People strapped bombs to their bodies, and set out to do as much damage as they could a week ago, Friday, November 13 in Paris. Just as I did after 9/11, I withdrew from society and watched all the news I could about the destruction. I have seen French news reports being cautious about blaming refugees for the violence, and United States governors (31 U.S. governors) have signed declarations to refuse entrance to any Syrian refugees. I have heard presidential candidates say they would refuse shelter to three year old orphans. I have seen social media posts angry at President Obama, because he has not turned Syria into a glass parking lot, at a minimum.
I have heard about hackers who have taken it upon themselves to take down ISIS propaganda from the internet. I have seen Christians who are begging people to follow their faith instead of their fear to welcome those running toward any country of freedom and safety, including our own.
There is a multi step procedure for legal entry into our country for refugees. I tend toward a sympathetic response to people displaced by war and violence. I would welcome refugees from Syria, and other people who practice the Muslim faith. I have made this known in conversations with those who would isolate the United States from all Muslims.
My father grew up in a country at war with the United States, He came to the United States as a young man having lost his home to U.S. bombs, and lost his country to the violent and repressive Nazis. He served in the U.S. Army before he could even speak English very well. His brothers also established their families here in the U.S. The family has done well, and is now on it’s third generation of Americans.
I think offering the same opportunity to others who seek freedom and opportunity is the right thing to do. I also think we should use every tool we have to fight ISIS. This includes the use of rhetoric and being a light of freedom to the people of our enemies, and those trying to escape them.