Could Egypt make refugee-intake into an industry? (with bonus Paris-attack commentary)

Could Egypt make refugee-intake into an industry? (with bonus Paris-attack commentary) January 7, 2015

Look, I’m just spitballing here, as they say, and have utterly failed to keep up with my Egyptian current events, but I was taken by surprise by reports that al-Sisi is positioning himself as The Elusive Moderate Muslim.  At the same time, Germans are protesting non-assimilating Muslims, and complaining that refugees are living high on the hog while they’re left high-and-dry.

So here’s my win-win proposal:  Germany outsources its refugees (or the refugees that it would have taken, in the future) to Egypt, paying them on a per-head basis.  Egypt gets a cash infusion, gets to demonstrate its Moderate Islamic Country bona fides, and, best-case, can attract business investment and even attract a certain number of educated, entrepreneurial refugees along with the desparate, poor ones.

What’s not to like?


So, yeah, there’s a difference between the sitcom-ese “a plan so crazy it just might work” and just plain crazy, but don’t you just wish the world could be, well, different?  That those pictures people occasionally share on blogs and twitter feeds and news reports of the Muslim world back in the 50s or so, when women wore fashions in line with European styles, no headscarves, and participated in public life, were actually current photographs?  That the Arab Spring had produced a modern, democratic, and generally more sensible Middle East?

Instead, we get an attack on a French magazine that had dared to poke fun at Islam.

Is this “terrorism”?  Probably not – insofar as “terrorism” has generally tended to mean “an attack by a terrorist group,” and this could just as easily be an attack by some angry unassimilated Muslim men from the “inner city” suburbs of Paris, unaffiliated with any larger group.  But it does raise the legitimacy of the Pegida protesters’ concerns about Muslim immigrants who haven’t assimilated into the countries which have opened themselves to them.

It still remains to be seen what happens next in France — whether they crack down on Islamists in some form or another, or whether political correctness means being more concerned about avoiding a “backlash.”  Certainly Twitter tells me that there’s a mix of both concern and “blaming the victim” in the U.S., and various media outlets are careful, in their reporting, to blur out any of the “offending” images (any guesses on whether those same outlets blurred out Piss Christ?) — one example here — which, at this stage in the game, is immensely disturbing.

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