Europe has a problem in 2016. Refugees from the middle east fleeing conflict, poverty and terrorism. More then 4.000.000 Syrians have left their home since the civil war began in 2011. The population of the Syrian Arab Republic was about 17 million, today this number is reduced to 13 million as many fled the nation. The Syrian refugees face a problem in Europe: ethnic hatred and deep mistrust. Europeans do not want these (Islamic) refugees and many Eastern European nations have closed their borders. Greece is facing a crisis as thousands are stranded on their islands. In Western Europe, radical right-wing forces win the support of ordinary workers, who have been brainwashed with fears about the Muslim male refugee!
Its is not just Europe who has a problem with racism and hatred of Syrian refugees. The United States of America is also affected by this poison of ethnic nationalism and mistrust of those who flee war and terrorism. Donald Trump wants to stop Syrian refugees from coming to the USA. He also plans to deport more then 11 million Islamic Americans, who he calls ”unreliable”. Like Japanese Americans in world war 2, the Islamic population is mistrusted by a large percentage of the American population. The group who reject muslims and Syrian refugees the most are the conservatives. They are 100% intolerant of the Islamic religion and many have been brainwashed to think that Islam equals terrorism!
Conservative Americans hail Donald Trump as their new icon. His popularity in the polls for the candidacy of the Republican Party is growing fast. Trump is a capitalist exploiter, a billionaire who’s machismo and bombastic speeches are loved by many conservatives. They fully support his plans to forcefully deport moslims from the USA. Another Trump plan is to arrest illegal Mexican workers and remove them from the nation. Conservatives do not realize that this move would destroy the economy of the southern states, who thrive on cheap illegal workers from Mexico to do low paid jobs!
Too many Americans are brainwashed. Since 9/11 and the start of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the middle east is portrayed in the mass media as this hot zone of wars, mass killings and religious fundamentalism. Radical islam is shown so often, that people easily start to believe that muslims wish to enforce Islamic law by force. Fox News fuels this fear by allowing reactionary guests on their shows, to express their deeply paranoia and hostility towards muslims. Some even claim that Barack Obama himself is a secret muslim. Fox News anchors have a very biased view on things. This is because most people who watch Fox News are the 1950’s generation. People who have been indoctrinated with anticommunism, American exceptionalism and social conservatism. They wish to see a network that promotes their reactionary values. Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and other Fox News anchors fit this picture!
For over 30 years, austerity governments have destroyed much of the old social security systems. Today many European workers see how their living standards are declining. Costs are raising, wages are stagnating while the politicians and their capitalist masters stay wealthy. Since 1990, the super rich saw their incomes go up by over 400%. Conservative, liberal and social democratic governments all carried out privatizations and deregulation, which created huge wealth for the top 1%. But most workers saw nothing of this huge wealth. Anger and frustration grew, but no major political party seemed to care. Conservatives and liberals serve the capitalist class and the social democrats have turned their backs on working class people!
With this deep anger comes the danger of right-wing populism. People who start to think that foreigners are to be blamed for all problems. Myths are born about immigrants getting free housing and free healthcare, while (white) workers have to paid large parts of their come to housing and healthcare. It is not true that immigrants are getting preferential treatment. The immigration policy of many Western European nations have been criticized by human rights groups. Still among populists the illusion that foreigners steal their jobs and social security remains strong. The absence of a workers party creates a vacuum which these rightist populists try to fill!
After the terrorist attacks in France and Belgium (22 March 2016), many right-wing leaders blame Syrian refugees. The Israeli and Hungarian governments all point vingers at the people fleeing the Syrian civil war. In reality, the terrorists who attacked France and Belgium were not refugees. They were home grown terrorists, fueled by reactionary ideals mixed with personal frustration. Many were also part of the criminal underworld and easy manipulated by the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for both the attacks in Paris and Zaventem Airport in Belgium!
Still the right-wing blames the Syrian refugees. Donald Trump wishes to deport all Muslim Americans, Geert Wilders calls for closed borders and the Zionist Israeli regime tells the Belgium government, to strike hard on its Muslim population. We all know how cruel and brutal the Zionists acted. In 2014, over 2.000 Palestinians in the Gaza Stripe were murdered after three Israeli teenagers were abducted and killed. Israel wanted revenge and slaughtered over 2.000 Palestinians while losing only 60 soldiers!
Many capitalist politicians now call for (another) War on Terrorism. What this in reality means is clear, they wish to create a mentality of us (the western world) against them (Islamic world). This is already a fact in the Netherlands, were it has been proven that Muslim students face discrimination on the labour market. Boys and girls with a clear Islamic background are getting less internships and face job rejection based on their religion!
Revolutionary socialists call for solidarity and open rejection of hatred and terrorism. We reject the attacks of the Islamic State against all people of world. At the same time we also stand against state terrorist regimes, like the Turkish and Israeli governments who oppress minorities. The Kurdish and Palestinian people are facing a hard time under brutal governments who do not grand them democratic rights. In response, national liberation movements such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestina and Kurdistan Workers Party have started to fight back!
Western governments call them ”terrorist” because of their willingness to kill civilians. At the same time nothing is said about the massive human rights abuses carried out by Israeli and Turkish security forces. More people have died because of police and army brutality then in attacks carried out by the PFLP and PKK. Israel has killed over 6.750 Palestinian civilians since the year 2000 and Turkey is responsible for killing 19.000 Kurdish civilians since 1978. These deaths are not called an act of terrorism and are not openly condemned or rejected by western governments!
Before the 1980’s, most terrorist activities in the western world were not Arabic in nature. In fact most victims of terror and state violence died in the United Kingdom, in Northern Ierland. During ”The Troubles” between 1968 and 1998 over 1.800 civilians were killed by the Nationalists and Unionists. Around 60 innocent people died each year in Northern Ierland as a result of terrorism and retaliation by state forces. The nationalist-unionist conflict was a sectarian conflict, with a strong religious background. Irish nationalists are Catholics and reject British rule in Northern Ierland, they are the minority. Irish unionists (majority of Irish in the north) are Protestants and support the British Crown. Today the guns are silent, but the hate remains. Whole neighborhoods are split between Catholics and Protestants!
However since the dawn of the 21st century, the western world has forgotten what it is like, to live under the fear of terrorism. This ended on 11 September 2001 with the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Over 3.000 Americans were killed that day. Three years later a bomb detonated in a Spanish train, killing almost 200 people. Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the attack, then it stayed quite in Europe for 10 years!
Islamic terrorism continued in the middle east with terror bombing happening almost every day in cities like Baghdad. Many Americans and Europeans were raised with this picture of angry Muslims and massive terror. Fear grew as the Islamic State rose in 2014. This group was able to take advantage of the chaos in Iraq and also took 1/3 of Syria. More then 4 million Syrians fled the violence. However many European government were not happy about this. The capitalist government of Slovenia said that their Christian people could not accept Islamic people in their lands. Hungary took a very anti-immigration stand and openly calls for closed borders and deportation of Syrian refugees. Greece is facing a human tragic as thousands strand on islands like Rhodes and Kos!
Many refugees wish to travel to nations like Germany and Britain were they hope can find work and safety. But the fear of Islam and the ”backwardness” of Arabs led to demonstrations of (misled) Europeans. Fueled by a deep misstrust of their governments, these angry protesters soon organized themselves into an anti-Islamic protest group called PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West). Unlike other typical far-right organisation, PEGIDA is able to attract ordinary people who are not racist in nature. But the capitalist media has been very successful in creating this Muslim enemy. An enemy that is anti-democratic, anti-secular, religious extremist and intolerant of woman, gays and who is dogmatic and hateful. Because the political left has betrayed the working class to the capitalist class, many workers have been brainwashed with the fear of Islam!
But the refugee is not to blame. These man, woman and children who flee terrorism and state violence are not interested in taking freedoms away. They want to live in safety and freedom. It is the very reason why they fled the Syrian Arab Republic. Revolutionary socialists call for open borders and solidarity with all who flee war and terror. We reject the hatred against Muslims and their families. We reject the capitalist system that tries to split working class people and set them against each other. The real enemy are not the refugees, but the people who control our media, our economy and our society. The ruling class has a clear intrest in dividing us on ethnic lines. This is why we call for international solidarity and a unified working class to overthrow the capitalists and their politicians around the world!