Trump’s Immigration Ban Was Clumsy But He’s Right About Radical Islam

The Obama administration had a flawed solution to this problem, which it called countering violent extremism. The Trump administration needs a completely new approach that targets not just violence, but the proponents of subversive Islamist views — the phenomenon of dawa or proselytizing. This ideological indoctrination is the essential prelude to acts of jihad, yet for too long it has been going on with impunity.

Addressing the problem of Islamist terrorism will require much more than better immigration controls, though we certainly need those. It will necessitate the systematic dismantling of the ideological infrastructure of dawa, which is already well established right here in the United States.

President Trump was right back in August. The threat posed by “the hateful ideology of radical Islam” needs to be countered. American citizens — including immigrants — must be protected from that ideology and the violence that it promotes. But the threat is too multifaceted to be dealt with by executive orders. That is why Trump was right to argue in August for a commission of some kind — I would favor congressional hearings — to establish the full magnitude and nature of the threat.

Until we recognize that this ideology is already in our midst, we shall expend all our energies in feverish debates about executive orders, when what is needed is cool, comprehensive legislation.

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