'you're 'fugees now'
October 31, 2015 6:37 PM   Subscribe

The Sad Fading Away of the Refugee Crisis Story

Image of Drowned Syrian, Aylan Kurdi, 3, Brings Migrant Crisis Into Focus. Aylan Kurdi was buried in Kobani, the city he and his family were fleeing. Why One Picture Cut Through

In two charts, this is what refugees say about why they are leaving Syria now
Five things you need to know about the European migrant crisis
Europe's Refugee Crisis
The crisis began with the deteriorating conditions in the Hungarian refugee system over the last year. It grew and grew over months, and finally this week, it reached a critical mass. At the same time, the inadequacy of Dublin regulations had become more and more apparent in, weeks – not least by the gruesome death of 71 refugees who suffocated to death in a smuggler’s truck on an Austrian highway. These were not people trying to enter ‘Fortress Europe’. They were trying to move inside of it. It was only a matter of time before the regulations, which drove so many into dangerous pacts with smugglers, would be openly challenged.
To return somebody to the country where they were first registered and fingerprinted is a complicated bureaucratic procedure, which can be challenged in the courts on many grounds. It also requires, obviously, the cooperation of the receiving-country, say Greece, Italy, or Hungary – countries which are facing very difficult situations, which are, in the case of Hungary, made even more difficult by the irresponsible actions of an extraordinarily right-wing government.
The Hungarian Conspiracy - "Hungary is fighting the hardest to avoid the new quota system, while at the same time doing its best to avoid an influx of refugees in Hungary itself, letting the situation in its refugee camps deteriorate so badly, that it is practically forcing refugees on to the West, making a quota system impossible. No refugee in their right mind would want to stay in the country, even if they were allowed to stay there, let alone its neighbors."
The migrant crisis is exposing Hungary’s slide toward autocracy. Here’s why the E.U. hasn’t cracked down.

Is it even the worst refugee crisis since WWII?

Black Sea, Arctic Routes To Europe Are More Dangerous And Longer Than Traditional Ways
Lost At Sea And Texting For Help
Tipping Points on the Road to Europe's Refugee Crisis
Perilous Crossings

WHO ARE THEY? (and who they are not)
The Refugee Crisis - What does it mean to be a migrant – or a refugee – in our time? What human rights can we rely on? And what hope is there for those who have fled their homes?
Ten Borders - One refugee’s epic escape from Syria.
In 2012, the Syrian civil war reached the suburbs of Damascus. Army tanks rolled over anti-government protesters in Ghouta; artillery shells fell on Darayya. One morning that May, a car bomb exploded in the town of Jdeidet Artouz, southwest of the capital. The blast jolted Ghaith, a twenty-two-year-old law student, out of bed. He lived in a two-bedroom apartment with his mother; his father had died when he was an infant, and his siblings—four sisters and a brother, all older—had left the house after getting married. Ghaith stepped to the window and pulled back the curtain. Across the street, a sedan was spewing flames. Body parts littered the road.

The victim was Ghaith’s neighbor, an Alawite man whom rebels had apparently targeted for assassination. In the weeks that followed, the government crackdown intensified. One of Ghaith’s nieces, a teen-ager, was imprisoned for posting a comment on Facebook that condemned a barrel-bomb attack by the Syrian Air Force on civilians in Homs. Government agents snatched two of Ghaith’s friends off the street and took them away. That August, the Army moved into Jdeidet Artouz and massacred dozens of people.
Thoughts On The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Migratory Words
Iva Radivojevic’s five-part essay film Evaporating Borders is a poetic, meditative study of migration, xenophobia, and belonging in Cyprus. The film charts the contours of Cyprus’ growing migrant population and the racism and exploitation that in recent years have risen to greet it. Since the film premiered in 2014, the relatively stable (if precarious and tense) climate of Evaporating Borders has exploded into a full-blown global crisis. This past summer, Radivojevic returned to Europe to shoot Notes From the Border which documents the daily arrival of more than 2,500 refugees to the Macedonian border with Greece, prompting Macedonia to declare a state of emergency.
What hopes do young refugees bring with them and what expectations do they have of the German people? Here are six responses.

“243 People Disappeared. Young People. Women. Children. And No One Cares”on the so-called 'Ghost Boat': 2, 3,4.

When You’re a Refugee and Your Husband Beats You, You’re Basically On Your Own

Migrant or refugee? That shouldn’t be a life or death question, but it is, even if Migrants [are] Welcome. Does The Right To Migrate Trumps Politics As Usual? Nobody wants to be a refugee

The Staggering Scale of Germany’s Refugee Project - "Imagine that civil wars in Central America doubled the number of undocumented immigrants entering the United States. Now imagine all those migrants heading to California."
It's not a refugee crisis, its a European Crisis. Or a crisis of liberal democracy, not migration

One salient feature has been the reaction of the various Christian communities in Europe. Christian politicians won’t say it, but the Bible is clear: let the refugees in, every last one. The Refugee Crisis and Christian Hope. Or turn them away In Defense of Christendom

Flüchtlinge: Der inszenierte Notstand
"Wir schaffen das!": Integration als Großaufgabe

During Germany's rebranding even Angela Merkel is getting praise for her handling of the crisis. More directly, can Europe learn from its past?
Why are they incomparable? Do we really think Latifa, Ali, and Ahmed are risking drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, suffocating to death in a truck in Austria, or dying of thirst on some Greek road because they love to travel? Because they are looking for a part-time job in England? Of course not. They too are fleeing extermination. They are taking the risk of drowning because they know the alternative is being gassed, bombed, or starved.
We Can’t Address the EU Refugee Crisis Without Confronting Global Capitalism
So what to do with hundreds of thousands of desperate people who wait in the north of Africa, escaping from war and hunger, trying to cross the sea and find refuge in Europe?

There are two main answers. Left liberals express their outrage at how Europe is allowing thousands to drown in Mediterranean. Their plea is that Europe should show solidarity by opening its doors widely. Anti-immigrant populists claim we should protect our way of life and let the Africans solve their own problems.

Which solution is better? To paraphrase Stalin, they are both worse.
It's been 25 years since reunification. Why are former East Germans responsible for somuch xenophobic violence?
Why Eastern Europeans Reject Refugee Quotas but not refugees themselves, possibly part of the region's shared Soviet heritage, and they remember the ethnic cleansing campaigns two generations back, in a big cultural difference. Taking in refugees will strengthen the far right. It's still the right thing to do.

Can this even be Europe's problem to solve? Should it?

'Everyone wants to leave': death of hope drives young Syrians to Europe
A Refugee Crisis Made In America
Significantly, the countries that have generated most of the refugees are all places where the United States has invaded, overthrown governments, supported insurgencies, or intervened in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq created a power vacuum that has empowered terrorism in the Arab heartland. Supporting rebels in Syria has piled Pelion on Ossa. Afghanistan continues to bleed 14 years after the United States arrived and decided to create a democracy. Libya, which was relatively stable when the U.S. and its allies intervened, is now in chaos, with its disorder spilling over into sub-Saharan Africa.

Everywhere people are fleeing the violence, which, among other benefits, has virtually obliterated the ancient Christian presence in the Middle East. Though I recognize that the refugee problem cannot be completely blamed on only one party, many of those millions would be alive and the refugees would for the most part be in their homes if it had not been for the catastrophic interventionist policies pursued by both Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States.
The Syrian refugee disaster is a result of the Middle East’s failure to grapple with modernity and Europe’s failure to defend its ideals

The Failure of Refugee Camps, the success of smartphones.

Europe’s Refugee “Crisis"
Yet this tragic phenomenon that is receiving so much global publicity is but a small trickle in the huge flow of people displaced globally by wars and conflicts in the areas where they live. According to the UNHCR, in 2014 alone, nearly 14 million people were forcibly displaced due to civil war or other violence. Most of these moved within their own country – 11 million people, who are internal refugees losing everything, and often retaining only the most uncertain of citizenship rights precisely because of the internal conflicts.

The 3 million who were cross-border refugees added to the estimated global total of 60 million displaced people, 19.5 million cross-border refugees and 1.95 million asylum seekers in 2014. Obviously in 2015 the numbers have gone up further, and the conflicts in many countries of origin have only intensified. But most of these displaced people – 86 per cent of them, in fact – are hosted by developing countries. The Least Developed Countries, with some of the lowest per capita incomes in the world and very poor conditions of infrastructure available to their own previously resident populations, were home to a quarter of the world’s refugees in 2014.
17 ways the unprecedented migrant crisis is reshaping our world, including possibly a coming demographic revolution. Weder eine dichte Grenze noch ein hartes Wort der Kanzlerin werden die Flüchtlinge aufhalten.

The Refugee Crisis Will Not Be Solved by Volunteers Bringing Blankets - but cellphones help!
The EU to call on member states to relocate a further 120,000 refugees, with Germany taking 500,000 a year for 'several years'.
Spain may take up to 15,000
Australia will take 12,000 refugees above the 13,750 planned.
Why Canada should take in 20 times more refugees. David Miliband thinks the US and Europe should take in many more of these necessary migrants.

so much more, too much more, at Omnivore:
Europe's refugee crisis
Things you need to know about the European migrant crisis

The Tears - Refugees

10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis

you think it's bad now - this is only the beginning. Let's make some money.
posted by the man of twists and turns (39 comments total) 152 users marked this as a favorite
The first article asks this question:

What new horror must we see — after the trauma and destruction so well documented over the past four years — to capture the world’s attention and finally end this war in Syria?

Any ideas about how to end the war in Syria? It's a problem from Hell.
posted by Nevin at 7:12 PM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

Damn, tmotat. Hell of a post.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:12 PM on October 31, 2015 [17 favorites]

Thank you for this huge effort. I've only read the first link, this will take time, but nothing is more important these days.

In a way, I feel the worries about the refugees are absurd. Don't misunderstand me, I think the crisis in Syria and Iraq is terrible and I completely understand the refugees. It's the reaction from Europe I don't get. The civil war in Syria is complicated and not easy to end. But the refugees are people we can very easily help. Why not?
posted by mumimor at 7:14 PM on October 31, 2015 [2 favorites]

incredible post. I've only read a few of the links so far, but thank you for putting this together, TMOTAT
posted by supermedusa at 7:15 PM on October 31, 2015 [3 favorites]

Amazing resource. I'm going to be digging through this for a while.
posted by immlass at 7:36 PM on October 31, 2015

A post as big as the crisis it's about. All my serious reading for the next day (or two). Bravo, twists, and you too, turns. (Excuse me if I call this the "ref-huge-ee" post.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:37 PM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

Excellent mega post.
One thing I do not see directly mentioned but is probably in there somewhere is the fact that neither Saudi Arabia or any of the gulf countries, all of whom are backing various parties in this deathly charnel house, are taking in refugees. Furthermore no other country seems to be calling them out and America which is the initial cause of this chaos and devastation is not doing much either.
posted by adamvasco at 7:51 PM on October 31, 2015 [6 favorites]

I am sure this is not an original thought, but while reading about the fears of European Islamization it occurred to me: these Syrian and Iraqi Sunni refugees are the middle and upper classes, from countries that have not until very recently had much radical / Salafist influence. In the 70s and 80s these countries had pretty secular outlooks, and the more mobile and cosmopolitan classes anyways often have a looser relation with religion. So my point is, these people once assimilated and well entrenched in Northern Europe are more a threat to radical Islam than they are a threat to Christian Europe. The larger and stronger the voice of moderate Muslims, living safely without fear of reprisals in secular states, the more chance there is of seeing a shift away from Salafism as the default Islam on the world stage.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:10 PM on October 31, 2015 [17 favorites]

There are an estimated 4 million refugees in the countries bordering Syria - over a million in Lebanon alone, almost 2 million in Turkey. Jordan has a population of about 8 million or so, and they've taken in over 600,000 refugees. Less than 10% of the people fleeing Syria attempt to cross into Europe.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 8:10 PM on October 31, 2015 [4 favorites]

We have to come up with a solution to help these people. As the planet warms, this is only going to become a problem with a different origin point. There's data which suggests that the entire Middle East will be uninhabitable by 2100. And what's worse, it is directly the Western world's fault.
posted by Automocar at 8:14 PM on October 31, 2015

So my point is, these people once assimilated and well entrenched in Northern Europe are more a threat to radical Islam than they are a threat to Christian Europe. The larger and stronger the voice of moderate Muslims, living safely without fear of reprisals in secular states, the more chance there is of seeing a shift away from Salafism as the default Islam on the world stage.

That depends on them being successfully assimilated. England hasn't successfully assimilated the fucking Scots, and they've had 400 to 800 years of trying, depending on how you'd like to count. The economy of Europe's fucked, its power relative to other areas of the world waning. The emotional current is fear and protect, the live wire of xenophobia only awaiting the right kind of demagogue to plug in.

We have to come up with a solution to help these people.

We don't, though. Have to. Instead, this is a case of "it would be nice if." Not being nice is easy and free. Being nice is hard and difficult and costs money. The world is too afraid right now to be nice, so we will be callous instead. First you put the oxygen mask on your own face. Then we all plunge screaming into the ocean.
posted by Diablevert at 8:45 PM on October 31, 2015 [5 favorites]

TMOTAT had a hard time finding his own way home after a war, iirc. It is meet (dare i say eponysterical ? no, i do not) that he should make this post.
posted by mwhybark at 10:40 PM on October 31, 2015

Wow, what a post. Thank you.
posted by rollbiz at 12:04 AM on November 1, 2015

Great post some thoughts on the links I've read:

The WP post are terrific, uncommonly so from the Washington Post, imho. Fact-based, often giving refugees as voice, not over-reaching, great stuff.

Eurozine - I feel like the writer hits upon a bit of a paradox here, perhaps unwittingly. They deride the elite liberals for holding an opinion in such a minority (welcome refugees!), but then demand elites simply persuade the populace of the rightness of such a position. Would that it were so easy.

I write this from Australia, a deeply xenophobic nation that currently locks up refugees in concentration camps where they are raped, murdered, beaten, and denied medical treatment. And our population is supportive of such measures - indeed, encourages harsher measures, if there could be such a thing! Persuading the population is not such an easy thing in the face of decades or centuries of embedded racism. Even moreso, I feel, when people - rightly or wrongly - feel a sense of precariousness that refugees exacerbate. I'm not proposing a solution, though I note, our polls on denying took a temporary dip during the period in which the drowned toddler was dominating local media. This brings me to:

Zizek - As always, eloquent, beguiling, provocative, specious in the extreme. Zizek is yet to met an argument he thought could be improved with facts. Thus, a veritable bukakke party of speculation. Zizek is comfortable speaking for refugees, the right, the left, the EU, those who hate the EU, all the while denying these parties a voice and certainly not burdening his piece with any detail. His claim that the global south consisted of "self-sufficient and relatively isolated local communities" is absolute ahistorical nonsense (nonsense, I might add, promulgated by those colonialists he rails against in the piece).

There are similar heroic assumption littered throughout the piece. His simplifications and ellipses skating under his smooth prose and bombardment of ideas. He is right about one thing though - Human movement is an integral part of humanity (not a product of capitalism, as he argues), and capitalism's response to it represents a gross failure of twentieth century liberalism, specifically the post WWII consensus.

He's also right in noting that the Syrian crisis is predominantly unique in how its forcing us in the west to confront the results of our policy, not so unique in its horror or scale.

Another great WP piece, thanks for linking to it.

Typical bullshit from American Conservative - the argument that immigrants change a 'host' culture is indisputable; the idea that it's a bad thing - coming from a fucking American, of all people - is stupid. I hope immigrants do change Germany, just as they've changed Australia, just as they change everything. The idea that Islam is incompatible with democracy secular society, etc etc, is so much clash of civilisations bullshit. It sickens me every time I see it getting a run. The idea of Muslims as a homogenous whole is racist, no ifs, no buts. The idea that Islam is practiced one way, even by Sunnis, even by Sunnis from the same town, is stupid, and untrue. Millions of Muslims are ecstatic at the thought of having a vote that means something; millions more live lives that are, if not indistinguishable, very very similar to your typical western atheist. The world has a Muslim problem; they are fucking racist about Muslims and unwilling to see the social, political, cultural, historical forces that shape how Islam is practiced and where.

That's enough from me! Thank you, very much, for this. I really appreciate it.
posted by smoke at 12:28 AM on November 1, 2015 [14 favorites]

Fascinating post. In addition to the rich Gulf countries' dubious efforts when it comes to taking in refugees, what is Israel doing?
posted by bouvin at 2:23 AM on November 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

it still a massive, almost daily news story in most parts of Europe (including the UK)

this picture (Darko Bandic/AP) was on the front page of the FT a few days ago; more in depth coverage: How Europe's migrant crisis evolved

some photo essays...
-Perilous Crossings
-Migrant crisis in Europe
-Thousands of Migrants Are Crossing the Balkans on Foot (curated by mefi's own alan taylor)

also btw...
  • The end of the Merkel era is within sight - "the refugee crisis that has broken over Germany is likely to spell the end of the Merkel era. With the country in line to receive more than a million asylum seekers this year alone, public anxiety is mounting — and so is criticism of Ms Merkel, from within her own party. Some of her close political allies acknowledge that it is now distinctly possible that the chancellor will have to leave office, before the next general election in 2017."
  • If Angela Merkel is ousted, Europe will unravel - "Ms Merkel's vulnerability speaks to the convulsions across Europe caused by the tide of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Maghreb and Sahel countries of Africa. In the eastern, post-communist part of the continent, the influx has strengthened the hands of the ethnic nationalists who never quite signed up to the idea of liberal democracy. To the west it has bolstered the fortunes of nativists such as Marine Le Pen's National Front in France. Rallies of the far-right Pegida party in Germany now feature speakers who lament the loss of concentration camps. If Britain's David Cameron loses his referendum to keep Britain in the EU it will be because emotions over migration trump economic self-interest."
As the planet warms, this is only going to become a problem with a different origin point.

How Climate Change Sparked Syria's Civil War
posted by kliuless at 2:46 AM on November 1, 2015 [7 favorites]

That depends on them being successfully assimilated. England hasn't successfully assimilated the fucking Scots, and they've had 400 to 800 years of trying...

I really think the common European view of integration and assimilation needs to change. In Denmark, where I'm currently living, the attitude seems to be that to integrate immigrants need to become culturally Danish, which obviously is largely impossible - even on a multi-generational timescale. There is little tolerance for the idea that what it means to be Danish might change. (My personal attitude is that every countries' cultural landscape changes so radically over time anyway that you may as well roll in some immigrant cultural references as well, and refugees generally make very good citizens.)

There is only a small level of acceptance that people can come here, be different, and be Danish at the same time - and that that might be ok. So immigrants are excluded from much of Danish life because they "don't integrate" - ignoring the fact that they can't integrate on those terms.

In short, integration equaling "be like us" is daft and often xenophobic.
posted by deadwax at 3:42 AM on November 1, 2015 [9 favorites]

" One thing I do not see directly mentioned but is probably in there somewhere is the fact that neither Saudi Arabia or any of the gulf countries, all of whom are backing various parties in this deathly charnel house, are taking in refugees. Furthermore no other country seems to be calling them out and America which is the initial cause of this chaos and devastation is not doing much either."

There are certain Arab nations who are not taking refugees. Part of this is because the refugees are not going there. The reason the refugees are not going there is that they know it is better to drown in the Mediterranean. My understanding is that to go to Saudi Arabia is a decision on par with going to Assad's government forces and asking them to arrest you and make you disappear.

That said, you would not believe the number of refugees that Syria herself made welcome over the last several decades. Syria accepted hundreds and hundreds of thousands of refugees from every conflict in the Middle East. This is one reason we owe a debt to the Syrians to welcome them now.
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:20 AM on November 1, 2015 [7 favorites]

these Syrian and Iraqi Sunni refugees are the middle and upper classes, from countries that have not until very recently had much radical / Salafist influence.

Hence the article one sees from time to time on the radicalization of the second generation. It's almost a trope at this point.
posted by jpe at 5:21 AM on November 1, 2015

I wish there were a rule that countries killing people in other countries had to accept three refugees as full citizens for every person killed. I get so sick of the cycle of "there's a crisis! We have to do something!" being invariably answered with bombing.
posted by burden at 7:04 AM on November 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

My mum writes from Germany regularly at the moment. Recently her parish hosted a meeting between newly arrived Syrian women and local women. Not having a shared language, my mum and a woman from Syria resorted to showing each other pictures of their family on their phones. She showed them a photo of me, and the other mum also had a photo of an older son. Her younger boy, who was present, made a gesture of a gun to the head. It dawned on my mum that inviting the Syrian women to tea and cakes had only served to make it clear how deeply traumatised everybody was.
posted by yoHighness at 7:27 AM on November 1, 2015 [5 favorites]

I am sure this is not an original thought, but while reading about the fears of European Islamization it occurred to me: these Syrian and Iraqi Sunni refugees are the middle and upper classes, from countries that have not until very recently had much radical / Salafist influence. In the 70s and 80s these countries had pretty secular outlooks, and the more mobile and cosmopolitan classes anyways often have a looser relation with religion.

A bit out of topic, but the statement about mobile and cosmopolitan classes having looser relation with religion (in this case Islam) isn't really true; it'll be too long to explain, but in Indonesia, for example, in some parts of the country it's kind of the opposite where the Nadhlatul Ulama's followers (one of the two biggest Islamic group in the country) --- most of them not really rich or cosmopolitan --- are more 'looser' with religion inasmuch as 'looser' means having more subtlety and more personal spiritual focus in its teaching as opposed to the rigid dogmas of the hardline Salafis. Meanwhile, some large parts of the emerging middle class in here are attracted to the aforementioned dogmas, just with a more intellectual bent on them.

The same phenomenon could be seen in other developing-world Moslem-majority countries where economic classes can't really predict whether or not one is more moderate or radical; even in Syria (where I once studied for a year) it's not really true, where the most 'radical' person that I've met was from one of the rich families in Dimasyq (Damascus) and the village people that I've met (around the capital) having the most tolerant and 'loose' interpretation of Islamic teachings.

This is because the Islamic tradition as a whole has a different characteristics compared to Christianity, I presume. But that's another topic entirely.
posted by tirta-yana at 7:55 AM on November 1, 2015 [4 favorites]

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
from The New Colossus, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. (Recently recalled by kalessin, elsewhere.) What's happened since this inspired a continent/generation?

I was listening to a radio documentary on Albert Einstein's politics yesterday - seems like national identities are hastening headlong toward their due comeuppance, though sadly not in peace / by choice.
posted by progosk at 8:23 AM on November 1, 2015

What's happened since this inspired a continent/generation?

Not to be too cynical on a Sunday morning, but the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886. By the time that phrase was inscribed, we'd had well over a century of importation of Chinese labor to build the railroads, a war over slavery and secession, forced relocation of entire nations of indigenous peoples across the continent, a war with Mexico for massive amounts of territory, and a legacy of brutal oppression of immigrants. I'd argue that the inscription and perhaps even the entire Statue are simply PR. Kind of like "clean coal."
posted by Existential Dread at 10:36 AM on November 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

An interactive map showing the flow of refugees towards Europe based on data published by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
posted by baueri at 5:32 AM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

It doesn't matter if it is seen as "fading away" in the local media. The reality will not be denied.
posted by tarvuz at 12:31 PM on November 2, 2015

baueri this is your link.
As pointed out above this is still front page news in Europe and will probably stay so for some time.
Winter is coming and the Mediterranean is no longer a calm blue sea. Temperatures in the Balkans are dropping and these poor people who are fleeing the strife in search of a better life are in for a very hard time.
Three days ago a friend of mine on passage between Turkey and Lesvos counted 7 refugee boats in about an hour.
posted by adamvasco at 3:52 PM on November 2, 2015

Mod note: Fixed link.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:17 PM on November 2, 2015

You know things are bad when stories fade even on MeFi...
posted by progosk at 2:08 AM on November 3, 2015

Winter is coming, and German tempers are up.
posted by progosk at 2:58 AM on November 3, 2015

The EU to call on member states to relocate a further 120,000 refugees, with Germany taking 500,000 a year for 'several years'.
Spain may take up to 15,000
Australia will take 12,000 refugees above the 13,750 planned.

These numbers are so ridiculously low, with all the hullabaloo one would expect them to be exponentially higher. The thought that 15,000 Arabs have got 46 million Spaniards quaking in their boots is rather heartwarming.

Almost 340,000 migrants and refugees have been spotted at the borders of the European Union since January

340,000 isn't that much is it? Entering the whole of the EU. This doesn't even come close to making a dent in the population decrease Europe is projected to have in the next 10 years.

I sometimes wonder, cynically, if there isn't some European recognition that when they went to other continents in the tens of thousands, they did so to colonize them - and now they view everyone entering their borders as having the same intentions they would have, were it in the opposite direction.

Perhaps they're all just afraid of Mustafa Saeed:
When Mahmoud Wad Ahmed was brought in shackles to Kitchener after his defeat at the Battle of Atbara, Kitchener said to him, “Why have you come to my country to lay waste and plunder?” It was the intruder who said this to the person whose land it was, and the owner of the land bowed his head and said nothing. So let it be with me. In that court I hear the rattles of swords in Carthage and the clatter of the hooves of Allenby’s horses desecrating the ground of Jerusalem. The ships at first sailed down the Nile carrying guns not bread, and the railways were originally set up to transport troops; the schools were started so as to teach us how to say “Yes” in their language. They imported to us the germ of the greatest European violence, as seen on the Somme and at Verdun, the like of which the world has never previously known, the germ of a deadly disease that struck them more than a thousand years ago. Yes, my dear sirs, I came as an invader into your very homes: a drop of the poison which you have injected into the veins of history. ‘I am no Othello. Othello was a lie.’”
posted by xqwzts at 12:49 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

excellent , thank you.
posted by Jelibela at 2:15 AM on November 5, 2015

The New Nazism, Paul Simon
Last week, I was standing behind a police barricade in Leipzig. Only yards away, but impossible to hear over the deafening noise of the counter-demonstration, hundreds of fascists were holding a rally. For an hour, we had been staring at the faceless mass of people on the other side, when suddenly a figure emerged and waved in our direction, taunting us. He began to unroll a flag: “Stop Nazis”, it said in big letters, with a big crossed-out swastika beneath it. It was a surreal, disorienting moment.
So what does it mean if, in this context, someone at an anti-refugee demonstration waves a flag belonging to his enemies? Is that a fascist’s idea of a joke? Was he only trying to provoke ANTIFA leftists, or was he really an anti-fascist?

Especially in Germany, but I presume in most other places as well, there is a certain resistance to probing too deeply into the ideological universe of what are ultimately violent criminals. By taking their positions too seriously, we risk providing them with legitimacy. Everything that is outside of the acceptable spectrum of political opinion, everything that is guilty of being anti-democratic, racist, or anti-Semitic, we like to quickly label as “Nazi” – and rightly so, I might add.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:27 PM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Very interesting article, that - thanks tmotat

There is so much at stake, and it's ominous how a lot of it is just bubbling along under the general radar.
posted by progosk at 3:19 AM on November 10, 2015

posted by growabrain at 7:12 PM on November 16, 2015

From Syria to Texas, the long odds of being admitted as a refugee
I met a Syrian woman in Houston, Lina, who went through that screening. She arrived in Houston with her husband and four children last December. They're from the Syrian city of Homs, a stronghold of opposition to the Syrian government. Her family fled to another Syrian city where they spent a year-and-a-half. Then they spent a year-and-a-half in Egypt. Eventually, they were relocated to Houston, a city she'd never heard of, where she knew no one.

This is the typical process: Syrians are displaced within their own country, then go to a neighboring country, then a third country. It's a long path for refugees from any nation to eventually get to the United States, and it's been especially slow with Syrians, said Wafa Abdin, vice president of immigration and refugee services with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

"The whole political situation there <Syria>, because of the rise of Isis, most of the people who are coming are Muslim, so there is this idea we want to make sure, absolutely, they're not terrorists, they're not connected to them, they're not going to come to hurt the homeland. So, as a result, very few are being approved," said Abdin.

We spoke last week, prior to the Paris attacks, and I asked her if she thought the US government was processing people too slowly or doing the necessary due diligence to keep us safe?

"It's really hard to answer this question," said Abdin. "I understand that this would be a huge concern. But at same time, I personally think that these are people in dire need of help. All we see are families with young kids and people who really are in a bad situation."
Refugees in America - "750,000 refugees have been resettled in America since 9/11. Not one has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges."

Steve Jobs' biological father was Syrian migrant, some note - "Steve Jobs' biological father, Abdulfattah 'John' Jandali, was born in 1931 to a prominent Syrian family, the youngest of nine children. He grew up in Homs, Syria, a city since ravaged by the nation's civil war."

We all cried when we saw this photo. Then we forgot. - "A close study of European newspapers found that the moving image of a dead Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, only made a small impact on the overall coverage of the migrant crisis in Europe."

Whose Lives Matter? - "When refugees die on Europe's borders, the West wants to act, but when Assad rains barrel bombs on Homs, no one cares."

#RefugeeLivesMatter - "They matter because when we draw the line between those near and far, and those who look like us and those who don't, those whose names we can easily pronounce and those which we cannot, we participate in the same kind of dehumanizing that allows people to do such awful things to each other in the first place."
posted by kliuless at 9:33 AM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]

« Older Stand up, cheap!   |   I am named after the daughter my father lost Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments