In light of the recent terrorist bombing that happened in Brussels yesterday, I’ve been wrestling with one question over and over again. In fact every time there’s another terrorist attack in Europe the same question bubbles up in my mind. Why is Europe getting bombed every four months now and America is attacked maybe once every 10 years? Why does it seem that European Muslims are easier to radicalize than American Muslims. What makes America so Great. That is I’m admitting America is great, no questions there but what makes it so.I love America but what is it about this country. Europe and South America look down on Americans as loud boastful or prideful people. I agree with that but to be prideful you have to have something to be proud about.
My conclusion is that for better or worse this experiment known as America and its beliefs has succeeded for close to 240 years. While extremely young as a country compared to its European counterparts America has risen to become the greatest military and economic force the world has ever seen. That extremely fast rise is due to America’s beliefs, in certain ideas, ideas so strong it’s in its DNA. We all know those ideals, “All men are created equal”, “life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, rights , the constitution, etc etc. Historically America hasn’t always been on the same page within its borders agreeing on these beliefs. That these freedoms could be applied equally to all American citizens. But by and large and more so than any other country on earth, the fundamentals have always been there and America has fought to move in the right direction through it’s history.
You immigrate to this country, swear allegiance to it and become a citizen and from that moment on you are American. You have the same rights, obligations and freedom as every other American but more importantly you are made to feel equal. There are no second class American citizens in theory (Poor vs Rich is another discussion). We have and are continuously updating laws so no group feels marginalized or discriminated against. America more than any other country embraced its immigrant, included them and grew stronger because of them. In short for over 100 years America as a nation has moved in the right direction to do everything correctly to make immigrants want to be here and feel at home once they are.
Again it hasn’t been smooth sailing for any group that immigrated here in large numbers. If you weren’t one of the first families that settled America then depending on who your immigrant ancestors were if they were Irish they were discriminated against and called micks, if they were Italians they were called dagos or guido, if they were oriental chinks, blacks everything and now it’s the Muslims turn. Despite the setbacks America grew as a nation because of the theory that a Nation is more than a specific bloodline or one religion. In fact it’s stronger than that It is the belief that we are all equal despite our differences. And throughout history when this belief has been tested by anyone America has been more than willing to step up and fight for it. That’s what makes America so prideful. That when push came to shove America stood up and shed blood for what it believed in.
This is why I believe it’s so hard (Not impossible) to radicalize American Muslims and to turn them into would be terrorist. ISIS or any other terrorist group would have a very hard time pointing to America as a country and saying we hate or are at war with Islam. American immigration goes out of its way to make new immigrants feel at home so much so that by the 2nd generation, children of immigrants feel more American and have stronger ties to America than their parents homeland (for proof look at bloggers that are children of immigrants here in America calling for anti-immigration bands). Look at our discrimination laws. Look at our school systems that absorbs many Muslim Holidays. Look at our tv shows and movies, government officials in certain precincts, lobbying groups and hiring practices. America tries to practice what it preaches when it comes to diversity and equality it’s had civil war and shed blood in civil rights for it. There can never be a doubt as to who America is as a country and what it believes in. I look at some of these European countries that are being attacked by Islamic extremist. From what I’ve seen in many cases citizens (second to third generation immigrants) that have lived in those countries for decades or grew up there are committing most of the terrorism more than F.O.B refugees. They are being radicalized and going vacationing in Syria or Libya to train with Islamic extreme forces only to return back to their European country and rain terror. Some countries their past have turned a blind eye to its immigrants, left them alone to fend for themselves in certain neighborhoods, went out of their way to make them feel like second class citizens. It leads me to believe that you can open up your borders and homes to refugees and immigrants as a show of goodwill and newfound belief in equality but if you don’t have a belief system, laws and governance that backs it up immigrants will always be just outsiders with stronger ties to where they came from than where they are at. Bottom line is they’ll always be a threat to worry about.