by Jerry Higgins
This week sees two anniversaries. The first was on September 11th when, ten years after the horrific attacks, those who died were remembered and mourned. Unfortunately, some chose to abuse the memory of those killed by pushing their bigoted views, as reported on this blog.
This week also marks nine years (September 16, 2002, to be precise) since Steven A. Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies (a group cited by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik in his “manifesto”) had an article published in the National Review, in which he foresees the future of the United States.
In his piece, “The Muslim Wave,” Camarota starts by defining the Middle East “as running roughly from Morocco to Pakistan.” This very broad definition was coined by the Bush Administration at a G8 meeting in 2004. It encompasses around thirty-six countries on three continents within three disputed areas.
Published just a year after the 9/11 attacks, his article superficially underscores the need for increasing US security. Camarota suggests that further attacks are imminent and that the rising Muslim population will aid and abet future attackers. Furthermore, he overestimates that the Muslim population of the US was over three million at the time of writing, based on immigration numbers and the conversion of roughly 1 million Americans, “mostly blacks,” to Islam.
He further states that there is a continuous debate within Islam about whether a “good Muslim” can live in a secular country. He fails to mention who is doing the debating, though.
It is in the last four paragraphs that Camarota finally gets around to his main argument: reducing/restricting immigration. He claims doing so is the only way to ensure that hordes of new terrorists don’t come flooding into the US; however, while he would like to see a return to pre-1965 days, when certain areas of the world were allocated less green cards than others, he admits that “our equality-obsessed society” makes this impossible.
Sufficient time has passed to allow us to more closely examine Camarota’s claims. His figures on the previous and current number of Muslims in the United States are grossly exaggerated. The US Census Bureau puts the number of Muslims in 2001 at 1,104,000, and at 1,349,000 in 2008. Even today, the CIA World Factbook puts the total number of Muslims in the US at around 1,879,392 or 0.6% of the total population.
Camarota doesn’t seem to believe in letting actual facts disrupt his musings on how immigration is going to destroy this country.
Also worth quarrelling with is his reasoning that the existing Muslim community will aid and abet future attackers. His reasoning being the fact that some members of the San Diego Muslim community helped some of the 9/11 hijackers when they first arrived here. There is no evidence to suggest that any member of the Muslim community in San Diego had any knowledge of the planned attack or willfully aided the attackers. This community did what many other communities always do—it helped newcomers to settle in.
This community has in fact aided the FBI in preventing more attacks.
As for “the debate” about Muslims living in secular society, it would appear that the highest profile participants are individuals outside the Islamic world—Islamophobes like Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Herman Cain, Eliana Benador, and Rep. Peter King, just to name a few.
Since his report was published, none of Camarota’s prophecies have come true.
The US hasn’t been taken over by hordes of anti-American, freedom-hating Muslims. The Muslim community hasn’t hidden an army of jihadists ready and waiting to destroy the US. And continuing the current level of immigration hasn’t led to sweeping changes in US policy.
Camarota’s article was written under the guise of national security. In reality, it’s nothing more than an anti-immigrant, Islamophobic propaganda piece. But we’ve come to expect this from the Center for Immigration Studies.