Monday, March 20, 2006

And Then Al Quaeda Came For Us

Canada is a utopia of peace, tolerance, good democratic government. It has been this way for so long that her citizenry cannot conceive of a people who thrive on hate, a country or place where violence is a normal way of life, where our deaths are heralded. I think because native Canadians have for so long lived in peace that it's only the immigrants, who know what the world outside our Eden is really like, have the stomach to stand up for injustice being done to an"other." Then again, our military -- made up of native Canadians: English, French, Aboriginal -- have no problem grasping the concept that there are times when we need to fight and die to help another people gain freedom and the peace that we enjoy.

"America and its supporters have only one aim to remove Islam and destroy Muslims. But they will never succeed." Qari Mohammad Yousuf, from an interview with Rosie DiManno in The Toronto Star today.

Of course, that's not the aim of the US or of us, but a people whose sole purpose is to eradicate the other cannot conceive of the other having no interest in eradicating them. And probably cannot conceive of an altruistic people who, yes, do want to protect themselves, but also want to help others, especially the women, attain freedom in their own country. But if we do not want to be engaged in a 100 years' war, we will have to eradicate those Muslim hearts who bleed for the death of the other. Martin Luther King Jr. said that change will only come one heart at a time. One can enact laws, put up military surveillance around the schools so that children can learn science and math in peace and girls can learn period, but one cannot force people to accept another way of life using these tactics. The only way to stop the Taliban and Al Quaeda -- and the Arabs and Palistinians who want Israel in the ocean -- from bombing themselves and attacking us is to change their hearts from ones of hate to ones that love in the way that Jesus called for (but one does not need to be Christian to love they neighbour, after all in Afghanistan it's a crime to convert to Christianity, punishable by death). It's the only way to remove the menace to ourselves, to the Afghani people, to the Israelis. And unless Canadians understand that the world is nowhere near as utopic as Canada, we will be doomed to be that person in the saying who was the last one left standing, the one who after ignoring all the cries for help from "others," suddenly discovered that "they came for us" and there was no-one left to heed our cries for help.

(If anyone knows the full saying, I'd really like it if you could provide a link or the text. Thanks!)

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