Title photo: centerforsecuritypolicy.org
The refugee crisis that began last summer has gradually turned into one of Europe’s main problems. It has even left behind the prolonged economic crisis in Greece that is coming closer to exiting the Schengen area each passing day, as is clear from today's statement of Deputy Minister for Migration Yiannis Mouzalas. The reason is the prolonged delay on the part of Greece to set up reception and registration centres (hot spots) for the new arrivals to its islands.
At the same time, in the public space there are frequent criticisms of Europe's position in relation to the thousands of citizens of the Middle Eastern and South Asian countries, who continue to arrive on its territory, despite the cold weather and the hazardous conditions for such a trip in the Aegean Sea.
The apparently delayed conclusion that many of the arrivals are not refugees but illegal migrants who are taking advantage of the opportunity to arrive in Europe and of the lack of coordinated policy in the European Union are only exacerbating the problem, as stated by the analysts.
One of them is the director of the Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations at the American College of Greece, Andreas Andrianopoulos, who had expressed his concerns over the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants in an interview with GRReporter a few months ago.
Last night the institute headed by him organized a discussion on "Religious freedom and cultural relativism: successes and failures of migration policy." Andreas Andrianopoulos and writer and historian Soti Triandafilou presented in it their views on how Europe could incorporate such a large number of migrants and what it would mean for its future.
Soti Triandafilou presented in her comment the distinction between pluralism and multiculturalism, which is about to change Western societies in her words. "Multiculturalism is based on the idea of receiving migrants unconditionally, without ensuring compliance with the laws of the host country. Therefore, I distinguish it from pluralism, which is synonymous with the open society, but to a certain extent and under certain conditions," she said and explained, "The imposition of multiculturalism in Western Europe has resulted in the establishment of many closed communities that develop separately from the rest of society. They follow different laws, some of which do not infringe the laws established in the host country but others violate them."
Triandafilou considers the issue in her book entitled "Pluralism, Multiculturalism, Integration, Assimilation," which has been recently released. In it she firmly states, "We can receive and welcome only those migrants who wish to find their place in our civilization, to adopt laws, rules and processes that are originally unfamiliar to them. If foreigners come to the Western world to improve their lives, they need to adopt the specific conditions for that."
During the presentation, Soti Triandafilou said that the problem with the arrival of refugees and migrants in Europe is not related to their number but to the fact that most of them are Muslims. "The West made the mistake of perceiving Islam only as a religion, from the perspective of the established religious freedom in Europe. Islam is much more than that. It is a governance and legal system and its followers are obliged to respect it. As a result, the Muslim migrants form their own communities in which they apply the rules imposed by Islam," she stressed, adding that the situation in Western Europe has been very serious for many years.
In turn, the author of the book "The Anger of Islam and the Jihad Fanatics", Andreas Andrianopoulos, also stressed that there is a problem in Europe concerning the establishment of a large number of migrants who profess Islam.
"There has always been a flow of migrants. But the new thing now is that we have such massive waves that are believed to have been caused by the war in Syria. However, it did not start now but some years ago," said Andrianopoulos.
According to him, the arrival of such massive waves of migrants in Europe is not only part of the plan of DAESH leader al-Baghdadi who last February threatened to fill Europe with migrants, but also implements the dictates of the Qur'an. "The Qur'an has 93 verses that describe migration as a way of conquering territories. It is a sacred duty of every Muslim to follow the example of Mohammed and to participate in such a process," said Andrianopoulos.
He defined as unfounded the accusations of racism addressed to those who are concerned over the arrival of so many Muslims in Europe. "The problem is not related to their race or nationality but with the fact that they profess Islam. Experience shows that Muslims cannot be integrated and assimilated. They establish their own separate communities and try to push through their laws and norms. The more their numbers grow, the more their claims become." Andrianopoulos gave the examples of suspending the St. Martin festivities in Germany and the removal of the manger where Christ was born from the Christmas decorations in France at the insistence of the Muslim communities there, which felt offended.