Refugee Resettlement Watch

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    Ann Corcoran
    P.O. Box 55
    Fairplay, MD 21733

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Archive for May 20th, 2008

Female genital mutilation is re-legalized in Egypt

Posted by Judy K. Warner on May 20, 2008

Several African countries have been making great efforts to wipe out the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation. But an Israeli web site reports that Egyptian legislators have just made the practice legal.

Egypt’s last week took several steps back into the dark ages. Conservative lawmakers made female genital mutilation (circumcision) legal again in Egypt. They also revoked a law limiting marriage age to 18 and up, a law permitting a mother to register a child on her name and a law allowing neighbors of a family that beats its children to report the abuse to authorities. The decision to cancel the laws also counters international human rights agreements signed by Egypt.

It was less than a year ago that FGM was banned in Egypt, according to a report in the Economist of July 5, 2007:

The ensuing outcry [after a girl died during the procedure] has prompted Egypt’s health minister to announce a formal and absolute ban on female circumcision, more often known as female genital mutilation (FGM). Moreover, this secular ruling is being backed by the country’s top Muslim and Christian clerics. The grand mufti, the most senior official issuing Islamic legal opinions, declared on television that circumcision is forbidden, repeating his words three times for emphasis.

The Economist article goes on to say that the practice is deeply ingrained in Egypt; 97 percent of married women say they have been cut.  (The Economist uses the term “circumcised” but that is a misleading word, making it seem identical to men’s circumcision, which it is not.)

Still, as elsewhere in Africa, there has been a slow change in Egyptian attitudes. Since 1995, the percentage of mothers who say that they support circumcision has fallen from 82% to 68%. Among educated and wealthier women, that percentage is now barely a third.

…A majority of Egyptians also believe FGM to be religiously sanctioned, a reflection of the power of conservative clerics who have portrayed opposition to the practice as inspired by hostility to the faith.

If support for FGM is falling among the people, but Muslim clerics managed to reverse a previous ban and get it made legal again, it sounds like a situation ripe for conflict.

We don’t have Egyptian refugees, so what’s the connection to Refugee Resettlement Watch ?  It’s one more portrayal of the power of traditional practices, which we’ve commented on time after time here in connection with refugees who can’t seem to adjust to American ways. Some cultural differences, like female genital mutilation, are just unacceptable in our country.

Update June 9, 2008: Egypt’s parliament just outlawed female genital mutilation — I posted on it here. I don’t know what the source for this post could have been referring to — I never saw another reference to it anywhere else.

Posted in diversity's dark side, health issues | 4 Comments »

In 1948 Arab leaders created the Palestinian “refugee” problem

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2008

Since I’ve now done two posts today on who is originally responsible for the refugee “crisis” in Iraq, it seems fitting to give you new information about who created the Palestinian refugees.

The so-called Palestinian “refugee” problem was created by Arab leaders who told Palestinians to leave the newly created Israel in order to facilitate its quick destruction.    Anyone who wanted to stay was called a traitor, according to new evidence reported today at Palestinian Media Watch (from Jihad Watch).   Read it all here

It occurs to me that this narrative of blaming Israel for 60 years for supposedly doing evil to the Palestinians has worked so well to keep hatred going that they are now using the same strategy on us.  Blame the US for all the refugee problems in Iraq and fuel the fires of hatred for generations to come.   The disgusting part is that Americans, especially in the NGO community are helping fan those flames by hiding the role Saddam Hussein played in the Iraqi humanitarian chaos.   And, our dhimmi leadership in Washington seems ready and willing to take the blame and guilt.

Why can’t the Bush Administration just stand up and say “look we didn’t create the entire Iraq refugee situation, we won’t take all the blame, the new government of Iraq needs to step up,  and dammit it’s about time that wealthy Arab countries like Saudi Arabia helped their fellow Muslim refugees–the Palestinians and the Iraqis!”

Posted in Iraqi refugees, Israel and refugees, Muslim refugees | 3 Comments »

To Human Rights Watch and Refugees International: where is the report?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2008

In researching the previous post on Iraq’s internally displaced people I came across several references including the one below (from the US State Department website) to a report called “Life under Saddam Hussein” that was ostensibly written by some of today’s most vocal NGO critics of the Bush Administration’s handling of the Iraqi refugee issue.   To hear them today, the refugee “crisis” is all Bush’s fault.

I’m not always the greatest at finding stuff on-line so it’s possible I overlooked it.  If anyone has a link to this pre-Iraq War document please send it to me at our e-mail address in the right column.  I would really appreciate it.

Human Rights Watch estimates that Saddam’s 1987-1988 campaign of terror against the Kurds killed at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds. The Iraqi regime used chemical agents to include mustard gas and nerve agents in attacks against at least 40 Kurdish villages between 1987-1988. The largest was the attack on Halabja which resulted in approximately 5,000 deaths. o 2,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed during the campaign of terror.

Iraq’s 13 million Shi’a Muslims, the majority of Iraq’s population of approximately 22 million, face severe restrictions on their religious practice, including a ban on communal Friday prayer, and restriction on funeral processions.

According to Human Rights Watch, “senior Arab diplomats told the London-based Arabic daily newspaper al-Hayat in October [1991] that Iraqi leaders were privately acknowledging that 250,000 people were killed during the uprisings, with most of the casualties in the south.” Refugees International reports that

“Oppressive government policies have led to the internal displacement of 900,000 Iraqis, primarily Kurds who have fled to the north to escape Saddam Hussein’s Arabization campaigns (which involve forcing Kurds to renounce their Kurdish identity or lose their property) and Marsh Arabs, who fled the government’s campaign to dry up the southern marshes for agricultural use. More than 200,000 Iraqis continue to live as refugees in Iran.”

In August 2003, Refugees International published a plan which Judy wrote about here.   But, the excerpt above was published at the State Department in April 2003, so there must have been some earlier report about Saddam Hussein creating a refugee crisis.

Posted in Iraqi refugees | 2 Comments »

Iraq’s problem of internally displaced people not entirely our fault

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2008

Judy and I have been following the Iraq refugee “crisis” for months and months and have posted 147 times on the topic.  In not one of those articles critical of the United States (until Judy found a brief mention the other day) were we told that the regime of Saddam Hussein had actually displaced one million people PRIOR to our arrival in Iraq in 2003.  Every article we have read on the subject lays the complete blame for the “crisis” at the feet of President Bush.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not happy with the Bush Administration, but if a solution is to be found (short of bringing a million or more Iraqis to America) then people involved in finding a resolution need to be honest with the public.  And, we need to lay some blame on other institutions including the United Nations for the mess in Iraq today.

Here are some lengthy excerpts from the Brookings Institution in November 2002 (4 months before the war in Iraq began)!

 

A recent study published by the Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement (John Fawcett and Victor Tanner, “The Internally Displaced People of Iraq,” Occasional Paper, Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement, October 2002) recommends a series of steps to manage the problem. First, acknowledge that the expulsion of people from their homes on ethnic grounds constitutes a crime and that those expelled have a right to restitution. Second, set up an official body with representative ethnic and religious makeup and international oversight to enable persons to regain land and property lost as a result of displacement. Third, establish a special task force to coordinate returns and adjudicate disputes, thereby preempting a rush on Kirkuk and other cities. Fourth, apportion oil revenues to compensate those expelled from the Kirkuk area and arbitrarily dismissed from their positions in the oil fields.

…. 

 Helping Iraq to solve the problem of its internally displaced persons will also require changes in the UN response, which has so far proven inadequate. The United Nations is the main provider of humanitarian assistance to Iraq but has given insufficient attention to assisting or protecting the displaced to date. The Oil-for-Food Program generates as much as $6 billion a year for Iraqi civilian spending, more than enough to fund programs for the displaced. Yet according to a UN survey in 2000, more than 400,000 displaced persons in the north live in collective towns, many in an advanced state of decay. A further 57,000 live in barracks, including more than 6,000 still in tents. More than 50,000 in the north are without access to health centers. In the center/south, governmental obstruction has been reported when the displaced register for food rations and little is known about their numbers or conditions.

According to the Brookings-SAIS study, this state of affairs is mainly attributable to Iraqi government intimidation combined with a self-imposed “code of silence” practiced by UN officials. Fearing violence, expulsion or other retaliation from Iraq and lack of backup from UN headquarters, UN officials in most cases have refrained from demanding access to the displaced or protesting their treatment, especially in the center/south.

….

It is not too early to begin to address problems of internal displacement in Iraq. In a country of 23 million, Iraq’s more than one million internally displaced persons constitute too large a group to be ignored, and the linkage between their plight and Iraq’s deeper political, economic, ethnic, and social problems suggests that to try to ignore them could undermine any reconstruction effort in fundamental ways.

 

 REMEMBER, THE ABOVE IS FROM 2002!

 Here is a New York Times article that says the seeds of the refugee crisis in Iraq were planted by Saddam Hussein.

As for those Iraqis who have left Iraq, surely many have been displaced by the war and the sectarian violence but many had left Iraq before we even arrived.  Last fall I posted on another study from the Brookings Institution that mentions that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria have been there for more than 20 years.  See those posts here and here.

So, to all of you pushing for resettlement of Iraqis to the west, you owe it to the public and our knee-jerk legislators to tell the whole truth about the Iraqi displaced persons problem.

Posted in Iraqi refugees | 3 Comments »

Somalis having landlord problems in Nebraska–no you are kidding!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2008

Yesterday a reader alerted us to another hot spot for Somalis and Tyson’s Food.  According to our reader, about 1200 Somalis have migrated to South Sioux City, NE to follow Tyson’s, presumably many of those had previously worked in the recently closed Emporia, KS meatpacking plant.   Read all about the Emporia, KS Somali problem here.

Although I will remind readers that we admitted 6958 new Somali refugees to the US in 2007 alone, so these South Sioux City people could be new Somalis and not Emporia’s.  That has to bring the total number of Somalis resettled in recent years to over 80,000.

In South Sioux City the Somalis claim they were evicted from apartments due to race. 

Imagine moving to another place thousands of miles away from where you came and feeling like you don’t belong once you get to there. About 25 African Refugees say that’s exactly what happened to them in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

News Channel Four caught up with one of many refugees who say they allegedly got terminated or wrongfully evicted from the apartment complex they were living in not because of money but because of their race.

The owner of the apartment complex says the allegations are false and it never happened but the director of Fair Housing in Omaha Nebraska says their investigation indicates something different.

….

The director of Fair Housing in Omaha Nebraska says they’ve obtained documented stories from 25 refugees.

 ….

Eventually it could be turned over to the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.
They are the ones that would determine if these allegations are in fact true and if any charges would be filed.

Note to this landlord.  You need to compare notes with landlords in Manchester, NH and Shelbyville, TN because we have heard similar stories from those cities.    In Manchester there were lawsuits by refugees, and reports of Somali refugees destroying apartments.  In Shelbyville, the Somali residents of an apartment complex drove away other tenants because of their rude and disruptive behavior.   Check out a landlord problem closer to home in Lexington, NE where landlords reported Somalis burning wood on top of the kitchen stove.

It is not about race, it is about culture and the apparent unwillingness of the Somalis to assimilate to America.  Or, possibly they were never taught to assimilate by the volags contracted by the US State Department to resettle them here.

BTW,  Somalis have landlord problems in Finland too. 

Posted in Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | 11 Comments »

 
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