European ‘Refugee’ Policies Backfire; West Ignores Plight of Christians in Danger of Extermination

By Hans Bader | November 16, 2015 | 4:28pm EST
Syrian refugees cross into Turkey from Syria over and through a hole on the border fence in Akcakale on June 14. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Critics warned that ISIS would take advantage of Europe’s mass absorption of Syrian and other “refugees” to infiltrate terrorists into Europe.  Now, that warning has come true.  The London Daily Mail reports the following:

“A Paris suicide bomber who was carrying a Syrian passport passed through Greece as a refugee in October, according to a Greek minister.

“The passport was retrieved from one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up outside the Stade de France stadium as part of last night’s coordinated attacks, which killed at least 127 people.

“The passport holder, who is understood to be 25, passed through the island of Leros on October 3 as a refugee, where he was identified ‘according to EU rules.’”

The failure of Europe’s policy of absorbing hundreds of thousands of “refugees” (most of whom are actually economic migrants, not refugees) is now acknowledged even in progressive Sweden, which gave up on welcoming them en masse after their numbers swelled to 10,000 per week into Sweden alone.  Professor Benjamin Teitelbaum explains this in an op-ed in the New York Times:

“Sweden’s message to migrants in Europe is clear: Don’t come here. ‘Even we have our limits, and now they have been reached,’ a defeated-sounding migration minister, Morgan Johansson, explained during a press conference on Nov. 5. ‘Those who come to our borders may be told that we cannot guarantee them housing.’ … Sweden’s backtracking is part of a larger trend as Europe struggles to deal with the hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers. States that together with Sweden had been advocating generosity and openness — like Austria and Germany — now too are tightening their policies and calling for Europe to reinforce its external borders. …

“Sweden, a country of 9.6 million, lately has been absorbing 10,000 asylum seekers per week, and expects the total number coming into the country this year alone to reach 190,000 — a population greater than that of its fourth largest city. Since the intensification of the immigration crisis in September, municipalities have complained that they lack housing, teachers and classroom space, and doctors for the newcomers. The police have acknowledged that they’ve lost the ability to monitor the whereabouts of foreign nationals within the country …

“Sweden, like Germany and Austria, overestimated its capacity. Casualties of this miscalculation will not only include its domestic welfare institutions, but also — tragically — its global humanitarianism. In an effort to pay for increased immigration, the government is now dipping into its foreign aid budget. Sweden consistently ranks as one of the most generous providers of foreign aid worldwide, supporting efforts to expand educational opportunities, provide access to water, and promote political and economic development in regions producing the bulk of asylum seekers in Europe. But 20 percent of this year’s foreign aid budget has been redirected to domestic migration agencies, and officials have suggested they will take even more out of next year’s budget. Reducing foreign aid in such substantial amounts promises to fuel the same instability and desperation that is causing the migrant crisis. Worse yet, by refocusing its humanitarian effort on individuals healthy enough and wealthy enough to take themselves to its shores, Sweden is shunning those abroad in greatest need.”

When the Sweden Democrats, a conservative party, began criticizing this “policy months ago for its blindness to logistical and economic pitfalls,” Sweden's socialist prime minister “dismissed them. The party also argued early on that money for humanitarian purposes would be more efficiently and equitably spent through foreign aid than immigration, and he disregarded their argument as a convenient excuse for a xenophobic agenda.” But they were right, Teitelbaum reluctantly notes.

In remarks last month to a free-market, pro-immigration think tank, European Parliament member Nirj Deva, who focuses on third world development issues and represents a district in England, observed that most of the “refugees” flooding into Europe are economic migrants, not refugees — the true “refugees” in places such as Syria seldom have the money to travel vast distances from their home country to Europe to begin with. A refugee charity has stopped shipping aid to the “refugee” mecca of Calais in France, because 97 percent of the “refugees” there are not genuine refugees, but rather economic migrants (overwhelmingly men rather than women or children).

While taking in hundreds of thousands of young Muslim men who are not true “refugees,” the West has ignored the plight of Syrian and Iraqi Christians who are in danger of being exterminated.

The Obama administration is still doing almost nothing for Middle Eastern Christians. It is in a state of denial about whether ISIS is targeting Christians for genocide in areas it controls (as Nina Shea explains in the National Review), and only providing assistance to UN and other refugee camps that displaced Christians tend to avoid because they would face violence and oppression by the Muslim majority if they went there. A Christian in an ISIS-dominated region is more likely to be killed for being Christian than a Muslim in Bosnia was for being Muslim in the 1990s — Bosnian Serbs usually avoided killing women and children even as they subjected adult Muslim men to mass killings — yet the Bosnian Muslims were labeled as genocide victims, unlike Christians in ISIS-controlled regions of Syria and northern Iraq, where entire Christian villages — men, women, and children — have been slaughtered after the villages, reduced to destitution by ever-increasing “taxes” levied on Christian communities by ISIS, became unable to satisfy ISIS’s extortionate demands.

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law.

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