Posted by: Rachel | November 20, 2015

#PrayfortheRefugees

Along with the rest of the world I’ve been watching the Syrian refugee situation, and also the Paris terrorist attacks. It seems everybody has an opinion on how to solve each of these problems, and I’m no different. But I think the larger problem is how to prevent these events.

There is something else happening in the world that not near as many people are watching, but I think it helps us to understand events like the Paris attacks and groups like ISIS. I wouldn’t know of this myself if it weren’t for a fellow church member who is currently living in Nepal. Did you know that India is currently blockading fuel shipments to Nepal? It doesn’t get much news coverage, and really doesn’t seem that important when you think about all the refugees that need homes. Or when you think about the many men and women willing to die in terrorist acts for ISIS. But when I see the continued blockade of fuel supplies to Nepal I think that this is what creates terrorists. This feeling of helplessness, of being at the mercy of another country, of having no political power, this creates people willing to die for a cause.

It’s a complicated issue in Nepal. India says it’s not really a blockade, while Nepal insists it is. To read the hows and whys of it causes the eyes to glaze over if you aren’t well versed in Nepali politics, which frankly, most of the world isn’t. It’s hard to offer solutions if you don’t understand who got the upper hand in the new constitution and why that matters and how it affects the relationships between Nepal and India. I don’t understand it. But I do understand that diesel fuel is very important to the Nepali people. Blackouts can last from 4-18 hours on most days and so diesel generators are used frequently. Restaurants can’t cook because they don’t have propane. Hospitals are only given a few days of fuel supplies.

How does this relate to ISIS? When you think of countries destabilized by outside forces, Iraq has to be a prominent, recent example. And according to this article, the Iraq invasion was the primary reason for the founding of ISIS. I know many Christians lament the persecution that fellow believers experience in middle eastern countries. I wonder how many understand that the Iraqi invasion made the lives of Christians much more difficult in those countries.

So how do we prevent more terrorists from being created? I definitely don’t have a surefire answer, but I do have some ideas. I don’t think the use of force is working well, nor will it ever accomplish peace. Really, it’s absurd to think that by bombing the crap out of ISIS strongholds that they will be inspired to live peacefully with those they abhor. I think that by the time a group with the power of ISIS, or previously, Al-Qaeda, is in operation it’s a bit too late. We need to focus on the next generation. But it’s difficult to do that because it starts as seemingly insignificant issues like fuel blockades, or rolling blackouts.

The problem with the U.S. or the world at large trying to police the rest of the world is that we are inherently terrible at it. I still remember when the idea was first surfaced to invade Iraq. We were going to be saviors to that country. We were going to be preventing the next generation of 9-11 terrorists. I think we failed spectacularly in our mission. We are very good at installing new leaders in countries that end up being our enemies.

The way we treat the Syrian refugees will determine their future. It will determine whether they have some thing to live for, or a life spent running for safety only to be rejected and mistreated by other countries. We need to do our very best to help care for and find places for these people. I know the U. S. probably can’t take every refugee, but too many people are treating the refugees as the enemy. You treat them like the enemy, they will become the enemy. And in 15 years from now we will be oh so horrified, and writing out little hashtags such as #prayforfrance when some Syrian refugee who never had anyone help him decides that the only power he has is the power to blow up a building.

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Responses

  1. very good Rachel… God Bless you

  2. Good thoughts! That’s definitely not a side of the story we hear about.


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