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Erik Moberg ©:

   

12. THE ASYLUM SEEKERS–SUMMARY

 

After the detailed discussions about the emigration reasons for the individual countries I will now make a summary and thereby, hopefully, also make the whole picture clearer. At first, as shown in Table 4, most of the countries of origin of emigrants have large shares of Muslims in their populations. In several cases this means that there are, within the countries, severe conflicts between Shiites and Sunnis, but even when it is not so, for instance in almost completely Shiite Iran, the Muslim dominance usually entails repressiveness disliked by many, in particular among the young. But even if this dominance of Islam is characteristic for most of the countries discussed here it is not, by itself, in any of the countries, a sufficient reason for emigration. Some kind of triggering cause has also had to be present, and this cause has, for different countries, been of different kinds.

 

Table 4: Percentages of Muslims in the countries treated

 

Country

Muslims in the

population,

percentage

Afghanistan

99.7

Iran

99.4

Iraq

99.0

Somalia

98.5

Turkey

ca 98

Pakistan

96.3

Syria

92.2

Bangladesh

89.6

Kosovo

89.6

Guinea

84.4

Albania

79.9

Nigeria

50.4

Eritrea

36.5

Macedonia

33.3

Russia

11.7

Georgia

9.9

Sri Lanka

8.5

Serbia

3.2

 

 

I will start with the Arab Spring. This was directly triggering the emigration stream from just one country, namely Syria. But then the Arab Spring was also important in another way, namely by leading to fall and death of Gadaffi and thus to the collapse of the Libyan state, and thereby to opening of a window in North Africa for migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe.

 

Another very important triggering cause, relevant in particular for Afghanistan and Iraq, was the politics of the US, initiated by George W. Bush, and some other Western countries. In these two countries a very large number of Western troops, mainly US ones, intervened in 2001 and 2003 respectively. The immediate reason was, in the case of Afghanistan to find and take Osama-bin laden and in the case of Iraq to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction–ambitions which failed in both countries. But in addition to this, and in both countries, the troops were also used for far-reaching efforts to democratize the countries. Then the US, with its new president Barack Obama, withdraw most of the troops, prematurely as it seems, and thereby leaving a chaos, a chaos which triggered the large scale emigration. In the case of Afghanistan, this chaos also spread to Pakistan, and in Iraq it led to the emergence of IS.

 

Then there seems to be still a triggering mechanism, working in some states with large shares of Muslims in their populations, as well as other ones, namely stimulation or contamination. Thus, and when a migration stream from some country passes through another country, some people in this latter country may be inspired to emigrate as well, in particular if they are approached by smugglers or traffickers. This kind of mechanism may explain a lot of the migration from Iran and from the Balkan countries.

 

At last. The fact that three important triggering mechanismsthat is the Arab Spring, the Western withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and the similar withdrawal from Iraqoccurred almost simultaneously was a mere coincidence. It could as well have been otherwise. But now, being as it was, it certainly contributed to strength of the further triggering mechanism of contamination or stimulation. And thereby I finish my discussion about the "migration streams of people of an extraordinary magnitude, length, complexity and dispersion".

 

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