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Re: Refugees
Posted By: Ellmyruh, on host
Date: Saturday, September 1, 2001, at 18:27:29
In Reply To: Re: Refugees posted by The Other Matthew on Saturday, September 1, 2001, at 10:02:09:

> > In the chat room log from last night, I found a conversation between Lindra, Ellmyruh, and Grishny that caught my attention. The conversation was a debate about the story in the article linked to below. Ellmyruh's side of the debate was that it is inhumane for Australia to turn back these refugees, since the alternative is very likely that they will die. Lindra's side is that there is simply no room in Australia to house them, and because of that impossibility, there is nothing to be done but keep the borders closed to them.

As an update, an agreement on the situation was reached today. New Zealand and Nauru agreed to take the refugees, since Australia refused to do so. However, that doesn't solve the problem, as it's not a new issue.

> > I say the debate "caught my attention," but actually it raised my ire. When people's lives are at stake, you *make* room.
> >
> > "No room," indeed. Shameful.
> My first thought is to wonder exactly why they are leaving their old country.

They are leaving their country because they are being persecuted, jailed, and even put to death because their religious beliefs are not the same as those held by the people in power. Christians who say even one thing about their faith in public can be arrested, jailed, and expelled from the country. "In public" does not simply refer to standing on a sidewalk; it also refers to people discussing religious beliefs within the homes of others.

Furthermore, if those Christians are Afghan, they can be put to death. "A senior Taliban official told The Associated Press that at least some of [a group of 16 people who were arrested August 3 for teaching Christianity inside a home] would be sentenced to life in prison or death." (Source:

> For all I know, this is 460 criminals. The article doesn't say.

That article didn't say, but you'll find more information here:

The people are fleeing Afghanistan because its leadership is extremely corrupt and brutal. The goal of the Afghan leaders is to create a purely Islamic country, so anyone who does not follow the teachings of Islam will come under condemnation.

However, the Taliban does not stop at forcing religious beliefs on those who live in Afghanistan. Their treatment of women is nothing short of pure brutality, as Kiki learned when she did a national award-winnning project on it. See this forum post for more about their treatment of women and a link to some sobering information:

I don't care how much room Australia claims it doesn't have. It is horrible for a country (or perhaps its leaders) to turn away people who would leave their home, take only what they can carry, and board a boat so decrepit that it begins to sink. However, the 460 occupants of that boat survived because a Norwegian cargo boat picked them up. Those people are so desperate for a better life, they would rather stay on that cramped boat than go back. And yet, the leaders of Australia say there is no room.

This same thing happened in World War II, when numerous countries -- including the U.S. -- closed their doors to the Jews who were trying to flee persecution. The countries said they had no room and that their "quotas" were already filled. What happened? Millions of Jews had nowhere to go but into the fires of the deathcamps. Only after the war was over did those countries realize what had happened. History repeats itself because people refuse to look at it and realize that cruel things continue to happen. If the Afghan leaders suddenly went on a killing spree and wiped out all who did not believe in Islam, I'm sure Australia would no longer be complaining about its lack of space.


Link: Afghanistan in a nutshell

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