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Texas Falls Victim to Terror

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Syrian boys, whose family fled their home in Idlib, walk to their tent, at a camp for displaced Syrians, in the village of Atmeh, Syria, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

Syrian boys, whose family fled their home in Idlib, walk to their tent, at a camp for displaced Syrians, in the village of Atmeh, Syria, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

Terror has taken over Texas.

Not with guns or bombs, but with fear and xenophobia.

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Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, the state in which I live (sometimes to my embarrassment), sent President Obama a letter today informing him that the state of Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees, and he urges the President to stop his plans to accept Syrian refugees in this country.  He is joined in this refusal by the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Illinois, and Michigan. The number of governors denying refugee settlement is growing (22 by some online reports).

I do not feel safer because Governor Abbott has closed our doors to Syrian refugees.

Rather, I feel vulnerable because this refusal reflects our government’s inability to find a way to keep us safe from terrorists, as the governor himself states.

I am ashamed that the fear engendered by the terror attacks in Paris has defeated us.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement that he will do “everything humanly possible to stop any plans from the Obama administration to put Syrian refugees in Mississippi.”  That almost sounds like a feeble call to war.

It is rhetoric that appeals to those who feel threatened by the ‘new’ others, who accuse the president of weakness.

I don’t consider these governors to be honorable men. They are cowards who are not inclined to use their intellect or resources to devise a plan for America to be safe and compassionate.  They don’t really care for the hungry and homeless of Syria any more than they care for the children who walk hundreds of miles across deserts alone to breach the Mexican border.

They prefer partisan talk and talk of states’ rights.

Laura Turner writes in the Religion News Service: “Syrian refugees need the aid and shelter of the global community, and Christians should be the first to answer the call for hospitality.” In a Christian-majority country, where is the hospitality of which she speaks?

Perhaps the governors’ refusal reflects their ignorance of current events in Syria, that many are fleeing the Assad regime, which commits atrocities against men, women and children daily. But Assad doesn’t violate buildings in Parisian neighborhoods; the Eiffel Tower cannot be lit with any color representing his victims.

And perhaps Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal chooses to ignore the possibility that his own parents, immigrants from Punjab, might have been refused entry to the United States were an ISIS-type entity operating in India and our elected officials closed our doors.

Adding to the mix are reports that the Syrian passport found at one of the attack sites was fake. A top EU official claims,

“Let me underline—the profile of the terrorists so far identified tells us this is an internal threat. It is all EU citizens so far. This can change with the hours, but so far it is quite clear it is an issue of internal domestic security,” High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini stated, following a gathering of EU foreign ministers.”

Are Americans not strong enough, smart enough, willing enough, to compassionately open our borders to the lost and vulnerable?  Or are we so fearful we hide from the enemy behind metaphorical walls?

The pedestal of the statue of Liberty contains these verses meant to honor all those who flee poverty and oppression:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Today at Lady Liberty’s feet rest the ghostly voices of drowned children, terrified mothers, fathers begging Christian Europeans for bread, for shelter, for warmth.

Will America allow terror to win?

[Update 11/17/15]: Following these refusals to admit Syrian refugees (now made by over half the nation’s governors), a number of media outlets and refugee services organizations have shared details about the rigorous process for approving refugee status.  Here is one, from CNN. It’s worth noting one commentator’s logical point: that refugees can move into one of the states whose governors have pledged not to admit Syrian refugees.  That is because the approval process is a federal one.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Keith

    November 17, 2015 at 3:02 AM

    One other thing all the terrorists who attacked Paris have in common is that they are all Islamic, there are no Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs or Hindus fighting with the Islamic state, why not?
    Yes there are muslims who are good people who do condemn the violence being carried out by the Islamic State, but I have not heard anyone challenging the theological arguments and verses from the Koran and Hadiths that they use to justify the violence. In fact I have been told by one Muslim that those verses do not exist at all and that I am lying. Why can I read them then?
    Why can’t Muslims debate what is in the Koran and what those verses of violence mean to the rest of the world, including Muslims who want to live in peace, as they are understood by a lot of Muslims. It may only be a minority but when ComRes conducted a poll for the BBC in May this year it showed that 24 percent of the Muslims in the UK believe it is acceptable to use violence against those who, they believe, have insulted YOUR prophet. Very nearly a quarter of all Muslims is not a tiny minority, especially when you consider that in the 1930’s the Nazi party only had 4 percent of the German population of Germany as members and by the start of WWII there were only 7 percent of Germans as members of the party. Think what that 24 percent minority can do to turn the rest of the world against Muslims.
    But all we hear from people like the author of this article is blame everyone else for Islams problems.

    • Ali Davoudi

      November 17, 2015 at 7:09 AM

      The holy Quran is a scripture that can be interpreted in a number of ways. Your claim that Muslims don’t refute the ISIS interpretation is a faulty one. Look for example at the “open letter to al Baghdadi”, a letter in which a number of prominent muslims, denounce the Islamic State and it’s self proclaimed leader.

      I think that every non-believer who is scared of Islam or Muslims should try to understand one simple thing:
      When the human mind creates an idea and chooses something to justify it with, that’s where the problem starts. One must indeed fear the individual who plans to do something terrible in the name of something or someone.
      To say that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS is wrong in my opinion. But, the thing is, ISIS or any group for that matter, could have chosen any number of religions or causes to justify their acts of war against innocents. The fact that they use Islam is what makes it so sad for the majority of Muslims.

      One more thing though.
      If it’s true what the media portrays about Islam and it’s followers. That Islam is a hateful religion, having the sole purpose of eradicating every non-muslim. That every muslim is secretly planning to kill non-believers and overthrow their governments.

      There are over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and this number is growing every day.
      If a small group like ISIS is capable of so much death and chaos, what if all Muslims joined this cause? Wouldn’t it be just a matter of time before we took over the world?
      Or even if we didn’t take over.
      Wouldn’t there be more attacks in western countries? Kidnappings? Beheadings?

      The fact that this isn’t the case, shows that it’s a very small percentage of people who believe in violence against non-believers AND act upon it.

      • Truth

        November 19, 2015 at 2:26 AM

        Yes Ali Davoudi I agree. Muslims do dispute ISIS. However there is obviously a crisis of authority in Islam. Who is right and who is wrong? Islam cannot agree itself about itself. The clear solution is to simply Purge Quran and hadith of all violent verses
        Ali DavoudinI I disagree that any group or religion can justify their actions like ISIS. Take Buddhism and Christianity for example. Yes atrocities have occurred in Buddhist and Christian countries but they are much harder to justify by using their foundational scriptures. Take the New Testament for example. I challenge you or or any one to find even one directive to violence. You will Not find one. Nil. Zero. Contrast this with the Quran and hadith and you will find hundreds.
        You Say There are over 1.5 billion Muslims and If a small group like ISIS is capable of so much death and chaos, what if all Muslims joined this cause? Wouldn’t it be just a matter of time before we took over the world? There can be any number of reasons for this … I think you would agree however even if Muslims do not pick up bombs or guns many support arrogant notions of Islam just in their thinking. Look at the Turkish soccer crowd that booed during the one minute silence for the Paris victims. There is much in Muslim thinking and attitude that is antagonistic to the non Muslim world and the West in particular.
        Further more many Muslims are only Muslim in name. Many don’t even know the Quran and many who do are sane enough to not follow it.

    • Mustafa

      November 17, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      We don’t blame everyone else for Islams problems(it doesn’t have any) but we do blame you for your problems. Stop Western terrorism and imperialism in Muslim lands. It is regrettable that some extremist Muslims have decided to follow the terrorist ways of the West and assault innocent people and they are a group we are doing everything we can to eradicate.

      Hence, the majority of people fighting DAESH are themselves Muslims in Iraq and Syrian and Kurd lands.

      • Truth

        November 22, 2015 at 4:07 AM

        To Mustafa
        What garbage. Islam is pulling itself apart and you say islam dosnt have problems. Read the news. And cut your victim blame game of “western imperialism and terrorism”. It’s the same old Muslim blame game rather than facing up to its own failings. No doubt you think the US shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan to defend itself.
        The West is far more open and honest about its mistakes than any Muslim nation. Look at the Muslim Turkish genocide of more than 1 Million non Muslim Armenians during WW1. And Turkey still refuses to admit it even happened let alone apologise.

    • Ruth Nasrullah

      November 20, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      Thanks for the comment, Keith. There are numerous articles on this site regarding the issue of Islam and violence.

  2. Asim

    November 17, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Keith

    ” I have not heard anyone challenging the theological arguments and verses from the Koran and Hadiths that they use to justify the violence. ”

    All you have to do is a simple search to find many refutations of ISIS on religious grounds by many leading scholars.

    Please do a google search on refutations of ISIS by Yasir Qadhi, Waleed Basyouni, and Hamza Yusuf.

    You will find what you need.

    • Asim

      November 17, 2015 at 10:55 AM

      FYI…I tried to post direct links to some of these talks, but MM filters were not allowing me to post it.

    • Sean

      November 20, 2015 at 2:30 AM

      Yasir Qadhi is on record as saying that the lives and property of the mushrikoon are legally his in a state of jihad. Whether he disagrees with ISIS on the fine points of jihadist practice hardly matters to me. I regard anyone who says what he did as my sworn enemy.

      And how many Muslims agree with him? I no longer talk to any Muslim who is not willing to disavow the Koranic dictates towards non-Muslims. I am not going to pretend to have a civil discussion with someone who would dominate, enslave or kill me if only the circumstances were right.

      The reason there are not more beheadings and attacks in Western nations today is because we spend untold billions in exposing and foiling terrorist and extremist plots with a very sophisticated system of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. What we hear about is the tip of the iceberg. The money and effort we spend on Islamic terror detection is taken from the mouths of needy and vulnerable Americans.

  3. Aafia

    November 17, 2015 at 11:55 AM

    It is saddening that People blame our scripture out of ignorance.I eally pray to Allah to give hidaya to People who think that Quran contains ayah of violence.Quran strictly warns against making corruption on land.http://islamhashtag.com/why-islamic-terrorism-is-not-islamic-at-all/.You may find some verses which looks as if it is calling for violence but when you studt the context in which the verses were revealed you won’t feel the same.Sadly People pick up ayahs or part of ayahs to prove Islam as a violent religion but in reality Islam is nothing but Peace.

    • Truth

      November 19, 2015 at 2:29 AM

      Aafia
      you can talk about context all you like but the fact is the Quran and hadith are full of orders to violence. Also remember Mohamad was a War Lord. So to say that Islam is a religion op peace is historically and theologically wrong.
      Until the Quran and hadith are purged of all violent verses then Islam will continue to be inherently dangerous and violent.

  4. Wael Abdelgawad

    November 17, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    These sorts of refugees have always been on of the pillars of American strength. Many are highly qualified, and all are willing to work hard. People like this tend to appreciate American freedoms and democracy all the more because of the anarchy and dictatorship they fled. One famous descendant of a Syrian immigrant was Steve Jobs, who created one of the most dynamic and inventive companies in America.

    Will there be violent individuals among these refugees? No doubt, yes, just as there are violent individuals already here in our nation, including white supremacists and other home-grown whackjobs. But that’s not a reason to deny the need of innocent suffering people.

    • Truth

      November 19, 2015 at 2:28 AM

      Yes Wael Abdelgawad
      America is a country founded by immigrants. However im not aware of any time in US history where it has taken in a group conditioned in distrust or out rightly antagonistic to it like Muslims generally are. Muslims need to be honest and admit that Islam has a natural distrust to the non Islamic world. This began with Mohamad and the early Caliphs invasions of Roman Southern Europe and the Persian Empire.

      • Ruth Nasrullah

        November 20, 2015 at 4:08 PM

        Hello Truth. Throughout American history, Native Americans, black slaves and their descendants have been, and to some extent continue to be, the most distrustful and/or antagonistic groups within this country. Something to think about.

    • Faisal

      November 19, 2015 at 4:44 PM

      Why do you make such a strong assumption that there will be violent individuals among Syrian refugees?

    • Truth

      November 22, 2015 at 4:09 AM

      Hi Ruth
      regarding US distrust of Native Americans and black slaves. None of the above had the same organised fascist theology or philosophically that currently permeates Islam. As I said the Muslim natural distrust of the non Islamic world goes as far back as Mohamad and the early Caliphs invasions of Roman Southern Europe and the Persian Empire. My point about Sheikh Muhammad Ayed speech being a further case in point.

  5. Mohammed Khan

    November 18, 2015 at 1:03 AM

    An article posted just couple of days before on Muslim Matters explains what Islam truly calls for and why ISIS is not representative of Islam.
    http://muslimmatters.org/2015/11/15/isis-and-its-faulty-logic/

  6. Ruth Nasrullah

    November 18, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    The Washington Post wrote a well-reported article revealing that the terrorists’ ability to travel easily from Syria through Europe was created in part by poor border control of European countries. By contrast, the US does extensive vetting of applicants for refugee status, which includes investigation by DHS and FBI.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/the-mystery-surrounding-the-paris-bomber-with-a-fake-syrian-passport/2015/11/17/88adf3f4-8d53-11e5-934c-a369c80822c2_story.html?tid=pm_world_pop_b

    • Truth

      November 19, 2015 at 2:31 AM

      Ruth what you are over looking is that the majority of terrorist acts in Europe have been perpetrated by home grown second generation Muslim kids.

      • Ruth Nasrullah

        November 20, 2015 at 4:09 PM

        That has no bearing on the issue of Syrian refugees coming to the US.

    • Truth

      November 22, 2015 at 4:19 AM

      Hello Ruth
      I believe it does have bearing on Syrian refugees coming to the US if a similar a situation develops in the US as exists in Europe where second generation Muslim members of the country become philosophically opposed to their own country.

  7. Truth

    November 19, 2015 at 2:18 AM

    America is a country founded by immigrants. However im not aware of any time in US history where it has taken in a group conditioned in distrust or out rightly antagonistic to it like Muslims generally are. Muslims need to be honest and admit that Islam has a natural distrust to the non Islamic world. This began with Mohamad and the early Caliphs invasions of Roman Southern Europe and the Persian Empire.
    Ruth. You write “Rather, I feel vulnerable because this refusal reflects our government’s inability to find a way to keep us safe from terrorists…”But that’s just what the Governor is doing Ruth. Keeping his people safe by curbing Muslim immigration.
    You quote Laura Turner “In a Christian-majority country, where is the hospitality of which she speaks?” What you need to understand is that the Bible makes it clear the responsibility of the State is to wield the sword. That means it has the states responsibility to protect its people. Any Christian charity that is expressed is the responsibility of individual Christians – not the state.
    And in terms of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal perhaps you chooses to ignore the fact that the Punjab is predominantly Sihk. Without the same inherent violence found in the Quran and Hadith.

    • Ruth Nasrullah

      November 20, 2015 at 4:17 PM

      Please see my reply above to a similar comment you made regarding groups who distrust America.

      To say that the US is vulnerable to terrorist infiltration is a form of surrender. If we are courageous enough and smart enough to improve our vetting system, let’s hurry up and do it. If not, we are sending a message to our enemies that we’re just not capable of keeping them out.

      Today Indiana Gov. Pence “turned away” a Syrian refugee family slated for assignment in his state. As I have mentioned on social media, the irony lies in the fact that his state has some of the highest murder rates in the country. I’d rather have a refugee family in my own home than set foot in Gary.

      As for my reference to Gov. Jindal, the point is that in the scenario I mentioned his family would have been innocent victims of the evil of others.

      • Faisal

        November 20, 2015 at 10:32 PM

        The bottom line is that America should be taking in the highest number of Syrian refugees and doing much more to rid the region of ISIS. America is guilty of creating this whole mess and it’s time to step up and show the world some humanity for a change. Until then, America remains the biggest terrorist threat to the world.

      • Truth

        November 22, 2015 at 4:24 AM

        To say the US is vulnerable to terrorist infiltration is not surrender. It is a reality. But yes I agree. Lets improve the vetting system. Or perhaps[s another alternative would be for the US to preasure the wealthy Gulf countries to take refugees. They appear to have done very little for their bretheren. Or perhaps the US should help fund the camps in Turkey or Jordan In terms of the murder rate in Gary I believe you are unnecessarily complicating the issue and in terms of Gov Jindal your analogy was hypothetical and as such appears to have little practical application to this situation.
        As I said im not aware of any time in US history where it has taken in a group conditioned in distrust or out rightly antagonistic to it like Muslims generally are. Islam has a natural distrust to the non Islamic world. This began with Mohamad and the early Caliphs invasions of Roman Southern Europe and the Persian Empire.
        In regards to US distrust of Native Americans and black slaves none of the above had the same organised fascist theology or philosophically that currently permeates Islam.
        Look at the speech Sheikh Muhammad Ayed gave at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem where he encouraged Muslim refugees going to go Europe and breed as some kind of Islamist expansionist plan. You can Google it if you wish. I believe this kind of Islamist fascist thinking is more common than most Muslims would admit.

    • Truth

      November 22, 2015 at 4:28 AM

      Faisal
      The US did not create ISIS Faisal. It had some influence but the main reason for the ISIS problem lies with the failed “Arab Spring”, the Sunni Shiite divide and the inherent violence found in the Quran and hadith.
      If any thing the US needs preasure the wealthy Gulf countries to take refugees. They appear to have done very little for their brethren. Why is that ?

  8. Faisal

    November 19, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    Salaam sister,

    The real terrorists are ignorant fools like your governer and the like in the US who have no humanity. They don’t care about the Syrian refugees, the women and children who have seen and felt so much pain and suffering. Syria is in a state of civil war because of the abhorrent foreign policy of the US. How can you feel proud of such an ugly monster!?

    • Truth

      November 22, 2015 at 4:03 AM

      More of the Muslim blame game. Playing the victim card and not facing up to its own failings.

  9. Chantelle

    November 19, 2015 at 11:35 PM

    ISLAMIC STATE’s attacks are attacks on Muslims, too
    1. So-called “ISLAMIC STATE” did this! NOT the “Muslims.”
    France’s Muslim population between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000 (May census) are targeted right along with other French citizens.
    So-called “ISLAMIC STATE” operatives and “involved network” individuals total around fifteen hundred, who may have shown desire to leave for “controlled zones” of “ISLAMIC STATE JIHADIS”. 460 reached the region, but 210 came back (most likely disillusioned).
    2. So-called “ISLAMIC STATE” attacks everyone, everywhere – including Muslims.
    Muslims were not spared in cosmopolitan and integrated places under attack. So-called “ISLAMIC STATE” terrorists could care less they were injuring and killing Muslims right along with everyone else.
    3. France’s Muslims immediately spoke up against these (and other) attacks by “ISLAMIC STATE” terrorists.
    Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher grocery store attacks in January were clearly the work of antagonists and instigators were actually in direct opposition to Quran and Islamic teachings.
    4. French Muslims Also Worry About Violence & Attacks.
    Muslims worry about threats, attacks and violence against Muslim in coming days. Mosques and Muslim school children under attacks already and increasing even before Paris attacks.
    In France this year, anyone who even looked like Northern African (all of Northern Africa are Muslims) have been slandered and even physically attacked.
    5. Refugees did NOT cause the problem – They were the TARGET too!
    Refugees have already risked everything, even death while escaping terrorism in their home land.
    Refugees are running from violence and fear of so-called “ISLAMIC STATE” (IS)! They fear the very source of the terrorism that we all fear.
    The possibility that one out of thousands running to safe countries might be a terrorist posing as a refugee – only adds to the serious threat these poor people experience in very strict investigations for identification by immigration authorities.
    6. REAL MUSLIMS Joined Others to Give Security and Shelter for Everyone
    Many Parisians including Muslims, used hashtag ‪#‎porteouverte‬ offering shelter and protection for anyone stranded on city streets, afraid or uncertain how to return safely.
    French civic spirit was demonstrated within Muslim hearts as well as Christians, Jews and other faiths.
    France approaches regional elections next month (December). Question: “Will French leaders echo this spirit of openness to all French population, including Muslims?”
    Or will they echo the likes of racism and prejudice, using so-called “ISLAMIC STATE” rhetoric and propaganda to promote further division, while offering justification for more violence to already unstable “Jihadist” mentality?
    What if we all take a break here, look into what REAL ISLAM is teaching, not media hype over so-called “ISLAMIC STATE” or “ISIS”? – Yusuf Estes
    More? http://www.ShareIslam.com (look for About Jihad)

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