(Or, The European Migrant Crisis: A Reader.)
From the Pope to the E.U. to the U.N., the narrative has taken shape: 'Millions of refugees fleeing war-torn regions are flooding into Europe, and we must take them all in.' If one doesn't embrace it whole-heartedly--and many Europeans do not--one is 'vile,' 'shameful,' and 'spreading hate' (to quote German chancellor Angela Merkel). Such closed-minded bigots need to open their hearts and homes.
We here at TWCS argue that there is much more to the story. From our privileged perch here in continental Europe, we enjoy access to scores of local news stories which haven't seeped into the international media. So as with the Charlie Hebdo massacre, we're taking a slight detour from our normal blogging in order to give a press round-up we hope some may find useful. From our seat in the very front row, we humbly invite you to join us on a tour of the less-reported sides of this epochal event. But kindly buckle up first.
[English-language sources have been used where possible; all translations are ours.]
Why a migratory explosion now?
The trickle of Mediterranean boat people is in fact an old story. Where a large rich land lies near a large poor one, the temptation is constant.
Year in year out, like those intrepid Cubans aiming for Florida in their vessels of fortune, thousands of Africans seek the promised land:
But since the Arab Spring in 2011, violent unrest has swept the Middle East. Large existing Arab and Muslim colonies in W. Europe have attracted potential refugees. As for black Africans fleeing poverty, those who've long been content to work in Algeria or Libya have now been handed a twisted gift: The Libyan coast is in anarchy, run by a motley crew of warlords and people smugglers. That is, an open door to the Promised Land.
Further east, the Syrian civil war has dragged on with no end in sight:
Since 2011 over seven million Syrians have been forced from their homes by the civil war. Nearly 300,000 have died. Over 20% have left the country and most of those live in refugee camps. Two-thirds of those still in Syria are short of food, medical care and much else. Most of the country no longer has electric power or public water and sanitation service. ...over ten percent of the towns, villages and city neighborhoods are completely abandoned.
The sudden and overwhelming migrant push we've seen this summer has two major causes. First:
[This is the route where Syrian people smuggler Abdullah Kurdi sacrificed his toddler son, creating the photo seen round the world.]Previously, migrants were forbidden from transiting Macedonia. Beginning in June , migrants were given three-day, temporary asylum permits, enabling them to travel by train and road. The opening of the Macedonia route enabled migrants from the Middle East to take very short, inexpensive voyages from the coast of Turkey to the Greek Islands, instead of the far longer, more perilous, and far more expensive voyage from Libya to Italy.
On 24 August 2015, according to article 17 of the Dublin III Regulations Germany decided to suspend the general procedure as regards Syrian refugees (normally a refugee must claim asylum in the first safe country he lands in) and to process their asylum applications directly itself. The change in Germany asylum policy incited large numbers of migrants to move towards Germany, especially after German chancellor Merkel stated that "there is no legal limit to refugee numbers".
Who are these people? Many Europeans fear that the 'refugee' population is filled with opportunists (job- or welfare-seekers), criminals, unassimilable Muslims, and/or terrorists. What is the evidence?
1) Real vs Fake Refugees: The numbers
To recall, there are two major sea paths: the Italy Route and the Greece Route. The first is made of mostly Africans fleeing poverty, the second mostly of Syrians fleeing refugee camps they're not happy with. In 2015, for reasons given above, the latter suddenly began to dwarf the former.
Europe has taken in huge numbers of refugees before, notably during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. But today, many Europeans fear they're being swamped with 1) economic migrants not really fleeing war, and 2) Muslim refugees who will do harm to their cultures. Are they right?
The latest figures:
- Nearly 500,000 people have reached Europe illegally by sea in 2015 (as of Sept.)
- 34% of the boat people claim to be from Syria
- 20% of new asylum applicants claim to be from Syria
- 8000 asylum seekers per day are currently entering the continent.
- Between 270,000 and 280,000 migrants have entered Germany just in the month of September 2015. (This is the equivalent of a city the size of Münster-- or of Newcastle, Venice, or Newark, NJ).
- Germany is expecting up to 1.5 million entries this year alone.
- Oddly for refugees, 75% are men.
- Of those 'Syrians' entering Germany, an estimated one in three is lying about his national origins, according to Germany's Foreign Minister.
So to sum up, 20%-34% of asylum-seekers currently entering Europe are 'Syrian.' German authorities estimate one third of these to be faking. That leaves us with about 14%-23% Syrians, of which, as we have seen, a great many are not fleeing combat directly, but fleeing refugee camps in safe countries for what they hope is more comfortable accomodation in Europe.
To their credit, Syria's neighbors have taken in the lion's share of refugees...
...to which the West has contributed substantial financial aid:
Curiously, the culturally, religiously, geographically close and fabulously rich Gulf States have slammed their doors shut:
Iran has taken in no refugees. Neither have Pakistan, Indonesia, or any of the other dozens of member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain all refused to take any refugees, and explicitly cited the risk of terrorists among the refugees.
Saudi Arabia has, however, thoughtfully offered to fund 200 mosques for their oppressed brethren taking up residence in... Germany.
2) Real vs Fake Refugees: The anecdotes
Having seen the numbers, let's now hear from those on the ground.
a) Fake Syrians
One Moroccan translator volunteering in Vienna claims a quarter of 'Syrians' in Austria are faking:
Moroccan Merouance Missaoua lives and works in Vienna. In his free time, he interprets for refugees at the Westbahnhof [train station]. ... “In all honesty — I believe, it is my personal estimate, because I have been here day in and day out, that a quarter of the people I have met are not refugees.
"I have met people from Morocco and from Algeria. I can discover that, because I speak their dialect too and I recognize the accent immediately. Yesterday, for example, two Egyptians came to me. I said to them: 'You are not Syrian; what are you doing?' — [They replied] 'Yes, it’s now or never, get into Europe free. It’s now or never.'”
At Serbia's border with Hungary--the golden door into the E.U.--authorities confirm many Europeans' worst fears:
A Pakistani identity card in the bushes, a Bangladeshi one in a cornfield. A torn Iraqi driver's licence ... Documents scattered only metres from Serbia's border with Hungary provide evidence that many of the migrants flooding Europe to escape war or poverty are scrapping their true nationalities
... Serbian border police say that 90% of those arriving from Macedonia, about 3000 a day, claim they are Syrian, although they have no documents to prove it. ... "You can see that something is fishy when most of those who cross into Serbia enter January 1 as the date of their birth," border police officer Miroslav Jovic said. "Guess that's the first date that comes to their mind."
"A lot of people enter Turkey with fake Syrian papers because they know that they'll get asylum in the EU more easily," [Frontex chief] Fabrice Leggeri said. In Germany, customs have intercepted packages mailed to Germany containing Syrian passports, both genuine and counterfeit, the finance ministry said.
... Among those who had no second thoughts about ditching their true identity was Rafik from Pakistan. "I'm leaving my old life behind," Rafik said, as he dashed under the fence into Hungary. "I'm starting a new one. I don't have a passport, nor any other identity paper. Let's see which country they will choose to kick me back to."
Sweden's and Germany's open call--'we'll take in as many refugees as come'--has unsurprisingly led to a stampede of opportunists. Hoping their tales of woe will open the gates of the richest countries on the planet, they're setting out from all corners of the globe:
West Africa, though not at war, is a prime source:
Senegal is a stable West African democracy, and Kothiary [Village] has profited from the currents of globalization transforming rural Africa’s more prosperous areas. Flat screen TVs and, increasingly, cars—mostly purchased with money wired home by villagers working in Europe—have reshaped what was once a settlement of mud huts.
The wealth has plugged this isolated landscape of peanut farms and baobab trees into the global economy ... But it has also put European living standards on real-time display ... “People don’t go because they have nothing, they go because they want better and more,” said [Immigration Minister] Mr. Diop. “It’s aspiration.”
A bus leaves Senegal for Libya, final destination Italy. Amadou Diow, in the red baseball cap, says, ‘I don’t know what I will find there, but I know I’m going to get something.’
A surprising number have come from the admittedly violent and poor, but not at war, Pakistan:
They have left good jobs back in Karachi, Pakistan, and now want to be Europeans. In late July the three slipped into Germany with their wives and children, using illegal documents. They live together in a five-bedroom house, rented for them by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, a 40-minute drive away from Giessen, which is home to the biggest migrants’ camp in the country.
...‘When I lost my job, I set out [from Karachi] with six friends,’ he says. ‘There is every nation in the camp — a lot from Pakistan, like me. I chose Germany because they want us here.’ ... I point out that Karachi, despite the political violence there, is not in a war zone. ‘My children deserve a better life than in Pakistan,’ says Atif. ‘They will grow up happy in Germany.’
Mama Merkel's siren song has been heard as far away as Afghanistan, where teenagers are now leaving by the busload:
The winding road to Germany starts on the outskirts of Kabul, at the Ahmad Shah Baba bus depot. This is where some of the youngest and poorest Afghans hoping to migrate to Europe gather each day to leave. If they carry a backpack at all, it is usually slack, with little inside.
Some have begun hearing that there is one country eager to have them. “I am trying to go to Germany,” Abdul Javed, 16, said after buying a bus ticket. Until last year most of the teenagers headed toward Nimruz wanted to go no farther than Iran, to seek work as laborers. But these days, the province is better known as the first stop on the path to Europe.
The same is true of young people in conflict-torn Iraq:
At Ali Hussein's juice stand [in Baghdad], decorated with plastic bananas, they're squeezing oranges on old brass presses. ... Several of his friends just passed by to say farewell. They heard that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was welcoming Iraqis. "Each one said, 'I'm traveling,' 'I'm traveling,' 'I'm traveling,' " says Hussein. All want to be smuggled to Europe.
'The Jungle'--4000-strong illegal alien tent city near UK border
At this lawless migrant encampment at the France-UK border, an international crew of opportunists tries to sneak into Britain daily. A British Muslim charity has just announced it is pulling aid from the 'Jungle' camp in Calais, France, after a surprising visit:
A crisis relief charity chief is set to pull the plug on aid to the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp after discovering most people there are economic migrants ‘without any reason’ to leave their home country. The Bradford-based Human Relief Foundation has been running a project to help the ‘refugees’ at the makeshift camp and previously claimed they were all ‘fleeing war and significant atrocities.’ But a visit by a team led by Kassim Tokan, the HRF deputy chief executive, discovered a totally different picture on the ground, with unwanted clothing and food being ‘dumped and burnt’ by the migrants.
An intrepid Daily Mail journalist near the camp finds out a surprising truth:
An Iranian migrant photographed using a crow bar to try to break into the back of a Dover-bound lorry told how he had only just been deported from Britain. The man, who also refused to be named, said: ‘I lived in Birmingham for four years but then they put me in a detention centre and sent me to Italy. ‘I have come straight back here from Italy and I will get back to England. In England they gave me benefits and a home. Here I have nothing.’
Even those fleeing Syria--without a doubt a war-ridden hellscape--have begun to leave a strange taste in their hosts' mouths. Via John Derbyshire, we hear of this Syrian couple who decided to have a baby in the middle of a war, sneak into Europe, and country-shop their way to Austria:
While many migrants want to go to Germany, Saloukha says Austria was always his first choice, perhaps because he loves classical music. "Yeah. It was my dream to maybe hear a recital or watch an opera in the Vienna Opera House, the best venue for classical music in the world. It's a nice place to raise a child, very calm. And yeah - people are here - are laid-back, a bit like us."
Left: Refugee camp standing empty, Hungary. Right: Fleeing Hungarian camp so as not to be registered,
c) Fake Christians
In Berlin, Iranians and Afghans are reported to be converting to Christianity to gain asylum bids:
Hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers have changed faiths at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighbourhood alone. ... Most said their decision was based on belief, but one young Iranian woman said she was convinced most people had joined the church only to improve their chances for asylum [Christians are persecuted in their countries].
... As other churches across Germany struggle with dwindling numbers of believers, Pastor Martens has seen his congregation swell from 150 just two years to more than 600 parishioners now – with a seemingly unending flow of new refugees finding the way to his congregation. Some come from cities as far away as Rostock on the Baltic Sea, having found out by word-of-mouth that Martens not only baptises Muslims after a three-month 'crash course' in Christianity, but also helps them with asylum pleas.
ISIS has publicly stated their plans to send as many terrorists as possible among the waves of refugees. Hungary has already arrested 'Ahmed' and 'Yacir' at their border, after other migrants recognized them as terrorists from back home:
According to Hungarian police, Ahmed H. is implicated in over fifty murders. Witnesses said he had a reputation as a 'butcher, torturer, notorious assassin.' After further investigation, police have discovered the presumed terrorist, far from being an unfortunate refugee, owns a house in Cyprus, a boat, five cars, and just put down 90,000€ on a second home.
Norway’s police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste ) has found between five and 10 terrorists among every 1,000 refugees approved by the United Nations (UN) to be sent to Norway. Among them are young men and women recruited by both the brutal Islamic extremist group IS and rival terror organization Al Qaida.
One of the terrorists behind Tunisia's Bardo Museum attack (21 dead) managed to slip into Italy on a 'refugee' boat, reported cops soon after.
The German secret service is already warning of extremist recruitment happening under their nose:
Meanwhile, the head of German intelligence, Hans-Georg Maaßen, was warned that radical Muslims in Germany are canvassing the refugee shelters looking for new recruits. He said: "Many of the asylum seekers have a Sunni religious background. In Germany there is a Salafist scene that sees this as a breeding ground. We are observing that Salafists are appearing at the shelters disguised as volunteers and helpers, deliberately seeking contact with refugees to invite them to their mosques to recruit them to their cause."
Having seen the 'why' and the 'who,' let us examine some reasons Europeans are becoming skeptical of these asylum-seekers' good faith.
III) Refugee complaints
'We live like animals here'--The beds are too close together for these 'refugees'' taste, Licola, Italy
'You must take in these people,' Europeans are told, 'because they're fleeing for their lives!' The implication is that blowing up or beheading awaits if we don't let them in straight away. But the litany of complaints to which their hosts have been subjected--especially by the Sub-Saharan African contingent--has raised some eyebrows. Tour d'horizon:
Italy has been flooded with Sub-Saharan 'refugees' since Qaddafi disappeared and the Libyan sea route opened up. Despite being housed and fed at taxpayer expense, these migrants have complained to anyone who will listen, and when not listened to, have made their unhappiness known via flinging mattresses out windows (Naples), blocking traffic with furniture (Alcamo), blocking traffic with bicycles (Trapani), blocking a highway via human chain (Capo Rizzuto), throwing their food on the ground, and slashing the tires of the camp's personnel (Belluno).
Among their complaints:
- we don't want to be in a small town
- there's nothing to do here
- the walk to the dining hall is too long
- the bedrooms are dorm-style
- there's no free wifi
- there are blocked toilets
- there is not enough room to cook
- the food is monotonous
- the food is not like in our country
- the food is out of season
- the food is cold
- the bottled water is not cold
- there are no electric fans
- we do not receive enough spending money
France, like Italy, has mostly been receiving 'refugees' from Sub-Saharan Africa. But unlike Italy, France is crawling with government-funded NGOs who've been thrilled to take the huddled masses under their wing and teach them about the French national sport--protesting. Thus, France's newest charges have already locked themselves into their lodgings, held refugee center volunteers hostage, gone on hunger strikes, and staged public marches at employment agencies, the Italian border (trying to get in), the UK border (trying to get out), and in front of the Foreign Ministry as well as the Parliament.
Among their complaints:
- the granting of our refugee status is too slow
- the food is bad
- the food is not spicy enough
- the food has passed its 'best-by' date
- no one is giving us free subway tickets
- no one is giving us French classes
- we have the the right to work
- we deserve immediate citizenship
Paris, June 2015: 300 occupy an old firehouse, demanding lodging (100 migrants + 200 French activists)
As for those visiting the Germanic and Nordic lands, they are more likely to be Arab (mainly Syrian), Afghan, or Pakistani-- most likely to be actually fleeing combat. To their credit, they have not yet grumbled as loudly or publicly as their Sub-Saharan counterparts in Italy and France. Yet for 'war refugees,' some of their complaints have raised their hosts' eyebrows (even the Interior Minister's). Among them:
- we don't want to stay in a small village
- it is too cold
- there is no tea here
- we are bored
- the food is bad
- we aren't given enough cigarette money
- the internet connection is too slow
- the juice we're given has 25% sugar
- we don't have a private bathroom
- we deserve jobs at once
- we don't want to be treated by female physicians
- (our personal favorite, from Austria) we demand 2000€ per month or we shall go on hunger strike
Hell no, we won't go: 'Refugees' stage a sit-in (then a snow-in) when brought to Grytan, in rural Sweden
A sit-in and threatened hunger strike got these irritated Arabs back to the big city:
Some 40 asylum-seekers refused to leave the bus when they arrived at their destination in rural northern Sweden, demanding that they be taken back to Malmö or "some big city". When the transport arrived at a housing centre in Grytan south of Östersund the asylum-seekers didn't like the look of what they saw. "I am 75-years-old and come from the Middle East. Then I get sent to a place that looks like this," said a man from Syria to the local Östersunds-Posten daily, pointing to the icy road. "It is dangerous for me to be here," he said.
Hundreds of predominantly Iraqi migrants who have travelled through Europe to reach Finland are turning back, saying they don't want to stay in the sparsely-populated country on Europe's northern frontier because it's too cold and boring.
"You can tell the world I hate Finland. It's too cold, there's no tea, no restaurants, no bars, nobody on the streets, only cars," 22-year-old Muhammed told AFP in Tornio, as the mercury struggled to inch above 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) on a recent blustery grey day. Another group of around 15 Iraqi refugees waiting at the bus station that Tornio shares with its Swedish twin town Haparanda also said they wanted to go back to southern Sweden. "Finland is no good," the men echoed each other.
We have thus seen that a majority of 'refugees' entering Europe seem to be economic migrants, and that the grousing is beginning to rub their hosts the wrong way. But let us come to even more serious matters: Violence and intimidation.
IV) Refugee crime
In countries that already suffer disproportionate crime from their Muslim minorities, citizens are on high alert for more of the same. Are their fears founded?
1) Crime among asylum-seekers
Large encampments of mostly young men, of varied ethnies and religions: All it takes is one spark. Germany in particular has suffered a rash of refugee brawls. In Leipzig:
A mass brawl involving up to 200 refugees erupted in a German asylum seeker shelter after a young Syrian girl was allegedly threatened with a knife by a teenage Afghan boy. ... Refugees fought each other with bars, table legs and bed frames on Thursday evening, forcing German Red Cross staff to flee.
Two female workers were injured in the chaos, with one breaking a knee cap after falling as she tried to escape, while the other suffered from shock. ... Refugees also turned on security staff and soldiers standing guard in the hall, although they were not injured, according to police. ... A huge contingent of officers was finally able to bring the situation under control.
The chaos started at lunchtime Sunday when a 19-year-old Albanian cut in the food line at the town’s new tent city, prompting a reprimand from a 43-year-old Pakistani. Pushes degenerated into punches. Soon, 300 migrants wielding pepper spray and metal pipes were attacking each other in rival mobs. ... More than 50 police officers struggled for hours to restore order, with three hospitalized with injuries.
The violence on Wednesday allegedly erupted following a disagreement over the shower facilities, according to a witness. Afghan and Syrian refugees fought against each other, with some wielding iron bars ripped from beds, according to the fire service. Around 50 police officers were needed to bring the situation under control.
The Netherlands too have hosted such conflicts, such as this one near Utrecht:
According to RTL news, a dispute over a game of football led to the first fight. Forty police officers and four dog handlers were involved in breaking up the fights, a police spokesman told the Volkskrant. ‘It was a serious breach of the peace,’ he said. At least two refugees were wounded and taken to hospital and two others were arrested for their role in the disturbances.
Especially disturbing has been violence targeting religious minorities, such as in Brandenburg:
Said [an Iranian Christian] is living in an asylum centre in southern Brandenburg, near the border with Saxony. “They wake me before dawn during Ramadan and say I should eat before the sun comes up. If I refuse, they say I’m a kuffar, an unbeliever. They spit at me… They treat me like an animal. And threaten to kill me.… They are also all Muslims,” he adds.
...Or in Hemer:
At a refugee shelter in Hemer, a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, 10 Algerian asylum seekers attacked a Christian couple from Eritrea with glass bottles. The Muslims said they were angry that the man was wearing a cross. They ripped the cross from his neck and stole his money and cellphone.
...Or a near-lynching in Suhl:
At least 17 people were injured at an overcrowded German refugee shelter [in Suhl, Thuringia] after one resident tore pages out of a Koran. ... He was eventually saved by the shelter's guards which prompted the mob - according to local media mainly Syrian men - to turn their anger on the camp's security team.
More than 50 men armed themselves with steel rods and began throwing rocks at guards and policemen. In the violence today, migrants smashed car windows, ransacked buildings and demolished the walls which divide the shelter in the rampage which lasted several hours.
The Gatestone Institute has collected a dizzying number of such incidents directly from the local German press, including, in just the last two months, violent clashes at refugee centers in
- Friedland, and
- Dresden again
France has been no stranger to violent inter-migrant conflict, particularly in the Calais 'Jungle,' in June between Eritreans and Sudanese, in September between Afghans and Sudanese, and again between Ethiopians where 150 tons of donated clothes were set on fire.
Sexual violence among migrants has also been widespread, as reported in this letter from a German NGO working in Hess:
It must be stated clearly that these are not isolated incidents. Women report that they — and also children — have been raped and otherwise sexually attacked. That is why many women sleep in their street clothes. Women report that they do not go to the toilet at night, because rapes and sexual attacks have happened there and in the sanitary facilities. Even during the day, moving through the camp is frightening.
From a leaked report on a refugee center in Erfurt, Germany:
It is routine for men to urinate in whatever corner they find. In the sleeping accommodations it has become a daily occurrence that single women are being urinated on by male persons from other countries, even as the women are sleeping. Sexual harassment occurs daily.
From a report on the refugee center at Bayernkaserne, near Munich:
Women and girls are subject to rape and forced prostitution on a daily basis, according to women's rights groups. Although the facility has separate dorm rooms for women, the doors cannot be locked and men control access to the sanitary facilities. Approximately 80% of the refugees/migrants at the shelter are male, according to Bavarian Broadcasting (Bayerischer Rundfunk), which reports that the price for sex with female asylum seekers is ten euros. A social worker described the facility this way: "We are the biggest brothel in Munich."
2) Violence towards their hosts
'The 'Jungle' in Calais, France, is an especially disturbing example. It is the result of a pile-up of thousands of African aliens at the border, all aiming for the U.K. As the French government keeps its head in the sand, both Calaisiens and truckers are, understandably, at the end of their rope.
When there is a ferry strike, hapless truckers become easy prey:
Drivers stuck in long tailbacks could only watch as would-be stowaways smashed wing mirrors and used knives and crowbars to break into the rear of vehicles. ... Steve Williamson sat helplessly as five migrants scrambled on to the top of his lorry, sliced through the roof with knives and lowered themselves inside. ... ‘I come through Calais twice a week and it is getting worse every time. They have hurled rocks at my lorry, damaging it, and threatened me with iron bars. If something doesn’t happen somebody will end up getting killed.’
Migrants have also climbed onto trucks after throwing objects on the roadway (video at link) as well as tried to storm the Eurotunnel on foot:
At least 2200 illegal migrants tried to storm the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain from France, it has been revealed. In one of the worst security breaches in the history of the undersea link, huge gangs broke through security fencing in Calais in the early hours. A French police source described the scenes as 'absolute pandemonium' today. ... Transport chiefs have estimated that Britain’s freight industry is losing some £750,000 pounds a day because of the problems.
In addition to stopping traffic, breaking into trucks, and attacking drivers, these migrants have made life hard for Calaisiens. One senior citizen who lives across from 'the Jungle' testifies she must barricade herself in her home after endless break-ins by her new 'neighbors.' Residents were terrified by a recent late-night romp down the street smashing cars with iron bars and sabers. Police have had dozens of reports of muggings, robberies, assaults, sexual harassment, and sexual assaults emanating from this migrant population, to the apparent indifference of the French government.
Groups of African illegals have also made themselves a nuisance in the south of Spain, where they sell contraband items on the beach and occasionally riot when arrested, or in Venice, Italy, where they also sell goods illegally as well as block the sidewalks, urinate in the canal, and brawl.
Graver still have been those bent on doing bodily harm, such as the Ivoirian 'refugee' in Sicily who robbed and murdered an elderly couple in their home, or the Eritrean in Sweden who, angry about his asylum rejection, stabbed to death two random shoppers in Ikea (using the store's own display knives).
Unconfirmed photo of victim stabbed (beheaded?) by Eritrean refugee at Ikea store in Vasteras, Sweden
As far as the migrants in transit overland, witnesses have seen disturbing scenes. At the Austrian-Italian border a few weeks ago, Polish travel writer and 'world citizen' Kamil Bulonis told a harrowing tale:
Half an hour ago on the border between Italy and Austria I saw a huge crowd of immigrants. With all solidarity to people in difficult circumstances, I have to say that what I saw aroused horror. ... I saw an elderly Italian woman in a car that was surrounded by the immigrants. They pulled her by the hair out of the car and wanted to use it to go to Germany. They tried to topple the bus I was in. They threw feces at us, banging on the door for the driver to open it, spat on the glass.
... A car with humanitarian aid came. Food and water. They just toppled it and stole everything. They broke into the French bus – everything was stolen in a short time. Never in my short life have I had an opportunity to see such scenes. Among them there were almost no women and children – the vast majority were aggressive young men. Just yesterday I read the news on all the websites with real compassion, worried about their fate, and today after what I saw I am just afraid. (Polish original here)
And finally, just in, an unconfirmed report on Czech TV from a Czech doctor working at a Munich hospital:
In a hospital near the Rhine, migrants attacked the staff with knives after they had handed over an 8-month-old on the brink of death, which they had dragged across half of Europe for thee months. The child died in two days, despite having received top care at one of the best pediatric clinics in Germany. The physician had to undergo surgery and two nurses are laid up at the ICU. Nobody has been punished. The local press is forbidden to write about it, so we know about it through e-mail.
3) Sexual crime towards their hosts
With a 'refugee' population of upwards of 75% single men, one of Europeans' fears has been that of sexual aggression. This fear has been far from unfounded. Asylum-seekers have sexually assaulted not only fellow migrants in refugee centers, but also members of the host population.
Three men requesting asylum in Almere are suspected in the assaults of as many as five women in the Flevoland city. One of the cases involves an 18-year-old woman attacked overnight at a taxi stand by the men, believed to be residents of the asylum reception center there, ... A father of one victim said the men, “did not clearly understand that Dutch women are not pleased by being sexually assaulted after a night out."
- Fiuggi, Italy: In a refugee center for minors, three young Egyptians gang rape the center's director then sack the establishment.
- Calais, France: A 15-year-old suffers an attempted gang rape by migrants on a city street, a passing car disperses them.
- Calais, France: A 17-year-old is thrown against a brick wall near her home by a group of migrants who grope her, then flee.
- Calais, France: A 20-year-old suffers an attempted rape at the train station by a migrant, her attacker flees and is at large.
- Calais, France: A woman is groped by an Eritrean migrant near a public beach, he is caught by police. Witnesses say he had been trawling the beach ogling women all day.
- Nice, France: A Somalian teen rips the clothes off and tries to rape a passerby near the train station, is chased and caught by other passersby.
- Valais, Switzerland: An Eritrean refugee is sentenced to 4 years prison after attempting to rape a 13-year-old girl near the public pool.
Moroccan asylum-seeker (boat person from Libya) convicted of raping of 29-year-old 'Anna B.,' Dresden
The Gatestone Institute has gathered a number of recent incidents from the local German press:
- Hamm, Germany: Two Iraqi asylum-seekers rape an 18-year-old behind a school.
- Heilbronn, Germany: A 14-year-old boy is raped at the train station by a 'dark-skinned man' of 'Arab appearance.'
- Karlsruhe, Germany: A Tunisian asylum-seeker rapes a 20-year-old woman.
- Bad Kreuznach, Germany: Two Somali asylum seekers are sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for raping a 21-year-old woman.
- Munich, Germany: A 30-year-old Somali asylum seeker called 'Ali S' is sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 20-year-old woman.
- Dresden, Germany: A 30-year-old Moroccan man is sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 55-year-old woman.
- Munich, Germany: A 25-year-old Senegalese asylum seeker attempts to rape a 21-year-old woman in the city center.
- Straubing, Germany: A21-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker is sentenced to three years and ten months in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl at festival.
- Alzenau, Germany: A 29-year-old asylum seeker is arrested for the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl.
- Kirchheim, Germany: Two Afghan asylum seekers aged 19 and 20 are sentenced to five years in prison for the 'particularly abhorrent' rape of a 21-year-old woman.
- Stralsund, Germany: A 28-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker is sentenced to four years in prison for raping a 25-year-old woman.
- Reisbach, Germany: A 27-year-old Somalian asylum seeker is arrested after attempting to rape multiple women.
- Dresden, Germany: A 24-year-old Moroccan immigrant rapes a 29-year-old woman.
In addition to the above cases, several rapes and attempted rapes are attributed to 'Southerners,' the media's euphemistic way of referring to dark-skinned foreigners. There is no way to know if these men are asylum-seekers; we add them nonetheless as pieces of possible evidence. These all come from the sole month of August, 2015:
- Dortmund, Germany (Aug. 23): A 'dark skinned' man attempts to rape a 35-year-old woman.
- Ansbach, Germany (Aug. 17): Three male 'southerners' attempt to rape a 42-year-old woman.
- Hanau, Germany (Aug. 16): A male 'southerner' rapes a woman.
- Hannover, Germany (Aug. 12): A male 'southerner' attempts to rape a 17-year-old girl.
- Kassel, Germany (Aug. 12): A male 'southerner' exposes himself to a 31-year-old woman.
- Mönchengladbach, Germany (Aug. 10): Five men of 'Turkish origin' attempt to rape a girl.
- Rinteln, Germany (Aug. 10): A male 'southerner' rapes a 15-year-old girl.
- Siegen, Germany (Aug. 8): A male 'southerner' attempts to rape a 20-year-old woman.
- Chemnitz, Germany (Aug. 3): A 'North African' rapes a seven-year-old girl in broad daylight in a public park.
- Stuttgart (Aug. 1): A male 'southerner' attempts to rape a 27-year-old woman downtown.
Dresden: Moroccan migrant bites and rips out hair while attempting to rape 55-year-old 'Erika K.' in a schoolyard
This numbing litany of violence has been largely kept out of the international and even local press where possible, because, to quote the head of Germany's ZDF (public channel), 'We don’t want to inflame the situation and spread the bad mood. [The migrants] don’t deserve it.'
V) Indigenous protests
Though asylum-seekers were greeted in Munich and Berlin with weeping, applause, pastries, balloons, and choirs, not all of Europe has opened their arms so readily.
1) Eastern Europe
We've noted before that those who once lived behind the Iron Curtain seem somehow immune to the ethno-masochism of the Anglo-Germanic. From heads of state to church leaders to the man on the street, Eastern Europeans are Just Saying No.
First, by refusing the EU's demand for refugee quotas:
Leaders of the four-member Visegrad Group — Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia — met on Friday [Sept. 4], announcing afterwards that they would only accept voluntary settlement schemes. “Any proposal leading to introduction of mandatory and permanent quota for solidarity measures would be unacceptable,” they said in a joint statement.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the only EU leader to take control of his borders during the recent chaos, in recent Sate of the Union Address:
Why are we quarrelling with Europe? A Europe which requires its half a billion citizens to respect its laws is unable to persuade migrants to undergo a simple registration process. Brussels’ policies and the great powers made the situation even worse when they proved to be unable to grasp the root of the problem, and saw people who are clearly illegal economic migrants as being refugees.
As a result, we find that our borders are in danger, our way of life based on respect for the law is in danger, and Hungary and the whole of Europe are in danger. What is happening now is an invasion; we are being invaded.
66% of Hungarians seem to agree, stating that the current refugees are a 'threat to the country.'
Czech leaders have been just as skeptical:
The Czech president, Milos Zeman, compared the flow of refugees to a tsunami. The people, according to him, are largely economic refugees, who should be immediately deported. The Muslim immigrants are especially dangerous, because there are terrorists among them. Czechia did not “invite” these people. And, facing the immigrants themselves, he added, bluntly and harshly: “If you do not want to adhere to the rules we have, then go away.”
As for the man on the street?
81% of Czechs are strictly against acceptance of refugees. That is tops in the EU.
Slovakia's head of state has refused quotas in no uncertain terms:
"When Germany or France says something we should not bow down and repeat the same thing. We also have our own opinion," [Prime Minister Robert] Fico told reporters. "We say no to mandatory quotas. I don't want to wake up one day and have 50,000 people here in this country about whom we know nothing; I do not want to take responsibility for any attack that may occur only because we underestimated something."
Poland (as well as Slovakia) has also indicated it would prefer only Christian refugees, and 70% of Poles are opposed to EU quotas.
While in Rome the Pope has harangued the West into opening doors wide, Eastern Europe's Christian leaders have been more cautious:
On Monday, the [Catholic] church’s spiritual leader for southern Hungary — scene of some of the heaviest migrant flows anywhere in Europe — had a message just as clear: His Holiness is wrong. “They’re not refugees. This is an invasion,” said Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, whose dominion stretches across the southern reaches of this predominantly Catholic nation. “They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.”
Further east, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church:
In a 700-word statement on September 25, signed by Bulgarian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Neofit and other members of the Synod, the church said that repeatedly in recent months, the question had been asked what its position was on the “so-called ‘refugee problem'”. ... “In recent months we have witnessed a wave ... which has acquired all the signs of an invasion,” the Holy Synod said. "... we believe that our government should never allow into our country any more refugees”.
'Welcome to Turin, if you've come to respect our law, our culture, our history. If you've come to commit crime or impose Sharia, we will do everything we can to throw you out.'
In the Mediterranean climes, where the 'refugee' stream from Africa has been flowing for a few years now, patience is in many places at an end.
Residents of a Roman suburb this summer:
Chairs and rocks were thrown at policemen as angry residents protested the arrival of 100 refugees in Casale San Nicola, a suburb in the outskirts of northern Rome, on Friday. The coach carrying the migrants had to be escorted by an armoured police vehicle, but as it approached the protesters reacted violently, hurling rocks, chairs and abuse at the police. Fourteen policemen were injured in the clashes and two protesters were arrested.
A similar reaction in Treviso:
Residents in the town of Quinto, outside Treviso, set mattresses, television sets and furniture on fire in protest at the resettlement, saying they did not want the migrants living nearby. They had seized the objects after breaking into the buildings, protesting against what they said was “an invasion”. The migrants had to be transferred to a local army barracks for their own safety.
While leftist Prime Minister Renzi has toed Brussels' line, regional governments have offered strong resistance:
Italy’s Lombardy region has joined Veneto in refusing a request from the Italian government to find emergency housing for the country’s migrant influx. Roberto Maroni, the president of Lombardy and founder of the anti-immigrant Northern League, was quoted by TGCom24 as saying, “We do not want an invasion”. The Veneto region has also shut the door on migrants, with its president Luca Zaia saying there are are “no places" for them.
"It is an absolute disgrace that the government, instead of repelling the invasion of clandestine immigrants, thinks to appropriate thousands and thousands of beds, giving in to the invasion," said senator Maurizio Gasparri from the centre-right Forza Italia party.
The Lombardy regional government has gone so far as to vote on penalizing hotel owners who knowingly put up asylum-seekers--in direct defiance of the prime minister.
A note: If protests haven't been even stronger, it may be because the immigrant crisis has been hugely profitable for the Mafia:
"We closed this year with turnover of [$50 million], but ... our profits all came from the gypsies, the housing emergency and the immigrants," [mafioso] Buzzi reportedly said in a [tapped] phone call.
And as in Eastern Europe, some Western clerics have begun to raise their voice in protest: (h/t Parrado Segura)
The Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, sparked controversy on Wednesday when he questioned whether welcoming refugees to Spain from Syria was such a good idea. "What’s happening in Europe?" the Catholic bishop asked. "This invasion of immigrants... are they completely trustworthy? Where will it leave Spain in a few years? ... We must be clear headed and not let everyone in, because today it could be someone who gets along very well, but it is in fact the Trojan horse for European societies and specifically Spain."
Though the Germanics have opened their arms widest for the flood of asylum-seekers, the vote is not unanimous. In Wertheim:
A sports hall, which had been prepared to be used as residence for up to 400 refugees and migrants, caught fire late Saturday night. ... "No more refugees can come to Wertheim, since we now have no other place where they can stay," says Baden-Württemberg's fire chief Hermann Schröder.
Up to 1,000 protesters have clashed with police in eastern Germany in riots reportedly sparked by the arrival of 250 migrants. Peaceful demonstrations began after news spread that the town was welcoming a large number of refugees who are set to be housed in an empty building. The protest was hijacked by a group of far-right radicals, ...
Police said protesters shouting "foreigners out" and carrying banners against the "asylum flood" threw bottles and stones at busloads of asylum seekers arriving in Heidenau, near Dresden. At least 31 officers were hurt in violent scuffles as police used tear gas to disperse crowds.
In Germany alone there have been nearly 500 attacks (arson, vandalism) on refugee housing just this year.
In the Netherlands, protests have been calmer:
Meanwhile in Purmerend north of Amsterdam and in the Brabant town of Oudenbosch, there were protests by locals about decisions to set up refugee centres, broadcaster Nos said. In Purmerend a town council meeting had to be cancelled as dozens of locals packed into the council chamber shouting ‘no azc’ (asylum seekers centre). Police were called to remove them from the building.
As in Finland:
More than 500 people with Finnish flags have formed a symbolic human wall across a road in the border town Tornio in northern Finland to protest against the arrival of migrants from Sweden. Local police said Saturday the demonstration in Tornio, which is the sole entry point for migrants arriving from Sweden, had been peaceful. A formal registration center for refugees is scheduled to open in the town of 22,000 Tuesday. Tornio sits just south of the Arctic Circle.
* * *
The European Migrant Crisis is not winding down--it is only beginning. The UNICEF Middle East chief has warned that Europe may face 'millions and millions' of new Syrian arrivals in the near term. On the African side, France's military intelligence chief claims there are now 800,000 to a million (mostly economic) migrants waiting in Libya to make the illegal crossing, with, according to Gallup, half a billion more who dream of coming to the West. As for the Arab Spring, taking into account the instability in not just Syria but Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya, the Hungarian Foreign Minister has predicted up to 30-35 million potential migrants ready to answer Mama Merkel's call.
In our brief press round-up, we hope to have shared both numbers and anecdotes which give a fuller picture of the migrant crisis as it is, not as we would like it to be. The generous and charitable spirit of so many Europeans has, unfortunately, been taken advantage of by throngs of the zerangi-spirited, such as the Egyptian scammers quoted above by the Moroccan translator in Vienna : 'Yes, it’s now or never, get into Europe free. It’s now or never.'
The Syrian refugee crisis is real, brutal, and must be dealt with sagely. The UN High Refugee Council (UNHCR) does laudable, thankless work, year in, year out, helping desperate refugees the world over. If our charitable impulse is real and we want to use it wisely, we should increase our funding of their efforts (as well as those of the UN World Food Program) so that Syrians fleeing into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq can live more like this and less like this.
'The nicest refugee camp in the world,' Turkey's government-funded Kilis compound (top) and Al-Zaatari Camp in Jordan (bottom)
Cultural clash is a real threat. Large Muslim colonies have been a terrible burden on their hosts in Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK (see our work on the question here, also Gates of Vienna, Sweden Report, and Gallia Watch). Muslim refugees, like all refugees, should be housed in countries as religiously, ethnically, linguistically, and culturally close to themselves as possible. In addition, your donated charity dollar can buy that refugee a good deal more in a Middle Eastern country than it can in uber-expensive NW Europe.
As for the 75%-90% of aliens entering Europe who are not directly fleeing combat, they should of course be promptly sent home. Turning away 100% of boats has stopped all migrant deaths off the coast of Australia; a high-quality wall in Israel has cut down African illegal migration to almost zero.
We close with former Czech president Vaclav Klaus:
These politicians, lead by Herr Gauck and Frau Merkel, presume that out of these migrants will immediately emerge motivated, intelligent, educated and employable skilled workers, who then will replace aging German employee. It is a laughable assumption. It stands in gross opposition to each and every experience that Germany has had in the past with migrants and guest workers.
What happened that was so important that precisely now 40% of the migrants who came to Bavaria last weekend, came from Kosovo? The war ended in Kosovo 15 years ago. And why did another 40% immigrate from Afghanistan, where all armed conflicts have been going on in one way or another for the past few decades? It is not as if the living conditions have suddenly dramatically changed in any way in these migrants’ respective homelands. But they did get — explicitly and implicitly — a message. A message that they now can immigrate to Europe.
Watch this space.