One of the prevailing topics within international politics today is the Syrian refugee issue. The Syrian Refugee issue is a response to the grotesque, violent and bloody Syrian Civil War that began in 2011 between the Islamic State and the Syrian rebel forces who are sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (N.A.T.O.) against the Ba’athist party government led by Bashir Al-Assad. Many men, women and primarily children have been displaced in impoverishment and desperation with a limitation of perilous and tough alternatives if they wanted to stay in Syria. These alternatives include fighting on the side of the NATO-backed rebels, fighting on the side of the Syrian Government, getting co-opted by the Islamic State, or by staying in Syria in a state of destitution and uncertainty, hoping for fortuitousness and safety in which those chances are slim to none. The aforementioned alternatives have a high probability of complacency and fatality which leads to one possible solution – asylum.
THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO THE SYRIAN REFUGEE ISSUE
A lot of countries in the west have been sympathetic towards the Syrians who have to endure the trepidation of the Syrian War and many governments are willing to accept Syrian refugees within their borders other than Muslim countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey who cumulatively accepted over 4 million refugees. These countries include Germany, the United States, France, Sweden, the UK, Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Serbia, to name a few. Even though these industrialized countries are accepting applications for Syrian refugees, there are growing controversies whether they should continue the policies for these asylum seekers due to the probability of these refugees being terrorists. Additionally, the Presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will play a decisive role in the decision to accept Syrian refugees in the future. Clinton is for the opening of United States borders to the Syrian refugees, while Donald Trump is adamantly and imperturbably against Syrian refugees. Not to mention, Trump’s running mate by the Governor Pence of Indiana is for the creation of safe zones as an alternative for the acceptances of Syrians within the United States’ borders. The safe zone alternative have for the most part been a historical disaster globally, especially in the 26 year civil war from 1983 to 2009 in Sri Lanka between the Tamil separatists and the governmental forces, which consisted of the indigenous Sinhalese in which 6,500 civilians were killed in a U.N. designated “safe-zone” between January and April of 2009. Additionally, during the Bosnian War, the U.N. Security Council created six “safe zones” in Bosnia-Herzegovina to protect the Serbs from the Bosnians, but instead, the Bosnians launched numerous and consecutive attacks against them and in Rwanda, France tried to create safe zones for the victimized and antagonized Tutsis, but all this led to an invasion of attacks and slaughters by the Hutus and the French troops. The new government was unable to fortify and save the helpless and vulnerable Tutsis from the violence. Henceforth, in the case of the Syrians in the midst of the Civil War, their chances of survival are slim to none and safe zones would only lead to permanent camps of desolation, desperation and to an eventual epicenter of recruitment for the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. Therefore, the creation of safe zones as an alternative for asylum could enhance the probability of the jihadization of youth and teenagers and that could enhance the national and international security threat of terrorism.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROS AND CONS OF ACCEPTING SYRIAN REFUGEES?
On the other hand, it is statistically proven that from 1975-2005 only 3 terrorist deaths per Visa category were committed by foreign born refugees, meaning that there’s a 00000003% chance of a foreign born refugee committing a terrorist attack. Not to mention, none of the foreign born refugees who committed those attacks were Islamic. Additionally, in Germany (which is one of the top countries that accept asylum applicants globally), refugees committed 92,000 more offenses than last year, meaning that refugee crime rose by 79%!! Contrarily to the nativist or “Trumpian” view on Syrian asylum in the United States, the nature of the crimes was petty offenses like not paying for public transportation or shoplifting. Concomitantly, Syrians make up 48% of the refugees in Germany and are suspected for only 24% of refugee crime.
Yet on the other hand, even though Syrian terrorism is a rarity in Germany and throughout Europe, the threat of terrorism is unequivocally prevalent because as recent as Monday, October 10th, Germany captured a 22 year old Syrian refugee who was co-conspiring a terrorist attack on German soil, similar to the attacks in Brussels and in Paris by the Islamic State. Hence, with the growing Muslim population in Europe, correlating with the mass and expeditious proselytization of the European citizens to Islam, it enhances the probability of jihadization, especially in a society where Syrian refugees won’t necessarily be economically prosperous. On the other hand, there are approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States and we have not seen any attacks within their geographical borders from this aggregate of the population.
Economically speaking, the acceptance of more immigrants, refugees and nationals into this country could potentially add more employees, consumers and entrepreneurs to the workforce and this could help propel economic growth. Additionally, it would cost the taxpayer $14,000-$15,000 per refugee which includes sponsorships, basic education, language/professional training, medical treatment, employment orientation and other expenditures, mainly provided by the State Department/Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM); US Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS/ORR), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. Hence, the marginal benefit of receiving these refugees at our expenses will have to be immense or the negative externalities of loss of life and the destruction of billions of dollars worth of property which could catalyze to a loss of jobs, human capital and exorbitant costs for a potential threat of another world war. Yet on the other hand, it is more affordable to accept refugees than to deploy troops into Syria which would cost $1.2 million a year, and the deploying of troops will enhance the probability of a world war in Syria, mainly because of the inclusion of Russia which is a key geo-strategic ally of the Syrian government.
Hence, economically and statistically, there’s a high probability that accepting Syrian refugees would be beneficial for the United States, while there’s still the uncertainty of a national security threat due to an infinitesimally small percentage of refugees who could cause enormous damage to national and international security, which is why vetting is extremely important.
POLITICAL ISLAMIC ACCOUNTABILITY
Islam is one of the fastest growing religions of the world with Muslims consisting of 23% of the global population and 1.6 billion people and 49 countries are Muslim majority in the political “Umma.” Contradictorily, even though Muslims are close to a quarter of the world’s population with 49 Islamic majority countries in the world, only 9/29 of these countries are accepting Syrian refugees with Iraq and Libya being 2 of the 9 countries and we all can concur that the social conditions in these war ridden countries are not the safest places to live at the moment because of the disarray and danger. Henceforth, with all of the Islamic countries in the world, it is mainly the Western countries who will voluntarily accept them in addition to the Syrian asylum applicants preferentially choosing these Western countries if they had the opportunity. This is a major problem for the political Islamic world because what this implicates is that the socio-economic conditions for upward mobility, economic prosperity and efficacy are not probable or possible to Western countries. There are a multiplicity and permutation of reasons why but noticeable reasons include the lack of open markets, regulatory efficiency, limited government, a lack of economic opportunities and property rights that citizens have in these countries due to the cronyism, corruption and government intervention into the affairs of its citizens like a monopoly on media helped catalyzed to the Arab Spring. Hence, since these Muslim leaders politically administer their countries in a way that generally alleviate the incentives of upward mobility through productivity, it leads to its citizens to leave their home country, resort to the underworld, join politics as a means of rent-seeking due to the inefficiency of bureaucracy, remain in stagnation economically for the sake of survival, resort to the limited opportunities in the free market with an infinitesimal chance of progress, or to unfortunately resort terrorism due to hopelessness.
ECONOMIC FREEDOM AND LIBERTY IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD
In closing, statistically, Syrian refugees would not be a national security threat to the United States and probabilities of acts of terrorism are slim from the refugee populations in Syria and even Europe. On the other hand, countries with nativist or skeptical sentiments towards Syrian refugees should create incentives for Muslim governments to receive Syrian refugees so that they can live in a country where their religious and cultural beliefs are complimentary to the ideals of that Islamic nation for the most part, since 96% of Syrian refugees are of the Islamic faith. Additionally, since it’s historically corroborated with Iraq and Libya that U.S. invasions into Islamic countries only lead to dictatorships, chaos, disarray and political pandemonium, then it is up to consultants, scholars and entrepreneurs who advocate for liberty to utilize what the political scientist Joseph Nye coin as “soft power” to enhance the social capital or radius of trust with these governments in order to help them open their borders. This action would broaden the opportunities for affluence and opulence for its citizens and refugees from countries like Syria, which would definitely avoid or lessen the chances of terrorism.
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