With the need for so many peace loving, Muslims taking refuge in countries other than their own, the world is changing en masse. Assimilating one culture into another, both of whom have deep roots and centuries long histories is proving to be a challenge.
Wherever we go we bring with us our cultural heritage in the form of perceptions, clothing, the food we prefer to eat and most importantly our religious beliefs. The Earth belongs to us all, but the planet has always been segregated into different countries and regions. This has been the history of the world since the beginning of time.
However, now more than ever before, we are put into positions as world citizens where we are asked to help the millions of refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries fleeing the oppression of radical extremist groups commandeering their homelands. Mosques are not as prevalent in Iceland as they may be in Turkey, but the roofing doesn’t matter as much as having a roof to be under, and many countries have opened their doors to those forced out of their homes.
Protecting our own cultural boundaries is a powerful way in which we identify who we are. In the eyes of some it’s also a way of keeping ourselves safe. Recently in the US Presidential campaign Donald Trump, a leader in the polls, has stated there should be a ban on all Muslims entering the country. He says we need to know what’s going on before we open the floodgates to an overwhelming number of unknown factors.
The Department of Immigration and Homeland Security do not have a thorough vetting practice in place, and unfortunately the US doesn’t have exact numbers on legal or illegal immigration – Muslim or otherwise. In the last census an estimated 115,000 Muslims entered the US in a single year. Most of the Muslim immigration is coming from countries that are suffering national oppression like Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, Pakistan and now Syria.
We know that they are being driven out by radical terrorists, but how many of those entering into other countries under the guise of needing help are coming in as a terrorist? This is the disturbing question that plagues the American people and all the would be Presidential nominees in the United States.
Without the bias of the media, the facts that cannot be denied are in the displays of terrorism in countries like France and Belgium. Without a good policy in place over the past decade, the Muslim population has grown to 10% in France. While there are certainly reasons to think that this poses no problems, there have been evidence to the contrary through recent events.
North America has always prided itself on being the land of the free. Our founding Fathers were all immigrants, first and second generation. We proudly sport the following statement on the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
But times have changed and thinking must change with it. Even so, discrimination against allowing particular groups to immigrate to US soil is not a new policy. From 1882 until 1943 virtually all immigration from China was halted. Then again in 1921 Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, and then three years later the Immigration Act of 1924 aimed at restricting people specifically from Southern and Eastern Europe.
So the writing may be on the wall for Muslim immigration into the US. in the upcoming years. Painting the entire Muslim people with a wide brush is unfortunate, but it’s always been the case with any public statement in that the few can ruin it for the many.
It may be an ignorant thought on my part, but we fought for our country with sticks and axes. Why aren’t the oppressed fighting harder to stay in their own country? Is the lack of sophisticated weaponry the reason? Is there a fear running so deep that the intellectual elements cannot rise to the top to unite their people to save their own lands? I know it’s not a black and white situation, but I’m not the only one asking the questions.
I admit to being naive when it comes to world politics, but I also know we all have a stake in the game. We want what’s best for our country, our family and our future.