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The challenges to an open-minded society

January 30, 2017

Two articles from today that make a nice pairing. First this: German Official: We Regret Open Borders. And then this: American Jewish Movements Unite to Warn Trump Against Religious Tests. From the first of the articles.

Says growing Muslim population a challenge for open-minded society.

Berlin made mistakes with its “open-door” refugee policy, which “went off course” and saw hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers entering the country over the past two years, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble admits. . . .

He wrote in an October article for Die Welt that “the growing number of Muslims in our country today is a challenge for the open-mindedness of mainstream society.” Addressing the role of Islam in society, a hot issue in Germany, he vowed to create a “German Islam” compatible with the values of liberal democracy and pluralism.

And then from the second:

Organizations representing the three largest denominations of American Jewry – the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements – all issued warnings to the White House by Sunday night against institutionalizing religious tests at America’s borders.

The Jewish community urged US President Donald Trump to tread carefully between protecting the nation and encroaching on core American values after the new president issued an executive order on Friday banning all Syrian refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States.

And then a bit of explanation from the President:

“This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” Trump said in a response to the crisis on Sunday. “There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.”

“America is a proud nation of immigrants,” he added, “and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border.”

The bottom line is that even though Trump understands what needs to be done, there is no constituency that will allow him to do it.

From → Cultural

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