Canada must stand with refugees
RE: Creating a welcoming community
We are writing on behalf of Hamilton Friends of Refugees, a refugee sponsorship group of 19 Hamiltonians who welcomed a family of five from Syria in August of 2016. The sponsorship has been a joyful and life-affirming experience.
We would like to convey our deep sorrow over the catastrophic event of Jan. 29 in Quebec. Although we were already very much aware that racism and Islamophobia exist in Canada, we never imagined that the kind of terror people were fleeing abroad would arise homegrown.
The effect of the shooting is not just the loss of six good Canadians, but also includes the trauma suffered by their families and the community at large. We know that many people do not feel as safe as they did just a few days before. We are shocked and ashamed at this brutal act and hope with all our hearts that Canada will come out of this tragedy more loving, more accepting, more respectful, and more compassionate than ever before.
To the Muslim community we extend our commitment to act as vigilantly and as lovingly as we can on both a personal and political level.
As our new Syrian friend Issa has said to us, “Canada is a country of peace and security and has the greatest people in the world.” We would urge all Hamiltonians to join us in keeping this vision alive. Angeline Des Lauriers, Stevan Garic and Anne Pollard Hamilton Friends of Refugees