Pence’s stand just adds fuel to outrage

(Portland) Commercial Review

Last spring, Gov. Mike Pence stumbled badly over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a thinly veiled move toward discrimination and intolerance.

Now he’s posturing in the wake of the recent horrific attacks by Islamic State group in Paris.

It’s a charade that has absolutely nothing to do with national security or the safety of Hoosiers and everything to do with fear- mongering and pandering to the lowest common denominator.

The governor has said that Indiana will not accept any of the 10,000 Syrian refugees slated for admission to the United States as they flee the brutal chaos in their country.

Fact is, he doesn’t have any legal authority on the matter; immigration and the admission of refugees are federal matters. All the state bureaucracy can do is bluster, delay and belittle those seeking sanctuary in this country.

So what’s the point? Our guess is it’s to score political gain by looking tough amid a climate of fear.

Examined realistically, the Pence position makes no sense at all. Consider:

The 10,000 slated for the U.S. have been in refugee camps for something like two years and have been thoroughly screened.

These are people — families — who are fleeing the terror of ISIS and the Syrian civil war.

Those identified as perpetrators in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris were born in Europe.

The net effect of the move by Gov. Pence and his brethren is to create another recruiting tool for the Islamic State group.

It bolsters the Islamic State group’s mentality that this is an Islam vs. the West conflict, and by doing so helps push alienated and disaffected young Muslims toward the Islamic State group.

But the Islamic State group is not Islam, and Islam is not the Islamic State group.

And keeping that distinction in mind is critical if the world is to deal with this threat.

So when the Gov. Mike Pence contingent in America ignores any distinction between Islamic State group and Islam, when it ignores the profound distinction between refugees and terrorists, when it favors posturing over compassion, it does absolutely nothing to improve this nation’s security.

Instead, it acts as a recruiter for another generation of terrorists.

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