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Monday, October 12, 2015

Refugees, Migrants, or Invaders?

       There has been much debate concerning issues of immigration of late.  Donald Trump unleashed a firestorm of controversy about illegal immigrants in the United States, but now much of this story has been superseded by the waves of humanity flooding into Europe.  Who are these people that we are hearing about?

         The U.S. network news media sources seem to portray this as mostly a humanitarian crisis spawned by the war in Syria.  Most of the news footage that I've been seeing shows a preponderance of young males.  Oh, sure, they'll focus on the occasional female in Muslim attire and the innocent looking children, but when they show the masses, most of those shown are young men.  Often they aren't behaving very peaceably.   Why aren't these men fighting to defend their countries and preserve their own heritages?

         Many of those coming to Europe are from countries other than Syria.  They also hail from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Libya, and other predominately Muslim countries.  Can we truly refer to all of these groups as "refugees"?   Or are they migrants "looking for a better life"?   Or might they be invaders settling in to prepare for the future Islamization of Europe?

       Consider some of the following quotes by Muslim leaders if you will:
       Islam will take over Europe without violent force within a few decades.We have 50 million Muslims in Europe.  There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.
      Europe is in a predicament, and so is America.  They should agree to become Islamic in the course of time, or else declare war on the Muslims.
      Muslims view Muhammad the prophet not only of the Arabs or Muslims but of all people.   He superseded all previous religions.  If Jesus were alive when Muhammad was sent, he would have followed him. All people must be Muslims.
 Late Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi in a speech aired on the Arab satellite network Al Jazeera on April 10, 2006.

"Islam must win and Westerners will be destroyed...If they want to have peace, they have to accept to be governed by Islam.  Muslims who don’t hate America sin.  There is no iman [belief] if one doesn’t hate America."
Abu Bakar Bashir, a leading Muslim cleric

Sheikh Muhammad Ayed called on the refugees to “breed children with them (the Europeans),” and by doing so, “we shall conquer their countries – whether you like it or not, oh Germans, oh Americans, oh French, oh Italians, and all those like you.”
“Take the refugees! We shall soon collect them in the name of the coming Caliphate. We will say to you: These are our sons. Send them, or we will send our armies to you,” he concluded.
---As cited by The Daily Mail and other sources.

        Just something to consider on this Columbus Day.  You can draw your own conclusions.  Feel free to leave your thoughts about this in the comment section.


  1. Hi Lee - I think most are just ordinary people wanting a better life - and the journeys they've taken are horrendous - I doubt we'd undertake them .. unless we were utterly desperate. I'm sure one or two are not completely in-line ... but what worries me far more is the polarisation of people's views by groups who exploit the situation. Our situation in Europe is very different ... and none of us fully understand the situation.

    We live in interesting times ... and there's so so much more to understand, comprehend and learn - Hilary

    1. Hilary, it's a good idea for all of us to become better education. Our future is likely to see many clashes in ideologies and right now nobody wants to confront the Jihadi elephant in the room.


  2. I think we should be very worried. Yes, many are just people trying to get out of their own country, but there is an agenda with some of them. Hate Americans and destroy Westerners. Such a terrifying message.

    1. Alex, we need to examine the end games of Islam in comparison with Christianity. We hear propaganda but not much in the way of absolute truth. There is a beautiful imaginary message that we'd all like to believe, but there is also a hard truth of what many of us don't want to face.


  3. I think I don't know very much. That's what I think. I think I only know what the media feeds me in the form of sound bites. That's what I think. I think it's much more complicated than the sometimes "out of context" quotes from their leaders or our leaders which are reported on by Fox News, CNN or MSNBC. That's what I think. I think that if I could live the life of a Syrian family for a day, then, perhaps I might truly understand enough to be able to have a truly informed opinion. But that's only what I think.

    1. Lynda, from what I've observed mainstream U.S. media does not report all the truth other than in trickles and suggestions after the fact. My best suggestion to you is to read up on what's happening and what people believe--and research a wide range of resources in order to get a balance.

      I started researching this situation back in 1981 and have had an awareness of much of it since the 60's. This is an ongoing history that has been continuing since the 8th century. It's all connected.


  4. I would be happy to see a lot more of the refugees in Britain, most are just ordinary people trying to escape the extremes of the war in Syria. Yes there are others taking advantage purely as economic migrants, but most of these will have to return to their own countries once the bureaucratic machine gets going.

    Some parts of Britain have quite large Muslim communities and we tend to all get along fine. but as with all religions and groups there are extremists. Those quotes are not the views of the majority in any form, it would be like saying Hitler's views were the views of the Average European or Pol Pot represented Asians.

    Sure a lot of them are Young males, but they are at high risk of being killed in Syria at present. The other week on the news here they talked to one of them who had been a surgeon in a Hospital that had been destroyed by bombing in Syria. He was in Europe trying to get to Germany and had nothing. He was in tears and just wanted a normal life again somewhere, as do 99.9%.

    A lot of the problems of the Middle East were created by European leaders post WW2 when they chopped it up to suit a European ideal and create Israel. I suspect there are no easy or happy solutions to the present situation. But it is not the fault of the refugees and humanity to ones fellow man should be the first priority of the rest of the world, surely its man ability to help others in need that makes man more than just another critter on Planet Earth.

    1. I'd like to be as optimistic as you are but history doesn't reflect any credible information to fuel my optimism. Helping others is well and good, but if those others aren't on the same page as the countries to which they migrate then a recipe for serious problems is in the making.

      Another question to consider is who pays for all of this? The U.S. is facing huge debt and bad financial situations--we blow enough money without adding to this burden. I don't think Europe is in much better shape.

      In regard to Israel, that country was not "created" in recent centuries, but it's an ancient country from which the Jews have been expelled and moved about for thousands of years. In 1947 the Jews were returned to a homeland that had been stolen and occupied after the Muslim invasion in the 8th century or whenever it was.

      But I'm sure there is plenty of argument against my point of view.

      Thanks for your fine comment.


    2. The USA is a land of immigrants, its only true nationals are Indian tribes, it has become the nation it is as a result of that immigration process. Europe has a vast mix of many cultures and diverse religions the mixing of cultures, religions and beliefs should always make the world better. The alternatives are isolationism, fear and genocide and no one except those at the extremes should want that. As for Israel it is a very contentious issue in Europe and prior to 1947 it was the Jews who were the terrorists who killed folk in bombings such as the King David Hotel Bombing.

      As for religion as far as I can tell from my rather limited knowledge the best of the bunch appears to be Sikhism, their ideas on paper at least appear very noble and they have great food

    3. Rob, of course the picture you present of the USA is the old school simplification of the way things used to be. In theory the "melting pot" concept is pretty neat, but now there is an extremist bent that makes homogenization of society less attractive. If we didn't have to deal with certain groups making demands on others things might be easier, but realistically a majority has traditionally ruled. The future might face some ironic twists to this tradition and groups vying to make their own belief systems the one that rules society.

      Israel is an interesting situation that for the fact that it has been a center of contention for thousands of years now and the subject of prophecy for the future of the world. Maybe we should take more of this into consideration. The King David Hotel bombers were as much terrorists as the colonialists in Revolutionary War time America. I don't know that much about this bombing of which you speak, but I'm inclined to believe they were more like the growth pangs in the birth of a "new" nation.

      As for me I'll stick with Christianity. But I'm certainly don't want to fight with others in other religions unless it is to preserve my own and my right to exist.


    4. Well Mr B you have certainly got folk typing away here. . . I may just keep my own humble blog a bit more low key with a few Zombies and some bad poetry. Good luck dealing with all those responses. . . PHEW

    5. Rob, sometimes it's nice to get a feel for what others believe about current issues. We learn more when we exchange views. But there's time for zombies and bad poetry as well. It's a big world.


  5. My understanding is most of the refugees are from Syria. They must be escaping a hellish situation to put their lives at risk for a better one elsewhere. That said, there's bound to be some criminal or even terrorist element among them and it behooves the countries taking them in to do thorough checks.

    1. Debbie, we are supposed to believe that this is a Syrian refugee crisis, but it's far bigger than that. From the reports I've heard most of the movement of peoples into Italy has been from Africa via Libya. Many other nations from the Mideast and Asia have also been represented in this movement. They are flooding across borders and into countries with little in the way of background checks. Many of these people aren't even carrying ID's so how can anything be checked?


  6. Leapin Lizards! Such a pot of poison you stir - ha! Since the media clearly cannot be trusted to report the honest truth and we've enough problems as it is, I do not believe we should accept another migrant for any reason. We must first help our own country.

    1. Diedre, it's not me stirring a pot of poison, but I'm merely reiterating questions being posed by many others. The media is very selective in what they report and how they report it which is why we should check other sources.

      I totally agree that we need to focus on our own countries problems and needs and not be adding to it.


  7. I don't doubt the truth of these quotes. I do doubt the 'resolution of an educated Muslim to follow these directives.
    Educating girls is a deterrent to suicide bombers. Mothers who can read KNOW it is a fool's errand.

    1. Ann, I hope that Muslims in the U.S., highly educated or not, adhere too closely to the teachings such as have been quoted here. Since you mentioned suicide bombers, just within the last couple days about 100 people were killed by suicide bombers at a peace rally in Turkey. Suicide bombing strikes you and me as a fool's errand, but there are some who anxiously await being the next bearers of horrific death. There is no logic to any of this--at least not to us.


  8. When one reads these quotes, it is frightening but I also believe that many are leaving a war torn state and many young men may be leaving because they do not agree with the extremist beliefs. These young men may not want to fight for something they don't believe in and if they stayed, they and, possibly, their family, would be killed. When a country or state has such extremist views, there is no room for choice.

    1. Birgit, but in the end who is who coming to the non-Muslim countries? And why don't they go to another Muslim country instead of Europe and the United States. Sorry, but I don't accept the argument that they are afraid of the extremists so they just give up their homeland without a fight. There is always room for choice even if that choice involves dying for ones beliefs.


    2. I guess I think about my mom and her family who, after the war, when the Russians marched in, my mom escaped to the West. She started a life in the West and in 1950, when the Russians let my grandfather out of their Gulag, she snuck him over to the West. 6 months later my grandmother left. They didn't even lock the door to their home and why? They knew they would never return. For 2 years, my mom stayed with them and, initially, they slept in a tent hiding from authorities since the West was over-run by refugees. Germany was now split in 2 and their home was, essentially gone. I am not for illegal immigrants overall but there are always another side to a story. If my mom would have stayed and "fought" for her rights, I would not be here, she would have "disappeared" like so many did. My grandfather would have been sent back to the Gulag since this was his life for those past 5 years after the war. I am glad they left, hid and finally had the ability to get their papers. Thankfully neither of us have to make that choice, that's all I say.

    3. Birgit, I would imagine your mom and her family embraced their new home, worked hard, and didn't expect government support. When immigrants come in ungratefully expecting to be not just taken care of but catered too. I say adapt to what our system is, otherwise we'll have a bunch of warring factions and be like the Mideast they are trying to escape.


    4. Oh gosh no-they did have to fend for themselves and they had plenty of hungry nights. I agree with you when anyone expects to be taken care of. I have seen plenty of people on Assistance and upset they don't make more but they buy their beer and smokes, have everything on their cell phone and, with the women, have just had their nails done. That pisses me off to be blunt

    5. Birgit, the reports I see coming from Europe indicate that the many of the Europeans are welcoming the migrants and giving them much, but the many of the migrants are complaining that they are not being given enough and are threatening to return to the countries they came from. That says plenty to me.


  9. Let me give you an example: If I go to Canada, I'm going to go through Customs with appropriate ID, be honest with the Customs agent about why I'm there, and not bring guns or drugs into the country. While I'm there, I'm going to abide by their laws and not try to change any of them by violent protest (for example, if I want road signs in miles per hour rather than kilometers per hour) but by the appropriate process. If I decide to emigrate to Canada, I'll go through the proper channels and follow the correct procedures. In other words, while I'm in Canada, I'm a guest; I'm going to obey their laws and otherwise conduct myself in a manner that reflects well on me and my country. Doesn't mean I can't disagree, doesn't mean I can't have an adult conversation about what I don't like, etc. etc.

    No doubt the Syrians and Muslims from other part of the world, on the whole, want to do the same thing in Europe: they want to find a place in the world where they can live in peace with their neighbors and be a part of life in their adopted homeland. That's a good thing, and I know of very few people who would object to having them as neighbors and giving them the opportunity to contribute to making their adopted homeland a better place to live. There is, however, an element who wants their new homeland to change to their satisfaction, and will resort to violent protests and acts of terrorism to force the issue. That is neither fair to the citizens of the country nor their fellow refugees, who might suffer reprisals because they're "one of them," even if their intention is to live in peace as good neighbors and to use proper channels to amend the laws which run counter to their beliefs even while obeying them.

    The quotes above are inflammatory, and no one can blame the people who hear them for becoming defensive and believing the worst about the people coming into their countries. Whether these are actual statements or misinterpretations and misrepresentations, the fact is we're hearing them, and while we want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and believe they have no bad intentions, it sure as hell sounds like they're invading us, and we have both a right and responsibility to ensure that their entrance doesn't result in death, destruction, and their law being forced on us at the point of a scimitar.

    Sorry for the treatise...

    1. John, the treatise is a welcome addition here so I thank you for it.

      The quotes may seem inflammatory although they might not only be prophetic, but also a call to action. How do we really know?

      I'm sure there are many of these people who just want a happy peaceful life, but from what I've seen reported there are many who want to resettle and change the nations to which they go. We've seen some of this in our own country already. Personally, I don't want to adapt to conform to the lifestyle of immigrants, but I think they should assimilate into our culture. There is currently a lot of division and I think it's going to grow much worse.


  10. I am a 2nd gen American on my mom's side and 1st gen on my dad's so I have very strong opinions about immigration. My family came in legally, through the 'front door'. They learned to speak English, they worked really hard and did their best not to take any handouts (although the Depression forced their hand from time to time). My dad became a citizen at 19 and immediately joined the army to serve his new country. I will NEVER support illegal immigration, esp. from Mexico. I am not on board with these Muslim refugees b/c as much as I want to give the good ones the benefit of the doubt, they are the ones who continually attack us. I'm sorry they are having problems in their own countries, but the Middle East has been battling each other since the dawn of time. It's not our battle. We have enough of our own problems. Oh, and I loathe Trump. I'm all for Sanders.

    1. JoJo, you and I are seeing the immigration issue from the same side. My wife and her family were immigrants who went through the proper legal channels and now love the USA. I'd like to believe that everyone who comes to the country are wonderful people with positive motivation to make our nation greater, but unfortunately I don't think this is always the case. Our country has become somewhat of a mess as it is and one thing we don't need is more confusion to add to the turmoil.

      I'm going to check out the debate tomorrow to see what Sanders has to say. So far I can't say that I've been particularly impressed.


  11. Having already posted on this subject a while back, I'll just add that my thoughts echo yours. It all depends if we want to remain Rome in its glory days or Rome during the barbarian invasions. They asked their people to accept the "migrants" in the name of peace and tax revenues, too, and look how that worked out.

    1. CW, history repeats itself with variations on themes. If we no longer want to be a nature of conquerors, we would be wise to rest on our laurels and tend to greatness at home or otherwise become the conquered.


  12. This makes me angry and frightened, because this is totally in the coming decades. Since Obama took over, the word "Muslim" is never spoken as the cause of the horror and slaughter in the middle-east. Even the word "Islamic" terrorists is considered p.c. incorrect. I dread the next two years--because then the new president may be a carbon copy of Obama.

    1. Susan, I sure hope we don't get a carbon copy of Obama. Change would be good.

      What I'd like to see is more education about what we are facing. There are 1300 years of history that most people don't seem to know enough about. Why can't we all be more open to honest discussion? I'm afraid for my kids and grandkids and not so much for myself.


  13. I'm afraid a lot of them are not genuine refugees and I agree, why aren't they fighting for their country? The people who really frighten me is ISIS (not sure of how to write that), they appear to have no respect for anything whether ancient or modern. They are the Phillistines of the modern world.

    1. Jo, it's an absolute disgrace that ISIS has been destroying historic treasures along with everything else bad that they've been doing. If all of the citizens run away then they leave that part of the world to ISIS control. But that may be part of the plan.


  14. The area where I live leaves much to be desired, I would dearly love to return to Spain OR from the many places I've visited in the US would love to reside there.
    Great post to read and interesting.

    1. Yvonne, I wouldn't mind moving from where I am either. East Tennessee would be nice though my sister said it's really getting crowded there.


  15. I'm from Asia, and I've heard a lot of this in the media.

    I don't know if you've ever come across Humans of New York, Lee, but this is an American who takes pictures and tells stories on Facebook, and I've found following him an eye-opening experience.

    He's covered the Syrian migrant crisis, and has provided a different perspective:

    My views are as follows:

    1. All of USA as we see it today, was migrants coming in to the continent (Irish, German, Italian, all in boats and ships)-- the statue of liberty says:

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    2. Whether the USA accepts it or not, arming the ISIS and all of the disturbance in the Middle East started with the fights over OIl, and the cold war. In Afghanistan and in the Middle East, the West (Europe and the USA), have interfered, arming people against each other. A little research on ISIS will show its roots, and lay the blame where it lies, squarely at Western doors.

    1. Damyanti, I don't take much stock in photos as they can be highly manipulative in their imagery compounded with the words that are composed to accompany them. It can be a volatile propagandistic tool.

      1. This melting pot concept of the U.S. is Civics 101. I think the tenor of times past has changed in our day. And from the economic standpoint we are placing burdens that may cause a toppling of values and lifestyle in the future. Then there is the vacuum created in the places being abandoned to what many of us perceive as evil. Maybe it's time to preserve the balance of cultures and societies.

      2. Well, we can go even further back to the initial conquests and invasions by Islamists--way before Oil and other exploitation. There have been deep divisions between ideologies and the oil only added more complications. The "West" is not without fault but also not entirely to blame. The roots of ISIS may have been fueled by foreign intervention, but the real roots come with the founders of the Islamic ideology. ISIS is the movement of the true believer of Islam. They operate as the belief system did starting in the 7th century. Economic and territorial issues are only diversions from the real issue which few people want to address squarely. At least the adherents of ISIS are being honest and non-hypocritical as they rape, murder, and attempt to erase history of ancient cultures.

      At least that's the way I see it. The West need not feel completely responsible for starting the fight, but I do think it's time for us to step away and let the factions fight it out amongst themselves.


  16. I apologize for the length of the poem I'm about to quote, but I think when looking at any crisis, it is necessary to see both points of view.

    I mean this absolutely positively, and Lee, I know you to be able to calmly look at differing perspectives, and come to a judgement after listening to both-- 4 years of working alongside you has shown me how Solomon-like you are in your verdict on anything: deliberate, precise, always open to other points of view.

    It is with that faith that I paste the following poem, the voice of the refugees:

    no one leaves home unless
    home is the mouth of a shark
    you only run for the border
    when you see the whole city running as well

    your neighbors running faster than you
    breath bloody in their throats
    the boy you went to school with
    who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
    is holding a gun bigger than his body
    you only leave home
    when home won’t let you stay.

    no one leaves home unless home chases you
    fire under feet
    hot blood in your belly
    it’s not something you ever thought of doing
    until the blade burnt threats into
    your neck
    and even then you carried the anthem under
    your breath
    only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
    sobbing as each mouthful of paper
    made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

    you have to understand,
    that no one puts their children in a boat
    unless the water is safer than the land
    no one burns their palms
    under trains
    beneath carriages
    no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
    feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
    means something more than journey.
    no one crawls under fences
    no one wants to be beaten

    no one chooses refugee camps
    or strip searches where your
    body is left aching
    or prison,
    because prison is safer
    than a city of fire
    and one prison guard
    in the night
    is better than a truckload
    of men who look like your father
    no one could take it
    no one could stomach it
    no one skin would be tough enough

    go home blacks
    dirty immigrants
    asylum seekers
    sucking our country dry
    niggers with their hands out
    they smell strange
    messed up their country and now they want
    to mess ours up
    how do the words
    the dirty looks
    roll off your backs
    maybe because the blow is softer
    than a limb torn off

    or the words are more tender
    than fourteen men between
    your legs
    or the insults are easier
    to swallow
    than rubble
    than bone
    than your child body
    in pieces.
    i want to go home,
    but home is the mouth of a shark
    home is the barrel of the gun
    and no one would leave home
    unless home chased you to the shore
    unless home told you
    to quicken your legs
    leave your clothes behind
    crawl through the desert
    wade through the oceans
    be hunger
    forget pride
    your survival is more important

    no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
    run away from me now
    i dont know what i’ve become
    but i know that anywhere
    is safer than here.

    1. Powerful and poignant. Thanks for posting.

    2. Damyanti, it's a powerful piece, but again manipulative with oft cited imagery. I have no doubt about the needs and terror that some experience. I feel sympathy when I hear the stories of some and yet feel angered and resentful when I see migrants making demands to suit them, not just for reasonable housing and safety, but to accommodate them forcefully.

      Disrespect for the existing laws of countries is a problem in Europe as well as the U.S. with our waves of immigrants from the South. Many of the people want to displace the laws of countries and societal norms with what they want and the worldview they see for their future.

      If people want to seek refuge from horror in their homeland then I have no problem as long as they are grateful for the opportunity and do not expect to make demands on their new hosts and neighbors. They must also accept that not everyone respects or likes their belief systems.

      I the U.S. I no longer see the kind of assimilation as there was in the good old Statue of Liberty days. Instead I see near militant groups factioning sides and stirring up problems. Instead of moving from a war torn frightful homeland in search of peace, there are strong forces with a desire to export the problems of where they came from to where we are. Not all are like this, but enough to concern all of us.

      I like the idea of an idealistic world where everyone gets along, feels safe, and are permitted the pursuit of happiness, but I don't see it happening and I sense storm clouds of greater discontent in the future.


  17. I agree that there might be some who come into Europe and USA and do precisely the things you're apprehensive about. But I urge you to also look at the other side, and the provable, historical culpability of the countries where these people are running to. I urge you to remember history-- the German concentration camps, where the world stood at the time, what the viewpoints were.

    I hope the poem answers some of the questions you raise-- an able-bodied man can fight, yes, but how do you fight something like the ISIS?

    I leave you with another link, showing why these people are running and what they're running from-- I would request everyone to research more than what the media is telling us, and if possible, read the entire coverage of the migrant crisis by scrolling down the Humans of New York page (by clicking All stories, not just Highlights):

    I know you'll give me a good ear, Lee. This is not an attempt to change your (or anyone else's) mind, but just put forth an alternative perspective.

    1. Damyanti, I'll try not to repeat what I've said, but in response to your suggestion that I look at the other side, this is something I've been doing for years. I can understand the helplessness felt by simple families and truly oppressed such as the non-Muslims who face oppression in those countries. I do see both sides, but cannot side with that which I disagree.

      As to the young men who flee, we must realize that ISIS consists mostly of similar young men with fire in their bellies for what they believe. Do those who flee wish to leave all the fighting to the American soldiers? Or the Russians? Or Israelis? Young men fleeing elsewhere because they are afraid to fight to save their homelands? I find it difficult to sympathize with that stance when I've seen the U.S. doing so much, good and bad, to attempt to do something anything.

      And I'm particularly angered by the fact that the wealthier Muslim states will do little other than build mosques in Germany or something like that. This sends the wrong message to me as to what the motivation is as well as the potential agenda.

      I've been reading about the Mideast situation since the 70's and since my personal spiritual belief system centers around Jerusalem, what transpires in that area is of particular interest to me. I continue to listen to both sides of the issues regarding what is happening in this part of the world. I can be very objective when I'm learning about something, but once the evidence has made a case my leanings will tend in the direction that has made the best case for me. I can't help but also look at a far bigger picture of deep-seated feelings that reach back through the centuries and the prophecies from those time that are taking shape in our time with great accuracy.

      Trust me, I'm am seeing all perspectives, but I must favor that which I think holds the greatest truth.

      I do appreciate all the time you took to address my post. It's something that most people want to avoid and I think that avoidance has been the biggest source of the problems at hand.


    2. Thanks for the responses, Lee.

      Like I said, my attempt was not to change minds at all, but offer another perspective.

      I do beg to differ on Americans doing something, anything: they never had to fight interference in their soil by any power. No country has gone and made the USA unlivable for Americans (the way the West and other countries have done to some countries in Asia and the Middle East), so I don't think there's any comparison to what these civilians are facing.

      America has been a superpower for many decades now, and a significant portion of the financial success comes from immigrant contributions.

      America, so far as I know, has undergone only one civil war. All the other wars its soldiers have fought (very bravely-- I have only the greatest respect for them) have been fought on foreign soil, with little justification.

      Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq seem to be the result of the West and Russians fighting their wars for their reasons, while making the local populace of these countries suffer.

      I'm unable to see a single country where American interference has resulted in lasting peace, or where America has gone in with an altruistic intent. I remember being shaken when America invaded Iraq, trying to secure nuclear and chemical weaponry-- none were found to warrant the invasion and the death of so many American soldiers and Iraqis.

      All the countries where wars have been fought had strategic or financial interests of America in mind, not human rights.

      I agree with you about the rich Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia: but again, I have to point out that this country where a woman is punished for her rape is now heading the Human Rights Council, with the help of UK and USA-- because, Saudi Arabia has Oil.

      So yes, the West is facing problems due to the Syrian war, but this is largely the result of its own policies.

      In the States, from an outsider's perspective, far more Americans (mostly non-Muslims) are killing each other with guns that they don't seem qualified to own, than to terrorism. That's a whole other debate of course, and I wouldn't step there.

      But I do think if we look at others with suspicion instead of friendship, we lose the opportunity of using a lot of talent and goodwill. Most migrants try very hard to make a life for themselves, and as long as they enter the country legally and are monitored, I'm not sure it is such a bad thing. I have Indian friends in the UK and USA who have migrated legally, are perfectly law-abiding, respectful, and productive citizens-- but have faced racism. An elderly Indian man was recently beaten up by the police for being brown and walking on the street-- so it is not as if legal migrants are treated much better in the system.

      I don't really believe in any religion, but I respect all of them. I'm a Hindu by birth, and yes, even in India, many people perceive Muslims as the problem.

      My take is: if we have fear and anger in our hearts, that's what we'll receive. Multitudes of Muslims I've met seem to be perfectly normal, peace-loving people.

      Part 1/2


    3. 2/2

      Extremists occur in any religion: in India, recently, a gang of Hindus murdered the father of a Muslim soldier from the Indian air-force, on the 'suspicion' of eating beef. (Cows are holy animals for Hindus, though they see no problem with using objects made of cowhide-- which is a whole other debate.) The Muslim man in question has only prayed for peace on Indian television, despite having lost his father, and tending to his brother in Intensive care.

      I'm not so sure we want to tar all Muslims in the same brush.

      That said, I understand where you're coming from, and can only assure you that Humans of New York's images are not doctored, and can be taken with as much faith (at the very least) as Fox and CNN. I've been following their work for years and they provide a humanitarian, not political perspective.

      My two cents, Lee, and thank you for listening. I respect your stance, and your open-ness to at least giving other opinions a fair hearing.


    4. Thanks to you as well Damyanti.

      I agree with the gist of what you say. I have no problem with people on the individual level, but there are the problems with certain ideologies. Sure, most regular folk just want to live their lives and just get along raising their families in a safe and peaceful environment. I'm all for that.

      I'm also pro travel without fear for my safety. The world has a lot of neat stuff with a great array of culturally fascinating and enjoyable aspects to it.

      To paint every individual with the same brush is not fair, but we do need to look at the significance of what people as a whole believe. Armies are made of individuals who are believers of varying degrees, but they are nonetheless armies.

      Education is the key for not just the people of the U.S., but people everywhere. If we know the endgames and goals of ideologies then we get a better idea of where certain groups as a whole might be intending on going.

      The United States government over the many decades has developed this idealistic vision that the world needs to be like us and that has led to many wrong-minded forays into other countries, but still when countries are in trouble they often look to us for help. We've put ourselves in an awkward position.

      History has shown us a lot that we ignore due to our blindness misguided by our quest for the earthy ideal. There is no heaven on Earth and I don't expect there to ever be until there is divine intervention.

      Infighting within Islam is the biggest problem in the Mideast right now and the U.S. needs to step away from that. If immigrants can leave all that behind and not expect to change the countries to conform to their standards then I don't see a problem with that. To a degree I think many people who come here do this. However there is an increasing amount who don't and this creates a contentious spirit among the populous.

      There is a chasm between Islam and Judaism and Christianity that cannot be resolved if all adhere to their belief systems. I challenge anyone to give me a solution aside from some wishful can't-we-all-get-along answer. There is a 1500 year span that have shown us that we are essentially at an impasse. Which side lets go of what they believe? Can a true dialogue aimed at resolution ever truly happen?

      The United States needs to stop aggressive military intervention in other countries and tend to business at home. We can allow the immigration on a closely monitored and carefully vetted process, but wholesale admittance of everyone who indicate they are running from their homeland would be a mistake.

      But I do appreciate your point of view and understand where you are coming from on this. It would be nice if the world were a better place and everyone could get along fine.


    5. I tend to agree with Damyanti, although I am from the UK. But my maternal grandmother was from Chile - where there were some terrible human rights abuses with the US & UK turning a blind eye. (And fighting for democracy had terrible consequences - need I mention Victor Jara.)

      Along with my mother and grandfather, my grandmother was a refugee in WWII, leaving Jersey (Channel Islands) with very little. So I have questions about the ease of starting again, with nothing. But I admire people who do.

      I've traveled extensively in the Middle East and the Far East, and seen the result of Western interference, from Russians in Afghanistan to the British Raj in India. So not just in South America.

      I've been brought up as a Christian, but have found depth in other religions too, including Islam. And having studied history for most of my life, I see it changing as we learn more. In fact, isn't Columbus Day commemorating a past that America should be addressing in a different way? That's been a concern of mine ever since I studied the Spanish Seaborne Empire and its consequences.

      But before I blather on, I think this whole issue needs to be addressed in my own blog post, probably on Tuesday.See you there, perhaps.

    6. Roland, I'll look forward to what you have to say on your own post.

      For me the bottom line is that all religion has an agenda and what Islam wants is incompatible with what Christianity wants. That has always been the issue and cannot change without one side ceding to the other. I will not cede to Islam.


  18. The media has an awful lot to answer for - I haven't read all the comments here, but I do know that your thoughts are echoed in lots of places Arlee. We've been travelling in Germany for the past couple of weeks and a lot of people feel like you do that the Islamisation of Europe, and therefore America, is on the cards. They see 1 million young men coming in to the country who will then send for their wives, children and families once they are settled, thereby bringing another 9 million with them.
    On the other hand you have millions of people here whose parents were refugees themselves not so long ago and who feel that it is their duty to help the new incomers.
    And o f course the media will only focus on the young men who are behaving badly - most of these people are leaving a country that has been annihilated due to our respective governments bombing the hell out of the regime that kept the area stable.
    A worrying development though is that schools here in Germany are sending home letters to parents to have their children cover their arms in summer time as it's offensive to the Muslim children if they show bare skin.

    I feel the news media is so biased that we are only being fed one side of the story. In America news is very one sided - either republican or democratic, in Hungary, the media is state controlled, and the news programmes are continually repeating messages not to help these refugees. Even in Britain, the BBC is not always unbiased and often we watch Al Jazeera and Euro news to give a balance.

    It is certainly a very interesting time to be here on this planet and my fear is that if Islam takes too much control then it will send us back into the dark ages again. But I still believe that if France has managed to prevail by taking religion out of government, then other countries are duty bound to do the same. Religion and the church have destroyed Ireland with their dogma and in a secular society Islam, Christian, Jew or whatever else should not be a problem.
    Just one more thing, I always thought that an Imam is a priest not a belief.
    Interesting discussion this and thank you for starting it.

    1. Fil, I agree with what you've said and thank you for adding to the discussion. There is a huge imbalance in news reporting. In the U.S. we see more sides that in some countries, but still a person needs to access more than one media source with differing views in order to get a truer picture of things--a time and mental investment that few Americans are willing to make.

      Sure, the sensational aspects are the most newsworthy, but they also tell an important part of a story. There are many agendas on the world plate. I have mine. I'll listen to others to become more aware and revise my own thinking if it seems necessary.

      I've always thought that an Imam was a religious leader. I'm not sure about the usage in the quote. Perhaps this is an error in translation. Or considering all of the different sects of Islam maybe the word Imam is used in context with "belief" by some. I've merely taken this quote as it was presented. I understand what the guy is saying though.


  19. I'm all for people trying to find a better life for themselves but when they come to the US with hate and malice in their hearts for this country, that's another story. If you hate our country so much, don't come! Don't bring your hatred and your devious plans.
    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Michele, what you've said is the bottom line of what I believe. Even in the U.S. with our illegal immigration problems, I do believe that most of these folks are coming to improve their own personal economic situations, but I disagree with breaking the law to do it. There are channels that show respect to the host government. If a migrant doesn't respect the nation to which they are going and the people who live in that nation then that migrant is a detriment to the society. This attitude is more the one of the invader than the true immigrant.


    2. Ah, you nailed it: immigrant vs invader. That's the key. Let's hope these invaders stay where they are and leave us alone!

  20. It would be naive to think that Isis is not taking advantage of this situation. Most I believe are just "folks" running from madness in their native countries. But militant Muslims will certainly hide among the flock for their own invasive, violent agendas. "My way or Death" masks as religion in so many throats throats from Christian to Muslim. Sad really. The future is not going to be pretty.

    1. Roland, as usual the innocent become victims of the madness of a few.


  21. Hello Lee. Thanks for the visit and comment. Yes we've been having incredible temperatures here too, between 37 and 38 degrees. that's just under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but it looks like it may rain tonight.
    Anyway,as far as the migration to Europe is concerned, have you considered the possibility that these "Refugees" have been driven out for a purpose? This would suit the so called Islamic State agenda very nicely and, quite honestly, it makes sense to me. No one leaves their homes and country willing, sometimes they are forced to without any option. "Leave now, take your children and go or you will be killed as a traitor. Leave!"
    Keep that in mind, it's not something anyone is telling about, especially not I.S.
    God bless and keep you my friend, Geoff.

    1. Geoff, I do believe there is an agenda behind the seeming chaos. ISIS drives away the moderates so the extremists can do their dirty work of taking over. They are in the first phase before they move on to Europe.


  22. Wow, I'm going to have to find the time to re-read this post and others' comments as well as yours to them Arlee. Multi-faceted indeed ... thank you for this post.

    1. Susan, I hope more people are at least considering the ramifications of what has been happening and where this all could potentially be going. I think most people are in la la land and singing "We Are the World" while the world they know could potentially be crumbling.


  23. Every time I saw one of those film clips with all the "refugees," I pointed out to my husband that most of them were young men claiming to be fleeing from violence. If little old me raised the question immediately, why on earth didn't the media notice and comment? Also, I tried to imagine a wholesale exodus of young American men and women who'd run away instead of fighting to protect our country and our way of life. Just can't see it.

    1. Patricia, I heard many people mention this, but then it just gets passed over. I those people running away didn't care enough about making their own country a better place I highly doubt that they'd care about making a predominately Christian influenced country better and instead want that country to conform to what they want. That seems to be what is happening.



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