The Stats are in: Canadians Are Driven by Fear, Not Compassion

A poll from Global News says 60% of Canadians disagree with Trudeau’s plan to accept Syrian refugees. The root cause of this lack of compassion is fear that “some of them might be terrorists.” This sentiment ignores reason: Canada militantly enforces a 3-pronged screening process. Hence the lack of terrorist activity in Canada from our immigrants.

Just stop and think about it for a second: Syrian refugees hate ISIS more than you do. They’ve been closer to the madness, the murder, their streets are covered in rubble and blood. Hence four million of them running away from everything and everyone they’ve ever known. They’ve chosen dismal, overcrowded refugee camps, lacking in food and shelter, over their home.

These are parents desperate to show their child a calm and loving neighbourhood. They’re risking their lives to do that. When we talk about Syrian refugees, we are talking about a couple who fell in love, have nicknames for each other, share memories of a better time, and want to live out their lives in a place free of constant fear and violence.

Not helping them do this is reinforcing everything ISIS is preaching: The West is Evil, and we don’t give a damn about them. ISIS commit terrorism to make us afraid of “all of them,” and you’re playing right into it. Whereas acting as a refuge for Syrians running from fascists and extremists is a clear stand against terrorists and their propaganda.

A Brief History of the Crisis

There has not been a refugee crisis of this scale since WWII. Syria has been oppressively run by the Al-Assad family since the 1960s. If a political cartoonists spoke out against Assad, he “mysteriously” got his hands broken. It’s that kind of place.

So in 2011, Syrians protested, wanting to overthrow that regime, but Syria’s leader started a brutal civil war. Horrible war crimes were committed during this civil war, including mass executions, torture, and deadly civilian attacks.

ISIS used the chaos to swoop in and launch a “totalitarian caliphate state,” which is basically a governing body not dependent on another government/psychical country, and a group that supposedly encompasses every Muslim on earth. Muslims aren’t happy about those ISIS quacks speaking for them.

This is why ISIS (and the Syrian government) hates Syrian refugees: refugees are running from them and what they believe in, which makes ISIS look bad. ISIS sees refugees as traitors against Islam.

So the best way to show your anger towards ISIS is to welcome those fleeing ISIS: the fact that four million Syrians fled Syria says they don’t stand for that crap, and us taking them in would say the same. But we’re doing the opposite. We’re giving ISIS the “White versus Muslim” attitude they want; we’re helping their cause of making The West seem Wicked.

Why It’s Our Turn to Help

Over four million civilians fled the Syria, mostly to live in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Turkey, house 95% of them – countries far less able to accommodate them than us, and what does that say about us?

What kind of country do we want to be during an epic global crisis? Shouldn’t “The land of the free” support freedom? A huge faction of Canadians hear Iraq and think “evil country,” and yet Iraq houses more Syrians in need than us right now.

These camps had too many people to feed and shelter, so cold and hungry refugees tried to seek asylum in Europe. And now here we are: the UK lobbied to end a search and rescue to save Syrian lives on rafts in the Mediterranean Sea, and many in The West want to close our borders, and leave countries near Syria with the burden of too many refugees.

Our Fear and Racism is Alarming and Misguided

Since the Paris attack, the world has gone disturbingly cold-hearted and racist, launching the biggest “us versus them” sentiment of the decade. ISIS speakers preach that The West has zero regard for their well-being. We’re not proving them wrong. Our politicians, from Premier Paul Davis, to 25 US governors, are suddenly standing stronger against taking in Syrian refugees.

This is precisely why ISIS planted a FAKE Syrian passport on one of those asshole bombers in Paris: it has successfully resulted in a cold shoulder from The West.

Some people are refusing to see The West’s sentiments on reconsidering Syrian refugees as an act of racism, but it is, because the Paris attack changed people’s opinions: we’re afraid of a broad swath of people because of their religion and colour of skin. It’s textbook racism to assume things about a race.

None of the attackers in Paris were even Syrian: they all had France or Belgian citizenship. Not Syrian. In fact, a Syrian refugee camp was burned down just north of Paris that week. We didn’t mourn for that at all.

As Newfoundlanders — sorry, silly Newfies — we more than anyone should know what it’s like to be judged by the actions of our fellow kind. Some Newfoundlanders are dumb as rocks, so people up in Canada have a demeaning notion of us as a simple people. It’s misguided.

There are 20-something US Republicans vowing to block all Syrian refugees. These are the same men who won’t tighten gun security after mass shootings in the States because “you can’t blame all gun owners for the actions of a few.”

See the hypocrisy? If a white man kills a bunch of kids or co-workers in a mass shooting – which happens several times a year in The West – he’s deranged, but not representative of white Christians. But if a Muslim does the same, it’s because all Muslims are potentially violent and hateful?

I’ve Never Met a Muslim Who Blamed Me for the Actions of the KKK

We’re losing our humanity. A good person cares for refugees seeking shelter: they’re human beings, with hobbies, and scars, and favourite jokes, and dreams like the rest of us. They are running from hell on earth and we want to build a wall.

Stop blaming a religion with 1.57 billion people for the actions of a few radical assholes. The people who burned down that Canadian mosque in November: that was an act of terrorism and hate. And now the leader of a terrorist group can tell their radical followers “they’re burning mosques in Canada!” More importantly, if a Muslim burned a Christian church, we’d all be hearing about the act of terrorism on Canadian soil.

Instead, the reverse scenario was a blip in the media pan. What I am seeing more of in Canada is headlines like “Teacher calls student’s mother a dirty terrorist,” and “man pushes Muslim woman in front of a train,” and “Woman’s face smashed with beer mug at US restaurant because she was Muslim.”

And it’s not mainstream media running these stories, which is also disturbing. This IS story of 2015: there is a global-scale contempt for Muslims reminiscent of Hitler and the Jews.

There are photos on social media of atomic bombs in Hiroshima with the line “Nuke ‘em all” in reference to Muslim countries. I’m embarrassed, ashamed, and frightened: your ignorance is exactly what ISIS wants to show the people they are recruiting and radicalizing. “Look, they push our women in front of trains!”

Refugees Want to, and Do Contribute to Our Society

Here is a fact: immigrant Muslims in the EU and The West are less likely to commit crimes than people native to those lands. They integrate themselves into our workforce, shop in our retailers and restaurants, diversify cultures in positive ways, and pay more into social systems than they extract from them.

St. John’s is now a “foodie city” of national fame. Were it not for places like Mohammad Ali’s – run by an Iraqi immigrant – we’d be seriously lacking in some big city staples, like a falafel or some chicken schwarma. Healthy takeout in St. John’s is a very recent thing. We have a successfully integrated Iraqi immigrant to thank for helping that along.

Taking in refugees is nothing new, either. For the last decade we’ve taken in over 200,000 a year in Canada, many of whom here in NL, and not just out of kindness, but because it’s of benefit to our workforce. To quote Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien from January 2015:

“The province’s labour market landscape has changed dramatically, and more than ever before employers are challenged to find the workers they need for hard-to-fill positions. Immigration has significantly helped employers meet evolving labour market needs.”

Refugees Are Screened, Vigorously

Donna Spurvey has worked locally and in BC for many years with Government Assisted Refugees, many of them from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. “I watched many of them flourish and create a life for themselves in Canada,” she says.

“They came for their children and next generations. Just as many came with skills, education, and degrees of the highest quality ready to contribute to our culture, economy, and society. They all came for a better life in a diverse country in which all cultures and races live together in peace.”

And she finds it “hard to stomach” that people actually believe Canada just lets refugees in without a process or an in-depth screening. “The [process] not only encompasses saving lives, it also includes protecting the safety of Canada and I can assure you it is adhered to strictly. The controls are in place to make sure our society is kept safe.”

In fact, incoming refugees will have been screened three times, by three separate entities. We’re also favouring families and children, if leaving loner men behind makes you feel better. (It shouldn’t, really:  leaving refugee camps near Syria and Iraq overburdened makes them a prime space for terrorists to recruit and radicalize desperate souls.)

History is Being Written and the Headlines Are Ugly

This is the biggest global-scale humanitarian crisis of the decade. History is being written and recorded, and look what the story will say: when our fellow men and women needed us the most, when their children’s lives were on the line, it was not The West – the rich land of the free – that helped them. It was countries like Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey that showed heart and humanity.

We, us, the supposedly bright and enlightened land of opportunity, let fear and ignorance define us as heartless hicks. It’s a stain on the history of humanity our children are observing. This is not a global reputation we’ll want to have when the time comes it’s us needing international aid. We live in countries, but the earth is ours to share.