Right-wing political extremists in Europe and the US are targeting Syrian war refugees following last Friday's terrorists attacks in Paris.

 

"We must not make the mistake of equating refugees with terrorists," Ursula Von der Leyen, German defence minister, told the Monday edition of the German newspaper "Passauer Neue Presse," according to Deutsche Welle, the German external broadcaster.

"The hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have left their homeland to escape exactly the type of atrocities that we have seen in Paris on Friday," she said.

"However, we need more order at the borders, especially at the outside borders of the EU," the minister from the ruling CDU party added.

In Germany, the right-wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) also carried out their usual Monday demonstration in Dresden.

A leader of the self-styled movement, Siegfried Däbritz, told the 10,000-strong crowd that the Paris attacks were "the result of an immigration policy that invites people from completely foreign cultures with completely different values into countries and regions, whose culture many of these immigrants despise."

On Monday, Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right Front National Front party, called for an “immediate halt” to France’s intake of more asylum seekers, adding that “our fears and warnings about the possible presence of jihadists among migrants” entering the country had proved to be accurate.

The Guardian reports that Serbian police have arrested a man carrying a Syrian passport with the same details as one found near the body of one of the Paris suicide bombers, police sources told the Guardian.

The passport bears the same name and details – but a different photograph – as the document found near one of the men who attacked the Stade de France.

Serbian officials said that they believe both passports are fake, but added that they are working with French investigators to establish the origin of the documents.

The New York Times reports that 25 Republican governors vowed to block the entry of Syrian refugees into their states, arguing that the safety of Americans was at stake after the Paris attacks by terrorists including a man who entered Europe with a Syrian passport and posed as a migrant.

One Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, also urged the Obama administration to stop taking in Syrians until the federal vetting procedures for all refugees are “as strong as possible.”

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate whose parents left Cuba for the US before Fidel Castro came to power, said the United States should stop taking in Syrian refugees. Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz —  another Cuban-American — who with Bush are also Republican candidates, "suggested, idiotically, that it might be OK to admit only Christians. Several governors announced that their states would not accept Syrian refugees. Republicans on Capitol Hill are expected this week to push for legislation that would block President Obama’s initiative to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees next year."

According to the NYT, Rubio said that [“you can have 1,000 people come in and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence, but one of them is an ISIS fighter.” That’s nonsense. America last year admitted 1,682 Syrian refugees — an embarrassingly small number for the largest refugee crisis since World War II.]

Many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves, that’s what they’re fleeing,” President Obama said at the end of a G-20 summit in Turkey. “Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.”

Comment: A once progressive Arab civilisation boundless and bare

France, terrorism, refugees, US

Pictures above: François Hollande, French president, arrives, and addresses a joint session of France's Parliament on the 13 Nov terrorist attacks, at the Palace of Versailles, 16 Nov, 2015.