To my new Syrian Muslim neighbor,
Welcome to America. I understand your "multi-year screening experience"1 is over and you can now relax and settle in to the most peaceful, remarkable nation on earth. You are stepping into privileges few people in history have ever known.
You may not know this, but your Muslim brothers in Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations slammed the door on any Syrian refugee acceptance because, well, you Syrian Muslims are a “high risk” terror threat. Muslim leaders have seen the 2007 poll2 which revealed that only ten percent of you oppose terrorism. Last summer’s poll showed that twenty percent of you supported ISIS. Thirty percent of you supported Al Qaeda. That’s a lot of Syrian terror support. We can certainly understand why you personally claim “refugee” status3 if you are not a terror supporter. Back in Syria, you would be harassed and killed by those Muslims who would see you as an unfaithful Muslim, wouldn’t you?
Welcome to safety. We will try to protect you.
Even though you were born and reared in a Muslim culture, we assume from your “rigorous” vetting documents and testimony you want a new way of life. You have completely renounced any Islamic loyalties that are sympathetic to global Jihad, Sharia Law or the “death to America” sentiment that is so popular in Syria. This is great news.
We can assume from statements made by our vigilant State Department that you have no intention of practicing historic Islam. That’s good. That is a necessary first step in coming into this free nation. Because any Muslim with ongoing attachments to the teachings of Muhammad would not belong here. A devout Islamic Muslim would want our culture to submit, to change, and to conform to his supremacist and extremist cultural preferences. He would be angrily offended by our culture. He would want American culture to become Muslim culture, and we do not want that in America. Not even in isolated neighborhoods. We want all Muslim refugees to find true refuge in a culture that is vastly different.
Our President Obama, whose father and grandfather were Sunni Muslims, assures us that he understands you Syrian Sunnis and that you will fit in just fine with our freedoms, our customs and our rule of law, which are Biblical in character. He says you will behave yourself and harbor no secret and hostile motives for your new nation, as some of the other Muslim immigrants have. Many of them have killed our friends and relatives in the name of Islam -- in devout obedience to the commands of the Qu’ran.
You can understand why this makes Americans nervous about Muslims. But our system of justice doesn’t allow us to falsely accuse anyone. We try to see all men as innocent unless proven guilty in an honorable court of law. Just remember that people who are guilty can get some pretty serious justice in this country. This is because our Biblical foundations do not permit us to have double standards in justice. If you have never read the Bible, you should. You would be surprised by what is in it and what is not in it. Would you like to know why sixty million immigrants have been so warmly welcomed by Americans over the last four centuries? The Bible commands Americans to love the foreigner and even personal enemies. You can read about yourself in Numbers 15:16, Deuteronomy 29:19, Malachi 3:5, Leviticus 19:33, and Exodus 22:21-24. Americans have taken these commands seriously. Deuteronomy 10:19 commands us to “show love for the stranger and immigrant.” And the way to do that is to give refugees like you equal protection of God’s law. We try to teach this law and enforce it so that the blessings of liberty and justice can be enjoyed by all. So welcome to the land of liberty and justice for all.
Think of your new American life this way: If you were invited to my home as my guest, I would welcome you at the front door. You wouldn’t have to sneak around and climb in a window. You would be welcomed to my table to eat with my entire family. Everyone seated there would be expected to use the same polite table manners. You would be expected to honor my house rules in everything, just as my children do. You couldn’t steal my stuff, insult my wife, or kidnap my children and then tell me that you decided to live by someone else’s house rules just so you could feel "at home." It is not wrong to be intolerant of criminal conduct, no matter what cultural background my guest may have.
Here in America we’ve been attempting to build a culture that respects life, liberty, and property. We’re not ashamed of the fact that we get our rules out of the Bible. We’re thankful we can offer you a better future than the failed world of Sharia lawlessness. That inferior system has already destroyed civilization in Northern Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and all the nations Muslims conquered by sword and slaughter. That may sound harsh, but you are seeking refuge here because you know this is true.
Let me also welcome you to American culture-shock and give you some friendly advice. I trust you find America awesome in the best sense. You’ve come to the most awe-inspiring nation in world history. Look around closely at all you see and try to appreciate why it is different from nations of the Middle East. You’ve already noticed:
Where did all this come from? There are historic and theological causes for all these things, and the more you learn about cause and effect, the quicker you will appreciate the vast scope of privileges that now stand before you. Welcome to the land of creativity and boundless innovation.
Here are some basics about America you need to know about:
1. About work:
America is a place to build opportunity by working for it. Americans don’t exploit what we inherited, we build on it. We inherited a Christian work ethic, which taught us to save time, money, and to steward every resource for our children and grandchildren. We didn’t get ahead by lying, stealing, begging, cheating, and chasing idleness, and neither will you.
You are the newest of some sixty million refugees and immigrants who have built this nation up from grassland, forest and desert. Now it’s your turn to add everything you can that is constructive and creative. And you’ll need to learn quickly how to join in. There are now Muslims in Europe who are destroying many nations on that continent. The Muslims will be driving hundreds of thousands of European refugees to our shores, again, very soon. We’ll need new roads, more housing, and a more vibrant economy. And you can prosper with the rest of us as you build along with us. Don’t beg for welfare. And don’t demand welfare. Get to the place where you can work and financially help others. One institution that really built this country was voluntary private charity. People who were genuinely in need could always find help, especially the refugee who needed a hand up. But the lazy and the criminal should neither expect nor receive money confiscated from taxpayers.
2. About racism:
For most of our 400 years, Americans of many ethnicities have been too busy working with other ethnic Americans to be racists. No matter what the media suggests to you, or what CAIR4 suggests to you, no one I know is going to hate you or slight you because your skin color is lighter or darker than theirs. Most of the racism in this country is fictional sensationalism manufactured by the American media.
But we will see the content of your character and the outworking of your moral beliefs. All of us will immediately respect you when we see the character traits we esteem in this country: humility, friendliness, a courageous work ethic, and a willingness to help others less fortunate than you are.
3. About guns:
If you believe what you see in our juvenile Hollywood films you would think that a fourth of all Americans own firearms. This is a ridiculous misrepresentation. In our county it’s more like 80%.
4. About married women:
American men respect women. You’re a man. Don’t push in front of a woman in the check-out line to deliberately force her into a place of female second-class segregation. There is no such thing in America. Stand in line patiently and respectfully, like a self-governing man, and show polite respect for our women. Our country was largely built on the strength, intellect, wisdom, entrepreneurial spirit, and strong faith of women, and we respect and value our women for this. My sons and I treat the women in our family with respect. We talk to them. We get their advice. We educate our daughters. We don't beat our wives.
You will notice that some men stand when a married woman enters the room. You will also notice that considerate men offer women their seats if a woman is standing. It will not hurt you or your family to hold women in higher regard.
5. About unmarried women
American women of every international background happen to be exceptionally beautiful. Get used to this. Don’t stare. Staring is a sign of rudeness, and sometimes a sign of unwelcome aggression. Our younger women are not in the habit of concealing their physical beauty under a burqa. Some American fashions are more modest than others, but today’s contemporary styles do not mark them as prostitutes. They expect men to be able to respect them and appreciate them in wholesome ways. Be disciplined. Men are not animals of uncontrollable impulse. You are not an animal and you can learn to control yourself and take responsibility for all your actions.
6. About Jews
Jews are not a despised minority in this country. Historically, Americans have welcomed and honored Jewish families. Americans are indebted to the Jewish people. Hebraic jurisprudence as recorded in the Bible became the foundation of our representative republic’s legal system. Do not look down on Jewish people. There is too much 20th century anti-Semitism in this nation as it is. Do not add to it.
7. About smut
Smut is a slang term for sexually suggestive art, advertising and literature. You’ll see some billboards and magazine covers in public that will offend you. Don’t angrily go to war with Americans any time you are offended. You should know that many Americans are disgusted by smut, perhaps more than you are. Not all of us approve of the experimental immoralities being advocated in American schools and American media. Most of us hate the vulgarity and profanity of the porn culture, the irreverence culture, the entitlement culture, the victim culture, and the tyranny of political correctness. We want to change these things and we’ll take your help if you want to help us. America has never been perfect, but it could get better every year in every way if all of us stay focused and build a morally grown-up nation.
My Story Could Be Your Story
I love America. America has changed my family for the better. My ancestors were immigrant latecomers to America. Before that we were Swedish pagans and later Protestant Christians. As Viking raiders we were the most destructive people of history (until the coming of Muhammad and Islam.) Our way of life was blood and slaughter, cleaving skulls with axes, taking women as war booty and stealing everything in sight. We lived our lives as hateful organized criminals. We hurt people for a living. We thought our cultural gods were pleased with the bloodshed. Our religion was false. Ours was a vastly inferior culture to Christianity, which we learned about from some of our raiders who encountered the true Faith in England.
When my ancestors submitted to Christianity, they immediately began to transition into a civilized way of thinking and acting. When they came to America from Sweden they learned even more about the rule of law, civil conduct, and the Biblical foundations of real justice. They also learned that they could help build America’s future alongside refugees from Ireland, Germany, England, Spain, and Russia. All these migrants pulled together, prospered together, and developed a deep abiding gratitude for America.
You have this same opportunity before you. Your neighbors have immigrant ancestors. They can help you as you show them a sincere and humble desire to come completely out of a Muhammedan way of life, and step into a more civilized world. You can help your new community perfect that civilization. So welcome to the land of opportunity.
One final and friendly warning
Our American culture survives on mutual trust and respect. Many business deals are formed with verbal promises and a handshake. If someone cheats you by fraud, we will not tolerate that in our county. You can get justice in your county courthouse.
In short, we expect everyone, including you, to be truthful and faithful to the truth. We don’t like dishonesty in America. We don’t like infidelity. If you are an infidel in regard to the truth, that is an issue that must be dealt with. If you lied to our government according to the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya5which permits Muslims to lie in pursuit of “holy war” objectives, and if you are truly a follower of Muhammad, and consider America and all Americans your infidel enemies who deserve death or slavery, and if you intend to do your part as a faithful Muslim to force our submission to worldwide Islam, you are in the wrong country.
A 1-hour sermon given by Geoffrey Botkin, "Loving Refugees: Why Christians Are Getting it Wrong", can be found here.