Letter to the Editor – Dec 11, 2015

Letter to the Editor – Dec 11, 2015

Taking Refugees Not Enough

Putting aside the questions of whether jihadis have mixed in with the throngs of refugees seeking to enter the United States or whether they would want to (“Like Refugees,” Nov. 27), the fact is that the 10,000 whom President Barack Obama wants us to accept, and even the greater numbers that Germany and some other Europeans are willing to accept, represent a tiny fraction of the 66 million people who have been displaced from their homes worldwide, largely because of the actions of Islamist terrorists.

Rather than making ourselves feel good by offering a haven to a few people, we really need to take action to rid the world of the scourge of Islamist terrorism. This means confronting the Islamists by all means possible, including cutting off their funding; preventing recruiting on social media; pressuring Muslim countries to stop incitement against Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims; and basing the delivery of aid for refugees being sheltered on the efforts of the host countries to create ways for migrants to find gainful employment and have a path to citizenship.

We also need to vigorously pursue military options, such as arming the Kurds and raising the number of aerial attacks to a level where they can be effective. We also need to stop thinking that the problem can be solved by assassinating one terrorist leader, such as Osama bin Laden, or weakening one group. Al-Qaeda, ISIS (aka ISIL or Daesh), Boko Haram, Al Shebab, Hamas, Hezbollah, Shiites killing Sunnis and Sunnis killing Shiites are all branches of the same poisonous ideology that believes that people who think differently can be slaughtered at will.

The United States should have been able to both fight Hitler and accept Jewish refugees. However, if we had done only the latter, Hitler might have accomplished his goal of world domination, which would have put the refugees we had accepted in danger once again. Likewise, we need to use military, educational, diplomatic and legal means to protect all people from Islamist terrorists.

— Toby F. Block, Atlanta

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