Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call to “significantly reduce” the number of refugees entering Germany and her rejection to closing Germany’s borders for humane reasons at the same time is in fact a role model to be followed in taking historical attitudes and advocating human rights by lending a hand to those who had been forced out of their homelands, leaving their houses with or without their families and dependents.
The European consolidation in dealing with the refugee problem was more like a self-test of how to manage crises and coordinate with neighboring counties at times of displacement similar to those during previous world wars.
Opening or closing the borders had been very critical for some European countries and some of them acted religion-wise in a most humane situation, forgetting that the countries the refugees come from like Syria had always accommodated both Muslims and Christians. The same applies to the passage-country Turkey, that was asked to accommodate a large number of refugees as well, as part of sharing the responsibility amongst neighboring countries.
Merkel said that ‘isolation was not the answer for Europe’, especially since refugees would have to be integrated in labor markets and provide them with jobs according to local labor market rules and capacity. Her description of the situation as a ‘historic challenge’ to EU and that she was sure that Europe would pass the test despite the long negotiations amongst the G-20 countries concerning responsibilities and funding, was significant to Europe’s past, present and future.
This complicated situation calls on the international community to be up to its responsibilities and support countries that have already received millions of refugees, putting extra loads on their respective infrastructure and services. With the approach of Christmas, we should all stop devastating conflicts, as ordered in all heavenly religions through messengers the Almighty had chosen to spread peace, love and justice on Earth.
By Labeed Abdal