The Old Testament is indeed violent, but hardly anyone within the Christian world (or the Jewish world) takes many of those violent eye-for-an-eye type passages literally anymore. This is in great contrast with the Islamic world, where, with the spread of hard-line Wahhabi Islam and the branch of political Islam begun by Sayyid al Qutb (whom you can read about here if you’re not familiar with him), many of the beliefs in Islam that we’d find crazy in the West and incompatible with our values (stoning for adultery, death for leaving the Islamic fold, completely subservient status of women, etc.) are mainstream.
The problem is that much of Islam, as it currently exists, is utterly incompatible with life in secular Western democracies. To paraphrase Karl Popper and D.J. Taylor, do we, in the name of tolerance, have to tolerate people who, if tolerated, wouldn’t tolerate us? We have certain rules and norms here, and it is not asking too much to expect those who want to come to our country to abide by them.
As for your point that Islam and Islamic terrorism don’t pose a particularly great, much less an existential, danger to the U.S. at this point in time because Muslims are still a tiny percentage of the population, and terrorist attacks claim comparatively few lives annually in the U.S., that’s correct, and yet it’s short-sighted and misleading.
Saying that not many people in the U.S. actually die from terrorism is sort of like saying that not many people in the U.S. actually die from nuclear attacks. Both facts are true. The real problem is that in those rare moments when attacks do take place, they tend to be pretty catastrophic in scope. The goal is prevention, making sure there’s never a repeat of 9/11, or even of the Orlando attack, or of the attacks in London or Paris. It’s reasonable to take prevention very seriously. And this makes for a nice transition to your point that the current Muslim population here is only 1% and doesn’t pose much of a danger to the U.S.
The 1% of the U.S. population that’s Muslim isn’t going to be able to commit too many terror attacks or impose Shariah law in the U.S., of course. But now, imagine that the percentage rises to somewhere between 5 and 10%. That’s still comparatively small, right? Yet that’s the percentage of Muslims in France right now, and if you want to understand what the climate is like in France with respect to the Muslims there, I’d suggest you read this fascinating article. What you’ll learn is that French culture and society have undergone a fundamental transformation because of the Muslim population in France, and the far right is becoming an increasingly attractive option when the only other option seems to be fear and total capitulation. You’ll learn the same thing if you think about the notorious case in Rotherham, England, where Pakistani Muslim gangs were allowed for years to get away with the rape of some 1,400 English girls with full knowledge of the police, all because the police were too scared off by political correctness to offend Muslim sensibilities. And you’ll also learn the same lesson if you consider the case of the attacks on some 1,000 women in Cologne, Germany by recently admitted Muslim migrants (there have been other, similar attacks on a smaller scale in Germany since).
When you think about these facts, what you’ll understand is that the time to act is not once Muslims get to be 5–10% of the population or more, but now, while the situation is still under control. Already, Muslims comprise 10% of new immigrants to the U.S. and reproduce at a significantly higher rate than many other Americans. Trump’s approach to the problem — at least his initial “Muslim ban” approach — is obviously crude and unworkable, but I credit him for daring to start a public discussion about an issue that the left has buried its head in the sand about. Neither Obama nor Hillary Clinton had offered any solutions at all. Just like the politically correct leftist politicians of France, they could not so much as bring themselves to recognize that a problem even exists.
I believe that the solution to this problem, just like the solution to the problem of race in America, is integration. In France, in England and in Germany, the problem stems from ghettos, from concentrations of unintegrated Muslims growing up in poverty and either failing to adopt the more tolerant practices of their new countries or else becoming radicalized because they live in poverty and have nothing else but the lures of a revolutionary theology to offer them succor and the promise of a better future. I believe in admitting immigrants from every country and of every faith, but I believe in doing so slowly and carefully enough that we are making sure they get integrated rather than living in communities composed solely of others like themselves. This requires a lot of thinking and planning, and I’m afraid that our politicians are unfortunately divided between those who offer no solutions and those who offer simplistic solutions. That’s a shame.