This past weekend was a stressful and difficult one for many. We saw the newly elected President of the United States Donald Trump put an immigration ban into action by creating and signing an executive order. We also saw a mass shooting take place at a mosque in Quebec City where six people who were praying were tragically killed during the attack.
It breaks my heart to think that a place of worship, a place where there should be respite, tranquility and peace is no longer a safe space or haven for people. To me that is an unnerving horrible thought. A place ot worship that for many is a place of sanctuary or a place of solace to spend time with God, no longer is.
Both of these events are very concerning to me and bring up a lot of questions and speculatiions. However, we must be careful of any conclusions we may come to and not buy into the hysteria.
Having said that it warms my heart to see the people of Hamilton come together. Last night hundreds of people gathered at City Hall in sub zero cold temperatures to show their solidarity with people not only of the Muslim faith but of all religions and races. I was deeply moved by the words spoken last night and was proud to be part of the rally.
There is also a new group on Facebook called Buddy Up Hamilton. It’s a group to help people who are uncomfortable getting around in Hamilton for reasons related to culture, religion, ethnicity, or some other identifying characteristic that makes them vulnerable. Volunteers show friendship by offering to accompany their neighbours.
I was also glad to see our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally take a stand on something. He stated that this was a terrorist attack and not “Canadian” and would not be tolerated or accepted. Hopefully this will bring the wider community together and unite us, despite our differences. I also hope those affected by the shooting in Quebec know that they are supported and have advocates.
Now onto Trump… who has said his executive order is not a Muslim ban which it fundamentally is. Rudy Guilliani who helped Trump come up with the executive order was on Fox News and admitted it was a Muslim ban they had to reword for legal reasons. Guilliani said they couldn’t outwardly say it was a Muslim ban as they had to work within the confines of the law. This was of course brought on because of Trumps belief that Muslim refugees and immigrants are terrorists. Sadly, many Americans feel the same way, as they did vote him into office. Well Mr. Trump, for the record 9 11 had nothing to do with refugees or immigrants living in the U.S. As a matter of fact none of the terrorist attacks that have taken place in th U.S. since then has involved the seven countries listed in your executive order.
If you ask me Trumps executive order is only going to add fuel to the terrorists fire. Terrorists are going to use this to say Americans really are against Muslims to gain more momentum and support, when many Americans do not feel this way as witnessed by all the protests taking place across the States. I think perhaps Trumps plan to protect Americans could potentially have the opposite effect.
Trumps ban is kind of reminiscent of the internment camps for Japanese Canadians during Wotld War 2. People were held against their will and imprisoned in the camps because of their heritage and ancestry to apparently “protect” Canadians and Canada. They were hard working innocent folks who were contributing members of their communities, who were then marginalized. Is history repeating itself?
I’m so glad local politicians here in Hamilton have spoken up and said fear and hate will not divide us, we won’t let that happen.