Analysis, Europe, Side Feature

Europe Prefers Migrants to Die at Sea

The BBC reported on 26th September that “the number of migrants attempting the journey from Libya to Europe has gone down since last year, but the proportion of those who die on the way has risen. One person died or went missing for every 18 people who crossed via the central Mediterranean route between January and July 2018, compared to one in 42 people in the same period in 2017, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.”

Just two days before the BBC also reported that “a rescue vessel operating in the central Mediterranean Sea has had its registration revoked” which was “the last private rescue ship operating in the area used for crossings from Libya to Europe. The charities running the vessel accuse the Italian government of pressuring Panama into deflagging the Aquarius.”


European Union rules state that people must seek asylum where they arrive, but Italy has increasingly barred boats from docking at its ports.

These are just the latest incidents to appear in the news about the European attitude to migrants. Elections are being fought on the basis of stopping immigration, as happened recently in Sweden, and politician’s careers hinge on the issue. The only concern is to keep as many foreigners out of Europe, lest they share in the wealth that has been amassed there.

What is not discussed is the role that European states have played in creating the desperately depraved economic circumstances that encourage so many people to literally risk their lives to escape. Even less acknowledged is the European colonial policies that have enriched their nations at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of billions of poor foreigners in Africa and Asia.

Such callous attitudes to human suffering and annihilation could only be tolerated by a false ideology that affords human beings no real value, other than the utility they can bring the wealthy elite from their production. This is the reality of human rights in the West: meaningless when it goes against the interests of the ruling classes.

Such injustice is not tolerated by Islam, however, as it is the true ideology sent by Allah to take mankind out of slavery to other men, to become slaves only to Allah the Almighty.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقَيرًا فَاللّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

“O you who have faith! Be maintainers of justice and witnesses for the sake of Allah, even if it should be against yourselves or [your] parents and near relatives, and whether it be [someone] rich or poor, for Allah has a greater right over them. So do not follow [your] desires, lest you should be unfair, and if you distort [the testimony] or disregard [it], Allah is indeed well aware of what you do.”

[An-Nisa: 135]


Yahya Nisbet

Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain