WashPost Devotes 26 Paragraphs to Blasting GOP Michigan Gov. Snyder's 'Gut Punch to Syrians'

November 17th, 2015 6:52 PM

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's position on halting Syrian refugees in light of the Paris terrorist attacks is "A gut punch to Syrians in Michigan,"* according to a headline for a page A8 Washington Post story in today's paper which was thoroughly one-sided on the issue.

Besides one quick quote from a Snyder aide noting that the governor's review of federal screening procedures was "not expected" to be "prolonged," staff writers Steve Friess and Carol Morello devoted their entire story to furthering the complaints of those who blasted Snyder's move as a craven "[x]enophobi[c]" attack on innocent refugees just seeking a better life. 

ROYAL OAK, MICH. — Rasha Basha shoved skyward the noisy metal door to a warehouse in this suburb of Detroit, and the afternoon sun illuminated a vast plain of wooden furniture, household appliances and colorful baby walkers.

Basha’s visits to this place are usually joyous occasions, the moment when grateful families newly arrived from Syria select bedroom sets, toothbrushes and other tangible evidence of lives, finally, being rebuilt. But on Monday, Basha scanned the space with anxiety, worried that the six families she expects in December will not be able to come.

“These are innocent families who deserve a better life. Their children deserve a better life and safety,” said Basha, 45, whose family arrived here from Syria in 1983. “We are very worried and disturbed.”

Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, nearly two dozen governors across the nation scrambled Monday to stop the federal government from settling new Syrian refugees in their states, arguing that the new arrivals may pose a threat to American security. Among the first and most surprising was Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who until this weekend had enthusiastically embraced the idea of resettling refugees in a depopulated Detroit.

As concerns mount among European security officials that one of the terrorists had been posing as a Syrian refu­gee, Snyder’s move captured the rising political pressure governors face in the wake of the attacks. But it also startled Arab Americans nationwide, particularly in communities such as Detroit, where the new flow of refugees had been welcomed for its potential to boost local economic fortunes.

“It appears Governor Snyder gave in to the xenophobic trend that has gripped the Republican Party and its presidential candidates,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“Xenophobia trumps logic when you have a climate that plays to the worst fears of the people,” Walid said, adding that the years-long “killing spree” waged by Islamic State militants “has been primarily killing Muslims.”

To read the full story, go here.

* the digital version headline is slightly different: "For Syrians in Michigan, call to block refugees is a gut punch"