Editor: Since the start of the Syrian civil war four years ago, more than 200,000 civilians have been killed and more than 4 million have fled the country to escape the horrors and atrocities that have destroyed their homes and livelihood. Thousands have fallen victim to the torture, rape, and executions of the Islamic State; tens of thousands more have been massacred by the government of Bashar al-Assad, one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world, which has turned artillery, bombs, machine guns, and even poison gas on its own people and carried out horrific executions and torture in its own military hospitals.
The United States has taken in 2,000 of these refugees and has plans to take in 10,000 more. All of these legally admitted immigrants are subjected to a two-year review process involving fingerprinting, background investigations, security checks, and personal interviews before being allowed into the country.
The civilian victims of Syria’s atrocities suffer every day from terror on a scale that far surpasses what America experienced on 9/11. Yet rather than show an ounce of compassion for these victims of our common enemy, Virginia Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33) last week chose to send out a morally repugnant, fear-mongering message in which he portrayed Syrian refugees in America as “radical Muslims who intend to harm the people of the United States” and ominously warned of “the cost of expanding this portion of America’s population,” suggesting that many are “just using the current unrest” to improve their economic condition and obtain free medical benefits.
When he was running for office, LaRock never missed an opportunity to trumpet his Christian faith. He shows precious little evidence of having read the Sermon on the Mount or any of the other teachings of the founder of his religion, much less applying them in his public duties.
Stephen Budiansky, Leesburg