Syrian refugees or ISIS jihadists? Do we take or reject them?
Two weeks ago in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, attacked viciously President Obama administration’s plan for accepting Syrian refugees in the U.S., including alleged Islamic State group terrorists. “It would be foolishness to bring in tens of thousands of people, including jihadists that are coming here to murder innocent Americans” said Cruz during his presidential campaign.
Addressing the issue from his perspective, the Director of National Intelligence, James, R., Clapper, quoted by the Associated Press (AP), acknowledged that there is no doubt that among Syrian refugees there will be a significant number of ISIS terrorists. However, the need for the U.S not to depart from one of its core humanitarian principles, on one hand, and the solemn obligation to maintain national security on the other, compels us to answer the following questions: how can we take all these refugees without compromising national security? Why do we associate all Syrian refugees with jihadists? These are questions that many would like to answer.
First, it is important to realize that just like it is the case in contemporary times, terrorism has been present throughout the ages and sometimes as rampant as it is now. From Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latina America history has witnessed movements that resorted to the use of violence of some sorts against the government or civilians for the purpose of achieving a goal. Going even further back into ancient history, we will find the Sargon of Alkad in the first Mesopotamian Empire, the Assyrian ruling of terror, the French Revolution, and so forth.
Although it is factual that during those years the majority of terrorist attacks were not exclusively carried out by Muslim subjects, the large majority of terrorist attacks within the past 30 years have been carried out by extremist Muslims. Although the pattern understandably makes many believe that all Muslims might be terrorists, such generalization does not withstand any rational criticism, and therefore cannot quite frankly distract the administration from making sure Syrian refugees to whom asylum and hope are granted by the United State do not become a threat to the safety and well-being of those who have enabled them to find refuge in the U.S.
As we may know, the United States’ refugee admission quota has been raised to 70,000 each year and it is believed that with the prospective influx of Syrian refugees the number might reach 100,000. Accepting these refugees on the U.S. soil is a moral political, and humanitarian obligation for the U.S., which also compels the administration to design new effective security strategies that can ensure bad guys do not sneak into the country through the label of refugees.
Looking ahead, it is clear that the sustainability of refugee admission in many host countries faces serious challenges. In Europe, hatred towards refugees and immigrants has never been so pronounced. Two months ago at the Dresde Square in Germany, more than 20,000 members of the populist anti-Islamic and immmigrants have rallied to the cause vowing to fight Angela Meckel and the government for allowing immigrants and refugees to become so predominant in their country.
Moreover, budget constraints, austerity programs, and the obligation to cut spending hinder the success of refugee admission program in the future.
Looking ahead, it is time for the international community to develop new internationally binding drastic strategies that will compel political leaders around the world to promote and respect democratic rules and principles; to avoid constitutional violations and unpopular political decisions that lead to civil wars, armed conflicts, and inability to improve people’s social conditions, which for the most part force people to flee their countries in search for security and peace. The issue of refugees is not only a national problem it is also an international one since the influx of refugees into other countries affects their national security.