Syrian Christians have been granted refugee status in the United States at lower rates than Syrian Muslims. It should be the opposite.
Millions of Syrians have fled their homes amid civil war, flooding Europe and causing a refugee crisis not seen since the end of World War II. Recently, the Obama administration announced its intention to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States over the next year, an increase from fewer than 2,000 this year.
That number could rise to as many as 100,000 refugees by 2017. Overall, the United States takes in roughly 70,000 refugees a year, and some activists are calling for that number to be raised to 200,000.
Some experts have said allowing in so many refugees presents a national security risk. Others counter that America has a moral obligation to help those fleeing for their lives, as we have done to assist Cubans, North Vietnamese, Sudanese, and others in imminent deadly peril.
Here’s an idea that could satisfy both sides: The U.S. government should favor Christians who are fleeing their ancestral homelands and being targeted because of their faith.
Our Current Policy Makes Far Less Sense
The United States already admits more than a quarter-million Muslims a year—as migrants, students, and refugees. This should concern policy makers, because we know from recent surveys that many Muslims in America would prefer to be governed by sharia law rather than U.S. law under the Constitution. A 2015 poll by the Center for Security Policy found that about half (51 percent) of American Muslims would prefer to use sharia courts outside the U.S. legal system, and about a quarter believe that violence is justified in establishing sharia.
Continue reading below…