While literally every Republican candidate is spewing vile hogwash trying to convince us that there might be terrorists hidden among the refugees, let us consider that among the refugees will definitely be people like Adel Termos, who sacrified his own life to save many others from a terrorist:
The day before the horrific massacre in central Paris left the world reeling, two attacks during rush hour in Lebanon's capital city killed 45 and wounded more than 200 others.When I hear people fearmongering about refugees by disgorging cynical rhetoricals about who might become my neighbor, I think of Adel Termos. I expect we'd all be lucky to have a neighbor like him.
If not for the heroic actions of one man, the death toll would have been much higher. And now, days later, his heroism is being recognized.
Adel Termos was walking in an open-air market with his daughter, according to reports, when the first suicide bomber detonated his explosives. Amid the instant chaos, Termos spotted the second bomber preparing to blow himself up, and made the quick decision to tackle him to the ground. The bomb went off, killing Termos, but saving countless others, including his daughter.
"There are many, many families, hundreds probably, who owe their completeness to his sacrifice," Elie Fares, a blogger and physician in Beirut, told Public Radio International in an interview last week.
"In a way, Adel Termos broke human nature of self-preservation. His heroism transcended his own life to save others," Fares told The Washington Post in an e-mail Monday. "To make that kind of decision in a split second, to decide that you'd rather save hundreds than to go back home to your family, to decide that the collective lives of those around you are more important than your own is something that I think no one will ever understand."
I'm not suggesting, of course, that every refugee who comes to the States would—or should—make such a tremendous sacrifice on behalf of others. Nor that one needs to earn a place as my neighbor with heroism.
My point is only this: To continually imply that refugees may be terrorists, with zero credible evidence, at the expense of acknowledging that refugees are a diverse population of all sorts of people, many of whom may be extraordinary people, is shit. Utter shit.
There are more decent people on this planet than there are terrorists. Why anyone would ever want to pretend otherwise is beyond me.
I get that there's a political value to such a reprehensible pretense. I just don't understand, on a visceral level, why people choose to engage in politicking that diminishes their own humanity by requiring them to deny the humanity in others.