NSN 2016 Update: Clash of Civilizations?

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NSN 2016 Update: Clash of Civilizations?

NSN 2016 Update: Clash of Civilizations

November 13, 2015

Over the last few days, Republicans have engaged in a spirited competition over who can say the most horrible things about Syrian refugees, and a few went further, calling for unconstitutional religious tests that threaten the core freedoms this country was founded to protect.

Marco Rubio is reading straight from the ISIS playbook when he calls the conflict in the Middle East a “clash of civilizations.”

  • “ISIS wants to make this a clash of civilizations,” says Rand Beers, former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and founder of NSN. “Why should we be helping them make their case? Why should we be turning on our own values?”

  • By feeding the ISIS narrative and comparing Muslims to Nazis, Marco Rubio is helping, not harming these fanatics, by allowing them to argue that Muslims will never find acceptance in the West.

  • The correct approach is to welcome these refugees, and by doing so harm ISIS’s claims about both the West and its so-called “Caliphate.”

But it’s not just Rubio. Many conservatives are eager to throw away core American values to stoke fear of Islam and deny sanctuary to people fleeing the terror of ISIS.

  • Senator Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush have both called for accepting only Christian refugees, a religious test for refugees that is both wildly unconstitutional, under the First Amendment, and completely contrary to American values.

  • Dr. Ben Carson compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs.”

  • Donald Trump called for separate IDs for Muslims, and toyed with the idea of shutting down mosques, another callous infringement of the First Amendment.

Photo Credit: Syrian refugees strike in front of Budapest Keleti railway station. Refugee crisis. Budapest, Hungary, Central Europe, 3 September 2015. [Mstyslav Chernov, accessed 11/20/2015]

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