President Obama is struggling to convey anger about the terrorist attacks in Paris, admitting that he wasn’t going to be “bellicose” just to get a good headline. But he did exactly that, as he criticized Republicans for suggesting that the United States should stop accepting Syrian refugees.
“The United States has to step up and do its part,” he said.
He denounced Republican candidates, including Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, who propose that the United States should primarily focus on accepting Christian refugees, criticizing Obama’s unwillingness to address the threat of terrorists coming overseas as refugees.
“That’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” he said angrily.
He called for all nations to open their borders to accept more refugees in spite of the threat of terrorists posing as refugees.
“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. They are parents. They are children. They are orphans,” he said. “It is very important … that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence,” Obama said, praising German Chancellor Angela Merkel for their courage to accept more refugees.
He cautioned political leaders “not to fall into that trap” of refusing to accept refugees, and to “not to feed that dark impulse inside of us.”
Obama is denying that Muslims and Christians are at war, urging Americans to reject the notion as well. He praised George W. Bush for also rejecting anti-Muslim sentiment.
“If we want to be successful defeating ISIL, that’s a good place to start,” he said. “By not promoting that kind of ideology, that kind of attitude.”