Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/368/6038

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2004

Life As A Refugee

The murder of a Kurdish refugee in an alleged racist attack in Swansea several weeks ago sent shock waves throughout Swansea and across Wales.

A vigil of hundreds took place at the spot where he was murdered and around a thousand marched through Swansea recently to demonstrate against racism and uniting the local Kurdish community with other ethnic minorities, trade unionists, students, socialists, community organisations, political parties and many other groups.

Alec Thraves spoke to Burhan Mahmoud (Bora), a Kurdish refugee and socialist about life as a refugee in Britain.

AT: How have you found life here?

BM: Every migrant may have different expectations. I have seen my life in Britain change because I came from the closed community of Iraq to a country with democratic rights. It is difficult trying to adapt to a new way of life. I think it is easier for me because of my secular beliefs - I like the way people can express themselves here.

Before the Home Office transferred us to Wales we had a very closed life and most things were out of our hands. I can say that my life really started in Swansea, despite having problems with the language. I am working and trying to learn the language at the same time.

I have been able to contact my friends and meet a group of people like yourselves who have the same socialist ideology as me. What comforts me is that I have known people like Alec from the Socialist Party and Tracey Sherlock, a community development worker, who are very helpful to refugee people and we really appreciate that.

AT: Do you think that refugees are acknowledged to be making a positive contribution to society in the UK?

BM: Refugees, better to call them exiled people, can and do play a positive role in British society. I mean that with different political, economic and cultural experiences they can help build relationships with others based on mutual understanding.

There are people in the heart of the poor societies of the third world working hard to bring about freedom, equality and justice but racism is a major obstacle in developing an understanding between different cultures. This is a problem that has to be addressed by the left parties of Europe, but it shouldn't be at the expense of conceding political principles to religious groups.

Judging all Muslims from the experience of fundamentalist minority Islamic groups is dangerous. After all, the Islamic extremists are a product of those dictatorial governments who are the allies of the west!

AT: What do you think of the government's attitude towards refugees and asylum seekers?

BM: Britain signed the 1951 convention on human rights and the 1967 protocol so it should have a responsibility towards refugees. But the reality is far removed from that convention. The Home Office now deprives asylum seekers who were once supported by NASS from every service they need and evicts them from their homes. They are not concerned where these people end up.

A few months ago in Manchester some Kurdish refugees were arrested for "being involved with Islamic extremists". The BBC broadcast this news for one week continuously and it reinforced this idea amongst the public about refugees. After a few days the police released them and apologised! The BBC, like the rest of the capitalist media, plays a very negative role by distorting the image of refugees.

AT: What do you think of the present situation in Iraq?

BM: We all hear and see from satellite channels that in post-Saddam Iraq there is no hope of a democratic country that protects civilian rights. What I see is that post-Saddam Iraq is under a great threat. This is in contrast to those who argue that a democratic and secular Iraq is being built.

Political Islam, whether Shiite or Sunni, and all other religious parties are thriving and making it more difficult to have an open, secular society. I hope that the Iraqi people and Kurdish people will become more aware of the obstacles and threats that are stopping them having a better life, after having their dreams destroyed for more than 30 years by the regime of Saddam.

Finally, I would like to thank you all and wish you success in all aspects of life and in achieving your socialist goals.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 30 October 2004:

Unite And Fight

Why We're Going On Strike


International socialist news and analysis

Troops Out Of Iraq

Israel: Sharon's 'Entanglement Plan'

The White House For Sale

Ukraine: Galol Plant Workers Left High And Dry

Opel Workers - Down But Not Out

Life As A Refugee


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist Party Stands To Stop Privatisers

How The NHS Is Being Taken Apart

Wythenshawe: Young People Need Decent Facilities

Four Weeks To Get All Pledges In


Workplace news and events

Nominate Roger Bannister

Manchester Evening News Strike

Support Jaguar Workers

Coventry Workers Fight Back


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 October 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Kurdistan:

triangleTurkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

triangleTurkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

triangleSyria: Is an end to the war in sight?

triangleTurkey: Erdogan tightens repressive screw

triangleStop the war on the Kurds!

Refugee:

triangleHundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The Rohingya refugee crisis

triangleG20 betrays refugees created by its own policies

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: The refugee crisis

Refugees:

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleBrutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

triangleDerby Socialist Party: Solidarity with refugees - defend the right to asylum

Iraq:

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

Asylum:

triangle40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'

Swansea:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

Socialist:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

Britain:

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

International

International

18/10/17

Hong Kong

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2