Utah murder might not have happened if US State Department had not placed Burmese Muslim in Christian apartment
Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 11, 2014
Why are we resettling so many Muslims? Why any Muslims at all?
It ultimately falls on the US State Department to have some understanding of Muslim/Christian tensions among the refugees they resettle in America even if it was Catholic Community Services or the International Rescue Committee (federal contractors in Utah) who ultimately placed Muslim Esar Met in the middle of a Burmese Christian Karen group of refugees. We learned from the extensive reporting of former Salt Lake Tribune reporter Julia Lyon that the two (the alleged murderer and his young victim) were in separate parts of the camp in Thailand—but “America made them neighbors.”
I could hardly sleep last night after reviewing some articles on the on-going murder trial of 7-year-old Hser Ner Moo. It is a terrible shame this “epic tragedy” is not being covered by the national news media.
I know it’s not covered because Met is a Muslim and because the average TV news outlet, even conservative ones, cannot bring itself to show the dark side of refugee resettlement where most viewers want only to feel warm and fuzzy feelings about the bright future we supposedly offer tens of thousands of third-worlders every year.
Here is a pretty good editorial at the Salt Lake Tribune, with this section (below) catching my attention. Who are these people?
I’ve found that until a crisis occurs, most residents of “welcoming” cities have no clue they have “welcomed” so many refugees into their community. And, that is because the State Department and its contractors operate secretively. By law they are supposed to “consult” with political leaders, but you know how that goes, some fearful ‘leaders’ are informed but keep their mouths shut for fear of being labeled racists/xenophobes should they question the feds’ wisdom.
Editor Terry Orme:
The murder of the friendly girl who loved to dress in pink appeared, at first, to be a straightforward crime story. But it soon became much more, a window into a community in the Salt Lake Valley that most of us didn’t know existed. Who are these people who live in the South Parc apartments? Where did they come from? What is their story?
To find out, former Tribune reporter Julia Lyon, with a grant from the International Reporting Project, traveled to Southeast Asia, and the refugee camps in Thailand, where Hser Ner Moo was born, and where her family and Esar Met’s family lived before coming to Utah. Lyon’s prize-winning report is available at sltrib.com.
Their lives would intersect in South Salt Lake amid a small refugee community.
Then here is the news account from the trial on Wednesday.
You can read about details of the case and the weeping parents as they took the witness stand, but here is the section I found most telling and why I say the US State Department should never have allowed Met to be placed in this living situation. In court, Met’s attorneys are trying to pin the murder on Met’s Karen roommates (with whom he “had been assigned to live” a month earlier) or we would not likely even hear about the religious/ethnic tension going on.
Reporter Marissa Lang:
The child’s oldest brother Ker Ker Po told jurors that he knew the men in Apartment 472. He went over there to drink beer and watch movies. They were his friends.
But Ker Ker Po never met the man who lived downstairs. He saw him once, briefly, but he didn’t care to speak to him, he said, because he knew him to be a Muslim man of Indian origin.
Met’s people are different, Ker Ker Po said. They speak different languages and practice different religions. They don’t share customs. They don’t mingle.
Met, who had also been living in a Burmese refugee camp in Thailand before moving to the U.S., arrived in the apartment about a month before the slaying. The other men had been there much longer.
Defense attorneys painted a picture of Met’s relationship with his four roommates as cold — stemming from their negative perception of his ethnic background.
Hser Ner Moo’s parents said they didn’t know their daughter ever went to the apartment to play with Met. The father typically did not allow her to enter the homes of others — particularly those who were not ethnic Karen.
I’m not beating around the bush! The way one makes sure there are no more “epic tragedies” like this one—don’t resettle any more Muslim ‘refugees’ from anywhere. Why bring the problems from most areas of the world—Africa, the Middle East, Asia—to be replayed in America? And, if you argue that Met was just a mentally impaired man, then why are we bringing those now too?
For new readers, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops testified to the US State Department in May that they wanted to see more Burmese Muslim Rohingya resettlement in America. Why? Aren’t there enough destitute and persecuted Christians for the Catholics to care for?
An afterthought: Somalis protesting in Maine, that was the Catholic church too.
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