The horrific terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday have triggered a lot of reactions across the planet. In Paris, the reactions have been reminiscent of how New Yorkers reacted after 9/11: "screw them - we are going to get back to normal". And - like after 9/11 - the reactions elsewhere range from panic to insane revenge fantasies. Worst of all is the xenophobic anti-Muslim anti-refugee attitude of too many of my fellow Americans.
Before the smoke had even cleared, there were immediate declarations that the attackers must
have come with the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria. That has proven to be not true thus far. All of the those involved who have been positively identified were French or Belgian nationals
. There was a Syrian passport found at one site, but those investigating this believe it was stolen or fake
Nonetheless, despite the fact that refugees have never enacted a terrorist attack in the United States
, there have been outraged proclamations that we should not allow any Syrian refugees on American soil. Many states have declared that they won't accept them, despite the legal reality that they can't
. The refugees also haven't been "flooding across our borders
" they way some politicians and pundits have declared.
The reality is that we are looking at accepting 10,000 refugees. it will take time because the screening process is so onerous and time consuming
. The notion that a Daesh member posing as a refugee will sneak in among them is absurd and ignorant. I certainly can't speak for the processes used by other countries, but I seriously doubt France, Germany, and other "1st World" countries are just opening the door and saying "c'mon in" without any screening processes.
The reactions are all a little too similar to our reaction to Jewish refugees pre-WWII
. We all know how that
one turned out for the Jews in Germany and other overrun countries who weren't able to make it out. Daesh is not out to kill Christians or westerners only - they will kill Muslims who do not pledge allegiance to them. They are a dictatorial blood cult that respects no religion, ethnicity, or citizenship. Their only loyalty is to themselves. They are more akin to a murderous biker gang than an Islamic organization.
To attack western targets, they don't NEED to sneak in soldiers from the Middle East. They use social media to draw in disenfranchised westerners, brainwash them, train them, then send them back home to create the kind of mayhem we saw in Paris last week. The danger isn't coming here in boats - it's coming here across the internet. THAT is where we have to stop it. How we do that is up to the cyber experts.
Those fleeing the abattoir in Syria deserve safe haven. That is who WE are. Otherwise, we may as well send the Statue of Liberty back to France. They don't seem to be turning their backs on those who need help