|H. 29 Rajab 1443||No: 1443 / 08|
|M. Wednesday, 02 March 2022|
Europe’s ‘Humanitarian’ Aid to the Ukraine
The Russian invasion of the Ukraine has forced Europe to become a safe heaven for Ukrainians trying to flee from the violence in their home country. The Eastern-European countries one of which is Poland receives and shelters the Ukrainian refugees with open arms and with support of other European countries. Food and aid campaigns were organized on a massive scale to aid the refugees. This is in truth, what every civilized country should do to aid those in need, irrespective of their background.
However, how should we understand the approach towards Syrian and Afghan refugees who have been rejected at the Belarusian and Poland borders thereby exposing them to the harsh winter conditions?
If the motives are centered around supporting those who are victims of war with humanitarian aid, like they claim, then why does it apply to some refugees with the exclusion of others? Ukrainian refugees, as well as refugees from the Muslim countries were both forced to leave their home countries, both countries are not EU nor UN members.
Why is there a distinguishment being made between the two? Or is it due to the European perception that refugees from the Ukraine are different than those from Muslim countries; that they are more human because of their Christian faith, lighter skin and recognizability? As some reporters from international news broadcasters, like CBS News, BBC News, ABC News and ITV News verbalized without censure.
They meant that the life of a Christian, light-skinned Ukrainian originating from a civilized country is worth more than a Muslim, darker-skinned originating from an ‘uncivilized’ country. That is why they are more deserving to be helped. Discrimination and racism or put differently; favoring like-minded at the expense of ‘the other’ is without a doubt an important source to trigger these sentiments in Europe. Although this is against the Western maxim on human rights and equality, the Ukrainians will be considered as one of them and Muslims will be associated with ‘the other’ and as such, as a threat and unwanted. This way of thinking is the core of the Western view of ‘the other’.
Ukraine is guilty of the same phenomena. There have been multiple reports of discrimination and racism against non-Ukrainian refugees who wish to flee from the violence in the Ukraine. They are expelled from public transport at checkpoints between the Ukraine and Poland and are forced to continue on foot, in the freezing cold, while Ukraine citizens are allowed to continue by public transportation.
Once they arrive, the foreign refugees are often confronted with violence and in many cases, they are not allowed to pass the Poland border. Women are separated from the men before they are allowed to pass the border, while the men are often denied passage or passage is made very difficult. There are also reports that the men who stayed behind are beaten, forcing them to return to the war areas due to fear of abuse, hyperthermia and even freezing to death.
However, as much as discrimination and racism are widely accepted, they do not per se determine the policy in Europe. This is because the Western countries always act according to their interests, even if these interests go against their core values such as freedom, equality and fraternity. Therefore, double standards are occurrent in the West. Since self-interest in all matters take precedence, double standards are commonplace. Resorting to hypocrisy becomes part of their ideology.
The European aid for Ukrainian refugees is not provided out of humanity, rather is because of self-interest, since it is what the crisis and threat from Russia require. Ukrainians who are fighting at Europe’s borders are also fighting the battle between the West and Russia. As soon as this crisis ends, and their interests are met, the refugees will be vilified. The seeds of propaganda regarding loyalty within the people will be exchanged with hostility and intolerance even if they were once associated as one of them.
Welcome in ‘civilized’ and ‘tolerant’ Europe.
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in The Netherlands
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