Syria: refugees says Obama won’t protect them because he’s a Muslim
OBAMA can’t win with everyone. Atlantic reports on anti-Americanism spreading in Syrian refugee camps. UN figure say two million have fled the country since the rebellion began in 2011.
Over a million Syrians have fled the war over the past six months, bringing the total outside the country up to 2 million. Half of them are children. Whether or not the U.S. intervenes, that overall figure is expected to climb to over 3 million by year’s end. UNHCR officials describe it as the worst refugee crisis in 20 years.
“Why don’t Americans and your media pay attention to this crisis?” Ahmad Hasan, who worked as a taxi driver outside Aleppo until his family fled to Amman earlier this year, asked me. . . .
A strong undercurrent of anti-Americanism also is shaping young minds within the camp. Uprooted and uneducated young men sit idle, spreading rumors and videos of violence back home via social media sites — Zaatari has its own Facebook page — often devoid of context. Boredom and lack of education make for a potent cocktail. Kids I interviewed play a version of war, where one team is the Assad regime and the other is the FSA.
Such populations may be nurturing a new generation of angry Muslim youths who view the United States, and especially its president, as hypocritical at best, and enablers of Assad’s war crimes at worst.
“Everybody is against the Syrian people,” said a former lieutenant in the Syrian military I met in Zaatari, who defected to the opposition. He was sitting on a cot in a prefab caravan, surrounded by other Syrian men wounded in the war. “We’re giving our blood but for Obama that is not enough.”
After cursing the American president in Arabic, he continued, “Obama is ‘Hussein’ – son of Muslims. If he were a Christian he would support us. But he’s a Muslim.” He shakes his head and his eyes tear up. “It’s always Muslims against Muslims.”
Morton Abramowitz reports:
Should Western governments get a free pass on accepting Syrian refugees? Certainly not, although they will find it politically hard to accept large numbers of Muslim refugees. Nevertheless, the West must demonstrate its willingness to bear part of the burden. So far this fiscal year, the U.S. has admitted just 33 Syrian refugees. The new fiscal year will permit President Barack Obama to provide for a significant number of Syrian refugees within the 70,000 total allotted to the U.S. refugee program.
Yankee go home. (And take me with you.)