Decisions in Times of Crisis

In times of humanitarian crisis, the compassionate in all of us manifests itself. It’s shocking and alarming to witness tens of thousands of refugees fleeing harsh living environments (their home countries). People then become torn as they consider that the people fleeing from these areas may also harbor among them potential terrorists or followers of this current global threat called ISIS. What do we do? People don’t want to risk the safety of their families, loved ones, and way of life by allowing in terrorists. But they also don’t want to turn a blind eye to people that are genuinely seeking refuge from harm. So how do we distinguish the terrorists disguised as refugees from the genuine refugees? It has been said that Jihadi terrorists look “just like the everyday person” and are dressed how any common refugee would dress. This makes rooting out the terrorists even more difficult and has also bred fear and anxiety among citizens because there is no way to know if they are connected to terrorism despite the supposed sophisticated vetting process. In April 2013, the USA experienced another terror attack: the Boston Marathon Bombings. The perpetrators (Tsarnaev brothers) of the Boston Marathon Bombings completed the vetting process and still managed to slip under the radar. Why? because they disguise themselves as no different than you and I. This crisis is not limited to one country. North American countries i.e. USA, Canada are also faced with these decisions. Over 30 American states have refused refugees altogether as a precaution to the current ISIS threat. Some states are more reluctant. In Europe these refugees were welcomed into virtually every country. The people who carried out the Paris attacks were refugees who were said to have looked ordinary, and non-threatening. Anyone here can see this is the problem we are faced with: How do we extend our care to harmless refugees while trying to stop harmful terrorists disguised as refugees? Another essential question is how are we going to modify our vetting process to more effectively catch any terrorists hiding among them?

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