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Tue Sep 22, 2015, 10:51 AM

"Like the Syrians, I fled my country. Here’s what you don’t understand about refugees."

In much of America, Syrian refugees are seen as threats, not victims. In February, the House Homeland Security Committee chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), said that accepting Syrians would create a “federally funded jihadi pipeline” to the United States. In June, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) called a hearing on the issue, arguing that terrorist groups might use refugee programs “to carry out attacks in Europe and America.” Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has agreed, warning that we have to be “very careful about who we let enter this country.”

These arguments fundamentally misunderstand what it means to be a refugee. Abandoning your home during wartime is not a choice or a political opportunity. It’s a survival instinct, a frantic attempt to protect yourself and your children from violence, starvation or death.

This is a reality I know only too well. Sixteen years ago, I was forced to flee Kosovo after the Serbian military burned my house to the ground. That experience taught me just how desperate life can be for a refugee and how important it is to treat asylum seekers with kindness and grace.


Whole Washington Post op-ed from Mikra Krasniqi here
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/09/18/like-the-syrians-i-fled-my-country-heres-what-you-dont-understand-about-refugees/

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Reply "Like the Syrians, I fled my country. Here’s what you don’t understand about refugees." (Original post)
FSogol Sep 2015 OP
potone Sep 2015 #1
FSogol Sep 2015 #2
Igel Sep 2015 #3

Response to FSogol (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 01:34 PM

1. It isn't that these politicians don't understand this.

They choose not to recognize the truth or are, even worse, simply incapable of empathy. What, after all, is so difficult to understand about wanting to get out of a war zone, especially one in which both sides seem to be equally ruthless and devoid of any respect for human life, as is the case in Syria? Who would entrust their lives and the lives of their children to set sail on an over-crowded dinghy unless the alternative seemed even worse? When did it become respectable to be so heartless?

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Response to potone (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 02:22 PM

2. +1. Well said. n/t

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Response to potone (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 07:32 PM

3. Compare the two.

One fled under duress, encountered abuse along the way, and sought asylum where it was offered.

The other, a group, is composed of such. But it's also composed of those who fled because of economic conditions, because of perceived impending hardship or fighting, and who landed in "hostile" (as the Kosovar puts it) neighboring countries. Many then spend months to years there with their families before they decided, in the hundreds of thousands, to suddenly pick up and head not to safety but to N. Europe.

They're fleeing the horrors of Turkey and Lebanon, of Baghdad; then they flee the horrors of Serbia and Greece, of the warfare and torture they experience in Macedonia and Hungary, to get to N. Europe.

Some are refugees. Some are not. To class them all as refugees is to mitigate the help necessary for those who have fled true hardship in the immediate past and can find no relief. Resources are not infinite, even if they are others' resources.

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