This should surprise precisely nobody:
With half of Syria’s population displaced in the worst refugee crisis since World War II, according to the United Nations, and Europe overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of people flooding the continent, accusations are flying as to why the wealthy Gulf states are not welcoming people with whom they share a common language and heritage.
They’re talking about Saudi Arabia and Qatar there, pretty much; and both nation’s reactions are perfectly explicable. Both countries are run by sects inside Sunni Islam that consider the sects that make up Sunni Islam in Syria to be weak-willed, corrupted, and deluded moral degenerates. Not as bad as the Shi’a, to be sure – that split has been sustained by spite and mutual outrage for over a thousand years – but the Saudis in particular really don’t want Syrians moving into their neighborhoods. Just like the Saudis don’t want any Palestinians thinking that they’re welcome, either.
Remember: Islam and/or the Arab world only look monolithic from the outside. From inside it’s just as much a chaotic mess as any other supposedly all-encompassing group or movement. Which is probably just as well.
(Photo credit: IOM Iraq)