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They All Look Alike To Us

Can you tell the difference between a Daesh terrorist and a Syrian Refugee. It isn’t that difficult!

Jen Sorensen
© Jen Sorensen

In the wake of the Paris attacks, we are scared shitless of the Syrian refugees, even though these are the people who are trying to escape Daesh. Besides, all the Paris terrorists had European passports. You would think that the smart thing to do would be to support those people fleeing the Islamic State, rather than demonize and punish them. But I guess we don’t do “smart” any more.

UPDATE: Jon Green has an awesome rant about the anti-refugee Republicans. It is short and you really should read the whole thing, but I’ll bait you with a few sentences from it, discussing the Governors who have said they won’t let refugees enter their state:

These governors know the rules, and are saying they’ll ignore them to make their constituents feel like they’re doing something about, you know, those people. But with the overall level of nonsense from Republicans in positions of power getting out of hand, getting them together to go back over the basics became necessary. No, they can’t violate the Refugee Act of 1980. Yes, if the federal government decides that “orphans under the age of 5” don’t pose a national security risk, Chris Christie will have to deal with it. No, religious tests for refugees are not constitutional. And seriously, John Kasich, we are not launching a new federal program for spreading Judeo-Christian values abroad.

Green also points out the stunning stupidity of Republican proposals to “solve” the refugee problem. Like that law that the House just passed to require refugees to get clearance from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security before we let them into our country. That sounds great until you find out that we are already doing it!



  1. Yudith wrote:

    It’s not that easy when one disguises himself as the other. Since at least one of the terrorists had the kind of passport Syrian refugees are given when they pass by Greece and several others were, in fact, women, you cannot tell who’s who at a glance. It’s more like when you take a bushel of apples and one of them looks nice but is rotten inside and will rot the apples around it. You still buy the bushel; you just have to remove the rotten apple after.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    That’s silly. Have you ever seen a photo of Abu Musab al-Suri (the man who invented modern Islamic jihad, and is one of the most dangerous terrorists)? He doesn’t look “swarthy” at all — has red hair and blue eyes and would look at home in any Irish bar. You can see a photo of him here:

    As far as I’ve heard, it is not a crime to be of the same ethnicity as someone who has committed a crime, and the simple truth is that less than 2% of terrorist acts in Europe and the USA have been committed by Muslims.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink
  3. ThatGuy wrote:

    As a native Granite-stater, I’m horrified that our Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan(!) is bowing to this hysteria. Not that we should assume loyalty to the ancestral heritage of one’s spouse, but for the love of… the Force..? you’d think someone with familial ties to people who are definitely not terrorists would know not to paint with such a ridiculously large and inaccurate brush.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    they can’t get on airplanes, but they can buy guns

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  5. PATIOTSGT wrote:

    In the bill that just passed congress there were also 47 Democrats who voted for it which gave it a veto proof majority.

    The slings and arrows being thrown by the left is typical and happens every time someone disagrees with their point of view. No one wants to keep legitimate refugees from coming. No one wants to keep out grandparents and kids and their mothers. Although they (as in the Paris arrest incident can be suicide bombers). It seems if anyone has a different opinion, they are immediately attacked, great use of the 1st amendment, seems more like you just want to stifle any view that is different.

    And as to your point about identifying a terrorist, I’m pretty sure you can’t. So if you as a smart group throwing rocks at differing opinions don’t know the difference, then I’m pretty sure Obama and his crew don’t know either. So slow down, talk about what should happen, when and where, by whom and then proceed.

    The bigger problem that I know exists is our student visa program, that one is a mess with no follow up checks and a very poorly run program.
    we need to fix that too before bad guys figure out how easy it is to exploit.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Who is this PatiotSgt person? 🙂

    The “slings and arrows thrown by the left”? You have to be particularly ignorant of politics to fall for that line. The GOP introduces a stupid bill after a tragedy, and if Democratic politicians don’t vote for it, they use that against them in the next election. That’s what got the really terrible Patriot Act passed way back when.

    You then say “It seems if anyone has a different opinion, they are immediately attacked, great use of the 1st amendment, seems more like you just want to stifle any view that is different.” Since when is expressing the truth that a particular bill is not only unnecessary, but is counter-productive, trying to “stifle” an opposing view? Do you really think that discriminating against anyone because of their religion will pass constitutional muster?

    I suppose now you will accuse me of trying to stifle your views.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  7. Hassan wrote:

    The sad reality is that people who are bend on destructing stuff will always be one step ahead in most cases. Since their whole idea is to find loopholes in security, they will be successful. But on the other hand it is fact that terrorist have been successful (perhaps more) even in closed societies with high surveillance (any middle eastern country) vs more open societies like Europe and North America.

    Any person with ill intention can easily pose as persecuted christian from middle east and can come here. Terrorists have all shades of colors and backgrounds that can easily circumvent any profiling.

    So questions arises, if it is so logical that terrorist can bypass security, why are politicians trying to stop non-terrorist muslim refugees? And any normal person can understand it as well.

    The only answer I can think of is that they just do not want non-white non-christian people in this country, and terrorism is just an excuse.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    Hassan, I agree with you. We live in a free society, and there are certain risks associated with that. But that is a risk we should be willing to assume for our freedom. Anyone who thinks we can ever be completely secure, and proposes that we spend billions of dollars over a relatively small and incremental amount of security is playing into the terrorists’ hands.

    I know this would be an unpopular opinion, but if it were up to me I would get rid of most airport security. Yes, even if that meant I would be less safe (I travel a lot). I think there are lots of things that we could do to make ourselves more safe, like stop killing so many Muslim civilians, and stop overthrowing their rulers (even Saddam Hussein), that would make us far more safe.

    It is analogous to the Republicans demanding that we build a huge, expensive wall across our border with Mexico. Which would do little or nothing, even if it were possible. Right now, we do not have net immigration (illegal or legal) from Mexico, not because of any security measures, but because we have fewer job opportunities for immigrants. When we attack the root causes of problems, we win. When we blindly attack the symptoms, we lose.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
  9. PATIOTSGT wrote:

    IK -I am all for taking in refugees. No one wants to keep them out, they just want to separate the bad or questionable apples out of the stream to the best of our ability. I believe that is both prudent, smart and the right thing to do for not only our country, but the refugees who will be brought here. If Americans feel confident about their governments processes, then they will feel differently about those refugees allowed in. That mindset (rather then a shut up and do as I say) will benefit the refugees by creating a more accepting response from their new neighbors and a more welcoming experience. I don’t think even you could disagree with that. 🙂

    The images from Europe of masses of refugee humanity (and many fighting age males among them) tearing down flimsy border restraints and bum rushing their way into Europe does not help.

    Phrases like “the overall level of nonsense”; ” that “orphans under the age of 5” and “the stunning stupidity of Republican” just create animosity and divisiveness. It doesn’t help to call your opponent names and belittle them.

    Here is a very coherent and non-belittling opinion from the dreaded right that explains their concerns and echoes the voices of many of our fellow Americans.

    Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink
  10. ThatGuy wrote:

    The bill is a farce. Refugees are already some of the most well vetted people coming to the US. We have allowed nearly 90,000 Iraqi refugees into the US since our misadventure started there and two have been brought up on terrorism charges. That can hardly be considered a blip in such a large group.

    This is classic American politics, A bad idea by the right and the left goes along, all over a security “concern” that is dwarfed by issues that actually kill Americans. But here we go, vilifying a vulnerable population and playing directly into the ISIS narrative that it’s Muslims against the world. We’ll doom thousands to prevent one potential boogeyman from getting in while watching our standing in the world plummet.

    France is showing true moral and political courage. Increase their commitment to taking refugees (without such a stringent vetting process) and elevate itself in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Why is America so cavalier with terrible ideas and cowardly otherwise?

    Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink