Today is World Refugee Day, and President Obama and other members of his administration took the opportunity to remind Americans that assisting refugees is among the United States’ noblest traditions, and doing so not only enriches American society but also makes us safer as a nation.

Media outlets around the world are offering their own perspectives on World Refugee Day, but Al Jazeera in particular wants to know why the world seems particularly reluctant to take in young men seeking refuge.

Americans have to be forgiven for overlooking the plight of young refugee men; President Obama, after all, ridiculed Republican governors over their insistence on having a robust screening system in place before Syrian refugees entered the country, asking in November why they were so “scared of widows and 3-year-old orphans.”

In case there were any lingering doubts, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson headed to Dearborn, Mich., in January to show that the United States had become a stronger, safer, and more secure nation over the previous decade, and had a cartoon tucked under his arm to illustrate the plight of those aforementioned widows and orphans, along with what looks to be an adult man helping to carry an infant orphan.

That cartoon apparently didn’t do its job if there’s still trepidation in Western nations over accepting large numbers of young refugee males into society. Germany, which President Obama praised as being on the right side of history on the refugee issue, began handing out its own cartoons on acceptable behavior toward women after dozens of women reported being sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve, allegedly by male asylum seekers of “Arab or North African” descent.


Brussels, too, might be a little bit shy about admitting more refugees after terrorist suicide attacks on an airport and subway station were linked to men who entered the European Union disguised as refugees with Syrian passports.

So, why again is the entire world so afraid for young male refugees?

Exit question: Why did Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, invite only one family of Syrian refugees to her penthouse residence for a spaghetti dinner and a photo op? Is she afraid, or just out of spaghetti?