16 February 2016
Recent criminal incidents involving rape or murder allegedly by new immigrants is creating dissatisfaction with the welcome given to refugees and stoking right-wing populism and Islamophobia. Europe’s politicians need to carefully balance law and order and immigration, but not give way to anti-immigrant and Islamophobic sentiments.
Images of crowds of people welcoming immigrants and seemingly widespread sympathy for the plight of refugees has changed over the last year across Europe to dissatisfaction and even hostility. In particular, some recent news events have been portrayed by some to suggest that, rather than being refugees deserving sympathy, the immigrants are barbaric and not in tune with Western values.
From the mass sexual assaults in places like Cologne to the murder of a young female worker in a home for orphaned refugees in Sweden, these stories create fear and a sense of a “clash of civilisations”. The attitude towards women, as well as concerns about criminal elements amongst immigrants, is highlighted in some media reporting.
… Paul Hedges is Associate Professor in Interreligious Studies for the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
SRP / Online
Last updated on 17/02/2016