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Syrian refugees - The Saudi Solution

Article subtitle: 
Accommodations are plentiful in the kingdom for Sunni Muslim migrants
Article CAIRCO note: 
No need to ferry migrants half way around the world
Article author: 
Daniel Pipes
Article publisher: 
Mideast Forum / Washington Times
Article date: 
May 19, 2016
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

As European governments slam the gates shut on illegal Middle Eastern immigrants, where can Syrians and others go to, not far from their homelands, for safety and employment? The answer is obvious but surprisingly neglected: to Saudi Arabia and the other rich Arab sheikhdoms...

...A European Union (EU) commissioner, Johannes Hahn, counts "20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe. ... Ten to 12 million in Syria, 5 million Palestinians, 2 million Ukrainians and about 1 million in the southern Caucasus." Yes, but that's just a start; I also add vast numbers of Libyans, Egyptians, Yemenis, Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, and Pakistanis – and not just political refugees but also economic migrants. In all, the numbers of Muslim peoples ready to emigrate could potentially match the 510 million EU residents.
 
To where, then, are they to go? One nearby, desirable alternative to Europe exists; indeed, it's a destination so attractive that foreigners already constitute half the population: that would be the six Gulf Cooperation Council states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Let's focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the largest of them in land size, population, and economy.
 
The KSA has many unique attractions for Sunni Muslims. To begin with, it has 100,000 high-quality, empty fiberglass tents that can house about 3 million people in Mina, just east of Mecca. Fireproof and air-conditioned, complete with toilets and kitchens, this unique resource is occupied a mere five days a year by pilgrims on the hajj.
 
...Culturally, many Sunnis find Saudi's severe strictures more congenial than the West's secular environment. In the KSA, Muslims can exult in a society that permits polygamy, child marriages, wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and beheadings, while only lightly punishing slaveholding and honor killings...
 
The Persian Gulf countries have been berated for not taking in "a single" Syrian refugee. Yet the Saudi authorities claim to have taken in 2½ million Syrians. How to explain this discrepancy?...
 
In part, the Saudis are lying. But also, in part, the GCC and other Arabic-speaking states such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria never signed the 1951 Refugee Convention (because they reject the convention's goal of resettlement as applied to Palestinians). Accordingly, they avoid using the term refugee, with its implication of permanence, and refer instead to guests, who stay only temporarily until they return home...
 

 

CAIRCO Notes

Refugees - most are plain old economic migrants - are able to sneak into Europe because it is close to their home region. It makes absolutely no sense to bring Syrian refugees en masse to the United States, which is halfway around the world from their homeland, and is the cultural polar opposite of their homeland.
 
 
CAIRCO Research