LEBANON is directly across from Syria, and a person can imagine the spill of refugees taking place into Lebanon from Syria. For six (6) years, tensions have grown as 1.5 million Syrians poured into Lebanon. Refugees have faced numerous hostilities since the war in neighboring Syria took hold. Recently, the tensions have grown over the social and financial burden of the refugee crisis.
Syrian refugee camp. The amount of Syrians in Lebanon has dropped to one (1) million.
This choice is not limited to those defending Syrian refugees. It also applies to activists for the cause of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Calls for improving their inhumane living conditions and putting an end to the policy of social exclusion have been ignored and viewed with suspicion. State policies of isolating the community have contributed to discrimination, dire living conditions, poverty, lack of economic opportunities, and bleak future prospects for Palestinians living in refugee camps. Palestinians fled to Lebanon during the 1948 Palestine War, and their descendants, the Palestine militia, resided in Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s. Also included in these camps are Palestinians and Nationals which have recently moved to Lebanon. Palestine camps are also in Jordan, Syria, West Bank, and Gaza Strip.
A PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMP
Lebanon has a racism problem. As stated in prior blogs under this website about other countries, it is enough to look at the mistreatment of domestic workers, especially from Asia and Africa, to understand that Lebanon has a racism problem that goes beyond the discrimination of refugees. Lebanon is 54% Muslim of which 27% are Sunni and Shi’te tribes, 40% Christian, and 6% Druze. Druze is a mysterious, secretive, religious philosophy containing Islamism, Hinduism, among others, and which turned away from Assad.
As told by the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, in 2017, “We are racist in our Lebanese identity” in reference to his refusal to naturalize Syrian refugees. However, Bassil also urged people not to call him and his party racist…he claimed that he represents the opposite of the racism of the Islamic State of Iraq and ISIS, and of Israel. Israel is in the process of considering deporting black Africans who immigrated to Israel from the Sudan and other African areas.
It appears there is a problem of fleeing illegal immigrants all over the world. After Bassil made the above observation, there was a fierce backlash, and activists tried to state a demonstration in support of refugees and called for accountability for alleged death under torture of at least five (5) Syrians. The response to this was an editorial by the NGO (non-governmental organization) Legal Agenda labeling Bassil’s remarks as an “honourable patriot” or was he a “traitor” or perhaps a small person idealizing human rights and supporting refugees who have only brought terrorism, in addition to economic and political hardships to the country.
As set forth by an International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, racism is interchangeable with racial discrimination that includes “national origin” as a basis for “any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference.” It is described that refugees are a burden, ungrateful or unwanted guests, and even murderers and rapists. It is documented that there was a murder of a Lebanese woman by her family’s Syrian caretaker in a Christian village in the north of Lebanon. As a result, all Syrians were asked to leave the village, and other municipalities followed suit in order to “act before it is too late and to protect the women of our country.” Does this sound familiar? However, it is also known that Lebanese women suffer crimes at the hands of Lebanese men. The solving of these types of problems and the real solutions against women and girls involves reforming discriminatory laws and combating sexism and also a system whereby males hold power in all its forms.
It is known that over 88% of employers withhold the passport of the domestic worker to prevent (her) from escaping, and 80% do not allow (her) to leave the employer’s house on her day off because she may escape. It has also been revealed that 31.3% of employers lock the domestic worker they hire inside the house when they leave. If this is not racism and modern day slavery, what is?? It is difficult to believe that slavery exists in this day and age.
This world needs a Spiritual power of Love..not a passionate Love but a Spiritual force (known as agape Love). Only then can this world live in peace, respect life, and be tolerant of those holding different opinions, creeds, and beliefs. Bigotry in all its forms needs to be eliminated