L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

07 August 2007 Blog Home : August 2007 : Permalink

Taking Pity on Refugees

The BBC has the profiles of 5 men who have been guests of America in the Guantanamo holiday camp. Apparently the UK is now asking that they be allowed to go back to blighty because they all claimed to be "refugees" and begged to be allowed to stay in Britain. You will excuse me if I wonder why anyone cares, and for that matter one wonders what their various wives and childrean are living on (if you guessed someone else's taxes then you are guilty of racism, islamophopia and excessive cynicism, but are probably correct), as all these "refugees" appear to globe trotters who seem to dislike staying in the land that gave the refuge.
  1. Jamil el-Banna, a mechanic, is a Jordanian with refugee status in the UK. He has been detained in Cuba since early 2003 following capture in Gambia in November 2002.
  2. Libyan-born Omar Deghayes was granted refugee status with his family in the 1980s. He grew up in Brighton, was privately educated and studied law at British universities.[...] But he dropped out of university and travelled to Afghanistan, where he married and fathered a son. [...] Mr Deghayes was arrested in Pakistan shortly after the fall of the Taleban and was transferred to Cuba.
  3. Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, originally from Saudi Arabia, had been living in the UK since 1996. He is reported to have travelled to Afghanistan in August 2001 to carry out voluntary charity work.
  4. Binyam Mohammed al Habashi was born in Ethiopia but sought asylum in the UK in 1994 and was given leave to remain. After seven years in the UK he converted to Islam. He travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan and allegedly got firearms and explosives training alongside shoe bomber Richard Reid. He was arrested by Pakistani immigration officials at Karachi airport in April 2002 when intending to return to the UK.
  5. Abdulnour Sameur is an Algerian army deserter who came to Britain in 1999. He was granted refugee status in 2000. He lived in south Harrow, London. He was given leave to remain in the UK but travelled to Afghanistan because he found it hard to live as a good Muslim in Britain.
So having lived in Britian for a while one buggered off to Gambia and four decided they prefered either Afghanistan or Pakistan (or both). Why does the British government want these people back in the UK? If it wants to take pity on asylum seekers then it could try letting in some gurkhas or not being shamed by the Danes and welcoming the various Iraqi intepreters who are being left high and dry as the British pull out of Basra.