16 thoughts on “Honors World regional Blog Assignment #8

  1. A refugee is defined by oxford dictionary as “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster”. Over the past few months there has been an outpouring of videos, pictures and media information about the current refugee crisis occurring throughout the Middle East. Pictures of small children standing in piles of rubble covered in dirt, requests from politicians to allow refugees to enter the country, and protests from the public like the ones seen in the picture, all in regards to the millions of people who are wanting to leave their war torn land. These refugees have every reason to fear for their lives. Men and women are being threatened by terrorist groups and are afraid for their lives. Many people throughout the United States are calling for the acceptance of refugees and allowing them to stay in the United States until such time that their country is safe. People do not understand, however, that it is not quite that simple. There are risks and problems that can arise should the United States choose to accept these people. The largest threat that needs to be considered when taking on refugees is overpopulation. According to Stanford University, the United States is currently the third most populated country in the world, with over 318 million people. Although we are an industrialized nation, overpopulation has been shown to cause major problems throughout countries including food shortages, unemployment and conflict.
    Although there is not a major food shortage in the United States, there is a correlation between population and food shortages. If the country is unable to provide for its large population, famines and other issues arise. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute there is a serious food shortage in India, which is one of the only two countries with a higher population than the United States. The world’s most populous country, China, has been able to find methods to deal with it’s over 1.3 billion citizens through previous anti-natal policies that have decreased the population and other policies that have reduced malnutrition and hunger in their children. Although China still has issues with population and slight malnutrition, they have taken steps to improve the socio-economic status of their people and improve their way of life.
    According to the bureau of labor statistics the United States currently has an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent. Although that number is not at all what it was during the recession, it is still high for an unemployment rate. A survey released by Reuters on Tuesday, stated that one out of eight refugees in Germany are currently employed. Additional reports from the OECD on refugees in Sweden show only 22 percent of newly-arrived refugee men and eight percent of refugee women have found work. These are due to several barriers that refugees must face when entering a country. For many refugees, the language barrier automatically makes them ineligible for certain jobs. Additionally there is an education barrier because many refugee women and teens don’t have a basic education, often due to lack of access after they fled their home country. This makes the job search more difficult for them. When refugees arrive in certain countries, there is greater competition for available jobs. Those individuals who are unable to obtain a job are left to find other ways to occupy their time.
    In Germany especially, conflict has arisen due to cultural differences among the citizens and refugees. There have been countless news reports of violent attacks on the refugee community and it won’t be and different in the United States. According to the Washington post, in Germany some forms of crime have been on the rise since 2015. There has been an increase in crimes motivated by religion or ethnicity — those numbers include brawls among asylum seekers and terrorism-related offenses. Additionally, there have been sharp increases in extremism, and worrying incidents of mass sexual assaults. Although, some of these issues are caused by the citizens and their islamophobia, there are many crimes that have been caused by refugees.
    Before accepting large numbers of people, not just refugees, it is important for countries to take into account and have a plan to combat overpopulation issues that can arise. These problems are not limited to food shortages and violence. If The United States, or any country, desires to host millions of refugees in an effort to help them, it is imperative that the country has a plan in place to handle the aftereffects.


    • Some good points, but you do understand that total population is not a useful measure of anything? Population density and population relative to resources is much more relevant information, and the US is doing just fine in both of these. The current wave of refugees is not large enough to create an overpopulation problem…the wave of refugees that will follow global climate change is another matter…

  2. What people seem to forget is that we are not born to be creatures of moral, we are born with the assumption that the only people who matter are ourselves and the people that happen to be feeding us. This does not mean we are awful creatures, it simply means that we lack the means of comprehension. As we grow older though, most of us have someone to teach us social norms and work to make us functioning members of society. It is completely natural for a child to take something that is not theirs, even in the state of infancy. So why do we suddenly find it so surprising when an 8 year-old child steals a candy bar from a store?
    Of course, stealing is wrong and should be treated as such. Really though, it does not necessarily point to a life of crime for every child. Sometimes they just need to be reminded of why our society deems it as wrong. Even in adults, in the grand scope of things it is unlikely that small offenses of theft will really be the downfall of society. These behaviors are completely normal.
    It should be pretty obvious that crime itself is inevitable, and thank goodness that it is. Really I cannot imagine living in a society that was crime free. In theory it sounds nice, but really it would probably be quite boring. My band director once told me, “Anytime there are people together, it’s just a matter of time before they start screwing around and ticking each other off.” Applied here, it supports the idea that when people are together there will always be…that one person. For example, Johnny, Willie, Teddy, and Fred are all members of a show choir. Johnny, Willie, and Fred all do what they deem to be appropriate, they come to every practice and work hard for their parts. Teddy however does not. Even though he knows the expectations of the other members of the group, he decides that he just will not be showing up to practices and will still attempt to be a member. On a much larger scale, that example shows that no matter what there will always be people that just do not do what is expected of them (deviance). It is only when deviance actually violates a law that it becomes criminal.
    I find it rather rich that suddenly people begin to be concerned about rape whenever it supports their personal agendas. What is fascinating about this comment on rape is that there is no data to support a correlation between influx of immigrants and rate of rape in a society. The fact that these nationalist ideals keep rearing their heads across international borders remains a mystery to me. If people would simply get educated in the most basic of understandings regarding Islam then they might understand that followers share the same sentiment towards rape that most people do. And hopefully that should be understood to be one of the highest disdain. Just refrain from raping people, how about that?

  3. This blog post is so pertinent for this past year, given the huge numbers of refugees fleeing from the violence in Syria and other countries as well as the recent political happenings in the United States. Throughout this past presidential election season, Donald Trump played greatly upon the situation in the Middle East and upon the distrust of immigrants that many people in the United States foster. I think that many people supported him at least in part for his divisive stances, seeing in them a solution to the foreign threats that are present in the American psyche. Since he has recently been elected as president, I think that the American people and many people around the world are now seriously wondering whether he will actually try to ban Muslims from entering the country and how far the project of building the wall on the U.S.-Mexican border will proceed.

    Unfortunately for the peaceful Muslims of the world, terrorists who at least claim to be Muslims have been wreaking havoc both in the Middle East and in Western countries. Syrians, many of whom are Muslims, are fleeing the violence of their homeland and are seeking a safe haven, but there is great distrust and uneasiness among some people of the more Western areas, where Islam is not very prevalent. I have also heard different reports from news sources about undercover ISIL terrorists hiding amongst other refugees in order to infiltrate other nations, particularly the Western European ones, where they presumably will remain as sleeper agents until the time comes for their attack. It certainly is not a pleasant thought for most people, especially those living in places that Islamic extremists would probably be more excited to attack. The fear of more terrorist attacks has led to remarks like those of President-elect Donald Trump, which go to the extreme of saying that if there are dangerous people in a certain group, we should shun the entire group so that the minority who do plan to do us harm cannot do so. If that were the correct way to handle the situation, then should we not also shun Black people, Latino people, White people, or other people of a particular race/ethnicity/color/religion/hairdo because some of them stand out as criminals? That would be rather unwise.

    What I think is wise, however, is the recognition of the potential for dangerous individuals to enter the United States or other countries by posing as simple immigrants and/or refugees. Even though people have claimed that ISIL terrorists have been smuggled secretly, they may have exaggerated for the sake of adding more fear. Who knows how credible the claims are regarding such terrorists? But what a great story it is for the news to publish. However, it seems to me a great possibility and even a likely one. It would make sense that ISIL would want to have sleeper agents in the United States, France, Norway, etc., and I think that it is of great importance for governments to try to prevent such infiltrators from bringing further destruction to the world, but they must be sensible about it. Like the cardboard sign in the top right picture expresses, there is diversity in the Western world, including peaceful Muslim citizens who are also appalled by the violent extremists. Banning all Muslims immigrants or all immigrants in general is radical, but so is letting in the rapists and the assassins along with everyone else. Although people have a right to be concerned about letting dangerous criminals into the country, this concern should be applied in a way that does not discriminate against or demonize those who belong to the same ethnicity, religion, nationality, etc., but who are peaceful and genuine people searching for a better home.

    Thiessen, Marc. “ISIS Is Smuggling Terrorists among Syrian Refugees.” Newsweek. N.p., 08 June 2016. Web. 22 Nov. 2016. http://www.newsweek.com/how-isis-smuggles-terrorists-among-syrian-refugees-453039

  4. Starting with the Arab Spring demonstrations in March of 2011, the Syrian refugee crisis remains as one of the more splitting topics being discussed. With nearly 5 million having fled Syria since 2011, the question of where they should go is still a much heated topic. The fear of crime, cost, and terrifying possibility of Daesh insurgents coming in with the refugees starkly contrasts the desire to help the innocent men, women, and children who have had everything torn from them in the past few years.
    Germany has especially been in the spotlight for showing just how controversial the crisis can be. After allowing 1.1 million Syrian refugees into the country in 2015, there has been a mixed response from the citizens towards whether they did the right thing or not. While it is unarguably noble to provide refuge for those in distress, especially after an event as traumatic and moving as the Syrian Civil War still going on now, the refugees have also provided a host of issues for both the government and the people of Germany. The people are largely outraged with the disproportionate increase in crime that has come after allowing Syrian refugees in. With asylum seekers only representing roughly 2.5 percent of the population, they accounted for 5.7 percent of total crimes, especially seen in the wave of sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Germany actually had to pass a stricter sexual assault law after the event allowing for the deportation of asylum seekers that commit sexually violent crimes. These largely sexual crimes can likely be based in the simple incompatibility of many Middle Easter and Western European cultures. Not a religious issue, but rather a cultural one there are largely different views on women and what constitutes appropriate behavior and sexual harassment or crime in the Middle East as opposed to Europe. And while it is true it is a small proportion of those seeking refuge that are committing these crimes, it is still considerably more than there were before, and a very real threat to the German people. On top of the crime as well is the always present issue of money. Last year alone, providing care and refuge for the Syrians cost the German government 16.1 billion Euros, which is only estimated to increase annually, with the German government planning on spending 93 billion Euros on the refugees by 2020 if they continue to stay and come into the country. The cost of housing the refugees is substantial, and if it is planned on for an extended period of time it brings with it other issues such as finding permanent jobs and careers, and real places to live that aren’t camps. These people absolutely need somewhere to go, and the situation they are in is terrible. However, nations also have to keep in mind their own interests. and while housing refugees is a noble cause and should absolutely be supported in most cases, it needs to bring with it a certain level of caution and preparation for dealing with peoples with a vastly different culture who are already traumatized and desperate. These people need a place to go, but wherever they go needs to look at what has happened in other nations and prepare accordingly.

  5. Wendy Echeverria
    About Syrian refugees right now
    This fictional story is based on the true Iraqi and Syrian refugee situation. So many of these individuals have lost their homes, careers, ad families because of the terrorist group ISIS. This crisis started in 2011 with the Syrian civil war. Many of the refugees have found not a home, but a safe zone in Europe. However, the increasing numbers of these refugees have frightened many countries in Europe. The aid granted to these refugees has also decreased throughout the past years. The last aid cut was in 2015 by the United Nations. According to The Economist, in February “donors at the conference on Syria in London…. were asked for $9 million for 2016…Far more is needed and will be needed every year for several years.”
    The Economist also included: European’s money should be used to feed, house, and create jobs for these refugees. Many of these refugees have been denied a visa from Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, which makes it very hard for them to survive. Many refugees risk their lives to get out of their home countries. They usually travel by boat paying traffickers to guide them into Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. The European Union is focusing on controlling the borders rather then trying to help these individuals. Syrian refugees need to be placed into to societies in order to bring their confidence back. The Syrian crisis is also a moral issue; some countries need to realize that helping these individuals can help them as well because it would be terrible if the “EU lapses into a xenophobic free-for-all.” About 4.8 millions refugees have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq and about 6.6 million are within Syria and only one million of those individuals have requested help from Europe. It’s very difficult for countries in the Middle East to house these refugees because of how compact they are. And the numbers of refugees keep on increasing day by day.
    Today we have so many people needing help, and I am so glad that NWA has planned to help women refuges. Canopy is a new organization here that will help many refuges find a home and feel welcomed. I am so this is happening here.

    Bel-Air, By Françoise De. “He Syrian Refugee Crisis and Its Repercussions for the EU.” Syrian Refugees. Accessed September 18, 2016. http://syrianrefugees.eu/.

    “How to Manage the Migrant Crisis.” The Economist. 2016. Accessed September 17, 2016. http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21690028-european-problem-demands-common-coherent-eu-policy-let-refugees-regulate.

  6. I believe that the rising popularity of populist, anti-immigration parties in Europe is directly reflected by the current political climate of America and the results of our recent election. While certain segments of the population have suffered economically because of the international trade deals signed by the outgoing administration, many experts believe that the election of a candidate presenting himself as a bastion of populist ideals was achieved in large part because of the growing fears held by many in regards to the existing immigrant population and its potential for substantial growth. The economy as a whole is much stronger than it was when President Obama first successfully ran for office; unemployment levels have dropped, as have gas prices and interest rates, while wages are currently on the rise. The removal of protections on the manufacturing industry in accordance to international trade deals has caused the loss of some manufacturing jobs in the US, however, a fact that overshadows the overall economic benefit of these deals and the jobs that are created in other sectors. Because many of these jobs require higher levels of education and more advanced skills than those possessed by the blue-collar workers laid off by the outsourcing of manufacturing, urban centers populated by concentrations of these workers have rallied together to decry existing international trade deals. Except for these segments of the population, the economic situation of the average American, however, has generally improved over the last eight years.
    The violence in Syria and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa has made the management of the influx of immigration a top priority of governments the world over, the US being no exception. The mass numbers and the nature of their reasons for leaving their countries of origin has exacerbated the already difficult process of assimilating to their host countries, resulting in an increase of resentful sentiments by the natives of their host countries. Americans have watched as European governments have been overwhelmed by extraordinary numbers of asylum-seekers, and the disruption to everyday life that these immigrants have caused Europeans. It is the wariness of sharing this burden that led many American voters to support a candidate promising strict and highly exclusive immigration laws. Likewise, Europeans are deeply frustrated by their governments’ struggle to effectively manage the immigrant crisis; they fear that their nations and societies will be irrevocably altered by the alien culture of the immigrants, they resent the disruption to their expected lives, and they fear terrorism. These concerns are not devoid of consideration, of course, but many of the far right political parties currently on the rise exploit these fears, rallying people around exclusion of all immigrants, the reconstruction of a society stratified along racial lines, and islamophobia. In the case of many parties, such as France’s National Front, Euroscepticism is a central party tenet as well. De-integration from the EU would allow individual countries to increase economic protections for their own industries as well as set their own social and immigration policies. Though these parties have not experienced success with significant portions of the population until recently, they have existed for several decades. The dramatic shifts in the international politic climate, as well as shifts on behalf of the parties themselves, have attributed to their growing popularity. France’s National Front became much more widely acceptable when a change in leadership resulted in the announced shift of recognition regarding the Holocaust: while former leadership saw the Holocaust as a mere “detail” of WWII, Marine Le Pen made a point of publically acknowledging the tragedy in more respectful terms. Given that the last far-right party to hold power in a European nation was the Nazi party, this distinction has more import than even meets the eye.

  7. The results of the recent United States presidential election describe a worldwide phenomenon very well. President elect Donald Trump preyed on the fear many Americans shared of an invasion by Islamic extremists. His tough stance on immigration hit home with many Americans and ultimately won him the presidency. But this is not an isolated fear, the fear of a potential Muslim threat, real or not, is permeating across the globe.
    This fear is not warrantless. Terrorists claiming to be ISIS have been responsible or played a role in terrorist attacks on 20 different sovereign states. These attackers have made the point that no where is out of reach. This opens the floor to nationalist parties across the globe to gain popularity and influence.
    Obviously not all people from the middle east are terrorists, but the few radical groups have labeled the entire region at risk. This at risk, volatile label leads to potential policies which limit or completely block the immigration of refugees who are, in most cases, legitimately seeking help. For example, the United States presidential elect plans to temporarily suspend immigration from “some of the most volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism”. Unfortunately, this bars many law abiding refugees who are attempting to enter the United States legally.
    Even when refugees successfully make it into another country, life by no means gets any easier. Refugees are often subject to harassment and protests, which can turn into violence toward refugees. In addition, language barriers and cultural differences can make it difficult for refugees to find work. Without an income many refugees find themselves in makeshift refugee camps. Problems arise as the refugee camps are made for short term use, to provide temporary shelter until it is safe for the refugees to return home. The Syrian crisis provides its own set of problems as there is no end in sight to the current Syrian conflict.
    The current refugee crisis is not going to go away. Actions must be taken by the rest of the world to bear the burden that European countries are disproportionately bearing. It is the job of current world leaders to assist refugees and provide humanitarian relief to those in need.

  8. With the recent political events that have occurred in 2016, we are seeing a rise of right-of-center populist movements throughout Europe and the United States. Anger towards the political elite and mistrust in immigration has marked the trend in our current politics. As President-elect Donald Trump arrived in Scotland shortly after the United Kingdom voted to leave the E.U., he mentioned the similarities between the political situation in Europe and the U.S. by saying “People want to take their country back. They want to have independence…and you see it in Europe, all over Europe.” Indeed, many Europeans feel that their country is under threat by the influx of refugees. According to a Pew Research Center Poll, 76% of Hungarians believe that the rising number of refugees into Europe will increase the likelihood of terrorism and impose a burden on their country. Germany, Sweden, and the U.K. all have a majority of its citizens with the same stance. In 2015, Britain recorded eight times more hate crimes than the United States, which has five times as many people. Along with the rise of the nationalist U.K. Independence Party and resentment towards immigration, this has created an atmosphere of increased fear and hostility in many parts of the country. A month after the E.U. referendum in June, the number of hate crimes recorded by the police was 41 percent higher than in July of last year. However, Mark Hamilton, the assistant chief constable of the Northern Ireland police, mentions that this is likely not only a rise in hate crimes but this is more of a rise in reporting. Increased public awareness and changes in the law are the main two factors in the increase of reports. Rather than being labeled as a purely xenophobic society, Britain is more of a country that takes hate crimes seriously, according to Mr. Hamilton. The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, soon after last year’s Paris terror attacks, expressed the need “to institute a major policy, which would reestablish [the French] border.” This includes the need to stop accepting the influx of immigrants. Le Pen has called for the end of the open-border policy of the European Union. The British have indicated great concern when it comes to immigration and national security, leading to negative views on the efficiency and overall benefits of the European Union. 70% of Britons disapprove the EU’s handling of the refugee crisis. There has been a growing split between beneficiaries of globalism and the “working-class ethno-nationalists” who feel left behind. We are also seeing an electorate split in both the United States and Europe between well-educated, cosmopolitan metropolitan areas with higher levels of diversity connected to the global market and the older, less educated, former industrial regions that have not seen any benefit from globalization. Yascha Mounk, a professor of political theory at Harvard University, mentions that people have felt that they have no control over a political system that they believe ignores ordinary people because of the necessities of globalization. Even though many of the political shifts made by countries in Europe and the recent U.S. presidential election will continue to be analyzed as more data comes in, we can come to the conclusion at this point that there is greater discontent with globalization and neo-liberal international policies.






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