Irrational and Troubling: Don’t Blame Syrian Refugees for Paris Attacks

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TEHRAN (FNA)- There is a key difference between people seeking placement in Europe as refugees and the thousands of home-grown terrorists who have gone to fight the government in Syria and now decided to come back and carry out attacks against France and Belgium.

In light of the Paris attacks, there is little doubt that the US-led push for regime change in Syria has indeed reached a bloody dead end. Corporate media is free to blame refugees moving through Europe for the latest terrorism attacks, but they are wrong to assume the refugee-fuelled fears is rational and justified.

Lest they forget, European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has said that ISIL is not using Syrian refugees as infiltrators. In her words, “All of the identified Paris attackers were European nationals with valid EU passports. They are either French or Belgian nationals, and while some indeed had gone to Syria to fight with ISIL at some point.”

In other words, those behind the Paris attacks were the sort of returnees the Western intelligence community – and Iranian-Russian officials – have been warning about all this time, European nationals that have activated sleeper cells with a longstanding presence, with access that most terrorists simply wouldn’t have.

Mogherini’s official position should be more than enough for Western officials – with the hysterical news networks and subservient media following suit – to stop fuelling xenophobia, speculation, sensationalism, and anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment, all while shifting the blame to Syrian refugees. This new wave of scapegoating and context-free coverage of terror is troubling and irrational, indeed dangerous for civil liberties and human rights. It is the United States, its minions AND home-grown jihadis who have blood on their hands, and not refugees.

Mogherini’s official position should also be more than enough for Fortress Europe to stop erecting fences, sealing off external borders, and withholding aid as a deterrent to those seeking refuge from the the very same kind of violence they themselves helped create in the first place. Giving in to fear and xenophobia will not protect anyone anywhere. It is a cowardly abdication of responsibility and a tragic victory for terror over humanity. Whatever happened to the universal policy to extend solidarity to people seeking shelter in Europe?

Europe cannot, and should not, impose further restrictions on its borders, in direct breach of international law. It shouldn’t allow far-right political parties and opportunistic politicians across the continent to ratchet up their Islamophobic and racist rhetoric in response to the worst crisis of global displacement since World War II.

“Generous” Europe should take note: Erecting fences and tougher border restrictions are not going to stop refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East. Syrian fathers and mothers will stop putting their children on rickety boats and drowning them in the Mediterranean Sea if Europe and the United States also stop training and weaponising their “moderate” extremist outfits in Syria.

It is past time for Europe to join the Iran-Russia coalition to find a role in the fight against all manners of terrorism and extremism in the Middle East, including state-sponsored ISIL – sponsored by Western-friendly regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Turkey, which are integral to the bogus anti-ISIL coalition led by Washington.

These are difficult times. European leaders are advised not to turn their backs on the Syrian refugees. History will judge them harshly.

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