America is about to accept 9000 Syrian Muslims, refugees of the brutal war between the Assad regime and its Sunni opposition, which includes ISIS, Al Qaeda, and various other militias. That number is predicted to increase each year. There are no Christian refugees that will be admitted.
Why? Because the Department of State is adhering with all the rigidity of a Soviet era bureaucracy to the rule that only people at risk from massacres launched by the regime qualify for refugee status. The rapes of Christian women and the butchery of Christian children do not count. No matter how moved Americans were this Christmas season by the plight of their fellow Christ followers in Syria and Iraq, no matter how horrific the visuals of beheadings, enslavement, and mass murder, the Christians fleeing death do not engender the compassion of this president. The Christians are being raped, tortured, and murdered by militias, not by the Syrian government. This technicality condemns them to continue to be victims without hope. And this technicality is being adhered to with all the tenacity with which President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State Department manipulated quotas and created subterfuges to keep out the Jews fleeing the oppression of Nazi Germany. Obama no more wants the Middle East’s Christian refugees than Roosevelt wanted Europe’s Jewish refugees.
We have seen in the last several weeks that President Obama has no difficulty using his “phone and his pen,” as he dramatically boasts, to circumvent the law. When it comes to immigration, he had no difficulty enacting an amnesty that a federal judge subsequently ruled unconstitutional. He has had no problem circumventing Congress to change the relationship with Cuba. This president has shown that he will push back on the constraints of law when he wants to get something done.
The Christians would barely have to be vetted for ties to terror organizations, which by their very nature do not take Christians. Meanwhile, there is the uncomfortable issue that among the Sunni refugees there are some in league with the Sunni terror militias. And beyond that there is the equally uncomfortable question of the acculturation of segments of the Muslim community.
That our Muslim neighbors are as worthy of being good Americans as anyone else is not an issue. That a highly active and prominent minority in the Muslim community seeks to transform America is an issue and one that cannot be overlooked, when taking in Muslim refugees. Will they be vetted for seeking the transformation of America through jihad?
Whether the recent violence in Australia, the murder of two New York policemen, the Boston Marathon bombings, the growing list of victims of honor killings in Western societies, the forced closing of streets in Paris for Muslim prayers, the Muslim no-go and Sharia patrol areas of Britain, the rape of infidel women in Sweden, or the call by Council on Islamic American Relations that Islam is not in America to be another religion but to transform America, there is a Muslim problem. That it is not a problem precipitated by a majority of Muslims does not lessen its dangers.
No doubt the majority of the Muslim refugees will become good American citizens, but the real concern is that a significant minority will not. Yet, the Middle East Christians, even as a minority, do not pose remotely the same kind of threat.
With Christmas fresh in our minds, it is time for all people of good will to say to the Obama administration that telling Christians awaiting death that there is no room for them in the inn is not only unacceptable, it is also, to use President Obama’s own words, “not who we are.” This season, Christians need to make their voice heard. They should not act as the Jews did, waiting for a president who had no intention of doing anything, to do something.
Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a contributor to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.