‘F**k off – we’re full’: Why we need to open our hearts to the people of Syria

It’s time to do the right thing - the only thing - and let the people of Syria into the UK

‘F**k off - we’re full!’

It’s the message so many people have been sharing on their Facebook walls, following the news that thousands of people have been trying to make it across the Mediterranean to Europe in recent months.

But we need to remember why so many frightened refugees are coming here in the first place.

The war in Syria has taken the lives of over 230,000 people.

20,000 of those were children.

Let’s put that into perspective, shall we?

  • The Dunblane school massacre resulted in 16 deaths.

  • The 7/7 London bombings resulted in the deaths of 52 people.

  • The Hillsborough disaster resulted in the deaths of 96 people.

  • The attacks on the Twin Towers resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people.

Let me repeat the death toll in Syria; 230,000 people have been killed.

Two hundred and thirty thousand people.

And these aren’t just people caught in the crossfire, either; one baby girl was shockingly beheaded by ISIS troops, many families have been sent on fire by vigilantes, children have been subjected to torture, and schoolgirls have been raped and left for dead by militants.

There are air raids, shillings, bombings, tanks, snipers, and killings everywhere.

Is it any wonder that 4 million people are trying to escape all of that horror, before it’s too late?

When you next ponder posting a 'funny' piss off we're full picture or a Britains First post about migrants being scum,...

Posted by Joe Brennan on Monday, 17 August 2015

Yet, even as the Syrians attempt to flee with their children and their lives, the rest of Europe has shut their doors on them.

And not even the news that hundreds of refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, or perished in the back of a lorry, can do anything to change our minds.

“They’re here for the benefits,” spit Britain First supporters. “They’re nothing but dirty scroungers.”

But do you really think a mother would strap her baby into a life-jacket, clamber aboard a rickety boat, and set out across a violent and choppy sea all for the sake of £67.46 a week?

Do you really think a teenager would offer up her body to a truck driver, as well as her life savings, for the sake of a council house in an unwelcoming and strange country?

And do you really think a father would hide his children in the back of an overcrowded lorry, knowing that the journey would take not just hours but days, knowing that they would have to go hours without food and water, knowing that they would often be sitting in their own filth, and knowing that they might not survive the trip, all for the possibility of free healthcare?

Imagine it was you. Imagine it was your children. And imagine that you had to make that choice.

Would you stay in a country being ripped apart by war, knowing that a bomb could fall on your house at any moment?

Or would you pack up your belongings, wake your children up in the middle of the night, and try to make the dangerous journey across to Europe?

This photo shows a Syrian mother trying to hold her baby above the water, after the boat they were on sank in the...

Posted by Steven McCallum on Thursday, 27 August 2015

They are not scroungers, and they are not ‘boat people’ you can write off.

The Syrians are desperate; they have fled bullets, and barrel bombs, and they are in fear of their lives.

They're not askin g to stay here permanently; they just want a place of sanctuary while their futures are decided.

And all they need from us is a little compassion.

Since March last year Britain has given homes to 216 Syrian refugees. In comparison Germany has helped 30,000, and Switzerland 2700.

Labour leadership contender Yvette Cooper has called on David Cameron to open the borders - and his heart.

She said: “If every city took 10 refugee families, if every London borough took 10 families, if every county council took 10 families, if Scotland, Wales and every English region played their part, then in a month we'd have nearly 10,000 more places for vulnerable refugees fleeing danger, seeking safety.”

It's a solution that we, as a nation, need to consider.

We can't put up razor wire fences around our borders, as Hungary have done. We can't turn our backs on the people who need us more than ever.

It’s time to do let the people of Syria in.

Because it's the right thing - no, the only thing - to do.

Were you affected by this piece?

Then sign this petition, asking the government to provide immediate sanctuary for those fleeing from war.

Or visit Save The Children’s website now, to donate to their Syria Appeal.

Closer magazine cover