Students Organize for Syria (SOS) stands in solidarity with each individual, family and country that has been afflicted by the tragic violence by ISIS. SOS condemns all acts of terror, including the attacks documented in the last two weeks in Lebanon, France, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and Syria. As students who uphold the importance of justice and freedom for all, we stand by the belief that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  

SOS also expresses strong disappointment and concern in the declarations made by the governors of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin to forbid Syrian refugees from resettling in their states. Not only are these declarations unenforceable, as there is no lawful means for a state government to overrule the federal government on matters such as this, but they are discriminatory in nature and directly oppose the values of our fair nation.

As President Obama reminded the world at the recent G20 summit, most Americans are here today because their ancestors fled their home countries in fear of persecution and to seek a better life. The American public must understand that Syrian refugees are the daily victims of persecution, terror, and fear by both the Assad regime and ISIS. The millions of Syrian refugees are no different than our American ancestors who were once refugees. They have been forced to make an impossible choice: to live under barrel bombs and deadly airstrikes, to seek immediate refuge in neighboring countries which are already buckling with the burden of sheltering millions of refugees, or to risk their lives on the deadly smuggling routes to Europe. These bleak choices are a direct result of the international community’s failure to stop the violence inside Syria, find a political solution to end the conflict and alleviate the refugee crisis.

“Syrians do not want to be refugees”, SOS Student Director Zana Alattar said, “they want to stay home and live among their people in a free and democratic Syria. The best way stop the refugee crisis is by stopping daily aerial bombardment and defeating both ISIS and Assad”

SOS will continue to push forth in shedding light on the indiscriminate violence and killing incited by the Assad regime in Syria and by ISIS. We urge our university peers and members of society to recognize the root of the violence and support those who are forced to flee Syria as refugees to escape similar attacks on their own homes.

SOS stands for the right to life and dignity for all. Let us work towards peace by upholding tolerance and love over hatred and fear.