Welcome to America: No Jihad allowed

Just in case you were worried that Congress was neglecting other pressing issues during the ongoing financial meltdown, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo is working diligently to prevent the imposition of Sharia law in the U.S. The "Jihad Prevention Act," which he introduced last week would make it a deportable offense for immigrants to advocate Sharia ...

Just in case you were worried that Congress was neglecting other pressing issues during the ongoing financial meltdown, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo is working diligently to prevent the imposition of Sharia law in the U.S.

The "Jihad Prevention Act," which he introduced last week would make it a deportable offense for immigrants to advocate Sharia and require that all immigrants pledge not to do so when they are admitted to the country. I'll give Tancredo the benefit of the doubt and assume that he actually sees this as a threat, though it's a bit dodgy that the statistics he cites are from the U.K.

On the merits though, this is a phenomenally dumb idea. It not only singles out Muslim immigrants for suspicion, needlessly inconveniences the vast majority of U.S. immigrants who aren't Muslim, and violates the very constitution that it's meant to protect. It also, as Cato's Jim Harper points out, displays a disturbing lack of faith in the strength of American institutions to stand up to the ranting of a few extremists.

Just in case you were worried that Congress was neglecting other pressing issues during the ongoing financial meltdown, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo is working diligently to prevent the imposition of Sharia law in the U.S.

The "Jihad Prevention Act," which he introduced last week would make it a deportable offense for immigrants to advocate Sharia and require that all immigrants pledge not to do so when they are admitted to the country. I’ll give Tancredo the benefit of the doubt and assume that he actually sees this as a threat, though it’s a bit dodgy that the statistics he cites are from the U.K.

On the merits though, this is a phenomenally dumb idea. It not only singles out Muslim immigrants for suspicion, needlessly inconveniences the vast majority of U.S. immigrants who aren’t Muslim, and violates the very constitution that it’s meant to protect. It also, as Cato’s Jim Harper points out, displays a disturbing lack of faith in the strength of American institutions to stand up to the ranting of a few extremists.

It’s also inaccurately named since, as far as I can tell, non-Sharia-related Jihad activities would still be allowed.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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