As news of the Paris bombings began to develop last week, refugees and aid agencies were holding their breaths to see how governments would react. Would they associate the thousands of asylum seekers entering Europe with the very militants whom they were trying to escape?
But judging by the post-attack atmosphere we've seen so far, they should have been more concerned about a policial arena much farther away, in America.
I'll be disappointed to call my self a Canadian if we don't let Syrian refugees in because of the Paris bombings.— Reid Schwartz (@Reidantor) November 19, 2015
Thank god we're not letting in lots of Syrians, we wouldn't want an influx of fluent Arabic speakers who could work for the FBI & hate ISIS— Jon Schwarz (@tinyrevolution) November 18, 2015
As the aftershock of the attacks settles, American politicians are taking the lead in fearmongering the refugee crisis. Since the attack, prominent politicians have stated that only Christian refugees from Syria should be accepted, while over half of US governors have said they want to refuse refugees in their states altogether. Even conservative pundit Newt Gingrich has seized the opportunity to suggest more guns would have prevented the devastation of the bombings.
If Americans are looking for a meter to gauge the actual threat Syrian refugees might pose if settled in the US, comparing them with Iraqi refugees—who, one could argue, have greater cause to be angry with the US, given the destruction caused by the 2003 US-led invasion in their country—might be a good start.
The Economist: Of the almost 750,000 refugees who have been admitted to America since 9/11 none have been arrested for domestic terror.— John H Norris (@john_h_norris) October 23, 2015
According to the Economist, out of the 750,000 refugees accepted into the US since 9/11, only two were arrested for terrorist charges and these attacks were targeting a different country.
It makes sense for countries to balance their security interests with the humanitarian imperative the massive refugee crisis calls for. But the blanket statements coming from some US politicians seem to completely disregard the fact that most refugees are leaving because of militant groups like Daesh, not as part of them.
By Adaeze Eze
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