Xenophobes fear people from other countries – and the fear usually produces an intense or irrational dislike or hatred. Most people don’t understand how difficult it is to be a foreigner – especially to be a foreigner in a country where you do NOT speak the language, or the language is not native to you.
I’ve been the “foreigner” before. However, semantically I was the “expat” because there is an unspoken (and not politically correct) idea that foreigners are financially broke – expats are not.
I have never met a xenophobe who has lived in other countries. Because when you spend time in the shoes of someone who can’t adequately converse with the majority around them you develop sympathy for the foreigner… or the expat. You get it. It’s not easy leaving your home country and starting anew. It’s a tough process – and when the locals are angry at you for simply being ‘foreign’ it makes things even tougher.
When it comes to the Syrian crisis, it seems that xenophobia is mixed with theophobia – a fear of religion – and the religion in question is Islam.
Should we be afraid of Muslims?
The simple answer is that we shouldn’t be afraid of anything – because fear is not a friend – it’s an enemy. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t understand how Islam works in the lives of those who follow the religion.
Islam has proven time and time again to be deadly. The Koran endorses the killing of those who are not believers in allah. I sympathize deeply with the Syrian refugees, and I DO NOT think that we should close our borders. However, I think that we have to be incredibly careful screening those we allow into the country.
Islam is dangerous. The sooner we acknowledge that Islam is not a religion of love or peace, the sooner we can effectively deal with the Syrian crisis in a way that doesn’t endanger our country.