Many politicians and the media approve of Muslims entering the United States. Many citizens point to the fact that their Muslim friends and neighbors are peaceful.

It is true that over 95 percent of Muslims are peaceful. However, we need to address the other 5 percent. Is Islam a peaceful religion?

Just as one drop of poison can contaminate a barrel of clean water, so can a few radicalized Muslims cast a dark cloud over a majority of peaceful Muslims and paralyze our nation with fear of attack.

We must realize that Islam carries a dormant virus that can become active in some Muslims. This virus, in a social realm, can be as deadly as Ebola in the medical world. Remember, we did quarantine individuals carrying Ebola.

First-generation Muslims in the U.S. are, as a rule, peaceful. The second generation searches for information about their religion and ethnicity. In doing this, they may search the Internet, or come upon a radicalized Muslim.

Some will travel to the Mideast to join the fight by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) against the West, coming back radicalized and ready to commit jihad. This is what happened to the Boston Marathon bombers, and to one of the San Bernardino killers.

A fact about Islam that is not found in Judaism or in Christianity has to do with the creation of violent groups such as the Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, etc. If Islam is a peaceful religion, why does it threaten to destroy Israel?

Now we’re faced with either accepting Syrian refugees or turning them back. It would be caring and noble for America to accept them. Should we do this, though, we must properly vet them. This is not an easy task. Remember, the San Bernardino killer had been vetted three separate times.

Coleman P. Gorham

Portland