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Syrian Refugees Find Hostility in Egypt


World  (tags: Refugees&Relief, politics, World Refugee Day, world, society, Refugees&Relief, government, ethics, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', humanrights, conflict, Syria, Egypt, news, middle-east, world )

Cal
- 444 days ago - washingtonpost.com
Nowhere has the backlash to the Arab Spring been as quick and complete as it has been in Egypt this summer.



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Comments

. (0)
Monday September 9, 2013, 8:40 am
That's terrible! They should be able to find peace.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday September 9, 2013, 12:01 pm
noted
 

Gene Jacobson (255)
Monday September 9, 2013, 12:04 pm
They are in a most difficult position, no doubt. But I think contributing is a basic misunderstanding of the Arab Spring movement. Yes, Egypt was the second to topple a repressive, dictatorial regime, but the underpinnings of the Arab spring movement were mainly youth, who did not want Sharia to replace Mubarak, they wanted freedom to replace him. The Brotherhood is not about personal freedom, it is not about women's rights, it is not about empowering the people, it is, in its own way, through Sharia, every bit as repressive as that which it replaced.

The youth of Egypt never regarded the elections as free, fair and honest. Morsi's haste to run through a Sharia based constitution only heightened the suspicion with which he and the Brotherhood were regarded by those who wanted a secular government, the youth who began the Arab Spring movement. I do not agree that Syrian refugee's should be mistreated, that is not morally justified, but I understand the suspicion with which they are regarded because the Arab Spring movement in Syria was hijacked by Sunni elements who want a strict Sharia based government to replace Assad. In the beginning, the Arab Spring movement there only wanted greater freedom, but as the movement pushed out the youth of Syria and was taken over by Al-Qaeda and Sunni factions dedicated to Sharia (which many young Muslims see as going backward, not toward the freedom they want) the refugee exodus changed from simply taking care of those displaced by war, to harboring within the borders of nations that want greater secular freedom, religion out of politics, people dedicated to bringing Sharia to their countries.

They see those refugees then as Saudi Arabia backed Sunni elements dedicated to bringing Saudi Arabia's lifestyle to other Arab nations. And the youth of those nations want nothing of the kind. They are tired of the religious strife, the imposition of harsh Sharia governments and want to build secular governments that are committed to human rights, women's rights and more. They want the freedom they see others having in America, in Europe and the rest of the free world. They want to move forward, not return to oppression. I think that is at the heart of the current conflicts in Egypt and conflicts coming to other Arab countries as well, the youth of those countries do not want more of the same or worse, they want freedom, they want equality of opportunity and education. They do not want a Sunni version of the Taliban ruling them. This is a core conflict in that region as much between the generations as it is between Shia and Sunni. There will be no peace there until the demands of those who began the Arab Spring movement are also on the table for discussion. That Egyptians opposed to the Brotherhood now see Syrian refugee's as part of that conservative, religious based, movement and so oppose is, is evidenced by this quote from the end of the article.

"Soad Khobia, an activist and mother of two who fled the Syrian city of Douma in March. Khobia has tried to provide outreach for refugees in Cairo, while staying active with the opposition abroad.

She was to attend an opposition conference in Turkey next week. But when she tried to finish her exit paperwork a few days ago, she realized she wouldn’t be going anywhere.

“The woman said, ‘Syrians who want to leave can leave,’ ” Khobia said of the bureaucrat who looked over her paperwork, who added, “ ‘but they can’t come back.’ ”

The Egyptian hostility toward what they now see as a threat to their own freedom being harbored within Egypt couldn't be clearer. They do not want Sharia and Ms. Khobia and other activists favoring the Syrian opposition are seen as a danger within Egypt to their own desire for democracy. Yes, they have a military ruled country at the moment, but that military is striking at the forces that would bring Sharia to Egypt, something most Egyptians do not want, in my opinion. Egypt has, even under Mubarak, long been the most "western" of the Arab nations, and that some want it to be so again is a cry for freedom, not religious oppression. The Syrian opposition is also the opposite of what Egyptians want for themselves and their country and that is why the refugees have seen this change in attitude toward them. When they were seen as like those who began the Egyptian Arab Spring, they were welcomed, now that they are seen as allied with the Sharia desiring Syrian opposition, they are viewed with suspicion. As hard as that may be, and as unfair for surely some are not in support of turning Syria into a Sharia controlled country, it is understandable that Egyptians see them as threat from within to bring to Egypt what is happening in Syria, and Egyptians do not want that, they have quite different desires for their country. They want real freedom and real democracy, the Brotherhood was never about either, anywhere and that is why it is no longer in control of Egypt and the Syrians are seen as allied with the Brotherhood. That explains the change in attitude and I'm a little surprised journalists don't get that.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday September 9, 2013, 1:50 pm
Gene, you hit that one right out of the park. Thank you.
Noted & posted.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (447)
Monday September 9, 2013, 2:20 pm
Ditto to Gene.
 

jan b. (3)
Monday September 9, 2013, 3:08 pm
This isn't going to be popular, but when I know the boys will grow up to be exactly like their father's. The girls like their mother's who often will assist in killing their daughters if they humiliate them by disobeying. I have a hard time being sympathetic to the muslims in the middle east who are fighting about who has the correct version of islam and which dictator is best one to lead them. If they want to live like it's still the 1500's then it's their perogative to do so and who are we to interfere.
 

Colleen L. (2)
Monday September 9, 2013, 3:16 pm
Good explanation and comment Gene. I agree with you 100%. Thanks Cal
 

Patricia E. G. (56)
Monday September 9, 2013, 3:28 pm
I noted this story. Cal thank you for posting &
Cal, Thank You for your genuine understanding of the situation.
Bravo ~
 

Patricia E. G. (56)
Monday September 9, 2013, 3:45 pm
Gene, your insight to the Syrian Refugee condition is remarkable.
Told in your own pleasantly passive style, you've made this complex
disaster a worthy read.
Thank you Gene
 

S J. (117)
Monday September 9, 2013, 3:47 pm
Noted, thanks Cal
 

l L. (1)
Monday September 9, 2013, 9:33 pm
All interesting post..

Just want to explore this thought tho...Have we noticed the argument about being free like the West.. is a little deceptive?
Look at the history of voting. No matter who wins; there is the deception that goes on with that.. And the rule of law is predjudiced, manipulative and bias. 2 sets of rules.
I luv democracy... but when all cultures get their selves a place at the civilized table, they change the rules. They don't apply/
Now a days our democracy; we bled and died for is causing us to bleed and die somemore.

Does anyone know what I mean but saying it so poorly..?

You know the rest of the young world wants to be like America, but we can't get along here and share a lot of stuff.
I think of the rest of the world and feel for them cause they think America is the place to model after.. So they fight to be like us.
How do they see us? Do they see us this perfect place.. A Utopia? We are being stripped before we even had a good chance to enjoy Democracy.
They are over there dying for an idea. And homeless for it and Nomads now. Unwanted Nomads..
Can't say what's going to happen to us tho. Tomorrows.. looking at them are not to be taken for granted.. Be careful what one chooses for today. It can wipe out your tomorrows.
Who would have thought,, the
 

l L. (1)
Monday September 9, 2013, 9:36 pm
Wo would have thought, the Arab Spring would turn out like this?
 

Jennifer C. (169)
Monday September 9, 2013, 9:45 pm
Thanks.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Tuesday September 10, 2013, 5:04 am
I understand Egypt's concerns.

And lyn L, we don't have to be perfect in order to be better than the alternative. We have the most enormous amount of freedom compared to middle eastern nations. In quite a few nations around the world a large number of us here on Care2 would long since have been arrested and imprisoned for the views we openly express and the lives we openly lead.
 

Rehana VN (0)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:19 am
Thank you for a very interesting, unbiased & objective overview of the situation.
 

Melania Padilla (180)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 9:49 am
Poor people!
 
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