Sunday, 29 November 2015

First published: September 14 2015

Misinformation and apparent obfuscation of the facts: Syrian refugees

It would appear that we don’t know the whole story behind the deaths of 3-year old Aylan Kurdi and his brother and mother in the waters off Turkey.  It is not only the waters around Turkey that are murky.

At the very least, there are fabrications and misstatements that created a firestorm of verbosity in the aftermath of the tragedy.  And it would appear that much of it has come from the family themselves.

First, there was the aunt in British Columbia who said that she had applied for refugee status for the family and then later recanted and said that she had talked about it, but hadn’t actually filed an application.  Then, several sources have said the boy’s father.

Abdullah Kurdi, was actually a people smuggler who was driving the rubber boat that capsized.  Those people who were on the dinghy with him said that he begged them not to tell the authorities that he was in charge of the boat and then offered some of the people who lost family members in the tragedy a refund on their purchase price of making the trip.

Some wondered how the father was able to get his dead family members back to their home for burial so quickly after the tragedy.  Now, people are asking why the British Columbia aunt is suddenly showing up in Brussels as European Union ministers are meeting in the city to discuss the crisis and who has arranged for the photo-ops and media availabilities?

There is no denying that the deaths of the children and their mother is an enormous tragedy, but there is much to this story that is untold and one gets the feeling that mainstream media in this country and abroad finds it more convenient to focus on the sensational rather than doing some digging.  Are they somehow afraid of what they might find?

The refugee crisis in this world is of monumental proportions and it is getting worse instead of better.  Huge numbers of people from Afghanistan to Syria to Iraq and various African countries are setting out in search of personal safety and economic security.  BBC reporter Lyse Doucet: ‘The head of the UN's Refugee Agency, Antonio Guterres, has repeatedly invoked one mantra: "There is no humanitarian solution for this tragic humanitarian crisis.’ The only real solution is political.” (

Civil war is not new in the global political landscape and it always produces the deaths of innocents and those who try to escape the violence.  The worry of so many people in the western, developed world is that this generation of refugees will bring their political violence and hatred with them – whether against each other or the infidels that many of their religious leaders teach them to hate.

The misinformation and apparent obfuscation of the facts surrounding the tragedy of the Kurdi family only heightens that worry.


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