[Vision2020] Welcoming Syrian refugees

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Fri Dec 4 02:54:36 PST 2015

Courtesy of today's (December 4, 2015) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with a special note of gratitude to Ghazi.

Letter: Welcoming Syrian refugees
Having read Nick Gier's well-reasoned appeal ("Let's welcome Syrian Refugees to the Palouse," His View, Nov. 26), only a fear-obsessed ideologue would argue otherwise. Not long ago, a pastor - exploiting historic prejudices embellished by the lucrative Islamophobic industry - was frightening Idaho legislators about "Muslim infiltrators." Thus, Rep. Heather Scott and others see Syrian refugees as "Muslim invaders."
Our recent history suggests that most refugees emigrated as a result of various "Cold War" crises: Hungarians (1956), Cubans (1962), Vietnamese (1975); and post-invasion, Iraqis (2003). Further, even the most naïve would acknowledge that the present crisis is rooted in our "democracy/freedom" invasions. The war in Syria lies at the center, for which the U.S. bears no small responsibility. Thus, we also have the "we-broke-it-we-fix-it" obligation.
Some also see refugees as tax burdens. Typically, however, there is a huge "free" benefit, exceeding any tax burden, for many refugees come already trained in various skills, costs having been incurred in their native land. And soon, refugees become taxpayers.
We are a nation of refugees/immigrants. We cannot lose sight of what has drawn struggling souls to the U.S. for centuries. To do otherwise is to tarnish our collective humanity and our sacred values. Indeed, there is reason to be more afraid of our domestic militias and gun-toting criminals than from refugees. Besides, the Statue of Liberty (originally an Egyptian peasant Muslim woman, per Smithsonian Institution) welcomes "the huddled masses, yearning to breathe free," with no religious test. Once, in 1939, the Liberty lady was ashamed when similar fear-hate hysteria rejected Jewish refugees.
[And, incidentally, once a Muslim refugee/migrant, the undersigned devoted much of his adult life in service to Idaho, as a UI faculty and Moscow resident, a frequent consultant to the Idaho legislature, and as a citizen.]
S.M. Ghazanfar
Acworth, Ga.
Dr. S. M. "Ghazi" and Rukhsana Ghazanfar with friends . . .


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares"
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"If you limit your living to black and white, you miss the rainbow." - Unknown
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