Dying humanitarian instinct: West’s indifference towards Muslim migrants
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2016-02-06 10:40:50

Dying humanitarian instinct: West’s indifference towards Muslim migrants

mi

Refugees are reasonable people in desperate circumstances. Life for many of the 1m-odd asylum-seekers who have fled Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries for Europe in the past year has become intolerable. Europe is peaceful, rich and accessible. Most people would rather not abandon their homes and start again among strangers. But when the alternative is the threat of death from barrel-bombs and sabre-wielding fanatics, they make the only rational choice. The flow of refugees would have been manageable if European Union countries had worked together, as Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has always wished. Instead Germany and Sweden have been left to cope alone. Today their willingness to do so is exhausted. Unless Europe soon restores order, political pressure will force Mrs Merkel to clamp down unilaterally, starting a wave of border closures . More worrying, the migrant crisis is feeding xenophobia and political populism. The divisive forces of right-wing nationalism have already taken hold in parts of eastern Europe. If they spread westward into Germany, France and Italy then the EU could tear itself apart. Chancellor Angela Merkel followed that announcement by declaring that refugees will be sent back to Syria and Iraq after the war is over, even though such a prospect seems distant and the refugees will likely have rebuilt their lives in Germany. Some refugees in Germany will also not be allowed to bring their immediate families. The message sent to Muslims who are already facing deaths at the hands of the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and other countries is clear: you are not welcome here. The reasons for condemning Denmark and every other country which have unreasonably restricted refugees from entering are obvious enough. Pure humanitarian instincts alone should guard against such hateful actions being carried out. Such rhetoric also encourages attacks on refugees, as in Sweden where masked men have been handing out pamphlets threatening to attack migrants, in France where a school teacher falsely claimed to have been attacked by an Islamic State member and in Berlin where a girl recanted her accusation of having been raped by an immigrant. The West has a greater responsibility towards these refugees, a responsibility it has clearly shirked, as shown by a recent Europol report which claimed that more than 10,000 migrant children have gone missing. This is simply not good enough. After all, it was the misbegotten invasion of Iraq that directly led to the rise of the Islamic State; Western intervention and invasion in the Middle East has led to a breakdown of society in many places whose immediate and worst victims have been innocent people. The West now has a debt to pay for the lives that have been ruined. Retreating into a fortress from which Muslims are kept out shows moral cowardice and shameless opportunism.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

 

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