We need to welcome our fellow humans, not pillorise them
We’re told by certain sections of the media and indeed population of the world that all terrorist activity is caused by people coming into our countries and not understanding the customs. These sections of society constantly tell us that those who flee unimaginable terror in countries, that we often have a vested interest in, should be grateful and accept becoming second class citizens. We are told that refugees are here to steal our jobs, scrounge off us, change our way of life and threaten our lives with terrorism. They stir up racism in the population so that certain sections of our society are persecuted and villainised.
This is however sheer bunkum. People move from their countries because they fear for their lives. Why else would you uproot your family and attempt journeys where you might die? Mass migration is happening because lots of countries in the world are not safe anymore. Often, coincidentally (?), these are countries that the western democracies have interfered with in one way or another. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan to mention a few. Would you want to stay in a country where bombs constantly fall on your head? They want security for their families, for their children.
They don’t want to be a burden on the country they go to. They want to work, become a valuable part of society and contribute. They bring their cultures with them, like we do when we go travelling.
The idea that all acts of terrorism are caused by immigrants is ridiculous in the extreme. Most atrocities are committed by our fellow countrymen. The last terror attack in the US, for example, was committed by white supremacists. In my country, most terror incidents have been committed by British people. Do we turn our backs on these people fleeing because a very slim proportion may have ulterior motives? Doing this we risk the fact we may turn children against our countries. We may foster the hatred that terror organisations feed off. Those irrational thoughts that terror organisations of both sides use to make us behave out of character.
Most crimes be they murders or theft, are committed by citizens of our countries. To insinuate that refugees are more disposed towards crime is an awful statement. We need to remember that in every community there are those who seek to follow a path of crime.
We are told we should close our borders, not allow anyone in. Imagine a world where we couldn’t travel anywhere. Not a place I want to live. Where we don’t embrace other cultures. Where bigotist politicians have free rein to spread their culture of hatred and venom untouched and unchallenged. Where people of race and colour feel threatened and no longer part of the country, that they question their allegiance to the symbols such as flag and song. That is what hate breeds. That is what happens when we ignore the plight of those in trouble around the world.
It seems that half the world’s population is on the move. The tragic plight of the Rohingya’s in Myanmar has brought me to tears many times in the past few weeks. It only adds to the helplessness I feel when I see people all over this planet fleeing tyranny and persecution.
We are ALL human beings, sometimes we forget this. We forget our common ancestry, our compassion and turn on those who desperately need our help. Who knows when it may be our turn to seek help and security from others. We are very quick, in this world, to label people by race, gender, colour, sexual orientation, give labels that we apply to all. We hate it when people do it to us, yet we do it for others.
Discriminating by race, creed, colour and gender is always wrong. We must confront those who do this. Together we can make a difference.