Freedom of Religion: interpretations vary from what is clearly stated – that is, one may worship as a respective doctrine states – to the insanely ridiculous, freedom from religion. The fact remains, however, that the individual’s right to pursue the worship of God is affirmed. We recognize that not all individuals choose to worship the God of the Bible, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We look at the 1st Amendment and consider all religions – Christianity, Judaism, Atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Satanism, Taoism, Islam or Pastafarianism – to have this broad protection, a Constitutional protection, if you will. What guidelines, then, if any, exist for a doctrine to receive religious standing in the eyes of the Constitution?
Where do we start? How can we determine if a doctrine can receive Constitutional protection as a religion? When we know what are our Natural Rights are and why we have them, I think we can start there. First, every individual has the right, the protected freedom, to pursue the worship of God. On the other hand, one may choose to be an Atheist and assert the individual right of free will to not pursue the worship of God. Check and check: no violation of rights, no lives in danger, no one denied a livelihood or property and no one silenced. I would think, then, that the first test for a doctrine to be fully protected as a religion is that it cannot advocate for the violation of individual Natural Rights. Ideally, we can march through the majority of other common, mono- and polytheistic religions and find no advocacy for violence or hateful degradation of non-believers … until we get to Islam.
Islam, though, is, in and of itself, a paradoxical doctrine. What I mean by that is that there are two houses, or schools, within the doctrine: Dar al-Islam and Dar al-harb. Dar al-Islam is the House of Islam – the countries where Islam, through Sharia law, rules and, allegedly, where Islam is peaceful. Dar al-harb is the House of War – the countries where Islam does not rule. So, when we are given the response that Islam is the Religion of Peace, we should ask, “Pertaining to which house?” We need to know what it is that we are working with. We need to make sure that we can identify and understand the problems associated with simply accepting a Muslim’s word, a word that has been given favor by Allah to be deceptive in order to progress Islam. Which, of course, begs the question, “How do we know when we can trust what a Muslim says?”
As I spoke with a close Pastor/mentor of mine, we talked about these issues. Primarily, should Islam even be considered a religion at all? Does the doctrine fit within the context and definition of religion such that it can receive the Constitutional protections afforded other religions? On one hand we can say, “Well, if it is the religion of peace and does not seek to implement Sharia as the law of the land, then yes.” But on the other hand we must intelligently and logically conclude that Islam is not a religion, but rather a geopolitical entity conscripting jihadis into a military doctrine with the intent to spread terror to the infidels and force a people into submission to Sharia. You see, all Islam wants is peace. But in order to achieve it, Islam must have complete rule, through Sharia, over the infidel. The infidel is not considered equal to the Muslim under any circumstances. This is why, in Islamic countries, non-believers (if not beheaded or tortured) must pay a tax to the Imam.
Dar al-Islam: House of Islam
This, as explained earlier, is the quintessential Islamic nation – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. Since these countries are Islamic and ruled by Sharia, there is a form of peace. Islam says it is a peaceful religion because the doctrine does not condone the killing of innocents. But, under Sharia, the only innocents are Muslims. All other non-believers, homosexuals, Christians and Jews are infidels and subject to judgement by Sharia courts. But let’s face it, if you need a base from which taxes can be collected the infidel has more value alive than dead.
Even though Dar al-Islam is the Islamic nation, even Muslims may be murdered for not attending prayers, for harboring an infidel or for any other numerous infractions.
Dar al-harb: House of War
The Dar al-harb is what we would call jihadists. It is the school of Islam that teaches death, torture and mutilation of the infidel, to steal an infidel’s property and take his house and possessions. The House of War is demonstrated by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and others. The goal of Dar al-harb is to install Sharia in all nations and to do so by any means possible. Any individual that shouts “Allahu Akbar” while gunning down a crowd, or credits I.S. or other terrorist organization, is fulfilling what jihadis are called to do – incite terror in the infidel forcing submission to Sharia.
With both houses we have problems. One house, Dar al-Islam, can only be the House of Islam, if the nation is ruled by Sharia. The other house, Dar al-harb, can only be at war with the infidel nations. The United States is not Dar al-Islam; therefore, Islam cannot be at peace with America. Muslims have to be in one of the two houses. There are no other choices. If a Muslim says they belong to neither house, then either the Muslim is lying or is, in fact, not a Muslim.
We must understand that the Constitution proclaims itself the supreme law of the land. Article VI, 2nd clause (emphasis added):
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;
No other doctrine can be placed in supremacy over the U.S. Constitution. Public servants, American military and immigrants seeking citizenship must give an oath to defend the Constitution. So, how could a Muslim agree to assimilate into the American way of life, to accept the U.S. Constitution, if Sharia is preferred? The two, U.S. Constitution and Sharia, are mutually incompatible and at odds with one another. How do we successfully vet Muslim immigrants into the United States? Are we made safe simply by asking, “Do you support the implementation of Sharia over the U.S. Constitution?” Answer ‘yes’ and the immigrant is rejected because assimilation is impossible. Answer ‘no’ and we naively accept the immigrant with the hope that assimilation will be successful.
Regardless of the religion, people should have the freedom to exercise as their doctrine prescribes. But we cannot blindly accept that all doctrine is religious. When a paradox exists within the doctrine, we must scrutinize it to understand if that paradox has the potential to inflict harm on American citizens, degrade National sovereignty or displace the U.S. Constitution. One side of Islam exists only within nations that are ruled by Sharia and the other side of Islam exists only in a state of war with nations not ruled by Sharia. If we really wanted to get a handle on Muslim immigration and the vetting process, people would seek to understand what they are getting into.
My instinct is to err on the defense of the Constitution. And knowing that Muslims will lie to achieve the goals of Islam, I cannot, in good conscience, concede that Muslims are automatically willing to assimilate. To allow an immigrant from Muslim countries or regions, the person must renounce Islam and, along with the oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, provide reasonable assurance that no personal intent exists to have Sharia replace the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
The answer may not be to automatically ban all Muslim immigrants, but our vetting needs to be much, much more detailed. Under no circumstances should there ever be allowed migration en masse without proper vetting procedures in place. Vetting should be allowed to take as much time as possible and the process should be given the authority needed to regulate the workload. So until this process is in place, I have no problem with a restriction on immigration into the United States.