Refugee Situation: Exposing Human Nature

morningnujeenhope

These three books show how the current Syrian refugee crisis exposes some the worst aspects of human nature.

Firstly through the HUMAN cause of the crisis: widespread violence against large populations in Syrian cities and towns, inflicted by both governments and extremist groups.

Secondly through the exploitation of those trying to flee to safety. Profiteers charging large fees to “help” people escape to safer locations – but so often sending those trusting in them to their deaths.

Thirdly through vindictive, violent responses to refugees on the road or at sea.

Fourthly the response of people and their governments who close their doors to people in desperate need.

Each of these books give personal stories of the abuses and suffering that lead countless individuals and families to take that last resort of leaving behind everything they’ve known, everything they’ve worked for and often everyone they know (friends and family) in the hope that they’ll find a better life elsewhere.

Hoping that when safety has been reached, they can work to bring their families to join them along a safer road than their own journey.

Despite the horrors, and despite the underlying inhumanity assaulting those seeking safety – those seekers have to draw on those rare human virtues that sometimes arise out of adversity.

In The Morning They Came for Us, Janine Di Giovanni gives a brutal, confronting and uncompromising look at the nature of the Syrian conflict where torture, rape and murder are no less weapons of war than bombs and guns.

This is the background to the millions of refugees who try to escape to safety, the refugees who many in the west (including so-called Christians) are intent to demonise.

 

 

Part of the story of A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming is perhaps better told by the author herself in this video.

 

And the story of Nujeen Mustafa:

 

Christians, Refugees and Aleppo.

From Christianity Today (Dec 2016):
Survey Says Fewer Christians Pray for Refugees

As thousands continue to evacuate Aleppo—once Syria’s most populous city and home to one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East—American support for refugees is dwindling.
American Christians are less responsive to the Syrian crisis than they were a year ago, according to a World Vision survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

Fewer “committed Christians” said they had taken action on behalf of refugees in the past two years. In 2016, 38 percent said they had been involved, down from 44 percent the year before. The number of committed Christians praying for Syrian refugees dropped by more than a third this year, down to 19 percent.

“It’s disappointing to see America’s heart closing to refugees. This is not the compassionate and generous nation I know we truly are,” said Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, which launched a Christmas solidarity campaign called #Candle4Syria. “And it’s shocking that Christians, who are held to a higher standard by our Lord, are praying even less for refugees.”

Full article here:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/december/survey-fewer-christians-pray-for-refugees-syria-aleppo-iraq.html

 

 

And from Open Doors
Aleppo Churches Open Doors to Displaced Muslim Families.

The fighting is heaviest in Muslim areas and many Syrians from Aleppo have fled to the Christian areas to seek refuge. For many Muslims, it is the first time they have mixed with Christians.

“Many Muslims were genuinely surprised when they met Christian women in our churches willing to serve them. Their image was that all Christian women spend most of their days dancing in nightclubs and drinking alcohol! Meeting each other was a shock…

…Muslim women were surprised to see that churches offered support and programs for all Syrians, not just for Christians. “Their mosques don’t do that,” … “Many are re-thinking the faith they grew up in and have dropped their hostility towards Christians.”

Full article:

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/aleppo-churches-open-doors-to-displaced-muslim-families/

Trump-loving!

Yet more Trump-loving propaganda from Bill Randles

And the recommendation of a video titled: “Trump saves civilisation”

https://billrandles.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/it-is-amazing-what-you-can-do-when-you-are-not-owned-by-the-saudis/

Sorry Bill I reject that saviour, the one emblazoned across your blog on the video you recommend.

There is only ONE saviour. His name is JESUS.
Randles starts his post by saying:

“Within one week into his presidency it looks like Donald Trump has brought us to a possibly sane solution, which may be on the way to solve the utterly destructive “Muslim Refugee Crisis”, humanly speaking, of course.”

Sane solution? To a problem greatly caused (or at least exacerbated) by incompetent US military ventures in the middle east?

Sadly Randles is not trying to be ironic.

Is American evangelicalism so weak that it can’t cope with an influx of foreign refugees ripe for the gospel? Perhaps the truth is, American evangelicalism has NO gospel to preach to them,  considering the saviour they now look to is a lying, self-confessed* sexual abuser of women, a businessman turned president. (* A confession later reacted and labelled as “locker room” talk).

Read Randles’ article and weep – that American evangelicals and once respected teachers have fallen so far.

The “Trump Saves Civilisation” video that Randles recommends is by Stefan Molyneaux who on the link below  is described as “an atheist anarcho-capitalist” who  “tries to tell you that your parents are liars and bullies if they believe in government or religion”

 http://www.fdrliberated.com/brief-introduction-freedomain-radio/

Richard Flanagan on Syria’s great exodus

In February 2016, Richard Flanagan was invited to Lebanon, Greece and Serbia by the international aid organisation, World Vision, to witness and report on the refugee crisis.

There’s a lot of talk about the refugee problem. I don’t see it. I see a politician problem. I see people who have no morality, no ethics, beyond their own advancement… (Richard Flanagan approx. 39 mins)

51 minute interview here:

(from http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/author-richard-flanagan-on-syrias-great-exodus/7794224 )

xnotes-on-an-exodus_jpg_pagespeed_ic_z0gz7co-nv

Flanagan’s essay “Notes on the Syrian Exodus” is here:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/05/great-syrian-refugee-crisis-exodus-epic-inconceivable-witness-lebos-islamic-state

Ben Quilty and Syrian Refugee Crisis

Quilty Confronts Syrian refugee crisis

 
Earlier this year the celebrated Australian artist Ben Quilty and the equally lauded author, Richard Flanagan, travelled to Europe and the Middle East to witness the refugee crisis in those regions.

They’ve since returned home and Ben Quilty’s new exhibition opening this week at the Art Gallery of South Australia is his interpretation of that experience.

Barbara Miller visited the artist in his studio.

See video here:

 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-07/quilty-confronts-syrian-refugee-crisis/8003348

Also: Confronting mortality.

Artist Ben Quilty and author Richard Flanagan make a harrowing trip to Europe and the Middle East to witness first-hand the refugee crisis.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-07/confronting-mortality:-ben-quilty-confronts-the-syrian-exodus/7995244

 

Janine di Giovanni: What I saw in the war

Also


from: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/’this-could-have-been-prevented’:-di-giovanni-on-aleppo/8118508

On my “holiday” reading  list:
morning

 

Speaking to those directly involved in the war, di Giovanni relays the personal stories of rebel fighters thrown in jail at the least provocation; of children and families forced to watch loved ones taken and killed by regime forces with dubious justifications; and the stories of the elite, holding pool parties in Damascus hotels, trying to deny the human consequences of the nearby shelling. Delivered with passion, fearlessness and sensitivity, The Morning They Came for Us is an unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, charting an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war – and an unforgettable testament to human resilience in the face of devastating, unimaginable horrors.

Clashes and Churches, by Riverbend

I’ve just finished reading Baghdad Burning, by Riverbend; the blog of an Iraqi woman published in book form.

The blog is still available on line at https://riverbendblog.blogspot.com.au/

Whether in book form or the blog itself, I feel it should be essential reading: even compulsory reading for anyone who thinks the 2nd Bush war against Iraq was justified. However, anyone who takes that view, would be unlikely to have their opinion changed by the words of someone who was on the receiving end of Bush’s “crusade” who saw the effects it had on what was once a thriving nation (albeit one ruled by a malignant dictator).baghdad burning

Last week churches were bombed- everyone heard about that. We were all horrified with it. For decades- no centuries- churches and mosques have stood side by side in Iraq. We celebrate Christmas and Easter with our Christian friends and they celebrate our Eids with us. We never categorised each other as “Christian” and “Muslim”… It never really mattered. We were neighbours and friends and we respected each other’s religious customs and holidays. We have many differing beliefs- some of them fundamental- but it never mattered.

It makes me miserable to think that Christians no longer feel safe. I know we’re all feeling insecure right now, but there was always that sense of security between differing religions. Many Iraqis have been inside churches to attend weddings, baptisms, and funerals. Christians have been suffering since the end of the war. Some of them are being driven out of their homes in the south and even in some areas in Baghdad and the north. Others are being pressured to dress a certain way or not attend church, etc. So many of them are thinking of leaving abroad and it’s such a huge loss. We have famous Christian surgeons, professors, artists, and musicians. It has always been an Iraqi quality in the region- we’re famous for the fact that we all get along so well.

I’m convinced the people who set up these explosions are people who are trying to give Islam the worst possible image. It has nothing to do with Islam- just as this war and occupation has nothing to do with Christianity and Jesus- no matter how much Bush tries to pretend it does. That’s a part of the problem- many people feel this war and the current situation is a crusade of sorts. ‘Islam’ is the new communism. It’s the new Cold War to frighten Americans into arming themselves to the teeth and attacking other nations in ‘self-defence’.

From the Baghdad Burning Blog (Saturday, August 07, 2004) full article can be found here:

https://riverbendblog.blogspot.com.au/2004_08_01_archive.html

The book I read was only the first volume. A second volume of Riverbend’s writings is also available.

BB vol 2