THW Temporarily Ban Muslim Immigration
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed to curb Islamic terrorism by banning Muslims from immigrating to the United States temporarily. This divisive proposal has become one of the main talking points for critics and supporters of Trump alike. In this debate, the proposal's merits shall be discussed.
Let the debate begin!
I'd like to thank Con for setting up this debate. I'd like to state that although I am more playing devil's advocate here, I do think that a focus on Islam is essential in defeating Islamic Extremism rather than gun laws as the media is currently proposing. As you said I start in round one, here I go...
Islam is a fundamentally dangerous religion as all of those who practice the religion base their beliefs on extremely inflammatory scripture, and equally irresponsible hadiths, which lead to many Islamic beliefs being totally incompatible with Western values. Amongst those incompatible views are the homophobia that we have seen inspired the Orlando shooter; a man who was disgusted by homosexuals and proceeded to swear allegiance to ISIS during his attack. Consequently we see an enormous amount of Islamic extremism sweeping across Europe and indeed the US.
Now studies do show that Islamic extremism only makes up about 6% of terrorist attacks in the US (1). This may seem like a very low figure to get into such a ruckus about, however it starts to become alarming when you realise muslims only make up 1% of the US population (2). This is extremely disproportionate, showing that there is far more hatred and intolerance amongst the muslim community than the general population. One might notice that Jewish extremism makes up 7% of attacks, and has a similar population size to the Muslim community. Nonetheless the 5.3 million Jews that reside in the US make up 40% of the world's Jewish population (3), whilst the 3.3 million Muslims living in the US make up only 0.2% of the world's Muslim population. Thus the threat of extremism coming from overseas is far greater among Muslims than Jews. By sheer numbers, there are far more Islamic extremists in the world than Jewish extremists.
The ultimate question around this comes down to whether a ban on Muslim immigration would reduce Islamic extremist attacks. The answer is of course, yes, yes it would. If Islamic extremists are unable to enter the US, then they will not be able to attack. One may argue about home-grown extremism, but this leads into my next point. Trump's proposal is not a permanent ban and shut out the entire global muslim population forever. His proposal is a temporary ban until 'we know what the hell is going on'. By this, I believe he means a ban until regulations have been put in place to remove or at least limit the threat of Islamic attacks (including home-grown extremism), which given ISIS's growing activity will frequently be present. Thus although a ban seems like a very extreme measure given that most muslims do not commit terrorist acts, it will limit the deaths by extremists until the threat has been neutralised. Surely saving lives is of far greater importance than preserving the vacation rights of an extreme minority?
When we incite terrorist attacks, we are actively harming innocent civilians, an utterly immoral thing to do. Unfortunately, some Americans are mistakenly in support of a proposal that would make the threat of terrorism worse. While ostensibly a proposal to defeat terrorism, Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States would actually worsen the problem of terrorism by angered Muslims at home solely to prevent the minor threat of terrorism by non-residents, making it increase terrorism on balance. Thus, I stand opposed to the proposal that this house would temporarily ban Muslim immigration.
In order to demonstrate my case, I shall first refute my opponent’s points and then put forward two points of my own: how this proposal makes terrorism worse, and how it’s principally incorrect and appalling.
My opponent has argued that because the majority of Muslims are located overseas, the main Islamic terrorist threat to Americans comes from overseas. Thus, stopping Muslims from coming here from overseas would reduce terrorism. In reality, this argument falls flat because the majority of Islamic terrorists are American citizens or permanent residents; thus, banning Muslim immigration wouldn’t remove the main Islamic terrorist threat to Americans. Instead, it would simply incite anger from American Muslim groups, creating more terrorism, as explained in my first argumen. This threat outweighs the benefits of the proposal because it would only prevent a small fraction (less than 9%, according to my calculations based on the chart) of terrorism, while angering the group responsible for the most terrorism—permanent residents or citizens who radicalise at home.
My opponent has also argued that Islamic principles are in conflict with Western values, raising the example of homophobia. This is in spite of the fact that Christianity, which has moulded Western values for centuries, also has followers who develop homophobia from religion.
Worsening of terrorism
Despite being promoted as a solution for terrorism, a ban on Muslims coming to the United States would actually increase terrorism on balance. While it may slightly reduce terrorism from foreign Muslim extremists who come to the United states to do harm, this reduction would be minuscule because most Islamic terrorists are American residents or citizens.  On the other hand, the proposal would cause Muslims inside the United States to become violent or extreme. People join groups like the Islamic State because they don’t feel like they belong in American society.  By targeting Muslims with a policy that bans them from immigrating out of their religious beliefs, the policy ends up making Muslims feel unwelcome. It also backs up inflammatory rhetoric from the Islamic State, which states that the United States is hostile to Muslims and uses that to justify some of its actions. Thus, this proposal would cause people to join radical groups inside the United States and commit jihad against a state that they feel oppressed by, creating massive amounts of terrorism.
Wrong on principle
Banning Muslims from coming to the United States is principally wrong because it is discrimination. If a Muslim wants to enter the United States, and is denied an ability to immigrate here for his religion, then his rights and privileges are being restricted because of his religion. Because religion is a personal choice that everyone has a right to have, discriminating based on it is a violation of human rights. If the Muslim is unable to come here due to religion, he might be pressured into leaving his faith or pretending to just to immigrate; because the government, which is supposed to not restrict worship, would be the one imposing this pressure, this is principally wrong.
In this debate, I have demonstrated both practical and principle reasons why a ban on Muslim immigration is wrong. As such, let it be resolved that this house would not temporarily ban Muslim immigration.
Response to refutations:
You have said that the majority of Islamic terrorist attacks are American citizens. This is true, I will completely concede that. However what you failed to mention is that 72% of American muslims are immigrants or second generation immigrants.(1) Thus although a large portion of the Islamic terrorists are American citizens, they still came here as a result of recent immigration, hence the problem still stands. You have also stated that less than 9% of terrorism would be stopped if a muslim ban were put in place. This sounds like a large number of lives saved to me.
In addition you have appeared to challenge that Islamic principles are in conflict with Western values. You then mention Christianity when it comes to homophobia. Can you please name a country with majority Christian where homosexuality is currently punishable with the death penalty? Then name a few Islamic countries where it is punishable with death. I shall name a few to get you started, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Sudan. (2) Islamic countries have a considerably worse view on homosexuality than any Christian country. So please hold your tongue when pretending Christianity is even half as bad as Islam when it comes to homophobia.
You have stated that banning Muslims is wrong because it is discrimination. I take it you are unfamiliar with the US's immigration policy during the second world war following pearl harbour. Following pearl harbour, the US implemented a very strict immigration policy that required checks and severe living, mobility, and item ownership limitations to prevent the threat of sabotage and spy infiltration. What is so different now? Yes a complete ban is one step further, but all Italian, German, and Japanese citizens faced this 'discrimination'. Argubaly it was justifiable at the time, but were all of the immigrants spies? 600,000 Italian immigrants and 200,000 German ones? (3) Of course not. But measures had to be put in place against entire nationalities in defence of US citizens. Arguably being restricted solely because of where you were born is far less justified than a belief in a religion that conisisently churns out homophobia, sexism, and a hatred for free speech. The US was at war then, and it is at war now.
As for why muslims join ISIS, your source states that 'at least 250 American... have left their home countries (US) to join radical jihadist groups'. This is an extremely small number of people, and considering most American Muslims are very happy with their lives due to excellent assimilation, this is not happening because muslims feel let down by the US. Moderate muslims do not join radical groups full stop. It is instead muslims that have been raised being taught vicious lies in mosques often funded by Saudi Arabia. Your argument of feeling let down may apply in European muslim ghettos, but certainly not the US. (4) Bearing in mind that my first source also claims that many muslims are converted in prisons, with 80% of those finding faith in prisons converting to Islam, it isn't necessarily Islamic oppression that is breeding extremism, but rather simply an ineffective prison system.
By placing a temporary ban on muslims entering the US, we can reduce the number of Islamic attacks. Many of the attacks come from home grown extremism, which can be focussed on more carefully when we have less pressure from those coming from abroad. If we realise that Islam is to blam for extremism, we can thus focus on mosques and preachers which spread hatred of the west and intolerance, rather than blame ourselves for the actions of radicalised crazies.
Jry2001 forfeited this round.
With nothing to respond to, I see no reason to push my point further. Con having forfeited the round has conceded that he cannot appropriately justify an argument contrary to my position. I am not supporting a permanent ban on Muslim immigration. I am supporting a temporary security measure similar to those seen in recent history to tackle the very real threat of Islamic terrorism. There is nothing racist about wanting to save lives. The right to life is infinitely more important than the right to travel, and so I urge all of you to vote for the motion, to vote for the security of the United States, and the people that reside within it.
Today, team proposition has utterly failed to understand what a "forfeit" means on this website. On this website, a "forfeit" is not equivalent to a concession; I had little internet access for the past few days because I was travelling. By deceptively categorizing a "forfeit" as a "concession", he has made a conduct error far worse than a forfeit ever could be.
Today, we’ve had a team proposition come here and write a self-contradicting argument, saying in the same breath that temporarily banning all Muslims from coming here is necessary, while also saying that most American Muslims mostly not dangerous. He says that Islam is harmful because it churns out homophobia, while also stating that American Muslims are well assimilated, implying they generally hold liberal views consistent with that of American society. He sometimes says that the main threat from Islam is because Muslims are converted at prison, while at other times, he says that Islam is most threatening when it comes from outside. Instead of following this self-contradictory fear mongering, we should instead choose not to temporarily ban Muslim immigration.
This argument will consist of two parts: reconstruction and rebuttal. I would also make a third point: comparing it to Jewish terrorism.
Worsening of terrorism
My opponent has stated that because the majority of American Muslims are happy with current day America, they’d still inexplicably remain happy when the American government changes laws to restrict them and them specifically, so the proposal wouldn’t cause tensions and terrorism. This idea is illogical because of the fact that the fact that Muslims are fine with the status quo says nothing about whether they’d become agitated by a change in the status quo.
If the American government bans Muslim immigration, Muslims would begin to believe that they’re being discriminated against and that they don’t belong. While currently very few Muslims believe that they don’t belong, changing the status quo such that the American government singles out Muslims as a group to ban would definitely make many Muslims believe that they don’t belong. Because Muslims would see the United States as an entity hostile to them, they would join domestic jihadist groups to wage a war against a country that “discriminates against them”. This proposal would thus trigger more terrorism than it solves.
My opponent raised the example of Italian, Japanese and German immigrants being sent away in World War II because of legitimate concerns that they might have been spies; he reasoned that because there’s a legitimate concern of Islamic terrorism, it would be legitimate to ban Muslim immigration. However, while there was a legitimate risk of letting spies in during World War II, there’s no more a risk that a Muslim immigrant would be more dangerous than, say, a Jewish immigrant, as conceded by Pro in round one.
Who are the terrorists?
My opponent has stated that because most Muslims are immigrants, banning immigration would reduce the problem of Islamic terrorism. He believes that the main threat of Islamic terrorism comes from abroad. But at the same time, he ignores the fact that, according to my previous source, the majority of terrorists were born here. Thus, even if they had immigrant parents, they should have been assimilated already; my opponent has stated that “most Muslim Americans” are well-assimilated. As such, the majority of terrorists didn’t radicalise overseas, but became radicalised at home. Preventing people from coming here from overseas would not prevent the Muslim American population at home from radicalising on its own or from overseas influences that occur over the internet rather than through immigration.
My opponent has claimed that Islam is homophobic and outdated. He has the burden of proof because he’s advocating for a change from the status quo, and he has failed to show why banning Muslims from coming here would reduce the harms of Islamic homophobia.
My opponent has argued that by placing a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, we can focus more on homegrown extremism because there’d no longer be a major threat from abroad. This argument falls apart, however, as soon as we consider that this proposal would alienate Muslim Americans, actively inciting terrorism, making homegrown extremism far worse than all the current foreign and domestic terrorism combined.
My opponent has conceded in round one that Jewish extremism is responsible for a similar percentage of attacks as Islamic extremism, and Jews make up a similar segment of the American population compared to Muslims. My opponent justified banning Muslims but not Jews by stating that because the majority of Muslims aren’t in America, they are a bigger concern. This ignores the fact that immigration is limited per year. It’s impossible that an amount of Muslims greater than all the Jews in the world would suddenly come to the United States because of immigration limits.  Thus, under the limited immigration that currently occurs, there’s practically no difference between the two groups.
My opponent would either have to concede that we need to ban Jewish people as well, or somehow show that there’s a difference between the two groups when I have already shown flaws in his previous reason given.
At no point in this debate contradicted myself. However you do appear to be making a lot of points that simply don't add up. You appear to be saying that because most American muslims are assimilated, muslims from overseas must also share those values. This is a horrible error, as muslims from overseas are often brought in countries that have a despise of the west, and so will have difficulty assimilating. Saying that Islam is harmful is not saying that muslims are harmful. It is stating that an enormous number of humanitarian crises and apparent extremism exist in the muslim world, and the common denominator for the perpetrators is Islam.
My point about prisons was not that because muslims in America are bred in prisons we must therefore ignore terrorism from overseas. My point was that you appear to be claiming that muslims join ISIS and extremist groups because American muslims feel left out in society. I was arguing that this is not the case, as a number of muslims, many of whom likely hold extremist views due to their history of crime, are not muslims when they go into prison, but are when they come out.
Worsening of terrorism:
Again you are pushing the point that muslims join ISIS because they feel unhappy. This simply is not true. Some people may do so, and some may join seeking a cause, however I have already cited a source that shows that muslims in America are often being subjected to radical preachers in mosques funded by Saudi Arabia, a known human rights violator and extremist sympathiser. To say that a travel ban would drive all of the muslims to cutting off people's heads and blowing themselves up is, I think, an insult to all of the moderate muslims who have done well to assimilate and who, even in the face of travel restrictions, wouldn't even dream of killing other members of the public. You seem to be able to look into the future. 'Muslims would see', 'they would join'. This kind of talk is nonsense. You do not know if the muslim population will move to terrorism following a travel ban, you are merely proposing an unlikely scenario.
Once again you have misunderstood my point. In the second world war, I'm sure there were a number of groups in the US that were causing problems, but these people were not banned. The muslim threat in the US is similar to the threat of spy infiltration simply because the threat of Islamic extremism coming from overseas is a very real one. The threat of Jewish extremism coming from overseas is far less likely. The reason for this is supposing 1% of the Jewish population is extremist, that is 54,000 extremists that may or may not be inside the country. However if 1% of muslims is extremist, all of a sudden that is 16,000,000 extremists that we need to worry about. Consequently although there are travel restrictions as you said, the likelihood of there existing a muslim extremist is much higher, and so must be treated differently.
Who are the terrorists?
The majority of terrorists are indeed born in the US, but yet you have already claim and I quote 'it would only prevent a small fraction (less than 9%, according to my calculations based on the chart) of terrorism'. That 9% is large enough for me to consider the ban, as these are lives we are talking about. I think that lives are far more important than travel. It is right to say that banning immigration would not prevent people at home being radicalised. My point is that we can focus on tackling that far more by stopping attacks from coming from abroad. Instead of splitting anti terrorism funding, we can focus all of it on the areas that really matter. Hence a ban 'until we know what the hell is going on'.
I do indeed have the burden of proof. I propose you look at the map on this link: (1). Then have a look at this: (2). Almost all of the countries with muslim majorities have extraordinarily harsh laws on Homosexuality ranging from imprisonment to death. The people coming from these countries have their own intolerant cultures and it would be insane to think that those feelings would not carry on having travelled to the US. The Orlando shooter for example had very strong views on homosexuality. Possibly as a result of his father having similar views: (3).
I think that I have appropriately rebutted most of your points, which I think do miss the mark with this debate. Extremism is of great threat across the world. It is grown in intolerant countries like Saudi Arabia and Syria where people from across the globe will travel to join the cause of ISIS. It is from there that French citizens, German citizens, and indeed future or existing American citizens travel out to cause mayhem. It is already happened in France twice in recent times. In the past it has happened in the US, in the UK, and many many other countries. If there are measures we can take to reduce the threat of these people coming the US, they must be taken. The idea of it further radicalising the population, this is not a justification. However if people use it as a justification it is simply to pander to their selfish needs. It is not a justification. Thus to claim that it will cause people to blow themselves up is I think an insult to all those muslims who do their damndest to be good citizens. Thus I urge everyone reading this to vote Pro on this debate, to demonstrate that the people will need keep quiet and let this insanity go on any longer. Thank you.