Migrants are valuable; Iran's regional role; Arab tourists; Muslims in Canada; Russian food bonfires

A round-up of global commentary for the Sept. 14, 2015, weekly magazine.

Leonhard Foeger/Reuters
Migrants protest outside the Keleti railway station in Budapest today. Many are refugees from conflicts in the Middle East and Africa and have camped in front of the Keleti Railway Terminus, closed to them by authorities saying EU rules bar travel by those without valid documents.

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan
Migrants should be seen as a human resource
“The flood of refugees trying to land on European shores appears to not be slowing down, notwithstanding measures to discourage them such as the highly debatable decision to suspend the Italian-run search-and-rescue operation Mare Nostrum. Initiated in late 2013, this operation reportedly saved more than 100,000 lives last year...,” states an editorial. “A change of mindset is needed amongst the populations of stable and well-off countries. There could be potential benefits to their own societies and economies were migrants thought of as human resource rather than a burden.”

Iran Daily / Tehran, Iran
Iran is a regional ally, not an enemy
“Iran’s nuclear agreement with the world powers can be the beginning of a new chapter in regional cooperation between Iran and its neighbors. The collaborative process will certainly fulfill the deal’s realistic goals in the Middle East,” states an editorial. “Iranian foreign minister has said, time and again, that the country’s main aim in reaching a deal was to help tighten the regional security and stability by resolving a fabricated standoff over its nuclear program.... Neighboring states that are doubtful about cooperating with Iran will finally team up with Tehran to gain their national interest....”

Hurriyet Daily News / Istanbul, turkey
Turkey should welcome all tourists
“Tourism has always been an important source of revenue for Turkey...,” writes columnist Barçin Yinanç. “But what we have been seeing in Turkey in terms of hospitality towards tourists is not always pleasant. Take the issue of the flood of Arab tourists to Turkey. As of this year, the crisis in Russia as well as the crisis in the Middle East has decreased the number of tourists coming from Russia and the West. So you would think that people would welcome an influx of Arab tourists which would compensate for the lack of Western tourists. But it is hardly the case.... Local customers are now more careful in their purchases due to economic and political uncertainties, yet shopkeepers are not thrilled to see Arabs compensating for the locals.”

The Globe and Mail / Toronto
Canada’s true values are safe and free
“The only long-run solution to the relationship between Islam and the rest of the world is rooted in mutual accommodation...,” writes William MacDonald. “There is an urgent need to find the best strategy to address the double challenge presented by terrorist acts in Canada and terrorist recruits from Canada.... This is a hugely important moment in history – possibly comparable to the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Canada lives in the world’s best neighbourhood, with an unparalleled array of space, resources and food. It is strong in all the best ways to live: compassion, freedom, science and mutual accommodation.... All Canadians – Muslims and non-Muslims – need to put their faith in the proposition that every valid value is safe in the Canada we know. It is for those values that Muslims came to our shores in the first place.”

Postimees / Tallinn, Estonia
Food as political metaphor
“Vladimir Putin banned Russians from eating European fruit and meat. Well, so be it. He’s the boss. But why bulldoze sausage and nectarines? The sanctions were imposed as early as last year and during all that time European foodstuffs passed nicely to Russia via Belarus and Kazakhstan, and were sold all over the land. Why did Kremlin get so mad so suddenly, even ordering a special crematorium to burn Bavarian sausage and Iberian ham in?...,” writes Andrei Kuzichkin, a former Russian state official. “Destroying food in Russia is a symbol of a new faith.... These are not peaches trampled near St Petersburg, but the European values threatening Vladimir Putin. The values which are not allowing Kremlin to split Europe. Russia cannot set fire on Brussels, but German pork burns bright....”

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