Australia’s treatment of refugees.

This is a lightly edited version of a Facebook post in which I responded to a statement that Australia did not treat refugees well.

Some of the things that happen in refugee detention centres is less than ideal, and the government should take steps to sort that out. But I would also point out that this particular aspect of the problem will eventually disappear as no more illegal immigrants arrive, and those already in the detention centres leave.

The question of how many should Australia accept is a complex one with many facets. The situation in Europe should be a reality check for us. Europe – briefly – opened its borders to refugees a few weeks ago, and then was quickly overwhelmed by the flood of people arriving, and shut them again.

Here we have a hard question. Were all these people refugees/ asylum seekers, fleeing from terror? Were some of them just migrants looking for a better life? Were some of them actually ISIS people looking to establish it in Europe? I would suggest that all three were present.

Someone genuinely fleeing from war is entitled to protection in the first country he can find safety. He is not entitled to go on to the country of his choice. So a refugee landing in Greece or Turkey where he is safe from the war is not entitled to keep going to Germany or the UK because he likes it better there. Those further countries do have the right to invite people to come, but they are not obliged to take them.

Western countries, including Australia, have been remarkably generous with inviting refugees to come. The contrast with, for instance, Muslim countries that are not countries of first refuge, is startling. How many have been resettled in Saudi Arabia, for instance? A country of vast wealth, which has resettled none.

I was talking with the Uber driver I was with in Brisbane yesterday. He is a Muslim man from Iraq. He reckons Europe was foolish to accept large amounts of refugees without carefully checking them. He personally knows of ISIS supporters who went to Europe in that flood.

You said that Christians are called to serve those in most need. That is very true. But what does that mean, and how do we do that? Is flooding our country with large amounts of migrants the best way to do that? Are there other options that would work better? Do we really benefit people by encouraging mass migrations? Are there ways we can provide them with safe havens until the wars are over and they can return to their homes?

Receiving countries have to consider their own social cohesion, internal security, and social stability as well. That brings up another tough question. How do we deal with a religious/ political system that is totally supremacist? That has as a basis that it’s adherents cannot live in peace with their neighbours but are obliged to jihad until they are subjugated. I’m not making this up. Read the Quran, the Hadith, and the Sirah, the three holy books and you will see. (Actually, there are good edited versions that are suitable to read. The originals are not that easy to access and understand). We believe in freedom of religion, but what if that other religion/ political system just seeks to either totally dominate you or exterminate you altogether?

The original post at the top of this thread reads:

“Australia you have a lot of great things about you, but the way you relate to refugees is a national shame”

That is just wrong. As I have shown, Australia actually treats refugees well. What really needs to happen is that we start to seriously discuss what we can do to make the situations better for the people concerned. Then perhaps we can find some better solutions.