Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Combining compassion and security

In the aftermath of the Paris attack there have been all sorts of reactions from all over Europe and the world.

But the standout moment for me was a genuine refugee from the carnage in Syria, a very scared man, who said he would feel safer if he had been asked more questions, not fewer, about who he was and why he was fleeing to the West.

This gentleman was only too well aware - better than we are - of how the regimes and forces which have made a charnel house of Syria are like and of the possibility that they may have planted spies or suicide bombers among the genuine refugees.

He was not, of course, saying that we should do nothing to help people like himself. He was suggesting, that "for your safety and for my safety" Western countries should check that they are who they say they are.

We ignore that warning at our peril.

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