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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

By Robert Fisk

Published 03/09/2015

In the darker and ever growing chasm between the people of Europe and their cringingly ambitious leaders there is a far more serious challenge for the future
In the darker and ever growing chasm between the people of Europe and their cringingly ambitious leaders there is a far more serious challenge for the future
A Turkish police officer carries a migrant child’s dead body off the shores in Bodrum, southern Turkey
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a child from a beach in Bodrum, Turkey
Abdullah Kurdi, 40, father of Syrian boys Aylan, 3, and Galip, 5, who were washed up drowned on a beach near Turkish resort of Bodrum on Wednesday, cries as he waits for the delivery of their bodies outside a morgue in Mugla, Turkey, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015.(AP Photo/Mehmet Can Meral)
The coffins of dead migrants are placed in a hearse (AP)
Abdullah Kurdi, father of three-year old Aylan Kurdi, waits at the morgue in Mugla, southern Turkey, on September 3, 2015, after a boat carrying refugees sank trying to reach the Greek island of Kos. AFP/Getty Images
Abdullah Kurdi, 40, father of Syrian boys Aylan, 3, and Galip, 5, who were washed up drowned on a beach near Turkish resort of Bodrum on Wednesday, cries as he waits for the delivery of their bodies outside a morgue in Mugla, Turkey, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015.(AP Photo/Mehmet Can Meral)
File photo dated 30/10/07 of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with Queen Elizabeth II before a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in London. Photo: PA
King Salman governed Riyadh province for almost five decades. Photo: Getty Images
File photo dated 31/10/07 of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia meeting Gordon Brown outside 10 Downing Street, London, as Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his sadness at the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, and paid tribute to his work for peace in the region. Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA

Little Aylan al-Kurdi was part of Dave’s “swarm”. A bit difficult to brush that one off for PR Dave, of course, because Aylan wasn’t black or brown or “blobbed” out by television’s techie-taste dictators, but looked – let’s face it, for this is what it is about – rather like our three-year-olds.

 He could have been an Alan or a John – or a David. Washed up at Hastings or Bexhill, you can just imagine the demands for a public inquiry by the good citizens of Sussex. But PR Dave had just told us that Britain couldn’t take on “more” Syrian refugees. Sorry, Aylan.

Yet at the risk of catching the Daily Mail cancer, there’s a bit of a wider picture here that we need to be aware of. Europe and the West – what was once called Christendom – are supposed to be the bad guys in the Middle East. It is we who bomb, corrupt and invade the Muslims of the Middle East. It is we who support the vicious dictators of the Middle East (unless they are disobedient to our wishes). It is we who suck out the fossil treasures of the Middle East, its oil and its natural gas. We are, are we not, the infidels?

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Father of dead Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi: 'All I want is to be with my children'  

And true, Syria’s refugees, in their millions, have settled into the squalor of camps on the edges of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. But the hundreds of thousands of poor and huddled masses who wish to flee further from their tormentors are not sailing in leaking boats to where you might expect them to go – to the ummah, to Islam’s beating heart, to the land where the Prophet lived and where he received the word of God which is known as the Koran. No, the destitute of the Middle East are not heading for Saudi Arabia , the wealthy kingdoms of the Gulf, to pray for help from the builders of great mosques and the Keepers of Holy Places.

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Refugee crisis: Shocking photo of dead Syrian child washed up on beach is 'wake-up call for David Cameron'

Alliance tables motion calling for UK to accept more refugees

Anger in Budapest as refugees are hauled off trains: 'We won't be taken to camps'

A migrant holds a crying boy out of a local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border, that has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
A migrant holds a crying boy out of a local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border, that has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS A migrant family is arrested by local police after their local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. The train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station after authorities re-opened the station to migrants as the EU is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years. AFP PHOTO / ISTVAN BIELIKISTVAN BIELIK/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS Migrants board into a local train heading to the Hungarian-Austrian border at the main train station in Budapest on September 3, 2015, after authorities re-opened the station to refugees. On the day before Hungarian authorities stopped migrants taking trains to Austria and Germany. AFP PHOTO / PETER KOHALMIPETER KOHALMI/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS Migrants of several countries enter a local train with direction to the Hungarian-Austrian border at Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest on September 3, 2015. A train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station and headed toward the Austrian border, after authorities re-opened the station to migrants. AFP PHOTO / PETER KOHALMIPETER KOHALMI/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS Migrant boy holds a sign reading 'SOS help me' as he sits with other migrants in front of the Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest on September 2, 2015. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images
The feet of a young boy are bandaged as he waits at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A young migrant boy plays a harmonica to police officers in front of the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants gather and shout slogans outside the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants help an elderly man to cross tracks at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A migrant is detained after the train they were traveling in from Budapest arrived in Bicske, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
People sit on a train as hundreds of migrants left the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A boy looks out of a window as a train with hundreds of migrants leaves the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A young boy holds a German flag in front of the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants try to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A young child cries as hundreds of migrants try to board a train at the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A child cries as nigrants try to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A young migrant boy flashes a victory sign with his fingers painted in the colours of the German national flag outside the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants show placards outside of the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A migrant shows his hands with the countries Syria and Germany written on them in front of the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants push and shout as they gather in front of the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A migrant family is arrested by local police after their local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. The train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station after authorities re-opened the station to migrants as the EU is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years. AFP PHOTO / ISTVAN BIELIKISTVAN BIELIK/AFP/Getty Images
Migrant is arrested by local police after his local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. The train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station after authorities re-opened the station to migrants as the EU is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years. AFP PHOTO / ISTVAN BIELIKISTVAN BIELIK/AFP/Getty Images
A migrant takes care of a crying boy outside a local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border, that has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. The train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station after authorities re-opened the station to migrants as the EU is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images
A migrant holds a crying boy out of a local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border, that has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. The train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station after authorities re-opened the station to migrants as the EU is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images
A rescuer helps a migrant lying on the platform outside a local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border, that has been stopped in Bicske by authorities, west of the Hungarian capital on September 3, 2015. The train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station after authorities re-opened the station to migrants as the EU is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants board into a local train heading to the Hungarian-Austrian border at the main train station in Budapest on September 3, 2015, after authorities re-opened the station to refugees. On the day before Hungarian authorities stopped migrants taking trains to Austria and Germany. AFP PHOTO / PETER KOHALMIPETER KOHALMI/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants of several countries enter a local train with direction to the Hungarian-Austrian border at Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest on September 3, 2015. A train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station and headed toward the Austrian border, after authorities re-opened the station to migrants. AFP PHOTO / PETER KOHALMIPETER KOHALMI/AFP/Getty Images
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: A migrant looks from a window of a train that he is refusing to leave as he protests against being taken to a refugee camp from a train that has been held at Bicske station on September 3, 2015 in Bicske, near Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants protest against being taken to a refugee camp from a train that has been held at Bicske station on September 3, 2015 in Bicske, near Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants protest against being taken to a refugee camp from a train that has been held at Bicske station on September 3, 2015 in Bicske, near Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: A migrant receives medical attention as people protest against being taken to a refugee camp from a train that has been held at Bicske station on September 3, 2015 in Bicske, near Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: A migrant receives medical attention as people protest against being taken to a refugee camp from a train that has been held at Bicske station on September 3, 2015 in Bicske, near Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants protest against being taken to a refugee camp from a train that has been held at Bicske station on September 3, 2015 in Bicske, near Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Police stand guard as migrants sit on the platform of Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants gathered on the platform of Keleti station watch a train to Sopron leave, after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Police stand guard as migrants sit on the platform of Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board a train in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have bee cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board trains in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board trains in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 03: Migrants board trains in Keleti station after it was reopened this morning in central Budapest on September 3, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Although the station has reopened all international trains to Western Europe have been cancelled. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia are crossing the border from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

UK refugee response 'under review' as David Cameron faces calls to change policy  

The refugees are not storming ashore on the Red Sea coast at Jeddah, demanding asylum and freedom in the kingdom which supported the Taliban and from which Osama bin Laden sprang.

They are not pleading with Saudi border guards to allow them to take the train from Dhahran to Riyadh, to seek solace and safety for their families within the arms of a regime whose Wahhabi-Salafist Sunni faith has provided recruits aplenty for Isis. And, it might be added, those Syrians fleeing Assad rather than his enemies, are not throwing themselves at the feet of the “Islamic Caliphate” whose videoclips reek of death and punishment rather than mercy.

A bit odd, you may say. Historians, indeed, will one day ponder the irony that while Jews in their hundreds of thousands fled Europe for the Middle East 70 years ago, Muslims in their hundreds of thousands are now fleeing the Middle East for Europe. But that’s the point, isn’t it? Why are they coming here?

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UK tributes to Saudi king spark row over human rights hypocrisy  

King Abdullah dead: Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over tributes  

It’s not because they think we’re a “soft touch”. It’s not because they want to scrounge on our generosity. I suspect it’s because they know enough about Europe and our history and about us – not our tin-pot politicians or Supermarket Dave or the noisy little Labour raptors who are snapping at Corbyn, but about the Germans and French and Italians and Swedes, and yes, the Greeks and even the Hungarians – and, yes indeed, even the British – to know that we are good people, that we are kind people.

I think they know that, deep beneath our carapace of cynicism and materialism and our lack of religious faith, the idea of humanism is alive in Europe and that we can be decent, good, thoughtful, honest people.

The implications of all this are extraordinary. It means that despite our slovenly and cowardly leaders, our crazed Blairs, our Supermarket Daves, our silly Milibands and our crackpot East European Euro-allies, we are an honourable and humane society.

I’m not just talking about the Angel of Germany but of the German volunteers, some of them unemployed, who are feeding and welcoming the refugees in Berlin. I’m referring to the 20,000 Hungarians who marched in support of those distraught foreigners who had arrived at our European frontiers.

I’m pointing to the French men and women who are helping to feed Dave’s “swarm” as they rot in the “jungles” of Calais. I’m thinking of the young Médecins Sans Frontières workers with whom I travelled to the Greek-Macedonian border, who handed out food and water and clothing and kindness to the families from Aleppo and Idlib and Deraa – yes, and from Kandahar and Peshawar – for whom the refugees were rather like three-year old Aylan on his golden beach: for these young Europeans, the refugees were just like us. In fact, “they” were “us”.

In the darker and ever growing chasm between the people – the electors – of Europe and their cringingly ambitious and immoral leaders (Merkel excepted, of course), there is a far more serious challenge for the future. What happens when we realise that our representatives don’t represent us?

What happens when we recall that PR Dave lowered the British flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia. Will he – in our name, at least – perform the same honour for little Aylan?

Independent

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