There are always certain issues, especially when clouded with emotive media imagery, which can result in people ceasing to reflect critically but simply run on emotions. The refugee issue is one such topic where emoting instead of thinking tends to predominate.
This has certainly been the case with the tragic Syrian refugee problem, with many saying we must do something, and we must do it now. Well, critical reflection is actually preferable to knee-jerk reactions, lest we simply make things far worse.
People are complaining that Europe, Australia and other places must simply take in far more refugees, no matter what. But a few facts and bits of evidence need to be considered here, instead of simply running on feelings. Let me offer a number of such facts.
Tony Abbott has just announced that he will take in more Syrian refugees. And according to a recent United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report on resettlement, Australia is among the world leaders in helping such refugees: www.unhcr.org/543408c4fda.pdf
As I have written elsewhere, no nation can have open slather policies here, and each nation has a right to defend its borders and determine what is a feasible number of refugees or asylum seekers that can be accepted. I discuss in greater detail the political as well as biblical data on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/11/09/christians-and-asylum-seekers/
And when it comes to Muslim immigration, we must be even wiser, as the spread of political Islam and creeping sharia is often accomplished by means of immigration. Please read this for more detail: billmuehlenberg.com/2009/08/27/western-immigration-and-global-jihad/
For example, the BBC reports that fake passports are already being used to get jihadists into Europe: “German customs officers have seized packages containing Syrian passports and police suspect they are being sold illegally to asylum seekers. A finance ministry official said both genuine and forged passports were in the packets intercepted in the post.”
And IS has threatened to send 500,000 migrants to Europe as part of jihad:
ISIS has threatened to flood Europe with half a million migrants from Libya in a ‘psychological’ attack against the West, it was claimed today. Transcripts of telephone intercepts published in Italy claim to provide evidence that ISIS is threatening to send 500,000 migrants simultaneously out to sea in hundreds of boats in a ‘psychological weapon’ against Europe if there is military intervention against them in Libya.
Many would be at risk of drowning with rescue services unable to cope. But authorities fear that if numbers on this scale arrived, European cities could witness riots. Separately, the militants hope to cement their control of Libya then cross the Mediterranean disguised as refugees, according to letters seen by Quilliam the anti-terror group, reported by the Telegraph.
Or as another report warns:
ISIS says thousands of fighters are already in place in Europe, disguised as refugees, just waiting for the signal. An operative working for Islamic State has revealed that the terror group has successfully smuggled thousands of covert Jihadists into Europe, the Express writes.
The Syrian operative claimed more than 4,000 covert ISIS gunmen had been smuggled into western nations – hidden amongst innocent refugees. The ISIS smuggler, who is in his 30s with a trimmed jet-black beard, revealed the ongoing clandestine operation is a complete success. “Just wait,” he smiled.
We must also ask why most rich Muslim nations are refusing to take in these refugees. Perhaps they know something we don’t: “Five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have taken no Syrian refugees in at all, arguing that doing so would open them up to the risk of terrorism. Although the oil rich countries have handed over aid money, Britain has donated more than Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar combined.”
Imagine that: Muslim nations admitting that Muslim refugees pose a genuine terrorist threat. Yet the West is supposed to throw its doors wide open with no questions asked. That is a recipe for national suicide. Nonie Darwish, who has had to flee the Middle East herself, says this about “why Muslim countries rarely prepare for disaster to save lives of other Muslims and heavily rely on the West to rescue victims of Islamic jihad”:
-Muslim countries know that the West will take care of their mistakes so they don’t have to avoid the negative consequences of their actions.
-Western countries quickly come to the rescue, open their wallets and land to prove to the world that they are not Islamophobes.
-Arab countries lack compassion and action to rescue each other despite the rhetoric of Arab/Islamic unity. Saudi Arabia and Gulf nations never open their borders to poor Muslims in distress. Even Egypt rejected the Darfur refugees who were later forced to go to Israel, which took them.
-Oil rich Arab countries make it very difficult for other Arabs to visit except for haj. They are very tribal and refuse to dilute their culture with influx of foreigners. Third world country workers are treated inhumanely and are rarely given permanent residency, citizenship or equal rights as citizens.
-Arabs would rather spend their petrodollars on expanding their influence in the West rather than making life better for their own citizens or supporting other Muslim nations who are financially less fortunate.
-Islamic groups believe that refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan will spread Sharia in Europe, which is the main goal of jihad.
-By clearing the area from the opposition and citizens who are not contributing to the empowerment of ISIS, clears the way for ISIS to expand beyond Syria and Iraq. Europe and America are absorbing the opposition to ISIS, so why stand in the way?
Emotive images, like that of the poor dead boy lying on the beach, are relied upon to pull Western heartstrings, instead of having them think critically and rationally. As to the tragic case of the boy and his family, they of course had been living comfortably in free housing in Turkey for three years.
As one commentator writes, “Aylan was not in ‘harm’s way’. He was not a refugee. His family was not fleeing danger. Indeed, what his father particularly sought in Europe was a good dentist. Yes, Aylan’s terrible death does not tell us to open our borders. If anything, it warns us to be wary of the consequences of badly directed ‘compassion’.”
And as mentioned, humanitarian concerns must be balanced with national security concerns. The Prime Minister of Hungry has rightly argued that “Those who are overwhelmed cannot offer shelter to anyone”. His entire speech is well worth reading: www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/those-who-are-overwhelmed-cannot-offer-shelter-to-anyone
English commentator Peter Hitchens offers some sober thinking on all this. He is worth quoting at length:
Having seen more than my share of real corpses, and watched children starving to death in a Somali famine, I am not unmoved by pictures of a dead child on a Turkish beach. But I am not going to pretend to be more upset than anyone else. Nor am I going to suddenly stop thinking, as so many people in the media and politics appear to have done.
The child is not dead because advanced countries have immigration laws. The child is dead because criminal traffickers cynically risked the lives of their victims in pursuit of money. I’ll go further. The use of words such as ‘desperate’ is quite wrong in this case. The child’s family were safe in Turkey. Turkey (for all its many faults) is a member of Nato, officially classified as free and democratic. Many British people actually pay good money to go on holiday to the very beach where the child’s body was washed up.
It may not be ideal, but the definition of a refugee is that he is fleeing from danger, not fleeing towards a higher standard of living. Goodness knows I have done what I could on this page to oppose the stupid interventions by this country in Iraq, Libya and Syria, which have turned so many innocent people into refugees or corpses.
But I can see neither sense nor justice in allowing these things to become a pretext for an unstoppable demographic revolution in which Europe (including, alas, our islands) merges its culture and its economy with North Africa and the Middle East. If we let this happen, Europe would lose almost all the things that make others want to live there.
You really think these crowds of tough young men chanting ‘Germany!’ in the heart of Budapest are ‘asylum-seekers’ or ‘refugees’? Refugees don’t confront the police of the countries in which they seek sanctuary. They don’t chant orchestrated slogans or lie across the train tracks. And why, by the way, do they use the English name for Germany when they chant? In Arabic and Turkish, that country is called ‘Almanya’, in Kurdish something similar. The Germans themselves call it ‘Deutschland’. In Hungarian, it’s ‘Nemetorszag’.
Did someone hope that British and American TV would be there? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: spontaneous demonstrations take a lot of organising. Refugees don’t demand or choose their refuge. They ask and they hope. When we become refugees one day (as we may well do), we will discover this.
As to what those angry, confident and forceful young men actually are, I’ll leave you to work it out, as I am too afraid of the Thought Police to use what I think is the correct word. But it is interesting that this week sees the publication in English of a rather dangerous book, which came out in France just before the Charlie Hebdo murders.
Submission, by Michel Houellebecq, prophesies a Muslim-dominated government in France about seven years from now, ushered into power by the French Tory and Labour parties. What they want, says one of the cleverer characters in the book, ‘is for France to disappear – to be integrated into a European federation’. This means they’d much rather do a deal with a Muslim party than with the National Front, France’s Ukip equivalent. If any of this sounds familiar to you, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s amazing how likely and simple the author makes this Islamic revolution sound.
Can we stop this transformation of all we have and are? I doubt it. To do so would involve the grim-faced determination of Australia, making it plain in every way that our doors are open only to limited numbers of people, chosen by us, enduring the righteous scorn of the supposedly enlightened.
As we lack the survival instinct and the determination necessary, and as so many of our most influential people are set on committing a sentimental national suicide, I suspect we won’t.
To those who condemn reasonable calls for national self-defence as bigotry, hatred and intolerance (which they are not), I make only this request: just don’t pretend you’re doing a good and generous thing, when you’re really cowardly and weak.
As I said, emotional reactions are clearly not what we should rely upon when considering important international issues such as this. Clear thinking and critical evaluation of the evidence and the facts is what is required. And that seems to be in short supply in so much of the West today.
I close with the words of Paul Zanetti:
If there’s any one underlying message that must be read into the story of little Alyan it is that illegal human trafficking must be stopped, that the Abbott government’s successful policies must be widely adopted or the drownings will continue.
This must be balanced with an increased selective intake by all nations of genuine refugees, fleeing persecution or war or both. Australia has a proud history of settling refugees and migrants. This must continue.
Migration has been an overwhelmingly positive contributor to the growth, success and affluence of this nation – with exception, namely criminal ideologists who wish us harm, currently being addressed. Careful, selective immigration and genuine refugee intakes – not open border anarchy – will strengthen Australia and save lives while meeting our international obligations.