This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Refugee Perspective

The word "refugee" is a legal term, one defined by several international treaties. These documents brought the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) into existence, and sustain the relevance of the United Nations agency responsible for refugees to this day.
The contents of these treaties, however, sit oddly with how the UNHCR has comprehensively sought to hoodwink the European public about the predominant status of the demographic influx into their continent this year.
None of these documents -- the 1951 Refugee Convention; the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, or the EU's own Dublin Regulations -- grants the right of refugee status to those traversing several safe countries, and illegally crossing multiple borders, to shop for the best welfare state.
Even a legitimate refugee from Syria now living, for example, in Turkey or Lebanon, loses his refugee status by paying a people-smuggler to travel to Europe. According to international law, that refugee then becomes an "asylum seeker." Only when his asylum claim has been investigated and judged to be valid by a requisite domestic agency, is he once again a "refugee."
George Igler, political analyst, Director of the Discourse Institute, London. Gatestone Institute

It is a dilemma, one that has been presented as a moral obligation to meet. The result of an intersection of a country's murdering tyrant who has gassed, strafed and bombed his own civilian population in response to a sectarian uprising of a Sunni majority in Syria protesting against their oppression by a Shiite minority, and an influx of Islamist jihadis that introduced a terrorist Islamist group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, matching the regime's brutality, both producing a mass of suffering humanity.

And that mass of suffering humanity has migrated beyond the borders of the country that was once their home, seeking shelter from attacks mostly from their homeland's dictator, to find a future for themselves and their families elsewhere in the Middle East where what passes for peace and security elsewhere still prevails, even though those other countries also struggle with the bitter animosities of tribalism and sectarian hatreds.

Syrians fleeing the carnage mounted upon them by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have filled refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. They represent a teeming multitude of humanity. Some among the migrants numbering about four million [as opposed to the seven million Syrians who have fled their homes but remain within the country as displaced citizens] live not in refugee camps but in cities, renting apartments, working for wages less than the indigenous workers.

They are being given haven, not the opportunity to be absorbed by the larger population. There is resentment at their presence from among the local population who see them as intruders and unfair competition for employment. They are not welcomed as prospective long-term residents and citizens of those countries which have opened their borders to receive them on a temporary basis. Their plight in that regard is similar to that of the Palestinians.

Most of the refugees would like to go to Europe. Those with money buy their passage through smugglers to Europe across the Adriatic or the Mediterranean or overland at great risk in a gamble that if they manage to arrive they will be absorbed. Europeans obviously have softer hearts than Middle Easterners. But the really big allure is that many European countries are welfare states. European countries that previously accepted earlier waves of immigrants and migrants have discovered that quite a few have no intention of working to earn their living.

They prefer instead to receive welfare. Nor do they adapt readily to the European way of life. They chafe at what they perceive as an inferior set of laws and values in comparison to Sharia, which they eventually promote and insist should be recognized to represent their interests in reflection of their large numbers abroad. The Middle East lifestyle does not adapt readily to the European model. And European countries have been lax in insisting that immigrants prioritize the need to accept the language, law and custom of their new country.

The result is that within European countries that have opened their borders to migrants from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, there now exists competition for the prevailing law, language, custom and values. Those emanating from Muslim-majority countries in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East tend to congregate in ghettos, hostile to the social contract of the host country. And they bring their tribal and sectarian antipathies and racial/ethnic hatreds with them.

As an example, though most Muslims living in Europe are law-abiding citizens who wish only to be able to get on with their lives, a significant number remain hostile to their host country's laws, preferring the introduction of Sharia. A large percentage are also supportive of militant Islam. The Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies last year surveyed thousands of people in seven countries in the Middle East, Syrian refugees among them.

The question was asked of them: "To what extent do you support or oppose the declared objectives of the anti-ISIL campaign to 'degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL?'". To which 20 percent of Syrian refugees were opposed, with another 11 percent strongly opposed. When asked whether "the military airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL and other militant groups in Iraq and Syria could be supported", 37 percent of Syrian refugees opposed.

When asked who represented the biggest threat to their security, 22 percent responded Israel, and 19 percent cited the United States, with 11 percent naming "Islamic militancy" as the greatest threat. These are hardened attitudes they bring with them when they migrate abroad. And it is these attitudes and perceptions that trickle down to following generations born in the countries that accept them as citizens which result in part, in Muslims born in Europe, attacking European symbols because of their perceived oppression of Muslims.
The British polling organization ORB International, an affiliate of WIN/Gallup International, repeatedly finds in Syria that, throughout the country, Syrians oppose ISIS by about 80%, and (in the latest such poll) also finds that 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. for ISIS.
82% agree “IS [Islamic State] is US and foreign made group.”
79% agree “Foreign fighters made war worse.”
70% agree “Oppose division of country.”
65% agree “Syrians can live together again.”
64% agree “Diplomatic solution possible.”
57% agree “Situation is worsening.”
51% agree “Political solution best answer.”
49% agree “Oppose US coalition air strikes.”
22% agree “IS is a positive influence.”
21% agree “Prefer life now than under Assad.”
Centre for Research on Globalization 

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