US role in Syrian civil war divides Arab-Americans

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — The question of whether the U.S. military becomes involved in Syria’s civil war weighs heavily on the minds of U.S. Syrians and other Arabs. But divisions among them have been building for a long time.

Positions on Syria have been unraveling Arab-American ties dating back more than a century. That’s when Arabs started coming en masse to the U.S. and settled in enclaves dubbed “Little Syria.”

Some Arabs on both sides say the community that typically has coexisted is more divided now than ever, making it hard to hold civil debates.

Organizers say rallies have had far fewer participants than when Arabs have united behind a single cause — and some have stayed home to keep tensions from boiling over.

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