Luma Simms is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center; her essays, articles, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of publications including National Affairs, Law and Liberty, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, First Things, Public Discourse, the Institute for Family Studies, and others.

The Immigrant Mind: How Do Middle Eastern Immigrants Feel About the Situation in Syria and the Coptic Church Bombing?

According to a recent New York Times piece, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reportedly used the nerve agent Sarin in a chemical attack on his own people last week. The western world immediately went into an uproar at the news. But most Middle Eastern Christian immigrants are wary of such stories. We tend to come at these events from a different point of view.

But how do we share our ideas and opinions in a country that sees only in the binary of liberal and conservative? How can we be heard in a nation that listens to only foreign policy experts from those two political persuasions? How do we explain to Americans that many of their foreign policy issues – especially in the Middle East – are due to their fundamental misunderstanding of the region’s people and culture?

One of my main goals for “The Immigrant Mind” column is to give a voice to immigrant thought and life, especially that of Middle Eastern Christians.

We have been told that Assad is a bad dictator and a war criminal; a man who is terrible to his people and who should be opposed. We are told that aid and support should be given to those who would topple him. We are told that some – though not all – who oppose him are throwing off the chains of authoritarianism and are seeking freedom and democracy; ergo, we should assist those fighting for their liberty against an oppressive dictator. Some of this may be true. The same reasoning was used to justify removing previous dictators, notably Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. But the regimes (or lack of) that follow tend to be less protective of minority rights, and the vulnerable Christians often end up worse off.

Read the rest of the column at the Philos Project

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