Fear and solutions
To the Editor,
Many people I have been listening to lately are against having more refugees arrive in Canada or the U.S.
In the United States a lot of people are really afraid of allowing Syrian refugees into their country. They seem to have tarred every Muslim and thus every Syrian with the same brush, as terrorists. The mass killings in Paris have affected the citizens of the U.S. greatly, but fear mongering is dangerous and creates problems where none need exist.
A second common argument against accepting refugees is that we should look after our own first, our homeless people, our veterans and thousands of First Nations people who don’t have the same standard of living as the rest of us. I think we should be able to help all these people. There are very rich people in Canada and the United States who should pay taxes at the same rate as the middle class, but they get tax breaks the rest of us don’t get. If they were taxed by percentage as we are, this country and certainly the U.S. would have resources to help the native people, the homeless and all the refugees who need help.
The Syrian refugees are running away from terrorists who are destroying their country. But most of these Syrians are Muslim. Supposedly we allow all religions in our country, but because Syrian and Muslim and terrorist are all overlapped in people’s minds, we are afraid to allow Syrians into the country. We can’t seem to separate religion, culture and the potential for violence. Thus it is an argument with many sides and possible solutions.
I heard an interview with a Syrian doctor who was on the first plane from Lebanon. He and his family were delighted to be welcomed by the Canadian prime minister. This man was so thankful, willing to do any job and he proudly introduced his wife and daughters. They had all spent weeks learning enough English to communicate with those who welcomed them. I wished, as I watched them, that all the people who are so afraid of having these refugees in our country could have witnessed that interview.
We are all refugees in the sense that we originally came from Europe, Asia or Africa. The only citizens of North America who are not refugees are the First Nations and I agree that they should come first in our quest for equality.
The key, the missing part in all this discussion, is love. Not romantic love, but the kind which we need to care for our fellow man. We are all one and we need to learn to love others even if they don’t look like us, worship like us or live the way we do. President Obama talked about love and made a plea in his State of the Union Address for people to be treated equally no matter their race, politics, religion, educational status or bank account but for some reason it seems impossible to convince people set in their ways to change enough to accept others or to love them. This is what has to change and I don’t know if it’s possible. We must look upon all the peoples of the world as citizens of this planet entitled to the same rights.
Is it just greed, the search for wealth, which stops generosity? Is it our religious beliefs, which insist that there is only one God and one way of worshipping him? Is it that we are ignorant of the culture and ways of people who don’t come from our neighbourhood? It’s probably all of these things. Is there a solution? There should be something positive that can be done!
If there is a solution maybe global warming can be the catalyst to make it happen. Every person on this planet must get together, co-operate and solve the environmental problems we have all created. If we don’t there will be no safe future for our children. Hopefully this one issue can bring human beings together, force them to at least work together enough so there will be a future for human kind.