The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) expresses serious concerns regarding Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder’s announcement of suspending all work to welcome Syrian refugees to the state of Michigan as a result of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France.

There is no doubt that the horrific terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris highlight the extreme danger and the global challenge facing the world and the US. The serious threat requires our unity and our unwavering determination to fight and defeat it. We should be focused on the terrorists who are committing these crimes against humanity. Painting with a broad brush and guilt by association violate the human rights of individuals to be held accountable for their own actions only.  Suspending all effort to Syrian refugees settle in Michigan is a form of collective punishment towards bona- fide refugees risking life and limb to escape one of the worst conflicts in the world.  Such a change, de -facto, allows terrorists to determine our national policy toward a most vulnerable group of human beings. As a nation committed to the defense and promotion of human rights, we simply cannot and should not allow terrorists to set our policy. AHRC affirms that guilt by association and painting a whole group of people with a broad brush is un-American, is unfair and is unnecessary. The security and safety of our nation requires the vigilance of our law enforcement agencies but not such an extreme and unnecessary measure. The Syrian refugee crisis is a true human tragedy that requires a global response and an effective plan of action. These desperate people, bona fide refugees, are seeking a safe haven for their children far from war.

AHRC respectfully asks Governor Snyder to revisit his position and reassess the matter and restore plans to welcome Syrian refugees to the state of Michigan.  AHRC salutes President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau for not allowing terrorists to influence or dictate the US and Canada’s refugee policy. President Obama has expressed eloquently AHRC’s position on the Syrian refugees. Mr. Obama stated today, as reported by The New York Times:  ‘“The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism; they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife,” Mr. Obama said. He added: “We do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.”’

“The Syrian refugees should not be refused safe haven on account of the misdeeds of criminals and terrorists. There is no law or morality code that states that women and children, and others seeking refuge from senseless killing that has been going on for years, should be made to pay a price for the terrorist attacks in Beirut or Paris,” stated Hamad, AHRC Executive Director..

“We urge Governor Snyder to reconsider his decision and we appeal to peace loving and human- rights supporting individuals and groups to contact the Governor and urge him to reconsider his decision,”  continued Hamad.

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