Professor Calls Helping Refugees a Moral Obligation For Us

Serena Parekh, associate professor of philosophy at Northeastern University, believes that concerned citizens, community leaders, government officials, and others have a moral obligation to solve the global refugee crisis.

“We have a responsibility to find alternatives for the displaced that protect their dignity and their human rights,” said Parekh, author of the book Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement. “Rather than objects of fear, refugees ought to be objects of moral compassion.”

Parekh spoke on Wednesday in Snell Library, delivering a talk on the facts, figures, and fallacies of the refugee crisis. It was particularly timely, held just hours before two federal judges blocked President Donald Trump’s latest ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world. The executive order, which was scheduled to take effect on Thursday, would have halted immigration from six majority-Muslim countries for at least 90 days and stopped all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days.

“It seems so absurd that refugees are a group we’re told to fear,” said Parekh. “Demonstrably harming one of the most vulnerable groups on the planet will do nothing for our security except perhaps undermine it in important ways.”

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