STRASBOURG (Sputnik) — The outflow of refugees from crisis-stricken Libya and Syria fuels xenophobic sentiment in Europe where people are led to believe they are under migrants' siege, a draft report presented Tuesday at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said.
Instability in Libya and Syria encourages "often irrational fears of invasion of migrants & asylum seekers in Europe," the Council of Europe said in a Twitter post.
Both countries have been engulfed in civil wars since 2011. In recent years, they found themselves under attack of Islamist insurgents vying to create a Sharia-law governed caliphate on the controlled territories. Hostilities have forced thousands to flee for European safe havens, with many losing their lives in desperate attempts to cross the Mediterranean in dinghy boats.
- Send Navy patrols to intercept migrants and escort them back home22.2% (264)
- Carry out search-and-rescue operations and fund refugee camps in Europe13.7% (163)
- Support their home countries to stop migrants from leaving50.9% (605)
- Arrest them when they arrive, and send them back home immediately13.1% (156)
The report cited Germany's "anti-Islamization" group Pegida in Dresden, which it said associated crime and economic problems with foreigners. It also indicated that xenophobes now refer to a "hierarchy of cultures" to justify bigotry, shifting away from the previous discourse about race.
Pegida's fearful polemic struck a chord with some Germans and also other Europeans, unhappy about a rising influx of refugees and what they regard as the growing impact of Islam on Europe's cultural identity.