VIDEO EVIDENCE OF EUROPE INVASION?
In November 2015, a number of websites published a video that supposedly showed Muslim refugees committing various acts of violence. One of the most popular versions appeared on the website BuzzPo (which describes itself as “Fun, facts, logic and a dose of snark”), under the title “This Is The Most Disturbing Muslim ‘Refugee’ Video You Will Ever See”.
Email messages soon surfaced with the following warning (unedited):
“INVASION OF EUROPE – understand that the mainstream newspapers and TV stations are not allowed to film and report on this as they will receive heavy fines for racism, a lot of this footage is being shown and distributed privately via e-mail, U-Tube by concerned people in the countries most affected.
Please send this documentary far and wide so that people are no longer ignorant of what is taking place in Europe and the UK.
Please watch to the end.
If you thought we have problems, take a look at this:
According to Snopes.com, the video does contain some genuine footage of refugees, but it also contains several completely unrelated clips. Some of the clips are footage from sport stadiums, and manipulated clips (quick, unclear, moving around and blurred) were included with a clear agenda by anti-immigrant nationalists. Before dealing with the email itself, it is important to consider matters from a Biblical and Christ-centred perspective.
A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
In all communication and sharing, the communicator will either give life or drain life: Proverbs 18:21 – “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Emails of this nature create fear, suspicion and apathy.
As servants of the “Father of compassion”, Christians are called to be comforters and life-givers (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”). Instead of cultivating empathy and concern for those suffering severely, this video has the opposite effect.
The foundation of all that flows from a believer should NEVER be based on fear but on “love, power and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”). These three elements have redemptive purposes and can never co-exist with hatred, suspicion, apathy and self-centred fear.
Any email that does not align with a crucified Christ should never be entertained as valuable information, and perspectives with an opposite message should not determine our actions. Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
Now let’s look at the source and the validity of the content.
First of all, it is always critically important to evaluate the source behind the news. This will clearly indicate the agenda. The producer of the video, “Politically Incorrect News”, declares the following on their website: “We stand for news against the mainstream, America, Israel, basic and human laws and the fight against the Islamisation of Europe.” (http://www.pi-news.org/about-us/)
This already gives an understanding that the aim of the video is not to convey truthful, neutral and helpful information, but to forward a specific agenda. This is unacceptable from a Christian perspective.
While there is some genuine footage of the refugee crisis in the video, there are also several completely unrelated clips, and several deceptive practices are employed in the video editing. For instance, many individual shots used in the film appear for only a few brief moments, which makes it difficult to determine the contexts of those scenes. Many of the scenes are also blurred, are completely out of context, or are abused.
Consider the following from Snopes.com:
“Take the clip shown at the 7:43 mark, for example.The audio comes from a man talking about how he is afraid to walk down the street due to the growing refugee population, while the visual shows someone being attacked. In the context of the video, it is reasonable to assume that the man is being attacked by refugees, but that is not the case. Instead of showing refugees attacking an innocent civilian, the clip actually shows two Slovakian migrant workers who were attacked by leftist activists in Stockholm (http://www.svt.se/ug/antinazister-misshandlade-gastarbetare).
Similarly, a clip at the 7:51 mark that is played as the narrator talks about ‘crime skyrocketing’ has nothing to do with refugees. The clip comes from a 2013 incident in which soccer fans rioted following Paris Saint-Germain’s first French league title in 19 years.
The video also uses previously debunked footage purportedly showing Muslims on a train in Germany in 2015. That piece of footage actually came from France and was first uploaded to YouTube in 2010, before the current Syrian refugee crisis began.
The ‘With Gates Wide Open’ video further features glimpses of violence in cities across the world. While the video is edited to make it seem as though all of the incidents involve refugees in Europe, that is simply not the case.”
Another important point to remember is the fact that the perpetrators of the November attacks in France were not all recently-arrived refugees. Three of the eight Paris attackers were from Brussels, one was from Egypt, and two were French nationals. Only one was identified as a Syrian refugee who passed through Greece. The attackers were indeed Muslims with close ties to the Islamic State (IS), but they were NOT refugees.
A third consideration is to try and look at the hardship from ‘within’, as one who journeys, and not only as an observer who watches from the outside. The following video, WE WALK TOGETHER, follows a Syrian refugee family’s journey to the heart of Europe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubGhzVdnhQw This video portrays a completely different scenario than the one in question.
Make no mistake, the chances are very high that there will be some radicals among the refugees, and there might even by terrorists sent by IS. This reality should not be ignored. But they are by FAR the exceptions, and our mandate as Christians is not negated or nullified by the one or two who will reject our love, nor is it determined by the majority who would appreciate our care. Our call is simply to obediently follow Jesus’ example.
In Malachi 3:5, the Lord compares those who deprive foreigners of justice to “sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers” and “those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless”.
Let us continue to reach out to those in need, even at the cost of our own security and prosperity, and to refrain from spreading a different message through these kinds of emails.