Opinion

A Modest Proposal For Confronting The Refugee Crisis Without Taking Any Muslim Refugees

One would be hard-pressed to find a more depraved extended family than the princes of Saudi Arabia this side of a John Waters movie.

In September a woman was found trying to scramble over the wall of the LA mansion of the Prince Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, son of the late King Abdullah. She was reportedly covered in blood and claimed to have been sexually assaulted.

The LA district attorney dropped felony sexual assault charges in October due to lack of evidence, but the prince is now facing a lawsuit from three women on his staff, who say they witnessed some truly atrocious things. But he’s unlikely to ever show up for a trial.

This kind of thing happens a lot. A whole lot:

  • In November a Saudi prince was arrested in Lebanon for trying to smuggle two tons worth of Captagon, an amphetamine, into Saudi Arabia.
  • In September a Saudi diplomat claimed immunity and fled the country after being accused of assaulting, kidnapping and raping two Nepalese women in India.
  • In April an alleged rapist with ties to the Saudi family had to be detained in Utah because he was determined to be a flight risk. He pled guilty in August.
  • In 2012 a member of a Saudi prince’s entourage was convicted of raping a woman in her sleep in New York.
  • In 2002 the DEA indicted another Saudi prince for trying to smuggle two tons of cocaine into France.
  • Then there was the 2009 incident in which a Saudi prince killed his gay lover in a London hotel. Unlike in most of these cases, he actually served time in prison, was convicted in 2010 then transferred back to Saudi Arabia in 2013 to serve out his sentence. The BBC reported, “The defendant spent most of the trial trying to prove he was not gay.”

Now, consider two things: First, this is the country we are currently supporting in Yemen. And before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the Saudis contributed about $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to Mother Jones.

The other gulf states are no better. Qatar and Kuwait, as well as Saudi Arabia, funded ISIS for years, and have been exporting extremist Wahhabi ideology for much longer. Saudi Arabia claims to have stopped funding ISIS at least, but who knows for sure? Captagon is the amphetamine used by ISIS fighters; are we to believe the two tons confiscated in Lebanon were all for illicit raves in Jeddah?

An article in The New York Times this weekend stated it plainly, “Saudi Arabia is a Daesh that has made it.”

Now, the only argument for taking Iraqi and Syrian refugees that has any truck with me is the idea that we ruined their countries when we deposed Saddam and backed the Syrian revolution, therefore we owe some restitution to the people the ensuing unrest has displaced.

However, we’re not the only ones that were responsible for ISIS. And currently the gulf states, who definitely share responsibility, are not taking their fair share. The governments of Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia claim they have taken in thousands, but NGOs dispute the numbers, and in any case they are much smaller than the numbers in Turkey, Jordan, or the EU.

The gulf states are great at influencing the U.S., buying off think tanks in DC, not to mention Hillary Clinton, but the relationship is rarely reciprocal; we ask for little and get even less. So how do we make them take more refugees?

Here’s a modest proposal. Saudi Arabia loves medievalism, they’ve been exporting it for decades. Hostage taking was a common tactic in medieval diplomacy, used to ensure that a recently conquered territory wouldn’t rise up, or to guard against double-dealing. We should arrest every single person connected to the Saudi ruling family living on U.S. soil, and hold them until they open their borders to tens of thousands of Muslim refugees for semi-permanent settlement. Given their princes’ penchant for whoring and stimulants, we won’t have to wait long.

The added benefit is when the government begins to realize the cost of supporting these people — and how much it cuts into the cocaine and meth budget! — they may think twice about continuing to fund extremism. We could stop ISIS and solve the refugee crisis in one fell swoop.

There is an one more advantage to this strategy. In Saudi Arabia everyone is considered Muslim, and apostasy is punishable by death. Therefore refugees who are religious minorities would have to go somewhere else, and we should be happy to take them. We would avoid the thorny issue of a religious test for refugees by receiving only the ones that would be unsafe in Muslim countries.

And if they refuse to accede to our demands, we could treat the hostages the way the Saudi legal system would treat a drug-addled rapist.