Daily Beast's Dickey: 'Shameful' for US to Bar Refugees, Will 'Earn' 'Hatred' of the World

Daily Beast Foreign Editor Christopher Dickey made another MSNBC appearance on Monday afternoon, this time on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts, where he again went after the "right wing" over negative reaction to taking in Muslim refugees in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. He also declared that it was "shameful" that some U.S. politicians are pressuring against Syrian refugees being allowed into the country, and predicted that the U.S. would "earn" the "hatred" of the world in not accepting them.

He also asserted that, in Europe, "racism and hostility" against Muslims has been "ginned up by the right wing and by fears of people," and dismissed reports by fellow guest Jake Wallis Simons of the Daily Mail that fake Syrian passports are easy to purchase and utilize to blend in with refugees entering Europe.

After recalling a number of mostly Republicans who have recently spoken out against the entry of Syrian refugees into the U.S., host Thomas Roberts posed:

Chris, let me talk to you about how the U.S. could react to the Syrian refugee crisis considering what happened here in Paris, but also, more importantly, what we're seeing from our own elected leaders back at home, asking the administration to stop accepting them and certain states saying, "We don't want them."

Dickey seemed to hint at implicating the U.S. in Syria's destruction in alluding to a "proxy war that involves a lot of American allies" as he began:

Well, that's pretty shameful, isn't it? And it's also a complete misunderstanding of what this refugee flow is all about. The refugees are not terrorists. The refugees are just that, refugees, And the truth is, most of them, an awful lot of them are middle class, they're educated, they're trying to build a future, their country has been destroyed in a proxy war that involves a lot of American allies, as the United States has done very little to actually bring it to an end.

Without mentioning that Turkey and Lebanon have both recently suffered terrorist attacks within their borders by ISIS, Dickey suggested that these countries were setting an example the U.S. should follow in taking in some of the refugees:

That doesn't mean we're responsible for all of them, but we're not talking about all of them. We're talking about, next year, maybe 100,000. There are four million of them. There are two and a half million in Turkey. They've increased enormously the size of the population in Lebanon and in Jordan. And a lot of countries are taking responsibility. Germany has to a certain extent stepped up.

The Daily Beast Foreign Editor lashed out again at American opponents of immigration from Syria as he added:

The United States, if it wants to lead, needs to do something to show that it cares and is responsive. If it doesn't, then, once again, we will be sitting out on the sidelines, watching a lot of suffering, and earning not the respect of the world, but the hatred.

After Simons recalled the story of fake Syrian passports being easy to get, Roberts turned back to Dickey and posed:

It's a huge wakeup call, but, Chris, let me talk to you about what you think that this is doing to a relationship between French Muslims and the government and the society as a whole in this country. From the just the short time of being here and also the research I've done, the Muslim community here already feels disenfranchised to begin with.

Dickey went after the "right wing" as he began:

Well, it's a terrible problem. There is a rising level of racism and hostility toward the Muslim community here being ginned up by the right wing and by fears of people, perfectly ordinary people who are starting to see their country change as there are more and more people who have dark skins from North Africa, from Africa, from the Middle East, coming in with their cultures, with their language.

The Daily Beast Foreign Editor continued to be in denial as he sidestepped the issue of whether preventing the entry of Muslim immigrants would have made the attacks less likely to occur in the first place as he shifted to recalling examples of French Muslims who behaved heroically to protect people from the terrorists. Dickey:

This is a cosmopolitan country and a very cosmopolitan city. Still, people are set back on their heels when they see how much change is going on. That said, look at who the heroes were on Friday night. What were their names? The one at the big stadium who stopped the suicide bomber from going in, his name was Zuhair, a typical Muslim North African name. Another one who saved people in one of the restaurants, taking them into the basement, his name was Samir. Who are these people? Are these the people who we were supposed to be afraid of? No, they're saving our lives here.

Dickey concluded by dismissing the revelations about it being easy for terrorists to get fake Syrian passports to infiltrate the country:

And if we just generate the idea that all of them are evil because a very small minority are, or because a British journalist goes and buys a passport, I think we're really headed down the wrong road on this one.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, November 16, MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts from 2:30 p.m.:

THOMAS ROBERTS: Chris, let me talk to you about how the U.S. could react to the Syrian refugee crisis considering what happened here in Paris, but also, more importantly, what we're seeing from our own elected leaders back at home, asking the administration to stop accepting them and certain states saying, "We don't want them."

CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, DAILY BEAST: Well, that's pretty shameful, isn't it? And it's also a complete misunderstanding of what this refugee flow is all about. The refugees are not terrorists. The refugees are just that, refugees, And the truth is, most of them, an awful lot of them are middle class, they're educated, they're trying to build a future, their country has been destroyed in a proxy war that involves a lot of American allies, as the United States has done very little to actually bring it to an end.

That doesn't mean we're responsible for all of them, but we're not talking about all of them. We're talking about, next year, maybe 100,000. There are four million of them. There are two and a half million in Turkey. They've increased enormously the size of the population in Lebanon and in Jordan. And a lot of countries are taking responsibility. Germany has to a certain extent stepped up.

The United States, if it wants to lead, needs to do something to show that it cares and is responsive. If it doesn't, then, once again, we will be sitting out on the sidelines, watching a lot of suffering, and earning not the respect of the world, but the hatred.

[Jake Wallis Simons of the Daily Mail recalls that it is easy to purchase a fake Syrian passport and blend in with refugees to enter Europe.]

ROBERTS: It's a huge wakeup call, but, Chris, let me talk to you about what you think that this is doing to a relationship between French Muslims and the government and the society as a whole in this country. From the just the short time of being here and also the research I've done, the Muslim community here already feels disenfranchised to begin with.

DICKEY: Well, it's a terrible problem. There is a rising level of racism and hostility toward the Muslim community here being ginned up by the right wing and by fears of people, perfectly ordinary people who are starting to see their country change as there are more and more people who have dark skins from North Africa, from Africa, from the Middle East, coming in with their cultures, with their language.

This is a cosmopolitan country and a very cosmopolitan city. Still, people are set back on their heels when they see how much change is going on. That said, look at who the heroes were on Friday night. What were their names? The one at the big stadium who stopped the suicide bomber from going in, his name was Zuhair, a typical Muslim North African name. Another one who saved people in one of the restaurants, taking them into the basement, his name was Samir. Who are these people? Are these the people who we were supposed to be afraid of? No, they're saving our lives here.

And if we just generate the idea that all of them are evil because a very small minority are, or because a British journalist goes and buys a passport, I think we're really headed down the wrong road on this one.

2016 Presidential Congress Anti-Americanism Middle East Syria Immigration Conservatives & Republicans Islam The Daily Beast MSNBC MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts Christopher Dickey Thomas Roberts


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