Toespraak van Najeebullah Azad (Afghaanse student in Nederland , Activist die opkomt voor de rechten van Afghaanse vluchtelingen in Nederland, het uitzetbeleid en de EU-deals met landen zoals Turkije en Afghanistan) op de Internationale Dag tegen Racisme en Discriminatie
18 maart 2018, op het Museumplein in Amsterdam
Good afternoon friends, advocates, and social activists:
In today’s gathering, seeing everyone here from different countries, ethnicities, religions, and cultures, our diversity makes this place look like a rich garden in heaven.
I will be speaking today as a human being without any political motives based on my personal experiences and knowledge about this important day for the elimination of racial discrimination. I will talk about the EU deal with Afghanistan and Turkey government on deportation of refugees, and how as states and citizens, we can treat refugees without racist intentions through simple means in our daily lives. First of all, I will request everyone for a 20 second of silence in respect for all of the victims of racism and xenophobia.
I remember the first time I heard the word “race” and “class” in my English class when I lived as a refugee in Pakistan. I used to play a lot of car racing games, I thought race is just a virtual competition in games. I thought “class” refers to classrooms where people come together to learn. However, I came to realize that these words stand for the endless injustice persistent in our present world.
Every human being is entitled to human rights without discrimination. The rights to equality and non-discrimination are cornerstones of common-sense for every human who has a common-sense, and it should be the cornerstones for states globally under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With racism and discrimination comes superiority of one over another, which leads to a homogeneity, and hinders heterogeneity. I am quoting Elie Wiesel and Nelson Mandela who are globally known for activism against racism:
“No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.” – Elie Wiesel
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
On EU-Turkey deal which leads to collective deportation of refugees from Greece to Turkey:
On Greece side, even Greek immigration officials believe they would not be able to handle thousands of refugee asylum cases adequately due to lack of resources and that they need 20 times more staff to address needs of refugees sufficiently. Due to lack of resources Greece has asked Turkey to accept “deported refugees from Greece whose asylum cases have not been investigated properly due to lack of resources and put them in refugee camps in Turkey”??? where in exchange Turkish government will receive 7 Billion USD and liberation of EU visa requirements for Turkish citizens. Are they talking of business and convenience for their own citizens in return to the catastrophe created for refugees??? Lives are not for sell, lives are for living anywhere peacefully as a human being…
Prior to the conclusion of the EU-Turkey deal, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch had furthermore provided evidence that Turkey was breaching the principle of non-refoulement by deporting Syrians back to Syria, and sending back hundreds of asylum seekers to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria without due access to legal aid and asylum.
Under the EU-Turkey deal, certain refugees from a specific nationality gets different level of treatment just because their countries are at war? A person who has escaped persecution can also be from developed countries not only under-developed countries. Treating refugees from different nationalities differently just because a massive war has started in a country makes states biased towards nationalities from other countries whose country has been at war for years and decades. Dozens of asylum seekers, including children, reported rising anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses. This is not a fair deal and every refugee applying for asylum anywhere in the world due to persecution in their own country should be given the same rights and legal aid!!!
Without consideration of a person’s colour, look, clothing style, religion, surname, or physical attributes, as MLK Junior said: “everybody should be treated by the content of their character. Equal handling in asylum from persecution cases for refugees from all over the globe, equal employment opportunities for all citizens, and equal treatment for ALL.
On EU-Afghanistan deal about deportation of Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan in return of giving 13 billion Euros in four years duration to the Afghan government in return of sending back 80,000 Afghan refugees to a supposedly safe Afghanistan, is a mistake. Persecution does not end with billions of Euros. International community has spent over a trillion dollar since 9/11 in Afghanistan, and yet the intensity and complexity of war and conflict has exacerbated. A person does not escape their hometown, walking, sailing, running, hiking, and going through harsh conditions to seek life in Europe for fun, people have insecurities…
To support humanity, end wars, refugee crises, strengthening each other as a nation, let’s make peace and love with our enemies in war-zones, stop wars, and cut our spending on military in a world where inequality, bias, and racism has led to war and conflict. Let’s focus on main causes of these problems, lets give people pen, pencil, and notebooks. On this note, I don’t want anyone to take this personally, but personally, I think of why people use luxurious products like body perfume or gel for their hair when they know for sure that there are people dying out of hunger, people have no access to hospitals. International spending and personal spending of funds should treat our problems as global community, as it leads to addressing the real needs and finally lead to equality, love and no racism.
Ending my speech, I think of how beautiful life would have been if concepts like race and class stuck to the games and study rooms rather than real life injustices made by us human beings. Life is not about competition, life is about integrating with each other despite our differences. As individuals lets combat against racism, and campaign and advocate for equality. Here I want to wish my friends in Den Haag for their 20 March kite-running protest against deportation of Afghan refugees.