Daniel crystallizes a comparison I’ve sort of been batting around in my own mind for a while now: Trump as Teddy.
A hundred years ago, Muslims were furious over an immigration bill whose origins lay with advocacy by a headstrong and loudmouthed Republican in the White House.
The anti-immigration bill offended the Ottoman Empire, the rotting Caliphate of Islam soon to be defeated at the hands of America and the West, by banning the entry of “all polygamists, or persons who admit their belief in the practice of polygamy.”
This, as was pointed out at the time, would prohibit the entry of the “entire Mohammedan world” into the United States.
And indeed it would.
The Immigration Act of 1891 had merely banned polygamists. The newest law banned anyone who believed in the practice of polygamy. That group included every faithful believing Muslim.
The Ottoman Empire’s representatives argued that their immigrants believed in the practice of polygamy, but wouldn’t actually take more than one wife. This argument echoes the current contention that Muslim immigrants may believe in a Jihad against non-Muslims without actually engaging in terrorism. That type of argument proved far less convincing to Americans than it does today.
Muslim immigration was still slight at the time and bans on polygamy had not been created to deliberately target them, but the Muslim practice of an act repulsive to most Americans even back then pitted their cries of discrimination and victimhood against the values of the nation. The Immigration Act of 1907 had been meant to select only those immigrants who would make good Americans.
And Muslims would not.
And still won’t. And never will, except maybe for the apostates. Their creed, after all, stands in opposition to and is incompatible with our Constitution, as TR and most other Western leaders once knew. The degree to which we’re willing to countenance the influx of immigrants who despise its principles is reflective of the degree to which we’ve abandoned those principles ourselves.