Who’s Right About Muslim Immigrants — Pope Francis or the Pro-Life Polish Government?
Christians have controlled immigration for at least 1600 years. Was that sinful?
There may be a confrontation coming between the Vatican and the Polish government, which just passed a pro-life law that exactly reflects the Church’s teaching on that crucial moral issue. Pope Francis recently denounced as “selfish” European governments that reject Muslim “refugees.” Days later, the pro-Catholic Polish government announced that the danger of terrorists entering was too great, and it would be refusing the EU’s demands that Poland accept many thousands of Muslim immigrants. So we must ask ourselves a question we couldn’t have imagined in 1990: Who’s right, the Poles or the pope?
The issue could not be more crucial, as Europe begs Turkey not to unleash another human wave against Greece, as millions of new migrants gather in Africa and the Middle East, and Londoners get used to their new Muslim mayor.
Christians are rightly sympathetic to the plight of refugees who are fleeing persecution, and even of economic migrants wishing to find new opportunities where work and thrift pay off and private property is protected by the law. We look back to Bible verses such as “Welcome the stranger,” and listen to Jesus’ many calls for compassion toward the vulnerable. From these authorities we learn that the plight of dislocated people entitles them to our concern, within the firm bounds of prudence and fairness to the citizens of our own communities.
But modern mass immigration, in an age of democracy and welfare states, is something almost unprecedented in human history. It is our assumption today that newcomers to a country — or at least their children — will gain full citizenship and the right to vote. They will also gain, almost immediately, access to generous social welfare programs that citizens of our countries created to help the least fortunate members of our own community — descendants of slaves, of war veterans, of hard-working citizens, who today have fallen down on their luck.
If an immigrant group grows large enough, it can even use the state to confiscate the wealth of native-born citizens, and restrict their religious liberty, through purely democratic methods. What does all this mean? That large immigrant groups organized in cohesive political movements today can enjoy most of the spoils that in past centuries would have come to a conquering army. What else does an armed invader seek but control over the government and wealth of a country?
A medieval Spaniard who emigrated to the Holy Roman Empire, or a Frenchman who went to England, had no guarantee of a vote, and no chance to use the state to redistribute the native citizens’ wealth in his own direction. Millions of persecuted Jews flocked to the tolerant medieval Kingdom of Poland. But there was never any question that they might exercise the political power to make Poland an officially Jewish state, much less that they would lobby the government to redistribute Polish citizens’ wealth to their own pockets. If there had been such a prospect, the Kingdom of Poland would have had to consider much more carefully the wisdom of admitting them, and the Church would have backed Poland up.
How do we know this? Because in repeated historical instances where a mass influx of people would have had either effect, the Church stood foursquare behind governments that resisted. Christian Roman emperors fought against the mass influx of barbarians throughout the fourth century, an influx which most historians now agree was not so much an attempt at armed conquest, as a mass migration of peoples who wished to share in the wealth and political benefits enjoyed by Roman citizens.
No pope or Church Father ever condemned those emperors, or forbade Christian soldiers from using deadly force to stop the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, or Vandals from entering the empire. When Attila led the nation of the Huns into Italy circa 452 in search of political power and treasure, Pope Leo rode out personally to meet Attila and persuade him — through who knows what means, perhaps supernatural threats! — to march his people away from Rome.
When Arab Muslims in the 8th century began their incursion into Spain, again in hopes of gaining political power and wealth, the Church led resistance efforts among local Christians, and played a major role in the 700-year crusade to expel the Arab Muslims.
When the Ottoman Empire flooded the Balkans with Muslims in the 16th and 17th centuries, in search of political power and treasure, it was the Church and Christian monarchs that led the effort to defeat them; one priest, St. John of Capistrano, was named as a saint specifically for his efforts to organize Christian armies to stop this Muslim influx.
Why Use Violence When Natives Will Simply Surrender?
Now, in each of the cases above the newcomers arrived in the form of armies threatening violence. The Hunnic, Visigoth, Arab and Turkish influxes into Europe were led by soldiers — because there was no other means available at the time to take over the political structure and wealth of a country, except by open conquest. No one had yet pioneered the idea that a country would simply allow millions of people with aggressively alien values to walk through its borders unopposed, and demand to share political power and redistribute the wealth!
Apologies. The above is not quite accurate. There was one energetic group whose leaders in fact did come up with such a strategy for taking over foreign nations, imposing on them its political and religious views, and confiscating their property. But for centuries it never had much opportunity to put this plan into practice, because few nations were willing to open their borders and be colonized by Islam — until recently, of course. Can you guess which world religion has as one of its major precepts the obligation to emigrate, with the specific intent of transforming other nations and seizing their wealth? (A quick hint: It isn’t the Quakers.)
That’s right. We’re talking Islam here. Leading Muslim authorities preach Hijrah (emigration) as one of the pillars of Islamic expansion, a critical means of accomplishing the mission that all orthodox Muslims consider God-given and sacred: the conquest of every country on earth by Muslims, and the conversion or subjugation of all non-Muslims. Here is Egyptian cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and — thanks to the internet—one of the most influential Muslim scholars in the world, on the duty of Muslims to emigrate to Western nations and outbreed the natives, so as to conquer those countries without firing a shot:
Islam will return to Europe. Islam entered Europe twice and left it. … Perhaps the next conquest, Allah willing, will be by means of preaching and ideology. The conquest need not necessarily be by the sword. … [The conquest of Mecca] was not by the sword or by war, but by a [Hudabiyya] treaty, and by peace. … Perhaps we will conquer these lands without armies.
The Center for Security Policy confirms that such a strategy is already in effect around the world, including the United States:
As practiced today, the hijra strategy is an important part of a covert, pre-violent “civilization jihad” pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood. The UN High Commission on Refugees — which, like the rest of the United Nations, is dominated by the dictates of the Islamic supremacist organization known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – is complicit in the process of bringing Muslim refugees to America. Interestingly, no Muslim refugees are ever resettled in wealthy, low-population density Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia.