Restoring Some Humanity To The Refugee Debate

I’ve noticed that most discussions about the refugee crisis discuss the issue in a very abstract way. The proposals are spoken of in a technical and hypothetical manner relating to various treaties, agreements and EU regulations, as well as figures about what may or may not happen. The discussion revolves around quotas and flows, as if refugees were something that come out of the tap. Even worse still, many opponents to refugee resettlement take a simplistic view of “Us versus Them”. “We” have a common culture and heritage that is apparently under attack. “They” are a strange foreign thing, incompatible with us. Continue reading “Restoring Some Humanity To The Refugee Debate”

They Say Muslims Immigrants Are Threatening Western Values, But What Are Western Values?

A major issue nowadays is immigration and the refugee crisis, particularly the immigration of Muslims into Europe. Some people warn that they are a threat to Western Civilisation as they don’t have “Western values”. This is a strange argument for numerous reasons such as the assumption that none will assimilate and that it’s somehow impossible for two cultures to live side by side. However the strangest part is that no one seems to know what Western values are. Continue reading “They Say Muslims Immigrants Are Threatening Western Values, But What Are Western Values?”

Muslims Are The New Irish

Sometimes it feels that history repeats itself and only the names change. This is certainly the case with the current refugee crisis which parallels many previous refugee crises and migrant waves. People fleeing war and poverty in the search of a better life is not a new occurrence, in fact you could say it’s an eternal issue. Other writers have drawn attention to how current attitudes to Muslims resemble that towards Jews in the 30s and 40s (the family of Anne Frank applied for refugee status but were rejected). I can also see a strong resemblance between Muslims and my own people, the Irish. Continue reading “Muslims Are The New Irish”

Understanding The Refugee Crisis

Every day the news is full of reports on the refugee crisis as hundreds of thousands of people flee their homes and attempt to reach Europe. Countries such as Hungary are building barriers to stop them and scenes of police holding back refugees fill the news. There are scores of desperate people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean in rickety rafts. 3,573 have died trying to cross the sea in the last year, roughly ten people per day. Most people are confused about the crisis and what it means, so hopefully this will shed some light on the issue and answer some common questions. Continue reading “Understanding The Refugee Crisis”

Free Speech, Riots And Incitement To Hatred

The recent rioting in the Arab World has raised controversy and difficulties over how to balance respect and tolerance of others with the right to free speech. Are people free to criticize, even if this will cause offence? Should we ban offensive comments in order to keep the peace? Or is that rewarding violence? Should people be free to incite hatred? Even if it leads to deaths? Does the right to free speech include the right to insult? Continue reading “Free Speech, Riots And Incitement To Hatred”

Crucifixion Contradictions or How Did Jesus Really Die?

The crucifixion of Jesus is central to Christianity. It is because of this that Christians believe he was the Son of God, without it they would probably not be a religion. But why is such a core belief riddled with contradictions? Each of the four Gospels tells different versions often contradicting each other. They show clear signs of extra details being added later. If a coherent story of the crucifixion cannot be complied how can the story be believed? Continue reading “Crucifixion Contradictions or How Did Jesus Really Die?”