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A child washes ashore: refugees and our faith in humanity


Legendary Member
This thread is to increase awareness of the situation and suffering of our world's refugees, and track efforts to break the barriers between us.

The incident that motivated this is the death of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, and the touching photo that shatters the distance between Us and Them. People are talking about Aylan on and off the air in many countries, and it seems a new breaking point will be reached. Governments cannot give us faith in humanity, only people can.

If you have done a good deed to a refugee, share it here. If you have not, what are you waiting for?


Legendary Member
The Child Has a Name, They All Do

September 4, 2015
The Child Has a Name, They All Do

by Kathleen Wallace

NBC gave the headline “The Toddler Found on Resort Beach Has a Name”. I suspect they simply meant that his identity had been found out, but there is a layer of truth or almost shock in that these refuges are supposed to be a generic horde. This 3 year old didn’t follow the rules of all this. His very appearance, dressed like a little guy cleaned up in his nice clothes for a visit to a relative’s didn’t help maintain that cognitive distancing. He looks too much like a child that we would see playing in the park, with his little velcro shoes. His 5-year-old brother died too, as did his mother. All trying to reach safety from war in Syria. You can imagine the day they left, and crammed into an unsafe boat. The parents dressed him up nicely; trying to make it all seem normal. But they had no choices. The inky black of the sea was safer than what was going on in their land. The level of desperation is obvious when you hear that they were wanting to get asylum in Canada (which was denied)–they were literally shoving off into a pure unknown with no assurances of anything, complete with the danger of nature.

There is argument about the words refuge, migrant…. in the US it has become very popular to speak about things like moving 11 million people back to their home countries. It is all in the realm of surreal as this nation was completely and utterly filled in by genocide and land theft. To argue that point requires mental gymnastics of the Olympic variety. That the descendants of these raiders (of which I am of course, one) would rail about individuals trying to make their way here for a better life is beyond bizarre. Leaving for economic reasons may not be as dire as leaving because you may be shot the next day, but extreme poverty will kill over time. The absurdity of it all, that people are safe in one spot surrounded by imaginary lines, yet not safe a mile over is one of the arguments that humans are a very deranged species, sort of an experiment gone wrong. The sociopaths are in charge, of course. That’s what they do.

Now that we know the toddler is Aylan Kurdi, what now? I suspect if we knew the stories of most of those fleeing repression, death and economic circumstance, only the worst of us could maintain a level of emotional distancing. I would imagine a lot of people just can’t wrap their heads around the circumstances of too many, it becomes daunting, like pondering the night sky. A generalized empathy that extends beyond borders is much more difficult than simply wanting to build a wall, physical walls and more nebulous personal walls that allow for cruelty and willful ignorance.

Policies create all of these conditions. NAFTA created a situation that made it difficult to eke out a living with small time goals like farming corn in Mexico. These things cause misery. The ongoing war in Syria has so many villains, but identifiable items like the creation of ISIS through unnecessary war, or the support of dictators when it is convenient for US policy goals, create hells on earth so severe that a family would dress up their little guys and put them on a boat with a very good chance of sinking. But when these policies are implemented, policy hacks explain why we need to smash our giant hands down and topple stability, never a thought to the real and focused down effect on 3-year-old little boys.

I’m not sure how all of this can be reconciled in a world with billionaires, with resources present, but simply being funneled to the few. In the west, we seem to enjoy shunting the terrible to other places. Sweatshops, wars, all of these shames. It is rare when something can pierce the jaded hearts and perhaps that little body will be able to. The trajectory is not good for any of us if we don’t start understanding our connections to each other. There is obvious unrest, with the climate, with our souls. If the motivation to alleviate suffering for others doesn’t emerge from all of this, we will be headed for misery as well.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest and can be reached at [email protected].


Legendary Member
Drowned Syrian toddler sparking global outrage identified as Aylan Kurdi | Middle East Eye

Drowned Syrian toddler sparking global outrage identified as Aylan Kurdi

Images spark outrage at the drowning of a Syrian toddler in the Mediterranean Sea after a failed attempt to reach Europe with his family

Three-year-old Aylan (L) and his five-year-old brother Galip (R) drowned at sea (Twitter/@Majstar7)

Rori Donaghy

Wednesday 2 September 2015 22:20 UTC

A photo of a Syrian toddler washed up dead on a beach in Turkey made news headlines around the world on Wednesday.

The child's name was Aylan Kurdi and he was three years old. He drowned in the Mediterranean Sea along with his five-year-old brother Galip and mother Rihan, according to the BBC.

The father, Abdullah, survived.

Much of the world's media has led with the image of Aylan lying lifeless on the shores of Bodrum in southwest Turkey. But social media users have also shared images of Aylan and his brother when they were alive, smiling and playing together.

Aylan (L) and Galip (R) (Twitter/@3z0ooz)
The boys were on one of two boats that departed Bodrum early on Wednesday and were headed for the Greek island of Kos. Both boats sank shortly after leaving the Turkish coast. Twelve bodies have been recovered from the sea, including those of five children. Nine people survived and two are still missing, presumed drowned.

The family, Kurds from Kobane in northern Syria, fled their homes after the Islamic State group had besieged their town earlier this year.

Abdullah Kurdi told his sister that all he wants to do now is return to Kobane and bury his wife and children.

“I heard the news at five o’clock this morning,” Teema Kurdi, Abdullah’s sister, told the National Post from her home in Canada’s Vancouver.

“All he [Abdullah] said was my wife and two boys are dead.”

Teema said the family had been hoping to eventually reach Canada – after travelling to Europe – and live with her. Earlier this year, Teema said, the family had a refugee application rejected by Canadian authorities due to complexities around them having already fled from Syria to Turkey.

The United Nations has reported that at least 230,000 people have been killed in Syria's brutal civil war, although the actual toll is thought to be much higher. More than 6.5 million people out of a population of 22 million have also been displaced by the conflict.

Thousands of people have died trying to reach Europe this year, with many fleeing conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. On 14 September European Union ministers will hold an emergency meeting to discuss solutions to the largest refugee crisis facing the continent since World War II.

- See more at: Drowned Syrian toddler sparking global outrage identified as Aylan Kurdi | Middle East Eye


Legendary Member
It is true that we've taken much more than we could ever handle. To complete our part we should treat refugees with respect. If you're going to take me in and insult and hurt me then you have done nothing to be proud of.

All that we could do living outside Lebanon is to voice support and spread awarness.


Legendary Member
Regime Change Refugees: On the Shores of Europe

September 4, 2015
Regime Change Refugees: On the Shores of Europe
by Vijay Prashad

Terrible pictures arrive onto social media of refugees from Syria and elsewhere, washed up on the shores of Europe. One in particular is particularly ghastly – the body of young Aylan Kurdi. He was only three. He was from the Syrian town of Kobane, now made famous as the frontline of the battle between ISIS and the Kurdish militias (largely the YPG and PKK). Aylan Kurdi’s body lay in a fetal position. Few dry eyes could turn away from that photograph.

The Jordanian cartoonist Rafat Alkhateeb drew an image of Aylan Kurdi. The infant’s body lies on the other side of a barbed wire fence that separates him from the continents of the world.

Cartoon by Rafat Alkhateeb.

Children like Aylan Kurdi are disposable in the world’s imagination. Over a thousand Syrian children have died in this conflict. Tens of thousands of children die in conflicts around the world. The United Nations estimates that half of all deaths in conflict zones are of children. In 1995, UNICEF reported that two million children had died in conflicts over the previous decade. The rate has not decreased. The statistic harms the consciousness. But it is the picture of Aylan Kurdi that has unsettled our ethics – does the world really care about the damage done to children as a result of war and diabolical trade policies? The evidence suggests that the world does not care at all. What care there is comes in the brief instance when we glance at a photograph such as that of the dead body of Aylan Kurdi. He breaks our heart. But he will do little to change our politics.

The West believes that it is acceptable for it to intervene to influence the political economy of the Third World – to force IMF-driven “reforms” on these states. Capital is allowed be borderless. That freedom does not apply to labour – to people. Migration is forbidden. It is hateful. Racist ideas allow fortresses to be built against the natural movement of people. Barbed wire fences and concentration camp towers outline the US-Mexico border, just as such fences and the Mediterranean Moat block the passage into Europe. If Capital destroys the society here, its people cannot be allowed to migrate there.

The West believes that it is acceptable for it to overthrow governments and bomb its enemies in the lands of the Third World. It sees this as the limit of its humanitarianism. It calls this humanitarian interventionism or, in the language of the UN, “responsibility to protect” (R2P). When it breaks states, as it did in Libya, the West takes no responsibility for the broken lives of the people in those zones. Bombs are borderless. But war refugees must stand in queues and be held in concentration camps. They are not allowed freedom of movement.

Hypocrisy is central to elite Western ethics. It uses words like “freedom” and “equality” but mostly means its opposite. The freedom of human beings and equality between human beings is not relevant. More important is the freedom of Money. It is Money that cannot have its liberty impinged.

Both Europe and the United States want to build walls to prevent the free movement of people. The Statue of Liberty in New York harbor bears the words, “Give me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This is Emma Lazarus’ poem from 1883. No longer do these words make sense. There is no exhortation to send the tired, the poor, the huddled masses to safety. There is mostly the State-led jingoism that sets up barriers and threatens deportations. The more appropriate song is by Woody Guthrie, Deportee, from 1961: “They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves. We died in your hills, we died in your deserts, we died in your valleys and died on your plains.” He would have added, we died on your shores.

Such toxic lineages are not alone. There is also the people’s ethics – banners in Germany unfurled at football games to welcome refugees, convoys of ordinary British nations to Calais (France) to help feed and clothe the refugees, demonstrations of radical internationalists in Eastern Europe against the neo-fascists and the racists. There are also, in the United States, the Dream Defenders and United We Dream who fight for undocumented residents, who formed part of the massive pro-immigrant rallies that have now adopted May Day as their day. These indications of the good side of history are often ignored by the press, which has a tendency to hype up the bad side to boost ratings. Such gestures of solidarity tell us what is possible in the West.

Aylan Kurdi is dead. Many other Aylan Kurdis remain. Our outrage at this callous death should drive us deeper into a politics that calls for a drawdown of the violence in Syria and for a serious peace process in Libya, that forces us to be resolute in our fight against IMF and NATO destruction of societies and states. In essence, this is a call for a resolute anti-imperialism. Imperialism, after all, is extra-economic force such as war or the unequal drafting of trade rules to allow a small capitalist minority to sequester the largest share of globally produced social wealth. Refugees such as Aylan Kurdis are “climate change refugees,” “regime change refugees” and “IMF refugees.”

The West’s managers will only talk about tragedies and security. For them people are migrants and deportees, those whose mobility must be constrained. This is a limited imagination. They will not want to talk about the causes of the problem – the wars and economic policies that throw millions of people into the status of refugee. That is our job. In the name of Aylan Kurdi.

This essay appears in BirGün, Ganashakti and Counterpunch.

Vijay Prashad, director of International Studies at Trinity College, is the editor of “Letters to Palestine” (Verso). He lives in Northampton.


Legendary Member
The child's father is a stupid animal thank you very much. You do not take your babies out of 'Damascus' and into the water. And worse than that his wife had told people that she couldn't swim and was worried!


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Aylan Kurdi: Canadian immigration minister suspends election campaign to investigate why 'Syrian family's refugee application was refused' - Europe - World - The Independent

Aylan Kurdi: Canadian immigration minister suspends election campaign to investigate why 'Syrian family's refugee application was refused'

The boy's aunt said the family made the decision to make their boat journey to Kos after their attempts to migrate to Canada were turned down

Thursday 03 September 2015
Lizzie Dearden

Canada’s immigration minister has suspended his re-election campaign to investigate why a refugee application was reportedly rejected for Aylan Kurdi’s family.

Chris Alexander was travelling to Ottawa today as anger mounted over how the three-year-old and his family were allegedly driven to attempt their fatal voyage to Greece by the refusal.

Relatives claimed the Canadian immigration department rejected their application in June, forcing them to leave Turkey on a smugglers’ boat that sank, drowning three-year-old Aylan with his mother, brother and at least nine other refugees.

A photo of Aylan Kurdi lying drowned on a Turkish beach has ignited anger at the UK's response to the refugee crisis

“Like all Canadians, I was deeply saddened by that image and of the many other images of the plight of the Syrian and Iraqi migrants fleeing persecution at the hands of Isis,” Mr Alexander said.

A spokesperson said the minster’s priority “is to ascertain the facts of the case.”

Mr Alexander claimed that Canada has one of the most generous per capita immigration and refugee resettlement programmes in the world, saying the government was planning to accept 23,000 Iraqis refugees and 11,300 Syrians.

A photo of Aylan Kurdi lying face-down in the sand has ignited outrage over the continuing humanitarian crisis, sparking calls for the Government to take in more refugees.

The child died alongside his five-year-old brother, Galip, their mother, Rihan, and at least nine other refugees when their boat overturned during the desperate voyage from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos.

The boys' father, Abdullah, survived.

Relatives in Canada said the family were the subject of a “G5” privately sponsored refugee application that was rejected by the country’s Citizenship and Immigration service in June.

The children’s aunt, Teema Kurdi, told the Ottawa Citizenthat after they fled from the war-torn border town of Kobani, which was overrun by Isis last year, the UN would not register them as refugees and the Turkish government would not grant exit visas.

“I was trying to sponsor them, and I have my friends and my neighbours who helped me with the bank deposits, but we couldn't get them out,” she told the newspaper.

"That is why they went in the boat.”Clothes litter a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, where 11 refugees drowned on Wednesday

G5 applications allow at least five Canadian citizens to sponsor refugees to move to the country on the condition that they give them emotional and financial support.

But only applicants who are formally recognised as refugees by the UN or a foreign state can be accepted.

Fin Donnelly, a Canadian MP, told the CBC network he personally delivered to Mr Alexander a letter from the boy’s aunt regarding the application.

The Citizenship and Immigration service has not yet responded to The Independent’s request for a comment.

Despite the deaths of more than 2,000 refugees crossing the Mediterranean this year, several European countries including the UK have refused to accept proposed quotas of asylum seekers.

Pressure is mounting on David Cameron to change his stance after he claimed that “taking more and more refugees” is not the answer to the crisis.

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition started by this newspaper for Britain to accept its fair share of refugees seeking safety in Europe.

Click here to sign The Independent's petition


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Canada’s Web of Lies Over Syrian Refugee Crisis

September 4, 2015
Canada’s Web of Lies Over Syrian Refugee Crisis

by Roger Annis

The Russia-hating minister of immigration of Canada has been caught in a string of lies in his efforts to defend Canada’s miserable record of refusing refugee applications from Syrian victims of the civil war in that country.

Chris Alexander has suspended his re-election campaign in a Toronto region district in Canada’s October 19 federal election following revelations that he turned down a refugee application delivered directly to him in March of this year on behalf of the Syrian family whose tragedy has just exploded into international news.

Early on September 2, Abdullah and Rihan Kurdi boarded a boat at Bodrum, Turkey headed for the Greek island of Kos. With them were their two toddlers, Aylan, three, and Galip, five. Their boat and an accompanying boat sank shortly after leaving the Turkish coast. The mother and children drowned, the father survived. Photos of the two drowned children have been published in international media and have shocked the world.

The family had fled from their home in Kobane, Syria.

Minister tries to lie through the story of Syrian refugees to Canada
Speaking to the television program Power and Politics on the state broadcaster CBC on September 2, a few hours before the news of the Kurdi family’s tragedy broke, Alexander defended his government’s record of accepting refugees from Syria and other countries.

If the numbers of refugees accepted have been low, he said, Canada’s media shares the blame because it does not pay enough attention to the story. He specifically accused Power and Politics of being among those media outlets which have scantily reported the refugee crisis in Syria.

That claim was strongly challenged by the program host, Rosemary Barton. A later statement by Barton and the CBC provided some numbers to back her up. The numbers show that there have been 32 dedicated stories about the crisis in Syria on Power and Politics since 2011. Many other reports on the program have touched on aspects of the refugee crisis in Syria, says the CBC. (Watch here Alexander’s aggressive conduct and lies on Power and Politics and the response of Rosemary Barton.)

Canadian legislator Fin Donnelly has told Canadian media that in March of this year, he submitted an asylum request to bring the Kurdi family to Canada to the minister in a hand-delivered letter. Donnelly never received an answer. The request was made on behalf of Fatima Kurdi, the sister of Abdullah, the father who survived.

“I walked across the aisle in the House of Commons and handed it to him and had a conversation with him,” Donnelly told CTV’s Canada AM. “I asked him to look into the case.”

Donnelly said Alexander promised to look into it. He said Alexander’s office later requested more information about the family, which was supplied.

“But then the waiting began,” Donnelly said. “The weeks turned into months and we continued to wait and wait, and nothing.”

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has not confirmed whether the family’s application was rejected.

Fatima Kurdi lives in Vancouver and works as a hairdresser. Fin Donnelly represents a Vancouver district in the Canadian Parliament for the New Democratic Party and is running for re-election.

Kurdi is a “good upstanding citizen” who has lived in Canada for 20 years, Donnelly told the Canadian Press.

The woman is devastated by the news of the deaths of her sister-in-law and nephews. Barely able to speak through her tears, she told reporters gathered at her home in the Vancouver region on September 3, “They didn’t deserve to die, they didn’t.”

“I can say only one thing—stop the war [in Syria].”

‘Legislating discrimination in Canadian immigration’
In the last three years, Canada has accepted only 1,300 refugees from Syria. The growing refusal of Canada to accept refugees and the tightening restrictions to discourage and block their arrival to Canadian shores and airports has seen Canada decline from the fifth highest country in the world receiving refugees in the year 2000 to fifteenth in 2014.

Coincidentally, a new, groundbreaking refugee rights project in Canada was announced several days ago in Vancouver. Called ‘Never Home: Legislating Discrimination in Canadian Immigration‘, it is a multi-media project documenting drastic immigration changes during the past decade by the Canadian government and its devastating effects on families in Canada.

No One is Illegal says, “We believe that there are no illegal or undeserving human beings, only inhumane and immoral laws.”

The new project has been denounced by Canada’s former immigration minister and present defense minister Jason Kenney. He calls the project “complete rubbish” and directed special venom towards Harsha Walia, a law school graduate in Vancouver and spokesperson for No One Is Illegal. Kenney called her a “Trotskyite”. In another statement two years ago, he labelled Walia a “Black Bloc anarchist”.

A hard-hitting opinion column on Canada’s refugee polices authored by Walia was published several days ago in the Vancouver Sun daily.

Campaigning for re-election on September 3, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “Our country has the most generous refugee and immigration system in the world.”

Harper’s government is ensnared in another domestic political upheaval over Syria, this one concerning its participation in the illegal, U.S.-led air bombardments against Syria and Iraq. Contrary to those two government’s bragging that their “precision” bombings avoid civilian casualties, the CBC’s Fifth Estate program is reporting (CBC Radio) at least 45 instances of bombings of so-called ISIS targets in which civilians were killed. One of those bombings was conducted by Canadian forces, on January 21, 2015. It killed somewhere between six and 27 civilians.

The information is contained in Pentagon documents obtained by the Airwars project, led by London-based journalist Chris Woods. The release of its latest findings was coordinated with the Fifth Estate and several other media outlets around the world.

The opposition Liberal Party and New Democratic Party say they oppose the decision of the Canadian government to join the U.S.-led air bombings of Iraq and Syria. But they have done nothing otherwise to oppose it. They voted against the measure when it came to Parliament, and that’s it. The Harper government’s war games go on with next to no antiwar protests. The situation is worse with respect to the government’s new adventure in Ukraine. There, the Liberals and NDP are entirely on board.

Soldiers and money for military threats against Russia
Also coincidental is the news that the full contingent of soldiers of Canada’s illegal military training mission to Ukraine has arrived in that country. An advance preparation team has been there since June.

Operation UNIFIER‘ will train Ukrainian soldiers in the grisly art of warfare as part of the NATO countries’ mounting threats, military exercises and sanctions directed at Russia.

Article 31 of Canada’s National Defence Act prohibits the deployment of Canadian forces outside national borders except in operations approved by the United Nations or in the case of an attack on NATO. Neither of these have occurred. The article reads:

31. (1) The Governor in Council may place the Canadian Forces or any component, unit or other element thereof or any officer or non-commissioned member thereof on active service anywhere in or beyond Canada at any time when it appears advisable to do so
* (a) by reason of an emergency, for the defence of Canada;
* (b) in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations Charter; or
* (c) in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the North Atlantic Treaty, the North American Aerospace Defence Command Agreement or any other similar instrument to which Canada is a party.

The U.S. and UK have also undertaken initiatives to place training missions in Ukraine.

NATO’s own charter does not allow it to engage in offensive operations, only to defend a
member being attacked. But for NATO’s warlords, a scrap of paper is no reason to get in the way of a good war whose time has come.

Chris Alexander supporting war in Ukraine
Chris Alexander, 46, is one of the most outspoken members of the Conservative Party government in Canada in support of the civil war being waged against the people in eastern Ukraine by the government of that country. Before entering politics in 2011, he worked in the Canadian foreign service for 18 years, posted first to Moscow and later Afghanistan. He was Canada’s first resident ambassador to Afghanistan, from 2003-05.

In August 2014, he attended an official Ukraine Independence Day event in Toronto which featured a strong presence of the Canadian chapter of the Right Sector neo-Nazi organization. The group was prominently raising funds at the event for the purchase of military supplies for its paramilitary battalions in Ukraine. Five of its red and black flags wafted prominently over the event all day, including at the head of a related street march of the assembled participants.

The event was also attended by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. She delivered a sharp speech in support of the civil war.

When asked by reporters about his presence at such a dubious event, Chris Alexander aggressively turned the question back on them, demanding that they go speak to Russian government officials and ask about Russian military supplies which Alexander claimed were being sent to eastern Ukraine.

In February of this year, Alexander spoke at a meeting in Toronto of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and delivered a pro-war, anti-Russia rant in the spirit of the script of the classic, 1960s anti-nuclear war film, Dr. Strangelove.

Background on Syrian refugees and Canada:
The conflict in Syria is regarded by the United Nations as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in 20 years. More than 200,000 people have died. Half of Syria’s population of 22 million people is homeless. And more than three million Syrians are refugees outside their country.

How welcoming has the Canadian government been to these Syrian refugees? The answer: 200 people. That is the number of Syrian refugees the Canadian government itself has sponsored for all of this year. (There have been private sponsorships, but they have been minimal.)

… The Canadian government has been particularly attacked for its misleading and evasive justifications for its policy. Last month, the Ottawa Citizen reported that Canadian immigration officials confidentially told their cabinet minister Chris Alexander in the spring that Canada could substantially increase the number of Syrian refugees being allowed in. They also told him last March that the government’s decision to make private groups responsible for resettling 1,100 of the pledged 1,300 refugees made the commitment impossible to fulfil. None of this was made public at the time.


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Adrift Without Sanctuary: a Sick and Twisted Morality

September 4, 2015
Adrift Without Sanctuary: a Sick and Twisted Morality
by John Wight

No words are adequate to describe the heartwrenching sight of Aylan Kurdi lying dead on a Turkish beach. What we can say without any equivocation is that the sight of this dead 3 year old Syrian boy symbolizes the cruelty and inhumanity that underpins what passes for civilisation in the West.

Denying sanctuary to human beings desperately attempting to escape war and chaos can be described as many things, but justice is not one of them. To those deserving of the hand of friendship we offer the fist of fury. To those crying out for help we turn away. The result is the suffering of children such as Aylan, whose death as a consequence is tantamount to murder.

There is much to be said about the conflict and chaos that has engulfed the Middle East, where the majority of the refugees desperately seeking sanctuary are from. But the idea that we are blameless can only be the product of either mendacity or ignorance. We have helped to create and foment crisis and chaos as far back as Iraq and on into Libya and Syria, evidence that we are governed by machine men and women whose conception of politics and the West’s role in the world begins with callous indifference to the human suffering it continually unleashes. Indeed only those who have had their humanity surgically removed could possibly fail to have been moved by the plight of these people on our TV screens over the past few weeks.

A refugee crisis that is now biblical in scope has met thus far with an obdurate refusal by governments across Europe to budge from a refusenik position of denying them refuge. This is no surprise, as aided by a complicit right wing and reactionary media the discourse across the West on immigrants and asylum seekers has plumbed the depths of moral repugnance and disgrace. When they haven’t been dehumanised as ‘economic migrants’ they have been smeared as constituting a ‘swarm’ by the likes of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Photo: Lynsey Addario/ NYT.

Vying for the worst of the many examples of this poisonous narrative was the idea promoted by the UK far right anti-immigration party UKIP that Britain only accept members of Syria’s Christian minority as refugees, asserting that Syrian Muslims can go to other countries in the region.

What kind of sick and twisted morality is this? From here we are only a few short steps away from making Muslims among those fleeing put on an armband with a crescent on it in order to separate them from their Christian or non-Muslim counterparts. This position of UKIP’s moves them beyond the truth that a little knowledge is dangerous to confirm that it is even worse to be crippled with pig ignorance and be afforded a platform from which to prove it.

Meanwhile back in the world occupied by people with a heart and a conscience, the outpouring of rage at the image of Aylan Kurdi allows us to hope that his death may not be in vain. The fact that he died along with his mother and brother only adds urgency to our demand that Britain and Europe come together to implement a cohesive humanitarian reponse to this growing humanitarian crisis. Notably, at time of writing cohesion across Europe remains a forlorn hope.

There have been exceptions to the intransigence that has dominated the issue across the EU. Germany and Sweden have managed to salvage something resembling solidarity in Europe. Merkel in particular, in fact, has been immense, helping to create an atmosphere in Germany that has seen thousands of refugees overwhelmed with kindness from welcoming committees upon their arrival at German train and bus stations.

Who would have thought that the German Chancellor, only recently responsible for punishing Greece with austerity, would be the one to shame other EU leaders on their lack of humanity by comparison?

Aylan Kurdi’s death poses the question of what we are prepared to do in response? Are we going to continue to deny these people refuge or are we going to help them? Upon the answer hinges our right to continue to describe ourselves as civilized.

These people are not migrants. They are not even refugees. They are our brothers and sisters, flesh of our flesh, and denying them help at their time of need is a crime. Lying dead on that beach, Aylan reminds us that a child is the most precious thing in our world. Thus, the need to do whatever it takes to protect and nurture them transcends borders, nationality, ethnicity, religion or any other factor. Whether as a nation, society or culture, we are diminished by his death. Worse, we are culpable in the tragic manner of it.

However at this point words of anger and sentiments of grief are not enough to deal with the disaster unfolding. Surveying the contours of a humanitarian crisis that shows no sign of abating, we see that the EU has unraveled in the face of it. Rather than unity it is disunity that defines it – to the point where it is paralyzed with inaction, its member states driven not by a common European agenda but by multiple domestic agendas, none of them progressive.

Consequently, it is now up to the United Nations to step into the breach. Urgently required are the resources, organization, and infrastructure necessary to alleviate the suffering taking place and to ensure that these people are properly cared for, prioritizing their wellbeing and dignity as human beings in the process.

Action this day is called for. Our enemy is not and never has been those seeking refuge from war and conflict. Our enemy is and always will be those who would deny them.

John Wightis the author of a politically incorrect and irreverent Hollywood memoir –Dreams That Die – published by Zero Books. He’s also written five novels, which are available as Kindle eBooks. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnWight1


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إسلام بحيري : طفل سوريا الغريق قتله الأزهر والتراث الديني وداعش

توجه إسلام بحيري، الكاتب والباحث، برسالة لمن تأثروا بمشهد الطفل السوري الغريق قائلاً: لم يتقله الله ولا البحر، بل قتله الهرب من لعنة أتت علی بلاده التي كانت، الهرب من داعش والجهاد واﻹيمان والكفر، قتله التراث الديني بدءًا من الطبري والبخاري وابن تيمية حتی داعش.

مختتمًا بقوله، فيا هذا الطفل لا تحزن فستظل سوطًا علی ظهورهم حين يمارسون علی بطونهم شذوذهم الذي يسمونه "الدين"، ولعلك اﻵن تقرأ معي قصيدة مظفر النواب إهداء للأزهر وداعش "إن حظيرة خنزير أطهر من أطهركم ".

See translation


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Still the same

FC Porto ask UEFA to have all Champions League teams donate 1€ from each ticket sold during their 1st UCL home match for migrants



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The politicization of this kids death is disgusting. Leftists, leftists never change.


Legendary Member
Why the Persian gulf arab states do not take refugees? (they are the ones sending weapons and prolonging the war by the way)

1. Persian gulf arab states are not "fit" for refugees (literally)
2. Syrian refugees have "psychological and nervous problems" so they can't be integrated