President Obama shames Republicans for giving in to “dark impulses,” and rejects their call for a “Christian only” religious test that would prohibit Muslims and other non-Christian Syrian refugees from entering the country.
In response to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Republican presidential candidates have been calling for a religious test for Syrian refugees seeking admission to the U.S.
Both Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are advocating a religious test for all Syrian refugees that would screen out non-Christians. The calls for a religious test are an attempt to prevent Muslim refugees from entering the country.
While campaigning on Sunday Cruz said Muslim refugees from Syria should be barred from entering the United States while at the same time advocating that U.S. borders should be open to displaced Christians, arguing there is not a “meaningful risk” that Christians will commit terrorist acts:
There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation.
Also on Sunday, Jeb Bush told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the U.S. should respond to the terrorist attacks in Paris by carefully screening out Syrian refugees who are not Christians, arguing that the U.S. should only accept Christian refugees into the United States:
There are a lot of Christians in Syria that have no place now. They’ll be either executed or imprisoned, either by Assad or by ISIS. And I think we should have — we should focus our efforts as it relates to the Christians that are being slaughtered.
Speaking to reporters in Antalya, Turkey at the G20 summit on Monday, Obama urged leaders not to give in to their “dark impulses,” declaring:
When I hear folks say that well maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful. That’s not American, that’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Nov. 16, 2015 –