The large influx of migrants racing across the border of Europe has been the largest amount since World War II. Hundreds of thousands of people from conflicting zones in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere have been taking boats, trains or walking the long trek to secure a better life. A refugee by definition is “someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons.” As the reader can see, this does not include economic disparity or environmental issues. Since there has been an obvious push back in politics as to who should accept them and how many should be accepted, we must examine the added ideas as to what a refugee is. In America the word refugee is frequently accompanied by immigrant or immigration, which is, in itself, an already hotly debated topic. Linking the Mexican immigration debate with Syrian refugees (even though the issues behind each are politically different) allows the public to categorize them as the same, thus already deciding on refugees based on their opinions of immigration. Other aspects of a refugee such as national origin, religion, gender and race are characteristics taken into account as well.
Linking the Mexican immigration debate with Syrian refugees (even though the issues behind each are politically different) allows the public to categorize them as the same, thus already deciding on refugees based on their opinions of immigration.
Currently, Muslims in the western world have been categorized as terrorists due to the fear and misunderstanding of Islam and the Muslim culture. It is understandable to have fear based on past experiences (9/11, Paris attacks in November 2015, Charlie Hebdo, San Bernardino shooting and others) but the temptation to generalize is the real danger. Education is a strong tool and should be used to further your knowledge and understanding of what the world really is, not what it looks like.
The European Union (EU), which has been unable to solve the problem thus far, has put forth many ideas to help slow or stop the flow of refugees. The EU has suspended the Dublin Regulation for Syrians, which states that a refugee has to seek asylum in the first country they set foot in. Germany’s proposal is to increase the number of refugees admitted into Germany. France also agrees that there should be a binding number of refugees for all EU members to accept to help balance the burden. Places like Hungary, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia have temporarily closed their borders to any refugees who are not fleeing a war-torn area and in some cases to all refugees no matter their status. The United States has agreed to resettle at least 85,000 refugees with a minimum of 10,000 being Syrian. Others have proposed to keep all refugees in their homeland and provide safe zones on the ground and in the air to allow for an easy return when the war is over. To accompany this last plan is increased financial, medicine and food aid to camps in all countries.
Looking back in history, two recurring causes of war and destruction are misunderstanding and fear.
All of these countries have their own idea, however, they all have one thing in common, security. Some countries believe that to ensure their country’s security they should accept refugees to help reduce the amount of misunderstood hatred. Others believe that closing their country off to possible threats is the best way to guard against it. Looking back in history, two recurring causes of war and destruction are misunderstanding and fear. In 1914, the distrust of Germany, France and Russia led to quick and rash decisions starting World War I. With the rise of Hitler in 1933 hate propaganda spread rapidly allowing the killing of up to 17 million people. With the fear of Communism, countries went head first into wars that probably could have been prevented or settled off the battlefield. After 9/11 the horror of the United States lapse in security and the acknowledgment that “they” could get us sent the United States into a 13-year war costing thousands of lives and four to six trillion dollars.
Now, once again, we are at a crossroads in history where misunderstanding and fear are shaping our decisions. I am not, and do not profess to be, an expert in the migrant crisis but I do know that we have approached similar circumstances in the past and should learn from our mistakes. I do not have the answers to what can solve this problem but I do think that showing the refugees that the west can and are willing to help keep them safe and provide them with basic human resources (water, food, medicine and shelter) will be beneficial to everyone’s security and economy in the future.
U.S. Presidential Candidates View:
- Not an intellectually smart decision to accept refugees.
- Allowing up to 65,000 Syrian refugees with a careful screening and vetting process.
- All those who are fleeing, besides Christians, should be resettled in the Middle East in Muslim countries. Christians should be provided safe haven in the United States.
- Allowing refugees would be a security risk to the United States.
- Can’t take more refugees because they cannot be properly background-checked.
- United States should take its full responsibility in helping refugees (no specific number).
- Will not accept refugees and will send all back.
When you ask both Hillary’s campaign and Bernie Sanders’ campaign how 65,000 refugees can be vetted when no records exist in their home country, a place where all of the records have been set on fire or otherwise destroyed by bombings or deliberately destroyed to keep some of them from leaving, and/or where the places which refugees claim to have lived no longer exist, the Hillary campaign has no answer. They also have no answer to the statement by America’s head of vetting, FBI director James Comey, who says quite directly and under oath before Congress, that it is impossible… Read more »
“It is understandable to have fear based on past experiences (9/11, Paris attacks in November 2015, Charlie Hebdo, San Bernardino shooting and others..”
Earth to Emmaly…come in please.
There have been thousands of Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11 and your despicable suggestion that they have been somewhat limited is disgusting. Visit the website the “religion of Peace’ where every single Muslim terrorist attack is listed including the location, the number dead, the number wounded and those behind the attack, and you will discover that Islamic terrorism never ends and that it has killed tens of thousands since 9/11.
“Education is a strong tool and should be used to further your knowledge and understanding of what the world really is, not what it looks like.” You should practice what you preach otherwise you are nothing more than another in the long line of hypocrites. If you educate yourself about Islam, Mohammed, the Hadiths and Qur’an then you will learn that Islam is a supremacist, sadistic ideology that is determined to conquer the entire globe. You will learn that in a relatively short 1,400 years Islam has violently conquered vast areas of land and that currently Islam is doing the… Read more »
I’ve got a novel idea. Let’s do nothing. Let the Muslims deal with their own problems for a change. Let’s let countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait with their endless ocean of money and Western-bought armaments figure it out instead. Surely they – being practitioners of the religion of compassion and peace – will step right up to the plate in our stead. OK, you caught me there. You knew I was kidding! You knew what I know which is that there is no answer to these Islamic cesspools. Whatever we do will be discredited and if we do nothing… Read more »
I’ve got one more great idea. You should invite a few Muslim male Syrian immigrants into your dorm room. You should also invite some to your parents houses and grandparents houses and friends and relative’s houses too. Then wait a year before writing another article on this topic because then you will be writing from reality instead of from your Alice in Wonderland fantasy world. In addition by doing so you will practice what you preach which you have to admit is a good thing. Because I have to tell you I am sick and tired of people telling me… Read more »
Refugees claim to want a better life, desperate to leave war-torn nations. Yet upon entering stable and peaceful countries, whether legally or illegally, instead of settling into that so-called “better life,” many transplant the violence to their new homes. While there are those who are truly seeking refuge, too many troublemakers are in the mix, generating a recurring theme of crime, violence, and even terrorism. And it’s everywhere. The US legally welcomes tens of thousands of refugees each year. From 1999 to 2009, up to between 70,000 and 91,000 were allowed annually, and for 2015, the ceiling is 70,000. The… Read more »