Fox News Exploits European Refugee Crisis To Stoke Islamophobic Fear That Muslim Refugees May Be Terrorists

››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

Fox News has capitalized on the growing global refugee crisis to push Islamophobic smears and paint all Muslims as terrorists.

Obama Administration Proposes Raising Limit On Refugees Allowed In The United States In Response To Migrant Crisis

Europe Facing Refugee Crisis As Asylum Seekers Flee Conflicts, Poverty, And Persecution. Time magazine reported that "more than 380,000 migrants and refugees have landed on Europe's southern shores," this year, creating a refugee crisis as asylum seekers flee "persecution, poverty, and conflicts":

In recent weeks, chaos at border crossings and train stations, squalid conditions in makeshift refugee camps and a heartbreaking photograph of a drowned Syrian toddler have all helped bring Europe's refugee crisis into the global spotlight. According to the UNHCR, more than 380,000 migrants and refugees have landed on Europe's southern shores so far this year, up from 216,000 arrivals in the whole of 2014. They are fleeing persecution, poverty and conflicts that rage beyond the continent's borders, but not all manage to reach safety - this year alone, 2,850 people have drowned in the Mediterranean. That hasn't stopped people making desperate bids to reach Europe though. Here's what to know about why the continent is facing one of its toughest challenges in decades.

[...]

A number of spiraling crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ukraine and Iraq have partly driven the crisis, but more than half of all refugees worldwide in 2014 came from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Since Syria's civil war began in 2011, more than 4 million Syrians have sought shelter in neighboring countries and another 7.6 million have been forced from their homes but remain displaced within Syria. An increase in attacks by President Bashar Assad's forces and the growth of ISIS are fueling the movement, but people are partly fleeing now because it's become clear that the conflict is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. [Time, 9/9/15]

President Obama "Will Propose Raising Limit On Refugees Allowed Into The United States." USA Today's Gregory Korte reported on September 9 that "President Obama will propose raising the limit on refugees allowed into the United States by 5,000 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis":

President Obama will propose raising the limit on refugees allowed into the United States by 5,000 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, according to a draft proposal sent to congressional committees Wednesday.

[...]

The refugee ceiling is currently set at 70,000, with Burma, Iraq and Somalia topping the list of 70 countries sending refugees to the United States.

The Refugee Act requires the president to adjust that number annually in consultation with Congress, which happened Wednesday.

A congressional aide, who requested anonymity to reveal private consultations, said Kerry proposed an increase of 5,000. A senior State Department official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kerry proposed a range of numbers -- all increases -- which met with varying degrees of approval among members of Congress.

"The President has made it clear that he wants the United States, which has always taken a leadership role with respect to humanitarian issues, and particularly refugees, to be able to do what we can," Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday. "We are committed to increasing the number of refugees that we take, and we are looking hard at the number that we can specifically manage with respect to the crisis in Syria and Europe." [USA Today, 9/9/15]

Fox News Stokes Islamophobic Fear That All Muslim Refugees May Be Terrorists

Fox & Friends Suggests Chanting "Allahu Akbar" Shows Refugees May Be Terrorists. On the September 9 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox's Kristin Fisher suggested the refugees seeking asylum in the migrant crisis may be "potential terrorists" because they are predominantly Muslim and may have chanted "Allahu Akbar":

KRISTIN FISHER: At the same time that the White House is reconsidering what to do about this refugee crisis, a new video surfaces online showing why some are worried Europe is opening its doors to potential terrorists.

[...]

Those are reportedly Muslim refugees on a train in Europe chanting "Allahu Akbar" or "God is great." Now, to be clear, we're not saying that any of those people are terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terror group, but it does highlight just how many of these refugees, who are fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria, are Muslim. And when they're flooding into Europe at a rate of thousands a day, it's impossible to check all of them as they cross the border. The White House has been taking some heat from its European allies for not doing more to help, but yesterday a spokesman said the administration is "actively considering other options." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/9/15]

Andrea Tantaros: "Taking Islamic Refugees Would Be Suicide" Because They May Be Terrorists. On the September 8 edition of Outnumbered, host Andrea Tantaros asserted "taking Islamic refugees would be suicide" for the United States because terrorists may be disguising themselves as refugees:

ANDREA TANTAROS: President Bush's intervention in Iraq sent the country into a Shia-Iran orbit, and then you had a Sunni revolt because of that. We've meddled in the Middle East for a long time. And now there's this Sunni-Shia civil war, which I'm sorry, in Syria we have no interest in. It is none of our business. Now you have Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley saying that the United States should absorb 65,000 of these refuges? Okay, 65,000 liberal households, do you want to take them in? Taking Islamic refugees would be suicide.

[...]

HARRIS FAULKNER: Suicide in which way? What do you mean?

TANTAROS: To absorb 65,000 or more Islamic refugees into the country? It's the exact reason that Bolton was warning about.

[...]

LISA KENNEDY: You are saying the probability, the mathematical probability of ISIS terrorists disguising themselves as refugees.

[CROSSTALK]

TANTAROS: Number one, that's the biggest issue but number two we don't have the money. We are broke; we can barely take care of our own citizens to absorb them. But number one it's a national security issue. It would be suicide. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 9/8/15]

Brian Kilmeade: "Should We Really Be Opening Our Doors At The Risk Of Letting In Terrorists?" On the September 8 edition of Fox & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade suggested that taking in refugees would "be opening our doors at the risk of letting in terrorists." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/8/15]

Steve Doocy Suggests Migrant Crisis Is A Psychological Weapon Of ISIS. Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy suggested the migrant crisis could be a product of ISIS' threat "to send a half a million migrants to Europe as a psychological weapon, which means there could be bad guys in there with the good guys as well":

DOOCY: It was a couple of months ago that ISIS threatened to send a half a million migrants to Europe as a psychological weapon, which means there could be bad guys in there with the good guys as well. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/8/15]

Pete Hegseth: Does The Influx Of Asylum Seekers "Leave An Opening For Terrorists" To Get To The United States? On the September 2 edition of Fox & Friends, Pete Hegseth suggested that the influx of refugees may "leave an opening for terrorists" to get into the United States:

PETE HEGSETH: So you've got a lot of migrants leaving because of the violence, innocent men, women, and children fleeing the violence. But does it not leave an opening for terrorists? Those to blend in inside them. Through a pipeline to either get to the Europe -- get to Europe or the United States?

SYLVIA LONGMIRE: Sure. It's something that we're always concerned about. We're worried about any kind of porous borders, any kind of openings and people that can blend in. One thing that you really have to remember though is, what is the path of least resistance for terrorist organizations that have the means to find and recruit people that have no criminal history, that can obtain real ID's or really really good fraudulent ID's, and also real travel documents? Right now, the path of least resistance is for these terrorists to either to fly into Europe, come in by rail, and into the United States, either fly into our airports or even cross the border from Canada on a car. So you have to take a look at what's the easiest way for them to get here right now. Crossing the border from Mexico may be a little too dangerous and too difficult for them right now.

HEGSETH: Sure, so legitimate means through flights and others -- certainly a pipeline. We've also heard, though, Hezbollah has a lot of roots in Latin America. Could an organization like this take advantage of that -- the chaos around the world, to say 'hey, there's porous borders still, in light of that, we're gonna drive a few more people in?'

LONGMIRE: Sure, and we know that Hezbollah's had a presence here in the United States for a very long time. We know that they've come through Mexico, particularly through Tijuana, and they have settled here selling fake purses, fake cigarettes, fake shoes to raise money to send back home to support their cause. So of course that's always a concern. The main thing that we want to focus on is how do we stop operational terrorists, those who are coming here to blow things up. How do we identify those, separate those from real refugees and make sure that they don't come into the country? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/2/15]

Eric Bolling: Male Muslim Refugees Are "Going To Be Easily Radicalized" By ISIS. On the September 9 edition of The Five, co-host Eric Bolling warned that the U.S. would be taking in Syrian refugees that will "be easily radicalized":

BOLLING: I've heard in the last 36 hours or so, I've heard John Kerry, Jeb Bush, and Donald Trump say that we should be taking some of these refugees. And they always preface it with, well, we have to make sure they're not radicalized first. How do you do that? You can't even make sure high school students in New Jersey aren't radicalized, now you have people who are starving, looking to feed their family, and looking for anything, with ISIS going, 'here, here's $1,000 and anything you need, just come and join us,' they're going to be radicalized.

[CROSSTALK]

Can I just point to something, you pointed out something that's very, very important, and it's not really being addressed by anyone in the media. Men, Syrian men are coming. Live Leak has a couple of videos of literally trainfulls of people coming over, they're being led out into Hungary, they're being led out into Germany, they're being led out into various areas, and it's almost 100 percent men. Think about that for a second. What could possibly go wrong with poor, starving, Muslim, alienated men? They are going to be easily radicalized, I don't think it should be done here. [Fox News, The Five, 9/9/15]

Bill O'Reilly: Movement Of Refugees "Will Allow Terrorists Entry Into Almost Every Western Country." On the September 9 edition of Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly said "we have one of the biggest mass migrations in the history of the world, which is overwhelming, and will allow terrorists entry into almost every Western country":

O'REILLY: So now we have one of the biggest mass migrations in the history of the world, which is overwhelming and will allow terrorists entry into almost every Western country. Of course Russia and China will not accept migrants, they never do. Israel will also not accept refugees, fearing terrorist infiltration. As for America, 27 Iraqi Christians [who] made it here through the Southern border were promptly incarcerated by ICE. None of them have been granted asylum by the Obama administration. But we can now expect thousands of refugees to begin entering America. Summing up, the jihad on the march, the Obama administration and other Western powers have no idea how to deal with it, and the world is suffering drastic consequences. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/9/15]

Hannity Suggests We Should "Fear" Possibility That "Some Radicals Might Be Mixed In" With Refugees. On the September 9 edition of Hannity, host Sean Hannity asked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump about the U.S. decision to accept Middle Eastern refugees, suggesting that some might be "radicals":

HANNITY: We now know that our State Department and our president is thinking of bringing in refugees from Syria and Iraq that have been displaced that are going through Europe. Now, do we know many of them are Muslims coming from Muslim countries? I'm sure many of them are very good people. But do you think some radicals might be mixed in with them? Is that a fear that we should take seriously? [Fox News, Hannity, 9/9/15]

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