‘Is the UK overseeing a scandal of historic proportions?’

December 27, 2016


BAD CALL: Why did the Home Office refuse a visa to the Orthodox Bishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemus Douad Matti Sharaf, when his city is at the centre of huge battle to liberate from Daesh, yet the same Home Office allowed a controversial Islamic cleric, Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri, to visit Scotland and he called for the murder of a liberal Muslim politician who was defending the Christian Pakistani activist Asia Bibi.

BEYOND BELIEF: Prince Charles, who presented BBC Radio’s Thought For The Day, claims there are parallels between the Holocaust suffered by European Jewry in the Second War and the genocide being committed by Daesh in Iraq and Syria and seemed to imply that the Home Office should be doing more to help the Christian, Yazidi and Druze minorities. Picture by Dan Marsh.

MIX UP: Robert Syms, MP for Poole, who said Robert Goodwill, the Immigration Minister, informed that there was a visa application form failure at the Home Office by his officials concerning Mor Nicodemus Douad Matti Sharaf, despite the fact his diocese was at the mercy of Daesh. Picture courtesy of the Conservative Party.



EVERYBODY across Dorset and Somerset has just getting over the Christmas hangover but have those been celebrating it out in the Middle East been shafted by the UK Government?

This would be classed as a geo-political issue but the silence and cover-up on the part of the establishment on what is going is the biggest human rights scandal of our age.

If the mainstream media were doing their job properly, I wouldn’t feel obliged to cover it but it is relevant to the area, as local people have a right to know who the most vulnerable refugees in the Middle East and be prioritised as part of the Home Office’s Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme that is Theresa May’s strategy to help the Syrian refugees.

Figures released by the Home Office but made public by the Barnabas Fund following a Freedom of Information Request showed that 4,175 refugees received to the UK from the camps run by the UN High Commission for Refugees, 98 per cent admitted were Muslim with the rest being made up of Christian, Yazidi, Druze and other minorities.

Despite the aforementioned minorities making up 10 per cent, 0.5 per cent and three per cent of the Syrian population, in the months from 1 July this year to 30 September, only 13 Christians and five Yazidis were admitted to the UK, less than half of one per cent and is a reduction on those allowed in between 7 September 2015 and 1 July 2016. These figures were almost a mirror image of US president Barack Obama’s refugee relocation policy.

This is extremely regrettable given that back in April this year Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton and Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Michael Tomlinson were amongst 278 MPs who unanimously declared that the existential threat faced by the Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the Middle East was genocide. Their contributions in a Parliamentary debate on this subject are recorded on this website from the records of Hansard.

So if you are a human rights campaigner or an elected official, what does it take to be classed as a vulnerable person needing relocation? Does it mean those facing genocide not need apply?

So with the figures based above, if they are based on the 20.000 figure the Home Office is using for a five-year-period as a reflection of the make-up of the Syrian population, the UK should be taking 2,000 Christians; 600 Druze Muslims and 100 Yazidis.

To add fuel to the fire, the Home Office may have antagonized the Orthodox Community of Iraq even more as they refused to give a short-term visa to Mor Nicodemus Douad Matti Sharaf, the Metropolitan Bishop of Mosul and Iraq despite the fact that Mosul is currently at the centre of a huge battle by the Iraqi Army to liberate it from Daesh.

On highlighting this specific fact and the Home Office freedom of Information request figures Dorset and Somerset MPs Robert Syms, David Warburton, James Heappey, Marcus Fish and Michael Tomlinson were asked on Twitter for their reaction. Mr Syms, MP for Poole, replied on the issue of Mor Matti Sharaf’s visa and his response was as follows: “Hi Matthew, the immigration minister (Robert Goodwill) told me they messed the application forms up.”

The Barnabas Fund has accused the UN High Commission for Refugees of blatantly discriminating against Syrian and Iraqi refugee minorities for the past four and a half years.

A spokesman said: “Whilst the UK government says it outsources its selection of vulnerable refugees to the UN, its toleration of this level of discrimination against some of the most vulnerable people in the world is morally wrong. For it tolerate this when Christians and Yazidis are actually facing genocide in Iraq and Syria is a national scandal of historic proportions.

To add to the woes of the Home Office, an even more devastating intervention came from the Prince of Wales on BBC Radio’s Thought for The Day: “All of this has deep disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s. I was born in 1948, just after the end of World War II, to which my parents’ generation fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and an inhuman attempt to exterminate the Jewish population in Europe.

“That, nearly 70 years later, we should still be seeing evil persecution, is to me, beyond all belief. We owe it to those who suffered and died so horribly not to repeat the horrors of the past.”


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