Imagine Being a Syrian Refugee in Missoula, Montana [OPINION]
A letter from the Missoula City Commission has created a hot bed of decent from some locals about offering to have Middle East Refugees housed in their city.
“Of all the 50 states, there are only two that have not received their “share” of the nearly 1 million Muslim refugees that have been infused into more than 180 U.S. cities and towns over the past 35 years, compliments of the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.
Those states are Wyoming and Montana.
Wyoming has received only five refugees from the federal resettlement program since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and is currently not participating in the program (although Gov. Matt Mead has indicated he’d like to restart the program). Montana has only received 61 refugees since 9/11 and none since 2008.”
What’s It Like to Be a Refugee?
Thankfully I have no idea what it’s like to be a refugee. I’ve known poverty and homelessness but I was still in the USA.
If I were transported to a foreign land I think I might fake assimilation while trying my best to find a way back to my homeland.
I would not run out of my house waving an American flag on July 4th but I would certainly reflect on that day.
I doubt it would be safe to show up at a Christmas tree lot in Syria if in fact one even existed.
In short, being myself would probably not be an option. So what would being a Syrian refugee in Missoula look like?
Syrian Women in Missoula
I don’t think it’s any secret how women are treated in Middle Eastern countries. And Syria is no exception. Women have very few rights and that lack of rights is not absolved by crossing a few borders.
I’m sure the Missoula Woman’s Club would welcome Syrian women with open arms. Of course they may not be allowed to leave their home without a male family member or husband.
But even if she could she could probably not easily relate to dress, makeup, language, food, culture and customs.
Would she sit quietly and envy their freedom or just sit quietly and reject their way of life as not normal or repulsive to what she’s been taught?
She might want to voice a comparison of how often they are beaten as to how often she is.
I would imagine the first trip to the Walmart meat section would be an eye opener. Probably more pork in one place than she could ever imagine. Not to mention all over TV.
I’m also guessing that the availability of ethnic food would be slim. Victoria’s Secret ads might be a culture shock.
The number of Christian holidays might also be uncomfortable and it might take more than a few days for hubby to embrace the LGBT attitudes of America.
Some Final Thoughts
Maybe these things would happen and maybe they wouldn’t. Personally I have no fear of suicide bombers settling in Missoula.
Immigrants who built this country came from places with comparable religion and family lifestyle. They came because they wanted to be Americans and were ready to adhere to all that meant.
They divorced themselves from their previous homeland and embraced ours.
When you are taught almost from birth to hate Jews and Christians, treat women as slaves, respect honor killings, and come to a country that allows freedom of religion when your own teaches you to allow none — I would call being housed in America cruel and unusual punishment.