I came across this blog posting a week ago and it’s been rattling around in my head ever since. The writer is Dr Christopher McDowell. He questions the underlying premises of the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees in the wake of recent decisions on asylum and I am not sure he is thinking what I’m thinking—what happens when the persecuted are whites in South Africa or Jews in Sweden? I doubt that the original crafters of the 1951 Convention had those persecuted people in mind! It seems to me that logically they will be protected and resettled to say North America to save them from Black supremacism or Muslim supremacism.
Here is Dr. McDowell’s whole post. I don’t like to re-post an entire post, but couldn’t decide where to cut it in order for readers to get the gist of it.
Some years back when I took over running the Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees (ICAR) at King’s College London I was rummaging through press cuttings left by my predecessor when I uncovered a piece by Matthew Parris in The Times. Matthew’s article came out at a time when the UK was leading the way in asylum intake with somewhere in the region of 100,000 people annually entering the country to make an application for refugee status. His point was that we should not be surprised about how many people were making the hazardous journey to the west for the purposes of asylum, but rather, we should be surprised by how few people were making this journey. The article pointed out the ways in which rulings, taking into account human rights laws, had progressively broadened the definition of refugee to include new categories of persecution straying way beyond the political and religious persecution envisaged in the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Well, two recent rulings would add weight to Parris’s argument. The first is the case of Brandon Huntley a South African citizen* who has been granted refugee status by the Candian Refugee Board on the grounds that the South African Government are unable or unwilling to protect him against racially-motivated violence. The second, only this week, concerns a ruling (reported in The Times online) that has shocked the German authorities, in which the the Romeikes, a well-meaning and idealistic German family who fled their homeland in August 2008, were granted asylum in the US after a federal immigration judge in Tennessee determined that they had a reasonable fear of persecution for their beliefs if they returned. The ‘belief’ in question was their preference to educate their children at home rather than sending them to the local state school. [Judy wrote about the case here.]
The Refugee Convention at 50+ remains venerable but as an ageing actress her eminence at the centre stage of international law is being usurped by the glamorous new human rights starlet. Tony Blair said repeatedly that the post-war Convention had outlived its usefulness but the question remains how far are governments prepared to go in accepting new obligations under any new international arrangements which will inevitably reflect even more closely the requirements of human rights legislation. It’s not difficult to imagine a future in which all of us could present a claim for protection overseas based on an infringment of our rights at home that would persuade some judge presiding diligently in a backwater court room.
* Huntly is a white man who has claimed persecution because of his race.
In the week since I first saw Dr. McDowell’s post we’ve seen the growing racism in South Africa, the rainbow nation, in relation to the use of the song “Kill the Boer” and the murder of an outspoken white leader (although some reports are that the death was associated with a dispute over pay, I doubt the story). And, we have seen the increased persecution of Jews by Muslim immigrants in Sweden.
So, why not, why wouldn’t the 1951 Convention apply to Christians or Jews persecuted in Europe or Whites persecuted in South Africa? Or, was the Convention only supposed to apply to races, religions and politically persecuted people favored by the Left? Shouldn’t it also apply to persecuted whites or persecuted religious homeschoolers like the German family? If that is what Dr. McDowell is saying when he says we all may qualify some day, then we are in agreement! However, his use of the phrase “judge presiding diligently in a backwater court room” suggests he only thinks certain persecuted people should be protected—those being the ‘correct’ sort to suit the political Leftwing.
As I have said recently on these pages, I envision a day when Swedes, and Danes, and Dutchmen and even Brits like Dr. McDowell will be applying for asylum in America alone because of the rising Muslim population and the Sharia law it is bringing to Europe. [If America survives!]