An Arab Muslim welcome for Muslim refugees?

An Arab Muslim welcome for Muslim refugees?
Posted on September 7, 2015 | Bob Barrigar | Written on September 8, 2015
Letter type:

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, fellow Gulf states raced to shelter thousands of displaced Kuwaitis. Fast-forward 25 years, and the homeless from Syria's nearby war have found scant refuge in the Arab world's richest states.
For critics of the Gulf's affluent monarchies, the contrast is profoundly unflattering, especially as several are backers of the combatants in Syria's conflict, so they must, their critics argue, shoulder a special responsibility for the consequences.
The wrenching image of a Syrian Kurdish refugee boy drowned on a Turkish beach has stoked debate in Europe. The official silence of Gulf Arab dynasties makes many Gulf citizens uneasy.
Sara Hashash of rights group Amnesty International called the Gulf Arab states' behaviour "utterly shameful" and criticized Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for officially taking in zero refugees.
By way of contrast, Turkey hosts almost 2 million refugees, and tiny Lebanon over a million.
"It gives us a glimmer of hope after these recent drowning episodes to see broad campaigns of sympathy and solidarity with the issue of Syrian refugees by governments and peoples in some European countries," wrote Zeid al-Zeid in a column for Kuwait's Al-An newspaper on Sunday.
"But it makes us sorry and makes us wonder about the absence of any official response by Arab states ... we're seeing a silence that's scandalous."
For more on this story, see

About The Author

Bob Barrigar's picture

retired patent attorney