For right-wing populists, the refugees are a menace. ”Potential terrorists, are among them” you hear them saying. Many white Europeans are not happy to welcome these poor people who flee war, poverty and chaos. In Germany, refugees from Syria were welcomed by far-right nationalists who burned a refugee centre and shouting hate speech. In the Netherlands the ethnic white population do not want the government to give rental housing to refugees before the Dutch themselves. Hungary is building a wall between themselves and the Serbian border, to keep Arab refugees out and in Greece thousands strand on the islands of Rhodes and Kos!
After the first revolt started against Arab dictators, the Middle East is on fire. Although dictatorial regimes have been restored in nations like Egypt, in others chaos remains. Iraq and Syria are involved in a massive ethnic-religious war between themselves and the Islamic State. Lebanon is also in crisis as Sunni and Shia dominated political parties create a none-governable environment. This situation is not uncommon to the Republic of Lebanon, which has always been divided between religious groups. Christianity, Sunni-Islam and Shia-Islam are the three biggest religions. Shia-Islam is represented by the Party of God or Hezbollah, led by the charismatic; Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah is a reactionary party that promotes the idea of anti-imperialist Shia-Islamism. But their anti-imperialism is only directed against the western imperialism and Sunni-Islamic governments. Because Hezbollah has no problems of participating in the Syrian civil war on behave of Bashar Al-Assad!
Since the Arab uprising began, many people fled their homes. Although nations like Tunisia and Egypt did not collapse, other did. Libya is in chaos after the death of Muammar Gaddafi and very unstable for the last four years. Since Libyans have no history of parliamentary representation or any kind of political tolerance, sectarian tribal and religious conflicts broke out. The official government fled the capital Tripoli and now governs from Tobruk, while a Islamic led government rules from Tripoli. Supporters of the Islamic State have captured the coastal city of Site, former home-town of Gaddafi and final battle ground of the first Libyan civil war!
Since the second Libyan civil war started in May 2014, many have fled the nation. The former Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya used to be one of the wealthiest nations of North Africa. Although a personal dictatorship, Libya was not a poor nation like Egypt or Tunisia. The two civil wars have destroyed much of the infrastructure and Libyan civil life. Many therefore fled, in little boats these Libyans try to reach the European mainland!
As the Syrian civil war grew more brutal and more cruel thanks to the Islamic State, many from Syria joined the ranks of refugees fleeing the Arab world. The terror of the Islamic State also fuelled Iraqi’s into fleeing their nation. Some settled in the north of Iraq, in Iraqi Kurdistan. But the Kurds have their own problems and remembered the days when Arab soldiers murdered their families and drove them from their homes. 24 years ago, Saddam Hussein killed 70.000 Kurdish civilians. His henchman Ali Hassan al-Majid, used poison-gas to murder whole villages. He got his nickname; “Chemical Ali” (“Ali K’myawi”) because of this crime!
Therefore many choose Europe over the chaotic and sectarian; Middle East. As the wealthy Arab kingdoms refuse to help refugees, refugees flee to what they think is the ”wealthy” western world. But they soon realized that the European-Union is divided over their fate. Most want to travel to Germany as many refugees have families and friends there. To go to Central Europe they need to cross the Balkan and through one of the most hostile European nations; Hungary!
The Hungarians have always been a nationalistic people with a disregard for ethnic minorities. During World War Two, the Kingdom of Hungary joined the Axis powers ( Nazi Germany’s allies ). When the Germans wanted the Hungarian Jews deported to the concentration-camps, Hungary agreed and deported them. 5% of the population was Jewish and most saw themselves as part of the Hungarian culture. But anti-Semitism was strong and many Hungarians hated the Jews. 23% of the population of Budapest belonged to the Jewish religion and most would never see their homeland again!
After the war, the Stalinist; Hungarian People’s Republic suppressed anti-Semitism and called it a fascist-nationalist thing of the past. But like in Yugoslavia, hatred for minorities and Jews remained. As the stalinists lost power after 1989, the old hatred of Jews and minorities returned. By 2013, more the 73% of all Hungarians believed that Jews were controlling the economy and that they have too much power on the international financial markets!
None-Jewish minorities such as Roma’s are also not liked in Hungary. After the Stalinist period, many blamed the minorities for falling living-standards as capitalist barbarism spread Ethnic nationalism is fuelled by most bourgeois political parties, including the national conservatives of Fidesz, ( Hungarian Civic Alliance ) and the far-right nationalist; Jobbik ( Movement for a Better Hungary ). Arab refugees are therefore not welcome . But in order to reach Germany, they must cross Hungary. To stop the refugees from entering through Serbia, the Hungarian government build a wall on the border. Yes, a wall to ”save-guard” the people against ”waves” of Arabs as the nationalist media proclaims. Small East-European nations like Slovakia also complained that their culture is not adaptable to Arabs and that many Slovakians, cannot live with these none-Christians. The ignorance and fear of Muslims, only fuels the nationalist propaganda and the hatred against the refugees!
In the last months, more then 800.000 people from Libya, Syria and Iraq have fled their homes. These refugees are now in Europe and the governments have no idea how to handle. European Union laws say that refugees are to be registered in the nation they arrive in. But both Greece and Hungary are unable to deal with the massive numbers of people. Most do not want to stay in Eastern Europe, they have friends and relatives living in nations like Austria, Germany and Western Europe. So their goal is to move through Eastern Europe!
To reach Europe however most risk the dangerous crossing in small boats. Iraqi refugees have to cross into Turkey were they are at the mercy of smuggles. They pay more then 2.000 euro’s to travel in a truck, this journey is potentially dangerous as the truck is sealed. Not so long ago, a truck from Turkey was halted in Austria. The police found more then 70 corpses inside all refugees. Another horror sight was at the shores of Bodrum, a popular Turkish holiday location. A small boat with Syrian refugees capsized. The face of all those who died became three year old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned as his family tried to flee from Syrian Kurdistan to Europe!
The young child drowned and became the face of the desperation of millions in the Middle East. Still European leaders remain divided over the issue of refugees. East European nations do not want them, they consider them a burden. These smaller nations fear they will be overrun, by people who are not Christian. Their racist attitude proofs how deep the fear/hatred of Muslims has grown. Had the refugees been ethnic Europeans or Christians fleeing a conflict zone in Northern Europe, there would have been little problems. But because these people are Arabs and Muslims, they are looked down upon!
Revolutionary socialists welcome refugees and we call on governments to helped them. We reject racist attacks on Arabs and Muslims. We reject the capitalist governments in Eastern Europe, who say that they do not want these people because their cultures are not multi-ethnic. We say it is in the interests of workers everywhere to oppose all attempts by our rulers to divide and rule, to welcome refugees and to struggle alongside them for a decent life for all!