Statement on Europe’s Migrant Crisis by Dr. Wafik Moustafa, Chairman of the British Arab Network06 Sep 2015, by In the Media -
Statement on Europe’ s Migrant Crisis by Dr. Wafik Moustafa, Chairman of the British Arab Network
The photo of a 3 year old Syrian boy lying dead and motionless has shook the conscience of the world. His death and indeed all those who have died due to the Syrian civil war is one of the biggest tragedies of modern times.
The Prime Minister David Cameron is right to say that we should act with our head and heart in this crisis. Those refugees who are genuine should receive a fair hearing. Those that are not should not be entertained.
The issues that need to be addressed are absolutely clear. Firstly we need a pragmatic, practical and effective policy to deal with Syrian refugees in Syria and across its borders. One option that should be seriously considered is safe haven enclaves inside Syria to house refugees. The UN and world powers could easily facilitate this. All that is needed is the will to deal with the crisis head on. Currently the Assad regime only controls one third of Syria. Therefore creating a safe enclave under UN auspices is viable and would not exacerbate the current conflict. The Syrian crisis is primarily an Arab problem. Therefore Arab states should be persuaded to provide the funding for the enclaves. World powers would be responsible for security.
Criminal gangs involved in human trafficking should face the full force of the law wherever they are. They are a menace without a moral compass and responsible for the death of thousands including many children like Aylan Kurdi. They need to be stopped and their assets seized.
Britain only accepting genuine refugees from UN camps is a good idea and will put human traffickers out of business and save lives. I hope that other European countries follow suit.
Having read several Arab Newspapers (some actually printed in London) over the last few days the refugee crisis was relegated to the margins and in one main broadsheets to page nine. Clearly the Arab media and leaders are too consumed by the usual self serving issues which get prominence.
The so called premier organisation of the Arab world i.e. the Arab League has shown itself to be impotent and ineffective in resolving the Syrian crisis. The voice of its Secretary General is nowhere to be heard.
The Syrian crisis is an internationalised conflict involving super and regional powers. Therefore they all have a moral obligation to come to the table and find a political solution to end the war and the suffering of the Syrian people.
Dr. Wafik Moustafa
Chairman of the British Arab Network