Malaysia to accept 3,000 Syrian refugees

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SHAFAQNA – Malaysia will open its doors to 3,000 refugees from war-torn Syria, citing humanitarian reasons.

In a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that as a Muslim country, Malaysia has a duty to help marginalized fellow Muslims.

“Don’t we stand partly responsible for any ensuing European hostility towards Islam, the faith we love, and towards our fellow Muslims?” he said, calling for other Muslim leaders to follow suit.

In recent months, tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war-wracked country to seek refuge in Europe.

Malaysia said it will accept 3,000 Syrians over the next two years. The Southeast Asian country has seen an influx in refugees in recent months. In May, thousands of ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh landed on Malaysian shores after being abandoned at sea by suspected human traffickers.

Malaysian authorities also discovered more than 100 mass graves belonging to members of the Muslim minority group near the border with Thailand, highlighting weaknesses in surveillance.

There are currently 153,880 refugees registered with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia.

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