CNN’s Misleading Tale of Star-Crossed ‘Refugee’ Romance

Network hit with social media backlash after running 'love story' of ineligible asylum seeker

CNN is now in the business of promoting tales of star-crossed romance in order to advocate for mass Muslim migration to the West — facts be damned.

On Tuesday, the CNN International Facebook page posted a status that included a link to an emotionally manipulative article titled “She fell in love with someone who won’t be allowed in,” as well as a short video about the story.

“I am from Morocco and I can tell you that it’s perfectly fine. Your hate of Trump make you publish some unreadable stuff.”

“Young love is tested when an American girl falls for a Muslim refugee and he’s sent back to Morocco,” the status itself read, while the first moments of the attached video showed a love-struck, 25-year-old Carly Harris wishing “that there were no borders, that we could all just see that we’re all the same.”

It might tug on the heartstrings, but it also happens to be complete and utter nonsense intended to deceive CNN’s audience. Anyone remotely familiar with the geopolitical situation in North Africa and the Levant knows that there are no Moroccans offered asylum as refugees by the United States.

Indeed, despite CNN’s claim, this American girl’s “Muslim refugee” — Soufiane El Yassami — is no such thing. Morocco is a stable, peaceful country. A major city, Marrakesh, is a leading tourist destination for wealthy Westerners.

“Soufiane was looking to seek asylum in Europe,” the propaganda video says. “But [he] was arrested and sent back to Morocco before they could share their first kiss.”

Yassami, who met Harris at a refugee camp in Greece, was denied asylum simply because he has no justification for claiming it.

A screenshot of the “young love” video posted to CNN International Tuesday.

Fortunately, much of CNN’s audience, at least on Facebook, wasn’t fooled, and the story received widespread ridicule. “He’s from Morocco which doesn’t make him a refugee, a migrant sure, and also he must’ve been sent back for a reason, probably because he mightve [sic] been a criminal or he came here illegally. Man cnn, you never post facts do you?” posted a John Morić.

“[R]efugee? from Morocco? What war are they in? I went on holiday there a few weeks ago,” posted Daniel Gee. “There is literally nothing in Morocco that would make an immigrant from there a ‘refugee’ … Best of luck to them but there literally is no war in Morocco lmao,” echoed Rachael Swanic.

The collective calling out of CNN for intentionally trying to deceive its audience was relentless. “Since when there is Moroccan refugees??? I know lots of Moroccans and the country is totally fine,” wrote Cecee Valentin.

“My husband is Moroccan, and I believe in freer immigration policies. However, this story is not something CNN should be posting; primarily because Morocco is safe and he is almost certainly not a refugee,” posted Beth Milne.

“He is Moroccan and can’t possibly be a refugee. I’m a lefty Canadian gay married to man from Ethiopia. No one is more sympathetic to refugees or immigration than me, but this story smacks of deceit. Please portray the facts truthfully.” wrote Lorne Breen.

“Frightening that CNN would post a story like this. Utter fake news. He is an economic migrant, not a “refugee” and CNN are taking advantage of a naive young girl by spreading this story, whether their relationship is real or not,” wrote Scott Hepburn Laing.

It’s not just Westerners who think CNN is lying, either. Moroccans themselves were quick to call out the publication. “CNN get your facts straight! There is no such thing as a Moroccan refugee. I am from Morocco and I can tell you that it’s perfectly fine. Your hate of Trump make you publish some unreadable stuff,” posted Hassani Karim.

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“He cannot be considered as a refugee if he’s from Morocco — there is no political crisis in Morocco…!” said Hamza Elb. “There’s no such thing called moroccan refugee, this guy went to europe so he can have a better life than he has in Morocco,” wrote El Idrissi Naya Yasser.

In addition to the numerous comments explaining to what is ostensibly one of the world’s leading news organizations that there are currently no refugees from Morocco, there were countless charges of “fake news.”

While the fact that CNN continues to push such blatantly dishonest narrative is disconcerting, the fact that so many of its readers are fed up of being lied to and willing to call out the network is surely a sign of progress.