Harrumph! We can’t be outdone by the “Krauts”, if our esteemed German friends and allies will pardon that rude expression. I say bring in a million Syrian refugees tout de suite. What’s this measly 10, 12, 20, or 40,000 all about? Where is our compassion? Richard Di Natale and Sarah Hanson-Young, you should be ashamed to low-ball our duty in these tragic circumstances.
My circumstances are not what they were. Marital difficulties, which I prefer to avoid detailing, have severely dented my prosperity. I now live in what the real estate guys call a one-bedder. Nevertheless, I am willing to take in two Syrian families. We can sleep in shifts. I would of course require (fairly) modest compensation from the government. Even better, I will move out entirely and allow three families their living space, slightly cramped though they will be. Of course, the compensation would need to be somewhat higher and it would be only reasonable if I were provided with spacious accommodation in the Hilton during the time of, shall we call it, my sacrifice for the benefit of humanity.
Would my immediate neighbours object to living in close proximity to three families of Syrian Muslim refugees? Surely they would not. For example, I am confident that the lady next door would not object to dressing modestly and donning a hijab to avoid upsetting her new neighbours. Though, I admit to not having broached the subject with her. In the unlikely event she was beset with any troubling doubt or discomfort about it, I would advise her to ask herself what the aforementioned Sarah would do?
As it stands, we are stuck with Mr Abbott’s mean-spirited policy. He only wants to bring in 12,000 refugees (only slightly edging out Bill Shorten who gets the wooded spoon in the compassion stakes). To boot, he wants to only take women and children and families from persecuted communities living in refugee camps. Come on, Mr Abbott, we know that means mainly Christians, with the odd few Yazidis and the like, thrown in to make it look even-handed.
Professor Bob Bowker, former ambassador to Syria, nailed it on the ABC’s 7.30 on Wednesday evening. “This is an approach which is both unwise and unfair. It’s unwise because we cannot talk about Team Australia and at the same time tell Sunni Muslims that they should stay on the bus until other players have had their chance to bat. And it’s unfair because Sunni Muslim Syrians are suffering in exactly the same way as minorities are suffering.”
Abbott is without shame. He has the absolute temerity to act in Australia’s interests. Look at this shockingly revelatory comment: “It’s important that we act with our head as well as with our heart here … It is important that we don’t bring in anyone from this troubled region who might ultimately be a problem for the Australian community as far as we humanly can.”
In these circumstances, the ABC provides a valuable public service in finding any number of truly compassionate people — global citizens, as it were — who can set things straight. I would say that the ABC is as good as the BBC in finding such people and giving them airtime so that we can properly deplore any hint of national self-interest.
Angela Merkel used to think like Mr Abbott.”Of course the tendency had been to say, let’s adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side, and be happy to be living with each other. But this concept has failed, and failed utterly,” she said in October 2010. Now, miraculously, she believes an additional 800,000 Sunni Muslims (just this year) can, after all, live happily side-by-side with indigenous Germans. To digress, miracles are, apparently, the stock-in-trade of global citizens. Mr Bowker, for example, while understandably lamenting the irreplaceable loss of life of people he knew, believes that the Syrian relics and monuments blown to smithereens by ISIS “can be rebuilt.” Reproduction relics and monuments don’t cut it for me but what do I know?
Back to my theme, I suspect, secretly, that Mr Abbott makes common cause with conservatives such as the UK’s Daily Express columnist Leo McKinstry (September 3). Have a read of this and be outraged:
We are always told by the ideologues about the joys of mass immigration, how much it improves our economy and enriches our society. But if migrants are so wonderful why they stay and improve their own countries?…The reason so many people from Africa, the Middle east and Asia are coming here is because their countries are hellholes, riddled with corruption, superstition, conflict , tribalism, poverty and extremism. Through mass immigration our rulers are importing the same problems into Europe on a huge scale.
Just because many in Muslim communities despise our way of life, seek to replace parliamentary law with Sharia, are intolerant, wall women off from the world of fashion, freedom and equality, regularly throw up the occasional terrorist who wants to behead us, and owe their first duty to the Ummah, rather than to the adopted country which has given them sanctuary, safety and prosperity, is no reason at all to be wary of inviting many more in.
Only Mr Abbott and his ilk think otherwise. Global citizens have to stand up and be counted. More candlelight vigils must be held for the needy — whatever they believe, whoever they are, wherever they are (provided, of course, they are not the needy at home).