A couple of weeks ago, I berated migrants or refugees depending on your view of this debate, for demanding better treatment in Europe. While I stand by my comments, I do sympathise with the men, women and children trying to get a new start in Europe.
In case you’re wondering what changed my mind, it was that widely shared picture of a three-year-old boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach last week.
I cried like he was my own son and still tear up whenever I see it. To think that his Syrian father didn’t even make it to Europe, instead returning to home to bury his two young sons and wife makes their story even sadder. No one should ever have to go through that pain.
It’s often said that everything happens for a reason and I hope following this and similar tragedies, Europe becomes more receptive particularly to those fleeing war and atrocities in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria.
I think all those opposed to migrants resettling across Europe, the US or wherever need to just take a moment and think about what their own lives would be like if they lived in a war zone.
Many of these conflicts have gone on for years and there’s no indication they will be resolved any time soon. The result has been unending destruction and disruption of lives. No opportunities, no jobs, no prospects, no basic services, what chance do those affected have to lead normal lives? Would you stay anywhere knowing chances are you wouldn’t survive the next bomb strike, sniper bullets or chemical gas attacks?
Concerns about terrorists and radicals getting an easy pass into the developed world are legitimate of course but we can’t condemn or label every single person from the Middle East a terrorist. It’s like saying all Black people are thugs. It’s ridiculous. There are bad people in every race, religion and sex. Children, Christians, women and Caucasians have committed some of the worst atrocities.No one has written those demographics off.
In failing to help resolve many of the conflicts forcing civilians to flee their native countries, and in some cases providing the very weapons to blame for the carnage, the Western World is partly to blame for the current crisis. It’s going to be very difficult to stem the flow of migrants from now on. What authorities need to do is vet everyone coming in and keep a close eye on those they suspect are up to no good.
The majority of the migrants are simply seeking refuge and a safe place to start or raise their families. This business of erecting border fences and boundaries in places none of us created is ridiculous. We should just let people live wherever they want to live, as long as they are hardworking and law abiding. Those who aren’t willing to do that should remember what history has taught us over the years. People have always moved from and to different places. If our ancestors hadn’t had the freedom to live or move anywhere, perhaps none of us would be where we are today.