From the Associated Press:
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- A few days ago, a pastor asked Syrian-born restaurant owner Marie Jarrah to donate food to a welcoming event for recently arrived Syrian refugees. Jarrah, who said she regularly helps people in need, declined.
Like many of Allentown's establishment Syrians, she doesn't think it's a good idea to bring refugees to the city. She clung to that view even before last week's terrorist attacks in Paris. "Problems are going to happen," said Jarrah, co-owner of Damascus Restaurant in a heavily Syrian enclave.
As debate intensifies nationally over the federal government's plan to accept an additional 10,000 refugees from war-ravaged Syria, a similar argument is taking place in Allentown - one with a sectarian twist.
Pennsylvania's third-largest city is home to one of the nation's largest populations of Syrians. They are mostly Christian and, in no small number, support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- a dynamic that's prompting some of them to oppose the resettlement of refugees, who are Muslim and say they fled violence perpetrated by the Assad regime.
Maybe if Middle Eastern Muslims did not crucify Christians, Christians would be a little more, well, Christian toward them.Aziz Wehbey, an Allentown auto dealer and president of the American Amarian Syrian Charity Society, worries some Syrian refugees might have taken part in the fighting in Syria's civil war and have "blood on their hands."
By the way, ever notice how being Christian means charitable and forgiving, while you draw a blank when you think of "being Muslim" toward others.