Should UK Pakistanis need US visas? No.

The Daily Telegraph is having a debate on whether the US should require British citizens of Pakistani origin to have visas; that is to say, on the basis of their religion and ethnicity, be denied access to the visa waiver scheme.

There are a few problems with this. I sincerely hope that this BBC report in which the US embassy to London dismisses the allegations outright. Nevertheless, no less a paper than the New York Times, according to the BBC article, originally reported the article. If you look at the responses to the original article, you will see such gems as
Hell YES!
True Britian is no more, just because you killed yourselves with the pc diversity doesn't mean the US should follow you off the cliff.
Ecellent idea! More, please. I have no interest whatsoever in foriegners' opinions with regard to this measure, or anything else for that matter. I think we Americans can bloody well grant or refuse entry to anyone, or any classes of people, as we see fit. Don't like it? Don't come, thank you. Pity you Brits hadn't adopted a similar attitude toward admission to the UK - you might have a few more underground trains cars and busses in your inventory just now.
Yes, the U.S. is justified to take this position. It is not racism, merely realism. Very regrettable for the British Pakistanis who are not of the Jihad mentality but this is how it's got to be. Here in Britain we need to become similarly realistic. Our security services are doing a good job but it will be in vain unless we drastically curtail immigration and travel to and from hostile Muslim countries.
so I'm going to have my two cents.

Firstly, it is and of itself racist. As I said at the start, it discriminates against people on the basis of their race and religion. There are those - including some of the people I've been talking about this with - who don't think it's racist. I disagree, but let's look at the effects it will have.

The proposed policy is based on the idea that UK Pakistanis are more likely to be terrorists than anyone else (I presume) and so need to be subject to more checks. That community is, in the UK, presumably more likely to have members that will fall under the thrall of extremists and be induced to commit acts of terrorism. Those extremist leaders use the idea that their proselytes are not members of the UK community and that idea will be bolstered both by the US's actions and any failure on behalf of the UK to challenge it squarely.

It is also unenforceable. Exactly how 'Pakistani' does one have to be? One-half? One-quarter? Or is there a blood taint assumed in this law? Are we going back to talking about quadroons, octoroons and quintroons? They tried those terms in Australia when talking about mixed Aboriginal-European children and that worked pretty bady.

We then look at what exactly a Pakistani is. Does Lord Waheed Alli, of Trinidadian Asian descent, count as Pakistani? We can also look at some of the other people this will catch, like Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. There is such variability within the defined community that it makes the definition worthless for predictive reasons and may actually exacerbate the 'problem' it sets out to prevent.

It is also deeply hypocritical for a country that allowed the IRA to fundraise on its shores to now turn around and come out with this policy - admittedly, the US has disavowed it, but as I quoted above, there are lot of people supporting this idea.

Indeed, I was so incensed by this policy that I even wrote a letter to the editor of The Daily Telegraph:
Palmerston, in 1850 as Foreign Secretary, saw being British as independent of religion when insisting that David Pacifico, a Portuguese Jew born a British subject at Gibraltar, was entitled to support from Britain to the extent that he blockaded Piraeus, the Port of Athens, for two months when his goods were stolen in an anti-Semitic attack.

Defending his actions in Parliament, he said "as the Roman in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say, Civis Romanus sum, so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him from injustice and wrong."

If Islam is being perverted to attack Britain and we wish to stop the impressionable from falling under malign influences, Britain must forcefully defend the rights of all its citizens irrespective of faith and not allow an allied country to discriminate between British citizens on the basis of that country's fears; to do so would imply British approval of that discrimination.
I think the point stands. I know Palmerston was a Whig, but the point stands. The Daily Telegraph and Conservativism in the UK generally stand for what might be called a civic nationalism. The support voiced for the proposal indicates that the nationalism is shifting, in is support base, to be an ethnic nationalism. Indeed, this would appear to be true when one looks at the English nationalist movement, which seems to be shifting Conservativism away from the traditional defence of the Union to being happy for Scotland to leave.

There can be no second-class citizens; the Pacifico incident established a principle that being British entitles you to the support of Britain in your dealings with other states without exception. The argument has not been made, if it can be made at all, for a derogation.




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