Rwanda is again in western media headlines. This time it is being castigated for attempting to ease the plight of refugees stranded in the unwelcoming lands of Europe. Major British media outlets such as The Independent (here and here) and The Times (here) have taken the lead in disseminating criticism of the plan the UK’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The criticism is, at best, misguided and irrelevant; at worst, it is ridiculous and contradictory. “They [asylum seekers] will abscond and be off across Uganda into Sudan and the off Libya. Or they will be held at gunpoint,” Jonathan Clayton writes in The Times, citing an anonymous aid worker from Britain. Clayton adds, “If the experiment to process asylum applications there follows the results of similar deals that have been struck with Israel and Denmark, they will flee within hours of landing.” Clayton, who is supposed to be a reporter, cannot make up his mind which story from his anonymous sources is most credible. Will the refugees flee or be held at gunpoint? These options are only possible if the objective is not to report facts but to vilify the one country whose leaders have made the humane choice to welcome refugees. Even as they pretend to hold their own leaders to account, British journalists seem to think that the best way to do that is to accuse Rwandan leaders of all kinds of human rights violations. The facts are there for serious reporters to consider. When it comes to the treatment of refugees, anyone who cares to look closer will find stories of refugees who have found in Rwanda a second home, a land where they recovered the dignity that was taken away from them. “On the night we arrived in this nation [Rwanda], the first group of Rwandans we met weren’t immigration officers. They were trauma counselors. On that night they invited us to lay down our burdens, and belong,” Shabana Basij-Rasikh wrote about Rwanda’s warm reception of Afghan refugees in the Washington Post. Shabana’s story is the kind that is relevant to the ongoing debate; however, it gets lost in the toxic Eurocentric views peddled by people who have never experienced life as refugees and cannot feign concern for the lives involved. Evidently, there can be no Rwanda bashing without the obsessive Michela Wrong inviting herself to the party. “He [Kagame] identifies with unerring instinct a western concern, then offers a solution,” Wrong tells Clayton. It’s quite unusual for Wrong to compliment President Kagame, even unwittingly, for finding solutions for problems that western leaders have abysmally failed to address. The crisis of leadership in the West should obviously be the main concern here. But alas! Purveyors of Eurocentrism, such as Wrong, tend to project onto others the failures of their own societies because the narcissism grants the (white) privilege not to take responsibility whatsoever – especially when there are Africans to carry the burden of their European deficiency. Wrong should know that western concerns are the least of Kagame’s preoccupations. He has a country to run and a continent to advocate for. Western leaders should obviously do what they were elected to do: solve their societies problems. When they fail and others step in, the least that their people can do is to appreciate the generosity. Wrong adds that “sending asylum seekers to be processed in a part of the world that has been devastated, in recent history, by genocide, civil war, and mass exoduses” is the “most surreal and outrageous schemes her government has ever come up with.” If Wrong was not so bitter over the loss of her former seductive handler, whose smooth honey skin she extensively mourns, she would ask herself what kind of leadership can turn a devastated land into a home for hundreds of thousands of refugees in just 28 years. It is not just surreal; it is simply extraordinary. But Clayton was not the only one platforming ludicrous views of the UK-Rwanda refugee plan. In The Independent, Joe Sommerlad quoted a British MP saying that the plan “amounted to the creation of a British Guantanamo Bay.” It’s actually healthy for westerners to remind themselves that Guantanamo Bay is not run by Rwanda, but by one of the very governments who produce reports that condemn Rwanda for human rights violations. But it is that [white] privilege, the kind Wrong is drunk from, that allows the one who runs Guantanamo gets to lecture others on human rights issues. What’s more amazing is that no one among these British journalists complaining now would find it shocking if refugees were sent in the country that runs the real Guantanamo. Why imagine a Guantanamo Bay in Rwanda when a real one exists! Clayton, Wrong, and company have never lifted a finger as children and expectant mothers are packed in cages under the menacing watch of cruel armed guardians. Migrants are subjected to all sorts of abuses including the worst one can think of. As the saying goes “First, remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brothers eye. Rwanda may not be a wealthy country in economic terms, but it is wealthy in terms of compassion and kindness. While it might seem logical to send refugees to wealthier countries, these countries cannot provide what Rwanda has in abundance: generosity, dignity, and humanity. “To be seen not as exceptional or pitiable, but as equal. This is all any refugee asks of you. This is what life looks like when you’ve lost a place to call home, and then found it again, Shabana Basij-Rasikh wrote in the Washington Post, describing what Rwanda has to offer, something that no amount of money can buy. Of course, some refugees will not directly see the value of such a gift and they may run again towards unwelcoming lands. The reasons that push them to such desperate measures. The very western media that sold them the dreamland that turned them out to be a nightmare is the same that is telling them horrible things about Rwanda. They should not be blamed for believing them. But with time, they will have the chance to reflect around the cold reality of countries that want to get rid of them and, perhaps then, they may appreciate how Rwanda extended a helping hand during their most trying times. Indeed, in Rwanda they will find a president, a former refugee himself, who genuinely cares for the stranded and mistreated.