VICE: Why Are Republicans So Scared of Syrian Refugees?

[[{"fid":"1043","view_mode":"media_original","fields":{"format":"media_original","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":" Screenshot","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":" Screenshot","height":"354","width":"500","style":"width: 400px; height: 283px; margin: 5px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-media-original"}}]]VICE's Meredith Hoffman took on domestic islamophobia in a July 13 story entitled Why Are Republicans So Scared of Syrian Refugees? HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield is quoted describing how the less-than-welcoming attitude to Syrian refugees is surprising given America's history of welcoming refugees: 

This distrust of Syrian entries represents a significant escalation in American resistance to refugees, said Mark Hetfield, the president of HIAS, a Jewish resettlement agency in the US. "Before September 11 refugees were regarded like mom and apple pie—they were a bipartisan issue," Hetfield told me of the broad support. "But 9/11 made people much more fearful of the Middle East and stoked Islamophobia."

But while Americans were generally receptive to refugees from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the same has not been true for the more recent resettlements. "There's not a sense of American responsibility for what's going on in Syria at the moment," Hetfield said. "And Americans are developing compassion fatigue—the Middle East is falling to pieces right now and it's becoming increasingly difficult for Americans to feel they should participate in resolving that crisis."

"People are confusing refugees who are fleeing Islamic terror in the Middle East with the people who are perpetuating the terror," he added. "But most victims of Islamic terror are actually Muslim and that's what they're fleeing right now."

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