(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama, speaking from the G20 Summit in Turkey on Monday, said it was “shameful” that some political leaders are suggesting the U.S. should only admit Christian and not Muslim Syrian refugees.
“When I hear folks say that, well maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war torn country is admitted, when some of the those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” Obama said.
“That’s not American. That’s not who we are,” Obama said. “We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.
“When Pope Francis came to visit the United States and gave a speech before Congress, he didn’t just speak about Christians who were being persecuted. He didn’t call on Catholic parishes just to admit those who were of the same religious faith. He said protect people who are vulnerable,” he said.
Obama said it is important that those “in leadership, particularly those who have a platform and can be heard not to fall into that trap, not to feed that dark impulse inside of us.”
“I had a lot of disagreements with George W. Bush on policy, but I was very proud after 9/11 when he was adamant and clear about the fact that this is not a war on Islam, and the notion that some of those who have taken on leadership in his party would ignore all of that, that’s not who we are,” said Obama.
“On this, they should follow his example. It was the right one. It was the right impulse. It’s our better impulse, and whether you are European or American, the values that we are fighting against ISIL for are precisely that we don’t discriminate against people because of their faith,” he said.
“We don’t kill people because they’re different from us. That’s what separates us from them, and we don’t feed that kind of notion that somehow Christians and Muslims are at war,” said Obama. “If we want to be successful in defeating ISIL, that’s a good place to start, by not promoting that kind of ideology, that kind of attitude.”