Original Posting Date: 24/06/2018
Question as answered Shouldn’t Poland be taking in more African refugees? Poland is a large EU country with a booming economy.
Views at the time added to HTV: 3,000
Upvotes at the time added to HTV: 78
Comments at time added: 1
This question was asked at the time of the first Migration crisis where indeed there was quite a sizeable focus on North Africans coming into Europe in 2014. Germany at the time invited them in and then expected other countries to take co-responsibility for this rash action, especially blaming Poland, like they had anything, anything whatsoever, to lecture Poland about other than how to make a nice Vollfettquark, or a decent Leberwurst. Oh, and literature. But less of that.
These days we have a more topical migrant crisis but I haven’t really needed to update the text below to take account of the change in times, but something to bear in mind when reading this is that the main issue now is it is no longer Germany wanting to take them, they have closed the doors to the migrants coming via Belarus and are not encouraging them from anywhere else either, and I have not heard Olaf-faminit Schultz, the new socialist chancellor for a month or so now, change back from Merkel’s hardened position, although it is early days yet and I don’t put anything past German Socialists.
The main issue now is that these migrants are very clearly being weaponised by Russia and Belarus, in a context of military pressure around the Ukrainian border. I do get why Putin feels he should push on the east of Ukraine, why he and Lukashenko are having a good laugh really exposing the hypocrisy of western Europe this way, but I cannot condone the weaponising of people. Moreover, each of these people apparently paid good money to Belarus for transit and the simple pocketing of the money seems very cynical. On top of which Belarus forces have gone too far in assisting breaches of the border and clearly this is not acceptable. I can only commend the Polish side for a very measured reaction. Clearly both sides have at their disposal ordinance which would allow a very rapid and harmful escalation of hostilities. It is therefore a good thing if this mess can be put right by the President of Belarus. He’s going to have to step up and bear the costs of this one, unless Putin is bailing him out.
Anyway, here is the article exonerating Poland from any moral need to take in non-European refugees. Poland has actually taken a reasonable (by comparison to similarly engaged countries) share of Afghans whom they knew and worked with during Western occupation of Afghanistan. I am not dealing with that issue here, it is in my opinion a separate and very complex issue, but suffice it to say hardly anyone appearing on the Belarus -Polish border is from Afghanistan, despite early media reports that this was the case.
Last time I looked, Poland wasn’t the ‘First Safe Country’ with regard to any African country. Nor any Middle Eastern one. It is, however, ‘First Safe Country’ for Ukraine, so in accordance with the relevant international treaty that is actually signed up to by our nations, namely the Dublin Accord, (as opposed to making new laws up as you go along, which is what some leaders in the EU, notably Merkel, have been doing) it accepts refugees from that country, and has done so far in excess of its duty, with about a million Ukrainians having benefited from an open door to Poland. And this in spite of Ukrainians having been responsible for some of the worst massacres against Poles in living memory. They are not exactly natural allies.
As far as economic migrants are concerned there is no point in accepting these from Africa in a big lump but for sure there might be some who have skills we need, and indeed you do see Africans around, and I have been to a fine Nigerian doctor here in Warsaw, probably some of the people from Poland reading this post know who I mean and people like this man will always have an open door to Poland.
But they are also needed by their home countries, so accepting Africa’s best is not necessarily a brilliant moral high ground either. Still, I do believe in freedom of movement for those who have talent and hard work. It is up to them, after that, what they do for their country of origin. On the one hand it seems unfair to drain the best brains from Nigeria, but on the other hand we can expect that among 200 million there will be some more with brains who would like to solve the considerable problems that country still has. Maybe a partnership between them and their countrymen and tribesmen resident in Europe and America will enable them to do more. I only hope the best for the Nigerian people as any African nation.
They cannot find solutions to their problems by expecting Europeans to take the cost while they themselves merely continue to run population sizes that dwarf our own and which their economies simply can’t support. If they do come up with workable and humane solutions, I think we will all be happy to help, but they have to get their act together and we cannot and shouldn’t try to get their act together for them. Colonial rule ended a long long time ago, and we cannot be blamed for ever, and it had nothing to do with Poland in the first place.
Now I should say clearly one more thing. Poland is not interested in allowing armies in. When Ukrainians come, we see couples, families, and singles of both sexes. When North Africans come we see men who ought to be fighting for their homes, not leaving women and children behind and coming to fight us for our spaces. Spaces which they will go on to ruin because the sort of people who cannot make their own country right cannot make ours right either.
We’ve been told by al-Baghdadi and his baggy buddies that the refugee stream will contain trained jihadis but so far this threat doesn’t seem to have been taken seriously enough in Europe. I do get “innocent till proven guilty” but when you consider that the people who have been barging into Europe have already broken multiple laws to get here and linked themselves up with gangs full of insalubrious people, I think we would be justified in suspending that grand maxim of jurisprudence in the interests of the safety of those we already have in our part of the world who live peaceably and pay their taxes.
I will admit that it is a major headscratch to know how to distinguish jihadies from ordinary people, it is not like they walk around with “I’m a jihadi” written on their faces (they don’t do tattoos, that’s one thing I actually like about them), but the most serious agents are of course going to have like a “dispensation” to behave in a non-Islamic manner to avoid suspicion. There is actually a name in Islam for this dispensation, it is called Taqiyya. (Look it up, being aware of this concept is essential reading, especially for those who maintain that Islam is basically like Christianity in its pre-Enlightenment form.)
So just because someone has a drink with you and enjoys a ham sandwich and is nowhere near the Masjid on a Friday night – it’s no guarantee, I’m afraid. On the other hand there are plenty in the Masjid who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and you can’t tell for sure who they are, either. That’s what Taqiyya is all about, as distinct from hypocrisy, which is what other religions have. Taqiyya isn’t hypocrisy, it’s religious realpolitik, and unfortunately few people who have liberal platforms are aware of it. Probably they didn’t like the idea of finding out about it.
This is part of a new series where I bring over, updating and re-writing where needed, the best of my answers to questions on Quora. I did a few of these in earlier years in chronological order, for now I am moving them in the order of the number of upvotes received. These being the ones I would most regret losing – which is what they threatened me with over there for not being a Neo-Marxist. Over the course of 2022, on even numbered dates in the months, I plan to bring home to http://www.huliganov.tv as many of the best of these as I can manage, improving them, updating them, adding images. I warmly invite discussion below in each case. Enjoy!