Racism aimed at Syrian refugees in Lebanon

| April 14, 2014

The U.S. isn’t the only place infected with the virus of racism. Racists come in all sizes and colors and in many places.

Anti-Syrian hostility in Lebanon spawns social media backlash

By Faisal Irshaid

BBC Monitoring

Lebanese activist: “If my country can’t be self-sufficient, the fault lies with the authorities. It shouldn’t blame its failures on the refugees”

“Once upon a time one Lebanese called for racism while one thousand said no to racism”. This is one of many slogans posted online as part of a campaign to fight alleged discrimination and racism against Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

According to the UN, since 2011 more than one million Syrian refugees have fled the conflict in Syria to neighbouring Lebanon, a country of about four million people.

The refugees, seen by some Lebanese as a serious threat to the country’s economy, social coherence and infrastructure, have fuelled a huge debate centred around the impact refugees may have on the country.…

Human rights campaigners and civil society organisations have launched an online awareness campaign in support of the refugees, using social networking sites to spread the word and to reach large numbers of Lebanese.

Facebook

The Facebook page The Campaign in Support of Syrians Facing Racism was one of the first to tackle the issue. Created only a week ago, the page says it “rejects all violence towards Syrians [in Lebanon], racist political rhetoric and the associated media hype”.…

Activists have posted photos of themselves holding placards with anti-discrimination slogans written on them. One, Salam Kabboul, wrote: “I once met a Syrian who made us both proud.”…

In contrast, many comments on the Facebook page argue that rent has gone up and salaries plummeted because the refugees accept lower pay than the Lebanese.

Some Facebook users also blame refugees for an increase in crime and sexual harassment.

via BBC News – Anti-Syrian hostility in Lebanon spawns social media backlash.

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