Seeking Safe Haven from Dangerous BS
Recently, during a time of trying to come to terms with my own little nightmare as an American “trapped” in Australia, I have come across, not one, not two or three, but four Iranian asylum seekers and their families, all “boat people.” Interestingly, I met three of them through my very tiny church.
It is a church made up of what I, as an American, would compare to salt-of-the-Earth Mid-Westerners in the States. It includes a very small community of Fijians as well. This church seems an unlikely place to find such a needle in a haystack as a few Iranian asylum seekers who arrived by sea and were actually allowed to Australia from detention centers offshore. However, they were there, and I now know them and much more about their journeys than previously.
In this community of church goers, I have kept my own, more Spiritist, practice of Christianity quiet in their company, and welcomed the fellowship of the church, trying to make a family away from home, for Daughter and me. I have sought my own “asylum,” in that church, from living out a solitary curse in a country that has politics and a justice system just as strange as that of my own country, the USA.
I find it more than fascinating that I have now met these four Iranians and their families, given their numbers, as previously detained boat people in the entire country, are so minuscule. And with the recent silliness being put out there by the latest Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, (proposing a law that boat people who are on Manus and Nauru islands in Australian detention centers will NEVER be allowed to settle in Australia because they came without a visa), I am thinking there is a reason for this coming to my attention and that I should start doing something about it by writing, possibly more.
With all the problems in Australia, the country ought to be ashamed of itself for not stopping a few yahoos from making a big deal out of boat people. The country ought to send those yahoos to their rooms, so they can spend time alone, thinking about what they’ve been doing before Daddy gets home.
Australians need to focus on the real problems, instead of spending billions of dollars going back on its word (signing the UNHCR Refugee Convention) to support the human rights of people coming here LEGALLY (visa or no) needing protection from governments that will harm or kill them and their families.
Age Old Play on Politics
I have not had any interest in politics in years. Well to be fair, I haven’t had emotional space for politics, being dragged to Australia, with a baby born in the States by my, now, Ex. Raising her, and ultimately being stranded here – my mind and heart have been a little preoccupied.
Until this year.
I cried for joy, unstoppably, when Obama, whose campaign I volunteered for, was elected President of the USA before I was made to move to Australia. I had a little emotional foray back to politics with grim interest when I cried again for Obama, and all of us on the planet, in sadness as he gave in to the general populace’s blind need to kill Bin Ladin.
As a spiritually, morally, and mentally evolving world, we lost a major opportunity to show 7 billion people that we could be better than the other guy. All we did was further perpetrate a cycle of hate and motivation for people to continue attacking each other under religious pretenses. Unfortunately, that viewpoint is probably just mine (and that of Richard Gere, lol).
You could say I am a peace-monger of sorts (lol), though I do try to put up an ineffectual fight when it comes to defending Daughter and myself against injustice – I am just bad at fighting. I do not try to hurt anyone or force my beliefs onto others (unless I perceive people are getting hurt). I do sometimes express strong opinions, to varying degrees, if I become aware of something that seems to need more attention and thought.
Generally, while each country in the world may try to do a few things that it perceives as good for the people, ultimately I don’t believe politics and justice systems are for the people – they are about people’s egos, a misguided perception of reality, and selfish drive for power and money.
There seems to be very little in the way of moral/spiritual checks and balances to assist the initially well-intentioned, bright, young people who enter politics or the legal system, to stay true to their purpose (if they entered to help other people and build a better world).
Over and over again they make choices that take them down a path in which they lose their integrity and begin closing their eyes to the good purposes they started out with to make the world a better place.
I speak generally of this lot – I can’t address those, just now, who start down this path with ideas of power and money before they have even had the chance to be corrupted, nor may I have the joy today of writing about the very few who always work from the heart and stay true to assisting those who need them.
Finding More BS
What has slowly been coming to my awareness as a bad situation has now been kicked into hyperdrive by spending time with these people, hearing their stories, and my getting my head out of my own hopeless situation into reading about the current culture of the asylum seeker coming to Australia, in particular, those coming here by boat.
What I am hearing and what I am reading now is beginning to horrify me more and more, especially as I find out about how the politicians here seem to be using the “boat people” as a platform for winning elections. With the help of the media, they stir up the uninformed populace into a state of fear and anger, creating very public debates about the situation.
Then there is also the practice of offshore detention centers. These are small islands, with even smaller areas where people have been detained, often indefinitely.
Having committed no crime, any person there, fleeing from the criminal actions of another government, with a family maybe, then held in these detention centers to live for months or years, must go crazy under circumstances that would drive the most robust of souls mad. With poor conditions and uncertainty of whether Australia, (a country that is supposedly a signatory to the Refugee Convention of the UNHCR), will let them enter and start new lives, they live in danger of losing their spirit and hope.
According to the AIM Network, some statistics, available to all the public, which should put the fear-mongers to rest are:
- Refugee Boat People make up 2.5 percent of ALL accepted immigrants to Australia
- 1 in 4,718 Australians are resettled refugees who arrived by boat
- 9 out of 10 boat people fled from a legitimate source of danger in their own countries
- Stricter policies regarding irregular maritime arrivals by asylum seekers has not lessened the number of boats arriving and in some periods the boat arrivals have increased
- Boat people constitute such a small number of the overall immigration applications there is no danger to jobs or resources for Australians
- Australia is breaking 11 international and Australian laws by stopping the boats and putting refugees in offshore detention centers
- The cost Australia puts into these detention centers is in the billions of taxpayers’ dollars, compared to thousands of dollars if they were to be processed onshore ( the moral and legal way to handle them)
- Their living conditions and treatment through Australian policies for the detention islands have been condemned by the U.N., Amnesty International, and other entities
What I am reading and hearing is that in these conditions, children are being misused in the worst way and the adults are diving into depression with nothing to do except contemplate suicide as they are detained in limbo indefinitely – there are not enough aid workers to stop these things from happening despite the cost of keeping them there being in the billions.
The Australia that allows the politicians and media to blow up the issue of boat people into a major contention ought to be ashamed of itself. It would be no skin off Australia’s nose if it would do the right thing, as a supposed first world country, and help the incredibly small percentage of those in need, knocking on its door. These people are ones that didn’t have the time to sit around waiting for a proper visa before arrival, time that would have put them at risk for possible death and other dangers.
Any otherwise well-intentioned people, who are getting caught up in the FALSE idea that the boat people are causing their country any harm, should do their best to remember the that the Bible tells us that the strong have an obligation to protect the weak. If one doesn’t go in for the biblical exhortations, at least one could look inside himself for the answer concerning fellow human beings needing help.
Allowing the issue of boat people to become a political football is a game causing untold amounts of grief and is the opposite of goodness and moral progress. Australia has signed an agreement with the rest of the free world to assist those fleeing from the horrors of dictatorship. Instead of honoring the agreement, they are causing just as much harm, if not more than, the places from which these poor people have fled.
The U.N. Rapporteur, François Crepeau is meant to come at this time to be investigating Australia’s migration policies and laws. On this situation, hopefully, he will give Turnbull a sound clapping on the ears and get him to stop being such a profound idiot concerning Australia’s boat people/asylum seekers here.
– The country should let them come ashore and give them the heartfelt protection that they need, so that they can begin their new lives now, not at an indefinitely maddening amount of time in the future.
– Australia needs to focus on it’s larger problems rather than making a problem out of a duty that it has to protect a small contingent of people in dire need.
– Australia needs to do unto others as it would have others (clearing throat and whispering, “signatories”) do unto them.
Never mind that it is just the right thing to do.
Music Link: At Sea – Welder’s Dog
(Stay tuned for a non-controversial, non-political, return-to-inspiration blog entry coming soon!)