Hope on the Islam Front

 

Two little pieces of what looks to me anyway like hopeful signs: that Europe is looking to Australia’s model for how to cope with immigration, and that there may be more atheist, agnostic or otherwise apostate Muslims than we know.

From Quillette, an interview with a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim writer, Ali Rizvi. A few good quotes to give the flavor:

Liberals have often squandered the opportunity to have an honest and morally responsible conversation about [Islam]. And by doing so, they left a void, which has been filled by opportunists from the far-Right, who want to have this dialogue in an irresponsible and xenophobic way.

Many freethinkers and disbelievers in the Muslim community who saw what happened to Salman Rushdie, even in the West, will think twice before coming out. Liberals are not supporting the people that they should be supporting, and they have compromised on their own values. That’s how terrorism works. They want to curb terrorism, but they’re not curbing it, they’re already victims of it.

But then, the Internet came around. Here in the West we use it mainly for sharing cat videos and we enjoy that, but for [Muslims in the Middle East], it is a window onto a world that they had no idea existed at all. These are people who are born and raised there, who didn’t go on vacation to the West like I did. Muslim youth globally are being more exposed to secular influences. They’re seeing Hollywood movies that are now uncensored, and they are thinking about these things, comparing them to their own life. And yes, the conservatives are very worried about this.

Rizvi sees the rise in extremism and terrorism not as signs of Islam’s strength, but of the opposite — its desperate attempt to prevent Muslims from drawing the obvious conclusions from what they can now know about the world.

I hope he’s right.

How, though, to hold the line on immigration into Europe long enough for the Muslim world to, at last, reform along Western lines? I could offer lots of inexpert advice (and have, in these virtual pages) but Gatestone reports something more practical in the works:

From Gatestone 

Four years ago, the Australian government sparked criticism after it ran an advertisement aimed at discouraging asylum seekers from traveling illegally to the country. “No Way“, the poster read. “You will not make Australia home. If you get on a boat without a visa, you will not end up in Australia. Any vessel seeking illegally to enter Australia will be intercepted and safely removed beyond Australian waters”.

and:

Last year, EU officials came to Australia for help. At a recent summit, European Union member states agreed to copy the Australian model of turning back the migrant boats and sending them to third-countries, to centers there run by local authorities, on the model of the Manus Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea, which was used to house migrants turned away from Australia. Italy is now looking to create similar reception centers on the southern border of Libya.

What do you think, Ricochetti? Reason for optimism or mere aspirins offered to a continent with a metastasizing cancer?

Published in Islamist Terrorism
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  1. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    I think both pieces of news could be positive if they bear fruit. So, we should watch to see if there is a net change in belief and practice in populations. We should watch for a real decrease in migrant numbers.

    • #1
  2. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    May it be so, in the long run; and perhaps relief of pain in the short run isn’t a bad thing?

    • #2
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    You might find this article on error cascades useful in understanding the possibilities of reform in Islam.  The key is the extent to which social pressure is suppressing an honest examination of the justification for violence in Islam and in the name of Islam.  The concern is that failing to conform in the Islamic world is a truly deadly endeavor, even in non-Islamic areas.

    Islam’s staying power over the centuries is due to the fact that, unlike scientific error cascades, where the revered expert dies and can no longer be embarrassed by his successors, Islam continually trains up new, rigid “experts”.  Also known as Imams.  Embarrassing these experts is a capital offense.

    So no, I’m not hopeful.  Yet.

    • #3
  4. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    It has always seemed more valuable to help make a homeland more like home for those attempting to flee their homeland. But alas, those responsible for making a certain homeland miserable and deadly often don’t permit others to intervene.

    Rather than have refugees attempt to enter countries illegally, it would make sense to find places that desire to be refuge for new comers, and have private support to make those new homes successful. 

    But natives and those seeking refuge have got to agree, and work together. 

    I find this to be interested, but unacceptable unless the recipients of the refugees welcome the influx:

    from Gatestone 

    the model of the Manus Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea, which was used to house migrants turned away from Australia. Italy is now looking to create similar reception centers on the southern border of Libya.

     

    • #4
  5. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    As I suspected, Italy thinks it is great, but Libya, not so much.

    from the Libyan Link

    Libyan Deputy Premier Ahmed Maiteeq, however, ruled out the prospect of the North African country hosting camps for asylum-seekers. “We categorically reject (the idea of) camps for migrants in Libya,” Maiteeq told a joint press conference following with Salvini. “It is not allowed by Libyan law”.

    • #5
  6. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    As I suspected, Italy thinks it is great, but Libya, not so much.

    from the Libyan Link

    Libyan Deputy Premier Ahmed Maiteeq, however, ruled out the prospect of the North African country hosting camps for asylum-seekers. “We categorically reject (the idea of) camps for migrants in Libya,” Maiteeq told a joint press conference following with Salvini. “It is not allowed by Libyan law”.

    Surprise me, not…

    • #6
  7. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    As I suspected, Italy thinks it is great, but Libya, not so much.

    from the Libyan Link

    Libyan Deputy Premier Ahmed Maiteeq, however, ruled out the prospect of the North African country hosting camps for asylum-seekers. “We categorically reject (the idea of) camps for migrants in Libya,” Maiteeq told a joint press conference following with Salvini. “It is not allowed by Libyan law”.

    I wondered about that too. So then what? I suppose you drop folks off from whence they came—from the point of departure, that is, not the original country. 

    Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Turkey… my strong suspicion would be that these countries are making money off the immigrants—they pay smugglers, they spend money as they’re passing through—and perhaps the natives of those countries are amused or vindicated by the discomfiture of Europeans on the receiving end? But if, instead, the transit countries found themselves having to hold onto and support the migrants themselves, their people’s enthusiasm for migration might pale a bit. And the message would filter back to the countries of origin: “Stay put.” 

    • #7
  8. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Libya seems so dysfunctional, it would not seem to be a place for refugees. People flee Libya. 

    I think international students should maybe be forced to return to their homeland after a student visa…so they can bring back to their homeland what they’ve learned, and make an effort to improve things.

    I’m sure some do, but clearly not enough. 

    • #8
  9. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Oh, and I know that human rights groups are offended by the Manus processing center in Australia.  

    • #9
  10. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    So then what?

    Well, Australia polices its waters, and refuses entry. 

    When people know the door is locked, they may choose to stay put. As long as they think there is a chance, continued attempts will be made. 

    I’m curious is New Guinea heartily embraced the refugee site, or if they were reticent, and essentially forced to do Australia’s bidding. 

     

    • #10
  11. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Apparently the Manu Center was slated to be closed as of August 2016. 

    Papua New Guinea and Australia on Wednesday said they have agreed to close a detention center on Manus Island for asylum seekers and migrants, but they offered no details about when that would occur or what would happen to the 850 people held there.

    And then there was this from Wiki

    The Centre was formally closed on 31 October 2017.[21] However, nearly 600 men refused to leave the centre claiming “to fear for their safety”, according to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. A notice posted during the night by PNG Immigration authorities said “The Manus RPC will close at 5 pm today” (31 October), and that all power, water and food supply would cease.[22] The PNG military took control of the area.[23] Alternative accommodation has been provided at the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre and West Lorengau Haus.[24]

    On 22 November 2017, Papua New Guinea Police moved in to try to get the more than 350 men remaining in the centre to leave.[25] By 23 November 2017, all remaining men had been removed, more than 300 by force, to new accommodation.[26]

    and then this:

    In November 2016 it was announced that a deal had been made with the United States to resettle people in detention on Manus (and Nauru) Islands.[15]

    There were only 850 people at the Manus Island Center in 2016, hardly numbers that would count as contribution to world-wide relief for refugees. And of course the $70 million lawsuit, accusations of sexual assault, a 2014 riot, subsequent murder. No wonder the center closed. 

    • #11
  12. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Apparently the Manu Center was slated to be closed as of August 2016.

    Papua New Guinea and Australia on Wednesday said they have agreed to close a detention center on Manus Island for asylum seekers and migrants, but they offered no details about when that would occur or what would happen to the 850 people held there.

    And then there was this from Wiki

    The Centre was formally closed on 31 October 2017.[21] However, nearly 600 men refused to leave the centre claiming “to fear for their safety”, according to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. A notice posted during the night by PNG Immigration authorities said “The Manus RPC will close at 5 pm today” (31 October), and that all power, water and food supply would cease.[22] The PNG military took control of the area.[23] Alternative accommodation has been provided at the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre and West Lorengau Haus.[24]

    On 22 November 2017, Papua New Guinea Police moved in to try to get the more than 350 men remaining in the centre to leave.[25] By 23 November 2017, all remaining men had been removed, more than 300 by force, to new accommodation.[26]

    and then this:

    In November 2016 it was announced that a deal had been made with the United States to resettle people in detention on Manus (and Nauru) Islands.[15]

    There were only 850 people at the Manus Island Center in 2016, hardly numbers that would count as contribution to world-wide relief for refugees. And of course the $70 million lawsuit, accusations of sexual assault, a 2014 riot, subsequent murder. No wonder the center closed.

    Sigh. Well, that’s the thing isn’t it? Wholesale (mass in-migration) rather than retail (one at a time) means camps, dormitories, boredom and the small and weak mixed in with the strong and angry. 

    I wonder how migration is marketed to those inclined to give it a shot? That is, I wonder how realistic the pitch made by the people-smugglers and guides and whatnot could be? I somehow doubt they show pictures of the Manus RPC, or even a perfectly-nice-but-unispiring dorm in Malmo?

    • #12
  13. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Ultimately, on the teach-a-man-to-fish principle, it would be better if the countries of origin could be persuaded by their own people to shape up. Obviously, there are situations in which the misbehavior of a given government or culture is not just counterproductive but actually lethal. Hence my inclusion, upon a list of potential invitees to American Shores, of gay, apostate or female persons from Muslim countries where they are in danger of death or serious bodily injury. 

     

    • #13
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Kate Braestrup: the southern border of Libya.

    Southern? With Chad, Niger, and Sudan?

    • #14
  15. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):
    “We categorically reject (the idea of) camps for migrants in Libya,” Maiteeq told a joint press conference following with Salvini. “It is not allowed by Libyan law”.

    They used to have terrorist camps. Maybe they could reuse those.

    • #15
  16. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I think atheism, apostacy and Christianity will be very big among Muslims very soon. Sort of like how Communism is really unpopular in Eastern Europe. 

    • #16
  17. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    For a long time, I have been impressed with Australia’s non-apologetic approach to immigration, legal and illegal. They simply state, in plain language, that it is their country and they get to decide who is allowed in. Novel, huh?

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    For a long time, I have been impressed with Australia’s non-apologetic approach to immigration, legal and illegal. They simply state, in plain language, that it is their country and they get to decide who is allowed in. Novel, huh?

    I’d like to see it here again.

    • #18
  19. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum (View Comment):
    “We categorically reject (the idea of) camps for migrants in Libya,” Maiteeq told a joint press conference following with Salvini. “It is not allowed by Libyan law”.

    They used to have terrorist camps. Maybe they could reuse those.

    I quoted someone else’s comment here, Mike-K. but, perhaps so…  

    • #19
  20. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I think atheism, apostacy and Christianity will be very big among Muslims very soon. Sort of like how Communism is really unpopular in Eastern Europe.

    I have somehow failed to notice either on my numerous visits to Turkey and Slovenia. But then I haven’t been to either since 2014.

    • #20
  21. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    John H. (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I think atheism, apostacy and Christianity will be very big among Muslims very soon. Sort of like how Communism is really unpopular in Eastern Europe.

    I have somehow failed to notice either on my numerous visits to Turkey and Slovenia. But then I haven’t been to either since 2014.

    Well, he does say that the atheists and apostates play their cards very, very close to the chest, for obvious reasons. So we would have to take it more or less on faith. 

    It makes some…???? sense????? that young people in Muslim countries who want to be counter-cultural might lean toward atheism and apostasy. It’s possible that young Muslims  in non-Muslim countries might actually be more prone to recruitment by Islamists because it’s more bada**, and as the mother of sons, I can tell you that bada**ery is seductive. 

    But—big caveat, here—it is very difficult to know how much genuine resistance to Islam/ism there is, because of the cost of speaking out.

    • #21
  22. TRibbey Inactive
    TRibbey
    @TRibbey

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    You might find this article on error cascades useful in understanding the possibilities of reform in Islam. The key is the extent to which social pressure is suppressing an honest examination of the justification for violence in Islam and in the name of Islam. The concern is that failing to conform in the Islamic world is a truly deadly endeavor, even in non-Islamic areas.

    Islam’s staying power over the centuries is due to the fact that, unlike scientific error cascades, where the revered expert dies and can no longer be embarrassed by his successors, Islam continually trains up new, rigid “experts”. Also known as Imams. Embarrassing these experts is a capital offense.

    So no, I’m not hopeful. Yet.

    @philturmel Thanks for this link! Very interesting article.

    • #22
  23. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    So then what?

    Well, Australia polices its waters, and refuses entry.

    When people know the door is locked, they may choose to stay put. As long as they think there is a chance, continued attempts will be made.

    I’m curious is New Guinea heartily embraced the refugee site, or if they were reticent, and essentially forced to do Australia’s bidding.

    We essentially paid them. (And Nauru.)  They were, and are, not enthusiastic at all.

    Sort of like the EU has basically been paying Turkey to do this for them.

    And if Italy wants Libya to cooperate – well, what’s in it for Libya? 

    “Against Libyan law” sounds like the beginning of a conversation, not the end.

    • #23
  24. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    So then what?

    Well, Australia polices its waters, and refuses entry.

    When people know the door is locked, they may choose to stay put. As long as they think there is a chance, continued attempts will be made.

    I’m curious is New Guinea heartily embraced the refugee site, or if they were reticent, and essentially forced to do Australia’s bidding.

    We essentially paid them. (And Nauru.) They were, and are, not enthusiastic at all.

    Sort of like the EU has basically been paying Turkey to do this for them.

    And if Italy wants Libya to cooperate – well, what’s in it for Libya?

    “Against Libyan law” sounds like the beginning of a conversation, not the end.

    Hello, Z! How so?…Seeking information/perspective on this, pls/ty?

    • #24
  25. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Hi Nanda

    Internet ate my first attempt, but again.

    From Aljazeera:

    Australia, PNG and Nauru struck a deal under which the latter two would take in refugees from intercepted boats in exchange for money.

    The mechanism:

    In return for housing the boat-arriving asylum seekers and resettling those found to be refugees, PNG receives a package of much-needed assistance, that includes redeveloping its universities, a new hospital, upgrading roads, a new courts complex, and the deployment of Australian police.

    In addition, the processing centre on Manus Island will be expanded, PNG’s naval facilities on the island will receive a facelift, and schools and health centres will be constructed for Manus Islanders.

    Turkey and the EU:

    In a landmark deal in March 2016, Turkey promised the EU it would stop the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey would get a €6 billion fund for refugees, visa-free travel and a fast-tracked EU membership. Did both sides keep their promises?

    Obviously Turkey didn’t get visa-free travel or a fast tracked EU membership, but it got cash and probably some other stuff – at least enough to make continuing to do this worthwhile. (There are also domestic political compulsions for the AKP to “do the right thing” for refugees, so housing them is not just a cash thing but also a morality thing, imho. It’s stopping them from going to the EU where the cash comes into the picture.)

    I don’t see why the EU can’t find a similar approach with other countries on the route, if it is so important to them.  What does Libya want, for example, that the EU can provide?

    Wrt the whole “South of Libya” thing:

    Algeria has abandoned more than 13,000 people in the Sahara Desert over the past 14 months, including pregnant women and children, expelling them without food or water and forcing them to walk, sometimes at gunpoint, under a blistering sun. Some never make it out alive…

    In Niger, where the majority head, the lucky ones limp across a desolate 15km no-man’s-land to the border village of Assamaka….

    Algeria’s mass expulsions have picked up since October 2017, as the European Union renewed pressure on North African countries to head off migrants and refugees going north to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea or the barrier fences with Spain.

    An EU spokesperson said the EU was aware of what Algeria was doing, but that “sovereign countries” can expel migrants and refugees as long as they comply with international law.

    Interestingly:

    Unlike Niger, Algeria takes none of the EU money intended to help with the migration and refugee crisis, although it did receive $111.3m in aid from Europe between 2014 and 2017.

    For geograpical context, courtesy wiki article, Niger:

    So it looks like the EU is already on the case.

    • #25
  26. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Prompt, courteous service very much appreciated!  I’ll delve into these a bit more tomorrow…

    • #26
  27. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    For a long time, I have been impressed with Australia’s non-apologetic approach to immigration, legal and illegal. They simply state, in plain language, that it is their country and they get to decide who is allowed in. Novel, huh?

    Of course, being a remote island helps too.

    • #27
  28. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    For a long time, I have been impressed with Australia’s non-apologetic approach to immigration, legal and illegal. They simply state, in plain language, that it is their country and they get to decide who is allowed in. Novel, huh?

    Of course, being a remote island helps too.

    The U.K., America, Australia and Canada. Notice a pattern there?

    • #28
  29. Simon Templar Inactive
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    My hope begins when apostasy and blasphemy are no longer punishable by death.  If that is a bridge too far (and it is) then a bit of movement towards individual sovereignty and human equality would be nice I suppose.

    • #29
  30. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    My hope begins when apostasy and blasphemy are no longer punishable by death.

    That is the door.

    And the key to the door is scepticism, aka unbelief.

    I do think that there’s more of this around than there used to be, even in the Muslim world, and the hard core reaction is an attempt to squelch that and maintain social control.  The Canadian guy has a point.

     

     

    • #30
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