The mayor of Dallas is pushing back against politicians who say Americans should be skeptical of Syrian refugees, saying he is “more fearful” of armed white men than people fleeing civil war in the Middle East.
Speaking to MSNBC on Saturday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked to discuss the growing anxiety over Syrian refugees entering the United States, purportedly over concerns they could be potential agents for militant groups such as ISIS. Rawlings staunchly rejected the assertion that Syrians are somehow uniquely prone to violence, saying he is more concerned with the rise of white supremacy and the recent flurry of mass shootings committed by white men.
“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings said.
He also said that vilifying refugees only helps ISIS, as doing so falls into their “trap.” He then pushed back on the notion that ISIS is somehow representative of Islam.
“ISIS is no more Islamic than Nazi senior staff was Christian,” he said. He also subtly challenged Christian governors and other followers of Christ who have rejected refugees, referencing Jesus’ scriptural call to “welcome the stranger” in Matthew 25:41-43, asking, “Christ following people like myself — how do we deal with this issue of strangers, and are we going to let them in?”