Letter: Hysteria over refugees | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Hysteria over refugees

Can Republicans be Christians? Many Republicans consider their party the defender of Christian values, yet whenever there is a crisis, Republicans ignore Christ's teachings. Remember ebola? The Republican response was to shut down flights from West Africa despite an effective screening process and only three Americans deaths. They self-centeredly ignored the needy. Thankfully, our president is more level-headed, and he prevailed.

Today, Islamic extremists are pushing Syrian refugees out of their homeland. Despite an excellent screening program, many Republicans fear terrorists will infiltrate the United States, and they want to shut down the refugee program. A "friend" recently posted on Facebook: "I have 10 snakes in a bag, 9 are garter one is a cobra, would you be willing to reach in the bag and take one out? The same goes for refugees, and if you don't think the ISIS will take advantage of the refugee situation to infiltrate our country then see my first comment!" (which was that I was an idiot).

Unfortunately, hysteria is all too common on social media. I don't doubt the Islamic State group will try to infiltrate our country. However, here's a more plausible scenario: One thousand refugees apply to the United States. One hundred are terrorists (way overinflated, but let's err on the side of caution). Of the 100 terrorists, 97 are denied access and three are allowed into the U.S. Of those, two are identified as "worrisome" and are placed under close surveillance. Two years later, a plot to attack America is thwarted because the two have been followed, and through them, 24 other terrorists are rounded up and jailed. The other one proved never to have been a threat, possibly because he was un-radicalized while here.

Of course, other scenarios are possible, but facts (such as a two-year screening for potential refugees) make this a plausible scenario. Republicans are overreacting — again. Here's another scenario: Republicans succeed, and no refugees are admitted to the United States. The 100 terrorists find other ways in — coming through Canada or Mexico, using false passports or coming on tourist visas (which requires far less screening). We no longer can track potential suspects and don't learn about the potential attack, which is successful. Of the 900 innocent refugees, many die from exposure while others become radicalized because they feel abandoned by the "Christian" nations.

I don't want terrorists in America, but the hysteria of (mostly) Republicans is repugnant. The leader of the free world is becoming reactionary and hysterical, not to mention completely un-Christian. The Republicans only encourage the Islamic State — showing fear, hysteria, and hatred and intolerance of all Muslims, thus boosting the Islamic State recruitment effort.

Peter Westcott

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