Syrian-American Doctor Shares Experience Moving To Fort Smith

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Dr. Mouhammed Sheikha moved to Chicago from Syria in 1991, and in 1995 he moved to Fort Smith with his wife for a job. He became a U.S. citizen five years later and had two children soon after that.

“I got to love this area,” Dr. Sheikha said. “The people are really nice. People are really friendly, and we have had no incident whatsoever with the people in this area.”

Dr. Sheikha said he's living the American Dream, but in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris and California, the stereotypes about Muslims have been persistent.

“Really in Islam, you cannot kill anybody,” he said. “You cannot. It`s forbidden in all religions, especially innocent people.”

He also gave his take on Donald Trump who recently said all Muslims should be banned from coming to the U.S.

“He's against Muslims. He's against black people. He's against Mexican. He's even against Jewish. What makes him different than ISIS?” Dr. Sheikha said. “He needs to go back to the Bible and read the Bible and read about Jesus.”

As far as Syrian refugees, Sheikha says most are women, children and the elderly, like his parents who were recently denied U.S. visas.

“Finally I got the opportunity to at least get them out of Syria to Lebanon, which is a border country,” he said.

He said Syrians are trying to escape daily bombings, stuck between ISIS and President Bashar al-Assad whose family has been in power for more than 50 years.

“You cannot blame religion for terrorism,” Dr. Sheikha said.

Dr. Sheikha said he originally planned to stay in Fort Smith for just a couple years before moving back to Chicago, but he fell in love with the area and has been practicing internal medicine here ever since.


  • James Kaelin (@jekaelin)

    I don’t know what TV Channel the good Dr. watches, but all the news footage I’ve watched were Young men and women children, I’ve made several comments about that! where are all the Older Folks, THERE WERE NONE!

  • Patriot Rider (@PatriotRider3)

    Another propaganda story from the leftist “news”. I’m sure the “writer” (i.e. liberal hack) of this story drooled all over herself when she found this Syrian. Obviously uninformed about American politics, I suggest he stop getting his news from places like CNN/MSNBC and this second rate website. The vast majority of Americans are not fooled by these rare “success” stories and know the real danger in allowing individuals into this country who cannot be accurately vetted. The federal government cannot be trusted to do this as we now know. Even if most are good people, all it takes is ONE to slip through to cause another San Bernardino. Or a new Fort Smith.

    • Patriot Rider (@PatriotRider3)

      And people need to get it out of their heads that we must take in the world’s problems. We are not the dumping ground for failed societies. Trump’s proposal is not enough. There should be a moratorium on ALL immigration until the ones we have now can be assimilated. This should take at least a few generations as was done in our previous history. Current immigration laws should be enforced with ALL illegal immigrants being deported. We either have a country or we don’t.

      • Patriot Rider (@PatriotRider3)

        HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! by Ann Coulter
        December 9, 2015
        For my best birthday gift this week, Donald Trump called for blocking Muslim immigration to the United States. If he throws in all immigration, it will be my merriest Christmas ever.

        By contrast, the eunuchs running against Trump went mental.

        Marco Rubio called Trump’s proposed moratorium on Muslim immigration “offensive and outlandish.”

        Rubio’s idea for stopping Muslim terrorist attacks on U.S. soil is something simple: Launch several wars to clean up the entire Middle East.

        Chris Christie called Trump’s plan “ridiculous,” saying, “This is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.”

        People with “experience” say things like: Walls don’t work and are “too expensive.”

        Ted Cruz said he disagreed with Trump and instead would focus on “radical Islamic terrorism.” Cruz will have a lot more radicals to focus on if we keep importing a quarter million Muslims every year.

        And these were Republicans. MSNBC acted as if the nation had come under terrorist attack (by a Muslim immigrant) with its round-the-clock, breaking-news coverage of Trump’s proposal, rife with images of dangerous demagogues from George Wallace to Hitler.

        People without real arguments call anything they don’t like “racist” or “unconstitutional.”

        Trump’s proposal is neither — I won’t waste space mentioning 100 years of constitutional law and practice, but of course our country has absolute authority to decide who gets to immigrate here.

        In the 14 years since Muslims killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11, this country has admitted another 1.5 million Muslims. So we’re xenophobic, bigoted racists if we don’t make it 2 million? Three million? When will we have enough? How many murdered Americans is an acceptable number before we can shut off the spigot of Muslim immigration?

        The amazing thing is that no one (except the American people) wants any pause in Muslim immigration — even after more than a dozen Muslim terrorist attacks on our soil in the last 15 years.

        House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he will refuse to consider cuts to Muslim immigration, saying, “That’s not who we are.”

        Republicans are totally copacetic with Pew’s recent finding that white Christians are now a minority in America, but furious with Trump for suggesting we take a break from importing Muslims.

        Can we move them to Ryan’s district? According to Pew, only 11 percent of Muslims are Republican or “lean Republican.” They may not make the “best Americans” — as Ryan claims — but at least they’d get rid of him.

        The hysterical demand for never-ending Third World immigration has gone beyond the rich’s need for cheap servants and the Democrats’ need for voters. It’s a mass psychosis.

        Everyone acts as if Pakistani pushcart operators are the same as American blacks, and we’re required to bring them here to make up for the legacy of slavery.

        Foreigners aren’t the descendants of American slaves! The rest of the world does not have a civil right to move here. We’re under no moral imperative to allow any immigration at all. We don’t owe citizens of other countries anything.

        But as long as you brought it up: They owe us. America runs around saving other countries from tsunamis, earthquakes, pirates, disease, starvation, warlords, dictators, Nazis, communists — then their citizens show up full of grievances, as if we owe them.

        Angry Muslims have been popping up all over TV to denounce Trump and complain about anti-Muslim bigotry in the U.S. If they’d prefer a country with a larger Muslim population and no white devil oppressors, low-rent mud huts are available in any of about 50 Muslim countries around the world. First month free; after that, two goats a month.

        In addition to the thoughtful policy objection that Trump is a racist, we’ve been treated to an endless stream of stunningly stupid arguments against Trump’s proposal.

        Fox News’ Dana Perino complained that Trump’s policy doesn’t “distinguish the peaceful from the radicals.”

        Yeah, nor can our government.

        Given the devastation caused by only two Muslims in San Bernardino, eight Muslims in Paris, two at the Boston Marathon, one at a Chattanooga military recruitment center, one at Fort Hood, 19 on 9/11, etc. etc. — it’s really irrelevant whether “most” Muslim immigrants are peaceful little lambs. It doesn’t take a lot of them to create havoc.

        I don’t know why we need any.

        While it’s fantastic news that most Muslim immigrants aren’t terrorists, as Samuel Johnson said, “A horse who can count to 10 is a remarkable horse, not a remarkable mathematician.”

        We want remarkable Americans, not immigrants whose selling point is: “hasn’t blown anything up yet.” What’s the upside of admitting 250,000 poor, culturally backward, non-English-speaking Muslims every year? When are we allowed to talk about what’s good for America?

        San Bernardino shooter Syed Farouk’s mother described his father — the original immigrant — this way: “My husband is mentally ill and is on medication but is also an alcoholic and drinks with the medicine.”

        Fantastic. So glad we got him. The father, who has been here since 1973 — thanks, Teddy Kennedy! — told an Italian newspaper that he preached moderation to his son, saying it’s not worth fighting Israel, because Russia, China and the U.S. “don’t want Jews there any more.” In “two years,” he assured his son, “Israel will not exist any more.”

        So after four decades in American culture, these highly integrated, model immigrants are still clinging to their insane magic potion fantasies.

        The senior Farouk didn’t come here to work in some highly complex technical field, like nuclear physics or cell extraction biology. He’s a truck driver. So one American lost his job as a truck driver and 14 Americans lost their lives because of Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act.

        How else have the 1.5 million Muslims admitted since 9/11 made our country better? Their massive welfare use? Overburdening our schools and hospitals? The machete attacks? The clitorectomies? The honor killings? The occasional terrorist attack?

        Currently, there are more than a thousand active investigations of ISIS in all 50 states. Here’s an idea: Instead of paying for an ever-expanding federal workforce to track, wiretap and investigate immigrants with possible terrorist sympathies, let’s stop bringing them in!

        Beginning to sense the public’s fury, a number of Republican politicians have been trying to talk tough on immigration. This week, Trump proved that that’s all it is: talk.


    • tasdgs

      So how do you explain Timothy McVeigh? He was not an immigrant. How do you explain all the crime and violence that takes place on America’s streets by Americans? Should all of these people be deported? America created the mess that is now the Middle East. America needs to step up and take responsibility so that true peace can come about in that troubled region. If that happens then we will not have to deal with this immigration problem.

      • arnold fudpucker

        Oh come on. Quit being stupid about these things. Again, why don’t you house a couple dozen of these “immigrants”. Pay their bills, feed and coddle them. Just remember how whining and wrong you were as they end up holding the knife to your neck.

  • Claudia Janet Mitchell Rucchio

    I’m thrilled Dr. Sheikha and his family have made the River Valley their home. Doctor, thank you for serving our community.

    I can’t imagine being separated from my parents (especially when aging) because of things completely out of my control. I like to am thankful for my time with them before they passed on, however, I certainly took for granted the ability to fly home and see them anytime that I wanted when I lived away. I wish Dr. Sheikha’s family the best and hope his parents are out the region soon.

    I don’t pretend to have answers for the terror in this world. (So those looking to pick a fight – I’m not your girl.) I only know that we each can do our part every day by being kind to others, not rushing to judgement, yet staying aware and educated. Just a little balance ehhh? No 20 foot walls, no completely giving everyone free access to nuclear bombs.

    Surely there is somewhere in the middle in the land of reason that we can make our camp.

    • Never go full liberal

      Don’t try to offer solutions when YOU are part of the problem. SMH sheep everywhere. It’s OK little sheep, you just go back to grazing, this sheep dog has you covered yet again.

    • arnold fudpucker

      Rush to judgment???? How long do we have to let this terrorism go on before we say enough? I’m happy for this doctor who has chosen to be part of our community AND contribute. however he is dead wrong about Trump. Trump doesn’t hate anybody he just wants to be prudent in the face of threats. Something our current gubbamint doesn’t want to do.

  • jbranch13

    I am as conservative as they come, but the negative comments about this amazing doctor just reinforces the comments that the left uses against us. We cannot group an entire group of people as anything. If so then all whites would be pedophiles because a small number of whites are pedophiles. This man is a caring and great doctor and each case needs to be judged on its own merit, not a blanket condemnation.

    • arnold fudpucker

      Not seeing any negative comments about the good doctor. Just comments about the issues. Too bad the people who hail from that part of the world don’t take a loud and proactive position against these slime subhuman terrorist types but they don’t. Their silence on the subject is condemning in many eyes.

  • Cathy Guignet

    I guess that he he hasn’t read the Quran because he isn’t telling the truth about Islam about what the Muslim’s actually believe about killing unbelievers about homosexuals women etc. and that’s a fact.

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