What World Refugee Day Tells Us, That Most Western Leaders Won’t

June 21, 2016 — Leave a comment

On World refugee day, four things stand out. Not one of them is the lack of Western compassion, ”Western racism/intolerance” or supposed problems caused by ”Christianity”:

1. The geographical locations from where refugees are coming
2. The ideological, cultural, social, theological and political reasons of those geographical locations.
3. Where they are seeking to go to for refuge – such as the ”Christian” West.
Number 4 on the list is a lot more complex:

It includes the refusal of Western leaders to acknowledge the real reasons for why refugees are being driven out of their homelands, even when the problems from those geographical locations begin to have a negative impact on the people in their own countries.

Surely that denial is primarily for diplomatic reasons. In other words they are not reasons based solely on the premise of tolerance, but reasons based on fear. For example: are they fears based on the fear of confrontation; the fear of “offending” those from which our oil dependent economies heavily rely upon?

This leads to questions we in the West should be asking ourselves:

Do refugees see something special about the West, that a good portion of those in the West continue to ignore, and some, even reject?
Do refugees see, what those in the West who attack the very foundations of Western society, refuse to see?
How can we best serve refugees if Western leaders refuse to acknowledge the real source of those problems? Are we not just importing the problems; doing nothing to solve the cause of those problems because the best policy is silence?
By not speaking out against the very thing that refugees are fleeing from, such as the loss of freedoms – inability to speak out (among other things) – are are we not doing a great disservice to refugees?

The answer is “yes” on all counts.

Let me be clear: refugees are not the problem, what is driving refugees from their homelands is. The West should have the courage to face this humanitarian disaster, and employ that same courage to honestly face and speak about the causes of it.

Ignoring the problem/s are bound to lead to the West importing the problem/s. All of which enters by way of naive compassion and political point scoring through an appearance of niceness, which disguises the real cause for the sake of an appalling strategy of appeasement.

Think about it. If the West fails to to be an assertive, but gracious, light in the darkness, following a costly discipleship based on the very foundations that has guided and challenged it’s moral compass for centuries, it will surely be consumed by a darkness very similar to the one that 63 million people are seeking to flee from.

Feel good hashtags fail.

Instead of posting a hashtag on social media, (which is only the equivalent of showing off to each other how anti-racist and not-phobic most of us are) on world refugee day, we should sit back, refuse to feed the feel-good hype and genuinely reflect on what’s really going on and why.

 

Refugees


Further reading:

Refugee crisis: Where are all these people coming from and why? 

Image: 2016 figures are suggested to be at 65 million people displaced. The origins haven’t shifted, although the number of refugees has increased.

 

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