Conservative Pundits, Candidates on Different Refugee Page
When conservative pundits take issue with Republican politicians and their followers on whether Muslims in the United States should be marginalized and Syrian refugees admitted into the country, you know those politicians have gone off the cliff. One pundit even praised President Obama for his positions.
“American politicians who cast aspersions on Muslims in the West are feeding the Islamic State narative,” Michael Gerson wrote recently. “They are complicating America’s (already complicated) task. Rejecting a blanket condemnation of Islam is not a matter of political correctness. It is the requirement of an effective war against terrorism, which means an effective war against the terrorist kingdom in Syria and western Iraq.”
Fear in control
Franklin D. Roosevelt
While appreciating the fear people have of jihadists infiltrating Syrian refugees to this country, Kathleen Parker, a Washington Post syndicated columnist along with Gerson, wrote that “what is being proposed is morally reprehensible, un-American and, in some instances, legally untenable. What happened to our admiration for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s call to courage: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’”?
Parker noted that a majority of governors (predominantly, if not entirely, Republican – though Parker didn’t mention that) have promised to reject any of the 10,000 refugees allowed in by the Obama administration – which they can’t legally do. She observed that several Republican presidential contenders have come up with “bizarre” readings of the Constitution to justify exclusion of Syrian refugees. Sen. Ted Cruz said only Syrian Christians should be allowed in, which prompted Obama to remark that “we don’t do religious testing here,” Parker said, adding that Donald Trump has considered closing mosques. And on and on. She referenced Obama’s assertion that “freedom from ideological extremism has to come from within ‘unless we’re prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries.’” Parker added, “Only the most hawkishly delusional would disagree with this assessment.”
Candidates, Christians don’t care
Gerson wrote in late October that, in response to the “largest humanitarian disaster of our time – involving 4 million Syrian refugees and 7.6 million internationally displaced … some Republican presidential candidates seem indifferent to the plight of refugees, and some evangelical leaders have joined them … Christians must overcome their discomfort with Islam, and their belief that conflict among Muslims is none of their concern.”
John M. Crisp
John M. Crisp, a moderate Tribune News Service columnist, pointed out that Canada has agreed to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees, and Germany may take in 800,000. “As we say often, we are a nation of immigrants, and our reluctance to accept refugees from Syria undermines that welcoming, humanitarian history, as well as our international leadership among Western nations that appear to be more compassionate than we are … It would be a shame if we squander our claim to moral authority and compassionate humanitarianism just to keep 10,000 desperate Syrians out of our country.”
Right-winger slams Republicans
Even Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, a right-wing columnist who appears frequently on Fox News, condemned Republican presidential candidates for their stances, observing that “some have advocated shutting out all the refugees or taking Christians only. They are chasing the polls showing strong anti-refugee sentiment. How deeply short-sighted. It may work in the GOP primaries. But Trump-like anti-immigrant, now anti-Muslim, anti-Arab rhetoric will not play well in a general election. Politically, it will be fatal. John Kasich has forcefully denounced this slide into the swamp. Where are the others?”
Gerson analyzed the various scenarios for combating Islamic terrorism, and concluded, “America needs to lead an alliance of Sunni powers (the Gulf States, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt) and NATO countries to crush the Islamic State … All our efforts are undermined by declaring Islam itself to the be the enemy, and by treating Muslims in America or Europe, or Muslims fleeing Islamic State oppression, as a class of potential jihadists.”
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