Our political leaders have a way of taking any particular issue and creating a partisan atmosphere where one has to choose between two sides, while no one tries to find a middle ground. It’s a “with us or against us” atmosphere.
Lots of impassioned although unreasonable rhetoric has been propagated by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and United States Senator Ted Cruz (R. Tex). The issue is whether or not the U.S. should accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing civil war, Syrian dictator Assad, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Proponents of this point of view are afraid that ISIS might gain entry into the United States by way of the refugee program. Their thoughts seem to be as follows: Syrian = Muslim = ISIS. Sen. Cruz has only made the problem worse by stating that the U.S. would have no problem admitting Christian refugees because they don’t pose a terror risk. While terrorism in the name of Islam has been the most common form against western nations in recent years, the idea that Christians can’t be terrorists is pretty f*cking stupid. Aside from the obvious culprits of the KKK and (the debatable religious nature of) Joseph Kony’s “Lord’s Army,” northern India has also seen its share of Christian terrorism as well. And while we’re at it, the Crusades happened. There’s no denying it.
The other viewpoint is that the Syrian refugees are actually fleeing ISIS, so it makes no sense to worry and doing so promotes racism and islamophobia. The refugees are fleeing the most dangerous place in the world, and every day are at risk of being killed by ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, or rebel troops. They’re not looking to kill anybody. They’re just trying to stay alive. But ISIS isn’t stupid. One of the terrorist who attacked Paris on November 13th may have entered the country through Greece posing as a Syrian refugee. The refugees aren’t terrorists. But ISIS has and may continue to try and take advantage of the migration crisis that it helped create to attack western nation including the U.S. ISIS isn’t just another terror cell holed up in a cave. These people are some of the smartest terrorists the world has ever known. They’ve established a governing body. They run museums and hospitals. Their propaganda videos are choreographed to music from ISIS musicians and filmed in HD. If ISIS wanted to infiltrate the Syrian refugees, there’s a good chance they would succeed.
America has always been a bastion of Freedom. Or so we claim. Our politicians say we’re the greatest nation on earth. So why don’t we live up to those claims? And if we live in fear, doesn’t that mean the terrorist have won? We shouldn’t demonize voices who don’t agree with the refugee program. They have legitimate concerns, and the U.S. should definitely exercise caution in deciding who is granted asylum. But the Statue of Liberty is tattooed with a beckoning call to the world to send us the poor, the weary and the huddled masses yearning be free. In other words, a Syrian refugee.