How to “root out jihad from within”

Following the terrorist attack in St. Cloud, Minnesota (not France), John wrote about what he called delusional efforts to combat the influence of ISIS on Somali youth in Minnesota. The efforts consisted of “funding a broad array of mental health and education programs” and also the developing “community-led intervention teams” — groups of Somali leaders and educators enlisted to identify and intervene with young people believed at risk for radicalization.

I gather from John’s post that the latter approach was hampered by a lack of volunteers. It may be, as John says, that a great many Somalis in Minnesota have mixed feelings about Islamic terrorism.

But perhaps they just lack sufficient incentive to root out jihad from within. I have an idea for creating one.

What if we banned all immigration to the U.S. by Somalis. The ban would be subject to reconsideration in, say, four years. If after that period there has been no terrorism by Somalis in the U.S. and no criminal conduct by Somalis living here to assist in terrorism here or abroad, the ban would be lifted. We could also require evidence of progress towards assimilatation, though I’d prefer a simple terrorism/no terrorism standard.

An instance of terrorism by a Somali would reset the four year ban. In effect, we’d be requiring four clean years.

Somalis in America undoubtedly want to see more Somalis admitted. Many have relatives and friends whom they hope will come here.

Thus, my proposal gives them a powerful incentive to police their communities and work with authorities to identify potential terrorists. We wouldn’t have to induce cooperation by giving Somalis “resources” or abstaining from raids and other policing tools that “alarm and anger” them. (See John’s post.) But my approach certainly doesn’t preclude providing community services if they make sense on their own terms.

My approach would also extend an incentive to other immigrant communities that are producing terrorists. They will likely become more vigilant and cooperative in order to avoid an immigration ban.

To many liberals, my proposal will sound draconian, but it isn’t. No action would be taken against innocent Somalis and they would be deprived of no rights.

Sure, members of the Somali community would like to see more Somali immigration. But there are plenty of things I’d like to see but won’t because of public policy decisions I disagree with. Somalis living here have no right to have more Somalis enter the U.S.; nor do Somalis living elsewhere have a right to come here.

Even if the ban on Somali immigration doesn’t stop terrorism by Somalis, it will at least keep new potential terrorists from entering the U.S. In other words, it’s a win-win.