Mrs Dim and I were in New York when we heard about the latest atrocities by Daesh*. That day we had visited the 9/11 memorial and seen the One World tower. The obvious reaction, aside from horror and sympathy for the nations suffering (more than just France, remember) was bafflement.
What do the terrorists imagine they are achieving? In the wake of 9/11 there was a huge outpouring of anger towards the supposed perpetrators, and the war that followed has rumbled on for years. Certainly the casualties in the initial attack were high, and many countries have lost soldiers and other personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the cost to the aggressors and the civilians has been immeasurably higher.
Then I read some terrific news articles that outlined exactly why this kind of vicious attack and the response to it is exactly what Daesh want. They want to drive a wedge between the Islamic citizens of the West and everyone else. Only by turning our citizens against each other, by dividing us into “Us and Them” can they hope to recruit more disaffected fighters, to grow a new generation of haters.
Those trying to prevent the refugees entering their states through fear of similar attacks are responding just as Daesh hoped they would. They are promulgating the fear of the “other” in their society, they are telling people in genuine fear of their lives that they are the enemy. If you drive away these refugees and treat them as criminals and terrorists, where will they go? How will they view your land of freedom and equality?
Is there a danger that more Daesh infiltrators are amongst the refugees? Of course. But who are we, who do we want to be as a nation? As a Canadian, I know my country was built on immigration. The cooperation of the First Nations helped those original settlers and they were repaid cruelly. New immigrants have come and made Canada their home and they have fared better, helped the country grow. There should never be a dividing line between immigrants and “old-stock Canadians”, because that’s not how our country is.
By all means, pray for Paris. Pray for Beirut. Pray for peace. But remember that Jesus also said there were a few more responsibilities for a conscientious believer:
““Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”
*Not “Islamic State, because they’re neither Islamic, nor a State. They have no system of government, no ambassadors, no foreign policy or economy. They are nothing but fighters, and so have no plan beyond destruction. This has been shown in the towns they have captured – time and again they are found to be abandoned by the populace, unable to support regular life under the “governance” of Daesh.