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Why I Am Against The Intake Of Syrian Refugees

21/11/2016 1:51 PM IST | Updated 24/11/2016 8:53 AM IST
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Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
Syrian refugees call for help and empty water from their flooding raft as they approach the Greek island of Lesbos past a Greek coast guard vessel October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Over the past one year I have had numerous "coffee time" discussions with friends, professors, journalists and wannabe politicos like myself about Syria. My views don't tend to go down well with them and most oppose my stance (which is great — disagreement ignites healthy debate). These discussions, of course, don't lead to a magic solution to the problem. However, I thought — how about opening this discussion to people who I don't know and perhaps expand my own views in the process?

I am against refugee intake, just as I am pro Trump's wall. This is not because I think they don't deserve a better life, but because I think they do.


In my opinion, Syria should never have been meddled with in the first place. While the past cannot be undone, taking in refugees is hardly the solution. Syria needs to be solved in Syria, once and for all. Otherwise, it will become yet another tragedy of the Middle East, doomed to be in limbo for years.

So, what about the many dispossessed people of Syria? Let me say it flat out: I am against refugee intake, just as I am pro Trump's wall. This is not because I think they don't deserve a better life, but because I think they do.

History has shown us how refugees have always been treated unfairly are forced to occupy the bottom-most slab of the human pyramid. Because they are pretty much helpless and in constant fear, they become easy targets for exploitation, a pattern which repeats itself for generations to come.

You think Germany and other countries have opened their doors to Syrians purely out of altruism? Really? Could their generosity perhaps have something to do with creating a new workforce of cheap labour for their economy? Chances are most refugees will be severely underpaid, exploited and made to do odd jobs that are "unsuitable" for the privileged "white class". I may sound politically incorrect but that is exactly what is starting to happen across Europe. A report, published last year in The Independent, describes how "private companies are exploiting the refugee crisis for profit":

"A grim reality of the current migrant crisis sweeping Europe... is the growing number of corporations seeing financial opportunity in the most vulnerable people. Refugees become numbers to be processed; the profit motive is paramount in the minds of many multinationals."


Another report in the Guardian notes:

"The right... promotes a business model that depends on a constant churn of workers to carry out jobs that are underpaid and insecure at best, and all too often dirty, dangerous, and degrading. It requires not just immigration, but immigration without end, since only the newly arrived, the desperate and the vulnerable will tolerate the conditions that have been created, as the roll call of migrant workers ... with its constantly changing nationalities, shows."

Thus, the real agenda of taking in refugees is to create a steady supply of cheap labour that can be overworked, underpaid and be kept pressed below the thumb, or in some cases the fist. The problem doesn't stop here. Many of these disenfranchised young Syrians are likely to find themselves taking up illegal activities — or becoming the victim of them, with women (and children) being particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

A BBC Panorama investigation showed that clothes destined for the swanky stores of well-known high street brands are being made by Syrian child refugees working in their supply chains in Turkey. The concerned brands have become experts at shrugging off responsibility and shifting blame on the middlemen. But the fact remains that this does happen.

The real agenda of taking in refugees is to create a steady supply of cheap labour that can be overworked, underpaid and be kept pressed below the thumb ...

So, what do we do? What about all the dispossessed people?

I think that refugee migration is hardly a long-term solution. Many of those trying to make their way to so-called friendlier shores risk death by violence or drowning en route and, even if they do arrive, they face exploitation and a poor quality of life.

Perhaps countries can join hands and give these people more aid so that they are able to find their feet on their own land. Efforts could perhaps be made on rehabilitation rather than concentrating these people in refugee camps. Another idea that has been proposed is to station more troops in Syria to guard "safe havens". Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has even proposed buying a Mediterranean island to allow refugees a temporary shelter until a longer-term solution is found. I think it is too far-fetched but I like his idea to "let them rebuild."

One thing is certain: the ramifications of this "civil war" will be felt for generations to come and across borders. As global citizens we can only hope for the best for all human beings.

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