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Denmark Refugee Policy Deplorable

By Richard Shu, Opinion Editor

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At the outset of the refugee crisis in Europe, Denmark was one of many progressive nations that stood up to the challenge of accepting displaced peoples. But the Danish government recently enacted a policy that significantly bumps down their nation’s humanitarian standing: if any refugee carrying more than 10,000 Danish kroner — $1736 — worth of possessions with them, the Danish government will confiscate the excess.

The proponents of the bill claim that it is designed to help pay for the costs of processing and hosting refugees. But if the ultimate goal of accepting refugees is to protect them and to keep them healthy and safe until the situation improves in their homelands, stripping them of their cash helps no one. Refugees who have money have the means to settle down, become productive and contribute to the economy — a better investment in the long run. Refugees with nothing turn to crime, fall into poverty and place an even greater burden on the welfare state. If the nation’s finances are truly under duress, skimming nickels from the poorest contingent possible is not going to be the solution.

The thought-killing cliche of pragmatism masks a more insidious motivation. In the wake of the refugee crisis, xenophobic and anti-Muslim parties like the Front National in Paris and the Danish People’s Party in Denmark exploited the growing sense of unease by fingering blame at refugees, calling for them to be turned away for the sake of security. They care not for the efficacy of the bill, nor do they care to actually pay for humane treatment in the first place. The confiscation measure is merely a way to scare refugees away from Danish borders.

It is certainly no coincidence that the measure came on the heels of a widely-publicized string of sexual assaults by refugees in Cologne. Right-wing nativists used the attacks to rally popular opinion against the migrants, who were labelled threats to ordinary people and the stability of the nation at large. Their exhortations of civilizational collapse are, of course, all overblown. One highly publicized incident cannot stand for a whole group any more than these extremist political parties stand for the nation as a whole. By passing the confiscation bill, the Danish government is allowing the loud, inhumane voice of a few take precedent over the understanding and welcoming many.    

If there is an aspect of Danish culture that is worthy of protecting, it’s that same social consciousness and desire to protect the world’s weakest that created the welfare state in the first place. It’s an awareness of the dangerous nature of fear and an ever-present desire to avoid the mistakes of the past. No European nation can afford at this moment to give themselves to paranoia — too many lives hang in the balance.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 1 print edition. Email Richard Shu at [email protected]

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About the Writer
Richard Shu, Deputy Opinion Editor
Richard Shu is a Deputy Opinion Editor. He also was the Deputy Copy Chief. He also is a major in math and economics. He also conducts research review at an educational consulting nonprofit. He also enjoys cooking a lot and makes excellent Chinese-style pork belly stew. He also is nursing a pet theory that the...
5 Comments

5 Responses to “Denmark Refugee Policy Deplorable”

  1. Arafat on February 1st, 2016 9:06 am

    Richard writes, “The thought-killing cliche of pragmatism masks a more insidious motivation. In the wake of the refugee crisis, xenophobic and anti-Muslim parties like the Front National in Paris and the Danish People’s Party in Denmark exploited the growing sense of unease by fingering blame at refugees, calling for them to be turned away for the sake of security. ”
    ++
    Since liberal French politicians have opened up their doors to Muslim immigration the incidence of violent crime has soared. Burning cars is now as common as pastries in Parisian suburbs. Violent crimes against Jews and women is now met with a yawn. Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan nightclub, you name it are happening with greater frequency.

    You believe this is due to financial necessity but fail to mention that many of the perpetrators are well educated second generation Muslims from comfortable backgrounds. You also fail to mention that this same criminal behavior is commonplace throughout the Islamic world.

    Why do you blame the west when Muslims gang-rape women? I thought we were supposed to care so much about violence against women, but I guess protecting Muslim criminals preempts that concern. Do I have that right?

  2. Arafat on February 1st, 2016 9:13 am

    Richard writes, “It is certainly no coincidence that the measure came on the heels of a widely-publicized string of sexual assaults by refugees in Cologne.”
    ++
    This is really, really wrong. This is purposely misleading.

    The liberal and socialist politicians running Sweden for the last several decades encouraged Muslim immigration to assuage their guilt, I suppose. Since these policies have been enacted the incidence of rape in Sweden has increased by 1,400%. The way you word your essay it is as if the latest incidence of gang-rape – that in Cologne – is an isolated incidence when, in fact, it is now commonplace in Europe; as are sex rings run by Muslims in which young girls are groomed to become whores through the use of drugs and violence.

    I have an idea, Richard. I think you and your family should invite a small group of Muslim men to live in your home and in the homes of your relatives. Maybe when you do this we will listen to your opinions because then they will come from real experience instead of from someone who has nothing to lose.

    Or, better still, spend a semester in Sweden interviewing the victims of Muslim sexual violence. That might open up your eyes to the real world instead of the fanciful and detached world of Manhattans upper west side.

  3. American in Asia on February 2nd, 2016 3:53 am

    I presume Mr Shu is of Chinese ancestry. Why doesn’t he advocate the opening of China and Taiwan to mass Islamic immigration? Both countries are relatively wealthy and have lots of housing (especially China with its ghost cities), perfect! Where are East Asian countries? Something tells me the pontificating will be taken down a notch or two when Mr Shu starts hearing of Chinese being raped, assaulted and attacked. Hypocritical racism cloaked as humanitarianism is all I see here.

  4. PaChin on February 2nd, 2016 10:40 am

    Mr. Shu’s article is, to state it bluntly, a fraud. The Muslim mass migration into Europe is merely a second front of the war in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan which has been part of the delusional, apocalyptic thinking of Muslim ideologues for decades. Qaddafi proclaimed years before his demise that steady Muslim immigration into Europe “would turn Europe into an Islamic region without the need for guns.” Other Islamist leaders, including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have called for the insinuation of Muslims into the cities of Europe. The Social Democrats, Socialists and Liberal parties were all complicit with the policy of opening the gates of Europe to Muslim immigration against all warnings to the contrary and now – the chickens have come home to roost – sexual assault crimes against indigenous girls and women by Muslim men are off the statistical chart. Entire sections of Europes cities which were once open and free are now cloistered Muslim ghettos and “no-go zones. The Saudis, Qataris and Turks have been financing the construction of thousands of mosques throughout Europe for decades, spreading cultural imperialism. This is not merely an immigration. It is a conquest. And if Europe does not awaken to this very real existential threat it will soon be extinct. The reversal policies of the Danish Peoples Party need to be far more aggressive.

  5. Asian on April 7th, 2016 8:40 pm

    Is it truly so deplorable, in all honesty? I think security is indeed a very serious concern in this day and age, especially given recent events around the world, and regarding one of the previous comments, I must agree that the Chinese government will not so freely open its borders either to so many refugees, whatever the cause of their situation. Irrational fear is one issue, but blindly refusing to acknowledge the power of religious extremism on the mind and behavior is also naive.

    The Middle East’s treatment of women and poor human rights records can no longer be ignored, and I think one should take into account every aspect of this debate before taking such a strong stance.

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