Lisa Mascaro of The LA Times has reported that Paul Ryan (R-WI) will ask Congress to pass a bill to stop 10,000 Syrian immigrants from entering the US. The title of the article is “Speaker Paul Ryan wants House vote this week to ‘pause’ Syrian-refugee resettlement.”
Several governors in US states, including John Kasich (R-OH), have written a letter to President Obama stating that the US should not allow 10,000 refugees from Syria political asylum. This was largely in response to the Paris attacks on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 by terrorists with ties to Syria. Some of the GOP candidates for the 2016 presidential election have come out in favor of only allowing Christians from Syria to be admitted. While Christians in Syria and most other Middle Eastern states have undergone persecution, the 13% of Shia Muslims and the 3% non-Muslim Druze make up the bulk of the refugees from Syria migrating to Europe.
The Paris attacks have refueled the fear and paranoia of a general Muslim threat to US security. These attacks have also allowed 2016 GOP presidential candidates to avow their allegiance to Jesus Christ’s followers, and to disavow the assertion that Muslims can be peaceful members of the US population. Al-Qaeda had a set of specific goals that focused on driving the US out of the Middle East. These goals were first stated by Osama bin Laden after US forces were based in Saudi Arabia.
“The principal stated aims of al-Qaeda are to drive Americans and American influence out of all Muslim nations, especially Saudi Arabia; destroy Israel; and topple pro-Western dictatorships around the Middle East. Bin Laden also said that he wishes to unite all Muslims and establish, by force if necessary, an Islamic nation adhering to the rule of the first Caliphs.
Al-Qaeda’s ideology, often referred to as “jihadism,” is marked by a willingness to kill “apostate” —and Shiite—Muslims and an emphasis on jihad. Although “jihadism” is at odds with nearly all Islamic religious thought, it has its roots in the work of two modern Sunni Islamic thinkers: Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Sayyid Qutb.
The goal of Al-Qaeda was to establish a Sunni political state that was based on Muslim law, Sharia, to rule that territory. Al-Qaeda was also interested in getting revenge on the US for its interference in the Middle East and support of Israel. When Osama bin Laden finally admitted responsibility for the 9/11 attack, his reasoning had nothing to do with establishing Islam in the US. His stated reason was that he acted in retaliation for attacks throughout Muslim countries in the Middle East, and for attacks by Israel upon Lebanon in 1982.
We are hearing now from several GOP presidential candidates that Syrian refugees should be restricted to Christians. Jeb Bush has stated that the US should only accept Syrian refugees that are Christian. Bush assured the public that the US government can determine whether an individual refugee is a true Christian. Ted Cruz made the following statement:
We should accept Christians from Syria, and only Christians, because “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.
President Obama had this to say about the objections that some American had to admitting Syrian refugees after the Paris attack.
I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that’s been coming out of here during the course of this debate. ISIL seeks to exploit the idea that there is a war between Islam and the West, and when you start seeing individuals in positions of responsibility, suggesting that Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land that feeds the ISIL narrative. It’s counterproductive, and it needs to stop.
The US is making the 9/11 attacks when it restricts the Bill of Rights by declaring a war on terror. Each terrorist act by the US with drone strikes, bombing of hospitals, and killing of US citizens without due process is a victory for terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has admitted that it has increased the anxiety of US citizens by issuing higher security levels to “keep everyone on their toes”. Screaming fire in a theater has the same effect, and it is against the law.
We need to act with compassion to aid Syrian immigrants to enter the US without the fear and prejudice being stated by politicians and the DHS. We need to act with courage and resume as much as possible our daily lives trusting the fact that most of the world is not hostile to the US. We need to stop the war of terror that we have waged after 9/11 and remove the continuing actions that promote hatred for the US.