20 Million Muslim Refugees
A fundamental right is surely to live in your own community in your own country but the Islamophobic US, UK, Australia and Israel think otherwise for Muslims. World Refugee Week is observed on 18-24 June in 2012. As another refugee boat carrying several hundred desperate refugees to Australia has foundered in the Indian Ocean with an estimated 90 asylum seekers perishing, it is timely to examine the global refugee disaster and in particular the role of pro-Zionist, pro-war, US lackey Australia in generating over 20 million Muslim refugees and its subsequent egregious maltreatment of refugees.
The pro-American, pro-Zionist, pro-war, former Labor PM of Australia Kevin Rudd made the following assertions about people trying to find safe haven for refugees, people commonly referred to a “people smugglers” in Australia (2009): “"People smugglers are engaged in the world's most evil trade and they should all rot in jail because they represent the absolute scum of the earth. People smugglers are the vilest form of human life. They trade on the tragedy of others and that's why they should rot in jail and in my own view, rot in hell. We see this lowest form of human life at work in what we saw on the high seas yesterday. That's why this Government maintains its hardline, tough, targeted approach to maintaining border protection for Australia" (see “Rudd wants people smugglers to “rot in hell”, ABC News, 17 April 2009).
One can well ask that if those trying to find safe haven for over 20 million Muslim refugees are “the absolute scum of the earth” who should “rot in jail” and “rot in hell”, how then does one describe the genocidal warmongers of the American-Neocon and Zionist-beholden US Alliance and Israel that created over 20 million Muslim refugees in the first place?
Before the Western anti-Arab, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia associated with the Neocon and Zionist backed US War on Muslims, “people smugglers” had a very good press. Thus “The Scarlet Pimpernel” is a 1903 play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, set during the Reign of Terror that followed the French Revolution and which tells the story of English aristocrat, Sir Tony Blakeney, nicknamed the Scarlet Pimpernel, who heads a secret society of English fellow aristocrats committed to saving fellow French aristocrats from the guillotine (see “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, Wikipedia). Charles Dickens novel “A Tale of Two Cites” is set in the same period and commences with the famous lines “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …” Englishman Sydney Carton is in love with Lucie who marries Frenchman Charles Darnay with whom she has a surviving child Little Lucie. Sydney Carton visits his rival Darnay in prison in Paris, drugs him and assumes his identity in order to spare the life of Charles Darnay and his family who are able to escape to England and thus escape the guillotine. Sydney Carton goes to the guillotine with the famous words: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known” (see “Tale of Two Cities”, Wikipedia ).
Here are some key human rights articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that are grossly violated by the mainly Neocon and Zionist “scum” (to use ex-PM Kevin Rudd’s terminology) responsible for over 20 million Muslim refugees and millions more other refugees in the world today .
Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
The Muslim refugees in the World total over 20 million, the breakdown being 5-6 million (Iraq), 3-4 million (Afghanistan), 2 million (Somalia), 1.3 million (Libya), 7 million (Palestine), 2 million (NW Pakistan), 0.8 million Rohingya refugees in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar and another 230,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh (see UNHCR). Another 90,000 Rohingya have been displaced in the last week alone. These estimates of refugees include Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of which there are estimated to be about 25 million in 52 countries with some 12 million refugees in 21 countries in Africa. Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Azerbaijan each have IDP populations of over one million each (see “Internally Displaced Person”, Wikipedia). 0.3 million Tamils were confined to concentration camps in the final stages of the genocidal Sri Lankan civil war. Some 18 million refugees were generated by Partition in Indian in 1947 but Arundhati Roy has estimated that 50 million Indians have been displaced by big dam projects (see Arundhati Roy, “The Greater Common Good”).
Australia has been involved in 2 dozen genocidal atrocities since 1788 (see “Australian Anzac & Armenian Genocide. Australia’s secret genocide history”, MWC News, 25 April 2011 ). Australia participated in all post-1950 UK and US Asian wars; conflicts that have been associated with violent deaths and avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation totaling 38 million (see my book “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, now available for free perusal on the Web).
According to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship “One of the major challenges facing the world today is protecting refugees who have been forced to leave their homes by armed conflict and human rights abuses. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that there were 43.7 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2010, the highest number in 15 years. Of these, 27.5 million were internally displaced persons; 15.4 million were refugees and 837 500 asylum seekers… In 2010–11 a total of 13 799 visas were granted [by Australia] under the Humanitarian Program, of which 8,971 visas were granted under the offshore component and 4,828 visas were granted under the onshore component”. The Australian annual intake of refugees over the last 5 years has totaled about 13,000-14,000 per year (see Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Fact Sheet 60, Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian program”).
A very ugly aspect of Australia’s treatment of refugees is the policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers. Thousands of children have been detained in mostly remote on-shore or off-shore “detention centers” (concentration camps) over the last dozen years under Coalition and Labor Governments. According to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship, as of April 2012 there were 3,605 men, 261 women, 463 children and a total of 4,329 refugees held without charge or trial in Australia concentration camps. These refugees are highly abusively imprisoned without charge or trial. Further, the extreme right wing Australian Labor Government created an Apartheid Australia by excluding Northern Territory Indigenous Australians as well as Afghan refugees fleeing the Afghan Genocide and Tamil refugees fleeing the Tamil Genocide from the protection of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act passed under the reformist and anti-racist Whitlam Labor Government nearly 40 years ago.
Australia is the closest friend after the US of race-based Apartheid Israel. Indeed former Israeli Ambassador to Australia Naftali Tamir put this in highly offensive terms in advocating closer Australian-Israel ties: “We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race." (“Envoy to Australia to explain “yellow skin” remarks”, Haaretz, 16 October 2006). However Australia is not in the same league as Israel which, in addition being responsible for creating 7 million Palestinian refugees, currently confines 800,000 Palestinian children, 10% of them stunted from Israeli-imposed deprivation, in what the Catholic Church has described as the Gaza Concentration Camp, without charge or trial and simply for the asserted “crime” of being Indigenous Palestinians living in a tiny patch of the country inhabited continuously by their forebears for thousands of years to the very dawn of agrarian civilization. Israel confines a further1.3 million Palestinian children to race-based West Bank Bantustans without any human rights and under violent military rule.
A huge irony is that according to Jewish Israeli Professor Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University it is the Palestinians who are the genetic and cultural descendants of the Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine at the time of Christ. In contrast, most Jewish Israelis are descendants of Yemeni, Berber and Khazar converts to a proselytizing, universalist Judaism of the early Christian era (see Shlomo Sand, “The Invention of the Jewish People”).
Whereas Australia guards its currently over 4,300 refugees (including over 460 children) behind razor wire and now subdues refugee riots using tear gas and non-lethal beanbag shot gun rounds, war criminal Apartheid Israel polices the densely populated Gaza Concentration Camp using navy and army shelling and air force rocketing and high explosive bombing. However in terms of annual avoidable deaths of Indigenous people from deprivation, Australia outperforms Israel by far. Each year about 9,000 Indigenous Australians die avoidably from gross deprivation out of an Indigenous population of about 0.5 million. In contrast, Israel murders about 4,500 Occupied Palestinians each year with several hundred being killed violently and the remainder dying from Israeli-imposed deprivation, this death toll occurring in an Occupied Palestinian population of about 4.1 million.
What can decent people do? Decent people must (a) inform everyone they can about the appalling treatment of refugees and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against all countries, companies, politicians, people and products linked to this racist and genocidal obscenity.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|
|William A. Cook|