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#refugeeswelcome – an open letter to Muslims

From the NYT:

The president’s order, enacted with the stroke of a pen at 4:42 on Friday afternoon, suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

I want Muslims throughout the world to know, even if I may not agree on religion, even if I may decry the terrorism that is committed supposedly in your religion’s name, and I may even hold my own petty fears about the entry of refugees – I, like many, many, other Americans do not stand by Trump. I do not stand by this executive order. I do not stand by this racist and prejudiced act.

As Americans we claim to be the “good guys”, the “shining city upon a hill”, however holding those titles requires responsibility. It means being peaceful, it means following due process and the rule of law, it means not torturing, it means not detaining indefinitely, it means taking the hard path of righteousness, not the easy path of fear and hate.

This act does not live up to the vision of America I was brought up with and taught to aspire to. The good help those in need, even if it means more risk or more hardship.

I will not lie, I too fear more refugees may yield more terrorism, but I am willing to risk my life and the lives of those I care the most to do what is right in this world. That is, allow the immigration of Muslims, the vast majority who are good and loving like the rest of us, and aspire to these words:

“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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Please, forgive us for this and know that this not only does not represent large masses if not the majority of us. It does not represent the vision of our nation that our forefathers intended.

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