Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, Jan. 21


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





Syrian refugee issue brings out the best in Canadians (and worst in Americans)

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Nothing has made me prouder to be a Canadian, and happier not to be an American, than our handling of the Syrian refugee crisis.

While we are accepting Syrian refugees by the plane load, the United States is reluctant to take in single mothers and orphans for fear they might be terrorists in waiting.

And while we are accepting and welcoming of Muslims and refuse to be sucked in by ISIS, whose main goal is to sow hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims, Americans are debating banning them entirely and setting up Muslim registries, which plays right into their hands.

The firestorm of racism ignited by people like Donald Trump, who is little more than an ignorant megalomaniac, is mindboggling to observers outside the country and absolutely terrifying for Muslims living inside the United States.

A perfect example of the difference between our two cultures can be found in the actions of two high school communities.
An entire school district in Virginia was shutdown last week after a teacher had the gall to ask her students to copy an Arabic text as part of their calligraphy lesson. Translated the text reads: “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.”

When word about the exercise spread, the school and school board were inundated with threats against the teacher and hate-filled e-mails directed toward the administration.

One especially enlightened parent of a child in the class had this to say, “I will not have my children sit under a woman who indoctrinates them with the Muslim religion when I am a Christian. And I want to stand behind Christ.”

How wonderfully Christian of her.

Meanwhile, here in Orléans, a group of students and staff at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School have spent the last three weeks collecting donations to put together holiday hampers for families in need, many of which are Muslim, in a perfect example of what I like to call the Canadian Way.

Now I’m not saying that there are no racists here in Canada, but they are a silent minority, as opposed to the United States where a racist is the runaway leader in the Republican nomination race.

I don’t know if we’re smarter, more enlightened, or simply more empathetic than our neighbours to the south, but I do know that I’m glad I live here and not there.

Despite the challenges we face, Canada continues to be a shining example to the rest of the world of acceptance, understanding, love and humanity. And even if that light may sometimes flicker a little, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt prouder to be a Canadian than I have during the past few weeks.

(Posted 7:30 a.m., Dec. 22)


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