The BBC’s Samira Ahmed asks a fundamental question about the migrant crisis...but in The Big Issue magazine and not on the BBC….
Most refugees are men – we should be asking why
“Just as in East Germany, looking at gender opens up a legitimate question about how you build a strong and stable society”
One of the most intriguing anecdotal demographic phenomena of the 1990s was what happened to East Germany’s young women; how many upped sticks and headed west in search of opportunity. It was, Germans told me, overwhelmingly men who stayed put when their obsolete industrial jobs disappeared, and in some cases nursed a grievance against foreigners. The rise of far-right extremists in the East seemed correlated with that demographic change.
Polling here shows a large number of Britons, the majority even, are at best cautious about taking in refugees from Syria because of the fear of conservative Islamic attitudes. Some readers might want to dismiss this as a cover for racism, just as in the 1930s the Daily Mail warned of the “threat” of so many Jews coming from Hitler’s Germany.
But just as in East Germany, looking at gender opens up a legitimate question about how you build a strong and stable society. Where are all the women refugees? According to the latest UNHCR figures, 72 per cent of the numbers arriving in western Europe so far in 2015 are men, 15 per cent children and only 13 per cent women. A BBC World Service reporter a few days ago described on air the unease he and female colleagues felt when they tried to interview women refugees, only to be uniformly refused permission by their men.
So where ARE the women refugees? Some men will have planned to establish themselves and then bring families over safely. But talking to lawyers dealing with the influx of young male Afghan migrants here a decade earlier, it seems in many cases families spend money on the people they value most. And that’s not the women.
When we talk of compassion and doing the right thing in these humanitarian crises, perhaps we ignore gender at our peril.
Interesting that Samira Ahmed, a Muslim woman, should think this is an issue that is important enough to raise questions about …but….she does so not at the BBC but in ‘The Big Issue’ magazine. Why? Why not the BBC? Is it just that she had the opportunity to write this in the Big Issue, perhaps somebody there asked her to do it, or is it an issue that is close to her heart but which the BBC has decided is one that isn’t to be aired by them due to its ‘inflammatory’ nature in that it raises serious questions about, not just immigration, but Islam itself and its respect or otherwise for women (as we looked at yesterday)?
Has the BBC explored this issue?, I haven’t seen it, or is this just another example of the BBC hiding uncomfortable truths because they would make people even less inclined to support immigration which the BBC is a powerful cheerleader for?
An interesting and very relevant consideration that is coming into focus very quickly is that Turkey is possibly heading towards civil war (and where are the cries of outrage, ala Israel, about Turkey’s massive military strikes against the PKK?) and yet the EU, itself heading towards a split, is trying to bribe the Turks to stop the flow of migrants by allowing Turks much freer access to Europe…all 75 million of them…..and note Islamist Turkey is helping the Islamic State because it is the enemy of the Kurds……the same Islamic State that is driving migrants towards Europe.
And here’s something from the Commentator, written by ex-ambassador Charles Crawford, to chew on and consider when listening to all those BBC journos wittering on about open borders, the horrors of the nation state and the joys of mass immigration of people who follow the religion of peace:
Migration crisis? Not good. Rapidly getting worse. Maybe World War Three starts not because one country grabs another’s land, but because in too many places simultaneously international borders just start to melt?
The dramas of fences and quotas and agonising personal stories now playing out in different parts of Europe and along other international borders raise existential questions at the heart of human identity. Do national and cultural identities exist? If so, how to defend them if they come under challenge?
Let’s look at another question. Do the lights in your home go on or off when you flick a switch? Yes, there’s electricity. But that electricity supply (and the fact that your house has a switch) comes from the fact of a reliable and identifiable legal order.
Everything you see around you has been invented and created somewhere in the world thanks to myriad contracts enforceable under local laws and supporting international agreements.
Those legal systems exist only because they are attached to a territorial jurisdiction. England’s laws apply in England. Cross into Scotland or hop over to France, and different laws apply. This is often overlooked when people talk about an EU without internal borders.
Yes, an EU citizen and a non-EU citizen with a Schengen visa can drive to and fro across continental Europe without producing a passport. But the EU member states’ respective invisible legal jurisdictions remain 100 percent in place.
If tens or hundreds of thousands of young Arab Muslims are unwilling to fight for their own country but instead demand to live in (say) Germany or Sweden or the UK or USA, what assurances of loyalty to their new host country and its values can and should be asked of them as part of the admission process?
How then to respond if they then form tightly-knit and ideologically extreme communities and start to resist their generous hosts’ hospitality?
As the modern democratic state’s control over its own vital rules frays, our smug political elites stare aghast at the philosophical and practical confusion their fecklessness has created.
And in one country after another, angry populists start to win leadership positions by playing on legitimate public concerns that if the state under current management is unable to do its most basic job — to protect its own borders, and choose and enforce its own values — the law-abiding citizens of that state need to look at more drastic solutions.
Not good. Rapidly getting worse.
Maybe World War Three starts not because one country grabs another’s land, but because in too many places simultaneously international borders just start to melt?