America – home of the free. We have a plethora of rights that citizens in many other countries do not have. We should be grateful that we’re allowed to voice our opinions and make our own choices. These rights are primary reasons why so many others seek out the United States. They desire a shred of freedom. But what about when they’re denied entry into this country? What about when they’re denied solely for their cultural and religious backgrounds?
- An all too large number of Americans misunderstand the Islam as a religion. Since the traumatic attacks of September 11, 2001, people are scared. A massacre of human life is a terrifying thing. However, many people latched onto the idea that Muslims are to blame. Muslims can’t go grocery shopping without being glared at or go to the mall without mothers hurriedly grabbing their children away. They fail to remember that Islam is a peaceful religion. Their holy book is against all forms of murder. “If anyone kills a person, it is as if he has killed all mankind” (Quran 5:32). Anybody murdering masses of people while claiming they practice Islam lies. They also fail to realize that though the Bible is similarly against murder, there are still “Christians” who commit this sin. There are extreme Christians who bomb abortion clinics. There are white people who go on killing sprees across school campuses. Why are the Muslims so readily sterreotyped? Why are they all labeled as terrorists and threats? Terrorism has many faces. Terrorism has no religion.
- Turning our backs on people in their time of need is wrong. Let me address those reading who practice any organized religion (Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, etc.). I know your holy books praise good deeds, helping others, and being kind. The idea of helping your neighbor is actually quite high on the list of things that are preached about. With this in mind, I find it interesting that so many religious people have conveniently forgotten this. When there is even a slight possibility of danger, you turn your backs. I get it – you want to protect yourself. You feel that you reduce chances of becoming an ISIS target by refusing the Syrian refugees. Newsflash: there are countries actively helping the refugees. If we join them in helping the refugees, we are no more of a target than they are. We are not putting ourselves at any real risk (not any more so than we already have by merely being the United States). This is just pure selfishness. Even if you don’t follow a religion, this is selfish and appalling. I don’t believe we should have the right to deny people because of their religious beliefs.
- You know who else was denied refuge because of their cultural background? Jews during World War II. Our home of the free denied entry to hundreds of thousands of Jewish people. The German Nazis declared Jewish people evil. Many countries were either swayed into that belief or decided to deny the Jewish for fear of putting their own country at risk. This made no difference in the war. The countries that accepted Jewish people were not terrorized by Germany any more than the countries who denied them. The only thing that occurred was the displacement of those thousands. Many of the Jews refused by the United States soon faced their brutal death sentences in the concentration camps. But the U.S. was so sure back then that they were doing the right thing.
- Denying Syrian refugees won’t do anything to help our veterans. I see this argument all the time and I have to stop myself from saying to them, “Are you kidding me?” Politicians have been cutting funding to our veterans for years. So many of them do not care one bit about our veterans. Allowing Syrians into our country won’t be taking any money away from the veterans. Well, not any more than they’re already losing each year. The memes I see all over the Internet about this are just untrue. Memes are not facts.
- I do not believe I am BETTER than them. Let’s switch sides here. If my family and I were running for our lives, I would be devastated to know we were not welcome into a safer country. I would hope that somebody would open their doors to my family. By denying them, you act as though you are superior. It’s so easy to shut the door on a group of people you’ve never met. You can arrogantly sit in your cozy home preaching about why we shouldn’t accept Syrians. But it wouldn’t be so easy if the roles were reversed.
At the end of the day, I recognize that people will oppose me. There are so many people who will disagree with me. But at the end of that day, I only care about what I feel is right. I care about the well-being of people. Human decency and moral standards must sometimes take precedence over politics.
KATHERINE SINNER / News Editor