Let’s be very clear right from the start.
The only reason America does not see daily terrorist attacks, as is the case in Israel, is because we lack proximity to a predominantly Muslim nation.
That’s no slight against all Muslims, but rather an acknowledgment of mathematical percentages.
According to most estimates, the Muslim population in America is around 3 million, or 1% of the total U.S. population.
So if you can run with the notion that only a small percentage of Muslims are radicalized to the point of committing terrorist attacks, that leaves a pretty small number who will attempt to do so here in America.
But mathematically, that same logic would tell us that the larger the Muslim population grows in America, the higher that small number of radicals will eventually be.
That’s not bigotry, it’s just math.
Proximity to Your Enemies Matters
America has long used the two great oceans to separate us from most of the world as a natural defense.
It’s why we walked away from World War II remarkably unscathed and ready to emerge as the dominant world power in the 20th century.
So with this new enemy, radical Islam, it really is no different.
What if Mexico were a Muslim nation?
What if the 122 million people who populate Mexico were predominantly Muslim?
How many of them would be radical, and just how hard would it be for them to slip across the border and attack enemy number one?
That’s the reality that Israel faces nearly every day.
It almost happens so frequently there that the news doesn’t make its way to the West.
Random stabbings, radicals mowing down people in their cars, and when possible shooting or worse.
Israel survives by accepting this reality and operating under the premise that they expect no mercy from their enemies and no help from their friends.
The United States might provide a buffer against a larger invasion through our support of Israel, but when it comes to terror, the Israelis do it all on their own.
The New Future for America
In fact, just today, the FBI announced that America arrested two immigrants on terror-related charges and that one possibly radicalized Muslim attempted to execute a cop in Philadelphia.
Now, we can package these arrests and attacks with spectacular verbal acrobatics to avoid calling them terrorism if we want.
But a terrorist attack by any other name is still a terrorist attack.
It remains to be seen whether America prizes our liberties more than security and has a plan to adapt to a future where attacks like this could occur monthly, perhaps weekly.
And then from time to time, there will be the spectacular attack with mass casualties like we saw in San Bernardino, California.
And in order to be prepared, we have to be able to have the difficult conversations about radical Islam that many in the public form refuse to even speak.
It is not bigotry to say that if you swapped out Pakistan for Mexico and placed it on our border, the security situation would radically change.
That is just common sense, and if you refuse to recognize that, you are simply being coy with the truth.
An Honest Conversation
As a result, it is equally not bigotry to recognize the mathematical truth that as the Muslim population grows in America through immigration or conversion, the admittedly small percentage who are radical will increase proportionately.
And with each attack, the question will continue to be raised as to whether or not this is a problem with Islam as a whole.
So why not have that conversation now and invite Muslims to participate with us so that we have a better understanding for the inevitable future that awaits us both?
I ask you again, what would happen if you transplanted the population of Syria to Mexico?
What happens if you transplant the population of Saudi Arabia to Mexico? Perhaps phrasing it in terms of the nation state will make you feel more comfortable with having the conversation we have needed to have for some time now.
America is the land of the free, and Muslims are welcome here.
That is fact, and to deny them entry based on their religion would be a particular form of tyranny.
But once you arrive, we are going to have to chat about the man who is going to kill people in the name of your own religion.
Wishing it won’t happen will not save anyone nor prevent it. So let us have the conversation, because the conversation is coming our way whether we like it or not.