Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cultural War Must End

For those who do not leave the boundaries of this valley very often, it might possibly be more difficult to relate to this topic.  Despite the varied heritage that has come to this part of the world over the last one hundred years, little Cranbrook remains pretty much isolated from the more visible mosaics in larger centres and many parts of the globe.  If it is to progress, there must be change.

Harry Smith: Harper's Cultural War on Muslim Women Must End

Excerpts from...
Our history proves why racial and religious division is dangerous.
By Harry Leslie Smith, 10 Oct 2015,
It was autumn like today when I first saw Canada's coastline from the deck of the Empress of Australia in November 1953. I was a new immigrant who had come to this land from England with my wife to put down roots in a country that promised both economic opportunity and fair play.
Moreover, because so many Canadians of my generation had come from nations fraught with religious and ethnic tension, we tried to create a more tolerant society that crossed political beliefs. Inclusion and acceptance became a watchword that no political party could own because every Canadian shared the concept that human rights were universal. That's why even in the 1980s it was Brian Mulroney, a staunch conservative prime minister, who showed the world Canada's moral courage when we fought against the advice of our allies for sanctions against the racist, cruel and evil South African apartheid regime and also demanded with inviolable determination that Nelson Mandela be set free from his imprisonment on Robben Island.
Not since the since the early 20th century has a prime minister demeaned himself, his party and his humanity by employing racial and religious fear to castigate a specific group of Canadians as the enemy within to win an election. It is not only shameful, it's dangerous. Yet Stephen Harper persists like a modern-day Joseph McCarthy in creating a sweltering climate of fear against Canadian Muslims by employing dog whistle politics that equates an honourable religion with terrorism and radicalism.
In this election we must remember Canada's ugly and racist history that waged cultural genocide against First Nations and enslaved early Asian, Indian, Muslim and Caribbean immigrants to a lifetime of servitude. We must understand that the politics of fear and politics of greed are viruses that destroy society if left unchecked.
Voters must be mindful Canada could be transformed from a tolerant, forward-thinking nation to a regressive country -- where bigotry darkens the landscape like an uncontrollable forest fire. All it takes is an electorate that embraces, from either indifference or fear, the politics of racial and religious division. 

Go to the link above to read the entire article.

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