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Disappointed with Europe, Thousands of Iraqi Migrants Return Home (nytimes.com)
189 points by peterkelly on Feb 7, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 232 comments

This article is obviously about a person, that is an illegal migrant, not a refugee.

    > “I felt like I couldn’t live in an open society,” 
    > said Aqeed Hassan, 26, who plays the clarinet and, 
    > back in Baghdad after going to Finland, is trying 
    > to get a job in a military band. 
    > “My wife has her head covered, and I didn’t feel like they liked Arabs.”
The whole debate with migration is that IMHO the real refugees need to visit psychologists, when they arrive here. They've suffered war, laws that declare gender-inequality ( soft words for what those laws actually are, but anyway ), homo-phobic state-politics, etc. Those are all things that western world fight ages to make it right ( yes, including war ) and people that have lived in different society can't understand by just "living" there.

I'm really happy to know people from Syria, Pakistan, Taiwan & Japan. It's so cool when we all try to understand more about the way we live our every-day life , but on the other hand all of us will feel offended if forced to change it. No matter what "When in Rome, do as the Romans do ...", if you can't just leave.

>They've suffered war, laws that declare gender-inequality ( soft words for what those laws actually are, but anyway ), homo-phobic state-politics, etc.

About war yes, but lots of those people have not "suffered" gender-inequality or homo-phobic state-politics -- In fact those things might be part of what the believe and support themselves.

Those things are part of their culture -- and grassroots -- not stuff that some bad regime imposed upon the masses. The same way they are not "imposed" upon the people in the Bible Belt.

And lest we feel much superior, those kind of laws and public sentiment was common place in the far more wealthy and educated West too. Just 50 years ago there was open, legal even, segregation. Just today there's widespread support for police brutality. And just 75 years ago several million jews/homosexuals/communists and gypsies were obliterated in the center of "civilized Europe".

And if you think those times are "ancient history" and can't understand why everyone hasn't moved forward since then, just remember stuff that's still acceptable (or going on anyway) in some places, from the death penalty and racially motivated police shootings, to mass surveillance. Or consider the fact that "sodomy" stopped being a crime only 10-15 years ago in tons of places. And that "moving forward" is easier when you're not in a state of war or even fearful of those preaching "moving forward".

>Those things are part of their culture -- and grassroots -- not stuff that some bad regime imposed upon the masses.

Precisely. Indoctrination literally from the moment you are born is unimaginably hard to undo. Impossible, even.

> Impossible, even.

On an aggregate level, perhaps, but on an individual level, not at all.

I actually teach a German course to a group of recognized refugees, including Syrians and Eritreans.

From what I've seen, the ability to handle the culture shock varies wildly from person to person and is strongly correlated with age.

The younger a person is, the better they adapt to the new situation. IMO the two main reasons for this are that younger people are more flexible intellectually, and that a significant number of them (but not all!) have had more exposure to other cultures due to the Internet.

I also get the impression that frustration and language skill are correlated. The ability to learn a new language is obviously also correlated with age and educational history.

Note that there are outliers in all directions, but these are the trends that I observed.

A comment that makes sense, downvoted

Oh shush. Just because the developed world has its sins doesn't mean the Middle East's cultural practices aren't immoral.

Who said that?

Cmon mate, only the most extreme or those in power actually want Sharia law. That is a real imposition, not to be confused with the cultral misogyny and such prevelant in most middle eastern cultures.

Where have you gotten that impression? Sharia support is large in most muslim countries, with a few exceptions. Some numbers on the %support of Sharia: Indonesia (72%), Pakistan (84%), Bangladesh (82%) [1]. Even in the UK the Sharia is used for certain areas of life.

[1] http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-1.png

I guess I'm just wrong. My assumption mostly came from the apparent extreme resistance Isis is facing in actually creating Sharia governance from the local power vacuums. Im also having trouble finding useful information about civilian opinions of existing Sharia regemes.

People answering polls have pretty varying views of what "Sharia" means, since that name tends to be used by any system of law that claims to be based on Islam. If you ask more specific questions, like whether a rigid Saudi Arabian / Wahhabist style interpretation of Sharia should be introduced in their country, support is much lower, though it depends on the country. One example: 60% of Malaysian Muslims believe that their country's current legal system is sharia, so when they say they support sharia, they mean the system Malaysia currently has, rather than a Saudi-Arabia or Taliban or ISIS style system.

>My assumption mostly came from the apparent extreme resistance Isis is facing in actually creating Sharia governance from the local power vacuums.

ISIS is not creating Sharia in the commonly understood sense. It's creating a Nazi-version of Sharia.

[citation needed]

If you really need one, then there are literally THOUSANDS of books and papers about Sharia, both about its theory and historical implementation.

I suggest you get a few (I would also suggest from respectable universities, not polemicists) and compare what they describe to ISIS.

That doesn't mean that people can't change: as recently as 1995, the majority of Americans did not approve of interracial marriages[1].

1. http://www.gallup.com/poll/163697/approve-marriage-blacks-wh...

Sharia is not part of UK law and is not recognised by any UK court.

Sharia courts are recognized as a legally binding arbitration system when used in that way

No, they're not.


> While feuding couples have to at least consider mediation before going to court, it doesn't override family law. A court has to sign off on any agreement made after divorce for it to be legally binding, and won't do so if the judge thinks it's unfair.

> In 2013, the High Court was asked by an Orthodox Jewish couple to accept the ruling of a Jewish religious court on post-divorce family arrangements. The judge said that while the agreement would carry weight, it would be non-binding—neither party could get around English law by agreeing to abide by the decision of another tribunal.

So they're recognized in the same way as, say, a Jewish court would be, or in fact essentially any body would be?

Reportedly, there are places in UK which don't recognize UK laws.

edit: I mean practically, not formally. It's enough that violations of host country's laws stay unreported and violations of whatever other norms are punished unofficially.


Getting people from oppressive cultures who end up living in isolation with others like them to suddenly start exercising their new rights is a hard problem which can't simply be wished out of existence.

'Reportedly' being the operative word. And the reporting in question coming from (to be very charitable) slightly less than reliable sources. I get what you mean, it just doesn't seem to be reflected in actuality, and you have to be really careful here: those that support what you're saying are in large part from the far right of the political spectrum, often the extreme far right (eg Tommy Robinson), and figures they pull out are utterly suspect.

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-go_area#Contemporary_no-go_...

From your link:

     Local police forces denied the claims [of no-
     go areas]

     Katie Hopkins could not name areas of Britain
     that were no-go areas because it would not be
     "legally accurate"

     British Prime Minister David Cameron described
     Steven Emerson as "clearly a complete idiot".

What else would "local police" do? Admit defeat? What the official police statements say, and reality on the streets for those living then can differ completely.

> What else would "local police" do? Admit defeat?

What else would they do if the claims are not true?

Either way, that instance was related to drug dealing, not Sharia law.

[Citation Needed]

This (certainly as far as I'm aware) isn't true. The laws and courts of England and Wales apply in England and Wales, and the relevant local laws and courts (e.g. Scottish laws in Scotland etc) apply elsewhere in the UK.

In terms of Sharia, there is a voluntary arbitration system for civil issues as an alternative to the civil courts, the same as the Beth Din Jewish courts voluntarily used for Jewish civil issues in the UK.

I think he was talking more about places like Luton, where number of times it was reported as a hostile place for britons with a message of 'this is a muslim place now' and unlawful enforcement of sharia laws on common people.

There are many reasons to consider Luton to be hostile to Britons (Ryanair and EasyJet customer service for example), but political Islam isn't one.

These claims reports are all complete nonsense and have been widely reported as such.


It's quite funny to say so, especially I've seen a (BBC, I think) news/document about exactly such things happening. Unless of course it was all fake, and they all were actors or it wasnt in Luton...

The daily mail article talks about two people who were arrested and charged for attempting to do this. Hardly evidence of a no go zone for police -- quite the opposite. You're repeating nonsense that's been widely debunked and not providing any sources.

It might have been reported, but it never happened.

The Daily Mail is your source? You'll need to find something considerably more credible than the nonsense from that rag.

This quote is good too:

  > “In the early days when we arrived, the people 
  > were impressed with us,” he said. “They were taking
  > pictures of us, inviting us into their homes. 
  > They liked our brown skin and our dark hair.”
It seems people were mostly nice to them in Finland.

Yes, but it's also part of a trend -- like it's the cause-of-the-day and everybody tried to show nice they were because of it (not totally unlike Hollywood celebrities suddenly championing some cause or another in the third world, when in fact they don't care that much).

Which is not bad in itself, but can be dangerous when there's no substance to that, and their hosts become bored with that "cause" and forget about them or turn hostile.

The hosts SHOULD forget about them... the whole point is you welcome them with open arms, give them a little help to get them started, and send them on their way. This isn't "handouts for life". This is "here let us give you an opportunity, it's your job to make something of it".

If they can't survive on their own, they SHOULD go back to where they came from and make a life there.

However, majority of these people sought / are seeking asylum is, not claiming that they want to migrate for better quality of life. The people who would be granted asylum theoretically should be persons who would be in a grave danger in the country they came from (ranging from wrongful imprisonment for e.g. political opinion we would find perfectly justifiable, to torture and death for gender identity or sexual orientation). Some people were just "regular people" in Syria (not especially persecuted bloggers or minorities), but still rather want to escape rather than be maimed or killed in a brutal war where "good sides" are hard to find.

Now, the main point in the whole migrant / refugee crisis seems to be that many people who would be economic migrants are using the asylum system to try to enter certain EU countries, but there also this thing that the-would-be-legitimate asylum seekers are also are prone to have much better economic future if they are granted in asylum in country like Finland: differentiating between those is very difficult. This is why it's difficult mess.

edit. is, not isn't.

The majority of them come trough Turkey, no one is in grave danger in Turkey. The moment you cross a second border - you are economic migrant, not refugee.

Mr. Jabiry is one of those reasons why people start thinking that real refugees are like this. Going to a foreign country without education or possibility to get a job is naive if you want to say it nicely. They take a place from someone who really needs help and ruin their reputation

I agree. Perhaps I'm not reading the right articles, but it seems rare for anyone involved (genuine refugees, or people in the refugee business) to condemn these sorts of people.

That's why these countries are delaying applications to filter real refugees from airheads like this guy. He couldn't manage to get education or job in his country, in his culture, in his language and with his race while dreaming to get everything in a different country!

> Mr. Abdulatif was an officer in Saddam Hussein’s army, but > after the invasion by the United States in 2003, and the > subsequent policy of de-Baathification, he was left without > a pension. Then he was caught up in tragedy, like most > Iraqis: Three brothers were killed during the sectarian > civil war. But he has an aunt and cousin who live in the > United States, and their stories motivated him to think of > life elsewhere.

The article talks about more than one migrant. This poor Iraqi's story sounds a lot like a refugee. How safe would you feel after that happening to you?

>real refugees need to visit psychologists

What are psychologists going to do? Tell them they have been brainwashed ?

No, help them deal with culture shock. Which if you've never experienced is probably not something you can imagine.

people dont go to psychologists in the first place in the middle east. They should have a religious/community leader who could help them with this.

western psychologists have very little clue as to how to deal with things like these.

Hmmm, no. I come from a small town in the Southeastern US. People are incredibly religious, you can't even sell alcohol there thanks to the laws they've passed. A part of the local culture is consulting preachers for counseling instead of psychologists/therapists. It causes enormous amounts of damage. We should never encourage people to visit witch doctors over trained medical professionals, culture be damned.

Can anyone who downvoted this explain why?

It seems like a reasonable suggestion to me that people visit trained professionals rather than quacks, or people who will give advice or 'help' skewed by their own personal, perhaps fundamentalist, beliefs.

If you've talked to enough of those trained professionals and if you've read the research their training is based on (and the research about that training), you'll realize that quite a lot - if not most - of the therapeutic effect comes from the patient having someone to talk with about their problems. Which is something a caring local community leader can do as well. 'mrrrgn knows some bad examples, I've personally seen some good - the heads of congregations in the religion I was raised in actually get something of a psychology training, though it's not called such - rather, it's just advice about talking and helping people in need. OTOH they'll happily refer you to seek outside, secular psychological and psychiatric help as well.

Curiously, psychology itself was quite mixed with religion in the past; in some places, it still is. I remember reading Polish psychology texts as a kid, quite a lot of them had serious Catholic undertones (and sometimes explicit references). Which is sort-of understandable when you can count on religion as being an important part of your average person's life.

Unfortunately 'local community leader' is usually synonymous with 'someone that has an agenda'.

But some religions have on going problems with abusive harmful "therapy" such as conversion therapy; and there have in the recent past been severe problems with religious organisations telling abuse victims not to go to police.

Their religious leaders are a part of the problem, you can't have it both ways like it or not for both the migrants and Europe to survive this process some one has to give, and considering that their "culture" has had quite a big influence on why we in this situation in the first place I think for the benefit of all parties that's the part that should give in.

We've had much more millions of immigrants in Europe in the last 2-4 decades (tens of millions) than are currently coming from those places.

There's not much of a culture shock. You probably think they lived captive or in some "iron curtain" regime. They know everything about Europe, the follow the same tv shows, they use the internet etc. Including poorer people.

They don't come because suddenly they were let free and can now experience the world for the first time. They come because they had a devastating war in their country, and they, sadly (for them), can no longer stay there safely.

People get culture shock when moving between western nations - it's not something that's prevented by watching TV. In fact TV can give false ideas that make the reality even more of a shock.

That is a very eurocentric view on the world. I doubt that everyone in the world lusts for western culture and law. Even the most PC people in Europe cant hide that they still see themselves superior to the rest of the world.

> that is an illegal migrant,

when not having documents == {theft, murder, fraud}

Driving without a drivers license is also illegal (in most countries) but not considered equal to theft, murder or fraud. That's a false equivalence because not all things considered illegal are considered as abhorrent as murder or theft.

Agree with you. But when you burn/destroy in purpose your papers just to hide your real you, I guess that will add a big question mark on you. Also, I read in faz that 40% of the refugee will be deported as they do not have any `issue` in the sens of EU. I found that very stupid and wrong. You pick some people based on your view of the life and rest can die.

Running a red light is illegal too. What's your point?

Romans, and Greeks especially under Alexander, changed their lifestyles significantly to accommodate influence from subjects of their conquests. It comes with the imperium package.

> Greeks especially under Alexander, changed their lifestyles significantly to accommodate influence from subjects of their conquests

You mean the Greek subjects of an emperor who spent his time adventuring past the known extent of the world, with all the communications technology the world could offer 2400 years ago? The Greeks who split off from the Asian part of Alexander's empire immediately after he died in a foreign country thousands of miles away?

Ptolemies split too in Egypt but were calling themselves Greeks while having Pharaoh and religious evolution. Greeks were not known for being under a single ruler for long, yet they were keeping a common cultural identity.

The point I'm making is that the Greek subjects of Alexander didn't make any accommodations for the benefit of the foreigners he conquered, since all those foreigners were far away and hard to talk to. His army (and his court, the generals) had to make accommodations, and they complained quite a bit, but his subjects just sat around at home. The army had to be on location.

The empire split after Alexander's death into the Macedonians proper, the Seleucids in Asia, and the Ptolemies in Egypt. The Ptolemies certainly kept a lot of cultural continuity with the Greek / Macedonian world -- so much so that the last Ptolemaic pharaoh, Cleopatra, is believed to have been the first one who was able to speak the Egyptian language (after ruling Egypt for 250 years!). They did set up syncretistic temples, which was standard practice basically everywhere in the classical period. That was an effort to get the Egyptians to accept Greek religion, not the other way around. The Ptolemies even set up a major new city for Greeks. Their accommodations to Egypt weren't particularly impressive.

To the extent that the Greeks and the Macedonians had a common cultural identity, it was because the Macedonians aspired to Greek culture (it seems safe to say that the Ptolemies eventually succeeded at this). The Greeks didn't think highly of the barbarians to their north.

What imperium does Finland control exactly?


You don't have to control. Being part is sufficient.

Being part, as in also being controlled. It's really absurd to think that Finland is somehow responsible for actions of some empire, when the history is more about the country being target of imperialism (by neighbouring Russia and Sweden).

Can you provide examples?

The Romans, IIRC, were uncommonly willing to allow subjects to participate in Roman society as long as they followed the rules. This did not mean that the Romans themselves changed their own lifestyles.

So what would you say about Christianity? Was it a change in Roman lifestyle?

Good job on nitpicking on a language phrase instead of answering the content of the post :/

Which part was not an answer to the Content of the parent?

Interesting article. I'm very pro-Europe taking in refugees. It seems however that the guy in this article moved because he couldn't get a job in his own country and thought he would instantly get one here - not a chance when a lot of Europeans are still struggling to find work because of the economy. It also sounds like he was pretty close-minded in regards to integrating into a new culture/diet/environment. Unless the article isn't telling us something or I misread this guy wasn't really a migrant - this was a man who wanted to move to a new country and didn't like it very much but he took the illegal route in instead of applying for a visa. He wasn't forced out of his home, his life wasn't at risk etc. Like I said, I think we should be helping refugees in every way we can but it really seems like this guy isn't a refugee.

  > this guy wasn't really a migrant 
He was migrant by defintion. Not a refugee though.

  > he was pretty close-minded in regards to integrating into a new
  > culture/diet/environment
I wonder, what is the percentage of those hundreds of thousands who do not have the same mindset. Alas, the thinking of those pro-Europet-taking-in-refugees is somewhere along the lines:

  1. Take in all the refugess
  2. ...
  3. Integration done.
There is no magic for the step 2. And there is the big misundrestanding how deep the difference between the cultures is. Also, the not undrestanding that Islam is not just religion, is the way of life—and the way not very much in agreement with the western one. Especially when the western way is considered subpar and the wrong one. Good luck in thinking that a few lecutres on European values will change all that.

  > 2. ...
If they want to be integrated, it would be really helpful if they learned Finnish. The first guy in the article said he spent most of his time in the gym, and hanging out with other Iraqis, which isn't really going to help with integration.

Learning Finnish won't solve every problem of integration, but without it, I would suggest that integration is impossible.

> If they want to be integrated, it would be really helpful if they learned Finnish. The first guy in the article said he spent most of his time in the gym, and hanging out with other Iraqis, which isn't really going to help with integration.

This is such an important point - I'm German, living in Australia, and the Germans here tend to hang out almost exclusively with other Germans, same goes for the Chinese etc. I haven't yet seen a good solution for that "insulation" - It takes real effort and motivation to step outside of your comfort zone, you can't force people to do so, they'll quickly bounce back.

Germans in Australia do speak English. Also, I don't think the number of Germans who mostly meet Germans everyday is big. All my German (and French, and Russian) friends in Australia had girlfriends from other places. But sorry, communautarism is visible, generalizations over one's communautarism is frequent but communautarism itself isn't that much.

This isn't a surprise. There's a reason large cities have Chinatown, Little Italy, etc. Immigrants are more comfortable keeping their lives mostly within their own community that shares the same language and cultural elements. While I don't think it's all that healthy to avoid integrating with the society you move into, it's understandable to see people take the easy/comfortable route. Hell, I'd probably wind up doing the same.

I have a Greek acquaintance who lives in my city's unofficial Greek neighbourhood. Everything from groceries to bakeries and cafés, it's all Greek and he doesn't like to stray much from his routine in these shops. All the owners and patrons know each other personally. They get to feel like they're still back home. It keeps them sheltered a bit too much from the rest of us, but hey - they have a real community versus me that doesn't know the first name of anyone that serves me in any of the shops I frequent.

People move somewhere for a reason: most migrants (they are white so they are usually referred to as expats) in my neigborhood in south Spain are Brits who came for the weather and low prices: a lot of them simply want to live in a cheaper and sunnier UK. They do not want to integrate as that is not why they came. Same for the Germans; we have an entire town where everything is in German. Some come for the different lifestyle and Spanish culture; those integrate fast but it is a minority.

This is a more general phenomenom, like tends to hang out with like, not necessarily out of bigotry towards the un-likes, but just out of familiarity. It's really "seperate but equal" all over again.

Honestly, it just comes down to being open minded, which has to happen on an individual level. I'm open minded by necessity, because there are very few of my race in the USA, much less my current city.

I suppose typically first generation migrants seldom adjust culturally fully to their home country, and only the second generation become truly native?

Integrated to what exactly? You are never going to be integrated with people that want you to speak the local language, even if you do speak it. The thing is, once you leave your country, you are an expat, an expat doesn't do well with people that want to force their local/close minded way of doing things on you.

There are values that are the same across all Europe and those should be the focus of integration. Learning local language is not one of them.

I don't know how Finland handles asylum seekers, but chances are they keep them together while they determine whether they are refugees, rather than economic migrants. If so, his choice was more or less between hanging out with Syrians, Somali, or other Iraqis, neither of which spoke Finnish.

Also, chances are Finland doesn't teach asylum seekers Finnish while they await that verdict. That makes sense if that process doesn't take much time, but it is hard to make due process take little time if there suddenly are many asylum seekers.

Lee Kuan Yew has had the same experience with the close mindedness of certain cultures and being hard to integrate. My parents noticed the same with people from the same countries as them. Even I noticed early on in school how hard it was for teachers to mention certain progressive ideas without pissing off a bunch guys in my class. I never gave it a second thought until recently.

It's an uphill battle for any country that relies on sweeping issues under the rug instead of managing them up front.

I presume you're referring to Lee's comments about Malay Muslims in Singapore? http://www.singapore-window.org/sw99/90915loy.htm

If you're going to talk about "integration" (read: assimilation), it's worth remembering that they were there first, and it's the Chinese immigrants who are now the majority that has sidelined them.

I still call it integration as it was predominantly secular before a surge of Wahhabism from oil, now there is a divide.

You can look into Iran, Iraq and even Afghanistan. Unfortunately they didn't have a Lee Kuan Yew to draw in the line. My mum told me how no one cared about Halal only sections in Iran, my dad said the same about Iraq even though they would identify as muslims.


Step 2 in Australia after WW2 was basically: - education - counselling - socialising

It worked well enough for the influx of Vietnamese refugees too.

Vietnamese communities tend to integrate well. At least in Easter Europe, in Poland or Czech Rep they are doing quite well, no issues at all.

In France too. In fact I notice I know many Vietnamese descendents, but I didn't realize it until I counted. They're Frence-rooted to me. Successful integration.

I spent some months in Australia and got a completely different idea: multiculturalism is completely an illusion. It's a "timebomb" slowed down by abundance of resources: while everybody is getting more then they need, everything is ok.

Edit: For half a decade I was an expat in a monocultural country. Being open-minded (giving in more often than demanding) and member of a too small community to be considered a threat I could enjoy peace to a greater extent than everywhere else before - even as a member of the majority group in my own country. Probably that's why I'm very bearish regarding multiculturalism.

Step 2 in Australia now is mandatory detention, and step 3 happens some undetermined time later (if ever). Interesting to see how we've gone backwards.

Well, asylum-seekers are a massive political football at the moment, but they're a drop in the bucket compared to other migration - Australia has 500k in and 300k out for an annual net migration of 200k in. Excluding kiwis, permanent migrants in are about 86k. Asylum-seekers are very much in the media, but they are also very not typical of the usual migrant situation here.


With 28% of our population being born overseas, we're doing integration okay (21% if you discount UK and kiwiland - and our #1 country of import in recent years is China). For comparison, the UK is 12% and the US is 14%. If you look at the current migrant rate (migrants/1000 pop/year), there are only two sizeable western countries higher than Australia, being Norway and Spain. If you exclude conflict areas, there are no other large countries higher than Australia[1].


Basically, the WAP is dead as a dodo as of 40 years ago. The idea that Australia is an insular country afraid of immigration is clearly a myth once you look at the stats. Of course, that doesn't sell newspapers.

In short, no, we haven't gone backwards. We're actually a success story, it's just that we have a very visible wart on our nose at the moment (thank you, politics).


[1] this data is from 2014, which is before Germany took in 1% of it's population in the form of Syrian refugees


> Things like a Secular government are new concepts to them

I don't think a secular government is a new concept for Syrians or Iraqis. Saudis, Afghans? Sure. But Syria and Iraq have been under secular governments pretty much since the fifties.

Now living in an open, liberal society like those in Western Europe is a different thing altogether, but for educated Syrians it's not an impossible endeavour. I think most of those actually making it to Germany/Sweden/etc. are from the most "modern" parts of society, as the less educated and poorer ones are pretty much stuck in Liban or Turkey

>I don't think a secular government is a new concept for Syrians or Iraqis. Saudis, Afghans? Sure. But Syria and Iraq have been under secular governments pretty much since the fifties.

This is a common misconception while the governments were secular they've enforced very strict "cultural" laws. In Iraq and in Syria it is perfectly legal to kill your sister for extra-mertial sex, homosexuals are also specifically targeted by either laws that outright make homosexuality illegal (Syria) or by laws that target extra-marital sex (Iraq).

So while you can have perfectly "well adjusted" individuals that might even be highly educated there is an almost insurmountable cultural gap that is almost impossible for anyone who isn't either from the region or had extensive contact with people from the middle east to understand.

You can literally be sitting over tea and talking with a young Iraqi, Syria, Iranian or w/e engineer about everything from mechanical engineering to democracy and constitutional law thinking to yourself wow these guys aren't that different after all until they mention in the same nonchalant casual manner as you would "hey did you see the game last night?" that they had to kill their sister or that they've reported their room-mate for being gay to the state.

Religion and culture aren't separate entities like it or not even by being say not even an atheist but an active anti-theist if you grew up in the west the 2000 years or so of shared cultural heritage which at some point or another was (and still collectively is) affected by judeo-christian beliefs, values, or what ever you want to call it (and vise versa) has been imprinted on you from the day you were born the same way it was imprinted on everyone else.

The true cultural shock isn't when the drinking, chain smoking, club going mid-20's Syrian law student comes to Sweden the cultural shock happens when the Swedes figure out that no matter what they tell him they still can't stop him from thinking it's OK to kill his sister for dating some one he doesn't like.

It's funny how you can tell your political/idealogical leanings on this topic by your phrasing:

> I wonder, what is the percentage of those hundreds of thousands who do not have the same mindset.

Rather than wondering how many people do share that mindset you wonder how many do not share that mindset. This comes across (to me) as if you're coming from a starting position of "they all share this mindset" and are looking to see how wrong you are.

They are Islamists. They do not come from a multi-cultural society, e.g. a society of tolerance and acceptance. I think it would be quite deluded to expect something vastly different of them. Whether of not they will adopt Western culture and philosophy is a different question, but at the time of arrival it should be quite clear what culture and values they represent.

Perhaps you mean they are Muslims.

Islamism is an ideology -- or arguably a catch-all term for a number of ideologies -- that want to force Islam into the government, law and everything.


The average Iraqi or Syrian isn't Islamist. E.g. the Alawites in Syria aren't Islamists, and the former Baath party in Iraq wasn't either.

Honor killings were both legal and prevalent in Iraq under Sadam's rule. The Baath party also operated para-military militias that enforced "morality" rules mostly targeting prostitutes and homosexual. Extra marital sex was punishable in Sadam's Iraq and it was commonly enforced by either the family or the government which quite often resulted in death. The picture as far as Syria goes isn't that different the only major difference is that unlike Iraq Syria had and still has specific laws that target homosexuals rather than just "extra martial sex".

> I think it would be quite deluded to expect something vastly different of them

How about we treat their opinion as "unknown" rather than a foregone conclusion (for either side)? Is this too much to ask?

How about we work with the information we do know and approach the problem using logic and prudent risk management like we would with almost any other topic?

I suppose parent may have been extrapolating their willingness to integrate from that of other immigrants from Muslim cultures who have been living in France/Germany/UK for decades.

No, that doesn't reveal anything. If the poster is trying to illustrate that others think differently, either phrasing illustrates it just fine.

Your sensitivity to it maybe illustrates that you are much closer to it politically and are easily offended.

> pretty close-minded in regards to integrating into a new culture/diet/environment

This applies to a large segment of migrants and refugees from the middle east.

I can say this because I did immigrate from there.

Please tell us more, at least you have knowledge on something ;) Do you have this problem yourself? Or are you looking down at your co-immigrants for that? Do you consider western countries should have a middle-ground effort?

I come from a Christian monoculture in Europe and find it hard to believe that other religions are any better.

It's hard to argue with people who have been brainwashed that everything good comes from gods who also demand all those superficial rituals and arbitrary cultural norms. Questioning their rituals throws their whole worldview and morality out the window and they aren't exactly appreciative for that.

There's also this image that western societies are promiscuous with low (if any!) moral values (because all morality revolves around the regulation of sex, of course!)

There's also a sense of entitlement, because: "The destruction of our country is largely the responsibility of the West". This mindset is very prevalent. So instead of appreciation for being taken in, there's discontent because reality is not turning out like they imagined it to be.

To be fair I think that Europe should absorb a percentage of refugees, but at the same time the US and NY times that is trying to promote articles like that should financially assist Europe and also offer to absorb a big percentage of the refugees... After all Europe didn't start the war on Iraq and Afghanistan. Also I agree that the guy on the article is an illegal immigrant.

I fully agree. I agree even more, that those who started this whole mess (The US militant system) should also clean up their mess.

But this is exactly what they want to cause, chaos and civil unrest, so these same people who benefit from selling weapons to war zones, can push in more laws like the TTIP during times of civil unrest, to support their militant and money based control systems.

The biggest piece of crock being peddled is US is responsible for all this. The borders, Bashar Al Assad, Wahhabist/Salafist extremism, Sunni-Shai fissures in Iraq have nothing to do with US foreign policy. US FP is one of the variables and not even the most important one.

Really? Kicking the hornet's nest didn't cause the problem? The hornets are the problem?

The fault lines are much older than US entering Iraq and it is not Americans themselves to blame but the Shia prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki who actively marginalized Sunni, who were behind Americans after the reawakening. If there is one person to blame he is the one, Americans were able to at least put a workable coalition of Sunni-Shia and Kurds, which Al-Maliki actively sabotaged.

Americans are one party, it is the Iraqis and Syrians themselves who are responsible for much of the mess, and let us not begin with Qatar, Saudi, Kuwaiti funders and Iran and its proxies.

The nice simple narrative to bash the America is much more fun even though intellectually lazy.

Not excusing the fact that GWB is an ignorant moron and warmonger - but the Battle of Kadesh was in 1274 BC between the Hittites and the Egyptians. The Anatolian hornet nest has been swarming for over 3 millennia.

Yet US policy makers thought that "this time it'll be different."

> this guy wasn't really a migrant - this was a man who wanted to move to a new country

Have I missed something about the word "migrant"?

> > this guy wasn't really a migrant - this was a man who wanted to move to a new country

> Have I missed something about the word "migrant"?

In Europe, in past couple of years, 'migrant' has almost become a synonym for asylum seekers and refugees.

Only in certain circles. The same circles that equate Muslim with Undesirable.

Actually the left seems to enforce the nomenclature changes calling them "migrants" rather than illegal or economical immigrants.

Doesn't mater how you paint the picture the moment these guys ended up in Turkey and kept going west they became economical immigrants, and they don't even stop at the first European country they get into they strive to go deeper and deeper to countries that (they think) will give them more benefits.

Heck as we speak you have anywhere between 75,000 and 300,000 "migrants" holding their fort in France (Mainly in places like Clais, Dippe, Rouen etc.) waiting to get into the UK and constantly avoiding registration in France in order not to get "stuck" there.

And the fact that you can hardly have an open discussion about this without being labeled as a racist is just mind boggling and the worst part is that it will make things 100 worse down the line because the pressure that the left imposes on everyone will just means that the whole situation will literally explode when it will reach the boiling point and were not that far off.

What bugs me the most about this situation is people like you who always find it easy being pro-other-people-paying-the-price. How about you liquidate your assets and send them off to pay for these "refugees" since you are so for this. How about you take in random people and then pay for their expenses in your house. It's always easy obligating other people, isn't it? That's the whole problem with this whole "social/ism" notion that it puts people in power to decide the fate and obligations of others.

>> "What bugs me the most about this situation is people like you who always find it easy being pro-other-people-paying-the-price."

Huh? Where did I indicate I want other people to pay the price? We live in a democratic society and I believe our government should use the money we give them via taxes to help take in refugees. If you disagree vote for a party that doesn't want to help. I'm not sure where you're from but if you're in the same part of the world as me you're not going to have much luck.

>> "That's the whole problem with this whole "social/ism" notion that it puts people in power to decide the fate and obligations of others."

Again - these people are voted into power to represent the views of the entire society. This is nothing to do with 'socialism'. If you find yourself consistently annoyed that your government is helping people instead of letting you keep your money (because screw everyone else, right) you're either living in the wrong place or you might want to take a look at what you place importance on because most of the people around you disagree with you, probably for a good reason.

> We live in a democratic society and I believe our government should use the money we give them via taxes to help take in refugees.

This is not a zero-sum game, If government pays it via taxes they have to stop paying something else or increase taxes.

That is not what irks me most though. What irks me most is that we could help a whole lot more people, -and less fortunate people at that, if we applied the same resources in the neighboring countries instead of giving those resourceful enough to cross Europe "golden tickets".

I would be happy to pay a little extra tax for that, if I knew the money would be spent helping those poor souls that are now hunting cats in the ruins of those towns instead of the current golden tickets mostly to young men who leave their families behind,

> This is not a zero-sum game, If government pays it via taxes they have to stop paying something else or increase taxes.

That is literally the definition of a zero-sum game.

It's actually a negative sum game. It costs money to run a tax system, and that money comes out of taxes too.

So, as a coercive state with guns, if I want to fund some program that costs $1M, I would need to tax much more.

I guess you are right. It seemed right when I woke up, less now. Thanks.

Anyway, my larger point stands I guess.

Getting pretty tired of people who display this sort of selfish, trashy attitude towards others less fortunate than themselves.

Please understand that we feel a real threat here. Sweden, France and Belgium is already quite chaotic.

Please understand that some people think that people that have "fled" through multiple safe countries might not be the ones who most desperately needs help.

That really hasn't got anything at all to do with what I was responding to.

What you don't quite get is that you are tired of other people having to deal with your demands and not even helping those who need the help. You think the 80% of these colonists that are male and paid thousands of dollars to get to Europe are really the needy ones? ??? Just to be clear... not the women and children that were not among the ones arriving in Germany after passing through dozens of countries where they were safe. You are supporting the squander of other people's tax money on freeloaders and benefits shoppers that are colonizing Europe and leaving the most vulnerable and weak behind where they came from. You want to help people, try not being ACTUALLY selfish by making this about making yourself feel better about how good of a person you are for taking in people ....... who don't need to be taken in, while those who do need help are left destitute where they should be taken care of in the region.

Allegedly many of the migrants are economic refugees in addition to or instead of political ones. No doubt if you're thinking Europe is full of high wage jobs and fat benefits for unskilled or low-skilled labor you'll be disappointed.

> Allegedly many of the migrants are economic refugees in addition to or instead of political ones.

Whether one can be defined as "economic refugee" is questionable. One is not going to get asylum anywhere in Europe because one is fleeing from "unemployment". The expression makes little sense. These are economical migrants, who came to Europe illegally for the most, especially those who can afford to go back home because Germany didn't give them the job, the house and the welfare they thought they were entitled to.

> One is not going to get asylum anywhere in Europe because one is fleeing from "unemployment".

Quite true, asylum is not granted, but it is still very difficult to send back those whose asylum application is rejected. Often it is not even clear where to send people "back" because they have no papers (human traffickers instruct them to destroy or hide passports) and no one can really tell where they came from.

The applicants have a right to appeal the decision; process takes years, then people make a new residence permit application based on "changed circumstances" (for instance, starting a family or having studied something) and more time passes.

This will be particularly flammable in cases where even hardened criminals cannot be deported because now that they are criminals, their home country (if known) definitely won't take them back.

And then the applicants may simply leave one country and emerge in another one as new applicants (unless biometric tracking is really started and made working).

I predict volatile times and violence for Europe.

And this is why the Australian Government uses offshore processing. These people don't get to come to Australia. This has significantly deterred economic migrants from entering via boat.

Leftists and Europeans derided it as a violation of human rights. Now I be many are secretly wishing they had implemented it.

> This has significantly deterred economic migrants from entering via boat.

This is hard to say - under "Operation Sovereign Borders" all boat arrivals are military secrets, so there's not much data on arrivals except what the government announces. The Australian navy has literally towed back boats in defiance of international laws (Wikipedia: "In August 2015, minister Dutton stated that since December 2013, 633 people on 20 vessels have been subject to turnback operations, including a boat from Vietnam in July), so at least on that front the boats haven't been quite stopped (they just don't go all the way any more).

And as for the violation of human rights: you have a right to seek asylum. You're conveniently forgetting that people who have been placed on Nauru by the Australian government have been murdered and raped, completely unnecessary.

Quote Wikipedia again:

>In 2015, several staff members from the detention centre wrote an open letter claiming that multiple instances of sexual abuse against women and children had occurred.[6] The letter claimed that the Australian government had been aware of these abuses for over 18 months.[7] This letter added weight to the Moss review which found it possible that "guards had traded marijuana for sexual favours with asylum seeker children".[8] [9][10]


We can't really judge the situation there because journalists or international observers are not allowed in.

> This is hard to say

We do know that IMAs have significantly decreased. As the department reports on the numbers in detention[1] (See figure 1)

The ABC also kept a log of all reports[2]

1) http://www.border.gov.au/ReportsandPublications/Documents/st...

2) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-25/log-of-boat-arrivals-a...

>This has significantly deterred economic migrants

That and the big ocean lying between them and everyone else.

You do realise that 30,000 IMA's arrived in the last year and a half of the previous government.

You do know that they use to fly to Indonesia, burn their passport and pay for a boat to take them from there to Australia

Its still a much harder journey to Australia than Europe.

My point is that the difficulty in making the journey is a major factor. So its not clear cut in deciding how much credit should be assigned to Australia's policy of overseas processing centers.

yes that is quite true. Australia has the only sensible policy in this. there is no need for their applications to be processed in Europe. just move them to a few islands or make a deal with Turkey or something. in fact, the EU is moving in this direction.

The problem for EU is that Schengen is broken without effective controls of external borders.

And the Schengen external border is particularly porous in Greece towards Turkey, because people can cross from Bodrum to Kos in any toy boat. And they will. Then there's also the traffic towards Lambedusa of Italy from Libya, and many other somewhat more difficult routes, but the idea is the same: bypass any border controls, and you can't be sent back.

Of course, a number will drown trying these crossings, but by the time they are about to depart for this hop, they have already paid thousands of $ to traffickers, and if they choose not to try, they've lost their money for nothing.

And once people are in Kos, Greece is not very interested in enforcing the Dublin protocol, and the people are free to move on towards their preferred target countries (Germany, Nordic countries, and UK; that latter one still has border controls at English Channel as they are not in Schengen).

Nothing will stop this migration except EU-wide declaration that you can't get in as a spontaneous asylum seeker, you have to come via camp where your application is processed -- much like Australia.

This is a very hard decision for EU leaders to make, as there has been so much grandstanding about the humanitarian superiority of EU countries (e.g. towards Australia). However, if nothing is done, this migration is the end of EU.

Russia may yet decide to mix things up further by enabling transit of asylum seekers - it would be an even straighter and cheaper route to Finnish and Norwegian borders, and people wouldn't need to pass through the fairly hostile nations in Balkans. And then the only option for Finland and Norway would be to permanently close the border to Russia for all passengers.

Russia is in fact allowing transit of migrants[1]

1 http://neurope.eu/article/russia-is-using-asylum-seekers-to-...

But of course, how much Russia encourages operators on this route will have a great impact on the number of migrants on this route. Russian border guards belong to the security service, FSB, who in turn is direct control of Putin. No business of this type will thrive in Russia without the blessing of the president and his trusted business partners.

But Russia has here a great chance of miscalculating and increasing pressure, making Finland close the border and even move towards NATO membership.

That's the irony of the situation: those who not only have the insight that Europe isn't what they hoped for but also have the resolve to act on that insight are demonstrating qualities that would make them prime candidates for successful integration. It's a weird twist of the brain drain pattern. (But a good one, because those qualities will shine even more in the home country)

Well there are stories that they were told by trafficers that they will get a house, a job, and a car upon arrival.

Yeah, that's kind of what the guy in the article thought, quote:

   > He arrived in Belgium with this in mind: 
   > “I was expecting them to give me a house, 
   > a good job, so I could have a better life. 
   > This is what I was dreaming about.”

'Europe is full of high wage jobs and fat benefits for unskilled or low-skilled labor'

labor? you mean - like, work, right? europe is full of welfares and free housings and subsidies. no migrant is going to labour here, just accept what is rightfully theirs. labour is for local suckers.

Where in Europe can you find free housing? Are you talking about refugee centers? Monthly payments to refugees which are immediately send to respective landlords?

all of the above. the bottom line - they are not paying for it from their pocket.

The welfare and the free housing have caught up with some who have joined the Euro (Greece/Portugal) and look where they are now.

Number of immigrants going back to the middle east in this article is funny at best. Author gives few thousands here and there, but he doesn't give overall number - which seems to be around 10 000. And for a 1 000 000 migrants that are in Europe and another 1 000 000 incoming this is nothing - marginal case fitting into statistic error.

The sooner they gone the better. It's clear that they only here for benefits, not jobs, peace or freedom. Nobody wants to go to live eastern european countries (EU) as a refugee, though they equally peaceful, open-minded, but there are no benefits (or limited), no free housing and no free cars...

Btw, everyone suddenly forgot about existing unemployment in Spain (20%, dec data) or Greece(24%, dec data). Other EU countries also struggling, especially in youth employment...

> open-minded

Most Eastern European countries are extremely against refugees from northern Africa and the middle East actually.

This is true, Hungary was the first in EU to put up wire around its border to Serbia to prevent immigration.

Frankly Eastern Europe has enough problems with it's own economic burdens - lack of capital, low productivity, low % of capable working population and significant brain drain, high corruption and low respect for property ownership, a lot of destroyed capital and outstanding obligations to existing retired people, etc. - most of which can be traced back to Communism. Also they already have problems with poor integration of Roma.

It's easy to see why refugees are not welcome.

And you forget the whole Ottoman rule thing. We brunt the conquerors wrath up to Vienna and barely stopped them. Had our development extinguished for 3-5 centuries. When people in Eastern Europe see the hordes of young, fighting age passing trough they have different associations - like Devşirme

I wanted to say something about that but it's not that black and white.

For example there were/are a lot of Muslims in the Balkans after the Ottoman empire - but they are integrated within the society - some of them drink/eat pork, none of them expect gays/adulterers to be stoned etc. Just like modern Christians reject the extreme parts of their religion (eg. they mostly ignore the stuff in old testament).

I don't think "islamophobia", in the sense that you'll be ostracized for being a muslim, is more common than the rest of EU.

Yeah but those are our Muslims. And Balkans are pretty agnostic no matter the religious denomination. It is different.

>And Balkans are pretty agnostic no matter the religious denomination. It is different.

One of the few good things from Communism I guess - although the methods used were disgusting

They against havoc, littering, blocked roads, squatted trains, destroyed property, etc. Keep in mind that people never intended to stay in any of those eastern european countries, they all were going to Germany.

So completely misinformed.

The refuees are not leaving Syria/Iraq etc looking for benefits. They are leaving a severe civil war. Yes there are economic migrants moving to Europe as well but they are and will be deported. The reason they aren't staying in the poorer countries is simply that. They are poorer and simply can't handle the refugee intake nor provide basic essential services.

You can't blame genuine refugees for wanting to goto countries where they have the best opportunity of leaving a normal life.

> You can't blame genuine refugees for wanting to goto countries where they have the best opportunity of leaving a normal life.

And there lies the crux of the problem: many - if not most - of these migrants want to lead a 'normal life' among people of their own ethnic group, from their own background, speaking their own language and perpetuating their own culture. A culture which is often diametrically the opposite from that in which they landed. They don't want to 'integrate' or 'assimilate', they want to be amongst their peers. While this is understandable, it is a recipe for disaster as a quick look at eg. Malmö/Rinkeby/etc in Sweden, the banlieux in Paris, Schilderswijk in The Hague (etc) shows. It leads to segregation, unemployment due to language barriers, increased crime rates due to the latter as well as due to cultural differences (see the 'rape epidemic' in Sweden) and more such destabilising problems.

You are misinformed.

According to the EU 60% of these people are economic migrants[1]. But lets continue killing Europe with compassion[2].



> You can't blame genuine refugees for wanting to goto countries where they have the best opportunity of leaving a normal life.

Iran, Pakistan, Turkey are all peaceful and prosperous countries. And religiously similar.

Did you mean 'relatively prosperous'? I thought Pakistan was somewhat like India; better than where these refugees are from but not quite prosperous.

> “They were surprised,” he said. “But I told them I’d rather die in my country than die outside in a strange country.”

Well since most of the so called Syrian (and many other countries too) "refugees" are healthy young men, I really don't know what are they doing in EU (expecting wellfare money probably) instead of fighting for their own country for better tomorrow (what all young men did in their age around the world since dawn of time). Europe as it is today didn't came for free.

> (expecting wellfare money probably) instead of fighting for their own country for better tomorrow

Hacker News: Taking armchair coaching to a whole new level.

Sometimes I despair at the lack of empathy that is possible.

From the article:

> He arrived in Belgium with this in mind: “I was expecting them to give me a house, a good job, so I could have a better life. This is what I was dreaming about.”

It's hard to emphasize with someone expecting handouts, vs those who are fleeing true horrors.

Versus? Why do you think the two are incompatible?

This is a guy who has lost three brothers, amidst a civil war that still has been killing more than a thousand of civilians per month. How much horror do you need to empathize?

Because having not received what he wanted, this man wants to return to Iraq of his own accord.

There were some fish, still alive, who were being cooked in a frying pan in boiling oil. One of the fish said, "Brothers, let us flee from this place, so that we will not perish." Then they all at the same time jumped out of the frying pan and fell into the burning coals. Stricken thus by even greater pain than before, they cursed the plan they had adopted, and said, "By how much more terrible a death are we now going to die."

-- Laurentius Abstemius

Finland does not exactly fit either of Bevilaqua's examples there.

Not for you and me, but this man prefers to live in Iraq than in Finland.

After all, you and I are not expected to have people dressed as the KKK throwing rocks at us: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/finland/118...

I'll add armchair coaching from someone in a small EU country which still has its language because his both grandfathers didn't bail and ran away, for which I'm forever grateful of the responsibility they took.

Whatever one's musings on the status and the notion of ethnic states etc., I don't think the situation is comparable. In my (our?) case (Baltic states), there was (more of) a concrete "bad Other", whereas in Syria a proxy war (or an array thereof) is taking place. One can perceive it as multiple groups of interest fighting, with the backing of multiple actors (and the background struggle of the extent of those actors and their backing is what might determine the outcome, if any).

It is easier to grok a meaningful armed struggle (which one may partake in, hypothetically) - after all, it is tangible and concrete, and there's always a bad side (isn't there), etc.; but in the completely messed up state of affairs that people in Syria find themselves in, one can't but deduce that they are in a war zone with no certain optimal equilibrium which one can attempt to bring the future to. And that is really a different picture altogether, I would think.

The trip to Europe is incredibly dangerous, it's much safer for the young men to come first to find a way to help the rest of the family to flee more safely. Germany until recently had a program specifically for that.

Additionally men are drafted by the Syrian government. In other words there are areas in Syria that are fairly safe for children, women and the elderly that aren't all that safe to be in, if you're a men and have no means to escape the draft.

All of that combined means that you have a bias towards male refugees, especially when it comes to images you see in the media of refugees fleeing with boats.

>what are they doing in EU [...] instead of fighting for their own country for better tomorrow (what all young men did in their age around the world since dawn of time)

Yeah, same as the people being persecuted by the Nazis in WW2. They should've just fought, the people leaving to other countries were really stupid. When deciding between a high possibility to die in the near future by staying in Syria and a low possibility to die soon by leaving the country, everyone obviously picks the high possibility because that seems more appealing. /s

And because you are talking about the fact that only healthy young man are fleeing: If you have the possibility to send family members to Europe: Who do you send? The 20-year old healthy male or the 85-year old grandma?

Edit: (In case it wasn't obvious from the writing style or you don't know /s, it marks sarcasm)

> Yeah, same as the people being persecuted by the Nazis in WW2.

Actually the Nazis could only be defeated because not everyone ran away like a traitor. Millions died fighting the Nazi regime.

You should show more respect towards them instead of painting them as stupid.

If you run you are a traitor? What bullshit is that? If a strong (far stronger and organized than you) force is bent on eradicating you flee and then figure out how you can help. The solution to the Jewish problem as they put it was not a fair fight that would have been helped by even more of them being killed. Most of them did not die fighting: they died without even the chance to fight. Traitors...

>You should show more respect towards them instead of painting them as stupid.

Maybe you didn't see the /s

I'm pretty sure you edited the /s in there after my comment, but your comment makes even less sense with the added sarcasm.

What's the case you are making here? Before I understood it as you defending the young males all fleeing the country because it's safer and all.

"Strange countries" fight their war, allegedly for their interests, but in reality not leaving much for them to do or diminishing the impact of their actions. For those who wish to live under more secular regimes, Europe is a better bet to take. Even if European forces prevail, the best they can expect is a bad imitation of ideals with lots of colonial "lifestyle". Furthermore, quite a few are healthy young men with healthy little children and wives.

So you actually think that the Syrian people have any chance against the Russian-backed Syrian government. You do undrestand that the Russians are ruthless and have no qualms about taking out civilians and anyone else that gets in their way.

And actually most of the people from Syria are genuine refugees. They are fleeing a brutal civil war.

But of course would love to know what you would do in this situation. I am sure you would be quite happy fighting, dying the next day all to achieve absolutely nothing.

80% of Syrian population lives in Syrian government controlled territory.

Those Alawites and Christian living on ISIS-controlled territory on the other hand...

>80% of Syrian population lives in Syrian government controlled territory.

Citation, please.

My understanding is that there are a relatively small proportion of "Syrians" fighting against the Syrian government.

  > He arrived in Belgium with this in mind: 
  > “I was expecting them to give me a house, a 
  > good job, so I could have a better life. This is 
  > what I was dreaming about.”
I'm not sure who seeded this somewhat pervasive meme in the heads of economic migrants, but it runs diametrically counter to actually-existing reality.

Isn't that clear yet? They were told that by the hordes of smugglers who make untold amounts of money ferrying these people into Europe. To lure them in, they tell them of the golden mountains just waiting for them, the girls who can't wait for supposed 'real men' - there are those who claim that women in Sweden demonstrate out on the streets to 'get real men' - and all the other good, free stuff.

Once here they should notice that they've been duped, but many don't seem to be able to accept this and go on a rampage to get whatever is is they expected. Which, of course, is not forthcoming - not even in Sweden, even though the level to which this country goes to accommodate so-called 'refugees' is beyond the pale (claim to be 16 and you're set as long as you don't look older than 40...).

It is going to take a long time, and cause a lot of trouble for both the affected European countries as well as the migrants who chose to come there to solve this problem. It could break the EU. It will topple governments.

The human traffickers. They distribute leaflets praising the benefits of each country.

Link to said leaflet?

It's in dutch, but here's a newspaper article about it: http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1012/Nederland/article/detail/4108964...

The situation in Sweden is becoming really bad. The police have decided to cover up crime at the refugee centers because it is so high. For some age groups in Sweden there are now 125 men per 100 women. Yes the immigration has been enough to tilt the ratio that much. Christian refugees have to flee from refugee centers because of the dangerous situation for them there.

This is what you get by being extremely naive as a country, also fear of what others think of you

Regardless to people's own position I think we can all agree that there is a lot of emotion, rhetoric, propaganda even, surrounding the refugee and migrant crises currently going on in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

After speaking to a few colleagues in Europe, it makes me want to take a trip to Europe just to get an un-obfuscated picture of what's really going on.

Until then I'm going to try not to form particularly strong opinions on the matter.

I don't know that you're going to gain much insight from a fact-finding trip to Europe in the capacity of a tourist. A lot of the problem is subterranean and lurks in the shadows of European society, away from the outward presentation layer visible to a visitor, and aggregate numbers are best understood by policymakers and experts.

When you get off the plane in Europe and amble around, you'll probably find nothing has superficially changed much from the last time you were there--assuming you've been before.

I probably misrepresented what my intentions are. I'm not actually going on a research trip, but I do intend to visit Europe soonish, and hope to get a better understanding of what is going mainly by talking to locals etc.

The problem is that except for a handful of people who have direct contact, the locals are not really any more informed than others. As an European, I knew many people who had strong opinions on the consequences of accepting Syrian refugees, before the first families had even arrived.

TV and social media, not personal experience, shape most of the opinions.

Yep and those opinions are amplified by right wing warmongering and the under belly short term anti-solutions that the loudest shouters on tv, facebook and youtube etc have.

That's true for the opinions against accepting refugees, but there's also plenty of people who find ridiculous the mere suggestion that it may cause problems.

I support the acceptance on principle, but I'm certainly not sure of the consequences, good or bad.

Yes it should be far more open but Brussels knows that if it is an open discussion no one will get in in the meantime. Of course it causes issues but letting people suffer is still something we need to help with. The problem is so incredibly complex that a solution will take a long time and in the meanwhile we will just have to make due. It will probably explode though; too many on/off people who are just angry and have no ideas but war and anger to throw in. A lot of them afraid of losing their benefits because the migrants took 'm. I thought this translates well to the news here; http://imgur.com/a/XxLWO

Edit: yes I am aware of the meme dislike here but this one hits home imho

Its incredible how SJWs have done their best to paint anyone who points out the obvious problems associated with mass migration (particularly people from an intolerant, sexist culture) as the problem.

When political correctness appears, logic and reason disappears out the window.

That's the thing - there are no obvious problems. It's very far from obvious how this will play out.

For example, regarding the "intolerant, sexist culture" you allude to. It's easy to paint the middle east in broad strokes, but that misses crucial differences between countries and peoples, particularly as those countries were often Western inventions made by grouping disparate regions and populations.

For example, did you know that in 2010 (before even the first conflict against Bashar al-Assad), there were over 150 thousand Syrians in the US alone?

Do you talk to people where you live now about their views on refugees and immigration? The views in Europe will be very similar to those.

In either place, you will find people critical of refugees or sympathetic to their plight.

Europe is a very big place, with lots of countries and regions and cities and villages.

My take is that the great majority of people in Europe (as a whole) only see or hear about refugees in the television, in the news, and in the internet, just like everybody else in the world.

Of course (and just like everybody else in the world) that doesn't deter them from forming a very strong opinion about the subject, to express it very loudly in the internet and to fall prey to their local politicians using the crisis for their personal benefit (no matter what side of the divide they fall).

Just like you I won't form a strong opinion on the matter and I suggest you not to try give it much thought either. It is a very serious and complicated problem but there is a great change that the people who can help is already doing it and, as for the rest of the population, it is more likely their involvement will only hinder and cloud the matter even more.

Migrants to Europe will get better jobs and lifestyles easily. And the streets of New York are paved with gold.

It took my family over a hundred years since immigration to the USA to really integrate such that I don't feel even slightly foreign. And honestly the USA changed us more than we changed the USA. And I agree with that - it's rude to make demands as a guest or newcomer.

The would maybe do if they had non trivial skills; tech uni degrees etc. Most can do only manual labor and/or have little or no education: we do not have jobs for those skillsets enough for natives let alone immigrants. A friend of mine fled for economic reasons (and more freedom) years ago: he was a surgeon and coder and (secretly) entrepreneur in his country; absolutely no issues getting a job and integrating.

Most of us (meaning people that aren't European) would be willing to move anywhere in the EU, at least for a while. I lived and worked in France for some time. My family came from Germany and Switzerland 150 years ago, and my wife's great grandmother came from Spain only 100 years ago (she's Mexican and now also American). It's a really neat thing to be over there and feel that connection to an ancestral homeland that we still have family stories about.

Close to where I grew up was a town called Swedesburg, they fly the Swedish flag there to this day. Lots of Germans and Swedes. One would think Europe would change immigration law to encourage people who would naturally have some affinity or ties to the region. But that doesn't seem to be a popular idea. I think my wife and I would be able to integrate anywhere over there, northern or southern Europe, with zeal. We both speak English, Spanish, we can already communicate with Italians as a result of Spanish, and are enthusiastic about cultures and languages. I've lived in the US, France, Mexico and visited ~10 nations including Russia. My wife has visited equally as many and studied in Valencia. I've been to Finland- it has less snow than the part of the US I'm from (though my wife would probably not be thrilled).

I've always gotten the feeling Europe prefers its former African and mideast colonies to immigrate north, rather than American hordes with their money and talents (which may be more offputting to the natives than a more desperate immigrant).

I don't think that there's any evidence that there are hordes of Americans just waiting to move on over.

In the UK immigration from former colonies is no longer treated any more preferentially than immigrants from non-EU countries who aren't former colonies (youth mobility visa excepted).

After WW2 and Britains labour shortage, full rights of settlement were granted to everyone in the commonwealth, hundreds of thousands came and settled from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Why should an american have preference when their family left 5 generations ago over someone who arrived 2 generations ago?

Many Africans and Asians come to university in the UK and decide to stay here, not so many Americans do - they have prestigious universities of their own. These people are not desperate and are talented.

Britain imports lots of doctors & nurses from commonwealth countries, these people are talented.

British Asians contribute something like 6% of UK GDP, despite making up 4% of the population. These people have money.

> One would think Europe would change immigration law to encourage people who would naturally have some affinity or ties to the region.

No offense but this affinity people especially from the US seem to have appears from this side like nothing more than a weird fetish driven by nothing more than fantasy. Especially for Germany this is incredibly weird because there is often a certain pride associated with being "German" that would get you considered a nazi in Germany.

If you're well educated and can get a job in Europe, immigrating should be quite easy already. I see no reason to make it easy for people just because some ancestor happened to be from Europe.

> No offense but this affinity people especially from the US seem to have appears from this side like nothing more than a weird fetish driven by nothing more than fantasy

How do you figure? My grandmother sang in German to me as a child. Fantasy? Her husband defeated Germany in WW2 and his father defeated Germany in the trenches of France.

It's perhaps time that Germans got a little bit of pride, and it's ironic that to revitalize Germany (and Europe as a whole to former greatness) it would require bringing back your best and most ambitious.

Instead, as I said, I've lived in France- the people will never admit but fear being swarmed by people just as arrogant as the average European. Europe prefers the chaos and civil disruption of mideast immigration because these people are easy to look down upon and pity. Chaos is preferred over having ones mental and financial equal or superior arrive.

It doesn't matter to us, we're doing fine over here. I'm just suggesting the fix to all of Europe's problems of no birthrate and a cloudy future with none of the problems being invited with the current ethnic disruption. One would think a more desirable migrant would be preferable rather than a victim of poor circumstance.

Many European countries extend citizenship to distant descendants like Hungary and Italy.

Spain naturalizes nationals of Iberoamerica, Philippines, and Equatorial Guinea after only two years residence rather than ten for nationals of other countries.

> One would think Europe would change immigration law to encourage people who would naturally have some affinity or ties to the region.

Is this a roundabout way of saying that European countries ought to prefer white immigrants? Europe has a little bit of history with regard to governments making laws that discriminate on the basis of race. Might not be such a great idea to turn back the clock on that one.

Italy has some pretty crazy Jus Sanguinis citizenship laws, through which I'm eligible for Italian citizenship through my great-great-grandfather.

I personally have never understood the logical difference between a political refugee and an economic one. It is OK to claim asylum because you have odious political views, but not because you children are starving.

A person who's starving doesn't need asylum, they need humanitarian aid. On the other hand, a person who's a victim of persecution needs protection. Therefore they have completely different needs and for that reason it makes a lot of sense to deal with these two problems separately.

Since it is in practice impossible to separate the two it doesn’t make much sense.

Basically anyone from a country with an internal conflict or a less than ideal government (this covers most of the world) can become a refuge by claiming they have been persecuted. Even those from countries that don’t meet these very common criteria can still claim to be refugees by destroying their documentation and claiming to be from a conflict zone.

Since you don’t need to provide any evidence other than your own word [1], all having two separate categories does is screen out the people who are too stupid (or honest) to make up a plausible story of persecution.

1. http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/3ae6b3338.pdf

It doesn't explain why they defined it so, but modern usage can at least be coming from the definition given in the Geneva Convention, which doesn't mention poverty.


I guess in 1950 the lines between rich and poor countries were even starker, with the rich ones not really having the capability to deal with all the poor that would want to claim economic asylum.

It may just be that asylum for purely economic reasons doesn't scale in a way that would solve the problem.

This video does a good job of showing that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE

Given the number of political and ethnic refugees it would appear that asylum doesn't scale for these categories either.

Well, 3 billion+ desperately poor (< $2 day) vs ~50 million refugees is a still a slightly different scale :)

Very few people starve today. In many third-world countries obesity is a larger health problem than starvation. It may change if global warming gets worse and destroys farmland. But right now, world hunger is decreasing rapidly.

There are still around a billion people who don’t have enough to eat and many more who are only a poor harvest away from starving.

But we talked about starvation, not malnutrition.

> Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year


Plenty of people starve to death. Plenty of people are still hungry. Hunger is increasing.

This always happens.

Many of my grandparents generation immigrated to the US from Ireland in the 1920s and 30s. Not everyone stayed! 3-4 grand uncles and aunts moved back because they missed home, weren't making it, or missed farming.

It's hard to move into a different society, and as order is restored in places like Iraq, i think it is natural to see people return.

I guess this guy is not a refugee in the sense that things are ok for him to go back to family

In a certain way this article makes me happy. I’m all for immigration as I think it makes countries stronger, but the fact a large number of Iraqis are confidant enough in the stability of their country to return home seems a good sign. Despite all the scenes constantly depicted in the media about walls, car bombs, and Isis, some people would rather just go home to live near their mom.[1]

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iraq-says-security-wall-being-bu...

what strikes me with this migrant crisis is the number of misperceptions on both sides:

The migrants are always refered to as war refugees when really only a minority are.

The migrants seem to come with the perception that they will be welcomed with open and generous arms where the European public opinion is becoming very visibly hostile to this wave of migrants. And European countries will not have the means and the will to subsidise immigrants on this scale.

The European public opinion turned against the migrants after the Paris attack, just because some of the attackers travelled through these immigration channels, but all attackers were either French or Belgium nationals, not migrants. Same thing in Cologne where it seems all the attackers where from Marroco and Algeria, not Iraq or Syria.

What I am worried about is the combination of these factors:

1. This is only the start of the migrant crisis. Migrants stopped crossing the mediteranean sea during the winter, but spring is coming, and the Russian backed offensive in Syria will lead to more war refugees. Not only that but when Bashar will likely regain territories from Isis, we will really see many Isis fighters returning home in Europe, ...or seeking asylum from the certain death if caught by Putin/Bashar (and then what do Europeans do?). And on a longer term, the African demographic explosion means millions of africans trying to make their way to Europe every year will be the new normal. Add to that the fact that our societies will increasingly reduce our reliance on oil, which will bankrupt half of the states in the middle east. Saudi Arabia for instance will be a pretty problematic failed state.

2. The threshold of tolerance to migrants seems to have been exceeded pretty much everywhere in Europe. In the UK the EU referundum will largely be about polish immigration and current polls suggest the UK will exit the EU. The far right is rising pretty much everywhere in Europe. And the standard politically correct response of the medias/political class (if you don't want these migrants, you are a racist, end of discussion) will not do anything to contain the far right.

3. With the exception of the UK, pretty much all of Europe is in recession and has high unemployment, and therefore will not be able to absorb this immigration. To make things worse, all the technological change we foresee (AI, robotics, more automation) will only reduce the supply of low-skill jobs in favor of high-skill jobs. The exact opposite of what would be required to absorb this immigration.

The whole thing feels like a slow motion train crash, like the accumulation of public debt. It seems pretty obvious to me that one way or another it won't end well.

Re Paris attacks and migrants: Only the politics are blaming it on Syria and on migrants!

I, French, and many others, have seen through the game. Terrorists were actually French/Belgian. And French born. It's a failure with our "Egalité des Chances".

- That President Hollande triggers 3000 home bustings with no warrant is extremely racist. They did uncover arms but one should notice that they busted a lot of... countryside hunters. What a shame on police.

- That President Hollande triggers house arrests on hundreds of Muslims is extremely racist again. At best they lose their jobs, at worst those Muslims will turn back their opinion against revenge-based democracy, and we're feeding tomorrow's terrorism with new French-born-and-raised citizen.

- That Holland considers bombing a foreign country because we had some terrorist attacks is, again, using politics for another agenda. By the way, war creates new poverty, and 90% the West goes at war, they create the terrorists of tomorrow.

- If our terrorists have made a trip to Syria, that's at minimum a big failure of the Shengen borders. Shengen borders which, we were told, were stronger than just national borders, but have just let about 1.1million migrants through. What a mockery over the voters.

- France is in economic stagnation. I have lived in 4 countries, I'm not naive. We don't have the money to lead a war in Syria. With that much money we send all kids of Africa to Disneyland (Do make the calculation, we spend 32m€ on war per year).

- French citizen who became terrorists did that out of hopelessness. If anything, we need more social fabric, more social help. We also need a strict police. My cousin was sexually assaulted by someone we have the identity of, and the police isn't arresting him. Sexual assault being one of the worst crimes, it's weak to say that the police is generally lenient with crime and that's our culture. And when our police acts, they just do so in a massively racist way. Way to go. Talking about police, the worst thing to do for a Socialist president is to give free reign to far-right police during Etat d'Urgence.

President Hollande is acting the worst way against terrorism. He's not attacking the roots at all (better economy, equal chances, less debt, less war, balanced police with due diligence and powers in check, safe environment for Muslims, and teaching about equality). President Hollande is teasing the population with racism, imposing a police state on Muslims (and the rest of the population), removing juges from the police system, bombing Syria and losing money.

Between Hollande and FN (far right), I see no difference.

Which brings me to the matter: 1. There is no Socialist party that we can vote for if we're against the war and pro-equality and pro-integration; 2. Voters from the first point will turn to FN if Hollande doesn't have a better program than FN.

I accuse Hollande of failing France, by not applying a Socialist program and teasing France towards extreme-right.

I don't usually comment on threads like this, but you guys come off as bad as reddit here. Cancerous.

In what way, too liberal? Too much pro migrant, or too much anti migrant?

Anyway, calling something plebeian or cancerous doesn't improve the debate... I mean all it's says is that you disagree with what most people believe. That should be either enough to question your own beliefs, or at least to defend your point of view, because all you do here is just a slight rant that is petty at best, or a sign of defeat.

Anyway, immigration is a tough political debate, it is controversial since it involves questioning the history of borders. Which is really not an easy thing to solve, even for the most talented politician.


> islamification of Europe

Your choice of words makes your agenda very clear


I think you'd be more at home on /pol/. Everyone here can see through your silly argument.

The problem is never the migrants or refugees. The problem is their luggage and the reaction of the hosts.

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