‘Post-Paris, West may tighten asylum policies’

: As Paris grapples with the aftermath of the terror strikes, a new kind of fear has emerged over the expected clampdown on the liberal asylum policies of Western nations. Matthew Guy, leader of the Opposition in the Australian state of Victoria, told The Hindu that a clampdown on the liberal refugee and asylum policy will be the expected outcome.

“The conservative parties in the liberal West will be strengthened and they will demand tighter controls on who gets to enter France, Germany and other western countries. The worst affected will be the humanitarian cases but sadly refugee policies will never be the same,” he told The Hindu .

In a hard-hitting interview to The Hindu , Mr. Guy said the Paris attacks proved that the French policy on Arab refugees and immigrants has been “thoughtless” which led to alienation of the Arabs and Muslims in Paris and in other French cities. “French policy on Algerian and Arab refugees has been based on ‘guilt’ borne out of past colonial domination of certain societies in Asia and Africa by the French There were insufficient efforts to make the immigrants stakeholders in the French society,” Mr. Guy said.

Australia, which is a major destination for refugees from conflict zones and immigrants from aspiring societies, has dealt with the issue of hosting people from different parts of the world with a state policy of multiculturalism since 1972.

In comparison to European countries, Mr. Guy said, Australia has been helped by its oceanic location: “We in Australia want people to come in but we also make them feel a part of our society and our economy. But the French, the Belgians and others have failed to bring people into their societies. They have taken refugees and immigrants in while keeping them outside their societies.”

‘Historic sense of guilt’

“Taking people in is not enough. Countries have to make new immigrants understand that they will join a new society which will be enriched by their participation. That is why the European policy on migration has failed to work. The Algerians and North African Arabs have been allowed to come into France as the best possible solution to the burden of France’s sense of guilt over colonialism,” Mr. Guy said.