I fulfilled Amer *, a young Syrian Druze refugee, at a smoke-filled coffee shop in the Berlin borough of my research study on the experiences of Syrian refugees from religious minority backgrounds. Whether in burned down the hall in protest, later standing trial for the religiously inspired criminal offense. Later on in 2016, a report revealed other accounts of attacks on religious minority refugees, particularly against converts to Christianity, in refugee centres across Germany. People I talked to told me of harassment they had actually experienced from other
refugees, often for spiritual factors. Often the accounts might seem subtle– from a young Christian woman questioned by a Muslim lady regarding why she was not using a veil. Or a Muslim guy telling another Muslim that he is” kafir”(an infidel)for consuming pork. Those refugees who have dealt with such harassment, however, experience significant discomfort and insecurity from these events. In other cases, refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and Germany informed me they had actually experienced overt acts of intolerance, consisting of physical attacks for using a spiritual symbol, such as a cross, or for not attending prayer services. Syrian refugees wait at Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.Andre Pain/EPA Muslim refugees have likewise been subjected to harassment and discrimination by both
members of host societies and other refugees. Ambar *, a young Syrian Christian refugee female living in Kreuzberg, Berlin, stated an occurrence that took place when she first showed up in Germany and lived in a refugee centre. This one time, I wanted to come inside a structure and the guard just let me in. Behind me was a lady wearing a hijab though. She tried to walk through too, much like me,
but she was yelled at and informed to come back. Then they examined her bag and whatever. In this minute, I thought, wow, she might dislike me. Due to the fact that we get dealt with in a different way. I will never ever forget this minute and how she looked at me. She was crying. I had no choice but to simply walk away.Some of the hosts and refugees I interviewed likewise expressed intolerance to and about Syrian Muslim refugees. These included false assumptions about their levels of education and social class, and their likelihood to commit violence or terrorism. Others
just presumed Syrian Muslim refugees would be politically aligned to the conservative Salafi branch of Islam. There has likewise been a tendency amongst Muslim refugees to presume that others have particular ideological and spiritual identities. A previous Ismaili Muslim refugee, who has turned atheist, talked to me in Berlin about the harassment he experienced in a refugee centre for not going to prayers and for choosing not to fast throughout Ramadan.”Yes, I am from Raqqa, but individuals believe that must mean I am Muslim and, much more, they think I must be with Daesh(Islamic State) “, he stated.” However individuals forget, my city has been ruined. I am not with any group, and I not believe(in God ).” Intolerance is not inescapable In both Jordan and Germany, I’ve heard tips, specifically from a couple of Christian organisations working with refugees, that it would be much better, more secure, and much easier if refugees were separated on the basis of religion. This is a harmful recommendation and the good news is, seldom executed. Besides in cases of instant safety and protection requirements, separating refugees solely on the basis of religious beliefs– whether in refugee camps, centres or elsewhere– is an assured way of worsening distinctions and entrenching sectarian stress. Some refugees themselves now believe that there is no option but to live separately from other refugees of various spiritual backgrounds. This is based on a perpetuated fraud that various religious identities are undoubtedly intolerant of each other. This is a dissentious narrative that is being misused
and manipulated. Such a mistaken belief lays the groundwork for incitement of hatred and the alarming effects that include it. There is a breadth of diversity in Syria and among Syrian refugees– from the moderate Sunni who selects not to observe the fast to the Ismaili who is an atheist. Religion might be a crucial factor for some and entirely unimportant to another. To counteract bias, hosts and refugees from various backgrounds must mix
together more. They ought to share their experiences and be given opportunities to create and practice solidarity. This is not an ignorant perfect but a sorely needed practice– and there are some examples of it working positively for refugees. Intolerance amongst different groups of people need to be treated as a problem, not an inevitability. There is nothing unavoidable about Syrian refugee tensions– let alone other relations in between refugees from different countries and backgrounds. There is no predisposition to violence or hatred by any group of people– and any such assumption needs to be overturned.
* Names have been altered to safeguard identities.