A Syrian refugee living in Germany wrote an open letter in the Austrian daily newspaper OE24 to address refugee integration concerns in Austria.
Aras Bacho, 19, is a Yazidi refugee from Syria, according to his Twitter page, and writes columns for a local Huffington Post edition in Germany.
In his open letter to Austria, Bacho said that integration between refugees and immigrants among their country of arrival is rather simple, but must be a two-way street.
“Austrians and refugees should go on joint excursions and learn together. This makes the newcomer smarter, and can see how an Austrian lives and discuss with him,” he began.
Bacho continued his note outlining ways in which refugees can become neighbors and friends with Austrians, and then suggests Austrians should donate money to refugees out of obligation.
The taxes Austrians pay, which in part go to governmental efforts that handle refugees, are not enough, according to Bacho. Austrians should be giving additional money to refugees to support them on top of taxes, because Jesus tells them to.
“‘If necessary, give them your house and all your money,'” Bacho writes, quoting the Bible. “As you can see, not all Christians abide by these guidelines,” he added.
Bacho said in his experience, the money helped him buy books and clothes which helped him survive as well as learn the language.
“Austrians have to take refugees in their own homes – this requirement will benefit both sides,” Bacho insists. “As I mentioned above, integration can only succeed if both sides are working on it.”
Bacho presumably targeted Austria with this letter given the country’s stance on immigration in recent months.
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is the leader of the coalition between the populist right-wing Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPO).
The OVP won the country’s 2017 election by pledging to tighten border controls and limit welfare benefits for immigrants and refugees. (RELATED: Austria Plans To Shut Down Mosques, expel Foreign-Funded Imams)
The government made plans in June to shut down seven mosques and expel dozens of imams in an effort to push back against radical Islam and foreign funding of religious groups, which was “just the beginning” of many steps towards restricting Islamic religious freedom in the country.
Bacho has written several other articles for the German HuffPo pleading with various countries to support refugees, including Germany, and his work potentially sheds a light on what some of the refugees in these countries are looking for.
Europe as a whole has been embalmed in a refugee and immigration problem for months, and the German coalition government finally reached a compromise in July dealing with refugees that involves screening asylum seekers at existing police facilities.
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