As the world watches the nation that has come to represent freedom and liberty turn its back on those it once inspired, the focus turns to Canada in hopes that we can fill the void.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” These words inscribed on a plaque at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, welcoming refugees to America’s shores for more than 130 years, now ring empty and meaningless – drenched in an irony created by the actions of the new American president.
U.S. President Donald Trump implemented a 90-day ban on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, sparking large spontaneous protests at airports across the U.S. Apart from the fact that these seven countries are predominantly Muslim, there would appear to be little other rationale for a ban. The majority of those who have brought terror to America’s shores were citizens of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Yet those countries are excluded from the ban. Coincidently, President Trump has business interests in those two countries and not the seven subject to the ban.
But let us be clear, we are not opposing the ban because it takes aim at the wrong nations, but because the mere notion of the ban is counterproductive. After all, armed toddlers are responsible for exponentially more American deaths than Islamic jihadist immigrants.
The main thing the travel ban has accomplished is allow those who do wish to expand the reach of terror to argue that the West has turned its back on Islam, greatly aiding their recruitment efforts.
Canada has taken a diametrically opposed stance to the ban imposed by the U.S. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to the American president’s preferred form of communication to tweet out: “To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcomeToCanada.”
As the American president throws old alliances into turmoil, it is important that Canada reassure an anxious world that this nation’s principles still endure.