On September 18, the UN General Assembly will bring together member states for the first ever Summit on Refugees and Migrants. An already-released draft declaration enshrining the outcomes promises a more coordinated, humane and responsive approach to people on the move. However, its lofty aims are contradicted by the practices of many of the states that will participate in New York.
Instead of respecting the rights of individuals and upholding pre-existing obligations, far too many governments are adopting ever-more restrictive approaches that seem designed to further harm already-vulnerable men, women and children, and to keep them as far from sight as possible.
The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on Monday in New York which has been described as a “game changer” by UNHCR will be followed on Tuesday by the World leaders’ Summit headed by US President Obama. This high-level gathering of world leaders will apparently pledge new commitments to refugees. The New York Declaration and its “significant milestones” will be agreed to by state leaders at Monday’s Summit who according to UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming will “declare their profound solidarity for people who are forced to flee their homes; reaffirm their obligations to full respect of the human rights of refugees and migrants and pledge robust support to those countries affected by large movements of refugees and migrants.”
But what can 21 million refugees, including 16 million men, women and children languishing in the most abysmal and inhumane refugee death camps and asylum centres expect from a world order dominated by the capitalist secular system and its corrosive values? What can the forty million internally displaced persons in Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Central Africa Republic or Myanmar expect from world leaders who have demonstrated an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and dignity with their militant capitalist foreign wars and occupations, who have proven incapable of solving this crisis as well as a plethora of other political, economic, and social problems afflicting the world?
How will the plight of over 10 million refugee children change including those children locked up and detained in asylum centres who experience the horrors of child and sexual abuse, self-harm and suicide as their lives hang in limbo, driving them to despair that will scar them for a lifetime? Will such summits result in nation states and their leaders agreeing that asylum seeking children are never to be detained, released and instead set free into community arrangements or will they continue implementing their cruel immigration and border control policies that detains children arriving by boat, “for the purpose of migration status” knowing that it “is seldom, if ever, in the best interests of the child”?
And what about the increasing anti-Muslim and racist immigration policies and sentiments towards Muslim and non-Muslim migrants by nations within the European Union, America, Australia and other developed countries? Can we expect world leaders to abandon their pandering to extreme right wing nationalist public opinion and ridiculous claims made by opportunistic political leaders and their sensational claims of Muslims swamping their societies?
Can Obama change the attitudes of 29 out of 50 state representatives in his own country who have said no to accepting Syrian refugees, not even a “3-year-old orphan” after his announcement in September 2015 to increase the Syrian refugee intake from the 1,600 accepted since 2011 to 10,000 from 2016 onwards?
It’s clear that the abysmal inhumane manner by which the refugee crisis has been handled reflects a world order that is in tatters. This is because it is under this current world-order and no state is willing to take responsibility for the safety and welfare of the persecuted and oppressed due to selfish political and economic interests.
Surely all this emphasizes the urgent need for the birth of a new world-order dominated by a system which rejects the materialistic and nationalistic approach to handling human problems and that truly serves the needs of humanity in a purely altruistic, unconditional and uncompromising manner – setting the international standards for other states to aspire to. This system is nothing other than the Khilafah (Caliphate) that rules according to the Laws of The Creator سبحانه وتعالى Who alone is capable of defining a political model that truly cares for and serves the needs of human beings. It is a state which was known the world over for its generosity and humanitarianism; a state that opened its borders without limits to the oppressed – Muslim and non-Muslim – providing them protection, a good life and full rights of citizenship as Commanded by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. It is therefore a system that is truly the need of these desperate times!
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Quran,
وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ اسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّى يَسْمَعَ كَلاَمَ اللّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْلَمُونَ
“And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.”
(At Tawbah: 6)
Tsuroyya Amal Yasna