It’s been six days since the tragic November 13 massacre in Paris. As expected, it drew out all the stupids on the left and right about the refugee crisis from the Middle East. On the left you’ve got post-colonial apologists like UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn saying it’s an attack on a ‘multicultural’ city but that the west has created a ‘situation’ for this to occur (no we didn’t Mr. Corbyn). And of course you’ve got all the loons from the right frothing at the mouth with an almost schadenfreude ‘I told you so’ glee. The Paris tragedy cemented justification in their anti-immigrant, xenophobic and racist views.
Some of the choice responses from the Right are:
“[The refugees] could be ISIS — I don’t know”
“They’re all men, and they’re all strong-looking guys. … There are so many men; there aren’t that many women. And I’m saying to myself: Why aren’t they fighting to save Syria? Why are they migrating all over Europe? Seriously.”
“Military tactics are very interesting. This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A 200,000-man army, maybe. Or if they sent 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 … that could be possible. I don’t know that it is, but it could be possible.”
“If I lose, I guess they’re staying. But if I win, they’re going back [to Syria].” – Donald Trump
Even as chaos rages in Paris, we need to take immediate, commonsense steps to preserve our own safety. We need to consult closely with our NATO allies who may be targeted for additional attacks. We need to immediately declare a halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS to the United States. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent ISIS agents from penetrating our nation by other means. – Ted Cruz
“I do not trust this administration to effectively vet the people who are proposed to be coming in, in order to protect the safety and security of the American people, so I would not permit them in,” Christie told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Hewitt pressed Christie on the possibility of even accepting “orphans under the age of 5,” but the governor held firm.
“We can come up with 18 different scenarios. The fact is that we need appropriate vetting, and I don’t think orphans under 5 should be admitted into the United States at this point,” Christie said.
“They have no family here. How are we going to care for these folks?” he asked. “The fact is, you can come up with a number of different scenarios, Hugh. But in the end, I don’t trust this administration to effectively vet the people that they’re asking us to take in. We need to put the safety and security of the American people first.” – Chris Christie
I reject both of these reactions. The left apologist attitude is every bit as infuriating as the xenophobic and racist attitude from the right. The west has nothing to apologize for terrorist attacks and killing of innocent people. The west have nothing to apologize for when foreigners come to our countries and shit on our values and way of life. The west is liberal and secular and as a result of such freedoms, there are things which leave a lot to be desired result, but we like our hard won freedoms, even if we have to put up with The Kardashians and Jersey Shore. It’s the price you pay for freedom.
The colonial past of the West is appalling, there’s no denying it, but it’s got nothing to do with the slaughter carried out by ISIS in France, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. These people would have done what they’ve done regardless if the Middle East was colonized or not. They are sick, twisted, demented beasts who aren’t fit to be called human, nothing they do can be justified.
As Paris was in turmoil, radical Islamists in the UK convened a meeting in Bedford, England stating it’s every Muslim’s duty to establish an ‘Islamic State’ in the UK and to enforce Shariah Law. I have no problem telling these people to pack their shit and go home, and if they are second generation Muslims they can follow their parents back to their countries of origin and see how they like it. Really, go back to whatever hell hole you came from and preach your hate there. Stay there. Live in third world conditions where healthcare isn’t free and you aren’t entitled to welfare benefits if you can’t find work. Please. Do us all a favor and wage your sick twisted jihad there.
The duty of every immigrant, migrating to any place in the world is first and foremost to respect the laws, customs and culture of the host nation. This is not to say you can’t celebrate your own heritage and practice your faith and cultural customs but you cannot expect your host nation to accommodate your every demand. The immigrant has to assimilate while the host nation need to be gracious and sensitive to the needs of newcomers. Integration is a two way street.
If for any reason, I, a very liberal western and Christian woman, have to move to a Islamic country for work, I would respect said country’s customs and dress modestly and cover my hair if that is required of me. I would not seek to stand out like a sore thumb with my western clothing or my hair exposed as it would offend the sensibilities of a modest society. I also wouldn’t go to a local restaurant and demand they cook me a rack of babyback ribs and when they don’t shout abuse at them. I also wouldn’t go to an Islamic country and preach my Christian beliefs and if I am criticized proceed to denounce them as heretics and apostates and call them intolerant bigots (if I am not locked up first). If I find the restrictions and customs of a traditional Muslim society too restrictive for me, I’d seek a job transfer and if I can’t, I put up and shut up until a time when I can leave. It’s that simple.
Due to harsh economic conditions, war, internal conflict, there is a mass movement of human migration right now (something humans have always done throughout history when conditions get tough). It’s not just people from Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq, people from the African continent are migrating northward to Europe too, crossing the same treacherous seas in search of a more tolerable life, even if it’s one at the bottom of the economic heap. It’s not a political discussion of pro or anti-migration or what a bunch of brown and black people will do to a secular white Europe, it’s happening because the conditions in the world right now drive people to migrate. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop it, just like the United States couldn’t stop Mexicans and Central Americans from crossing the US border illegally, sometimes multiple times if they fail. It’s the nature of humans to fight or flight. Many right-wing European governments blame Angela Merkel’s largess and generosity for the refugee crisis, but it’s not her fault, they are coming anyways. All she did was propose a humane and responsible solution to the crisis. She didn’t start the war in Syria, she didn’t order the German army into Iraq and dismantle the whole government on false intelligence, she didn’t order troops into Afghanistan, she was minding her own business in Germany. The refugees came to her doorstep and she chose the moral high ground above all the noise and proposed a solution instead of dithering, unlike what she did with every other crises that went before her.
The United States have agreed to take in 15,000 registered Syrian refugees in the next two years and by 2017, 100,000 Syrian refugees will be resettled in the United States . These refugees are chosen from the UN Refugee Resettlement program, which means they need to be formally registered with the UNHCR and prove their status as refugees. It’s also the only way they can receive aid from the UN. The argument from the Republicans is there is no way to vet every single one of them to make sure they have no nefarious ties to ISIS. Fake Syrian documents are everywhere right now and can be purchased for a price, all of this is true, but does this mean as a nation we can turn away desperate people who’ve lost everything? And by the way, there is no ‘fail safe’ system, human or machine. There’s no fail safe way to detect welfare fraud, food stamp fraud, public housing fraud, immigration fraud, none of it. You put in the best anti-fraud process in place along with diligent due process by humans and you hope for the best. This doesn’t sound encouraging or promising but believing that we can create a fail safe process for any system is naive, foolish and unrealistic. So when the FBI director was asked if we can one-hundred percent guarantee no ISIS infiltrators can pose as a refugee and come to the US. The honest and prudent answer is of course ‘no’.
The immediate assumption by right-wing parties in Europe and the US is Syrians, especially Syrian Muslims, have no clue about western culture and values. They will bring their backward and barbaric ways with them, their supposed intractable conservative views (about same-sex relationships, liberal attitudes towards sex etc) are not compatible with western liberal attitudes of live and let live. This is a fallacy of gross proportions. And some Republican candidates and European leaders differentiate Christian Syrian refugees v. Muslim Syrian refugees with the belief (again, wrong) at least the Christians are more civilized because Christian people, just by virtue of being Christian, are civilized (cough gag cough). Because they are Christian, they will be more amenable to a secular western society. Again, all assumption not based on facts.
There is no question any immigrant coming to America needs to respect our laws, our customs and our culture, however repugnant they find it. They don’t have to like it but they must respect it. Not even Americans like everything about America, but it’s our home, our country so we give it proper respect.
For all the governors who are rejecting Syrian refugees, many whom have small children, shame on you. You call yourself Christians? You don’t know the first thing about being Christian, which is ‘love thy neighbor as you love yourself’ – and to clarify ‘neighbor’ means other people you encounter, not your literal nextdoor neighbor. You do not get to shame my religion by being a bigot. And the ‘religious test’ as some geniuses recommend be given to every Syrian refugee before they resettle in the US, the Republicans will fail it at every turn.