Why are there so many Syrian refugees? Whether it's because of the fighting going on over there & most just want to get out of harm's way or because they're fleeing religious persecution, many, in large part Muslim, are seeking asylum in this country, as well as others. One would doubtless read or hear many conflicting reports & opinions on why so many Syrians are seeking refuge outside their own nation & even whether or not we should offer them that succor. Aside from any danger or threat that such a proposition might present, are we not instructed to offer our strength to those who need it? Is it not our Christian duty to love our enemies & do good to those who hate us?
Islam is not so different in it's organization than Christianity! Now, before you take my head off, let me explain why I say that; although there are probably not nearly as many forms of Islam as there are denominations within American Christianity, many of these Syrian refugees ARE doubtless fleeing, not only the violence that has taken over much of their Land, but religious persecution as well & while American denominationalism hasn't ( officially ) come to bloodshed yet, those who see ISIS as persecuting Christians to a great extent should realize that they aren't the only ones to suffer from the fear & hatred that has persevered in that part of the world for well over a thousand years!
Here's where I might really be asking asking for trouble & calling down death from the sky! It's no big secret that the U.S. Government, if not directly funding terrorists in foreign countries, has at least contributed, for political reasons, to many a terrorist organization. One might even venture to claim that much if not all of our Government's activities overseas are at least based in a sort of terrorism. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying authoritatively here that ALL of the U.S. Government's overseas actions, police or otherwise, are acts of terrorism, but much of their recent 'warfare' ( drone strikes in particular ) is aimed to strike terror into the hearts of the opposition, which sometimes includes innocent men, women & children!
In so many ways, the iron fist that the U.S. Inc. wields, not only overseas, but in this country as well ( more alarmingly ) is not so different than the governments of those foreign nations with whom they deal! Many of those whom they name terrorists are simply seeking retribution for wrongs, real & perceived, that they or their loved ones have suffered at the hands of the Government of the good ole U.S. of A.. This is not to say, of course, that this is always the case, but the point is that when we, or our Federal ( Central ) Government, rather, act in like manner to those whom they perceive as wronging them, more often than not, they are perpetrating the same terrorism against which they so nobly fight!
Islam, many Christians will tell you firmly, is not a religion of peace, but then, on the other hand, there are plenty of peaceful Muslims & others who would heartily beg to differ! As to the claim that Islam is not a religion of peace, I'm sure that any real student of the Quran could clear up that conception for them, but seriously, aren't there radical & fanatical Christians in our storied past who have shed as much blood on the authority of our English Bible? Much of what we call 'terrorism' is simply retribution; many of the recent 'terror attacks' that the world has witnessed recently have somehow ( coincidentally? ) been related to events that have happened in the past. Again, this is not to say that ALL acts of terrorism are justifiable, because there is doubtless evil out there, which we MUST overcome; we must however, take into account our own ( government's ) acts of terrorism, before we judge too harshly those of other nations & religions!
The main reason you will hear from most Americans, Christian or otherwise, for wanting to keep the Syrian refugees out of our country ( or state ) is that they might be harboring terrorists among them! This is definitely a very serious proposition & certainly must be carefully considered. We must also consider the fact that if we refuse them, not only might we be sending them to their death back in their own country, we might be simply creating more 'terrorists'. By coming here, we should realize, these refugees, peaceable as they may be right now, may suffer persecution just because they ARE Muslim & may then turn to their religion, as many do & seek to right those wrongs themselves!
I will not make a judgment here as to whether or not we should accept these foreigners as our neighbors; my readers must judge for themselves; I will however remind my readers of Jesus' instructions in Luke 6:31, 'just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise'. If we wish for them to be at peace with us, we need to remain at peace with them. On the other hand, if we want them to turn terrorist and murder us in our beds, then by all means we should refuse our succor & turn a blind eye to their need. As American Christians, or rather Christians in America, we should consider well that we are, first & foremost, followers of Jesus the Christ & second only ( if that ) Americans!
What WOULD Jesus do?!
Charles Haddon Shank