July 14, 2024

Dallas Mayor not on the Islamophobia Bandwagon

Texas isn’t widely known for progressive policy makers, but there are a few. Texas isn’t as Red in its urban centers like Dallas, as it appears from the outside. Look at Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s fearful response to Texas accepting Syrian refugees.

As was reported by Rick Cohen last Monday, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, joined other Republican governors in declaring that Syrian refuges(sic) were not welcome to be resettled in that state. “As the governor of the state of Texas,” he said, “I will not roll the dice and take the risk on letting a few refugees in simply to expose Texans to that danger.”

Abbott went even further than that:

Though governors have no right to exclude refugees, they do have other ways to make resettlement difficult. In a letter sent to several local nonprofits from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, nonprofits involved in resettlement were asked to stop serving Syrian refugees by Friday—and according to this report, several complied. (Of the 7,200 refugees that resettled in Texas last year, 213 were Syrian.)

It appears that Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings knows that the Governor can’t just do things he doesn’t have the power to do. He said this on the issue of Dallas welcoming refugees many widows and orphans that are fleeing Daesh.

“I would participate in any organized, thoroughly vetted program that the country asks Dallas to participate in to make sure people were resettled that were fleeing ISIS and fleeing the terror that is there,” Rawlings said.

Additionally he agrees with others like me that point out:

“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings said.

Since 9/11, more Americans have been killed by Right Wing terrorists like Dylann Roof than Islamist terrorists. One point he also made which some of my fellow nonbelievers may disagree with is that:

“ISIS is no more Islamic than Nazi senior staff was Christian,” he said. He also subtly challenged Christian governors and other followers of Christ who have rejected refugees, referencing Jesus’ scriptural call to “welcome the stranger” in Matthew 25:41-43, asking, “Christ following people like myself — how do we deal with this issue of strangers, and are we going to let them in?”

If the point he is making is that religious terrorists are a small percentage of the total number of religious people, than statistically that is a true statement. The rest of the statement where he quotes the Bible is technically true, but of course others can quote parts of the Bible where mistreatment of strangers is the cultural norm and a carryover from other parts of the Bible that are xenophobic. Such as the parable of the Good Samaritan where a foreigner treated a brutally injured person with more compassion than the natives.

Not to nitpick Rawlings encouraging other Christians to put down the pitchforks and to be Good Samaritans, but is he casting a pearl before swine? It’s great though to share a Texas politician that isn’t embarrassing the state, and hopefully this trend continues.

Making Dallasites proud of something
Making Dallasites proud of something…

*Video [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76GK0mViGgU[/youtube]

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