Occupy Elgin will meet at the intersection of Kimball Street and Grove Avenue at 1:00 PM in Elgin on Saturday, December 26, 2015.
For the second Saturday in a row, we will focus on welcoming Syrian and Muslim refugees to the United States.
Below is the text of the flyer we will distribute:
Muslims Are Welcome Here!
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, there has been a wave of violent words and actions against Muslim-Americans, including beatings, rock-throwing incidents, arson against mosques, etc. Some presidential candidates have exploited the understandable fears of Americans and have indulged in vicious demagoguery.
Terrorism and mass killings are evil without question, no matter who commits them, Muslim or Christian, white American or Middle Eastern immigrant. To judge or persecute all Muslims because of the actions of a fraction of one-percent of Muslims is as irrational as to persecute all Christians because of the evil acts of a few Christians.
There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. They make up a majority of the population in 49 countries spread across the globe. Twelve million Muslims live in the US. Their religion, their Koran, and their culture does NOT promote killing any more than our Bible promotes killing. Fundamentalist Islam is problematic, and so is Fundamentalist Christianity, Fundamentalist Judaism, and Fundamentalist Hinduism. To portray all Muslims as extremists is not only incorrect. It is damaging to the millions of peaceful Muslim-American citizens and damaging to the fabric of our society. To spread this bigotry is irresponsible and dangerous.
(Statistics from Pew Research & Wikipedia.)
In the late 1930s and during WW II, the US rejected hundreds of thousands of visa applications from Jewish refugees fleeing
Hitler. Many of those who were rejected subsequently died in the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism was behind that rejection. These facts are a moral stain on our history. There are clear parallels to the current refugee crisis. If we reject Muslim refugees now, we show that we have learned nothing from past mistakes. http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/11/19/9760060/refugees-history-holocaust
Another way to put terrorism into perspective is this: according to Thom Hartman, since 9/11, a grand total of 93 people have been killed in terrorist attacks on American soil, and of those, the majority were killed by white conservative terrorists.
Meanwhile, according to the Gun Violence Archive, in the US over the past decade, there were a grand total of 301,797 firearm-related deaths, compared to 71 deaths from acts of terrorism. Different reliable sources count the numbers differently, but all agree that Islamic extremist violence causes a tiny fraction of US deaths by comparison. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/oct/05/viral-image/fact-checking-comparison-gun-deaths-and-terrorism-. If we allow ourselves to be manipulated by irrational fears we will make poor choices. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-kurzman/america-hostage-to-terrorism_b_8814088.html.
To reject refugees who are fleeing from ISIS or from war in Syria and Iraq and suspect them of BEING ISIS, is cruel beyond measure.
Let us open our hearts and our minds and welcome refugees fleeing for their lives.
Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice fvc4pnj.org
& Occupy Elgin