The backlash against refugees is growing

Amid the reports of violence from a minority of refugees, it is important to remember our duty to help those in need


Disturbing reports emerged on Monday from Sweden, where a young woman working in a migrant camp near Gothenburg was stabbed to death by a teenage asylum seeker. Alexandra Mezher’s death is a tragedy. So is what will inevitably follow.

Sweden was one of the European countries that initially responded positively to the growing refugee crisis. Despite being a country with a population of only 9.5 million, Sweden accepted almost 163,000 asylum applications last year, a third of them from Syria.

Some of the world’s most desperate people were knocking and Sweden opened its door. But Sweden is now beginning to feel the strain and with every violent incident reported – often with glee by Europe’s right-wing press – there is a growing and dangerous backlash against refugees.

Across the continent, the far-right is on the rise, fuelled by public concern over the refugee crisis. Such reports of crimes perpetrated by those Europe has taken in from war-torn countries only stir anti-refugee sentiment further. The latest YouGov polls put the anti-migrant Sweden Democrats at a record high of 28.8 per cent.

In Germany – another country that stepped up to the bar in welcoming refugees but is now facing a backlash – PEGIDA and LEGIDA have been on the rise. Violence against refugees is also increasing.

Die Welt reported in November that at least 104 violent attacks against asylum centers have been recorded in Germany in recent months, including 53 acts of arson. This is compared with 28 violent attacks in 2014.

“We are witnessing the worst wave of racist and right-wing violence in 20 years,” says Ulrich Lilie, President of Diakonie, one of the largest Christian charities in Germany, which operates asylum seeker housing.

Whilst seeking to defend migrants from violence and prejudice, crimes committed by refugees cannot and should not be swept under the carpet. To do so would be an insult to the victims, and ultimately to the detriment of the refugee cause and the vast majority who want to live peacefully in Europe.

In Germany authorities have come under fire for their handling of the sex attacks in Cologne. And in Calais, The World Weekly has learned of increasing levels of violence in migrant camps in recent weeks: gangs, mugging, pretty crime and clashes with police. Many refugees our reporter spoke to said they didn’t feel safe.

Amid such reports, anti-refugee sentiment has been been allowed to fester in the continent that only a few short months ago collectively mourned the death of Aylan Kurdi. But when we read these headlines, it is vital not to tar refugees in general with the same brush as the minority who have committed crimes.

Migrants who commit crimes should of course be punished according to the law as with anyone else. But when a Londoner steals from someone, are the tabloid press out in force to declare all Londoners thieves? Why is it so different for those who have come to our cities seeking sanctuary?

At the end of the day, successful integration is the key to creating more harmonious relations. When refugees find themselves cooped up in squalid, overcrowded camps in which their hopes turn to despair, violence and crime is surely more likely to breed.

“Things have got worse in the [Calais] camp,” an aid worker called Jess told The World Weekly‘s Ed Jonkler.

“But if you took 7,000 people from the west, of different religions and cultures, and put them in squalid conditions, gassed and beat them regularly, on an area the size of a few football pitches, then what do you think would happen? It’s remarkable that there is still so little trouble inside the camp.”

Despite what the right-wing press would have us believe, the camp’s inhabitants are not accustomed to such degrading conditions. It would be far better to welcome refugees into society with open arms, give them good housing, provide them with work and prospects and a decent life.

Of course, providing a decent standard of living for hundreds of thousands of refugees creates a strain on resources. In this, it is clear that some countries have taken on far more than others and that they need help.

Next to Germany, Austria and Sweden, the UK’s efforts so far have been pitiful. Despite being among Europe’s largest economies, Britain has taken in just over 1,000 Syrian refugees so far, the government tells me, and its promise to accept 20,000 by 2020 is far too little, far too late.

If some European nations are feeling the strain of the refugee crisis, the answer is not to raise the EU drawbridge, but for countries to work together to share responsibility and assist each other in managing the response to one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our time.

Some ask why Europe should have to shoulder the responsibility alone – it doesn’t. The Syrian Civil War, which has already claimed over 250,000 lives, has displaced half the population, over 4 million of whom have fled abroad. Amnesty International reports that as of September 2015, 95 per cent of these refugees are in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

The 1.2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon  now comprise a fifth of the population, while Turkey hosts 1.9 million. EU countries must do more to help each other effectively respond to the crisis, but they must also do more to help Syria’s neighbours, upon whose shoulders the greatest burden rests. 

Amid the reports of violence from a minority of refugees, it is important to remember our humanity, our compassion and our duty to help those in need. Yes, some refugees commit crimes. That is because – loath as much of the media is to admit it – they are human beings and some human beings commit crimes. It doesn’t mean we should turn our backs on all the victims of this crisis.

Salman Shaheen is editor-in-chief of The World Weekly

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89 Responses to “The backlash against refugees is growing”

  1. Wendle Trendle

    On migration is there really a difference at this stage, anarchists share platforms and positions with ex Goldman Sachs CEOs.

    The left have views that tie in closely with corporate interests while views of men like Keir Hardie are common in the working class and they are called bigots for it.

  2. damon

    It’s the Cologne Festival in a couple of weeks.
    I expect that policing is going to have to be far higher than it traditionally used to be.
    Their going to make a ”safe zone” for women at it. What progress.

  3. Cole

    Is you name Jetzt? Doesn’t sound very British either.

    We are all from immigrant families. Even Nigel Farage’s family came from France – and he’s married to a German.

  4. Cole

    The BBC isn’t left wing. It’s pretty centrist – both the right and left complain loudly that it’s biased and against them.

  5. Cole

    Even the Home Office should be able to work out the difference between people from Syria and North Africa…

  6. Copyright101

    So you favour slow-motion suicide (or is it murder) than than rapid model currently in place?

  7. Copyright101

    The MSM represent the interests of those in charge, as do mainstream politicians.

    The media, of itself, is not irresponsible. It just follows orders.

    The job of the media is lay the groundwork for the invasion through positive depictions of ‘the other’. The Agenda™. It’s been doing that for a generation or so, but at the same time the natural instincts of the natives have to be placated somewhat. Otherwise they might get the idea they are being shafted.

    And of course there is no point in importing ‘the other’ unless it leads to low intensity conflict. You’re familiar with the term divide and rule I’m sure.

  8. Copyright101

    Just not having the mass immigration in the first place would solve the whole issue at a stroke, it’s obviously the most humane, simple, cheapest expedient.

  9. Copyright101

    The real issue is the mass immigration of people alien cultural and ethnic traditions. Trying to make it about ‘refugees’ is an attempt at diversion and damage limitation.

    The people running the show want as many non-white people in Europe and the US as they can, as quickly as they can get away with. They don’t care whether they are legal or illegal immigrants, refugees or economic migrants, asylum seekers or guest workers, tourists, students or absconding athletes. Whatever gets them over the border, settled, breeding, voting and all the rest of it. To nitpick over the bureaucratic categories is play the elite’s game.

  10. Copyright101

    And there I can agree with you.

  11. madasafish

    Well as Muslims don’t integrate with western society, what can you expect..

  12. Billo Qasira

    The Left, coated in multicultural ideology, believes that Britain exists only to be a land of unlimited immigration from Islamic countries. We do not want our civilisation threatened any more

  13. Billo Qasira

    MAss rape and terrorism is what we are importing into our societies, along with the problems of Islamic supremacism, sharia law, Jihadism, islamist bigotry, warped multiculturalism that we already have, atrocities like Rotherham covered up by the left wing liberal elite. The people have had enough. We don’t want any more bigoted forced Islamisation of our societies. We can help the refugees by funding their safe spaces and refugee camps in neigbouring countries. More Islamic immigration is going to lead to social dysfunction and horrible effects. Until lefties like you understand that, there will be problems.

  14. Billo Qasira

    no, they don’t get exposed and punished, because the left wing elite cry ‘Islamophobia’ whenever they were exposed, as happened in Rotherham for instance

  15. steroflex

    If the boats are stopped, or the people who try to enter a country illegally are placed on an island and then slowly processed, that’s neither murder nor is it suicide.
    What is wrong – very wrong – is opening the doors to anyone who cares to come in without checking them at all.
    That is playing into the hands of the criminals.

  16. steroflex

    When Enoch Powell said that, he lost his job.
    Now you say it as if it is true.

  17. Leftism is a societal cancer

    That’s because it is more clear now that he was right all along.

  18. RWJetzt

    Of course it’s true. How wouldn’t it be? We either fight to preserve our homelands, and the indigenous British culture (which is a product of the genetic qualities that made up the British race, and nothing else). Or we become a minority in our own homelands, and then, eventually, just a memory in history’s eternal timeline. Races like the Jews, who are the ones leading this (thus far) successful Darwinian struggle, will live on, and ours will crumble into the murky depths of the past.

    This is a deliberate attempt to tear down and destroy the White race, with mass immigration just being one of the many establishment weapons used to that end. If you argue in favour of this, you are just the wealthy establishment’s useful idiot guard dog. They manipulate your emotions in order to continue purposefully destroying everything your ancestors built. When are you going to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’?

  19. Mike Stallard

    I am staggered to hear left wing web commentators talking like this. I really am.

    However, allow me to point out that since the rise of feminism, the pill, legalisation of divorce which splits up families which produce children, easy abortion, celebration of childless same-sex relationship and now gender bashing, the white race has been in demographic decline all over the world.
    That does not seem, to me, to be coming to an end any time soon.
    I think myself that we are in a situation like the ancient Romans in 500 a.d. when the barbarians (Germans mainly) were allowed across the Rhine. Or indeed when the Muslims conquered their way into an Eastern Roman Empire in the 7th and 8th centuries. Their way was eased by devastating warfare and probably by Justinian’s plague as well.
    In both cases, civilisation changed radically.

  20. Leftism is a societal cancer

    “I am staggered to hear left wing web commentators talking like this. I really am.” – I’m not left wing.

  21. Cole

    Gee, what a weird conspiracy theory.

  22. Cole

    I see you’re a Hitler fan and don’t like Jews.

  23. RWJetzt

    Well deduced. Your point is?

  24. Dr_Eigenvector

    Wow, just wow. It’s like he doesn’t even realise it’s 2016.

  25. Lamia


    Hosts who take in people who are ostensibly in need would tend to expect that those they help would respond with gratitude, or at least not with crime, let alone with an abnormally high crime rate and with crimes Europe has never seen before in peacetime – e.g. a thousand strong gang carrying out over 900 sexual assaults in one small place over a few hours.

    That is the behaviour one might expect from an invading army or barbarians, not a group of refugees.

    No other wave of refugees (real refugees) has ever behaved like that. And notably, no other wave of real refugees has consisted overwhelmingly of able-bodied young men.

    And you wonder why people are alarmed and angry? The Germans and Swedes have had their (over-)generosity thrown back in their faces. And yet you seem to expect other countries to sign up for the suicide mission that Germany and Sweden have found themselves on.

    Tell us, Salman how many additional stabbings, muggings, terrorist attacks and mass sexual assaults on European citizens do you consider a reasonable price worth paying by European countries for continuing to absorb such vast amounts of people?

    The British government is quite right to favour processing refugees from near the war zone. It may be slow and the numbers may be limited, but it is the best chance for fair outcome for the most needy refugees – including families, the elderly, children, not merely mostly young men – and with the safety of our own citizens taken into consideration. The bald fact is that we’ve seen what vast, uncontrolled waves of young men from the Middle East and North Africa result in for the hosts, and most of us don’t actually, want mass public rapes etcetera happening on the streets of our cities.

    You and others talk endlessly (and insultingly )about ‘backlashes’ against migrants. Think on this, Salman. If, one evening, thousands of British men carried out hundreds of mass sexual attacks on Arab women in different cities in Arab countries, what do you think the response would be in those countries?

    Answer that honestly, and then talk to us again about intolerance and ‘backlashes’ by the hosts in this instance. Europeans have in fact been incredibly tolerant and forbearing in the face of appalling provocation. We are not the people you should (still!) be wagging your finger at.

    ‘Lots more of the same’ is quite obviously not going to work when it comes to immigration to Europe (and Britain). ‘Quite a bit less’, accompanied by a suitably large amount of remorse by the idiotic ‘You’re a racist!’ brigade, just might. Do you really want this to work or not?

  26. Tomski

    I would be interested to hear how you define “indigenous” when referring to an island nation.

  27. jollygreencentrist

    I disagree with the premise of the article – I don’t believe there is a backlash against genuine refugees, not from the people I speak to and the opinions on most comment sites. There are a tiny minority who want to shut out the worlds problems through fear and ignorance, but I can’t, won’t and don’t believe this is the position of the decent majority.

    I would wholeheartedly agree our governments slow response has been out of proportion with the urgency of the crisis, however I believe the approach of processing refugees in or nearest their homeland is the right one. Specifically on Calais, for me the government is wrong to place obstacles in front of those at Calais, particularly children, who have family members in Britain – surely we would want people who can integrate and feel at home here? It is not ideal that they are amassed at Calais, but arguably had the UK response been quicker and more effective, they would not have been stranded there now.

    For me the danger to future refugee policy and public tolerance and compassion, are those of a progressive or leftist outlook who are not willing to engage with emerging evidence and admit that actually, there are an awful lot of migrants who are not Syrians and not fleeing death and destruction. Whilst we can all understand and have sympathy for a very human desire to better yourself, I don’t think it is productive to deny the reality that a large number of people coming to Europe are economic migrants and not refugees, those seeking to enhance their lives, rather than preserve their lives If you like. Many who have made it to Europe are the younger, fitter people who could be the key to rebuilding their nations fortunes, effectively queue jumping past women, children and the old suffering in their homelands – this I believe runs contrary to many peoples sense of justice.

    To safeguard the lives of future refugees, we must maintain the public’s support. If that is lost, genuine refugees may needlessly suffer.

  28. Staircarpet

    All I can say to you who have written the comments above, ” what would you do if you were a migrant and you could’nt get to where you wanted to be?” I would bet that none of you have been to visit a migrant camp and so how do you know what a migrant has to live with on a daily basis and what migrants are like?. I live and work in a migrant camp and am in contact with migrants an a daily basis. Yes there are some that indulge in criminal acts and so should be bought to justice like any other criminal and treated to the same justice as any other person with the same consequences. The majority are just trying to sort out their lives and get to where they want to be so they can settle down and contribute to the country’s economy, not sponge off it like some would have us believe.

  29. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees in recent onths, it is harly surprisin.

  30. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees in recenhs, it is harly surprisin.

  31. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees ecent onths, it is harly surprisin.

  32. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees it onths, it is Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees in recent onths, it is harly surprisin.harly surprisin.

  33. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgeent onths, it is harly surprisin.

  34. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refn recent onths, it is harly surprisin.

  35. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees in recs, it is harly surprisin.

  36. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees ionths, it is harly surprisin.

  37. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refge in recent onths, it is harly surprisin.

  38. Reginabchristopher1

    Given the level of seual vioence across euroe by refgees in recent onths, it is harly surprisin.

  39. SJW

    “It would be far better to welcome refugees into society with open arms, give them good housing, provide them with work and prospects and a decent life”. Really? You going to pay? What about the homeless here. the children in poverty? Sort out the mess on your doorstep fist before bring in another problem. #refugeesnotwelcome.

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