Let’s pretend for just a moment that Murdoch as well as Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz are making a serious policy proposal instead of indulging in cheap demagoguery. How could the U.S. government actually screen refugees for the love of Christ? Couldn’t someone just say they’re Christian?
Well, there’s someone else who has thought long and hard about this problem: ISIS. It reportedly rounds up groups of people, but lets Sunnis go, holding onto the Shia to kill them. They tell Sunni and Shia apart by asking a few questions, The New York Times reported last summer, such as “What is your name?” Names like Omar and Sufyan signal a person is Sunni; Hussein, Hassan, and Ali are more likely to be Shia. Others ISIS questions include “Where do you live?” and “How do you pray?” (Sunnis generally cross their arms, while Shia keep them straight.) ISIS hostages often lie about their origins, but in such a terrifying situation, they’re easily tripped up, the Times explains.
Of course, in Iraq, religion can be a life-and-death matter on both sides. Shia militiamen fighting ISIS reportedly check civilians’ I.D.s for evidence of their religious sect. Sunnis who’ve been displaced to Shia areas are changing their names to sound more Sunni, as fleeing ISIS doesn’t guarantee safety, Al-Monitor reported. “There have also been assassinations and kidnapping because of the Sunni name issue,” an Iraqi man, who changed his name from Omar to Ali, told the Huffington Post.