Welcoming Syrian Refugees
From Kate Stewart, Mayor of Takoma Park:
In one of its first votes since taking office a few weeks ago, the new Takoma Park City Council voted unanimously in support of a Resolution Welcoming Syrian Refugees. The new City Councilperson for Ward 3, Rizzy Qureshi, a first generation American, took the lead in drafting the Resolution.
The Council took action to stand up and voice our opposition to the incendiary rhetoric being espoused by many across the country, and in the state of Maryland, as they seek to use fear to turn away victims of terrorism and those most in need of our assistance. We reminded the world that approaching issues such as this with compassion and empathy are key to building strong, inclusive, and healthy communities. We also reminded those who too readily use labels to dehumanize individuals that we are talking about people – mothers, fathers, daughters, sons – human beings who have a right to personal dignity and to be treated with fairness and justice and not with hatred and bigotry.
By adopting this Resolution, the City Council reaffirmed Takoma Park as a safe haven for people whose lives have been shattered by war and we have added our voice to others around the state, the country, and the world to make clear that the words “immigrant” and “Muslim” do not equal “terrorist.”
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” We will not be silent.