Originally published on the Statesman
As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I emigrated to the United States fleeing religious persecution in Pakistan. I am blessed and thankful for the freedom and liberties which the U.S. provides to me. Therefore, I find Gov. Abbott’s refusal to accept any Syrian refugees morally wrong and against the American values of fairness, justice and compassion.
The U.S. has the most rigorous refugee vetting process of any developed country; yet we have only admitted 1,500 refugees so far. The process includes several security clearances — such as an in-person interview, medical screening and cultural orientation classes — and can take up to two or three years.
The terrorist attacks in Paris should make us more empathetic to Syrians and other refugees who are facing violence on a daily basis. They should be given the opportunity to pursue a life of happiness.
MUHAMMAD AHMAD, ROUND ROCK