In much of Europe, ‘asylum-seeker’ and ‘refugee’ have become dirty words

IN MUCH OF Europe, ‘asylum-seeker’ and ‘refugee’ have become dirty words. It is rare to find a politician who will express genuine concern for refugees in public; when it does happen, it’s usually on a visit to a refugee camp somewhere far from Europe’s borders.

At the national level, politicians either avoid the subject or link it to words like ‘crime’, ‘invading’ and ‘queue-jumping’.

Last week Amnesty International called on EU governments to resettle more refugees from Syria, to lighten the immense burden borne by the main host countries, particularly Lebanon and Jordan. Some of the reactions were telling of the political climate.

Some people asked why it was Europe’s problem if Muslims where killing other Muslims in Syria. Others said they did not want “terrorists” coming to their country. Some just didn’t like the idea of resettlement, saying that their countries’ financial contributions to the humanitarian crisis were sufficient.

Read more:

http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/n-much-of-europe-%e2%80%98asylum-seeker%e2%80%99-and-%e2%80%98refugee%e2%80%99-have-become-dirty-words-1234755-Dec2013/

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