By way of excuse for not having written so long – my computer went down and I decided to get a new one. I did and it didn't work! The upshot of this is that I have been without a computer since February. This includes a lot of time sending it back to the makers whilst they tried to repair it. Eventually I got the old trusty one sorted out. So I'm back at the keyboard and hoping that some people still want to read what I have to say!
The big story of the moment is, of course, the chronic refugee problem. How can one not have sympathy for people who have lived in a war zone for four years where the antagonists really don't give a damn for the civilians. Or a state where the ruling clique get all the goodies and the rest of the population are almost put to slavery. These are unimaginable situations for us Europeans. Thankfully there has been peace in most of Europe for the last 70 years and long may it continue. However, and there must be a 'however', there has to be some sort of a limit to the number of refugees that any country can support.
In the past Britain in particular, has accepted any amount of refugees, genuine refugees that is. There is a very good and readable book call Bloody Foreigners that details refugee acceptances into Britain over the ages and there have been plenty. Of these, most have integrated into British society within a generation so they became unnoticeable. This is the unchallenged point about an influx of refugees. The quicker they integrate the quicker they are accepted. As late as the 1890s Italian immigrants to northern France were massacred because they were supposedly taking French jobs from Frenchmen. They had been ghettoized by not integrating. No need to remind anyone of the massacre of Jews in Germany because many of them lived in ghettos too. This didn't happen in Britain because refugees very quickly integrated.
Here we have a point that when so many refugees appear at the same time, and the ones coming into Europe at the moment are not necessarily a homogeneous group but they are mainly Syrian Arabs, they will tend to stick together and not integrate. Added to this is their religion. The bulk of them are Islamic and some tenets of Islam actually forbid them from integrating. There are Moslems who came to Europe 50 years ago who have not integrated yet although there are many who have. They set up their own schools and clubs and mosques and actually have no intention of integrating and it is this that causes anxiety among local populations in Europe.
Like it or not, it is the religion that is the main problem here. Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and any others except Islam have no problem integrating and if they don't like the culture they have settled in they usually move on. Islam wants to settle and convert everyone to their religion, it is one of the tenets of the Koran.
Let us look at the rise of militant Islam. Whilst it was restricted to the desert sands of Arabia it bothered nobody but over the past 30 to 40 years it has been gradually creeping out of there. Wahhabism, after mullah Wahhabi, a radical preacher in 19th century Arabia, has and is being spread with ample monetary handouts from the oil rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia (a supposed ally of the West). Whilst there were strongmen leaders surrounding that country, like Saddam Hussein, Basher al Assad, Hosnei Mubarak it was kept in check but with the fall of these dictators militant Islam is on the march. Just look at the restrictions that have been brought into place since the rise of Islam. Airports are now places to shun unless you have to fly, you are basically stripped to be sure you are not carrying any explosives, let alone having to wait in queues for hours. Boarding trains between countries is similar. The cost to countries of terrorist surveillance equipment runs into the billions and only in Islam does suicide bombing make a person a martyr.
Hence Europeans have a right to be apprehensive of such a huge influx of Moslems and politicians who ignore this will live to rue the day. Unfortunately they never seem to be held to account. Germany's leaders in a grand gesture of humanitarianism stated that they will accept any number of genuine refugees until the number over a week reached into the hundreds of thousands and the authorities were overwhelmed. Suddenly boarder crossings were closed. Currently there are thousands of people hanging around in various different countries not being allowed to go anywhere and getting angry. Should Germany accept a million as it has promised, it will, I am sure, lead to problems in the coming years. We will just have to wait and see.