Surely men and women with a lot more clout, money and power must be able to see something disturbing on the horizon as I do. Am I, a grandmother from a small town in Alberta, Canada, the only one that has some serious concerns about allowing Syrian refugees to take refuge in Europe and around the world? I, too was moved and shocked by the pictures of a little boy’s body washed up on the shores of Turkey. He was slightly younger than my own sweet grandson, and of course I was outraged by the tragedy of the circumstances that led to his untimely death. His death has become the symbol of martyrdom in this refugee crisis and no doubt motivates anyone with Christian morality and concern for the poor and broken hearted to action…but at what cost?
I am not talking financial cost, although that definitely is motivating world leaders as they scramble to open their countries to house the hundreds of thousands of migrants who seek sanctuary from their war-torn country. We will share the financial cost of housing, feeding and providing a livelihood for those people who will want to share the blessings of our lands. Here in Canada it will mean providing health care to thousands of people who need medical attention, immediately and in the future. It will mean providing financial assistance to people who will need food, clothing and housing immediately and in the future. It will mean ensuring that the infrastructure is in place so these people will be able to find school space for their children at a time when teachers are complaining about lack of funding and large class sizes. It will mean to find these migrants employment in an economy that as of today shows that Canada’s jobless rate is at 7% with thousands of Canadians currently unemployed. If they are unable to find employment it means opening up the EI coffers of every province in Canada. Opening our borders is one thing, ensuring that these migrants prosper in our “land of plenty” will be an ongoing concern and financial responsibility for years to come. Are we prepared for that?
There is another cost that has kept me awake the last several nights. With so many refugees flooding into Europe, running past border securities with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and their precious children in their arms, officials are not able to check passports, documentation, and backgrounds of people who claim refugee status. Recently photos have circulated on social media of “refugees” who have had dealings with ISIS (Islamic State). As heart wrenching to watch the plight of innocent families, with legitimate reasons for wanting to escape the war, we cannot be blind to the fact that this crisis is also aiding and abetting terrorists and other criminals to enter our countries virtually unchecked. Are we that gullible to imagine that all these migrants are all “good”, “law-abiding” citizens that we must welcome each and every one with open arms?
Canada is in the middle of a federal election campaign and the migrant crisis is becoming a political “hot potato” with each leader taking a stance on the situation. They all want to help the refugees, supply aid and open our country to those who seek sanctuary. That is well and good, but only Mr. Harper, our current Prime Minister is saying that as immediate as our response to the crisis should be, Canada must first seek the security of our own people and fight to eradicate the reason why these refugees have fled their country in the first place.
September 11, 2001 changed our world forever. We are at war with those who terrorize and seek to destroy our democratic way of life. Now I fear we may be welcoming these very people – terrorists – into our “home and native land”. These radicals are waging a war not only against democracy but on Christianity in general. Jonnie Moore, author of the book, “Defying Isis” wrote in a recent article, “Christianity was born in the east, not the west, and we are witnessing a once-in-a-thousand-year attempt at destroying it in the place of its birth.” They have one goal, eradicate Christianity. Anyone who follows a doctrine other than the extremist one they espouse is under attack.
So how should we respond?
We must welcome the migrants who flee tyranny and oppression while at the same time we must do everything in our ability to come against those tyrants and oppressors. I am in agreement with Prime Minister Harper that the security of our peaceful nation must be upheld first and foremost. Acting without caution will allow wolves dressed as sheep to enter our country to wreck havoc and heartache here in the future.
But that’s just this grandmother’s personal opinion.