SUPPORT US

In The Media

Syrian Refugees a Threat to the West?

by Andrew E. Harrod (feat. Candice Malcom)

Family Security Matters
March 17, 2016

"Europe is a basket case" and "it is going to get worse in 2016," stated former House Intelligence Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra at a February 29 Center for a Secure Free Society (CSFS) panel in Washington, DC, on Middle East refugees.  He and his fellow panelists gave critical analysis of various dangers faced by Western societies responding to the humanitarian crisis caused by sectarian violence in a disintegrating Iraq and Syria.

Center for a Secure Free Society Senior Fellow J.D. Gordon introduced the panel by noting that four million Syrians, about half the country's population, have fled the country.  Such numbers placed in perspective the 10,000 Syrian refugees President Barack Obama's administration intended to resettle in the United States, as mentioned in the event literature.  Center for a Secure Free Society International Fellow for Canada Candice Malcolmsimilarly noted that Canada had fulfilled the very day of the panel a campaign pledge by recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees.

Yet the panel focused on Europe, where an estimated 900,000 Syrian refugees had entered Germany alone, as noted by panel moderator and Daily Caller opinion editor Jordan Bloom.  American career diplomat Ambassador Alberto Fernandez described this human stream by which Europe voided its own entry rules as a "massive, unplanned exercise in virtue signaling by the European Union."  Bloom worriedly noted the recent announcement by German authorities that they had lost track of 130,000 refugees.

"Germany is lying," Hoekstra responded to Bloom amidst audience laughter, "there is no way that they are still tracking 770,000, that they have only lost 130,000.  They only know that they have lost 130,000."  Hoekstra described television coverage during a recent Europe vacation of thousands of refugees in the Budapest train station where he and his wife had just transited.  He speculated that perhaps another 50-70,000 refugees had entered Germany without any official knowledge.

"If you don't think that they are seeded with ISIS [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] people, you are crazy," Hoekstra said of these refugees while predicting for Europe as well as Canada a "security nightmare."  "We have no idea who these people are.  The Canadians have no idea who these people are," he stated while suggesting that half the refugees entering Europe actually came from Afghanistan.  Fernandez discussed a Syrian friend living in Belgium who went to visit 90 supposed Syrian refugees in her community but only discovered five; the rest of the individuals hailed from various places like Afghanistan or Eritrea.

Malcolm cited worrying statistics such as those of a British polling firm that found 20 percent of Syrians in general and 13 percent of Syrian refugee camp residents in particular having a positive view of ISIS.  ALebanese cabinet minister had estimated that two percent of Syrian refugees were ISIS sympathizers/members, approximating nonetheless 20,000 dangerous individuals among Lebanon's 1.2 million Syrian refugees.  Yet for Syrian refugees "Europe has absolutely no selection criteria whatsoever.  It is a first come, first served free-for-all."

Malcolm described strict Canadian security controls similar to America's designed to screen such dangers among refugee resettlement applicants.  Canada only accepted Syrian families, no single men, from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps and applicants could not have infectious diseases or criminal records.  Any inconsistency in an applicant's story immediately stops security checks involving an interview.

Nonetheless, Malcolm noted that ISIS had seized passport production facilities in Syria's failed state, a factor among others like stolen identification that would stymie even Canada's precautions.  Reliable Syrian officials for local background investigations no longer existed, she noted, while Hoekstra observed that "by definition, trying to get information from a failed state means you are going to get failed information."  While Canadian intelligence has already identified Islamic terror cells in every major Canadian city, Malcolm stated, ‘it just takes one to get through to create a national security threat."  This should also concern Canada's American neighbor across a basically open border.

While Trudeau's refugee pledge initially helped him on the campaign trail, Canadian public opinion has "totally flipped" on further refugee resettlement, Malcolm observed.  "After the [November 2015] Paris attacks, people in Canada started to realize that there was a threat" and overwhelmed Canadian refugee aid organizations want a pause in admitting refugees.  While Trudeau has called for resettling another 25,000 refugees, 70 percent of surveyed Canadians disagree with his policy and 43 percent want no more.

Fernandez noted that security concerns can extend beyond the first generation of resettled Muslim refugees.  "Second generation immigrants are an at risk population," as unlike the parents who show gratitude towards asylum countries, the children "grow up confused, they grow up with identity issues."  As an example he cited the 2013 Boston marathon bombers, the offspring of Chechen asylum seekers, while Malcolm mentioned Ottawa's 2014 Parliament Hill shooter, a Canadian-born man whose father was involved with Libyan jihadists.

Himself a Cuban refugee, Fernandez worried about Muslim refugee assimilation in a Europe now having an "acute crisis of identity."  He emphasized the necessity of a "confident, clear-minded culture, society, and state who understands who they are, what they are, what their values are, what they stand for, to be able to assimilate others."  The demand to assimilate foreign-born individuals into a society begs the question "assimilate into what?"

Amidst all these concerns, Fernandez noted in Syria the "tremendous irony that the countries that are not responsible for this debacle are the ones being called upon to do much" to help.  Iran, Qatar, Russia, and Saudi Arabia had given the most aid to the Syrian conflict parties, yet the single largest humanitarian donor to Syrian refugees was the United States, a non-Muslim-majority country.  Malcolm meanwhile noted that 90 percent of Syrian refugees originally offered sanctuary in Canada refused, demonstrating how many refugees wanted to stay in the region.  Many things would be simpler for all concerned if only they could satisfactorily fulfill this wish.


Showing 2 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Michael Young
    commented 2016-05-11 04:22:48 -0400
    You can thank Loony Obama and Crooked Hillary for all the Evil Muslims problems they have caused the rapes, child molesting and death of 10 of thousands in Syria, Libya, Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Europe and now the United States by creating ISIS and stupid foreign policy choices.

    Alaska and United States Need to build a wall between Canada and the USA for our safety… To keep the Rapist and Child Molesters migrants from the Middle east out of America. These Muslim Migrants are bunch مقيت الخنازير. Send the Migrants to their homeland and build safe zones….
  • Michael Young
    commented 2016-05-11 04:20:52 -0400
    Crazy… Impeach Obama Now…….You can thank Loony Obama and Crooked Hillary for all the Evil Muslims problems they have caused the rapes, child molesting and death of 10 of thousands in Syria, Libya, Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Europe and now the United States by creating ISIS and stupid foreign policy choices.

    Alaska and United States Need to build a wall between Canada and the USA for our safety… To keep the Rapist and Child Molesters migrants from the Middle east out of America. These Muslim Migrants are bunch مقيت الخنازير. Send the Migrants to their homeland and build safe zones….
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

CONFERENCE
Annual Defence Procurement Conference

Ottawa, Ontario

October 25, 2022

SEARCH
EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

G7 Update

by Heather Hiscox (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC, June 30, 2022

Inside Policy: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

by Editorial Staff (feat. Rob Huebert), MLI, June 30, 2022

Canada to upgrade Latvia battlegroup to a brigade, boost number of troops

by Editorial Staff (feat. David Perry), Kelowna Now, June 29, 2022

What slowdown? Canada's economy to top G7 on high oil, crop prices

by Julie Gordon and Rod Gordon (feat. Kevin Birn), Saltwire, June 29, 2022

Alliance renforcée

by Céline Galipeau (feat. Stefanie von Hlatky), Le Tele Journal, June 29, 2022

1.6 million public chargers needed in Canada for EV transition

by Larysa Harapyn (feat. Brian Kingston), The Financial Post, June 29, 2022

Passport? What passport?

by Martin C. Barr (feat. Andrew Griffith), Laval News, June 29, 2022

Oil production test looms for OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia, UAE

by Editorial Staff (feat. Ellen Wald), S&P Global, June 29, 2022

Eric Nuttall & Amrita Sen - Oil & Energy Update

by Eric Nuttall (feat. Amrita Sen), Nine Point Partners, June 29, 2022

All talk, no traction

by Maura Forest and Andy Blatchford (feat. Robert Huebert), Politico, June 29, 2022

U.S. pushes for Russian oil price ceiling. Feasible?

by Matt Levin (feat. Ellen Wald), MARKETPLACE, June 28, 2022

Russia Ukraine Update

by Susan Bonner (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC Radio One, June 28, 2022

Un sommet de l’OTAN pour tenir tête à la Russie

by Marie Vastel (feat. David Perry), Le Devoir, June 26, 2022

A geopolitical alternative system of co-operation for nations

by Staff Reporter (feat. Swaran Singh), The Zimbabwe Mail, June 26, 2022

Analyst says high oil prices spurs little drilling

by Lee Harding (feat. Kevin Birn), Western Standard, June 26, 2022

It’s time for Canada to get serious about defence

by John Ibbitson (feat. James Fergusson and Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 25, 2022

Trudeau meets with Rwandan president, expands diplomatic mission in Kigali

by CBC Newsroom Staff (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Newroom, June 24, 2022

With New Threats Looming, Canada Commits Billions to Air Defense

by News Desk (feat. Andrea Charron), New Express News, June 24, 2022

Drop in oil prices is not a quick fix for global inflation

by Editorial Staff (feat. Amrita Sen), The National, June 24, 2022

Highs and Lows of the Spring Sitting

by Peter Van Dusen (feat. Andrew Griffith), Prime Time Politics, June 24, 2022

Oil Incurs Second Weekly Loss As Analysts Differ On Inflation, Demand

by Ship and Bunker News Team (feat. Amrita Sen), Ship And Bunker, June 24, 2022


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email