Australia Will Take In Syrian Refugees, On ONE CONDITION…
The Abbott Government wants to restrict any intake of Syrian refugees to minorities which are largely Christian, as passions run high in the Coalition over the way Australia should handle the crisis in Syria.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is under increasing pressure to increase this year’s humanitarian intake of 13,750 people, but has put off a decision while further international consultations are conducted.
Labor is pushing for an additional intake of 10,000 people, while the Greens want double that number.
Beyond the debate over numbers there is an argument over what kind of refugees should be accepted.
Government ministers, like Malcolm Turnbull, have argued for accepting more Syrian Christians, and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has nominated minorities like the Yazidis.
One backbencher told the ABC the message being sent to the Prime Minister by some in the Coalition was clear: “No more Muslim men”.
Mr Turnbull said yesterday he was very concerned about the plight of Christian communities in Syria.
“They are a minority, they survived in Syria, they’ve been there for thousands of years, literally since the time of Christ,” he said.
“But in an increasingly sectarian Middle East, you have to ask whether the, the gaps, the spaces that they were able to live and survive in will any longer be available.”
Senate Leader Eric Abetz has also highlighted the case for Christians to be prioritised.
“It should be on the basis of need and given the Christians are the most persecuted group in the world, and especially in the Middle East, I think it stands to reason that they would be pretty high up on the priority list for resettlement.”
Ms Bishop told AM the Government was looking at the best way to offer both temporary and permanent protection options for those fleeing the crisis.
“I think that Christian minorities are being persecuted in Syria and even if the conflict were over they would still be persecuted,” she said.
“So I believe there will be a focus on ensuring we can get access to those persecuted ethnic and religious minorities who will have no home to return to even when the conflict is over.
“That includes Maronites, it includes Yazidis, there are Druze, there are a whole range of ethnic and religious minorities that make up the populations in both Syria and Iraq.”
You can bet your sweet doner kabob that this will not go over well in the global community. I hope Abbott can withstand the obvious criticism he’s gonna get for this move, because this is the only way you can solve the problem of the refugee crisis while protecting his citizens from terrorists.
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