15 September 2015

Where are the refugees? An ugly cocktail


I'm shocked. This week this photo and the conversations at water coolers and in pubs have been circulating. What is the deal with Saudi Arabia? They have these purpose-built tents, and kitchens and community quarters and mosques for the annual Hajj pilgrimage for the 100s of thousands of pilgrims who travel through the city of Mina. This 'tent city' could easily house 100,000 refugees escaping ISIS and terrorism.

But the Saudi government is not taking any of the 100s of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Syria. Saudi has even offered to build 200 mosques in Germany for the traveling pilgrim/ refugees which might number 500,000 this year alone, but has not offered to take in even one refugee into Saudi Arabia. What's going on?

Read more here: Saudi reluctance

I'm not privy to the characters of the refugees. There are many in the blogosphere who are alleging that the escapees are actually part of a bigger plot of Muslims to infiltrate the West and dominate. I appreciate the zeal of those authors, but unless they have actually monitored the checkpoints and are reading intelligence reports from intake centres, I doubt their conclusions are anything but conjecture. And suspicion stirred with non-critical evaluation makes for an ugly cocktail.

That said, I think everyone should demonstrate compassion to the refugees. Nearby states including Arab-speaking ones, should stand up and receive those displaced persons. It doesn't make too much financial sense to send them globally to India, Australia or South Africa and such, but the Arab League should definitely put up their hands to welcome their Muslim brothers and sisters. Isn't that what the Muslim idea of Ummah is about?

A Muslim writes on a q/a board about Islam the following: "Ummah means a group of people believing in the same basics, but the way every/any one one acts or behaves may be different or even hostile to one another but basics remain same that's to say we all sects Believe in oneness of Allah, messengers, Holy books, angels and here in after life and practice Namaz with different ways but skeleton is same that's why we can say we are one Ummah with 4 to 7% difference that can be ignored. First thing is to think about primary things that all sects with a little difference believe in..... When we start to practice primary/ basic things like Roza, zakat, namaz, haj etc and husne ikhlaque we will have no time to think about 4 to 7% difference. Practically we Muslims must try to become one Ummah and we are Alhammadulillah. Thanks"

So umma or ummah is basically 'community' and no matter the differences in matters of theology and practice, Muslims ought to welcome each other, even into those air-conditioned tents and countries nearby. That's what community means, mustn't it?

But it isn't only Saudi Arabia. This map shows the number of refugees welcomed in the 5 richest nearby governments. Total: 0. To me, this is not umma; this is shame.
For more on the story: CNN story

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