People movements

On Facebook Joshua posted a short poem:

I may have little but what is mine; is yours,
And I will freely open all my doors,
To all those seeking refuge on our shores.

Willem:

And, Joshua, if a thousand come to your door today, and another thousand tomorrow, and then another thousand the next day, and... What are you going to do then? There are about 50 million displaced people in the world. If they all turn up at your door? You will need to think the problem through a bit more!

Joshua:

You need to stop viewing human beings as a problem...

Willem:

That's not a fair comment, Joshua! You know quite well that I don't see human beings as a problem.

But we can't solve problems by pretending they aren't there. We need to identify and work through the issues. Find solutions that work. And flooding your place or my place with thousands of people isn't going to work.

So we need to honestly face up to the enormous problems of very large numbers of displaced people, and strive to find workable solutions.

Jeremy:

And so far what do you see is possible Willem?

Willem:

Questions like this are always difficult and complex, but there is one thing we absolutely must do, and that is that we must begin to talk about it. Talk about it together as a nation, even as groups of nations. Be prepared to put all issues on the table and talk about them. Without demonising people who disagree with you.

Questions that need to be asked are things like: Is relocation to a different country the best solution for the people fleeing war and violence? Would it be better to establish safe havens near to their country of origin? Who will rebuild their countries once the wars have finished? What are the factors that refugees bring with them that can destabilise the countries they come to? How do we deal with those factors? How many refugees can a country accommodate without it becoming an unmanageable problem in itself? What about social cohesion in receiving countries? What about the social issues caused by the supremacist nature of Islam? And the violence it naturally leads to?

These are only the tip of the iceberg of issues faced by countries around the world. We can pretend they are not there, we can pretend that all we need to do is be more welcoming and all will be OK. But it won't. And the very people we are trying to help will be worse off than when they started.

Just in case you are wondering, I do care about individual families. We have often had refugee families sharing meals in our home, and we still do. But I could not handle fifty refugees in my home at once. No nation can be expected to absorb the very large numbers of refugees that would like to come to them. So different solutions have to be found.

Pretending that all we have to do is be more welcoming and refusing to consider these greater problems will help nobody in the longer term.

Jeremy:

Thanks. I like all of those questions a lot and i think i will use them to think a lot more over the coming weeks. You sir are wonderful.

NT Tran:

Willem these are all very valid questions you pose and I respect that you've put them forward in a non-confrontational manner.

I just want to make a point that I was born here but my parents fled Vietnam decades ago because of a war torn country. They lost everything. Their houses were taken and their family members locked up. My grandma got locked up in a dark cell because my dad managed to get away. Everyone sold whatever possession they had to send their members on a crappy fishing boat, hoping to God that they would be able to run into a country compassionate enough to save them from the violence. A lot of families had to part ways, not knowing if they would ever see each other again. My uncle died on a boat that was planted with a bomb. People took cyanide pills and committed suicide rather than face the alternative of being caught and tortured.

My parents were lucky enough to make it to Australia where they have worked their butts off. Their degrees and status back in Vietnam were no longer of any use to them but they worked their butts off to give back to the country who had provided them with a second chance of life, of freedom. I have been grown up being told by my own parents that I am an Australian of Asian decent but most importantly, that I am Australian and need to also do all that I can to contribute to the greatness of this land.

In summary, my parents (and plenty of other refugee families) have come here seeking help and freedom and have contributed and helped shape this country positively. This happened decades ago, no reason why that can't happen now with more resources being available than ever before. After all, didn't everyone at some stage in their family history come from another country?

Willem:

Yep! Absolutely agreed, and you are very welcome! I personally know Vietnamese and other families who came here and have contributed greatly to our country. I myself am a migrant, though my story is nowhere near as dark as your family's. My family suffered under the Nazis in WW2, with family members killed. So my father migrated with his family after WW2.

But there are a number of complicating factors now. The numbers on the move are much greater than when either your family or mine moved. The movement of people is far more widespread. We have never before seen people movements like the million plus people who arrived in Germany in one year! The numbers involved in people fleeing from Vietnam were very much less than now.

The factor of a supremacist and militant Islam is a very significant factor that cannot be overlooked. Unlike Christianity, Islam has no concept of the separation of church and state. According to Muhammad in the Quran and the Hadiths, Islam has to be supreme over all. This leaves no room for secular government. This is a difficult issue that must be faced squarely by western countries so that we can come to a workable solution. Now this does not mean that all Muslims want to live this way. Most Muslims are peaceable people just making their way in the world, and we can accept them. But that does not change the supremacist nature of Islam and the challenge that that brings.

In considering these things the questions that I raised in my previous post are still valid. Large people movements bring large challenges and we have to face them as such.

Disclaimer: Not all posts in this thread were included. Comments have been very lightly edited, only for punctuation.