I don’t understand the state of humanity today. I don’t understand how some people who claim to be religious or people of faith can be so hateful to others. I don’t understand how some Christians can reject Jesus’ teaching about welcoming others and caring for those in need (1-3) because they believe Syrian refugees–victims of ISIS themselves–will bring terror to the United States. I don’t understand how humans can be so inhumane to others, and I don’t understand how Americans can be so quick to react when they don’t know the facts.
I expect the hatred I’m seeing from ISIS because they are a group of extremists who kill anyone who doesn’t fit their ideology, including Muslims. However, I don’t expect hatred from people of faith in the United States because, typically, people here aren’t religious extremists. I expect that they will be loving and welcoming of those who are weary and tired of being terrorized, but instead I’m seeing people saying things such as, “It’s ridiculous that Muslims are being protected more than Christians in this country!” I’m not quite sure what to say about that statement. I’m not really religious anymore so I try very hard to not see people as their religion. Maybe you’ll say this is wrong because people’s religious beliefs are a part of who they are, but in the current state, I don’t care. I try to see people as people, equally deserving of a good life. Syrian refugees are fleeing terror and seeking refuge, and I see them as human beings who need help. I don’t understand people who see this as a Muslim vs. Christian thing. This is a humans needing help thing.
Most religions teach us to help those who are in need. Syrian refugees are in need right now. Think you’re freaked out about what ISIS is capable of? Imagine living through that terror and fear every day. Wouldn’t you hope that a country like the United States would allow you to escape that? Wouldn’t you hope your children would never have to face being kidnapped, raped, tortured, or brainwashed into being ISIS militants?
*Edit: I’m not saying all Christians are being closeminded or don’t care (I know that many, many Christians want to help); I’m saying that this is the time to put aside stereotypes and irrational fears that “Muslims’ needs are being put before Christians'” for those Christians (and people in general) who have them.
Let’s do some fact checking:
“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees — which refers refugees for resettlement in other countries — says there are more than 4 million registered Syrian refugees. Its figures on the demographic makeup of refugees is based on available data on the 2.1 million who were registered by the UNHCR in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. (Another 1.9 million Syrian refugees were registered by the Government of Turkey, and more than 24,000 were registered in North Africa.)
Even younger males — age 12 to 17 — represent 6.5 percent of refugees, while females that age are 6.1 percent. The majority of refugees — 51.1 percent — are under age 17, including 38.5 percent who are younger than 12 years old. These numbers were as of Sept. 6.”
Also, people keep claiming that the majority of refugees are male of military age. However, 38.5% of all refugees are 11 years old or under, and 12.6% are between 12-17 years old. As stated above, 50.5% of refugees (as of September 6, 2015) are women, and men between the ages of 18-59 make up only 21.8% of all refugees.
Last fact for you: as of August 31, 2015, “Syrians represented just 2.3 percent of the 57,350 total global refugees accepted by the U.S.” Yes, we’re expected to accept 10,000 more, but that still puts Syrian refugees at only 6% of all refugees accepted into the U.S. in 2015.
Do all of you who are yelling about Syrian refugees bringing ISIS to the U.S. not realize that ISIS has already infiltrated our borders? They’ve been here longer than we’ve been accepting refugees and they’ve been targeting American youth for recruitment for some time now too. The ISIS members already here look like you and me; they’re hiding in plain sight. You are being either ignorant or naive if you believe that the only way ISIS will be present in the U.S. is through accepting Syrian refugees. ISIS has promised an attack on Washington but I’m guessing we won’t heed the warning until it’s too late, and then we’ll just blame Obama because blaming our president is easier than admitting our country has made some grave mistakes currently and in the past that have led to our conflict with ISIS.
My last point is ISIS members aren’t your typical Muslims. They aren’t like the Muslims who peacefully practice their faith at the local mosque. They’re sociopaths who are using religion as an excuse to force their extremist ideology on the world. They are terrorizing and killing Muslims, and they’re creating a false stereotype about Muslims. Please don’t fall into the belief that all Muslims are violent or have connections to ISIS. Please don’t believe that all Syrian refugees have ties to ISIS. In general, please check your facts and try to retain your humanity. Try putting yourself in others’ shoes and think about how you would want the situation to look if it were you fleeing your country for safety. Whether it’s because of your faith or because you care about your fellow man, don’t lose sight of the fact that the refugees are human beings too who deserve to live without constant fear.
- “For if you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?” Matthew 5:46-48
- “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomes you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7
- “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36