Right now, there are people all across Germany, looking at the tent cities filled with refugees they advocated for resettling in their country and welcomed with open arms.
And they are thinking the same thing.
It all started when a 19-year-old Albanian cut in the food line in a Calden, Germany tent city. A 43-year-old Pakistani called out the boy for his rudeness, which escalated to pushing, which further escalated to punches.
Soon, there were metal pipes and pepper spray being used by over 300 refugees as they attacked one another.
The riot left one supporter of the refugee location questioning his previous position.
“You know, when the refugees started coming, I was one of those who saw people needing help and I thought we have to help,” said Harry Kloska. The 46-year-old skydiving trainer watched from inside his office, along with his clients, as ambulances and SWAT teams poured into the camp as the refugees rioted.
“But it’s been weeks [since the refugee camp opened], and I have a different opinion now,” he said. “I am not sure that we’re going to be able to do this, to help so many people from so many different countries.”
Germany has taken in the most refugees, with more than half a million so far this year. Every day, minds that were previously welcoming minds start to doubt this was a good idea.
Calden isn’t the only place riots have occurred.
The Hamburg police report riots on two separate nights at two different refugee centers in Hamburg. One incident had around 100 migrants armed with wooden planks. Middle East Eye reports this riot started over a clash at the line for showers. According to their report, “two groups attacked each other with iron bars, furniture and rocks.”
In August, another riot in a German refugee camp left 17 injured. It started when an Afghan Christian tore pages from the Koran and tried to flush them down a toilet.
AFP reports that 20 refugees then started chasing him. When he was protected by the camp security guards and local police, the mob turned on them. By the end, around 50 people were armed with steel rods and were throwing stones at the local police. At least 17 people were injured.
And then there’s the impact on the locals:
In town, one mother angrily complained that the newcomers sexually harassed her 17-year old daughter at a bus stop. “Of course we are afraid,” she said.
Mayor Maik Mackewitz said “several young women” have stopped jogging in the nearby woods “because they are afraid of all these groups of men walking around.”
The local Edeka grocery store, meanwhile, has hired security guards for the first time because of concerns that refugees open packages of food without paying, the mayor said. On a recent afternoon, the store’s new guards were unsuccessfully trying to eject six beer-drinking Albanian migrants from a bench in the parking lot as two elderly German women tut-tutted nearby.
“It’s chaos,” Mackewitz, 38, a former officer in the German army, said at the entrance to the refugee camp.
There’s also the impact on the local economies:
Frank Himmelmann, 50, pastor at the Johannes church in Calden, said the townspeople didn’t really have time to prepare for the refugees’ arrival. Authorities announced in July that the asylum seekers were coming; two days later, state officials arrived to set up the tent city.
Even before the riot this week, he added, concern was rising that out-of-town shoppers were no longer coming to the historic town center or its grocery store because of the tent city.
Is there a war in Albania we don’t know about? Are people fleeing some unreported conflict in Pakistan?
Because this isn’t a matter of welcoming refugees of the Syrian civil war, but an opportunity for migrants to take advantage of the Western European countries and their generous welfare state:
There are well-dressed Iranians speaking Farsi who insist they are members of the persecuted Yazidis of Iraq. There are Indians who don’t speak Arabic but say they are from Damascus. There are Pakistanis, Albanians, Egyptians, Kosovars, Somalis and Tunisians from countries with plenty of poverty and violence, but no war.
It should come as no surprise that many migrants seem to be pretending they are someone else. The prize, after all, is the possibility of benefits, residency and work in Europe.
“What we see here has nothing to do with seeking refuge and safety,” Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said. “It is nothing but opportunism.”
By all means, let’s start bringing 185,000 of these probable opportunists to America.