“Thirty per cent of those asylum-seekers who claim to be Syrian are not Syrians.”
When I talk to people about the current refugee crisis, the conversation tends to go the same way.
They tell me refugees are terror-stricken people, entirely innocent of any wrongdoing, fleeing war-torn countries for a better life. No hidden agenda, no shady connections, no other desire than to keep their families safe. They wax philosophic about compassion, and empathy, and insist terror is the result of a cultural misunderstanding. They say it’s our responsibility to force acceptance onto those in the West who remain ‘bigoted’, and to talk some sense into the poor souls in Syria brainwashed into radicalization. And above all else, they emphasize we must accept everyone who asks to cross our borders. That it’s cruel, ignorant stereotyping to suggest some refugees may be terrorists, and if we don’t open our homes and accept them with loving arms, we’re morally deficient.
When they’ve finished their tangent, eyes shining as they gaze upon the moral high ground, I pause, look at them quizzically, and ask the ever-infallible killer question, “And what evidence do you have to support any of that?”
The answer is always a stunned silence. Not one person I’ve spoken to who has argued in the affirmative for the mass, unprocessed, open-door immigration policy of Europe has ever been able to give me a factual (rather than ideological) basis of why it’s a good idea. That’s when I posit my rather more cynical argument, which is based on cold, hard, facts.
I know full well not all refugees are violent terror-enthusiasts with a hidden agenda, or greedy economic migrants cheating the system and exploiting the refugee movement. The fact there are hundreds of thousands of genuine refugees out there; families who are in dire need and have never harmed anyone, is glaringly obvious and horribly sad. I’m not denying we have a duty to help them; we do. And in a perfect world, we would be able to filter through those with ulterior motives and bring the truly innocent to safety.
But we can’t, and here’s why.
According to UNHCR statistics, 75 per cent of refugees milling through Europe are men. Thirteen per cent are children, and most tellingly, only 12 per cent are women. So what are the effects of this male-heavy influx on Western society?
When you subtract the small percentage of men who are attached to the minority of women and children, you’re left with the option of the economic migrant. It’s easy to turn up your nose at this label, especially as it’s not a legal term. However, it’s beyond naïve to assume there aren’t solo males from countries like Pakistan (less likely to be granted asylum) who will exploit the refugee movement for economic reasons.
A Nordic country like Germany, in which its citizens are taxed exorbitant amounts for free healthcare and tertiary education, is like the Holy Grail. Especially when its leader has gleefully advertised an ‘open door’ policy on refugees. It’s all too easy to claim you’re from, say, Syria, which, according to Pew Research Centre, is the nationality most likely to be granted asylum. The next step is waltzing through the back door to the lofty benefits of a socialist nation still suffering from war guilt.
Sadly, this is no nasty stereotype. In October last year, German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate stated about a third of asylum seekers storming into Germany have falsified Syrian passports and IDs.
“Thirty per cent of those asylum-seekers who claim to be Syrian are not Syrians according to this estimate,” Plate said at a government news conference.
Next is the second and far less comfortable option. ISIS has admitted they are using the refugee influx to infiltrate Europe. Regardless, the number of Westerners who scream from the rafters that the Islamic State is small, weak, and not that dangerous, is frightening.
A friend of mine once suggested there were only about 10,000 of them altogether. The reality of the matter is there are upwards of 50,000 ISIS members, with some suggesting the numbers are closer to 100,000. In November 2014, Faud Hussein, chief of staff to Kurdish president Massoud Barzani, asserted the numbers were at least 200,000. And those are only the members. According to Pew Research Centre, ISIS has millions of supporters around the world who are not directly associated with the group itself.
Considering this, it is foolish to insist either none or very few of the million-strong refugee influx are ISIS-affiliated. The fact that one week after German chancellor Angela Merkel opened the floodgates to refugees, Munich main railway station was closed because of a bomb threat was sinister early evidence.
Aside from falsified passports and potential terrorist ties, the men of the refugee movement come from countries where the attitude to women is completely incompatible with that of the West. Many are led to believe from childhood that women are second class, that if they are not covered top to toe in traditional garb, they are asking for sex, and if they do not submit to sex, they have every right as men to rape them.
The appalling mass sex attacks on New Year’s Eve in Cologne are just the tip of the iceberg. The rampant rape and sexual assault of European women by Middle Eastern and North African immigrants has been going on every day for the past year. Sweden, for example, has been declared the ‘rape capital of Europe’. There are mass protests in Germany by citizens holding up placards stating, ‘Mrs Merkel, this is scary’. However, not only has the Western media failed to report this, European authorities have deliberately covered it up.
Similar attacks occurred in the Swedish city of Malmo on New Year’s Eve by men of “immigrant appearance”. However, police and media have been accused of ignoring reports of sexual assaults to avoid sparking anti-immigration debate. This is a slap in the face not only to the women assaulted, but to female refugees who suffer horribly in camps like ‘The Jungle’ at Calais. Women make up only 10 per cent of the 4000 strong camp, and are subject to sexual assaults multiple times a day and forced into prostitution rings.
I’m not saying the Western world should do nothing to assist refugees. Not every asylum seeker is a jihadist, or economic exploiter, or rapist. If we can figure out a way to separate those who are in genuine need from those charlatans who are ruining any chance of freedom and safety for the innocents, I would 100 per cent advocate it.
However, the fact remains this is nigh on impossible. We have to be more discerning with who we take in. Open-door immigration is both impractical and unsafe. The refugee crisis is the greatest Catch 22 the Western world has ever seen, but we need to learn to say no, however morally filthy it makes us feel.
Comment: Where do you stand on the refugee crisis?