Statement on the Refugee Crisis and Our Common Humanity

30 August 2015


Statement on the Refugee Crisis and Our Common Humanity


Humanity looked in anticipation to the year 2000 and the end of a millennium. One had a strange feeling as did a great number of people all over the world that the end of the World had come. People felt the uniqueness of the day and the year "2000."The beginning of the third millennium, one could argue ushered nothing but discord, wars, diseases, mayhems and ethnic cleansing. It also brought systematic shuffling of humanity, disruption of societies, cultures, mores and norms.


There are 80 million Refugees in the World. There are people on the run, trying to escape all sorts of dangers and trying to move to safer havens where they can restore their dignity and settle and work and contribute to their new host countries. The majority of the refugees have been displaced because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds.

Although the world is interconnected through modern technologies and for most of the time through a universal culture; yet, they are not very accepting of each other. The more we come in contact with each other, it seems, the less we accept "the others."

Cultural norms and mores, language barriers and religious differences seem to bring out the worse in us. Ethno-religious racial minorities seem to bear the brunt of it all. They are persecuted by the larger groups who-so-ever the larger groups are. Religion was meant to bring us together, not to separate us. What has triggered all this and why? Is it a fear of an international culture that might undermine "ours" and compromise our values, mores and norms? Why are we incapable of embracing a unified culture that is synthesis of all cultures of the world? A culture of acceptance and of tolerance; a culture which negates the essence of violence against the other and celebrates all our differences and all our communality; One would ask the question why this is not possible?

If our beliefs are built on sound foundation, making common cause with others becomes an easy and gratifying task. One does not have to loose one's identity, but one is asked to embrace the others. By celebrating our differences, at the same time, we richen ourselves and others from the encounter; instead of its being a clash of civilizations and cultures, it becomes an amalgam of cultural experiences which makes us better persons.

On the other hand, if political, economic, social and religious differences separate us and lead us to kill and demonize each other, we should all remember that the thread of humanity is all one and that we all are born in the same manner and die in the same manner. Furthermore, if the Creator of this intricate universe wished to create us all alike as duplicates of each other, it would have been no feat for Him or Her. Yet we were created different, so that we may come to know each other, not as antagonists, but as friends who can embrace each other and celebrate each other's uniqueness as our Creator had anticipated and intended for his creation.