Ed­i­to­rial: This is the right place for refugees

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

So now we know.

For weeks peo­ple have spec­u­lated on where the first Syr­ian refugees head­ing to South La­nark­shire would be placed.

The an­swer is Ruther­glen, and we as a town should feel a cer­tain pride.

Yes, there would have been more“prac­ti­cal”rea­sons as to why they have been brought to the Burgh.

But we should not forget the im­por­tance of choos­ing a wel­com­ing and strong com­mu­nity as a place where the Syr­i­ans will feel safe.

The peo­ple of Ruther­glen have been trusted to take on this, some­what som­bre, un­der­tak­ing. It’s not ev­ery town that would open its arms to those flee­ing unimag­in­able dan­ger and hor­ror.

Of course, not ev­ery­one will be happy. The world right now is a dan­ger­ous place, and fear is a nat­u­ral re­ac­tion. Fear of the un­known is some­times the strong­est of all.

But let us be clear. Th­ese fam­i­lies are just or­di­nary peo­ple who found them­selves thrust into an ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tion. All they want is to bet­ter their lives, for them and their fam­i­lies.

That’s some­thing I’m sure most peo­ple can re­late too, and no amount of hor­ri­bly in­ac­cu­rate Face­book memes should per­suade you oth­er­wise.

Syria is one of the most an­cient civil­i­sa­tions in the world. They are a proud peo­ple, and those we now have liv­ing amongst us will be the same.

Treat them as you would any neigh­bour, and let’s make sure the de­ci­sion to bring them to Ruther­glen was the right one.

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