Refugee family from Syria World-Bank-Photo-Collection/Flickr

Terrorists and the Refugee Battleground

The Islamic State’s attacks in Paris in November, which injected the group’s brutal mayhem into the heart of Europe, were designed to produce fear. Unfortunately, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic, by equating refugees with terrorists, are pandering to it – and thus handing the extremists an ideal recruiting tool.

BUDAPEST – Europe and the United States should open their doors to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. They are the victims of the Islamic State and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime. Terrorism has destroyed their homelands. Not only is offering them refuge the right thing to do; it is also good for our security.

The Islamic State’s attacks in Paris in November were designed to produce fear by bringing the group’s crimes against humanity into the heart of Europe; and politicians, by equating refugees with terrorists, are pandering to it. Razor-wire fences and political barriers are being erected in the path of asylum-seekers.

In the battle for hearts and minds, branding refugees as security threats – as politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are doing – only fuels intolerance and gives terrorists a potent recruitment tool to convince young Muslims that the West has no place for them.

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