The coming together of politics, war, poverty and social exhaustion has caused a wave of refugees that is the worst we have seen in living memory.
Whether it is Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Afghans, Africans, or Asians they come like a Tsunami wave from the ends of the earth, sweeping over tired hopeless and helpless people.
Many refugees have a view of the host country as being compassionate, affluent and able to take care of them, expecting their own hospitable cultural worldview to be found. They do not know they also face the emptiness of secularism, failed religious platitudes and unsympathetic politicians. Thus, refugees are seen to be a threat and a negative influx of “gypsys” and “vagrants” with nothing to offer and wanting to only take.
A History of Oppression
Refugees come from diverse situations, whether it is fleeing Colombians from drug cartel violence, gang war in Mexico, drought and mismanagement in Africa, ethnic cleansing in Kosovo or the Arab Spring that unleashed a wild elephant of hope followed by despair. Yet, each of these people share a common bond, the refusal to roll over and be oppressed any longer.
Islam and Democracy
Most come from failed Muslim states. The flirtation with Socialism has ended in dictators trying to force their people to make changes that is just not in them.
Democracy cannot be built upon an Islamic world view. Such is their desperation that they travel by any method, often on foot, over land sea and swamps, in boats, trucks and railways. They endure rape, beatings, robbery and rejection which in turn will result in disillusionment and a greater crisis for them and the West.
Truths and Lies
In spite of facing such opposition there is rising evidence that points to the positive impact of refugees on various countries.
Immigrants in the UK create jobs; famous examples such as Jewish refugees from Poland and Lithuania who created M&S and Burton confirm this (Richardson, 2015).
So why the allergic reaction to the case of refugees? Here are some perceptions of refugees:
They are lazy and only come to get our money
They should stay and change their own government
They will destroy the West’s own economy
They arrive with disease and illness that will overwhelm local health services
There is no room
The true case is quite the reverse. The facts are that Western countries have benefited through refugees being allowed in and contribute to growth and richness. Immigrants are hardworking because they want to provide and bring success to their families. This drive to succeed has given us famous people like Burton (the tailor), Sasstch brothers, Chagall, Epstein, Bob Marley, Rita Ora, Kissinger and the Milliband two.
FACT: Art, Politics, Drama, Literature, Science and Architecture is peppered with names of refugees.
TRUTH: If we turn away refugees, we shrivel up as a culture from lack of stimulation and fresh ideas, miss the opportunity for daily gratitude, and withhold the love God shares without restriction.
Each of us has the potential to share God’s love and acceptance to those around us. Are you ready to extend that hand of love?