Friday, November 20, 2015

More on Syrian refugees (coming to Canada)

Coming from the United States, it has been a bit difficult for me to understand why Canadians have been, by and large, very willing to support our government's plan to accept 25,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict into this country by the end of the year ... six weeks from now.

Contrast that with the US, which has committed to admitting 10,000 by the end of next year.  Since the Syrian civil war began, the US has taken in 1800 refugees from the war.  Germany has accepted 38,500 Syrian refugees and Canada has accepted 36,300 since 2013.

I believe the stark contrast in the actions of Western countries toward these victims of war is very telling; and you can bet the entire Muslim world is watching and learning.  I believe American resistance to rendering aid and asylum to these unfortunate people has very little to do with fear of terrorists and far more to do with fear of Muslims (or, for some, fear of brown people in general). It's Islamophobia.

Refugees coming to Canada will undergo three separate screening processes. First, they are selected from those screened by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. The UNHCR uses sophisticated anti-fraud tools like biometrics. Second, they are interviewed before coming to Canada. Third, once in Canada, they are screened by Canada's security services. Security experts say the chances of an ISIS terrorist getting through are infinitesimal; they'd choose another, easier, avenue of entry.

Canada is prioritizing families
(particularly female-headed households) not individuals, unaccompanied children, and the sick. These groups were selected because they pose the least risk of radicalization.

Experts in national security, terrorism, radicalization and intelligence agree that not accepting refugees is a greater threat to national security than admitting them with proper screening. According to Munk School of Public Affairs Professor Wesley Wark and Georgetown University Professor Anne Speckhard, the squalid refugee camps are hotbeds for extremism. ISIS recruiters find it remarkably easy to find recruits among people living in a state of hopelessness, desperation and disenfranchisement (no control over their own futures). According to Prof. Speckhard: "Experience from many conflict zones teaches us that the longer these refugees are left to languish in despair in camps the more prone they become to radicalization."

Accepting refugees strikes a blow at ISIS. ISIS relies on extortion and the taxes they collect from the vast swaths of territory they control. "They want to stop the refugee process because one of their main sources of income in the ISIS-controlled territory is taxation of the people there, extortion of the people there," according to University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes.


A few (two are Canadian) links:
I don't fear refugees fleeing ISIS.  Bring 'em.