This year’s pre-Christmas family argument was introduced by a Labor-voting female senior relative who said, guilelessly, it costs a lot to look after all the refugees, doesn’t it ?.
Male senior relative (SR) quickly outlined his position on Hazara asylum-seekers which was that they should not be here seeking asylum but that rather they should form an indigenous resistance front against the Taliban, remain in their country and defend it, similar to what the Poles did against the Germans in WW2 and that they haven’t done so because they are tribal people who do not have the initiative to do things for themselves and instead opportunistically accept charity from others and that this passivity would leave Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban with Afghanistan inevitably becoming a wasteland. In this way the Hazara can be viewed as national traitors.
I told SR that he was suggesting that Hazara were lazy and cowardly and indeed sub-human since they choose not to do what ordinary people have always done i.e. to defend themselves from aggression. SR said, no, Hazara are not really lazy or cowardly, but that ‘it’s just culture’ i.e. the Hazara culture being tribal is dominated by passive, lazy and opportunistic characteristics. This culture is to avoid work or fight, to expect others to work or fight for them, and to gratuitously seek and accept charity without contribution to their own well-being.
SR is ignorant of Hazara history and has simply constructed a racist myth based on his own lazy and superficial observations of the Hazaran predicament. That myth is a variation on the general form of the Hazara Asylum-Seeker Myth in the general psyche of the Australian right-wing and disengaged voter which has developed under the tutelage of the dog-whistling Liberal/National Party Coalition who have unashamedly inflamed and reinforced xenophobic stereotypes as a means of garnering voter support.
The myth, of course, exists to explain and validate cultural norms among xenophobic Australia. And that desired cultural norm is that Australia should remain white.
History Of Resistance
The simplest research (i.e. a visit to Wikipedia) soon shows that the Shi’a Hazara have a long national history of resistance against the continued persecution of the Sunni majority of Afghanistan. This resistance commenced as soon as the Pashtun Sunnis attempted annexation of the neighbouring Hazara homeland from 1880. Resistance was immedaite with three major uprisings in the period 1888 – 1893 and another in 1940. Sixty per cent of the Hazara were massacred in the 1888-1893 uprisings, the equivalent of twelve million Australians being liquidated by an invading force, of course with accompanying rape and atrocity.
Oppression of the Hazara by the Pashtun and their fellow Sunnis, the Kuchi has continued unabated to this day whenever the Sunnis had power. Relative safety for the Hazara only occurred when Afghnaistan was ruled or controlled by local Communists or colonial powers i.e. the English, Russians and Americans.
From the late 1980′s, following the expulsion of the Soviet regime, the Hazara faced intensely renewed attacks aimed at their genocide or ethnic cleansing from Sunni clans strengthened by fundamentalists recruited and financed by the USA to fight the Russians. Outright massacre of Hazara occurred in their major cities of Bamiyan, Yakaolang and Mazar-e-Sharif between 1998 to 2001.
The Hazara faced contidions of intended genocide until the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.
Similarity To The Poles
SR offered the example of the WW2 Polish as a model of how the Hazara should resist Sunni totalitarian invasion. He, like his fellow thinkers, is unaware of the actual similarities that exist between the Poles and the Hazara in relation to their courage, their resistance and their determination to fight back against overwhelming odds.
The Poles were the first to suffer invasion from expansionist Germany, sharing an immediate land border with them, and immediately resisted the German invasion. Likewise the Hazara share an immediate land border with the Pashtun Afghans and as soon as the Pashtuns invaded under Abur Rahman Khan in 1888, the Hazara fought back. It is obvious that the Hazara must have formed a national resistance army to do so.
A century later, Hazaran national resistance was expressed through the Hizb-e-Wahdat, formed in 1987 (p. 728). Just as the WW2 Poles received assistance from Western Allied powers, so the Hazara Hizb-e-Wahdat received assistance from Iran which they used to fight against the Sunni fundamentalists (many bought to Afghanistan by the USA) and, sadly, fellow Hazara splinter groups, such fighting continuing through 1994 against the Mujahideen and from then until 2000 against the Taliban (who arrived in 1994) (Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations, Hazara, p. 729)
National Resistance Army
SR claims that the Hazara did not form a national resistance army to fight the Taliban, but in fact the Hazara did and have done so. This rebuts the arguments voiced by xenophobic Australians that the Hazara do not deserve to come to Australia because they do not bother to fight for themselves. The Hazara have continuously fought for themselves ever since they were first invaded in 1888, more than 120 years ago.
As we have seen, the political/military resistance arm of the Hazara is called Hizb-e-Wahdat and was formed in 1988. Hizb-e-Wahdat fought the anti-Communist (and anti-Shia) Mujahideen who come to power in 1992 and, following them the Taliban who arose in Afghanistan in 1994.
Prior to the Kizb-e-Wahdat, the Hazara unified against the local communist government, under a body called the Council for the Islamic Revolutionary Alliance. The Council or Shura fought in alliance with other Afghani Islamic bodies against their Communist government until 1984 when they were expelled from the alliance by the Sunni-dominated membership
From about 2000, the Hazara fought alongside the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. With the arrival of the US-led anti-Taliban forces in 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom, the Hazara then fought alongside the US and allied western powers, just as the Poles have been commended for, (ESN, pp. 730-731), assisting in the capture of Kabul with US air support . Under the relative security of the US-aligned Afghani government and on-going Allied military action against the Taliban, large numbers of Afghani refugees, naturally including many Hazara, returned to Afghanistan.
As the respected US Council On Foreign Relations put it:
Made up predominantly of Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazara Shiites, the [northern] alliance opposed the Taliban after its formation and assisted U.S. forces in routing the group after 9/11
[This section uses much material verbatim from: Denise Phillips, 'Why Hazaras flee: An historical perspective of their persecution.'
Submission for the Government’s Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers]
If the Hazara gained victory over the Taliban in 2001 why are they still coming to Australia ? Doesn’t this prove they are merely economic migrants looking for a free handout ? No. Quite simply nothing much changed for the Hazara despite the capture of Kabul. Their enemies are still dominant.
After the Hazara in conjunction with the Northern Alliance and US Forces captured Kabul, there followed a time of relative security for the Hazara, but the Taliban had not been eliminated and progressively regrouped. In 2008 the US Department Of Defence described the Taliban operations as ‘resilient and evolving’. It was assisted by regional and elements of national Pakistani government allowing safe haven for the Taliban in border areas. In 2010 the Taliban, operating with the consent and assistance of local Pashtuns, demonstrated effective control over towns and regions in which Hazara lived.
In Oruzgan province, the decapitated corpses of 11 Hazara males were discovered in the Khas Oruzgan district on 25 June 2010. Police official Mohammed Gulab Wardak reported that the Taliban killed them ‘because they were ethnic Hazaras and Shiite Muslims’. This occurred in the very province where Australia’s Defence Personnel have been deployed in a security and reconstruction role, showing the dire threat to Hazaras, even alongside a broader military presence.
Kuchis regularly arrive in Hazara districts heavily armed for conflict. In 2008, approximately 60,000 Hazara were displaced by Kuchi Sunnis who seized the fields belonging to the Hazara and burnt their homes.
Even in Kabul, centre of the moderate government of Mohammed Karzai, Hazara are killed with impunity. On 6 December 2011, a suicide bomber killed at least 56 Shiites pilgrims worshipping at the Abdul Fazal Abbas Shrine in the Murad Khani district in Kabul during commemorations for Ashura, the holiest day of Muharram. On the same day, a bomb attached to a bicycle exploded, killing Shiite pilgrims in Mazar-e Sharif and bringing the death toll to 60.
Neverthess Hazara resistence continues. These days Hizb-e-Wahdat posts videos of their exploits on You Tube, so you can follow them on a daily basis if so inclined.
The Taliban, an indigenous Pashtun Afghani movement, was never eliminated from Afghanistan and neither of course were the local ethnic Pashtun and Kuchi clans. They live there, so they will always be there and connot be expelled except by the counter-atrocity of reverse ethnic cleansing involving half the population of Afghanistan. Unfortunately for the Hazara they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by local people who hate them and who are assisted in that hatred by the and well-funded Taliban who also happen to be supported by Pakistan.
This means that Hazara will always be subject to genocidal persecution including kidnap, multilations, random killing, systematic murder and the rest. And that’s Taliban or no Taliban. There is no escape.
For xenophobic Australians, the fact that Hazara live among genocidal maniacs who outnumber them five to one in count and about a thousand to one in armaments is NO EXCUSE. They MUST stay in Afghanistan and RESIST. Anything else is simply gutless, irresponsible cowardice. The staggering ignorance of the xenophobic position is monstrous. But they will not tolerate any Hazara leaving the killing fields to come to Australia and stand ahead of them in the queue at Maccas.
So it is in the xenophobic Myth of the Undeserving Hazara that the fleeing, cowardly Hazara refugees are juxtaposed against the brave, resilient Poles who all stayed and fought.
Tony Abbott Re-Institutes Turkish Towback Policy Toward Illegals
Xenophobes are therefore unaware that a vast number of Polish refugees during WW2. There were 120,000 in Hungary alone. They were tolerated and were not sent back to Nazi/Soviet-controlled Poland for execution, nor were they reviled in Hungary as gutless cowards. 1000 Poles ended up in Iran. About 12000 Polish Jewish refugees went to Romania, 2000 to Japan; another 13000 Jewish refugees went to Lithuania, thousands more went to Bulgaria.
More thousands sought to travel to Palestine, but were prohibited from transiting through Turkey because the Turkish authorities noted they did not have the correct paperwork, a fact which would be approved of by Scott Morrisson and Tony Abbott. The Turks, anticipating Lib/Nat Coalition approval from Tones and Scott, then instituted a tow-back policy for refugees, dragged the refugee ship out into the Black Sea with its 769 human cargo, where it was then sunk by a Russian submarine. All died except one. One can only say that gutless illegals get what they deserve.
To return to the point the Hazara have behaved exactly like the Polish. The Polish formed a resistance army, so did the Hazara. The Polish resisted the Germans for 5 years, the Hazara have resisted the Pashtuns for 125 years and counting. There were an enormous number of Polish refugees, there are an enormous number of Hazara refugees.
If the Polish can be commended for their actions, then the Hazara can also be commended for their identical actions. If the Polish refugees can be forgiven for leaving the killing fields, then so can the Hazara.
If War Then Refugees
To state the obvious, where there is war there are refugees. Polish males did not in toto form guerilla units, though many did. On the whole they left the fighting to the trained military. Can we not then afford Hazara the same consideration ? In any case I will wager that the proportion of guerilla Hazara is at least equal to the proportion of guerilla Poles. Why would it not be ? Hazara are human too. They love their homeland as much as anyone else.
They Should Just Work It Out
SR was keen to differentiate the Hazara from other people groups who have suffered war or persecution. His three examples were the Poles (dealt with above), the Irish and the Cambodians. The latter groups, he said, bravely stayed in their countries despite the troubles and did not passively nick off to other places and let someone do their hard yakka for them.
SR must therefore be unaware that there was a huge refugees exodus of Cambodians following the rise of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge 150,000 went to the US alone. In the single year of 1979, 270,000 Cambodians fled to Thailand. Lastly, the Khmer Rouge were deposed by invasion from Vietnam, not by internal political settlement. The Cambodians did not work out a solution to their murderous government.
As for the Irish Troubles, this is the idealised model for SR as the sectarian violence was eventually dissolved into a political solution with not one immigrant coming to Australia as a result (that he is aware of). SR might be surprised to learn that of course the Troubles did indeed produce refugees with small numbers of Irish emigrating to New Zealand and Australia and a large number to Canada as a result of that awful sectarian violence.
Dr Raymond Russell, in his paper ‘Migration in Northern Ireland: an update’, prepared for the Northern Ireland government summarizes:
…during the 1970s and 1980s, Northern Ireland experienced a consistently large net population loss due to out-migration. This period coincided with the ‘Troubles’.
Stay and work it out ? Pol Pot was not negotiating with anyone. Let us recall that 1.7 million Cambodians died of starvation. SR speaking for xenophobic Australia says the honourable option is for those being starved that they should organise into guerilla units and fight back, presumably using straw brooms or office staplers as weaponry against Tanks in between scrounging for bark and spiders to eat.
Stay and work it out? The Pashtun and Taliban are not negotiating. In their view the Hazara Shia are infidels who can and should be killed. And doing so is no offence to God or man. So the Hazara must resist. And they have done for 125 years. Thing is, the Hazara have now been defeated and yet still face an implacable enemy unsatified with mere victory.
Taliban governor Mullah Manon Niazi publicly [incited the attacks on Hazara], preaching that, ‘Hazaras are not Muslim. You can kill them. It is not a sin’.
125 years of resistance should be recorded by any reasonable observer as an honourable effort. To insist the Hazara stay on to be daily massacred in cold blood is just macabre.
I say let them in. They’ve earned it.
But Why Should They Come Here ?
Its a matter of survival.
As Denise Phillips recorded, in summarising why Hazaras risk their lives on boats, an Hazara refugee says:
When the government and law enforcement agencies can’t provide protection, when your house is on fire, when your home country becomes hell for you, when you can’t go anywhere without the fear of being killed, when your religion and your facial features make you the easy target. When death is hovering over your head every day, then you don’t have options but to flee, seek refuge, knock at other people’s door for help, sit on a leaky boat, choose a dangerous journey that possibly leads to death. Today the Hazara Shias (boat people, the asylum seekers) are in a state of desperation and struggling for their survival as it is a basic human instinct.