By: Kishan Gandham
A series of unfortunate events. It seems like those are the only five words that can truly encapsulate the Syrian crisis. The impact of conflict in Syria however, stretches far beyond the region, affecting people and governments across the world. Therefore, in order to comprehend the scope of Syria—let’s start from the beginning.
There are three major parties in Syria. The first, Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Next, the rebel factions fighting against Assad’s corrupt government. And finally, the third, ambiguous party, involved in the conflict: the Islamic State (ISIS).
The reason that the Syrian conflict has had such a role in international affairs is because of its implications. Quite simply, the needless violence against the Syrian people prompted a mass migration of nearly 11 million people to other Middle Eastern and European nations. This migration came about because of violence and human rights abuse on all three sides of the spectrum of conflict, specifically, the torture of prisoners of war, the use of chemical agents such as chlorine gas, and the coordinating bombings by the Syrian government.
Additionally, refugees have an impact upon their host nations. The BBC reports in March of 2016, that Germany and Hungary have increasing numbers of asylum applications every single year. But to some degree, refugees have bolstered the economies of the countries they migrate to, taking a toll on the people as well.
Many nationalists believe refugees take jobs from the people living in their respective European nations. Thus, in France, face-veils such as the burqa, the niqab, and most recently the burkina have all been banned. Meanwhile, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and even Germany have either approved or called for bans on ‘Islamic attire’, proving the rising xenophobic tendencies within European nations.
Nevertheless, the desire to put an end to support for people coming out of these Muslim nations has not ceased there. Forbes reports in November of this year, that European leaders such as Francois Hollande, the leader of France, prevented aid from non-governmental organizations by failing to designate certain slums as refugee camps. All that European leaders are doing is creating a negative culture associated with those flocking into their nation just because they are Muslim.
With the rise in coordinated attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Europe, people are afraid. As the LA Times explains in August of 2016, Europe has been riddled by false alarms and terrorist threats prompting religious conflict all across the continent. But, when the people fear, governments cannot work. And when governments do not work, nations fall, and Germany and the United States are no better than the failed state of Syria. However, with the American people apprehensive of admitting more refugees into the country due to their ‘radical tendencies’ and with president-elect Donald Trump proposing bans on people entering the United States from Muslim nations, it seems as if, no matter where these innocents go—governments, including our own, fail them, adding another step to the series of unfortunate events plaguing refugees.