Alligators and Islamists

A few days after the horrific Orlando terrorist attack, another tragic incident, this time involving a toddler, occurred at nearby Disney World. A two-year-old boy was wading along the shore of a lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort when an alligator emerged from the water and dragged the young boy to his death.

Not to make light of any of these tragic incidents, but there is always the issue of fault and blame. The mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub has been blamed on a variety of people and groups. From the shooter himself, to radical Islam, the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party, Donald Trump, or Christians. What about the alligator attack?

Was that the fault of the parents for allowing their child to play on the shore of a Disney resort lagoon? Was it the fault of Disney World that alligators are in their resort lagoons or that an explicit sign warning of alligators wasn’t posted? Was it the fault of the alligator for acting like an alligator? And what does any of this have to do with radical Islam?

My contention is that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had much in common with the Orlando alligator, acting out of instinct, each following his obligatory course of action. Alligators are predatory creatures. When hungry they will eat whatever food is available, whether an animal drinking out of the lagoon or in this case a defenseless toddler splashing at the water’s edge.

Omar Mateen was following his own instincts, in this case sharia law. Unlike an alligator, which is not capable of rational thought, Mateen made a conscious decision at some point in his life to not follow the laws of America, where he was born, but instead to follow the laws of his Islamic religion, sharia. Adhering to sharia, his act of terror was as natural to him as was the actions of the San Bernardino killers, the Tsarnaev brothers, or Major Hassan at Fort Hood.

While the media frets about “assault weapons,” the NRA, and Donald Trump, they conveniently overlook sharia law, which if followed faithfully, can lead to an Orlando type massacre.

For a review of sharia law, go here. Sharia includes laws quite antithetical to Western values such as a female rape victim needing four male witnesses to make the rape charge and allowing a man to beat his wife for insubordination. Not to mention, “sodomites should be killed in the worst manner possible.” Like being thrown off buildings or hanged in public.

Conventional wisdom says most Muslim-Americans don’t follow sharia. Otherwise Muslim women wouldn’t be driving cars or speaking alone to a man who is not her husband or relative. Yet 51% of American Muslims want sharia law, according to a recent survey. More specifically, “58% of US Muslims reject First Amendment criticism of Islam as a right. 46% want blasphemy punished, 12% want them killed.” Perhaps Mateen’s views are not that far out of the mainstream. President Obama suggests otherwise, simply passing off his actions as those of a lone wolf, “we know he was a person filled with hate.”

Is he a person filled with hate? Or is he just following his religious teachings, which are themselves filled with hate for Western customs, values, and traditions? Ask any imam or even ask President Obama and they will tell you that “Islam is a religion of peace, charity, and justice,” not hate. But what is the Islamic view of our culturally permissive society with same sex weddings, transgender bathrooms, soft core porn on magazine covers and nightly television shows, and women’s fashion that leaves little to the imagination? 

This leaves the President and most of the political left in a contradictory position. While embracing Muslim migration to America, along with preaching tolerance and diversity, they are also taunting Muslim-Americans by promoting ideas and behaviors, such as same-sex marriage, transgender bathrooms, and women’s rights that half of Muslim-Americans find abhorrent based on their sharia beliefs. As provocative as waving a red flag in front of a bull.

This would be analogous to encouraging swimming in Florida lakes and lagoons, tempting the ever-present alligator to act on its natural instincts. And then wondering why an occasional person is attacked by an alligator.

Going further, this raises the question of American immigration policy. Donald Trump suggests a pause in immigration from predominantly Muslim countries. Hardly a novel concept, despite Paul Ryan’s consternation, as the six past presidents, including Obama, have temporarily paused immigration of particular groups of people. Does Disney World want to keep alligators out of its lagoons or do they want to bring more in?

Yet as a country that’s exactly what we are doing. Between 2001 and 2013, 30,000 Afghan migrants settled in the US. Afghanistan is country where 99 percent of Muslims believe in sharia law. Ten countries, most of which supply refugees to the US, have actual laws mandating the death penalty for same sex activities. Such countries include Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. These are also countries where the majority of Muslims support sharia law. Is it then surprising when one of these refugees carries out the sharia commands of his or her religion?

Can we vet those refugees to the US with terror ties or radical beliefs potentially harmful to America? FBI director James Comey says we cannot. Can Disney World vet every lake and lagoon on its properties to ensure that they are alligator free? Obviously not. Hence their belated signs. Where was the sign on the Orlando nightclub warning gays that they could be slaughtered by a radical Muslim in the name of his religion?

It’s clear that mass migration policies are not working either in the US or in Europe. Rather than doubling down, increasing the number of migrants under the guise of compassion or “principles” as Paul Ryan is suggesting, and hoping for a different result, it’s time to rethink the immigration process. Unless assimilation is not the goal of the current administration as an astute writer recently suggested on this website. Otherwise, there will be more Omar Mateens, acting on their instincts, much like the Disney World alligator. 

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based retina surgeon, radio personality, and writer. Follow him on Facebook  and Twitter.