30th May 2024

Refugees: A ‘moralistic’ and ‘compassioned’ reply to Dalai Lama

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering”, says Mr. Dalai Lama, only to add that “there are ‘too many refugees in Europe” and to continue on to say “Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country”.

“From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily”, he concludes with.

“There are ‘too many refugees in Europe”

Are there too many refugees in Europe? How did Mr. Dalai Lama come to this very specific conclusion?

Did he do the maths on refugee numbers, for example per 100,000 in European countries and compare it to other countries in the Middle-East, such as Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey, or closer to his home, such as the refugees in Pakistan?

Or, maybe, he did a global wealth analysis and compared the EU/Europe to the rest of the refugee hosting countries/regions and discovered that Europe is the poorest place to be hosting refugees.

Did he put on a map the global refugee numbers and discovered that a huge majority of refugees are in Europe?

Well, whatever number crunching he did to say “there are ‘too many refugees in Europe” he is miserably wrong.  He may be a man of spirituality but he is definitely not a man of numbers.

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering”

So, given that Mr. Dalai Lama established this fact, what is he suggesting to do about it?

No, it would be unfair to expect him to come up with a solution to all the causes of refugee crisis but what is he suggesting we should do with the current and immediate human suffering?

How many “suffering children and women” are too many?

How many do we care about?

What do we say to the rest? Go away?

Where, home?

Why can’t Mr. Dalai Lama not go to his home? Another tragedy in another part of the word.

How many should we take in? What do we do with the rest?

People calling for open borders are challenged with the question of “how many refugees should we take in?”

Here is an answer that Mr. Dalai Lama may want to spiritually reflect on:

How many refugees should we take in? You tell us how many should we let to suffer, to drown, to die, and we’ll take in the rest.

How about that Mr. Dalai Lama? If you tell us your acceptable upper limit for number of human suffering we’ll take in the rest.

Is that agreeable to you?

It is you who is saying “from a moral point of view…” I think you have a moral obligation to set that limit.

You are not so good in math, so let me help you. There are 1,000,000 refugees in Europe, many waiting to be deported, many rounded up in refugee camps. Many more are in camps and on the streets of Middle-East. As you say, “when we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering”.

Of those suffering, how many are you happy to continue to suffer, how many are too many?  500,000, 750,000, 900,000, you name your number, we’ll do the maths.

“Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country”

Mr. Dalai Lama, Europe (or Germany) is not becoming an Arab country. There are Arab, Pakistani, Tibet, Indian, African, Asian, American migrants and refugees in Europe but Europe is not becoming an Arab country.

Far from it…

This is a well-known sound bite of the most unintelligent racist propaganda. We all heard about that before.

Don’t you worry yourself too much!  Germany is still Germany

But Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq isn’t what they were, or more importantly, what millions of people hoped they would be.

With hundreds of years of migrations; borders being drawn and re-drawn, Germany is Germany, Europe is still Europe. Like everything else, it is a changing Europe.

You are a man of morals.

What does your moral code say we should tell the “children and women, we can feel their suffering when we look into their faces”?

That they are guilty of ‘Arabising’ Europe?

That they are an army of Muslims drowning our European culture and values?

That they are different and incompatible with us the people here and therefore their misery, suffering and death should be balanced against protecting our culture and values?

For a long time you had the international authority for ‘moral values’ and ‘compassionate views’. Today you have destroyed your own ‘God given’ authority.

Today, your statements are echoed as sound bites by those in Europe who have nothing to say against wars, oppression and racism.

And, guess, they are not friends of anyone suffering, including the people of Tibet.

Today, those enemies of compassion, they love you.

A well-deserved love…

Today, you have made the work of ordinary good people who struggle against wars, imperialism, racism and stand in active solidarity with “suffering children and women” a little bit more difficult.

Where does your morality stand in playing the well-known racist numbers game or building an argument on fear and political xenophobia?

Where exactly has the Dalai Lama’s compassion gone after his latest shocking comments about refugees?

You have choices to make.

Yes, even you.

Those choices are a little bit more effort than throwing in a few compassioned statements in-between everything else you said.

Mr. Dalai Lama, you are wrong!

Your numbers are wrong.

Your projections are wrong.

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering”.

You see, there are only as many refugees as there is suffering.

You may be looking but you are not seeing.


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