According to a recent report by The Washington Post “Greece on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Austria for consultations, escalating a diplomatic war in Europe over how to handle a record influx of migrants from the war-torn Middle East and beyond” (Feb 25 2016).
The escalating problem of the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants into Europe underline the potentially deep division among Europeans on how to deal with this problematic issue. However, one telling feature of the current European discussion about the migrant crisis is the fear of being accused of racism: the apparent inability of some European governments to distinguish between their natural rights to defend their own national interests and the fear of being stigmatized by accusation of racism .
The real issue that European governments need to address is their mutual acknowledgement that they had done enough for refugees.
The whole world is indebted to European culture its historical contribution in spreading the principles of human rights, equality, and the protection against racial and religious prosecution. In other words, acknowledging European historic achievements in establishing the culture of democracy, especially after WW II, should remind Europeans of their positive cultural and democratic heritage. Fair observers and commentators recognize the huge efforts of many European governments in helping refugees.
These European achievements in establishing the culture of democracy and human rights around the world should also remind the rest of the world that Europe does not have to carry all the responsibility in managing the unprecedented influx of refugees.
European liberal intellectuals need to get a grip of the far-reaching negative consequences of identity politics. For instance, every nation around the world has the right to safeguard its heritage, traditions against any attempts to erase them.
Allowing the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants into European countries, many of which are already suffering from chronic economic decline, does not represent a reasonable solution to the current humanitarian catastrophe: European national interests, European culture, and European civilized ways of life are at stake here.
One real threat to European national security is when some of those who have been welcomed into some European countries as “legitimate” political asylum seekers commit horrifying crimes in the name of religion. European countries should put a cap on the number of refugees they can accept; otherwise, the influx will continue, perhaps leading to more complex cultural and economic problems.
By Khalid Aljenfawi