Making their way to eastern Europe --- just in time for Christmas --- is the first group of refugees being saved by The Nazarene Fund. How are they feeling?
According to Johnnie Moore, author of Defying ISIS, they're still in a bit of shock, wondering if this is too good to be true. Having experienced persecution and the ravages of war, they're astonished by this outpouring of compassion.
The families feel comforted about their final destination --- an eastern European nation that is selectively taking Christian refugees only. Of course, there's trepidation in the mix as well, and the fear that --- as Syrians --- they might be mistaken as former members of ISIS.
Glenn and Johnnie discussed on air today how The Nazarene Fund is providing a bit of peace and security for a persecuted and desperate community.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
GLENN: Johnnie Moore is joining us now because he has been on the front lines leading the fight to bring in Christian refugees. And, Johnnie, can you tell me the difference between a Christian refugee? I mean, how dare you make this racist and this Islamophobic differentiating point, but can you tell me the difference between the Christian refugees and the Muslim refugees?
JOHNNIE: Yeah, exactly. And it's really, really simple. There is no Christian member of ISIS. Not one. Not a single Christian member of ISIS.
And, by the way, all these Christians, are Middle Eastern pacifists to begin with. You know, they wouldn't even know what to do with a gun if they found one.
I mean, this is totally, totally incomprehensible last week when the president spoke most passionately in an hour-long press conference at the G20, he spoke most passionately about what I characterize as discriminating against Christians. Because that's what he's decided to do.
And, you know, what's so strange about this, Glenn, is that the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the UN convention on genocide, official State Department policy, every nonsectarian, nonreligious NGO in the world has always provided special treatment to those who have been persecuted for religion. And yet for months, we've been saying -- we've been saying it, we've been very, very clear about it, that it seems like this administration is discriminating against Christians, and they denied it. The State Department released press release after press statement after press statement, and then the president just came clean last week in front of world leaders at the G20 and made it very, very clear, Christians aren't welcome from the Middle East in the United States, unless they just slip in.
GLENN: He's saying that there is no genocide of Christians.
JOHNNIE: No -- and he's said it from the beginning. And it's crazy. I don't even know how he believes this. A million Christians are gone from Syria in five years. A million Christians. Over a million Christians are gone from Iraq in the last seven or eight years. I mean, this is like -- it is really, really, really shameful. And the fact that the president spends all of his energy, you know, trying to make those of us who want to provide special treatment to genocide victims look like bigots at this time when we're facing a just total crisis, when it comes to the fact that, in Europe and the United States, we haven't a clue who is here. I mean, this is really, really terrible. And it's very, very, very dangerous.
You know, and, by the way, he speaks, you know, caustically about all this stuff. You know, last week he said sarcastically, "What do these Republicans, what do these conservatives want? You know, they're scared of widows and orphans from Syria." Well, you know, the truth is we are scared of widows and orphans from Syria because we don't know if they carry the ideology.
You know, why is this woman a widow? Did her husband die fighting for ISIS? You know, what have they been teaching their children? What about the communities they're going in, in the United States? Those of us who are close to the situation know two things: The first thing that we know is, the vast majority of Muslims aren't going to strap a bomb to themselves. The second thing we know is, those that are often ideologically led by the woman in the home. It's the woman that teaches the ideology to the children. And oftentimes the husbands, you know, follow that path. So, you know, I think a lot of us that are close to the Middle East are -- are terrified of the fact that we're not scrutinizing things.
And, you know, the other side of this too is, we right now at the Nazarene Fund with Mercury One, we have employed former United States intelligence agents that are doing our own vetting of our own Christian refugees before resettlement. And I was just talking to one of them last week and she told me. She said, "You know, vetting is difficult for professionals. It's difficult for CIA people." So the fact that we're leaving this to untrained UN people or, you know, immigration people, it's just -- it's just really, really scary, Glenn. Just so many things to be worried about right now.
GLENN: How do you argue this with your friends? If you're listening and your friends are going to be around a Thanksgiving table, and I can guarantee you, some of them are going to say, "We have to bring the Syrian refugees in. We have to. This is so un-American to say 'no' to Syrian refugees." How would you argue that?
JOHNNIE: I'd tell them how compassionate are we being, if we're endangering the United States of America, endangering our own children? You know, it's absolutely true that most of these refugees aren't going to strap a bomb to themselves. But it's absolutely true that the United States of America hasn't effectively figured out how to discern who is and who isn't dangerous.
And, you know, we just discovered last week in a Senate hearing, Glenn, that there were five individuals who were recruited by ISIS that worked in the United States airport, including LAX. You know, the airport I fly out of every day of my life. I mean, there are really, really alarming, alarming things. And, by the way, don't mention the fact that, you know, Europe has embraced such -- such an you attitude of tolerance, like you were describing moments ago, that they allowed all of this to fester.
You know, and those of us that have been studying this and close to this, this wasn't a surprise to us. Paris wasn't a surprise. You know, when I wrote my ISIS book a year ago, one of the most startling pieces of information I stumbled upon was that 31 percent of the Arabic language tweets in Belgium that mentioned ISIS were in support of ISIS.
And, you know, this information was in the public domain a year ago. I remember being in France in Leone just seven or eight years ago with a group of students from Liberty University. We were distributing food in a poor community, a poor immigrant community outside of Leone. And we were run out of that immigrant community, like people throwing stones at us, literally throwing stones at us. I mean, this has been allowed to fester.
And now we're living in a global world. And so right now, one of the things that we know is at least 1800 French citizens, French citizens with French passports traveled over to Syria. They fought for ISIS because they have French passports, unless they're on a list. And everyone has admitted, the EU and the United States has admitted that our lists are insufficient. Those people with French passports can fly back to France. They can get on a French plane and because of the visa waiver program, they can arrive at any airport in the United States and do whatever they want unless they happen to be on a list.
And the FBI director told our Congress just over a month ago that our Syrian list is dismal. And, by the way, a number of people in France were on our list, but we're still incapable of organizing our intelligence and working cooperatively with other countries that these people were just sort of allowed to warned around Europe. This is really, really a precarious moment.
GLENN: Johnnie, I know that the first group of refugees is coming out of Syria here in the next few weeks, before Christmas. How are they feeling? Because I would imagine -- I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking, "If I'm one of them and I see the world collapsing around, I'm -- I don't know where to go, I don't know what to do." Because you're not going to escape this -- you know, what are they feeling?
JOHNNIE: I think they're sort of feeling two things. And the first thing is, they're still feeling that this is too good to be true. I just -- I think down deep inside, they're all waiting for something to fall apart because they're not used to the world showing this type of compassion to Christians.
And we keep telling them, "It's not too good to be true. It's actually going to happen." And secondarily, I think they actually feel a bit of comfort because they're going into a country in eastern Europe that very, very early on stood up and said, "We're a Christian country, you know, we're more than happy to take Christians, but we're not going to take everyone." And I think that provides another level of security.
And then you have on the same token, because of the way the migration system in Europe has been allowed to function, you know, without -- without sufficient regulation and vetting, they're also fearful that people will confuse them as persecuted Christians for Syrians that -- that, you know, might be former members of ISIS. I mean, this is what's so, so crazy, you know, about the situation, that -- that they're facing.
I mean, the world is in total upheaval. Everyone is confused. Our leaders are doing crazy things. I mean, just today, you know, I was reading the news from Iraq. And Russian missiles have accidentally gone into Iraqi airspace where ISIS isn't even. So you can imagine what could happen if a Russian missile, because of their imprecise activity, ends up falling on Baghdad. I mean, we could just have 1,000 apocalypses in every direction that we look. And so what we've done is we've carved out a little bit of peace and security around a really, really persecuted and desperate community. And we're bound and determined that if all hell breaks loose around them, that they will be saved and they will have a future and we will have done our part.
GLENN: Johnnie, we thank you. And we pray for you. And we pray for the refugees that we're trying to get out. If you would like to assist, you can go to now.mercuryone.org. Or you can call 844-637-2791. And make a donation. I went to a book signing this weekend. People came with 5-dollar, 10-dollar checks, hundred dollar checks, and one family came with a 10,000-dollar check and said, "We really want to help a mom and a dad get their family out of there."
GLENN: Johnnie, thank you very much, I appreciate it.