Straight Up: A war on refugees – The Post

Straight Up: A war on refugees

Actions in France and further afield could be playing into IS’s hands (photo by istock)
November 21st, 2015 7:00 pm| by Zach Khadudu

Like ghosts in the night, they killed, they maimed, they got killed and some escaped. The heartless sons of perdition left in their trail destruction, anguish and anger. Mothers lost their sons, husbands their wives, children their parents.

Playing into IS’s narrative
In the wake of the attacks in Paris, France has declared war on the so-called Daesh/ISIS/ Islamic State/ISIL, Russia has sworn to avenge the deaths of her 224 citizens killed when the Russian airliner A321 was blown up in the Sinai Peninsula, and Denmark´s foreign minister, Kristian Jensen, says he is ready to deploy fighter jets.

In fact, Jensen says he is ready to put boots on the ground in Syria. Once again Denmark is joining a war bandwagon that is bound to have a catastrophic ending, and in doing so, it is playing into the IS narrative.

This is exactly what IS expects of the West: to send troops and justify their fight against ‘infidels’. And while the West engages in an all-out war in Syria, civilians in Paris, Beirut, Copenhagen and Damascus are paying the ultimate price.

Blaming the refugees
While these countries embark on a long protracted war, there has been another declaration of ‘war’ against refugees and Muslims. Every day across Europe, politicians and right-wing media are demonising refugees for the attacks on Paris.

This has been magnified by the news that one of the attackers crossed into Europe with the Syrian refugees. The seeds of hatred have been sown. We are sitting on a time bomb of xenophobia, islamophobia and racism.

Let’s be clear on this though: the refugees did not create terror. The invasion of foreign countries and rise of extremists did. No amount of diversionary tactics will change that fact. Refugees arriving in Denmark and elsewhere are running away from the very same terror we accuse them of.

Don’t forget that the people who really understand how Paris is feeling right now are in Aleppo, Holms and Raqqa. These are people who have suffered terror in unimaginable ways. When we talk about bombs and kalashnikovs, the refugees have seen it all.

The obedient servant
The Paris attacks will only strengthen the resolve of Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s government to keep the refugees out. Never mind that his government is significantly contributing to the acceleration of the refugee crisis.

Like an obedient servant, Denmark has fought American wars for as long as we can remember. And it now looks set to join the Syrian Civil War. We cannot run away from our responsibility that this war will create. We cannot stand by and be blind to the role our government has/is playing in destabilising the Middle East and North Africa.

If anyone is in doubt that the world is at war, wake up and hear the war drums. Marie Le Pen, Inger Støjberg and others will justify their extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric on the happenings in Paris.

By the way, before you blame all Syrian refugees, remember we didn’t vilify all Norwegians when Breivik went on his rampage, or all white people due to the Oklahoma bombers. And we don’t believe the KKK represents Christianity, just as IS doesn’t represent Islam.

Zach Khadudu


Zach Khadudu is a Kenyan by birth and a journalist by choice. He is a commentator and an activist with a passion for refugee and human rights. He may share a heritage with a certain US president, but his heart lies elsewhere – in the written and spoken word.