When I retired we chose to live in small town Nebraska. We could have chosen one of the larger cities, Denver or Oklahoma City where we'd been stationed during my Air Force career. Omaha, Miami, New York City or Los Angeles were possibilities too. No regrets and every once in awhile I'm reminded why we prefer small town America.
A dear, blue-eyed-blonde lady friend who lives in Omaha shared the following incident. She recently had gone to one of her high school son's wrestling meets in a "rough" part of town. It came time to step out and pacify her bad habit to have a smoke. Friends cautioned her that maybe it wasn't a good idea due to the neighborhood. With a bit of trepidation she stepped out on the dim lighted sidewalk away from the entrance to the school gym and promptly met three big black young men dressed in signature "gangsta" outfits. "Well mama Nancy, what are you doing here?" spoke the one in the slick black jacket. The fear her friends inside had suggested instantly vanished.
Yes she had met a friend, one of "her" customers in the bar that she owns and manages in downtown Omaha. Her customers come in great variety and she considers each a friend. She tells me, her concerned dad, that those customers are protective of her and if trouble did arise she would be surrounded and protected by faithful friends. Not my lifestyle but it works for her!
Now contrast the lifestyle in our small town. Nearly every morning I see individuals and many times pairs of ladies walking the street and sidewalks past my house. I too occasionally walk for exercise at night. I prefer the alleys which in this town are most all paved and adequately lighted. Never have I felt fear during my nocturnal strolls. People that I meet are invariably friendly responding with a "Hi" and a wave of acknowledgement. Dogs bark to protect their space as I walk by -- no danger there. Safe is the watchword and I like it that way.
Not so in many countries in Europe today. England, France, the Netherlands and more have seen large enclaves of Muslims settle in their cities. They emigrated in unlimited numbers following World War II and have been fertile above the norm. Who could blame them for leaving the poverty of autocratic Arab states to move to lands of opportunity, freedom and liberty promised in more democratic societies?
Unfortunately those Muslim communities that settled in ever growing enclaves in European cities and even a few in America brought many of the practices that made them poor in the first place. Now today there has been an expanding movement under the auspices of the Muslim Brotherhood "Ikhwan" (Arabic for brothers). In the U.S., the Ikhwan operates through front groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others.
The goal of Ikhwan is to establish a worldwide Caliphate where all societies must function under Shariah law. Shariah defines the fault line between people who are Muslims but can love our country, respect and enjoy its freedoms and support our form of government and Constitution, and those who are obliged by doctrine to oppose all those things. Worse, adherents to Shariah must -- in accordance with that doctrine -- impose their form of law and belief on the rest of us. The Muslim Brotherhood in America calls this "civilization jihad."
What has happened in Europe is the large enclaves of Muslims reject the local laws and govern themselves under Shariah. Women must be covered and cannot go in public without being escorted by a male relative. They cannot have jobs. If raped they are stoned to death or beheaded. Honor killings are expected and excused. Women have no rights at all.
When the Muslims move in the locals move out if they can. Those who choose not to move barricade themselves in their homes and never set foot outside after dark. Local police are intimidated and will not answer calls in Muslim controlled areas.
Personally I am not in the least "Islamophobic," "bigoted" or "racist" and would welcome those Muslims who can love our country, respect and enjoy its freedoms and support our form of government into our community as they appear to be doing in Lexington, Nebraska. In Lex, a significant number of Somalis have come to work in the local meat packing plant. Their children attend public schools and the men are employed. Other than a few strange -- to us -- customs, there seems to be little problem.
The implementation of Shariah at the moment appears to be a problem that will not affect us locally. It is all happening far away from our own community. I would hate to give up my nocturnal wanderings in our safe neighborhood. Nevertheless the problem is real and we are well advised to educate ourselves of the danger and vote accordingly.
That is how I saw it.