Recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels have prompted xenophobic Republican politicians to roundly criticize President Obama from accepting a paltry number of refugees from war-torn Syria, seeing terrorists in the faces of children and using the bombings as an excuse to propagate their bigotry and keep Muslims out of the United States.
As they work relentlessly to impose their version of Christian sharia law on the American people, Republicans can’t go five minutes without linking terrorism to refugees and depicting Islam as a threat to the American people. “Did we not learn anything from Brussels or Paris? For gosh sake, the fact is that Europe is being overrun by Muslim refugees, and the result is disastrous” complained Mike Huckabee on FOX News. Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) also used the attacks as a justification against resettling Syrian refugees in the United States.
But as usual, Republican logic has no basis in reality. All of the perpetrators of the Paris and Brussels attacks were European citizens who were born and raised there. Since 9/11, the United States has accepted 784,000 refugees – and none of them have been found plotting to or have committed any acts of terror. Refugees do not get to choose which country they get resettled to, so the likelihood of Daesh trying to infiltrate America through refugees is very slim.
The first step to radicalization is being alienated from the people around you. As American society turns against its Muslim population thanks to the encouragement of racist rhetoric emanating from the Republican Party with the complicit encouragement of the mainstream media, we are in danger of creating a similar situation in our own nation. Demonizing Muslims only feeds into extremist propaganda and turns us into the racist monsters that they say we are. Education, social development, and equal opportunities are what will eventually solve terrorism – not bombs and slurs.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.