what’s really going on in them should be aware of that. (The question I’ve never been able to answer for myself is: how do so many parents get fooled into thinking that their kids are actually learning something in these classrooms?)
Also, the Ivies need, once and for all, to be knocked off their pedestals. For whatever reason, the most toxic colleges in America also tend to be the most prestigious and expensive – and the ones that provide the fastest and easiest route from graduation into a socially and culturally influential career. That’s a ridiculous – and dangerous – state of affairs. It’s why legacy media, publishing, and other high-profile sectors are so hopelessly radicalized. What to do about this problem? One thing is to get out the word that Harvard and Yale aren’t what they used to be. Yes, many parents have long known this to be the case but still want their children to have Ivy diplomas because, whatever else those diplomas may or may not signify, they’re still a ticket into the elite. That needs to end. The word must go out that a sheepskin from Harvard, at least in the humanities or social sciences, is less likely to be proof of a solid education in Western thought than of a thoroughgoing indoctrination in hatred of the West.
Something drastic, then, needs to be done about American higher education. That’s fact one. Fact two is that America not only needs to stop accepting sharia-following immigrants, but needs to identify and deport every immigrant in the country who has been observed celebrating Hamas terrorism. This is a proposal that, before October 7, would have sounded offensive to many American ears. Perhaps after October 7 it doesn’t sound quite so harsh. But if the truth offends, so be it. We’re all living in the aftermath of a massive misstep by George W. Bush, who, after 9/11, rushed to proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace whose adherents long for freedom and whose teachings are entirely virtuous. The terrorists, Bush insisted, hadn’t just hijacked planes – they’d hijacked their faith. Whether Bush himself believed these misrepresentations or not, the fact is that they’ve persisted throughout American society for the last twenty-two years. They led to two long, expensive wars and to countless unnecessary deaths. And they continue to mislead many Americans into thinking and acting irresponsibly. After 9/11 we could have closed our borders to devotees of sharia and prevented any number of horrors. The brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombings moved to America in 2002 and 2004. The perpetrator of the 2017 truck attack in New York City immigrated in 2010.
It’s not as if restricting immigration severely would make America the bad guy. Even if we put the brakes on letting in sharia-believing Muslims, we’d still be the number-one immigrant nation. Over 50 million of us are foreign-born. (Number two, Germany, has only 13 million immigrants.) Defenders of unregulated immigration always look at floods of immigrants and see only suffering. They talk about the need to open one’s hearts. They quote Emma Lazarus’s famous Statue of Liberty poem: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….” But Lazarus didn’t write “Give me your Koran-drenched infidel-haters, / your potential rapists of grandmothers and murderers of children.” How many of the people who were forced by Hamas jihadists to watch their children being murdered and mutilated also believed with all their hearts in being kind to the suffering people in nearby Gaza? If ICE can threaten to expel a family of German Christians who moved to the U.S. fifteen years ago because Germany forbids homeschooling, certainly something can be done to protect our toddlers from people who teach their toddlers to hate non-believers and to idolize jihadists.
Think of it this way. There are many people around the world who would love to emigrate to America because they truly do yearn to breathe free and to be productive members of American society. These are people who aren’t fans of terrorism, and who may even be victims of it. They’re people who would happily wave Old Glory and never think of hoisting a Hamas flag. And they’re people, in a great many cases, who want desperately to leave Muslim countries because they’re persecuted for being Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, ex-Muslims, or Ahmadi Muslims. Recall that when Obama was president, he severely limited America’s intake of persecuted Middle Eastern Christians while accepting unprecedented numbers of Muslim migrants – “the terrorists of tomorrow,” as Daniel Greenfield has put it – who weren’t fleeing anything. It was a deeply cynical, morally bankrupt, and America-hating policy. Why can’t we do the opposite of that? Instead of admitting armies of Muslims, why not focus on admitting non-Muslims who’ve suffered under Islam – a cohort whose numbers, frankly speaking, are colossal?
Taking in all those faces at pro-Hamas rallies, full at once of inhuman hate and (despite their claim to be in pain over the deaths of Gazans) of near-manic glee – so different from the looks of perplexity, anguish, and despair at pro-Israeli events – one couldn’t help wondering: why do these people, enamored as they obviously are of sharia tyranny and of the brutal exercise of Islamic power against the infidel, want to live in America in the first place, unless they hope to help transform it from a free and pluralistic country into something more like Iran or Qatar or, yes, Gaza? Presumably they want to enjoy all the economic advantages of being in a modern Western country even as they maintain fully intact their prehistoric non-Western ideology, with all its profoundly challenging social and cultural aspects, its inherent problems and prejudices. Beyond a certain point, of course, that combination of Westernism and Islam is not only unworkable but malignant – a chemical experiment doomed to result in an explosion. That being the case, how inhumane would it be to give these people every incentive to return to the countries from which they came and where they surely would be happier than in a constitutional republic full of sodomites and Zionists? If you insist on the virtue of being surrounded by exotic faces, why not welcome more Hindus or Sikhs or Buddhists, whose records as immigrants to the West are stellar in every way?
Another thought, this one about numbers: how many members of Hamas did it take to pull off the genocidal events of October 7? Not many. And how many Muslims do you suppose cheered those events in America’s streets? A lot. If you’ve seen any of the videos, you know that few, if any, of these celebrations of evil were civilized and orderly. On the contrary, as befits celebrations of evil, they were raucous, aggressive, and sometimes violent. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that the hate in those protesters’ hearts is exclusively reserved for Jews: on the contrary, in the minds of Muslims who sympathize with Hamas, the “Sunday people” are no better than the “Saturday people”; just look at the way in which the Levant and the Maghreb have been drained of Christians over the generations.
Nor, of course, is Muslim hate restricted to the adherents of competing faiths: if members of “Queers for Palestine” showed up in Gaza, or in any number of other Islamic centers, and broadcast their sexual orientation, they’d be dispatched as quickly and brutally as those October 7 partiers in the Negev Desert. All of which leads to the all-important question: if so many faraway Muslim places are a peril to life and limb for Christians and Jews and gays, among many others, how much safer are the increasing number of places in America that are heavily populated by vocally pro-Hamas Muslims?
Think of it. Is it all that far a psychological journey from participating in celebrations of terrorist butchery to carrying out terrorist butchery? Why is it so hard for so many Americans to recognize the very real possibility that this month’s terror in Israel could be next month’s terror in America? Will Americans refuse to act on this issue until, one fine weekend morning, a few dozen middle-class families in, say, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, are getting ready for breakfast when armed men from Hamtramck burst into their homes and proceed to shoot, rape, burn, dismember, and defile the parents and their precious children? Do Americans really want to wake up to that nightmare?
And don’t neglect this point: How many of the families slaughtered in those kibbutzim had worked, perhaps over a period of years, with Muslims whom they thought of as friends – but who, on October 7, when all those years of Koranic learning kicked in, cheered their murders?
And they don’t cheer because they belong to an ethnic group that is inherently immoral. They do so because their religion has trained them from infancy to hate non-believers and to delight in their eradication. The problem that faces us, in other words, isn’t multiethnicity. It’s multiculturalism – the presence in a country that values intellectual diversity, religious liberty, and freedom of speech of millions of people with a deep and abiding faith in a religion that teaches them to despise those things.
Yes, getting serious about the Islamization of America and about the radicalization of American higher education sounds like quite a tall order – correction, two tall orders. But the problem is urgent, and accomplishing these tasks would, in any case, be a good deal cheaper, easier, and less deadly than war. And make no mistake: if we choose to shirk these tasks now, sooner or later war, or something just as violent and bloody, will be what we get.
Author: Bruce Bawer, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.