Jenny Z. New York

Refugee Crisis

The current hysteria regarding muslims in America brings up an important issue between national security and human rights.

Dear, Mr. or Madam President,

To understand my position regarding to the situation, and to determine if you would or would not like to take action on this issue. It is firstly important for me to introduce myself to you. I am a current resident in New York City, I am gearing towards a voting age, and I am currently taking a class on participation in government. I have many friends who are Muslim and they are very trustworthy and kind-hearted people. Nothing I have seen about the Muslims in the media represent who they truly are. So I ask of you, mister or madam president, to keep an open mind about the people who are so called "terrorists" because so many innocent individuals are suffering from this common misconception. As a result, there are refugees out there that need our help, and so many conservative Muslims living in the US who exhibit no threat to us and yet suffer from extreme prejudice. This is not the America that our founding fathers established upon religious freedom and tolerance. People should be able to practice their religion freely. I hope this letter gets to you and helps you understand where I am coming from.

I'd like to present a proposition for you regarding the war against terrorism. Many people would think that just because a small group of radical Muslims in Iraq, who are to blame for 9/11, and many other bombing incidents all over the world, all Muslims are to be blamed. There are currently many conservative Muslims, completely different from the radical Muslims, who suffer from prejudice in America today. There are also many refugees from Syria in need of our help, who we refuse to lend a hand to because of this fear. The first amendment of our constitution claims that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" For a country who is founded by religious freedom, we are completely limiting the opportunities for Muslims and the people of Islam. 

Now I want to clarify the difference between the radical and conservative Muslims. Radical Muslims(the ones living in Iraq) have a very traditional view on the Islamic religion. They are considered the "real" Muslims and all the members of ISIS have the same beliefs of a radical Muslim. Radical Muslims are not every open to criticism to their religion, they do not believe in democracy, tolerate other religions or equality for women, they sometimes interpret their religion in an extreme way, sometimes far from the intentions of their creator. The conservative Muslims, however, do not follow all parts of their religion. They have a more westernized view on everything such as being open to democracy, equality for women, and they tolerate other religions. The moderate Muslims definitely do not believe in using extreme methods such as terrorism to spread their religions. Most radical Muslims are in Iraq and the refugees escaping are moderate Muslims who have been outlawed for their beliefs. By rejecting these refugees who need our help, we are not only leaving them to suffer, but we are helping ISIS win because moderate Muslims are also considered their enemies. We are fighting the wrong people, and should help those who are on our side.

Rescuing refugees not only helps the refugees in clear and present danger, but it also helps our economy. According to the study released in May 2016 by the Tent Foundation, refugees yield economic benefit to wealthy countries because they fill gaps in the labor market. Refugees are more likely than economic migrants to take upon jobs that no one else desires. They even create new jobs so that other unskilled workers will not be jobless. Despite the initial fee required to admit refugees, we are accepting new workers who have the desire to be productive, and as a result we will reap its benefits in the long run. There has been a total of 65.3 million refugees at the end of 2015, likely all willing to work for our country. Not only does this work well on a moral sense, but also an economic sense. We should be doing everything in our power to help these people, so they can help us too.

Now that you've heard my position, I hope that I persuaded you to take action to embrace the Muslims who love our country as much as you. You can start by accepting more refugees into our countries so that they may be safe from the ISIS control, offer them jobs and opportunities like we have many other times to the less fortunate. Let's make America the kind and open minded country it was once again. 


Jenny Zhang

East-West School of International Studies

Government - 6th Period

EWSIS 12th Grade Government - Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Pierini

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