Why Syrians are sending love messages to Angela Merkel

Berlin has suspended the European Union’s Dublin Regulation, allowing more Syrian refugees to come to Germany.

Ina Fassbender/Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves to people upon her arrival at a forum discussion organized by the Chancellery in Duisburg, Germany, August 25, 2015. The country has suspended Dublin rule for Syrian asylum seekers.

German chancellor Angela Merkel is receiving an outpouring of love online from Syrians, this comes after German authorities dropped a bureaucratic procedure that may allow Syrian citizens to claim refugee status in Germany.

Earlier this week, the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), an office within the German Ministry of Interior Affairs, announced in a tweet that it will no longer adhere to the European Union’s Dublin Regulation for Syrian cases only. 

“Under the rule, migrants can only apply for asylum in the first EU member state they enter, and face deportation if they try to apply in another,” The Telegraph reports.

This means Germany will no longer deport asylum seekers from Syria and they can claim refugee status in Germany.

“In theory, the Dublin procedure should stop refugees from seeking asylum in multiple countries, sometimes referred to as "asylum shopping." In practice, however, it has meant responsibility for migrants often fell disproportionately on countries such as Italy or Greece where migrants first arrived,” Adam Taylor writes for The Washington Post.

In response to this move, Syrians took to social media to praise Germany and in particular, Chancellor Merkel.

The BBC reported:

“Some users adapted a poster and slogan used by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hail Merkel instead. Others compared the German leader to the Christian king Negus, who sheltered Muslims during the Crusades. One Facebook user wrote: "We will tell our children that Syrian migrants fled their country to come to Europe when Mecca and Muslim lands were closer to them."

In July, Merkel was criticized for being insensitive towards refugees when a Palestinian immigrant girl broke down in tears after the chancellor explained to her that she could not stop her family’s possible deportation.

Merkel has also faced a hostile response from Germans opposed to immigration. On Wednesday, Merkel was booed by anti-refugee protesters when she visited a government migrant shelter near Dresden.  

However, in the midst of Germany's refugee crisis, and cases of anti-immigrant sentiment, many Germans continue to display a different spirit.

In an effort to help refugees develop skills and integrate into European society, some German universities are providing free education, language tuition, and financial assistance to asylum seekers in the country.

Earlier this month, a German bus driver caused passengers – both German and foreign – to burst into applause after he paused to welcome asylum seekers.

According to the latest data, Germany admits far more immigrants than any other country in Europe. In 2014, Germany received six times the number of asylum seeker applicants than Britain, and twice as many as any other country in Europe, The Guardian reported.

Last year more than 7.6 million foreigners were registered as living in Germany – the highest number since record-keeping began in 1967. The country recently announced that it expects 750,000 refugees to arrive this year, more than twice as many as the 300,000 new arrivals predicted in January. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.