|By: Angela “Miss M” Morrissey ©opyright
From the CollegeHipHop.com Australasian – Oceania Desk
Jesus was a man of “Middle Eastern appearance” who as a child was forced to become a refugee when his family fled the wrath of Herod (Matt 2:13-15). His family had to live in Egypt when he was just a toddler. Here he was a stranger in a foreign land with a different culture and language.
It is no different that there are asylum seekers in Australia today mainly from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Iran who are fleeing oppressive regimes. People who like Jesus are of “Middle Eastern Appearance.” Strangers in a strange land.
Yet, Australia has a Prime Minister who claims to be a committed Christian of the Catholic denomination who is determined to “stop the boats.”
It makes me wonder if Jesus would be welcome in any country today.
According to Ms Margarita Windisch, an Australian political candidate running for office, the boats are still coming. Ms Windisch claims that, “Australian Immigration Minister Dutton reported in January that 15 boats had tried to come to Australia but were forcefully turned back to Indonesia and Sri Lanka since Operation Sovereign Borders came into effect.”
This means more possible deaths at sea.
What’s more, there are reports that women and children are being mistreated in detention centres. This is unacceptable. The guards have a duty to take care of these children and women who are at their most vulnerable.
Refugees are no longer allowed entry into Australia. They are now being processed offshore in Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. Now, Myanmar, Indonesia, Gambia and Malaysia have agreed to take those fleeing from their native countries.
Female refugees are allegedly being forced to expose themselves to sexual exploitation for access to showers, other amenities, and cigarettes. Guards are also allegedly demanding detainees to show their naked bodies in exchange for longer showers. Ms Windisch calls these reports “distressing” especially since they are allowed to continue.
Australia’s Socialist Alliance political party totally opposes children being held in detention centres. It violates the Refugee Rights convention and is responsible for a range of severely negative physical and mental health outcomes which in the worst case scenarios have led to the loss of life.
Between October 2013 and October 2014, 17 minors were recorded as having self-harmed at the detention centre in Nauru. This includes swallowing a metal bolt, a rock and ingesting detergent. People who self-harm often do so because they cannot fight back against the person who is harming them. It might also be the case that they intend on trying to commit suicide as they see no other way out of their plight.
It has also been alleged that a male guard threatened to hunt down a woman for sex once she was released as a refugee into the Nauru community. Ms Windisch says that, ‘Female detainees are extra vulnerable to sexist exploitation and abuse’ and that ‘misogynist behaviour is part of the detention (centre) culture.’ Socialist Alliance opposes mandatory detention of refugees and asylum seekers, irrespective of their mode of arrival. They call on centres to be closed at once whether they are in Australia or off shore.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has taken a hardline approach to refugees coming to Australia. This includes tow-backs or turning boats around. Yet, Mr Abbott and his wife Margie are originally from the United Kingdom and New Zealand respectively – not Australia.