Florida pastor Terry Jones has received far more attention than he deserves with his plan to hold an “International Burn a Koran Day” on Sept. 11, but the issue of spreading this kind of hatred needs attention in the form of ridicule.
How does Jones think groups like the Taliban recruit young people to their cause? They do so by spreading propaganda and instilling beliefs that western democracies like ours hate them and want to destroy them. Idiotic campaigns like this will not only incite further violence in Afghanistan, but will seriously hamper any diplomatic efforts to help promote peace in the region for years to come.
At the same time as this is written, the writer’s email inbox just lit up with a new message. It starts off with a “humourous” poem about refugees to Canada coming here and collecting welfare, comparing it to the meagre pensions that our seniors have to live on, and suggesting seniors should apply for refugee status. The idea of providing more for our seniors has merit, but the underlying message of resentment of refugees is unfortunate.
First off, the information in the email is incorrect. Refugees don’t get more than seniors, and in fact, do not even receive a quarter of the amount this false email claims they do. But that hasn’t stopped the email from circulating since 2004, when it first appeared as an error in the Toronto Star newspaper. Like Winston Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
In fact, Canada needs refugees, especially as our population continues to age and dwindle. if we’re not going to make more babies, we better start bringing more people in before our system crashes.
The most disheartening part of this is how negative messages like this can gain such momentum from so many without pause. What we need is more teachings of compassion and understanding – and that goes for both terrorists and those who encourage them like Terry Jones