Monday, July 17, 2017

Immigration and Culture Clash

A small red and white maple leaf flag from Canada
Opinions on immigration (regardless of the country from or to) of people are usually very personal, but each country and their government have differing policies. Even just between individual human beings the treatment of immigrants (individual, or families) vary a lot. Oddly, even in one single individual their own opinions can fluctuate wildly. I'm not against immigration or immigrants - after all, if most (not all) of the inhabitants of North America (the US & Canada) look back in our past we'd discover many of our own families were once immigrants. If our countries hadn't openly accepted them, we wouldn't likely be here either.

My parents were both born here in Canada, but their parents were born in Scotland (maternal side) and Italy (paternal side). If they had been turned back when they came to Canada, my parents would probably have never met. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Yet in today's environment, many people (both Canadian and American) are not that friendly towards immigrants, although the current atmosphere leans towards a particular group of people - Muslims.

More fake news being shared on facebook. Not only fake, but old.
Fake News
There are some things I agree with, and just as many I disagree with. Once again, today on facebook (infamous for the circulation of false information) appears a story that not only isn't true, it's been around so long it's surprising people haven't already heard it in one of it's many other forms. It was posted only a couple of days ago, on a site that calls itself a news magazine. It's not a news magazine since it does very little except provide recycled reports found in other places. It does have a very definite leaning towards intolerance and dislike, and at least some of the reports are false (or fake news if you like - news that was never really news is fake).

People ... please don't share stuff like that. The www has enough crap in the form of hate-mongering, false reports, hoaxes and other junk.  When you share that stuff, some people will believe it - the naive, the uninformed, and the people who will only believe what they want to believe because it fits their own skewed views on life.

American flags blended over each other with partial transparent layers.
American Flags
Sure, there are Muslims that expect special treatment in the countries they immigrate to - there are true reports of such things. But this isn't the case with all Muslims (and that particular report doesn't show any evidence of ever being true). I don't believe in treating every individual in a group (whether Muslim, Christian, or any other religious group) as a whole. Every book isn't written with the same pen; every wall isn't painted with the same brush; every song isn't sung with the same voice.  I believe in the individual - you treat the person based on their behaviour, feelings, or beliefs. How else would you ever get to know a person?

Although I don't agree with a lot of what was posted in the FB article, there are things I do agree with. When you immigrate to a new country, you bring your own beliefs and culture with you. You practice them where you are free to do so - this diversity is what helps to make a country robust and healthy. Respect for other cultures.

In places designed for public use (schools, government buildings, stores/shops, businesses, parks, etc.) you aren't free to push your beliefs on others (that goes for any religion). Look, if you want to pray in the park, that's fine. Just don't expect any special treatment. If you want to educate your kids in public schools, you aren't free to demand any special treatment over and above the school board's mandate for education in that country (that goes for everyone).  You aren't free to demand special treatment in a court of law, or by the police departments or anything else.

An overview of a public park.
Public Park

And, I will just say that I haven't ever personally met any Muslim who has asked for special treatment. That doesn't mean there aren't some, it just means that I bet that most of them don't.

The treatment you get here shouldn't be any different than treatment any other Canadian citizen receives. That goes both ways. You should NOT be treated worse than other Canadians, but neither should you be treated any more special than other Canadians.

We all have equal opportunity here. It's kind of sad that people just can't accept each other for who they are.

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