Shortly after the conclusion of his meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, President Barack Obama accused GOP presidential candidates of being afraid of three year-old orphans, according to ABC News on Wednesday. The President was responding to comments made by several of the GOP candidates, including Ted Cruz, to the effect that we should ban such refugees from entering the United States.
Over the past few days, Obama has been telling reporters that the vast majority of Syrian immigrants are widows and young children. Administration officials have confirmed that the Syrian refugees undergo intense background checks, interviews and interrogation before being allowed into the United States.
Caution from President Obama:
President Obama has cautioned that engendering an atmosphere of “hysteria” and “exaggeration” plays into the hands of ISIS. This because it is the objective of jihadists to manipulate Americans into believing that the war on terror is akin to a war with Islam, or that a war on Islam is the same as a war on terror. Once Americans believe that, they will be drawn into an “us against them” mentality, which is right where ISIS wants Americans to be. This is the scenario that is likely to unfold, as Obama sees it, if the United States bans Syrian refugees from entering the country based on their religion.
Ted Cruz’s “religion tests”
Playing right into the scenario that Obama laid out before reporters was GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Cruz has been advocating for “religion tests” for all Syrian immigrants attempting to enter the United States. Furthermore, the litmus test that all Syrian refugees must pass, according to Cruz’s proposal, is that they all are “Christians.” Obama called Cruz’s proposal “offensive.” He also has warned Cruz and the other GOP candidates that:
“The world is watching.”
Suffice to say, the world is watching. The singly most important thing that the world is watching is whether or not we uphold our Constitutional principle that this is a nation of immigrants who are free to practice their own religions as they see fit. President Obama has been using his bully pulpit to remind America of its own fundamental principles of religious freedom for which so many Americans have died over the last 240 years.
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