IMA Statement on Brussels Bombing

Justice to the victims of the Brussels bombings:

Equally defend all migrants and peoples against terrorism, racism, militarism and war!

The International Migrants Alliance, a global alliance of grassroots migrants, refugees and displaced peoples organizations and their advocates, expresses its sincerest sympathy and solidarity with the people of Belgium as they rise from the tragic terrorist attacks.

In the morning of March 22, both the Brussels Airport and the Maelbeek Metro Station were bombed killing 35 civilians and injuring more than 170. The terrorist group Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) admitted to the heinous acts.

The IMA joins the international community in denouncing the bombings and calling for justice to the innocent victims. We condemn the Daesh for their acts of terror. Civilians should not be put in harm’s way to advance their objectives. Nonetheless, we also call on the government of Belgium and all other governments in Europe not to capitalize on this tragedy to fan racism and chauvinism.

News and eyewitness reports reveal how migrants in Belgium, especially those of Arabic ethnicity, have been rounded up or stopped and searched on the streets by Belgian authorities. In some peace rallies, Arab women have experienced being harassed by right-wing groups. These incidents occur as asylum seekers from Syria and other conflict-stricken countries in the Gulf remain vulnerable to dispersals, displacements and violence in Belgium and many parts of Europe.

As Belgium entertains tightening its border while deploying military troops around it, there are talks of strengthening Fortress Europe which will not only have a negative impact on migration but will also instigate racist and anti-migrant sentiments in Europe. Fortifying Europe and preparing it for more “ear against terror” will intensify the crisis in the region, worsen the conditions of migrants and refugees, and embolden these extremist forces more.

We have to understand the historical reality that NATO forces led by the US had a role in escalating the problem of fundamentalism and extremism in areas like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya. We have to also hold them accountable in the rising tide of terrorist and fundamentalist powers in the Middle East now spilling into Europe and Asia. Repeated imperialist military intervention and wars in these regions have actually created and emboldened these terrorist monsters aside from intensifying the problem of displacement of peoples and generating more refugees and asylum seekers.

While we call for justice for the victims, we call on everyone to defend the migrants and people from racist backlash. We appeal for more people to people solidarity to work out solutions to resolve in both short-term and strategic way this ongoing economic and political crisis. Migrants, refugees and local people need to join hands to combat all forms of terrorism, militarism and wars of aggression and intervention.

For reference:             
Eni Lestari, chairperson

Statement released on 31 March 2016

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