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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
CNS Can't Quite Admit To Readers That Syrian Muslims Are Fleeing Persecution, Just Like Syrian Christians

For months, reporter Patrick Goodenough has been pushing the misleading meme that the Obama administration is deliberately blocking the admission of Christian refugees from Syria. Goodenough occasionally admits the truth -- that, in his words, Syrian Christian refugees tend not to go through U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee camps, which supplies the number he uses, "due to safety fears, and tend to seek shelter instead with churches, Christian charities or with relatives in surrounding countries."

Goodenough's dishonest reporting has the imprimatur of his boss, CNS editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey, so he too can maliciously suggest the Obama administrtation is blocking Christian refugees.

But Goodenough's reporting is even more dishonest than that -- he also buries the fact that the Muslims that are fleeing Syria for refugee status in the U.S. are fleeing persecution as well.

In his May 10 article -- he does body counts on refugees every couple weeks or so -- Goodenough plays up the fact that of 451 Syrian refugees arriving in the U.S. in the previous month, "426 were Sunni Muslims and one was a Christian."

Several paragraphs later, Goodenough obliquely writes that Syrian refugees are "escaping from the Allawite Assad regime and its Shi’ite backers, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) or other Sunni Islamist groups among the opposition, or more generally from the violence and deprivation. They include Sunnis, Shi’a, Christians, Allawites, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Baha’i, atheists and others."

But that obscures the high number of Sunni Muslims seeking refugee status. A report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has stated that Syria's ruling Assad regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity committed against Sunnis and others, and the BBC reports that "Christian opposition activists have accused the government of stoking sectarian tensions, including by using Alawite-led security forces and Alawite militiamen to target Sunni civilians." While Sunni Muslims make up the majority of Syrians -- and, hence, the majority of refugees -- the government of Bashar al-Assad is Alawite.

Why doesn't Goodenough make that clear? Presumably because he's more interested in portraying Christians as the real victims and is content to lump all Muslims together as a sinister infiltration.

Goodenough waited a few more paragraphs after that to tell the truth that "many Christians who leave Syria do not register with the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, for fear of their safety in U.N. refugee camps." In other words, it's not Obama's fault that more Christians are not going UNHCR, no matter how much Goodenough tries to suggest otherwise.

Goodenough's May 23 body-count article began by intoning: "The Obama administration has admitted 499 Syrian refugees so far this month, with no Christians among them." At no point does he bother to mention the fact that Sunni Muslims (which accounted for 495 of those refugees) are facing persecution, and he again buries the fact that Christian refugees avoid going through UNHCR, which skews his numbers.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT

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