How the National Security and Religion Correlates with Religious Prosecution under the DHS
The past, current, and projected future challenges facing national security in the country dictate the need to explore the role of religion in security issues. Traditional concepts in Islam support the use of sharia laws and the belief in jihad wars, which explains the involvement of some Muslims in terrorism. After the September 11 attack, the country was forced to come up with a national security plan that would integrate religion in the promotion of security. The struggle to find a balance between the prosecution of religious groups and their practices in the United States and involving these groups in the development of strategies to promote national security continues to be a major security challenge in the country.
Freedom of religion and maintenance of civil rights are essential in any religion. While the importance of upgrading security measures after the 9/11 attack cannot be disputed, the increased religious persecution directed towards Muslim citizens in the US by the DHS should be addressed. Counter-terrorism measures conducted by Homeland Security have contributed to the violation of Muslims’ civil rights related to the prosecution of suspected individuals based on their Islamic religious affiliation (Samari, 2016; Smith & Zeigler, 2017). The 9/11 attack contributed to the view of Muslim Americans as a security threat to the US.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims at protecting individuals despite their religion. In the promotion of national security and the county’s relationship with other foreign nations, the country has been allowing Christian and other religious minority refugees from foreign nations to seek asylum in the US. Recently, the number of religious refugees allowed in the country has decreased, with some Christians from the Middle East being held in detention while awaiting possible deportation. Homeland Security under President Trump’s administration has placed tough restrictions on refugees affected by religious prosecution from Islamic countries due to the need the fight against terrorism (Luce & Ainsley, 2018). Although the target had been Muslim refugees, Christians and individuals from other minority religious groups affected by religious persecution were also affected.
Changes in the U.S refugee resettlement entails screening of the affected individuals before by Homeland Security. The 1980 Refugee Act includes religious persecution as one of the factors for granting refugees asylum in the county. Christian converts in Muslim nations face an increased risk of persecution as compared to Muslims. The horrible treatment directed towards Christians and individuals from other minority groups in Syria and other Islamic countries necessitates the need to grant them access to American soil. Despite the threat that these individuals face most of them have not been permitted access to the U.S (Anderson, 2018).
Taking additional security measures when dealing with refugees from Islamic nations is essential as they might be affiliated to terrorist groups from their native countries. To ensure that security measures are maintained by Homeland Security, refugees from Islamic nations should not be allowed in the country. Additionally, American Muslims should be assessed to determine whether they are affiliated with terrorist groups. Limiting refugee entrance in the country would promote its security.
Although the nation was required to take additional security measures after the 9/11 attack, there is a need for the country to continue offering asylum to refugees affected by religious persecution in Islamic countries such as Syria. Most of the refugees seeking asylum in the country have endured genocide and undergone both physical and psychological torture. Limiting the refugees permitted to enter the US could contribute to additional conflicts with these foreign nations (Brill, 2016). As such, restricting refugee entrance in the country does not make America any safer than it was during the 9/11 attack.
The Homeland security department plays a crucial role in promoting the security of citizens in the country. The country’s efforts to toughen the measures implemented by the DHS concerning religious persecution have been based on offering refuge to affected individuals. Perhaps instead of limiting such individuals’ entrance in the county, the DHS could apply extensive assessment techniques and follow-ups to determine their threat to the country. The civil rights of Muslim Americans should also be promoted to avoid discriminating them based on past terrorist attacks committed by Muslims from foreign nations.
Anderson, S. (2018, August 13). Trump admits only 23 Christian refugees from Mideast in 2018. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2018/08/13/trump-admits-only-23-christian-refugees-from-mideast-in-2018/
Brill, S. (2016, September). Is America Any Safer? Retrieved from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/are-we-any-safer/492761/
Luce, D. D., & Ainsley, J. (2018, September 12). Despite Trump’s promise to protect them, Christian refugees struggle to enter U.S. Retrieved from NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/despite-trump-s-promise-protect-them-christian-refugees-struggle-enter-n908501
Samari, G. (2016). Islamophobia and public health in the United States. American Public Health Association, 106(11), 1920-1925. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5055770/.
Smith, M., & Zeigler, S. M. (2017). Terrorism before and after 9/11 – a more dangerous world? SAGE Journals, Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2053168017739757.