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Muslim refugees and national security

Talking about . . . Muslim refugees and national security

This conversation touches on some of our core values. Our need to balance constitutional rights and generosity with prudence. Balancing freedom and security- safety and care for other people whose lives are at risk due to political, ethnic and religious conflict. 

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

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Now that you are all together, here we go!

This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.

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One. Why are we here?

What interested you or drew you to this topic?

Two. Your core values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?

Three. Your thoughts and concerns.

Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals. 

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • how have you been personally impacted by the refugee crisis in the Middle East?
  • do you have concerns about your family’s safety? If so what are you most worried about?  
  • which American values are most in play or at risk in considering Muslim refugees for resettlement in the U.S.?
  • do you have people of Muslim faith in your community? What role do they play?
  • is it possible to be welcoming of refugees and concerned about terrorists crossing borders?  If so, what kinds of solutions could address both considerations?
  • was there something you were hoping to ask or share in this conversation?

Four. Reflection

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
  • what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Five. Accomplishment and moving forward

Answer both of the following questions:
  • name one important thing that was accomplished here;
  • is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing

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