What’s taking place in Syria is akin to the Armageddon movies that North Americans entertain themselves with when they want a break from their Starbucks decaf mocha frappuccino or the general peace and ordinariness in their lives, save for the occasional drive-by gang shooting, fatal car accident, illness or any number of tragic circumstances that lend to feelings of loss, grief and futility.
Scenes of complete devastation unlike anything the Western world has to contend with are the norm for Syrians. Entire city blocks reduced to rubble; death, fear and terror being the daily dose of reality for men, women and children who are forced to flee their mother country with nothing but hope for the future — that somewhere out there, someone is willing to help.
Since the attacks on Paris last week, Canadian public reaction has surged in a number of different directions, trying to come to terms with ISIS and the threat it poses, which many fear will be heightened if Canada accepts 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. This was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election promise and, immediately after the Paris attacks as other countries around the world announced they were closing their doors to protect their citizens, Canadians waited with baited breath to find out if this would still be the case — and it is. The humanitarian crisis is too great to ignore and be extending help to those fleeing from a type of terror the rest of us can only relate to through Hollywood films is setting an example to the rest of the world, that Canada will not be manipulated by the abhorrent, violent tactics of a sadistic group that relies on fear and divisiveness to promote its cause. The Canadian government is demonstrating idealism and bravery, and is asking that Canadians do the same. This war is not just one we send our Canadian soldiers to fight. We’re all in this together.