Guy W. Farmer: Is it welfare for Jihadis?

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

Do you think NATO governments, including the United States, should provide welfare payments to radical Islamic terrorists who want to kill us? That’s a profound question raised by the New York-based Gatestone Institute, a conservative international think tank.

Writing for the Institute, Italian author/journalist Guilio Meotti used the example of British-born Muslim convert Jamal al-Harith (formerly Ronald Fiddler) to argue European governments “are providing cradle-to-grave entitlements” to Islamic terrorists (jihadis) “to fund their holy war” against NATO and the West. According to Meotti, “Europe gives them everything: jobs, homes, public assistance, unemployment and relief benefits, child benefits, disability payments and cash support.” Some clueless American refugee assistance organizations, including at least one in Northern Nevada (no names, please) are prepared to do the same. Go figure!

Fiddler/al-Harith was detained on a Middle Eastern battlefield and shipped off to our terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he remained until ex-President Obama released him last year in a failed attempt to close Gitmo before he left office. Meotti wrote al-Harith “was welcomed as a hero who was an innocent victim of the unjust ‘war on terror’” in London, where he was given a large cash payment by the British government and paid more than $70,000 for an interview by ITN, an independent TV network. “A few weeks ago al-Harith made his last journey” when he was blown up in Mosul, Iraq while fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS).” Good riddance!

Meotti also asserted “the terrorists who struck Paris and Brussels have used the generous British welfare system to fund their jihad” and revealed “the Danish government has been paying sickness and disability benefits to Muslim extremists fighting in Syria for the Islamic State,” which makes no sense. It’s one thing to provide public assistance to genuine, carefully vetted refugees, but it’s an altogether different proposition to fund terrorism with welfare payments.

“Public policy goals need to move people off welfare ... and toward personal responsibility,” Meotti wrote, adding “this would help fight the ghettoization and Islamization of Europe’s Muslims,” and I agree. Here in the U.S., we provide generous benefits to bonafide refugees and should continue to do so as long as they undergo the Trump administration’s “extreme vetting.” Obviously, those — especially young, healthy men — who can’t prove their bonafides shouldn’t receive public funds in Europe or in the U.S.

“Europe’s welfare system has created a cultural toxin for many in a sullen, unproductive Muslim underclass who live in segregated enclaves,” Meotti concluded, and we must guard against those kinds of segregated enclaves here in our country.

All of this raises another relevant question: What about public assistance and welfare payments to illegal immigrants? Last weekend I read yet another page one story in a Reno newspaper extolling the virtues of illegal immigrants. Yes, many “undocumented workers” — their favorite euphemism — are good people, but too many of them are involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities. Those criminal aliens should be deported “en cuanto antes” (quickly), as the Trump administration is doing.

If you want to make Nevada bureaucrats and elected officials uncomfortable, ask them how many millions of our tax dollars are being spent on illegal immigrants, starting with health care (think Medicaid) and public education (think English as a Second Language, ESL, programs). So I’ll ask newly elected Carson City Assemblyman Al Kramer, a fiscal conservative, to answer those questions for me. And I also wonder what percentage of Carson-Tahoe Hospital emergency room patients are illegal immigrants.

Bottom line: potential jihadis and criminal illegals don’t deserve public assistance or welfare. Let’s cut ’em off.

Guy W. Farmer is a retired diplomat.


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