Refugee rights activist Hassan Akkad left GMB viewers divided as he appeared on the programme to discuss migrants crossing the English Channel.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain today (Monday, August 10), the photographer and filmmaker had a bold message for those complaining about people making the illegal – and immensely dangerous – crossing to the UK from France.
What did Hassan Akkad say on GMB?
He said on GMB: “The reasons [why people come to Britain] vary… strong family links, community, academia, knowing people you could rely on and who could help you kick start your life after you’ve fled a war-torn country.”
Presenter Kate Garraway told him: “You’re an extraordinary person and someone that any country would – and should – be glad that you’ve chosen as your home.
“The problem is, for a lot of people, there seems to be almost an emptying of sympathy. People feel panic stricken over Covid, some people didn’t want so much immigration anyway.
“People feel like, ‘Hang on, we’ve got enough problems – a pandemic, businesses going bankrupt. We just don’t want any more people to come’.”
But Hassan argued: “It’s not refugees or asylum seekers who are bankrupting Britain, it’s offshore funds and tax evasion that are bankrupting Britain… decades of austerity. It’s not us.
‘See what becomes of this country’
“I hope one day, migrants and refugees decide to take a day off in Britain, and I want to see what becomes of this country [as a result].”
He also lamented people calling the situation an ‘invasion’ on social media.
“It’s definitely not an invasion…” the Syrian said. “It’s ironic, actually, because Britain did invade Iraq and Afghanistan. But if Iraqis and Afghans want to seek asylum in Britain, it’s not our problem. We call it an invasion.
It’s not refugees or asylum seekers who are bankrupting Britain.
“British made bombs are being dropped on Yemen, and if Yemeni people decide to flee and seek asylum in Britain, it’s not our problem.”
Viewers watching at home were sorely divided on social media.
Some sided with him, as one tweeted: “This Hassan guy speaks far more sense than most guests on here. #GMB.”
Another said with clapping emojis: “To Hassan on GMB, take a bow.”
A third wrote: “Well said that man! F off all you racists! #gmb.”
“well said that young man,” said a fourth.
This Hassan guy speaks far more sense than most guests on here. #GMB
— Ice T | トーマス ドンラン (@FourKingAwesome) August 10, 2020
well said that young man, didn't catch his name #GMB
— ❌Lady O'Scolaidhe❌ (@carol90783713) August 10, 2020
‘Let the mask slip’
However, some were fuming over Hassan’s comments, branding him “arrogant”.
“Arrogant [bleep],” said one viewer. “We will survive without being bled dry by people who think we are a soft touch. #gmb.”
“Wow this Syrian migrant is not going to gain friends with this outburst,” said another.
“#GMB Hassan would say that it’s not a problem or an invasion wouldn’t he!” someone else tweeted.
“This Hassan Akkad character has let the mask slip. Well played fella, well played. Hates Britain,” claimed another.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “Wow this refugee is not speaking well, what a horrible ungrateful man #GMB.”
Another argued: “#GMB Britain is a small island. That Hassan guy has a bloody cheek in what he says.”
Wow this Syrian migrant is not going to gain friends with this outburst … #gmb
— silverstrivers (@silverstrivers) August 10, 2020
#GMB Hassan would say that it's not a problem or an invasion wouldn't he!!!!
— Dolly Day (@DollyWishes1) August 10, 2020
This Hassan Akkad character has let the mask slip, well played fella, well played
Hates Britain #GMB
— Chris (@flemoil) August 10, 2020
Wow this refugee is not speaking well, what a horrible ungrateful man #GMB
— Minoball (@Anthony_LDN71) August 10, 2020
#GMB Britain is a small island. That Hassan guy has a bloody cheek in what he says.
— Andy Cooke (@Candyooke) August 10, 2020
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