The Syrian refugee dilemma: Don’t let fear cloud your judgement.

There’s a lot of talk about the Syrian refugee scenario, especially in Canada. Justin Trudeau is making plans to let in 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country and this has people split into two sides. The first embraces this because Canada is all about diversity and helping those in need, yay Canada. On the other side you have people worried about our security, which isn’t completely off base considering what occurred in Paris.

So let’s toss some facts at ya. France has let in roughly 20,000 refugees, and yes, some of the terrorists among those 20,000 were responsible for the attack on Paris. Germany has let in over 105,000 Syrian refugees since this crisis has begun. Germany hasn’t been terrorized or bombed by ISIS once. So the argument that letting more in is going to cause these attacks is invalid (written before the passports were confirmed to be fake, making my argument even stronger).

Now if you think the only way ISIS can attack you is by sneaking in bombers within hordes of refugees, you’re sadly mistaken.  All stopping the immigration of refugees is going to do is screw over the hundreds of thousands of people trying to escape from a brutal situation.

I hate to go all second grade teacher on you, like when you punched Billy and the teacher would grab your arm and say “how would you feel if Billy punched you?” but I feel that it’s appropriate in this case. Being the product of a 1st world nation has made you spoiled. Not some people, everyone. We sadly have a general lack of empathy in most cases. We connect with fictional characters on TV more than we connect with real people in dire situations. We’re the type of people to watch an episode of Degrassi and go “How could they treat that poor kid like that?” and then scream at a waitress for getting our drink order wrong. Why do we care more about TV characters? because we are let into their world and we can see the struggles they face. Yes, many of us have had horrible experiences in the past, but almost none of us know what it’s truly like to live in a 3rd world country. How could we? None of us know what its like to not know where your next meal is coming from. None of us know what its like to have to worry about having bombs dropped on your head. None of us know what its like to live under an oppressive dictator.

It’s easy to say don’t let these people into our country because you’re scared, but imagine having your friends and family being murdered and your house blown to shit. You grab the few loved ones and scraps of belonging you have left so you can move somewhere you don’t have to worry about being shot at while you sleep and have someone tell you no because THEY don’t feel safe.

It’s a scary time we live in. I understand the fear of having 9/11 happen all over again. It’s a crippling fear. It’s a fear that sends people into paranoia and panic. It’s a fear that makes rational people do irrational things, like all the beatings and killings of Muslim people after the 9/11 attacks and labelling an entire religion a religion of murders. Every religion has their extremists. In Africa, women are genitally mutilated to stop them from pre-marital sex in the name of Christianity. There are groups of Hindus that would kidnap civilians and sacrifice them to the god Kali. There is a group of marauding Buddhists in Myanmar that ride around killing women and children. Would you say Christianity is a religion of murderers? Hinduism? Buddhism? No you wouldn’t, cause it’s not true.

Fear is what causes people to look at someone and judge him or her by their religion and the colour of their skin. Stand up and get past the fear. Realize that person you labelled a fanatic, a murderer, a fiend, is just like you.

Scared.

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