Jerzy POLACZEK:On natural preferences for the Christian refugees from the Middle East

On natural preferences for the Christian refugees from the Middle East

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MP of Polish political party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość. Minister of Transportation in the years 2005-2007. Graduate of Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Silesia. Initiator and creator of Centrum Kreowania Liderów Kuźnia.

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A wave of refugees from the Middle East and the Maghreb floods southern Europe. On the one hand there is the humanitarian disaster in the regions ravaged by religious wars, on the other the quest for welfare, typical as far as motives are concerned. Poland, which is not a global policy maker and whose regional policies is concerned with its closest neighbours at best, has been coerced by the European institutions to absorb some presently vague number of the refugees. This, in any case, is what Brussels has been telling us.

The situation of religious minorities in war-torn or anarchy-stricken Islamic countries after the so called Arabic spring is indeed catastrophic and the adjective does not apply to quality of life, but to extermination, enslavement, cruel treatment of the minorities by the assailants, particularly the Islamic State.

The current conflicts and civil wars in the Middle East are above all a reflection of religious tensions between different Islamic factions. In the background we have an ongoing struggle for hegemony: Iran or Saudi Arabia, Turkey or Egypt.

Decay of the old order brings bloodshed, which strikes particularly hard at the non-Muslim minorities. These are usually various Christian denominations and Yazidis, both exposed to death or inhumane treatment only due to their faith.

The refugees from Syria and Iraq are pushed out towards Turkey or Kurdistan. The political geography there has been becoming more and more complex, along with the emergence of non-state entities already possessing or striving for independence.

The Arabic spring, although it freed a few countries from ”ugly dictators”, caused such a turmoil in the whole region that it made ten of thousands of people attempt very risky and expensive sea crossing to Europe so that their families and themselves can have a better future.

Those that managed to get there vegetate in refugee camps in Greece and Italy. Cynical perpetrators collecting tributes stand behind the huge wave of people fleeing in despair. As long as the Old Continent accepts them, there will be many others paying mobsters for the chance to get to the European promised land.

If one drew a straight line between Warsaw and Damascus, it would be nearly 2.5 thousand kilometres long. Much closer, in fact just across Poland’s eastern border, boils the military conflict between Putin’s Russia and Ukraine, one of the biggest European countries. We should seriously consider the scenario of significant numbers of Ukrainian refugees soon willing to enter Poland.

What stance shall we take to provide relief to people chased away from their own land by war and misery on the one hand and to protect the interests of Polish citizens on the other? Massive absorption of refugees who are motivated by search for better life in Europe raises many doubts.

While so many of our youth, also for economic reasons – and to be clear, it is not my aim to compare their and the refugees’ situations – leave Poland for the EU or Norway, taking in bigger numbers of refugees seems inappropriate. It is also worth mentioning that Poland naturally is a haven for economic refugees continuously coming from Ukraine. In other words, as the border country of the EU we are both the destination and the transit stop for the numerous immigrants that we have already been accepting.

From the Polish point of view it is more natural to absorb people who are close to us culturally and linguistically than to insistently attempt to do it with people of different cultural identity.

Since majority of the refugees coming to southern Europe are Muslims, their potential assimilation in Poland would be much more difficult – if at all possible – than Christians’. On the other hand, there are religious and ethnic communities in the Mediterranean south of Europe that could help the refugees to adapt to the new environment. More Muslims – for whom Poland itself is not a particularly attractive option – in this country would inevitably lead to conflicts between the locals and the newcomers. Moreover, we would have to ”keep an eye on them” before they leave for some other part of the EU.

In Poland neither there is a Muslim minority big enough to take on their shoulders the task of polonization of those who would join them, nor are our social security institutions prepared to deal with the process.

Let us remember that the motives of the people are of economic nature. Their lives are not in danger due to their religion, race or political views. Frankly speaking, the international Muslim community has gathered enough wealth to afford to help their brothers in faith, on both national and continental level.

The Polish government called to action by the society decided to allow a certain number of internationally recognized Middle East refugees to enter the country. Those people are Christians from Syria, which is not surprising – as I have already written for , this group is directly exposed to extermination and carnage inflicted by the forces of the Islamic State and numerous units of other radical Islamists.

And so the ever watchful liberals have brought alarm. Instead of praising Poland for the active help for the refugees from the Middle East they accused the government of the most disgusting vices as racism and anti-Islamic deeds.

The politicians cited the Constitution using many far-fetched, ideology-tinted arguments. Even Ewa Kopacz’s cabinet supported by them has been reprimanded for being too politically incorrect.

I am not at all surprised, especially since the Poles elected Andrzej Duda as the new president, that there is panic spreading among the ranks of the ruling party. What kind of an enormous wave of Christians from the Middle East is going to come? If I am not mistaken, initially it will be circa 60 families, ultimately not more than 15 hundred people. What is more, their adaptation is going to be funded non-governmentally.

Well, my liberal ladies and gentlemen, I suggest you fundraise with your foundations, bring in some Muslim refugees, take care of them and their religious needs, find work for them. Here in Poland, not in London.

It would not be the ”reformed” Muslims coming to Poland, but people with strict observance of their customs and the laws their religion imposes on them. They would daily require a few work breaks for prayer and halal food in canteens. In current situation it could only evoke a culture clash.

Jerzy Polaczek

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