Linda Rabben's Give Refuge to the Stranger: The Past, Present, and Future PDF

Human Rights

By Linda Rabben

The inspiration of sanctuary—giving shelter to the threatened, susceptible stranger—is common and older than human society. From its origins in primate populations, to its elaboration in historical spiritual traditions, to the fashionable criminal establishment of asylum, Linda Rabben tells the tale of sanctuary because it developed over millions of years. She then examines asylum this day, analysing coverage within the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia and linking them to the reviews of brave participants to teach how immigration and asylum are below assault in around the globe. Her professional account deals severe context for figuring out present political debates and is a stimulating, literate textual content obtainable to undergraduates in addition to the final public.

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Extra info for Give Refuge to the Stranger: The Past, Present, and Future of Sanctuary

Sample text

As the interpreter translates, the judge asks her if she feels her human rights have been violated. ” The judge explains that she has the right to ask for protection against deportation. The young woman is asking for “exceptional leave to remain” in the United Kingdom on humanitarian grounds. The Home Office is proposing that she be deported to Benin because she was born there. But it seems that her parents took her from Benin to Nigeria when she was an infant, and she knows no one in Benin. She speaks Yoruba, a major language in Nigeria, and very little English.

Accepting strangers makes them part of the moral community. That is the basis of sanctuary. But the everpresent tension between incorporating and rejecting strangers limits humans’ willingness to bestow it. Thus in many societies sanctuary is only temporary or is hedged with restrictions. Inspiring stories of Christian Holocaust rescuers sheltering Jewish children at the risk of their own lives must be juxtaposed against today’s punitive and exclusionary asylum policies, which break up families or return refugees to their death in the country that persecuted them.

Permitting entry . . through uprights to a body of human dimensions” (1887: 3). Such ancient shelters had become refuges for people when herds of cattle were passing by; but in ancient times, Mazzinghi believed, they might have served sacred purposes. Cultures and societies remote from Western civilization also have long traditions of sanctuary and asylum. Ethnographers, historians, explorers, invaders, and travelers since the 15th century have observed and reported the acting out of such traditions, which may date from ancient times.

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