(Picture – Children from Tendaba, The Gambia)
Radicalization has been much the topic in the media, on the Internet and in political commentary of all sorts. Most of this is discourse is focused on Muslims and their radicalization by extremists.
What is missed is the messaging being used by fanatical politicos from all spectrums, aimed at radicalizing people in democratic countries. Sadly, it appears to have taken root.
It is most evident in the current election in Canada; the longest campaign in the history of the country since 1872. The vitriol and antagonism being expressed towards migrants, who are refugees driven by force from their homes, is beyond comprehension in a country built by immigrants and which the majority (67.3 per cent) still profess to be Christian. There are so many skewed facts, falsehoods and plain lies being circulated that one has to wonder if the very basis of truth has been lost forever.
It appears some parties want to disguise the fact that Canada’s special status in the world was the result of its generosity, compassion and the hard work contributed by “immigrants” from every country in the world. They even dismiss the price paid by Aboriginals, the original occupiers of land now called Canada, who have suffered almost every imaginable abuse.
A society is being created so afraid of migrants, those weary men, women and children running from war and poverty that they are punished without thought. They are being deprived of food, medication, safe places and security. More significantly, they are deprived of understanding and compassion.
They are not allowed to enter our country, mainly because they are different, speak a different language, look different, dress different; any difference is enough to make them a potential “terrorist.” Clearly in the mindset of many, entry is restricted because they may take something from us, but mostly it is because they belong to religions with differing beliefs than what many would espouse as Christian.
Who, pray tell, did Christ tell to deprive children of living and of life and persecute their parents? Where did Christ tell people to deprive or persecute anyone? Who would want to belong to any religion that promotes the deprivation and harming of children, much less standing by while they die?
It is time for the people to wake up to the subtle diminishment of their humanness and compassion.
There appears growing intolerance in our society of the marginalized, the impoverished and abandoned in Canada, because they are a societal burden. The reason the welfare rolls are reduced, the unemployed are unable to collect benefits and most seniors live below the poverty line is not due to immigrants, nor aid money to fight foreign poverty. It is the continual push of government policy to cater to the wealthy and powerful.
The real problem in our society is the arrogance of those most privileged and the fear-mongering of politicians. It is not about affording, it’s about political will and compassion. It matters not, whether it’s our own people, migrants and refugees or poor, starving people in other countries.
There are plenty of resources for corporate welfare and tax concessions that allow the ultra rich and corporations to squirrel their money in offshore havens, while governments turn a blind eye.
The real dilemma in Canada and for the rest of the world has nothing to do with economy or wealth, it has to do with basic human greed and the need by some for power; power over anyone that can be controlled.
There are some countries showing an inspiration for the world, while others are building walls and fences and creating laws to deny people their dignity and humanity.
Hopefully, there are enough people with compassion to do what’s right. Eventually they will find their voice, and perhaps their courage, as did most of these migrants who fled so that their children could have a life. There is a fundamental moral and spiritual issue here, which goes beyond religion, politics, economics, even conflict and war. It is at the apex of humanity and its existence.
How can such waste of precious human life, especially children who have hardly lived, be measured beyond such mundane issues as economy, politics and boundaries? How can it be justified under any human-made legislation or law? What right has any world leader to stand in front of these refugees and tell them they are breaking the law and have no human right to seek refuge from war and starvation and find security and sanctity for their families?
Who gave these “leaders” such power, when the land that every nation in this world now claims as theirs, once belonged to or was utilized by others?
Morality and humanity have to be at the apex of this global discussion and they have to be at the heart of this Canadian election. What right does anyone have to deny others food, shelter or comfort — much less precious life — because of their own wants and desires?
Written by Bill Pardy
September 25th, 2015