An image of the flag of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. (3aref 6ari2o / CC BY-SA 2.0)

A Washington Post piece states that “one of the most persuasive arguments against equating refugees with terrorists is simple: It’s exactly what the Islamic State wants.”

… it is not only deeply unfair to paint all of those arriving with the same brush — it is also self-defeating.

All of the other suspects in the Paris attacks appear to have been European citizens. In fact, large numbers of citizens from France, Britain and other Western nations have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight, suggesting that the problem is not so much those coming from over there but those who are already here. Nor are these people necessarily the ones with familial links to the Islamic world: There have been a number of European converts to Islam who have traveled to join the Islamic State, and vast numbers of European Muslims have repeatedly condemned the actions of the Islamic State. … The very same refugees entering Europe are often the very same civilians who face the indiscriminate violence and cruel injustice in lands controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (though, it should be noted, many in Syria are also threatened by the brutal actions of the Syrian government). Globally, studies have shown that Muslims tend to make up the largest proportion of terror victims, with countries such as Syria and Iraq registering the highest toll.

If Muslim refugees come to Europe and are welcomed, it deeply undercuts the Islamic State’s legitimacy. Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has helpfully catalogued some of the Islamic State’s messages on the refugees pouring into Europe from the Middle East. The messages give the impression of deep discomfort and even jealousy that the Muslim population the Islamic State so covets for its self-proclaimed “caliphate” would rather live in “infidel” Western lands.

Read more.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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