Muslim culture is often the most scrutinized; not the religion itself, but the radicals which lie within the label. These select few have stirred a lot of trouble and controversy, most recently the attacks in Paris. The senseless acts, which took the lives of 129 innocent people, have caused a tremendous outpour of love and support from countries across the globe.
This act was meant to strike fear into the minds of people around the world, and it may have done just that.
Saturday morning I woke up and was browsing through Facebook, and noticed a status update from someone I know. The gist of it was essentially this: “close the borders to all Syrian refugees because there is a 13% support for ISIS within the group of Syrian refugees.” Immediately I got the sense that this statistic was skewed, and it was. The poll was taken in November 2014, and only polled 900 refugees in Turkey. This can hardly be applied to a population of hundreds of thousands of refugees. Will there be ISIS supporters? I wouldn’t doubt it, but I trust our country’s due diligence and immigration processes to keep all Canadians safe.
Here’s the thing, in a large population of any race, religion, or culture there is going to be those bad apples. On August 5, 2012, a radical Christian man massacred 6 innocent individuals in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. A group of radical atheists were responsible for the suicide bombing in Iraq on July 2014, taking 29 innocent lives with them. And of course, there is the most well-known ISIS who have brutally slaughtered thousands of lives. The point is, these radicals can exist in any form from any one.
ISIS is the most well-known and disturbing of the radical Muslim groups since many of Al-Qaeda’s leaders were killed off. ISIS shows brutality with is completely inhumane. This group of radicals have terrorized individuals across the globe, using guerilla tactics to attack their enemies. ISIS has killed ~250,000 civilians in Syria, which is why there is now an influx of refugees fleeing for a better life across Europe and North America.
Canada has offered to take 25,000 refugees by the end of the year, which is where things get interesting.
The individual whose Facebook status I referred to believed that letting in even one Syrian would be a threat to Canadian people, which may be plausible. However, in a populous of 25,000 individuals, there are far too many innocent lives being denied the opportunity to live a good life. A life where they don’t need to fear gunfire and bombs. A life where their daily lives aren’t dictated by despicable radicals. We can’t use the generalization of Muslims being a threat to cover an entire population, it’s just not fair.
Observing videos from Paris’ attacks afforded some insight into what it’s like to be in this type of environment. Watching dozens of people in sheer panic, fearful and running for their lives struck a nerve within me. These people were trampling the wounded to get themselves to safety, dragging soon-to-be dead bodies in hopes of finding some sort of help. The empty weeping and cries for help left a permanent imprint in my head.
The French were faced with this for a few hours, and words can’t begin to describe the tragedy. Syrians face this life every single day. This was a brief glimpse into the world of radical Islam, and it has had a permanent imprint on the world. How could anyone in good faith turn their backs on those who are unwillingly forced into these scenarios regularly? Why should Syrian’s have to wake up and question whether or not they will all be alive by days end? They shouldn’t.
Taking in 25,000 refugees is no small order for Canada, I’ll admit. Our society may be a tad uncomfortable and we may have to adjust. I, for one, don’t mind having to adapt my life to give these individuals an opportunity to experience safety and a higher quality of life than they would otherwise never be afforded. It’s easy to take our life for granted in Canada. So try and empathize with these individuals before scrutinizing them. No, they won’t be perfect. No, they won’t all be model citizens. But they are all human, and that’s what unites us all.