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Round Up

Last week we talked about Paris and ISIS. Then we discussed what ISIS really wants. Unfortunately we are going to have to continue with the current events.

After Paris everyone was understandably shocked and worried. That’s to be expected in the event of a sudden terrorist murder spree. The fear that came afterwards is also to be expected. However, the fear is supposed to subside. Everyone is supposed to realize that, yes, unfortunately these things do occur but our response should be vigilance not outright panic. I get the trepidation regarding the refugees, not to say I agree with it, but that the US has historically been a country that fears waves of immigrants. I’m sorry to say this, but if you are Syrian and reading this: it’s your turn and it’s not your fault.

A majority of governors in the US have publicly stated that they will not accept refugees from Syria because of terrorism fears. It’s something of a non-issue because they don’t have the authority to do that, and even if they did it’s not like the states have the ability to prevent people from moving from one place to another. It’s also a non-issue because of the so far known assailants in Paris not one of them has been proven to be from Syria (although there is one suspect but it remains to be seen as to where that individual came from).

The current rhetoric in the US has returned to discussing Muslims and whether or not they count as Americans. It’s a stupid question because the answer is “of course they are.” If they are US citizens then they are US citizens no matter what denomination, if any, they belong to. The current front runner, Donald Trump, is saying that he would consider creating a database of Muslim Americans and subjecting them to special surveillance whether or not they have committed a crime or have known ties to terrorism. As of this writing he has not walked back this position. What’s even worse is that the third place candidate Dr. Ben Carson, seems to agree. I should note that these two individuals are ahead by a long margin. (The second place contender Ted Cruz disagrees with the database but only wants to allow Syrian Christians into the United States.) What’s worse than all of that is that there seems to a deafening silence among the GOP for these views. They should be denouncing the plan as not only Un-American but for being horrifyingly anti-human.

The problem that no one advocating this plan seems to be aware of is that this is exactly what ISIS wants. They have framed their ideology on the basis that Europe and the United States are engaging in a war against Islam. In their view the attacks are self-defense against an enemy that wants to eradicate them. When people like Donald Trump advocate for a surveillance, databases, and the shutting down of Mosques it gives them an example they can point to while claiming, “we are right, look what this man is saying and he’s a favorite to be president.”

Every proposal, every politician, every reasonably famous news pundit that speaks about these policies are necessary are playing directly into their propaganda. As the days have progressed I’m actually seeing more of it rather than less. The day of, I’m willing to accept a certain level of angry discourse, that’s just emotional response but as the shock subsides more sober discourse should take its place. Instead the insanity is just increasing. If we want to disabuse the Islamic world that we are not their enemy it’s a better course of action to welcome in their tired, poor, individuals yearning to escape the civil war hell that is Syria. We should be advocating to help them rather than tell them that they’re all terrorists and murderers. If our civilizations are truly the greatest then exposing them to that should do more to quell hatred than all the bombs, drones, and bullets we can send at them.

Does this mean that the Western World should ignore ISIS? No. It just means that it should painfully apparent that we consider the problem to be them and not everyone who happens to think that the Quran is the divine book of god. I advocated for giving ISIS the one thing it does want: open war last week. I’m not sympathetic to their cause or even their existence. What I am against is the discrimination and persecution that is wrapped up in claims of security and common sense.

Make no mistake it certainly is that. It requires a consistently incredible cognitive dissonance to maintain the position that people like Trump have while simultaneously ignoring several aspects of reality. The first being that no refugee from any country has committed an act of terrorism on US soil. It simply has not happened. To those people who had reply, “yet,” I would merely retort that the US doesn’t treat any other group, individual, or ideology in the same way. There have been two major bombings of buildings in American history: the WTC in 1993 and Murrah building in Oklahoma City 1995. The former was a small group of Islamic terrorists but the latter was a member of a far right Christian militia and no one entertained shutting down groups of people who hadn’t committed any crimes for that one despite how much they hated the government.

There is no possible way that these plans, if enacted, would lead to anything other than tragedy. We’ve seen it before in the US. During our involvement in WWII we locked up people of Axis power descent just for being born to the wrong family despite the utter lack of any kind of evidence that these people had done anything. Not only that, but a complete lack of evidence that anyone had committed sabotage or espionage on behalf of Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. Those affected were paid 20,000 in 1988 to the total of 1.6 billion dollars. The legislation, signed by Ronald Reagan, said that internment was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” It hasn’t been thirty years and already we’ve forgotten.


Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. November 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm

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