Daesh (ISIS), Syrian Refugees, and the U.S.

Before I delve into my thoughts on the U.S. essential closing her boarders to Syrian refugees I should explain what Daesh means as the Arabic acronym is not used in English speaking countries. First off in English speaking countries the Islamic State is called ISIS because ISIS is the English acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. At the same ISIL, Islamic States previous name, was an English acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Similarly Daesh is the Arabic acronym for al-dowla al-islaamiyya fii-il-i’raaq wa-ash-shaam (translates into Islamic State), ISIS’ Arabic name. While Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS, ISIS greatly dislikes being called Daesh because it is similar to two Arabic words ‘daes’ and ‘dahes’. The translation of daes is ‘one who crushes something underfoot’ while dahes translates as ‘one who sows discord’, two terms Daesh doesn’t want to be associated with because of the negative yet truthful connotations. So, in an effort to degrade, dishonor, and deny their ‘caliphate’ and actions many people have started calling ISIS Daesh for those reasons and to call them what they really are.

With my explanation of Daesh aside, I would like to move onto the topic of this post: the essential closing of U.S. boarders to Syrian refugees. This bothers me if it not already makes me angry and disappointed in the leaders of my country. At first I was not surprised that a few states decided to close their boarders after the Paris attacks but I was shocked the decision to close boarders two days ago by the national government. It reminded me of when the U.S. put quotas on Jewish refugees trying to enter the country during WWII and thousands of European Jews who were turned away from the U.S. just because they were Jewish and forced, in many cases, to back to Nazi controlled Europe where most of them died in the Holocaust. Fortunately other European Jews who were trying to escape the Holocaust made it South America but so many others could have been saved if countries, like the United States, did not turn them away in their time of need. Now, the United States is doing the same thing to Syrian refugees that this country did to Jews at the beginning of WWII and the Holocaust. For those of you who do not know, the current Syrian refugee crisis is the largest refugee crisis since WWII. If the U.S. doesn’t open her boarders to Syrian refugees history will not look on us with favor but instead view us as the country who turned away needy refugees who were leaving the horrors of Daesh so that they could save the lives of themselves and their children. After all if France is not closing her boarders to Syrian refugees after the Paris attacks, then the U.S. should leave her boarders open, too.

The reason for politicians making the decision to close our boarders to the needy and persecuted? The terrorists who carried out the attacks in Paris came from Syria, were members of Daesh, and entered Europe amongst Syrian refugees. Well, that is certainly true but what our politicians are failing to realize is that the terrorists were EU citizens that had joined the ranks of Daesh due to radicalization in European mosques. Another factor due to the terrorists radicalization in European mosques is the racism  that the Muslim community faces on a daily basis in European countries like France, Belgium, and the UK. On top of racism European Muslims also tend to live in the slums of major cities where they receive poor education, are not integrated into the surrounding society, and where their parents or older family members to speak the local language. The situation of immigrant Muslims in Europe doesn’t stop here. Many Muslim youth in Europe are also facing an identity crisis where they view themselves as French, British, Belgian, or Dutch (just a few examples) but the surrounding society views them as ‘others’ despite the fact that Muslim youth in many European countries are citizens of their respective countries. To compound the problem even more many European Muslims are also feeling the effects of anti-Muslim laws in their respective countries, that, for example, forbade them from wearing traditional clothing like the hijab, niqab, or burka because various forms of hijab are seen as religious symbols by their national government. European Muslims do face many problems in Europe that revolve around racism and as a result youth try to find meaning or a way to vent their anger and are susceptible to radicalization. As a result many European Muslim youth have joined the ranks of Daesh and are returning to Europe. The assumed number of European Muslim youth joining the ranks of Daesh is in the thousands and these radicalized youth are making their way back to Europe where European intelligent agencies cannot keep tabs on a returning youth who fought for Daesh. This is where the problem lies for Europe in combating terrorism.

The United States on the other hand is not facing such an extreme situation. Most of our mosques, as far as we know, are not funned by the Saudi Arabian government or other Wahabist Muslim groups like mosques are in Europe. The U.S., unlike Europe, in the 1980s didn’t give refuge to radical Muslims like Europe did. While Islamaphobia does exist in our country and is on the rise, it is estimated that about 250 American Muslim youth have joined the ranks of Daesh and most are on a no-fly list. They will not be entering the U.S. anytime soon. Also, since the numbers are small of those who have joined Daesh, the various intelligent agencies are able to keep tabs on all American Daesh youth. To put this into simple terms, the U.S. is not facing a radicalization crisis like Europe is and our intelligence agencies are well adapted to tracking possible future terrorists and keeping them out of the country. We also have to remember that France has a crisis on her hands that she is not able to keep up with. There is proven evidence of this, namely that the main perpetrators in the Paris attacks were known to French intelligence and were not sufficiently being tracked due to French intelligence being overwhelmed by returning with from Daesh. Also, France and many other European countries have open boarders where travel documents are not checked and Greek authorities have admitted to not properly checking passports when two of the terrorists enter Europe. The U.S. on the other hand has secured boarders where all travel documents are checked and if proper or required documents cannot be produced entry into the U.S. is denied.

Lets be real ya’ll, if terrorists want to attack the U.S. and her people they will find a way in no matter what. Also, Daesh is not just killing non-Muslims, most of Daesh’s victims are Muslim.

P.S. This is a very complicated issue and this post is only summary of what is happening in Europe. If you want to learn more about it I am happy to give you a list of suggested reading.

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