My Canada

I feel saddened by the world we live in. I feel betrayed by how quickly we turn against each other, and devalue human life.

Last week we learned about the massive loss of life around the globe because of the cowardly acts of a group of misinformed men and women. The hurt caused by these events trickled down to our local communities and this morning I awoke to the news that innocent people were being attacked at home. The motivates of these attacks? To make people feel unsafe, and to “go back to where they came from”.  I feel disgusted by the acts of the few, that now represent the actions of a community. This is not the Canada I grew up in and love. Canada is a country that celebrates each citizens diverse background. We are a country that is stronger because we are able to learn about different places around the world without having to leave home. I don’t know another country in the world whose citizens can do this.

So why are our citizens turning against each other and forgetting how privileged they are? Are they fearful of the 0.001% of the global Muslim population that is misusing/misinterpreting the Koran to inflict pain? Muslims in our communities are afraid of the extremists as well. Similar to us, they came to Canada for a better life, away from the evil that consumes these men. They are no different than we are, so why are we attacking them?

Many would argue that we’re not attacking Muslims, but the truth is, our media attacks them every day. We are isolating “their” entire population every day. Do I agree with the teachings of Islam? No. But that doesn’t mean I hate Muslims. I appreciate our differences. Why? Because being a Canadian has taught me that although we are different, the difference doesn’t mean we have to hate each other.

More than 40 years ago, my dad was attacked by a group of skinheads because he wears a turban. This topic is still a very sensitive topic for my dad. I won’t share the details of the attack because I don’t want to, but those scars, both physical and mental, never healed. Even though I wasn’t attacked, I feel my father’s pain. Similar to the generations that will follow in the footsteps of their Muslim parents, who were attacked for being themselves.

We are segregating an entire population of people and we need to stop.  We don’t grow as a community by isolating people. We grow by being inclusive. We grow be letting people know that we are proud of who they are as people, and thank them for being themselves. If we continue to isolate a particular group, we create anger and ultimately hate. I believe that when we isolate a person or group of people, the only consequence will be that they will rebel, and acts of violence may become more frequent in our communities.

If history has taught us anything it’s that we can’t fight hate with hate. We need to fight hate with love. That’s the only way to overcome it. We have the opportunity now to make a difference, and to come together as a community to say no to prejudging a group of people, and to be inclusive. Let’s change the future before it changes us.

But that’s just my opinion.

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