‘Give me your tired, your poor … but not your Muslim refugees’

STATUE OF LIBERTY

Another 31 refugees, most of them believed to be Syrian, drowned yesterday attempting to find sanctuary in the Greek islands. Fifteen of the dead were babies or children, part of a refugee death toll that is now approaching 3,000. All in all, some four million Syrians — half the nation’s population — have been turned into internal or external refugees by its horrific civil war, and some 250,000 civilians have been killed in the violence there, with no end in sight.

But as Baptist minister and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee put it in a speech to a conservative group over the weekend, arguing against taking in some of the refugees:

“Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we’ve got cable TV? I don’t meant to be trite. I’m just saying: We don’t know.”

Oh, we know. Huckabee loves to describe the United States as a Christian nation, but apparently we are NOT our brother’s keeper after all. We are not to take in the hungry and give him food, or the thirsty to give him drink. Nor are we to give refuge to the sojourner, particularly when he or she is a Muslim. Because … well, you know.

Muzzie1

Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, warned in a Washington Post op-ed last week of an increasingly virulent anti-Muslim attitude in conservative circles.  In the wake of Sept. 11, he points out, President Bush stressed the fact that terrorism and violence are perversions of Islam. However, Gerson notes, “Bush’s formulation of this argument might well be disqualifying in the current GOP presidential nomination process. This change in language and attitude toward Islam represents the largest shift in Republican views of the war on terrorism since 2001.”

Gerson goes on to warn that by treating Islam and Muslims as our enemy, rather than focusing on the very small minority of extremists, we give the terrorists exactly what they treasure the most.  They have long sold this conflict as an all-out war of the West against all of Islam, and there is nothing we could do that would be more harmful to our own cause and safety than validating that extremist claim.  It would make an already difficult fight profoundly more complex and dangerous.

In response to the immediate refugee crisis, President Obama has pledged to take in some 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, a very small share of the hundreds of thousands being taken in by our European allies. In the four years of the Syrian civil war up to now, we’ve taken in a paltry 1,500. As USA Today reports, the small Lebanese village of Ketermaya has by itself taken in more Syrian refugees than has the entire United States.

But Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign are warning against allowing additional refugees. They warn that terrorists could be “salted away” among the refugees, suggesting that we should let Europe take all the risks in resettling them. Here in Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has asked federal authorities not to resettle additional refugees here, claiming that local jurisdictions such as Clarkston can’t handle the additional burden. Yet the mayor of Clarkston, Ted Terry, strongly disagrees:

“Clarkston is ready to step up and do our part to welcome more Syrians, more Iraqis, more Afghanis to our city,” says Terry. “Our Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters from the Levant need our help. And I respectfully call on our state and federal leaders to answer the call.”

It’s easy to think of ourselves as the “exceptional nation,” the “most charitable” nation, the nation where a person’s race or religion doesn’t matter. It is so much harder to actually act that way, particularly at times of crisis or when it involves taking a risk of some sort.   But the truth is, that’s the only time it really matters.

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681 comments
DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Since Gerson is by these accounts WAY off base in his analysis, the rest of the article becomes a bit preachy, miscasting legitimate SPECIFIC and NARROWLY defined concerns as broader moral, ethical, and policy shortcomings. Nothing could be further from the truth, but of course, this article is not concerned with truth.

GaBlue
GaBlue

Dinosaur sheetz!

TheNerd
TheNerd

Everybody listen to me!  In case you do not understand me in regarding the Muslim refugees coming to America, I'm telling you this:  I'm sworn to get along to anybody regardless, and I will not tolerate intolerance to said people regardless.  Now before you judge any muslim, read the bible that said, and this is Jesus talking:  "Judge not that you not be judged."  IT'S IN MATTHEW, THE FIRST VERSE IN CHAPTER 7, PEOPLE!

Kamchak
Kamchak

@SimpleTruths 

Consider the messenger shot.

Thirty years of talk-radio vilifying the "lame stream media" says, "What?"

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I suppose that somewhere down this thread a Conservative pointed out that you guys don't want to address the real problem?

That being this refugee mess is a direct result of Obama policies withdrawing America from the World Leader.

And that Russia's build up in Syria is because Putin knows Obama won't do a thing.

The Left's champion is a total disaster on every front.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@JohnnyReb the refugee crisis is due to the destabilization of the Middle East begun under W. some people warned y'all this would happen. instead we were told tripe of liberators and many scarfed it down whole. 

honested
honested

@consumedconsumer @JohnnyReb 

Apparently the ability to discern 'cause' escapes the average conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvative.

Failure to appropriately view and evaluate the situation escapes them.

The only answer must be 'more war', despite the repeated failure of 'more war'.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@fiftythreepercenter Obama's responsible for a lot. Some good. Some bad. Such is life. 


But the current cluster that is that region can be tied to W/Cheney et al's decision to fight "them" (whomever the f--k "them" were) over there rather than over here (where they don't really want to be in any event 'cept for the fact that we're parking our war machine on their forsaken desert covering "our" oil)


but you want to go back far enough, we can settle on around WWI, Balfour and the idiotic boundary lines being drawn.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@JohnnyReb 

To try to attribute the disturbances in the Middle East to a single cause, or even multiple causes that ignore centuries of history, is pretty stupid.

To do so to score political points is mere demagoguery.

straker
straker

Bulls - "in the war you served in"


In would be amusing, in a pitiful and pathetic way, to see you try to last even one day in a US Military boot camp.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Have any of you pro-refugee immigration folks taken a serious look at the photos in news media?

If yes, please let us all know your opinion on why males greatly outnumber women and children? 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@LogicalDude @JohnnyReb - it matters that so many men are exiting their country unwilling to fight to save it..

It also matters that with that many muslim men there is high opportunity for radicals.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb 

Already addressed.

Perhaps you should read through the comments BEFORE posting.

Just suggestin'.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Kamchak @JohnnyReb - obviously you have more time than me.  I don't have time to read through 634 posts.  Thanks for giving me the half-arse update however on the subject.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb 

Lemme guess, as a student you never did your homework the night before amiright?

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@JohnnyReb @LogicalDude Or maybe they sent their women and children previously and are now following? 

Which side should they fight for if they see both sides as terrible? 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@RaindroidWillBoy @JohnnyReb - perhaps ISIS is overwhelming there - not by the Obama administration propaganda - but I thought there were groups fighting them and Assad.

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@JohnnyReb And it appears it never occured to you that they don't want to be forced into fighting...and are hoping to get established somewhere, get some money and then get their wives and kids out too.

juvenal
juvenal

@Kamchak esp when he said the top 200 are decimating the middle class...........

lvg
lvg

I hear Putin is sending tanks and arms to Syria and calling it humanitarian aid. Why are we not armingand helping  the Kurds to fight ISIS and Assad?? They are the only ones effectively fighting ISIS and aiding the refugees ???Oh I forgot- we are tied at the hip to Turkey that hates and kills Kurds for sport.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Why is Hillary losing the support of women?

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

She'll get it back after she picks a running mate and the gop selects its nominee - Imho

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@LordHelpUs


Could it be that she is a sleaze merchant and women see thru that? Could it be that running for the presidency for the sake of being the first women president is taking a back seat to the term "fit for office"?

GaBlue
GaBlue

@DownInAlbany

When you speak with her privately, be sure to ask her why she thinks this is. Sweep the hair gently away from her eyes as you put on your most empathetic face and look deep into her eyes. Her confidence will be shaken, and her dependence on you for validation will deepen. Keep your words to a minimum. Reassure her with your eyes and gentle touch. You're IN, buddy!