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Trudeau's Committment to Syrian Refugees - 25,000 by Year End


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Admittedly, I get my information such as it is from my Egyptian brother-in-law, who is Muslim and speaks Arabic. I am going to have to ask him what the "moderate" Islamic belief around freedom and democracy is, and if there are Arabic words for those concepts.

He also seems quite happy with Sisi, actually compared him to Trudeau today. :) My sister voted the day before we held elections here, it's a first round but secular "For the Love of Egypt" party won out over the Islamist "Al Nour" party. My impression from my brother-in-law and sister is that they expect to be having free elections and a full democracy, that Sisi is guiding them toward that eventually, but that in the meantime he has to maintain tight control to keep the Brotherhood from gaining power and because of ISIS. I suppose only time will tell how dedicated Sisi is to the goal of democracy.

"Admittedly, I get my information such as it is from my Egyptian brother-in-law, who is Muslim and speaks Arabic. I am going to have to ask him what the "moderate" Islamic belief around freedom and democracy is, and if there are Arabic words for those concepts."

I am quite interested to hear what he says.

I wouldn't hold my breath on Sisi though. The man is a dictator and democracy isn't part of his or the military's plan.

Edited by G Huxley
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Yes it did it backed the syrian free army quickly and started it's anti-Assad rhetoric. The Arab Spring did start independently, but then became hijacked by the west and by the Qatari media which quickly sought to control it and use it for it's ends. The reason ISIS became a major presence controlling perhaps half of the countries' territory is due to the US' disaster in Iraq, which spilled over into Syria.

Look, the evidence you are wrong is fairly clear. The reason ISIS grew and prospered while the FSA shrank and failed was that the Gulf states poured money and weapons into ISIS but the Free Syrian Army got almost nothing in the way of weapons or money from the West.

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An invasion wasn't considered necessary. The 'necessary invasion' was just propaganda like Hitler said invading Poland was necessary.

It WAS considered necessary by Bush.

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If they wanted to get the hell out as soon as possible why did they stay for over a decade?

Because they felt that they couldn't simply leave the place in turmoil to immediately descend into chaos and become another failed state, which is exactly what would have happened.

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25000 is a trickle for a country the size of Canada. Imagine that Sweden receives 190000 asylum-seekers this year but that is going to bankcrupt their country and Germany receives 1.5m.

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25000 is a trickle for a country the size of Canada. Imagine that Sweden receives 190000 asylum-seekers this year but that is going to bankcrupt their country and Germany receives 1.5m.

It's not going to bankrupt us but it is going to come with a very high cost. And we're already bringing in hundreds of thousands of people very year, many of whom wind up in housing projects or living hand to mouth the rest of their lives. Why do we want to rush things here instead of sorting through all the refugees available in Turkey and choosing those most likely to meet our needs, and most in danger over there?

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It's not going to bankrupt us but it is going to come with a very high cost. And we're already bringing in hundreds of thousands of people very year, many of whom wind up in housing projects or living hand to mouth the rest of their lives. Why do we want to rush things here instead of sorting through all the refugees available in Turkey and choosing those most likely to meet our needs, and most in danger over there?

Because it's not about doing the right thing for both Canada and the refugees - it's about creating the illusion of compassionate action - about letting people see how much we care.....how much we really care. Look around at European countries - today's compassion is littered with tomorrow's ghettoes.

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"Admittedly, I get my information such as it is from my Egyptian brother-in-law, who is Muslim and speaks Arabic. I am going to have to ask him what the "moderate" Islamic belief around freedom and democracy is, and if there are Arabic words for those concepts."

I am quite interested to hear what he says.

I wouldn't hold my breath on Sisi though. The man is a dictator and democracy isn't part of his or the military's plan.

I also asked a Muslim friend, and here's what he said about the concept of peace in Islam:

"The first thing in arabic we learn is Salam= peace be up On you. All the Quran is based on peace and God in the Quran is given anyone the choice to think before making any decision. All word in Quran is based on peace, love and forgiveness. If someone is extreme and against peace that's bcz of himself only and for the agenda is working for, but peace is one of the fist thing in Islam."

He also provided me with a couple of You-Tube links for more information. Here's a link to the shorter one: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wMbAJPfMjC8. This is about 10 minutes long, and points out that verses in Quran about violence relates to historical events, and is not intended as direction for the current world. People who take it as such are wrong.

The other one is over an hour long, and is very much like any religious service I've ever heard. But it focuses on all the ways in which peace is an integral part of Islam. The lecturer also mentions that 'submission' to Islam is submission to peace, because Allah is the owner of peace.

I asked him about the concept and/or word for democracy in Islam, and he said:

Or course. In Quran God told the prophet to consider the voice of his companion and decide together with them.

Which is kind of what we do when we elect leaders, I suppose.

My BIL is currently in Saudi working, not sure if he's sleeping right now or what, let me know if you are interested in hearing more, though maybe in PM, since this is getting rather far afield of the thread topic, I think.

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My BIL got back to me right after I finished the post above, and mentioned that voting and elections were mandated by the Prophet in the 14th century. A google search brought up this site: http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/publications/articles/51-democracy-according-to-traditional-islamic-sources.html

From the beginning, Islam has mandated democracy through a shūrā (elected council of leaders), a process through which people sit together, consult with one another, and select one person to represent them. This process was recently employed in Afghanistan where, according to a fifteen-century old tradition, the people choose representatives who then gathered to choose not only a leader, but a cabinet and national assembly. The recent loya jirga that confirmed Hamid Karzai as president of Afghanistan, demonstrated once again that Islamic rule is based on democratic choice.

Possibly not looking quite the same as Western democracy, but obviously Islam does have a concept of democracy.

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I also asked a Muslim friend, and here's what he said about the concept of peace in Islam:

He also provided me with a couple of You-Tube links for more information. Here's a link to the shorter one:

If more people understood this - they would know that there are offshoots and niches of supposed "Islamists" who have hijacked the faith in favour of intolerance and violence - and that is why we are in a fight against extremism. Harper and the Conservatives - like myself and any right-thinking person - knew that the battle is not with Muslims - but with those extremists/Fundamentalists who would sully the religion with their archaic intolerance....and I suspect no one hates that more than moderate Muslims. Instead, the opposition chose to paint Harper as divisive - when in fact he has always been bang on. You don't have to dislike Muslims to fight extremism - you just have to know the difference. Edited by Keepitsimple
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If more people understood this - they would know that there are offshoots and niches of supposed "Islamists" who have hijacked the faith in favour of intolerance and violence - and that is why we are in a fight against extremism. Harper and the Conservatives - like myself and any right-thinking person - knew that the battle is not with Islam and Muslims - but with those extremists/Fundamentalists who would sully the religion with their archaic intolerance. Instead, the opposition chose to paint Harper as divisive - when in fact he has always been bang on. You don't have to dislike Muslims to fight extremism - you just have to know the difference.

Then why waste all that time on the niqab, when it was clear that even the one woman who started this case was not, in fact, an adherent to the harsher forms of Islam?

One only had to read the comment forums in places like the National Post to see that the Tories had unleashed a lot of their less savory supporters in what was very obviously a series of attacks on Islam and Muslims. Now we can debate what the Tories intended, and my view is that they saw the niqab was a wedge issue that could undermine the "progressives" particularly in Quebec, and not as part of some great war on Islamic extremism. For one thing, they never drew a line between the Niqab and Islamic extremism, but seemed happy to let the nastier people in their party draw that connection.

In the end it was divisive, and the fact that the debate evolved solely out of a now obviously misplaced belief that the Tories would be beneficiaries of an NDP meltdown only makes the Tories look worse. And for what? A problem that doesn't even exist.

We can fight Islamic extremism without giving bigots the oxygen they so crave.

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I wouldn't hold my breath on Sisi though. The man is a dictator and democracy isn't part of his or the military's plan.

Not saying you are wrong, since people are notoriously unwilling to give up power, but this is what my brother-in-law tells me.

Egypt's Constitution sets out the process for transitioning to a fully democratic elected government through the following steps.

1. Elections are held to elect a parliament (currently half way through those elections).

2. Sisi and the parliament agree on who makes up the government. Parliament can accept or reject Sisi's recommendations

3. The newly-formed government then has 15 days to review any laws Sisi has enacted while in power, and presumably scrap them or keep them.

4. By law, Sisi must step down within 8 years of the first elected parliament, which means 2023. The parliament can also ask him to step down earlier, though it's not clear if he can refuse. Knowing a little bit about how Egyptians think, I doubt the parliament will ask that of him.

So my brother-in-law expects there to be a fully elected government in power within 10 years, with elections held every four years. Tunisia did it, and so lets hope Egypt can follow suit.

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I also asked a Muslim friend, and here's what he said about the concept of peace in Islam:

He also provided me with a couple of You-Tube links for more information. Here's a link to the shorter one: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wMbAJPfMjC8. This is about 10 minutes long, and points out that verses in Quran about violence relates to historical events, and is not intended as direction for the current world. People who take it as such are wrong.

The other one is over an hour long, and is very much like any religious service I've ever heard. But it focuses on all the ways in which peace is an integral part of Islam. The lecturer also mentions that 'submission' to Islam is submission to peace, because Allah is the owner of peace.

I asked him about the concept and/or word for democracy in Islam, and he said:

Which is kind of what we do when we elect leaders, I suppose.

My BIL is currently in Saudi working, not sure if he's sleeping right now or what, let me know if you are interested in hearing more, though maybe in PM, since this is getting rather far afield of the thread topic, I think.

I was aware of peace being a word in Islamic. Salem is also a cognate for Shalome (peace).

The second part about the Shura is quite interesting, but it's still different from a Democracy, because it's tribal. Democracy as developed by the Greeks cut down the tribal aspect of the gens or clan which previously had dominated Athenian politics. It's precisely the tribal aspect that is the west's greatest inability to transfer democracy into Islamic terms. Afghanistan they at least tried it with the loya jirga, but everywhere else it has been completely beyond them.

Edited by G Huxley
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In regards to 'the parliament in Egypt.' Yeah sure fake democracies have parliaments all the time to at least give some appearance of being democratic. Mubarak played that card for years. Remember China is called 'The People's Democratic Republic of China' but that doesn't make it a democracy.

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If more people understood this - they would know that there are offshoots and niches of supposed "Islamists" who have hijacked the faith in favour of intolerance and violence - and that is why we are in a fight against extremism. Harper and the Conservatives - like myself and any right-thinking person - knew that the battle is not with Muslims - but with those extremists/Fundamentalists who would sully the religion with their archaic intolerance....and I suspect no one hates that more than moderate Muslims. Instead, the opposition chose to paint Harper as divisive - when in fact he has always been bang on. You don't have to dislike Muslims to fight extremism - you just have to know the difference.

I agree that its the extremism that must be fought, but even in my conversation with a moderate Muslim from a relatively stable country, he said "The US has created these extremists". If even moderate Muslims think Western intervention is making the situation worse, perhaps that's a message we should take seriously. Although having let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak, I can't see suddenly just everybody packing up and leaving, but surely there is a better option than bombs and drones. Especially when those bombs and drones kill non-combatants.

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Look, the evidence you are wrong is fairly clear. The reason ISIS grew and prospered while the FSA shrank and failed was that the Gulf states poured money and weapons into ISIS but the Free Syrian Army got almost nothing in the way of weapons or money from the West.

The FSA got money and weapons from NATO especially Turkey and the CIA funneled weapons to them via Turkey. The recent wiping out of 8 Syrian tanks in one day is a pretty good signal that those TOW anti-tank missiles have been arriving.

Important read: Tony Blair just admitted that Iraq had to do with the formation of ISIS http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34630380

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In regards to 'the parliament in Egypt.' Yeah sure fake democracies have parliaments all the time to at least give some appearance of being democratic. Mubarak played that card for years. Remember China is called 'The People's Democratic Republic of China' but that doesn't make it a democracy.

As I said, who knows what Sisi might ultimately do, but at the moment there is a constitution that requires a full democracy be set up and details the steps for doing so. So far, Sisi has championed the constitution in this regard, and proceeded along it's requirements. When my sister said to me that not living there, I couldn't presume to judge Sisi's more extreme actions, she may have had a point. She felt safer when Sisi cracked down on elements he felt were contributing to in-country instability. I don't agree with Sisi's actions in the context of a fully functioning and peaceful democracy, but perhaps in the context of transitioning and with the extreme unrest in the region, my sister is more correct in saying that allowing extremist groups to exist and have a voice is a mistake.

BIL is well aware of Mubarek's 'democracy'; as he said, "I don't need to vote, Mubarek already knows who I'm going to vote for". Perhaps he's being naive with Sisi, but he really seems to believe it will happen.

Also, just because the democracy was 'tribal', doesn't mean it can't work on a bigger scale. And it's not really the West's job to 'transfer' democracy to them; it is their job to decide they want it and work it out from there, in whatever form works the best for them. Tunisia has done it, and it looks like Egypt is at least trying. Afghanistan appears to also have had success at least in terms of electing a president, though how well the country has recovered is debatable. Perhaps SIsi is looking at all these elements and has decided that a strong military oversight is required to ensure the democracy doesn't fail in its early stages.

I can appreciate your tendency to skepticism, but it is starting to look to me as if you are dismissing any signs of progress and effort, preferring instead to believe that democracy cannot happen due to some failing of the people in the region. I can agree that it may not happen but certainly not because people don't want peace and democracy, or don't know what peace and democracy mean.

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I agree that its the extremism that must be fought, but even in my conversation with a moderate Muslim from a relatively stable country, he said "The US has created these extremists". If even moderate Muslims think Western intervention is making the situation worse, perhaps that's a message we should take seriously

And did you ask him how the US created extremists?

To my mind extremism was mostly created by the Saudis.

Edited by Argus
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And did you ask him how the US created extremists?

To my mind extremism was mostly created by the Saudis.

Nope, I did not ask him. The point is that its a pretty prevalent belief, and for them, the evidence is pretty compelling. Not going to get into that argument with him, because he's a lot more in tune with that area of the world than I am, and is more likely to be correct than I am.

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I agree that its the extremism that must be fought, but even in my conversation with a moderate Muslim from a relatively stable country, he said "The US has created these extremists". If even moderate Muslims think Western intervention is making the situation worse, perhaps that's a message we should take seriously. Although having let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak, I can't see suddenly just everybody packing up and leaving, but surely there is a better option than bombs and drones. Especially when those bombs and drones kill non-combatants.

Extremism has been hounding Islam since the rise of Wahabism in the 18th century. Back then, the great Satan was the Ottomans, but like all extremist ideologies, you always need a devil to push against. For Marxists it was capitalists, and for Islamists it's whoever is the biggest power that they can claim is an obstacle to Muslims' success.

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Nope, I did not ask him. The point is that its a pretty prevalent belief, and for them, the evidence is pretty compelling. Not going to get into that argument with him, because he's a lot more in tune with that area of the world than I am, and is more likely to be correct than I am.

Blaming outsiders for their problems is a very Arab thing, as is a love of conspiracy theories.

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