The refugee crisis that has engulfed Europe over the past couple of weeks has raised many questions about what we could, and many claim the UK should, do to help those fleeing Syria and other countries. Should we just open the borders and let thousands of people enter into our nation? Should we be helping them in their own country? Is it even our problem?
As a country with Christian roots, does this mean that should Britain should be willing to help all those in need by allowing them to enter the country? The UK government has an obligation to its citizens to ensure that their welfare is taken care of and that they are protected. The government has to decide whether allowing thousands of migrants to enter the country would jeopardise this.
We also have to consider that many people that are trying to get into Europe are doing so illegally and without a true humanitarian reason. The situation that played out in Hungary did not help the cause of those with genuine refugee status and need. They were trying to enter illegally, refusing to follow the process set out in the country they were trying to enter and caused disruption to that nation and to the wider community. I have read many articles quoting various bible verses, some taken out of context with some raising a valid point. One thing that scripture does say is to always obey and respect the government and the laws of the country you are in.
Why is it that these Syrians, the majority of whom will be Muslim, are trying to get to Christian countries? The principles and constitution of this country stand on Christian values. Muslims have strong faith in what they believe and so would tend not to integrate and adopt Christian principles. The bible describes these types of people as foreigners, whilst Aliens are described as those that come from a foreign land with a genuine desire to integrate and fit into the society they are joining. If Britain let in 10,000, how many would fit into our society or would they cause more fragmentation?
What are other Muslim countries doing to help their fellow Muslims? Should a Christian nation be diluting their society when there are clearly other nations more aligned with those seeking to flee their nation? Take Turkey for example. It has the 18th largest economy in the world (according to World Bank) and although a democracy it is a practising Muslim country. Whilst Turkey do take in a lot of refugees from Syria already (around 1.7m), they are well placed to accept them in and to ‘broker’ a true humanitarian solution Firstly, they would be helping fellow Muslims who would be able to integrate within society a lot easier than in a Christian country and secondly, they are geographically placed in an ideal location. The refugees wouldn’t need to risk their lives trying to travel thousands of miles, hiding in lorries and trying to go through the channel tunnel. The international community would be able to give aid to help Turkey cope with the influx.
Is this the stance Britain should be taking and promoting within the wider community? We shouldn’t just be opening our borders to anyone who has the ability to stir the media sufficiently to get their own way, but to those who have genuine refugee status and humanitarian need, not just social want. Clearly it would be beneficial for all if we gave aid to help those in need, so is opening our borders the only way to help these refugees? No. Do we have an obligation to help others who are desperately trying to get away from a war torn country? Yes. As a nation, we should be helping those in need, whatever their religion or ethnicity. However, the recent crisis has shown that if people move on mass, cause enough trouble and get the media attention, then this seems to be a move away from humanitarian need towards social rebellion to force countries into doing something they may not want or need to do.