What’s on the Mind of a Muslim ‘Refugee’?

MEF, by Burak Bekdil
BESA Center Perspectives
September 10, 2017

Originally published under the title “What’s on a Muslim Refugee’s Mind?”

The autumn of 2015 was unusual in almost every way on the north Aegean Greek island of Lesbos from which I am writing. There were tens of thousands of illegal migrants on the island, the native population of which was scarcely 100,000. New refugees arrived every day by the thousands.[1]

One evening, the blue-grey sky grumbled shortly after sunset. The thick clouds blackened and rain poured down over the city with a roar. As I ran across the slippery pavement into a friend’s bar, I heard a group of five poor souls speaking Persian with a Turkic accent and running amok, seeking shelter under the eaves of a building.

A quarter of an hour later I found them in front of my friend’s bar, totally soaked. I went out and asked them if they spoke English; they shook their heads. I asked them in Turkish if they spoke Turkish. With glittering eyes, three of them cheerfully said, “Evet!” [“Yes” in Turkish]. I told them they could come into the bar if they liked. They hesitated but politely declined. I asked if they needed food, water, or cigarettes.

The one with the most fluent Turkish stepped forward. He drew a pack of banknotes from his pocket and said, “If you really want to help, find us a hotel. The best, if possible. We have cash. Money is no problem. Find us a hotel and we’ll pay you a commission.” He explained that all the “damn” hotels on the island were full [of refugees] and they needed rooms.

I apologized and disappeared into the bar.

Why do millions of Muslims risk everything to reach a civilization they blame for all the world’s evils?

Nearly two years later, on a beautiful and cool summer evening, I met A. at a bar on the same island. A., a Syrian refugee, often spends his evenings bar-hopping with his Western friends. Those friends are mostly romantic European social workers who, I observed several times, sport t-shirts, bags, and laptops festooned with the Palestinian flag. They are on the island to help the unfortunate Muslim refugees who are fleeing war in their native countries.

“I’ll tell you strictly Muslim-to-Muslim,” A. said in good English after having poured down a few shots of whiskey. “These (European social workers) are funny guys. And they’re not just funny. They’re also silly. I don’t know why on earth they are in love with a Muslim cause that even some of us Muslims despise.”

Last year, three Afghans stopped in front of my house on the same island and asked for drinking water. I gave them three bottles and asked if they needed anything else. Coffee? They accepted and sat down in the garden chairs.

Over coffee, they said they were glad to be hosted “not by an infidel on this infidel island” but by a Muslim. The young Afghan who was dressed like a dancer from a cheap hip-hop clip on MTV said, “One day we good Muslims will conquer their infidel lands.” I asked why he was receiving “infidel” money for living. “It’s just halal,” he answered. “They [‘infidels’] are too easy to fool.”

M., another fluently English-speaking Syrian, gave me a long lecture on the wonderful governance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “Turkey is the best country in the world!” M. said. ” Erdoğan is the leader of the ummah.” I asked why he had risked his life to cross illegally from the “best country in the world” to the “poor, infidel lands.” “I want to go to Europe to increase the Muslim population there,” he said. “I want to make a Muslim family there. I want to have plenty of children.” I reminded him that Greece, too, is a European country. No it’s not, he answered.

Almost all illegal migrants in Greece want to get to Germany, where they will be the best paid.

Almost all the illegal migrants on that and other Greek islands want to get to Germany, where they have heard from friends and relatives that they will be the best paid for being “poor” refugees. The cliché “the-poor-souls-are-fleeing-war-in-their-native-country” is becoming less and less convincing every day. True, most Syrians fled to Turkey after the start of civil war in their country. But why did they then risk their lives to squeeze into 12-man rubber boats with 40-50 other people, including children and the elderly? Because of war in Turkey?

No. Despite political instability and insecurity for all, there is technically no war in Turkey. It is a Muslim country whose mostly Muslim migrants want to leave it as soon as possible for non-Muslim Europe.

They reach the shores of the Greek islands, which are so beautiful that people from across the world fly there for their holidays. But the islands are not good enough. They want to go to Athens. Why? Because there is war on the Greek islands? No. It’s because Athens is the start of the exit route to the Balkans.

Apply the same logic to Serbia, Hungary, and Austria. Like Greece, none of those countries will be good enough for the refugees. Why not? Because there is war in Serbia or Hungary or Austria? Or because “my cousin tells me Germans pay the best?”

Turkey’s leaders often threaten Europe that they will “open the gates” and flood Europe with millions of refugees. They should ask themselves instead why those Muslim refugees are so eager to leave the “new Turkish empire” if given the chance. Why would they choose not to live a comfortable life in a powerful and peaceful Muslim country and instead flock to the “infidel” west?

Erdoğan blames the West for the tragedy. He has criticized the West for having taken only 250,000 Syrian refugees. In 2016, then Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members (the US, Russia, Britain, France, and China), should pay the price, not Syria’s [Muslim] neighbors.

It is ironic that millions of Muslims are trying, through dangerous means, to reach the borders of a civilization they have historically blamed for all the world’s evils, including those of their own countries. The “romantic” West does not question why millions of West-hating Muslims are heading in their direction. Or is it “Islamophobic” to point out that there is no war in Greece, Serbia, Hungary, or Austria?

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based political analyst and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

[1] By the end of July 2017, the number of refugees and migrants in Greece waiting to be granted asylum or deported had fallen to 62,407. The five Aegean islands (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros) are presently home to 15,222 asylum-seekers and migrants.

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A year ago, screaming headlines spoke of an immigration crisis in Europe, caused by refugees fleeing the Middle East. You may not have heard much lately, about what was called the refugee crisis of 2016. Here’s a new headline: it hasn’t gone away. In fact, in some respects, it may be getting worse. Scott Thuman went to France, to examine the growing worry, over this new wave of refugees.

Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe’s Destiny

by Daniel Pipes
Washington Times
October 10, 2016

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Visits to predominantly Muslim suburbs emerging outside nearly all northern European cities, one question keeps recurring: Why have some of the richest, most educated, most secular, most placid, and most homogeneous countries in the world willingly opened their doors to virtually any migrant from the poorest, least modern, most religious, and least stable countries?

Other questions follow: Why have mostly Christian countries decided to take in mostly Muslim immigrants? Why do so many Establishment politicians, most notably Germany’s Angela Merkel, ignore and revile those who increasing worry that this immigration is permanently changing the face of Europe? Why does it fall to the weaker Visegrád states of eastern Europe to articulate a patriotic rejection of this phenomenon? Where will the immigration lead to?

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There’s no single answer that applies to multiple countries; but of the many factors (such as secularization) behind this historically unprecedented acceptance of alien peoples, one stands out as most critical: a west European sense of guilt.

To many educated western Europeans, their civilization is less about scientific advances, unprecedented levels of prosperity, and the achievement of unique human freedoms, and more about colonialism, racism, and fascism. The brutal French conquest of Algeria, the uniquely evil German genocide against the Jews, and the legacy of extreme nationalism cause many Europeans, in the analysis of Pascal Bruckner, a French intellectual, to see themselves as “the sick man of the planet,” responsible for every global problem from poverty to environmental rapacity; “the white man has sown grief and ruin wherever he has gone.” Affluence implies robbery, light skin manifests sinfulness.

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Bruckner labels this the “tyranny of guilt” and I encountered some colorful expressions during my recent travels of such self-hatred. A French Catholic priest expressed remorse over the record of the Church. A conservative German intellectual preferred Syrians and Iraqis to his fellow Germans. A Swedish tour guide put down fellow Swedes and hoped he would not be perceived as one.

Indeed, many Europeans feel their guilt makes them superior; the more they dislike themselves, the more they preen – inspiring a strange mix of self-loathing and moral superiority that, among other consequence, leaves them reluctant to commit the time and money required to bear children. “Europe is losing faith in itself, and birth rates have collapsed,” notes Irish scientist William Reville.

The catastrophic birth dearth underway has created an existential demographic crisis. With women of the European Union bearing just 1.58 children as of 2014, the continent lacks the offspring to replace itself; over time, this far-less-than-replacement rate means a precipitous decline in the numbers of ethnic Portuguese, Greeks, and others. To maintain the welfare state and the pension machine requires importing foreigners.

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These two drives – expiating guilt and replacing nonexistent children – then combine to encourage a massive influx of non-Western peoples, what the French writer Renaud Camus calls “the great replacement.” South Asians in the United Kingdom, North Africans in France, and Turks in Germany, plus Somalis, Palestinians, Kurds, and Afghans all over, can claim innocence of Europe’s historic sins even as they offer the prospect of staffing the economy. As the American writer Mark Steyn puts it, “Islam is now the principal supplier of new Europeans.”

The Establishment, or what I call the 6 P’s (politicians, police, prosecutors, the press, professors, and priests), generally insists that everything will turn out fine: Kurds will become productive workers, Somalis fine citizens, and Islamist problems will melt away.

That’s the theory and sometimes it works. Far too often, however, Muslim immigrants remain aloof from the culture of their new European home or reject it, as most clearly manifested by gender relations; some violently attack non-Muslims. Far too often too, they lack the skills or incentive to work hard and end up an economic liability.

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The influx of non-integrating Muslim peoples raises the profound question whether Europe’s civilization of the past millennium can survive. Will England become Londonistan and France an Islamic republic? The Establishment castigates, dismisses, sidelines, ostracizes, suppresses, and even arrests those who raise such issues, demeaning them as right-wing extremists, racists, and neo-fascists.

Nonetheless, the prospect of Islamization prompts a growing number of Europeans to fight on behalf of their traditional way of life. Leaders include intellectuals such as the late Oriana Fallaci and novelist Michel Houellebecq; politicians such as Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, and Geert Wilders, head of the most popular Dutch party.

Anti-immigration political parties typically win about 20 percent of the vote. And while a consensus has emerged that their appeal will stay about there, perhaps reaching 30 percent, they could well continue to grow. Opinion polls show that very substantial majorities fear Islam and want to stop and even reverse the effects of immigration, especially that of Muslims. In this light, Norbert Hofer recently winning 50 percent of the vote in Austria represents a potentially major breakthrough.

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The greatest question facing Europe is who, Establishment or populace, will steer the continent’s future. The extent of Islamist political violence will likely decide this: a drumbeat of high-profile mass-murders (such as in France since January 2015) tilts the field toward the people; its absence allows the Establishment to remain in charge. Ironically, then, the actions of migrants will largely shape Europe’s destiny.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2016 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Hungary Blasts EU with Common Sense on Muslim Migration

orbanMEF, by Raymond Ibrahim  •  Jul 29, 2016
Cross-posted from RaymondIbrahim.com

In “an astonishingly savage tirade”—to quote from the UK’s Express—Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban recently tore into the European Union “over migration and taunted Angela Merkel for failing to protect German people from Islamist terror.” (Click here to learn why central and eastern European nations, Hungary chief among them, are wary of Islam.)

In the course of his speech, Orban made two important points that I habitually make, and which explain the true reasons behind the unprecedented rise of terrorism in EU nations: 1) Islam’s Rule of Numbers; 2) Western enablement of Islam.

In regards to the first point, Orban

issued a stunning rebuke to Mrs Merkel on migration, blaming recent terror attacks on the mas[s] influx of refugees… Migration, he argued, “increases terrorism and crime” and “destroys national culture” in a thinly-veiled swipe at Mrs Merkel’s decision to roll out the red carpet to millions of people from the Middle East.

This is as simple as it gets. Over three years ago, in May 2013, a Muslim man decapitated a British solider with a meat cleaver in the middle of a busy London street. I explained it as follows:

It reflects what I call “Islam’s Rule of Numbers,” a rule that expresses itself with remarkable consistency: The more Muslims grow in numbers, the more Islamic phenomena intrinsic to the Muslim world—in this case, brazen violence against “infidels”—appear….

Thus as Muslim populations continue growing in Western nations, count on growing, and brazen, numbers of attacks on infidels—beheadings and such.

And so it has been. While EU leaders and Western media scurry to find pretexts to explain the rise of terrorism—from “Muslim grievances” to wars for “money” and “natural resources,” as Pope Francis recently claimed after Muslims slaughtered a priest in France—reality is much simpler: Islam promotes hate for and violence against non-Muslims.

Accordingly, wherever Islam is in power, such as the Muslim world for example, non-Muslims are grossly persecuted—and not just by ISIS, but by “regular Muslims“—from heads of state, to police, to educators, down to the mob.

If Muslims persecute non-Muslims where they are strong, is it any wonder that, as Muslim numbers grow in Europe, as they have in recent times, attacks on non-Muslims grow with them? Or, as Orban put it, Muslim immigration “increases terrorism and crime.”

The Hungarian prime minister’s second important point agrees with another point I’ve been repeatedly making, most recently last week in an article titled, “Eject Western Traitors, Beat Islamic Terrorists“:

Those who seek to reverse this situation [growing Islamic terrorism] must begin by embracing a simple fact: Islam is not terrorizing the West because it can but because it is being allowed to….

Today [as opposed to historically], Muslim terrorists, rapists, and criminals are not entering the West against its will but because of it….

Orban agrees:

We must make it clear that our problem is not in Mecca, but in Brussels [capital of the EU]. The obstacle for us is not Islam, but the bureaucrats in Brussels. We would be able to deal with Islam if we were allowed to deal with it in the way we think we should.

Simply put, whatever Islam is or teaches—whether it is violent or not, whatever it does “over there” in Mecca and elsewhere—is not the immediate problem.

Rather, the immediate problem is that EU “bureaucrats in Brussels” are imposing Islam “over here,” or, as I had more bluntly concluded:

Western policymakers who insist that Islam is peaceful (despite all evidence otherwise) and that the West is “obligated” to receive Muslim migrants, are 100% responsible for the daily victims of jihad, most recently an octogenarian priest…. The war begins with them. Kick them and their suicidal policies out, and watch Islamic terror on Western soil fizzle out.

It’s all very simple: More Muslims equals more violence against non-Muslims. This formula acknowledges that not all Muslims, or even the majority, are inclined to acts of terrorism. However, as Muslim numbers grow in general, it’s only natural that the numbers of “radicals” grow with them (e.g., 10 % of 100 is only 10, but 10% of a 1,000 is 100).

And the immediate issue isn’t whether or why Islam is violent; the immediate issue is that Western leaders are the ones enabling and importing it into the West.

It still remains to be seen if Orban is right “that other European nations would come around to Hungary’s no-nonsense way of thinking as the reality of regular terror attacks set in.”

Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.