I don’t see what’s so wrong with Australia protecting her borders. The Ummah has a moral responsibility for Muslim refugees; why should the West have to take on this burden.
White South African Farmers have a right to escape to Australia. Pakistan & Iran can host Afghans & Iraqis; why do they need to travel all the way to Oz & Europe with their alien values?
If Australia was a neighbouring country to Afghanistan I can understand the need for refugee. This is why I’m quite sanguine about Latin American immigration to the US (it’s the same geographic region). Of course each country has a right to police its borders as it sees fit.
I’m all about Mughlai decadent culture but the West should not be raped any longer (as a corollary it should not rape either; what it did in Syria & the Arab Spring was unforgivable).
22 thoughts on “Do Muslim refugees have a right to Australia?”
What mistakes do you think Europe made in the Arab Spring and Syria?
Are you upset that North America and Europe supported the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood)?
Europe exported its poor (and want to be rich) into the Americas, Africa, Australia and Asia. They were not welcome by the Natives and many attempts to close borders.
e.g. Sweden a country one would never think of Emigration
Now the tide has reversed. Africa and Asia are exporting their poor (and want to be rich) in to Europe and the lands colonized by the Europeans. Can they stop it. I doubt it.
History repeats or rhymes.
The Ummah has a moral responsibility for Muslim refugees; why should the West have to take on this burden.
Including situations where the “West” directly/indirectly caused the reasons for those “Muslims” becoming refugees?
Are there any examples of the west causing refugees?
You could argue they escalated the situation in various Middle Eastern countries, that led to an eventual outflux of refugees. But my question was a more “what if”… because the question, “why should the West have to take on this burden?” sounded rather absolute.
Butal Miah, middle easterners love to blame their problems on foreigners (others in the middle east or non middle easterners); but that middle easterners say it does not make it true.
The 14 century Islamic civil war and Islamism are created by middle easterners. Middle Easterners are responsible for the radicalization of British Indian muslims starting in the early 1920s and the partition riots. Something for which the Gulfies have not apologized. Al Qaeda and Daesh are created by the greater middle east. Arabs created the Ikhwan.
Middle easterners are responsible for fighting each other. Every country in the middle east is deeply involved in the internal affairs of other countries in the middle east. The concept of individual country sovereignty has never existed or been followed in the middle east. The whole region has long been a large joint family civil war type squabble.
Arabs love to blame so many of their problems on the evil Ottoman Turks, evil Persians (who happen to be Kuffer twelvers), oh the Jews [oooh, oooh], and on the nonmuslim international community. A little introspection might be nice.
The US went into Iraq. The US destroyed Libya. The US (and Russia) are involved in Syria, each in their own strange ways.
I agree the “Arabs” (way to generalize) should introspect. Everyone should introspect. But there are certainly external factors going back to Sykes-Picot that have made the Middle East what it is today.
AnAn — generally, I too have a fairly dismal view on [particularly] Arab culture. I find it too closed, prone to backwardness and regressive. And I agree the expansionism they unleashed tends to go uncriticized when compared with [say] European colonialism [and of course early Arab involvement in the African slave trade].
Nevertheless, you have to separate the components. Their regressive culture is not the cause of American involvement in Syria, Iraq, North Africa etc. Anymore than Mexican culture is the cause of America’s extensive forays into Latin, Central and South America. You have to be realistic also – American [or Russian] adventurism isn’t just an Arab myth… it’s consequences have created a large amount of [what we can only see as] avoidable turmoil in the Middle East. Again, their fractured and rather intolerant culture has exacerbated it, but to pretend that Western powers haven’t had an unusually large hand in it, especially with recent events… seems rather unbelievable.
BTW, in the subcontinent, I would say easily the worst offenders [if we are talking about slaughters of the native population] would be Persians and Turks, NOT Arabs [who usually get the blame]. Arabs really didn’t get much farther than Sindh [in terms of outright conquest as a group]. Ghazni sounds like the stuff of nightmares, though I’m sure he was personally an amiable chap.
Kabir, 5 million refugees fled Saddam Hussein. More refugees returned after the fall of Saddam than left. The Arab world is responsible for backing Saddam against the Iraqi people 1968 to 2003. They loved the way he killed Persians, Shia and Kurds and Jews. They loved the way Saddam stood up to the ottomans. Saddam’s war with Iran killed 2 million people. Saddam also killed 400 thousand Iraqis, plunging his country into civil war as his people tried to liberate themselves.
Cultural reasons are why the Turks ruled arabs for half a millennia. They were liberated in WWI but were unready for self rule. The Europeans tried to divide them into countries, but weren’t good at it. The European created Arab institutions weren’t nearly as good as the Pakistani army for example.
The European role in North Africa was worse.
This said arabs have run their own affairs for a long time and made a major mess of it.
Their own disfunction and regional civil war has drawn foreign powers in again and again.
Qaddafi destroyed Libya. Arabs played a massive role in the Libyan war since 2011. The Arab league begged the Turks and Europeans and Americans and UN to help them in Libya.
Foreigners have sacrificed their dearest blood and treasure for the middle east and never gotten anything in return.
Including the Indian army in WW2. Have any arabs thanked India and Pakistan?
I’ve said it before. I have no love for Colonel Qaddafi. Please, my model society is the developed West. NYC is far better than any other place on earth, except perhaps London.
Qaddafi was a horrible dictator but he held Libya together. Today there is arguably no “Libya”. There is also no “Syria”, which the Assads (as horrible as they are) were holding together. Interventionism has consequences. That’s all I’m saying. Iran has also contributed to destroying Syria, it’s not just Western countries.
Now I’m really going to concentrate on art, literature and music–much more pleasant topics. Back to reading my Rushdie novel.
Kabir, we might agree on an awful lot.
And yes I am being a little too hard on the Arabs.
Is it really unfair to blame Arabs for the radicalization of South Asian muslims, South Eastern Asian muslims, African muslims, European muslims, former USSR muslims, muslims around the world since 1920? Is in unfair to blame Arabs for the the disaster that has befallen Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh? For the disastrous state of Indo-Pakistani relations? India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan should be the closest and warmest friends in the world. What is happening today is unnatural. Islamism is unnatural. When you read books about Afghan, Pakistani, Bengali and Indian muslims pre 1947 . . . they were vastly less Islamist influenced than is the case today.
Most of the world’s security challenges since the end of the cold war are because of Islamism–Arabs are significantly responsible for Islamism. Yes GHQ Deep State also plays a large role–but the Islamist part of their ideology is imported from Arabs.
Functional countries almost never fight wars with other functional countries. Functional countries sometimes feel that they are dragged into areas of chaos since local institutions are either non existent or dysfunctional. But functional countries don’t like being dragged in to fix the problems of dysfunctional parts of the world. It costs a lot of blood and treasure to fix dysfunctional parts of the world. The Arab world with a few islands of stability is a dysfunctional part of of the world.
Arabs might be blamed for many things but India-Pakistan relations are not their fault. It is not the Arabs who have told India to pretend like there is no issue in Kashmir.
Arabs didn’t cause Partition. Arabs didn’t cause 4 wars between Pakistan and India. Those are our own messes.
And we will never be “best friends”. At most, we can be normal countries that neither particularly like each other nor hate each other. There are lots of those in this world.
“Islamism” is a reaction to colonialism. Many scholars (non-Muslim) have argued this.
“Arabs might be blamed for many things but India-Pakistan relations are not their fault”
This needs to be its own article. I very respectfully believe that the Wahhabi House of Al Saud deeply radicalized the muslims of British India. Gandhi’s unadvised support of the House of Al Saud Wahhabis as anti colonialist freedom fighters in the early 1920s deeply ruptured the relationship between Gandhi and Jinnah (and many Indian muslims). These relationships never recovered. Gandhi never understood the danger of Islamism–which enlightened moderate muslim Indians such as Jinnah always understood.
Many years later the beginnings of muslim radicalization in the subcontinent led to a nonmuslim unhelpful response. This caused nonmuslim Indians to want partition. It is Hindus who refused to make Jinnah the first PM of a united India and demanded that partition take place.
If not for the negative Arab role; I don’t think riots would have taken place (they were started by Arab supported Islamist agitators–and all Indian muslims were incorrectly blamed for them) pre independence or during partition. Mountbatten would have allowed a larger Pakistan even if partition took place. [Jinnah wanted a Pakistan that was 40% nonmuslim] Pakistan today would look a lot like Malaysia with a vibrant 40% nonmuslim population. India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh would be close friends with each other. I know we disagree on this.
The bad relationship between India and Pakistan is significantly the fault of Arabs. The bad relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan is also in large part of the fault of Arab Islamist influence.
Let us not kid ourselves. Afghanistan and Pakistan have been in a de facto state of war with each other since the 1970s that has greatly harmed both countries and the entire world.
““Islamism” is a reaction to colonialism. Many scholars (non-Muslim) have argued this.”
This deserves a post on its own.
Indians and Pakistanis need to own our own problems. The Arabs have enough shit of their own to deal with.
Yes, Jinnah was upset with Gandhi for supporting the Khilafat movement. You are right about that.
Bangladesh happened because of Pakistani “colonialism” in East Pakistan. We told them their language was inferior, we called them “half-Hindu”, we took their resources and used them to develop West Pakistan. Somehow I don’t see what the Arab role was in that? In any case, Bangladesh has become a pro-India and anti-Pakistan country. I won’t go into detail because I’m not an expert on Bangladesh and I don’t identify myself with their culture. However, it is only natural that when one part of a country violently secedes from the other, helped by the country’s enemy, things are not going to be particularly good between them. Faiz Sahab wrote a very sad poem after the War called “Dhaka Say Wapsi Par”. You can look it up if interested. It is the one that begins “hum jo theray ajnabi kitnee mulaqatoon kay baad”.
My concerns are limited to Punjab, Kashmir and UP. Those are my people.
I think part of the “Pakistan Psychosis” is related to attaching Pakistan to foreign Islamist Arab ideologies in lieu of traditional relatively much more moderate Indian Islam and pan Hindustan Bharatiya culture. This is the fault of both what becomes the deep state and the Gulf establishment.
Omar, Zachary Latif, Slapstik, Vikram, Vishal, Rahul etc.; what are your thoughts?
Anan, I think the specific set of Islamic practices, and Muslim culture that evolved in the region called Pakistan earlier in history, did so in an environment of religious pluarlity. There was a good mix of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, and the culture of each community evolved with interactions.
Partition dramatically changed the demographic scenario, and left Pakistan with an overwhelming Muslim majority. Once the alternate religious traditions were out of the picture, it is natural that the Muslim culture of Pakistan would start changing from its earlier form.
I dont think Arab Muslim culture is particularly intolerant. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan all had (or continue to have) large Christian populations, not to mention differing Muslim denominations. The UAE has scores of Hindus and Christians.
The conflict between India and Pakistan is a nationalist conflict, with a territorial dispute at its heart. It has nothing to do with ‘moderate Islam’ or ‘Bharatiya culture’.
For once I agree with Vikram Bhai (quelle surprise!). India-Pakistan is a nationalist conflict. The Kashmir Dispute is at its core.
As for Islam, once we broke with Bharat on the basis of the TNT, we had to find an alternate identity for ourselves. What we found was Islam and being the “not-India”. Not particularly healthy, but that was the choice we made.
Where the Gulf comes in, is that when Pakistani labor started going there to work, they saw what “real” (Arab) Islam looks like. When they came home, they told their wives to put on burqas. People stopped saying “shukriya” for thank you and instead started saying “Jazak Allah”. “Khuda Hafiz” became “Allah Hafiz”. Pakistani Islam started becoming more Orthodox. Saudi also put in a lot of money into madrassahs to teach Wahabbism. They should not be forgiven for that.
Interesting. In particular I meant Salafi (a subset of which is Wahhabi) Arab culture . . . not all Arab culture. This is focused in KSA, Qatar and pockets inside Egypt [I have grown to be a big fan of Sisi].
There are more extreme Islamist pockets in Pakistan today than existed in 1948. This actually is the problem. This is not related to Pakistan being 97% muslim. Some almost exclusively muslim populations are sources of global love and light.
The BJP in 2001 decided that the primary threat from Pakistan was not the strength of Pakistan but the weakness of the Pakistani state; and Islamism. India’s policy since 2001 has been to support strengthening the Pakistani state and to try to douse the flames of Islamism inside Pakistan. India also determined in 2001 that the Pakistani Army was de facto losing control over the proxies they created and backed–more so than they themselves realized at the time. India’s nightmare is Jihadis using WMD against Indian population centers. This threat remains very real. This is why the BJP government decided not to provide material support to Baluchistan and other elements that might disrupt the Pakistani State. Rather the BJP decided to help stabilize and strengthen the Pakistani state. This has been India’s policy ever since. India agreed to refuse Afghan pleas of help in since 2001 in an attempt to deradicalize Pakistan. Indian offers of free trade, free investment, freer business/student/tourist/worker travel are aimed at strengthening and stabilizing Pakistan. India actually supports more foreign aid to Pakistan’s education system and economic development. Much of the Indian establishment supports COIN assistance to the Pakistani Army. India opposes high end military aid to Pakistan (such as F-16s). India generally believes that Pakistan should slash spending on high end military capacity to fund economic development and COIN operations against Jihadis.
The moderation in UAE has accelerated sharply in recent decades. The UAE use to be very different. Of course there are large pockets of pluralism in the Arab world that are resisting the Salafi Islamist (not all Salafis are Islamist) threat. No disagreement here.
India has a nationalist challenge with China . . . which doesn’t get in the way of close friendship, trade and collaboration on many issues.
India has mostly a Jihadi challenge and a weakness/instability of the Pakistani state challenge with Pakistan. In other words India views Pakistan much the way America, Canada, Australia, China, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Africa and the international community do. India confronts a global Jihadi threat which only partly emanates from Pakistan. India–similar to America, Japan, Europe and China–sees the world from a global perspective.
Anan, I dont think there is any systematic evidence that returnees from the Gulf are more radical/extreme than other Muslims in Pakistan. One must bear in mind that a strict segregation applies in most areas of the Gulf, and the migrant laborers barely interact with the natives.
The much more important for spreading religious extremism is the press (esp. Urdu language and TV) and the state narrative prescribed in textbooks. CM Naim has written a lot about this. It is similar to the situation created by Fox News in the US. Yes, there are some extremist pastors in the US, but their influence pales in comparison to extremist media persons.
I dont see why India has a jihadi challenge w.r.t Pakistan. Most Indian Muslims dont have any direct connection to Pakistan. Of course, some UP Muslims might have family there, but then so do a lot of Hindus have family in the US. India has security problems because our police is understaffed, underequipped and undertrained. A huge percentage of positions in the police and CBI are not filled, and this despite the official strength being a fraction of whats needed.
The Indian state and economy have huge challenges. All of these have to do with the attitudes of Hindus, a large chunk of whom keep insisting on the state serving the interests of their particular caste instead of public goods. Muslims are 14% of the population, and not more than 10% in the vast bulk of the country. I am quite tired of Hindus making Muslims the bogeyman for India’s condition, when most of it is down to their own selfishness and lack of business initiative.
Gulf returnees have a big influence. Traditionally, Pakistani women of all religions wear shalwar kameez with dupatta. Maybe they will cover their heads, maybe they will just wear the dupatta loosely around their necks. Gulf returnees saw how “true” Muslims behave and put their wives in burqa and the niqab (the one where only your eyes show–which even I as a Muslim find really disturbing). There are even Muslim women who wear gloves (because your hands showing is apparently very sinful).
But more than the Gulf returnees is the money the Saudis have put in to teach their version of Islam. Madrassah students are not qualified for any kind of a secular job. And what they have learned about the Quran Sharif is often not very good… How many clerics does a country need?
Serious problems for Pakistanis to sort out.
Kabir, I have seen this explanation offered on many occasions. But I have seen no systematic evidence that corroborates this claim. For example, Hafiz Saeed studied in a government school in Bahawalpur. He has two Masters from the University of Lahore. There is no Gulf connection here till he actually starts displaying extremist tendencies.
If ‘Saudi Islam’ is indeed as influential as you are making it out to be, it would have far more impact on neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon, all of which have large migrant populations in Saudi, speak Arabic and actually interact much more with the Saudis. But it doesnt.
I have seen the ‘more women wear burqa’ argument dished out often. But I think that this is more about class. Upper and middle class women in Pakistan have not changed their sartorial preferences. It is the poorer sections which use burqa more. So the women wearing burqa are possibly using it to increase their mobility (travel without male guardian etc).
You haven’t met the upper-middle class women influenced by the Al Huda movement. They have become deeply “pious”, following Arab Islam as opposed to South Asian Islam.
Saudi has spent a lot of money in Pakistan–that doesn’t come for free. Pakistan has a very strange relationship with the Saudi monarchy. Importing Wahabbism is part of the cost.
The King of Jordan is fairly moderate which probably explains why Wahabbism has not spread so much there. The Lebanese are some of the most cultured people in the region. There are also a lot of Lebanese Christians. In any case, Jordan is much richer country than Pakistan, they are not so in need of Saudi money. Jordan is also not an “Islamic Republic”, it is just the Kingdom of Jordan. I think that makes a difference.
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