Muslims, Jews, History, Cities: A Dispatch from Refugee Heaven

This is my kitten, Grover. Grover had been beaten pretty badly by a group of ferals when I got him, and still has scars. I chose this image because of that and because  everyone on the Internet loves cat pictures.

By now, everyone is probably experiencing what it is they experience after a major tragic event that ripples out from wherever it happened and into their daily routine.

The day after ISIL/Daesh shared its latest commentary on modern civilization, one of my friends posted this story. It’s dense, but worthwhile for anyone who wants a real understanding of what this movement is all about. If you’re too busy, here’s a six-word summary: “Let’s return the world to 630!”

Here, in my own backyard, I’ve been reading about US governors (my own included) falling all over each other in their haste to announce that Syrian refugees will not be allowed to enter their states.

I know that while many Muslims don’t hate Jews, some do, and would hate being compared to us. But there’s no way I can unsee what I’m seeing, which is a contemporary version of the run-up to the Holocaust with these refugees taking the role of the Jews, ISIL/Daesh playing Nazi Germany, and the rest of the world playing itself.

There’s a Canadian book on Jewish immigration policy during that period called “None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948.” The title comes from a comment made by Frederick Blair, then head of immigration for the Canadian government. It was his answer to the question about how many Jewish refugees should be allowed into Canada after 1945.

I was at a neighborhood meeting last night where two aldermen talked about the number of vacant city-owned houses available for sale. I’m sure mine isn’t the only city trying to figure out ways, in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, to deal with this issue. I’m sure it’s not the only city that would love to see those houses filled with hardworking people who would increase the tax base.

No one wants to invite the Angel of Death in for tea and cookies. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be vetted. I am saying that there are three million refugees who would probably think they’d gone straight to heaven if they could walk to the store without being blown up or shot or beheaded or raped or enslaved. Refugees who would be thrilled to pay taxes because it meant they were able to work and earn money.

Here we sit, in our cities full of boarded-up houses and empty apartment buildings. Here we sit, living in heaven and not even realizing it.

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