Remember the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

As the crisis in Puerto Rico continues to hold the media’s attention, many of us have put the Syrian refugee crisis out of our minds. But it's an ongoing problem that affects millions of people worldwide.

The Syrian Civil War began in 2011, leaving many to seek asylum in neighboring countries. As of today, there are 2.7 million refugees living in Turkey and 1.5 million in Lebanon—70 percent of whom are living below the poverty line. According to the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR), 13.5 million people in Syria need help, 6.3 million have been internally displaced and 4.9 million are in hard-to-reach, besieged areas. But many people refrain from helping them because 93 percent of Syrian refugees are Muslim—a religious belief that has been plagued by a stigma of violence and terrorism. This generalization, however, is rooted in misconceptions.

In 2011, according to VOX, Obama re-vetted Iraqi refugees after finding fingerprints on a bomb in Iraq that belonged to one of two refugees arrested in Kentucky. This elongated the process for people in war zones to get approved their refugee status, including those who already had their passports. The concern for refugees continued in November 13, 2015, when Paris was attacked and the guilty were revealed to have entered France as refugees.

Our current president passed an executive order to stop the entry of people from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Many of the people who were held back had approved travel visas. When questioned by MSNBC, President Trump’s reasoning was to maintain order due to the many terror attacks occurring in recent years.

However, the terror attacks that have occurred are from people outside of those seven countries: 9/11 was organized by people from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. The San Bernardino attackers were from Afghanistan and the Boston Marathon bombers were American citizens from Kyrgyzstan. The concern about refugees is generally rooted in the fact that most are entering from Islamic states.

Islam’s foundations rely on the Five Pillars: Confessions (Shahada), Prayer (Salut), Almsgiving (Zakat), Fasting during Ramada (Saum) and Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). The problem occurs in what some consider the “sixth pillar”: Jihad. Jihad has three different definitions in the Islamic faith: an internal struggle, a struggle to build a good Muslim society and holy war.

There are different rules and regulations in which jihad is allowed. According to BBC Religion, war is not Jihad if the intentions are to force people to convert to Islam, conquer other nations to colonize them, take territory for economic gain, settle disputes or demonstrate a leader's power. Other rules include that women, children and the innocent shall not be harmed. So, for radicalism to be deemed as part of the Islamic faith is incorrect; to generalize the Islamic religion as violent is incorrect.

We must remember that if it wasn’t for past refugees seeking asylum, the United States of America would not exist. So, let us demonstrate that we aren’t afraid of refugees—only then will we win in the fight against terror.

Want to help Syrian refugees? The Huffington Post provides a list of charities that support the millions of people displaced by devastating conflict.