Saturday, October 3, 2015

Occupy Europe – The Coming Refugee Maelstrom on the Continent

With hundreds of thousands of migrants already wandering through Europe desperate for a better life preferably in Germany and the Nordic countries, hundreds of thousands more are projected to arrive. With winter arriving governmental and humanitarian organizations are overwhelmed with providing them food and shelter. For this reason the more uncomfortable question not addressed, at least publicly, is security for the housing of a large, ethnically diverse yet mostly Muslim refugees.

Any sudden large influx of refugees regardless of their origin is destabilizing on the economic and societal levels. The sheer numbers of refugees and unlikelihood of their return to their home countries in the near future will result in a gradual resentment of their presence by all except the most liberal Europeans particularly in countries where economic growth has been stagnant. And because of the vast cultural and religious differences between the arriving refugees and Europeans, even limited or controlled integration into European societies will be difficult.

Those refugees who successfully survived the perilous and arduous journey from their homeland are now desperate to survive in countries whose resources are extraordinarily plentiful compared to theirs. Exacerbating this trend is that their expectations will increase the longer they remain in Europe particularly as they travel north to the richer European countries.

Human nature will inevitably take over which demands that historically the most effective way for protection is the creation of tight knit groups, probably along ethnic or tribal lines. And should the basic necessities be insufficient, this could spawn aggressive gangs within these groups. The local residents will call them criminals. The refugees will call it acts of survival.

Such a volatile situation could create a nasty, possibly violent backlash with the local population and law enforcement. The refugees will be misconstrued as terrorists even though this struggle is a normal reaction to surviving. The perpetuating misconception would be that any Muslim who engages in violence must be a terrorist even if he is justifiably protecting his family.

By next spring you could have a series of civil maelstroms in many European countries not seen since the 1960s. All that’s needed is an incident similar to what happened to a Tunisian fruit vendor that sparked the Arab Spring. For Europeans it may feel like “Occupy Europe”.

Politically conservative and rightwing parties which have made considerable gains in almost every European country by conveniently blaming on the immigration as the cause of each country’s economic stagnation, may find even greater support from undecided voters. The far-fetched perception they’ve created is morphing into reality resulting in a heavily right-leaning Europe on the cusp of assuming power in their respective upcoming elections.

You may view my participation with several expert panelists on this growing humanitarian dilemma on the Emmy-award winning international TV talk show “Fresh Outlook.”

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