Britain urged to take in more refugees after dead toddler pic goes viral

There has been a national outcry over the heartbreaking picture of the Syrian child who was washed up on a Turkish beach after trying to reach Greece with his family.

Three year old Aylan Kurdi drowned along with his 5 year old brother and mother after their boat capsized in the sea. It’s thought that they were fleeing from ISIS and their final destination was Canada – despite the fact that their asylum application had been refused by the country.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) called on civic, religious and political leaders across the United Kingdom to come together to provide a “compassionate and humanitarian response to the growing refugee crisis affecting Europe.”

Dr Shuja Shafi, MCB Secretary General, said: “Britain has long prided itself in being a humanitarian country on the world stage and offering refuge to those who need it most. We remember this most famously during the Second World War and the Kindertransport rescue efforts.

“We need to rekindle these values once more and ensure the UK takes its fair share of refugees. We are not calling for open borders, but open hearts. I call upon Muslim charities and families to do what they can to help refugees arriving here.

“And I call upon fellow Britons, interfaith, civil and political leaders to come together to see what we can do to address what is clearly a pressing humanitarian need.

“Yes, this needs to be done while we redouble our efforts to resolve the crisis in the Middle East so that people in Syria, Iraq and else where can rebuild their lives with dignity. But that effort should not suspend our own humanity and our ability to host temporary, but very deserving guests. I pray to the Almighty that the suffering of these people is alleviated as soon as possible.”

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National demonstration

Meanwhile, the Stop the War Coalition has called a national demonstration for September 12 in London entitled “Refugees Welcome Here.”

Commenting on its website Stop the War said: “Only one heart didn’t melt at the pictures of the three-year-old Syrian Kurdish boy’s dead body washed up on a Turkish beach: David Cameron’s. He responded by refusing to take anymore refugees.

“But he is still promising to try and make parliament agree to more bombing of Syria. This will only force more refugees to flee Syria. And then David Cameron will let them drown too.

David Cameron says taking in more refugees is not the solution
David Cameron says taking in more refugees is not the solution

“The refugee crisis across Europe is growing worse by the day as thousands flee war and chaos. Many have died in the most terrible circumstances, suffocating in lorries or drowning during dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean.

“They are being treated terribly by many of the government’s of Europe, including our own. The majority of these refugees are the victims of war, many of them fleeing the disasterous conflict in Syria.

“David Cameron’s statement yesterday aims to justify further war and bombing rather than helping the refugees. He is refusing to take any refugees in Britain, one of the world’s richest countries…

“Successive British governments have spent billions on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, plus on covert intervention in Syria. The outcome has been destruction of infrastructure across the Middle East, the growth of terrorism in the region, and the displacement of millions.

“Their only solution is further war, even though it is increasingly obvious that this option is only creating yet more chaos. Just as we oppose wars, we try to show solidarity with its victims.”

Online petition

Moreover, a petition on a government website urging the British authorities to accept more refugees has been signed by over 186,000 people.

The petition, which could trigger a parliamentary debate on the issue, reads: “There is a global refugee crisis. The UK is not offering proportional asylum in comparison with European counterparts. We can’t allow refugees who have risked their lives to escape horrendous conflict and violence to be left living in dire, unsafe and inhumane conditions in Europe. We must help.

“With an estimated 173,100 asylum applications, Germany was the largest recipient of new asylum claims in 2014. The USA was 2nd with 121,200 asylum applications, followed by Turkey (87,800), Sweden (75,100), and Italy (63,700). By comparison, the UK received 31,300 new applications for asylum by the end of 2014. These people need help.”

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