It is an irony of history that the same Germany that had set out to exterminate one group of "Semites," the Jews, in the last century is now laying out the welcome mat for another Semitic group, the Arabs -- considering that the majority of the migrants are from the Middle East -- in this century. So what caused the springs of human kindness to gush forth in German hearts?
I have been trying to find the language to express my discomfort with the presumption that anyone who does not welcome very large numbers of refugees into Europe with widely opened arms is somehow resurrecting the ghost of Hitler. Or the right language to express the proscribed thought that those in Eastern Europe who want to settle only Christian refugees might have appropriate reservations about the very real difficulties of integrating very different cultural and religious practices into their distinct way of life.
Despite the millions spent by the Dominican government on public relations and lobbying firms, the facts cannot be spun to make the country look as if it's a successful model for documenting migrants and promoting human rights, as José Tomás Pérez, Dominican Ambassador to the United States, claimed in a recent article.
My brother was killed 14 years ago in the World Trade Center by terrorists who claimed to be devout Muslims. I have learned that what they claimed to be is irrelevant. What they believed, their fears, their warped world-views -- that's what was significant. It mattered what made them tick, not what religion they claimed.
Whenever anyone of us is diminished, we are all demeaned, when anyone or any group remains institutionally and socially stigmatized, marginalized, excluded, or disenfranchised, when violence comes down upon any of us, the possibility for authentic community cannot be realized unless and until we challenge it in truly transformational ways.