Prejudice will hurt innocents

For many people in the world, life is a matter of survival. If we have any sensitivity, human lives matter. But, people can be heartless, prejudiced and insensitive. In the 1960s, we white people segregated black people in the deep southern states in the name of skin color. Now, a replay of black discrimination is occurring with sadistic police officers shooting black suspects. Black lives, I reiterate, matter. Moreover, in the name of religion, Muslims here in the United States are discriminated against. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is against Syrian refugees entering the state of New Jersey. Have you wondered why presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been able to garner ubiquitous support? Donald Trump is taking his anti-Muslim rhetoric to the masses. In the name of religion, Muslims are social and religious pariahs. Prejudiced people have preconceived notions about minority groups.

In actuality, these ideas are spurious. The truth is, Muslims can contribute skills to the economy – making advances in technology, science, medicine – “right wing” leaning political ideals, and education.

A format must be in place as a preventive measure to deter terrorism. Military Muslim extremists coming here on pretext of escaping terrorism will:

1. Have money funnelled to them from overseas for weaponry.

2. Use social media for recruitment to ISIS.

Consider the following statistics from “The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2015.” In Saudi Arabia, there were about 25.5 million Muslims in that country. In Indonesia, there were about 209.12 million Muslims.

Unquestionably, the Muslim population is enormously high, but to emphatically state without facts all Muslims are extremist terrorists is to use overheated political rhetoric.

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, was quoted in Time magazine saying, “The heart and soul of Europe is tolerance …. It has taken us centuries to understand this.” (Dec. 21, 2015).

It has taken decades for blacks in the United States to be acknowledged as equal American citizens, and it will be a protracted time before we regard citizens in the same perspective, primarily Muslims.

America should widen the scope of Syrian refugees it accepts. Consider what Merkel stated in Time, “It goes without saying that we will help them and take in people who seek refuge with us.”

On the other hand, American presidential hopeful Donald Trump is the antithesis of America’s theme of liberty, freedom and justice for all.

In the Jan. 18 edition of Time magazine, it noted, “Trump has shredded the political rule book” and has proposed policies that would be viewed as preposterous if they came from anyone else, such as keeping all Muslims from entering the country.

Prejudice is fueled by fear, and with the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., Donald Trump would stoke those fears to garner votes.

Nevertheless, America’s security personnel must not be naive.

To prevent another mass ISIS shooting, security must have:

1. All e-mails monitored by the United States (observed).

2. Social media surveillance.

3. Background checks by security forces on entering Syrians.

4. Metal detectors used at immigration checkpoints.

5. Bomb-sniffing dogs at important infrastructures, like all major buildings, airports and railroads.

To conclude, Americans must display no disquietude over Muslims made in Christ’s image, unless Muslims prove otherwise.

John Sirtoli lives in Gloversville.