Helping refugees helps defeat ISIS
DAVID KOROMA, NEWS COLUMNIST
Following the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, all kinds of emotions swept over the entire Western world.
At least 130 people are dead and over 350 are injured from terrorist attacks in the French capital on Nov. 13.
The president of France, Francois Hollande, vowed to treat the attack as an act of war and immediately increased the amount of fighter jets that France was contributing to the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Some Canadians, like Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, have been criticizing Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to stop dropping bombs, opting instead to increase the amount of on-the-ground training that Canada provides to local forces.
Trudeau says he campaigned on this pledge and has a mandate to follow through with his plan.
Another one of his campaign pledges has caused even more of a commotion. Trudeau committed to bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year, but with the recent Paris attacks some fears around security have been heightened.
While security fears are understandable, the fact remains that all of the attackers in Paris were European citizens and many were born in Belgium, so it’s not fair to stigmatize refugees because of this atrocity.
An Ipsos poll taken a week after the Paris attacks shows 60 per cent of Canadians do not support the Liberal government’s plan. Regardless, Trudeau has doubled down on his commitment, citing a real humanitarian need and Canada’s history of compassion during horrible crises around the world.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was one of those calling for Trudeau to suspend his plan, stating that the plan is being rushed and “the result could be devastating.”
Despite Wall’s concerns, Immigration Minister John McCallum said that a week after the attacks, Canadian provinces have actually allocated more than enough welcoming homes for 25,000 Syrian refugees.
“I have never felt so patriotic as a Canadian as I am today,” McCallum said when he came out for a press conference attended by several Syrian refugees.
Premier Wall’s concerns pale in comparison to the blatant bigotry of some Republican Presidential candidates and governors who have called for an indefinite halt to bringing in Syrian refugees. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have even gone so far as to say any Muslims from the region should not be allowed, instead saving only the Christian minority in the area.
President Obama called these statements from Republicans un-American and ultimately helping ISIS’s objective of religious war.
This is why we should be proud of Canada’s position. Nothing destroys ISIS’s dream of religious war more than the sight of Western nations rushing to the aid of those Muslims and others in the region who are suffering at their hands.
David Koroma has experience working in government and political communications.
He is interested in the role citizens play in creating positive change on Canadian stage.
Follow David on Twitter @D_A_Koroma.