Sen. Paul and His Blinkered Vision

Randal Paul is on an anti-immigration bandwagon in response to theshootings.
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Randal Paul is on an anti-immigration bandwagon in response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

Paul said:

"You've got to secure your country. And that means maybe that every Muslim immigrant that wishes to come to France shouldn't have an open door to come. It's also my concern here. I think our border is a danger to attack, as well as our student visa program. Several of the attackers on 9/11 were here on student visas they had overstayed."

There are multiple things wrong with the statement. (Facts and the Paul family are not always on speaking terms.) First, the two men who are being sought were born in France. Their parents were immigrants; they weren't. There is no indication so far that these parents did anything wrong. Second, France does not have a policy of allowing "every Muslim immigrant that wishes to come to France" to do so.

Immigrants from certain countries -- those that were once French colonies -- find it easier to immigrate, but there is no policy of allowing "every Muslim immigrant" to enter the country. Randal is just exaggerating facts, or misstating them if you prefer. If he were a Democrat, Republicans would say he was lying.

When a New York Times editorial was quoted to him, saying it is wrong to "smear all Muslims with a terrorist brush," Paul dismissed that. He tried to argue that terrorism is a uniquely Islamic problem. "Think about it. I haven't seen any Christians and Jews dragging people of the Islamic faith through the streets, but I am seeing the opposite. I'm seeing Christians beheaded, I'm seeing people who say anything about Islam being shot, unarmed, being shot."

Of course, Christians have attacked Muslims and so have extremist Jews. It all depends on where one is willing to look. Randal's perception is so blinkered he only sees what he wants to see. In areas of Africa, Christians and Muslims are both committing atrocities against each other.

The Guardian recently reported on the Central African Republic where Muslims were 15% of the population a year ago, but

"since then untold thousands have been killed or displaced or have fled to neighbouring countries. The UN said last week that while 130,000 to 145,000 Muslims normally lived in the capital, Bangui, the population had been reduced to around 10,000 in December and now stood at just 900."

We can't forget Jewish extremists in Israel, who in revenge attacks, kidnapped and killed a young Muslim boy. Randal, however, appears to forget easily any evidence that doesn't support his thesis. The Times of Israel reported:

Six people were arrested Sunday in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir, whose burned body was found in the Jerusalem forest on Wednesday morning, officials said Sunday. The suspects are members of a Jewish extremist cell, the Shin Bet security agency said.

According to Channel 2, days before the kidnapping and murder, three of the suspects had scouted out the area in East Jerusalem and attempted unsuccessfully to kidnap an Arab child, later named as 9-year-old Musa Zalum.

Baruch Goldstein, an American immigrant to Israel, was a member of the extremist Jewish Defense League. A physician in the Israeli Defense Force he refused treatment to Arabs, even those serving with the Israeli military. In his military uniform he walked into a mosque at the Cave of the Patriarchs where Muslims were in prayer. He opened fire on the unarmed, peaceful worshippers, killing 29 of them and wounding more than 125. In 2010 the Jewish settlement of Kirat Arba celebrated Goldstein's murderous attack with local officials praising his murderous rampage. Randal Paul says this sort of thing doesn't happen.

Islam is not uniquely violent, not in historical terms. We can ignore centuries of Christian history and pretend Christians were not exterminating one another, killing Jews, and slaughtering Muslims. But they were. It doesn't take much reading of the Old Testament to see how bloodthirsty Yahweh of the Hebrews was, and the atrocities allegedly committed in his name.

These religions changed somewhat, thanks to the Enlightenment, but not because their holy books changed. Those books are just as bloodthirsty as before, they are just interpreted through the eyes of the Enlightenment today.

Paul worries about how religious groups are impacted by these attacks. He doesn't seem to worry much about gay people, who have been violently attacked by followers of the One True God (whichever one that is). Paul says he's worried "that Christians and Jews are being killed around the world." Yes, they are, as are Muslims. But again, so are gay people. Yet he is silent about that.

His dismissal of the point made by the Times indicates he thinks it appropriate to paint all Muslims with the terrorist brush. If the attack on Charlie Hebdo means all Muslims are guilty, then Randal and all Christians are responsible for violent attacks on gay people, in places such as Africa and Jamaica. What is good for the Muslim is good for the Christian.

In fact, a close associate of Randal's father is Gary North, author of the "home schooling" course Ron Paul peddles under his own name. North has written about how a "Christian" free society would impose God's law on godless homosexuals. He said the community should come together and stone gays to death. If all Muslims are collectively guilty, then so are all Christians, and so are all members of the Paul family guilty for associating with people such as Gary North! Such is the problem of collectivizing guilt.

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