By the middle of 2015, after nearly four years of vicious Syrian conflict and at the height of ISIL’s (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) march towards Baghdad to make the Islamic Caliphate a reality, refugees started pouring out of Syria and Iraq in large numbers. Nearly two years earlier, the self-proclaimed Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the ISIL Caliphate, boastfully announced that ISIL would flood Europe with Muslim refugees and Islamists from Asia and Africa and Islamise the European continent.
He realised, however, that he could not take over Europe by force or by economic means. But he could take it over playing the European liberal and humanitarian sentiments and pricking the conscience of the public. If millions of Muslims from the Afro-Asian countries are pushed to Europe as displaced persons or refugees, Europe would have no defence against them, particularly when Europe is slumbering under the utopian borderless Schengen arrangement.
True to his declaration, refugees (along with Jihadists) indeed started flowing from Turkey crossing the Aegean Sea to Greece on the one side and from Libya to Italy crossing the Mediterranean Sea on the other and drowning in considerable numbers at the same time. When a dead child was found lying on the Greek shores, there was an outbreak of guilt conscience across the whole of Europe. If these people were taking such perilous journeys, their situations at home must have been intolerable. (It is now rumoured that it was a deliberate ploy by the human smugglers or ISIL operatives to prick the conscience of liberal European minds).
However, the Caliph’s strategy started to work brilliantly – Europe opened its doors. The Border Guards and Naval Forces of various states started patrolling the seas to rescue refugees at seas. The initial estimate of 800,000 refugees to Europe went up to a million and then to a million and half and now rising even more.
What did Angela Merkel, the most prominent woman politician of the world and one of the most powerful political leaders of the West, do to stem the tide of human invasion by the ISIL? She opened the German border (as well as the European borders) completely to the refugees purportedly on humanitarian grounds. When Germany expressed willingness to accommodate refugees up to 800,000, the smaller countries like Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and so forth let the refugees go through their borders in buses and trains to Germany. Subsequently transport system failed to cope with the influx of refugees and human procession started tracking on foot through Austria to Germany. At the behest of Angela Merkel, German people organised reception parties at the railway stations, at border crossings. When some of the German politicians expressed concern at the sheer number of refugees, Angela Merkel assured them by saying “we can manage this (“wir shaffen das”).
Angela Merkel flagged up German demographic card. With the aging population in Germany, there are not enough fresh hands to keep the German industry going and hence she needs fresh hands. But the question is, are the fresh hands compatible with the old hands? Do the fresh hands hold same values? What attitude do they hold trying to impose Middle Eastern culture of burqa and hijab on European women, harassing and attacking women for sexual purposes, demanding segregation of men and women etc.?
Even more subtle and sinister development started taking shape in the wider European context. The EU Treaty enshrines free movement of people across the whole of the EU Member States. So although Syrian, Iraqi and other refugees may flock to Germany at the behest of Angela Merkel, they may not stick there indefinitely. The United Kingdom is always considered to be the final destination for most of the refugees. There are number of reasons for this mindset. Primarily, it is the language. English is quite widely spoken in Middle Eastern countries and hence England would pose little or no language barrier. Moreover, the social security provisions comprising unemployment benefit, housing benefit, child allowance etc. are quite generous in the UK.
This aspect of refugee migration was not lost to the British public when the opportunity came in the form of EU referendum in June of 2016 to decide whether to stay or leave Europe. Admittedly, anti-European opportunistic politicians did throw lots of despicable lies and concocted stories to persuade innocent public to vote for “Brexit”, but the underlying threat of refugees and uncontrolled migration did play a major role. In meetings after meetings in the EU referendum, people started raising concerns on uncontrolled influx of refugees into Britain. Only course of action which the public assumed was to leave the EU.
Thus, what started as a humanitarian exercise, following Angela Merkel’s angelic vision quickly degenerated into an existential threat for the whole of EU. The rise of xenophobic attitude is not only confined to the UK, it can be seen alive and kicking in Germany, France, Holland, Hungary and in many other countries of Europe (as well as in America). Only a few days ago, Angela Markel’s CDU party took a drubbing in the Berlin state election (Sunday, 18 September 2016). Next year in the national elections in Germany and France, the right wing nationalist parties are likely to gain prominence. If that is the case, nationalism is on the rise threatening peace which the continent had enjoyed since the last world war.
So, the question is, is Angela Merkel playing the role of an angel in the world scene or is she the agent who is unsuspectingly and adamantly bringing disaster to the world? The damage done to the EU by her immigration policy is irreparable, not only to Britain but also to the rest of the EU. How can now the rising tide of nationalism be contained right across Europe? Can these two million or so migrants be assimilated without irrevocably changing the character of German or European societies? Is the Caliph’s message to Islamise Europe well on the way to fruition?