Scapegoating the refugees

Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Salah Nasrawi, Nov 26, 2015.

A tide of increased xenophobia in Europe in the aftermath of the Paris attacks is making refugees pawns in the debate over terrorism.

On a street corner in the upscale Cairo neighbourhood of Zamalek, a small crowd of visitors gathers outside the fortified building of the German embassy early in the morning on each working day.  

While some are seated on cheap fixed outdoor benches, others seek shelter from the scorching sun under trees or stroll back and forth waiting for the consulate’s reception windows to open.

This is the location of what is meant to be a reception area for visa applicants who have waited for days, sometimes weeks, to make an online appointment to submit the required documents.

Anxiety is locked on the faces of those who are waiting as they exchange stories about the arduous task of getting a Schengen visa to travel to Europe … //

… Watching Western reactions to the horrific events of 13 November in Paris, one may have the helpless sense of déjà vu. It is a familiar pattern: political exploitation, fear-mongering, media hate speech and analysis from pundits and terrorism experts who blame Islam for global terrorism and defend unlimited state power.

While there is a tremendous need to focus on the failure of the American and European strategies in the fight against the Islamic State terror group, especially after its spectacular advances in Iraq and Syria, fundamental questions about the failure of American and European foreign policy in the Middle East are certainly unavoidable.

The roots of misunderstandings, negative perceptions, violence, conflicts and fears of all-out war between the West and at least parts of the Muslim world lie in the failure of the United States and Europe to build democratic relationships with Muslims and in particular with the Arabs.

Today, there is no evidence that Western nations are trying to learn from the mistakes, follies and colonial crimes of the past. Instead, they are allowing a rhetoric of hate, bigotry and Islamophobia to dictate the agenda of the US and the EU in the Middle East.

It is here that not only do the irrational demands to close down immigration flows into the United States and Europe matter, but so also do the current humiliating treatment of visa applicants by Western consulates abroad.

(full text).


Greece: Macedonian Army erects metal fence on Greek border, 1.27 min, uploaded by uploaded by Ruptly TV, Nov 28, 2015;

China: Shaolin football academy combines Kung Fu and soccer, 1.26 min, uploaded by Ruprly TV, Nov 27, 2015;

Even Big Banks Think Robot Automation Will Lead to Further Income Inequality – Jack Smith, dans BIEN, le 25 nov 2015;

Abschuss des russischen Kampfjets Su-24, Ukraine, Mali – Dirk Müller, 3.59 min, von Bananenrepublik1 am 25. Nov 2015 hochgeladen;

Face à Face avec Françoise Coutant, dans France 3-région Aquitaine, par Pascal Cagnato avec C. Roux, le 24 nov 2015;

La politique est une chose beaucoup trop importante pour ne pas s’y intéresser, dans, par Pierre Morel, le 24 nov 2015: À notre échelle, celle de jeunes de classe moyenne, habitant des centres urbains et exerçant pour la plupart des professions dites intellectuelles, on se pose beaucoup de questions par rapport au 13 novembre : qu’est-ce que nous pourrions faire désormais pour que cela ne se reproduise plus et que le monde soit mieux qu’avant?

Canada: report says one in three Manitoba children living in poverty, on Winnipef SUN, by Jim Bender, Nov 24, 2015;

India Poised to Move to Social Protection Floor – ILO, on Outlook, Nov 24, 2015; h

The Robots Are Coming, on, Nov 24, 2015;

Startup CEO Loves Tech but Fears Millions Will Be Jobless – Rick Wartzman, on BIEN, by Tyler Prochazka, Nov 23, 2015;

UK: How far new state pension is below living wage – Aegon, on Actuarial Post, Nov 23, 2015;

Professor Michael Howard gives final lecture in Controversy Series, on The Maine Campus, by SAMUEL SHEPHERD, Nov 22, 2015;

Harper’s Gone, Now It’s Time to Look Within, on Indigenous, by Pam Palmater, Nov 19, 2015;

Vernetzung, Was kann jeder Einzelne tun? – Rico Albrecht, 38.22 min, von Wissensmanufaktur am 30. Okt 2015 hochgeladen;

Alternativloser Vermögenserhalt in der Krise – mit Prof. Dr. Hans J. Bocker, von Bankkratie am 26. Nov 2012 hochgeladen: Teil 1/6, 8.17 min; Teil 2/6, 9.38 min; Teil 3/6, 9.27 min; Teil 4/6, 9.27 min; Teil 5/6, 9.39 min; Teil 6/6, 7.58 min;

Streng geheime Akten in Geheimarchiven unter Verschluss, 7.04 min, von Bananenrepublik2 am 17. Sept 2011 hochgeladen … damals auf 3sat.

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