Are Muslim Migrants Victims of Market Liberalism?

Are Muslim Migrants Victims of Market Liberalism?

Among other unsustainable arguments there is a new line of thought. The inflow of primarily Muslim illegitimate migrants to Europe, runs this narrative, is due to economic liberalism!

Let's first discern whether the argument refers to political refugees or it concerns illegal immigrants. Refugee is someone who escapes a state where his life is at risk because of war, civil strife, deadly physical phenomena or discriminations that threaten his survival. Based on these observations most of those who arrive to Europe, primarily to Italy and Greece in the south, cannot be defined as political refugees. Because after initially departing their country of origin their life is not threatened. Before reaching Europe these people have crossed numerous other countries on whose soil there is no peril threatening their survival. When they arrive in Greece, Italy or Spain they are clearly economic immigrants.

There is a particular case for those who leave Syria escaping to Turkey and from there move on to Greece for the purpose of immigrating further to northern Europe. Ever since they arrive to Turkey their lives are no longer endangered. Their next moves have nothing reminiscent of a refugee plight. They are immigrants looking for desirable destinations to get to. Who exactly, however, are the people who leave Syria and move on to Turkey?

The Erdogan regime had initially enjoyed rather warm relations with the new Islamic masters of Syria. ISIS was facilitated by Turkey financially as well as allowed to enjoy the unobstructed flow of weapons and other aid items from sympathetic Arab regimes. Those who left Syria for Turkey were by definition enemies of the legitimate Assad regime in Damascus and opponents of all those fighting the ISIS jihadists. They were no friends of the Kurds, of the Iraqi Shiites or the Iranian volunteers fighting in Syria. All those endangered by the wrath of the Islamists could not reasonably seek refuge in the Sunni-dominated Turkey. The more ground ISIS was losing in Syria, by the forces fighting the fanatical jihadists, the more the flow of refugees escaping to Turkey was increasing.

It is not difficult to derive hence the quality and the motivation behind these population movements. This explains several occurrences in Europe ever since, like terrorist acts in numerous capitals enacted by Muslims originating from Syria. Immigration therefore is motivated primarily by economic issues. By and large, most immigrants are searching for a better life and improved employment conditions. There may be other religious-political thoughts and motives behind the movement of Islamic devotees to Europe but this is not the space for a detailed analysis.

Are those thousands of Muslim immigrants who are victims of a neo-liberal free market policy? For that to be true liberal economic policy should discriminate between the different versions of the Islamic faith. Because it was exactly the re-emergence of the ancient conflicts among Sunnis and Shiites that initially caused the bloody strife in Islamic lands thus producing the tremendous outflow of people towards the West. Free market economics however does not ever indulge in similar discrimination policies. Sunnis and Shiites fight each other from time unaccountable, irrespective of the economic system they live in.

Were there however economic systems that caused misery and hardship in the Middle East, as a consequence of the neo-liberal policies that they pursued internally? The contrary appears to be true. The "Black Hole" countries, from where the crowds of people constituting the major wave of Muslim immigration emanate are basically authoritarian command economies or primitive socialist regimes. The irony is that the countries of destination for those thousands of immigrants in Europe are by and large built upon liberal free market principles.

Is it perhaps the capitalist (neoliberal ?) West which caused the turmoil and produced the consequent population upheaval? The only point on which the West may stand accountable is that it stopped mingling in Middle East politics, especially after discovering its own energy resources by means of fracking and through the oil sands. It evidently chose to let the people of the area shape and follow their destiny. Even the most recent US (and not only) military involvement in the area was aimed at establishing systems of a wider popular sovereignty. Which, quite naturally, led to more and more Islamic predominance!

What emerges the moment the protective lid is removed from the top of a regime, containing its people within the enclave of military authoritarianism, is usually jihadi Islamism. Where therefore does the responsibility for their destiny rest?

Tags: Migration