Tag Archives: Syria

Canada, Trudeau, and Syrian Refugees

It’s been an interesting if not harrowing week on the world stage.  One cannot ignore the attacks that happened in Paris and the subsequent reaction.  Especially toward refugees who are escaping the Middle East in fear for their lives.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that he thought it was realistic to help bring in 25,000 refugees into Canada.  But many are questioning this after the attacks.  One of the main concerns is whether or not terrorists will come along with those refugees.

Here’s some facts.

Authorities in France have discovered that the identities of those responsible are all European nationals.  Meaning, they already lived in different areas of Europe.  One might say “but why would Europeans do that” and the answer is simple.  Daesh (ISIL) is playing one side against the other.  They are hoping that incredible Islamaphobia will drive Muslims to the fold and commit acts of terror against the West because Daesh wants that.  They really want a holy war.  And we’re falling right into that, because Daesh is smart enough to know that they can play off of the fears of right wing Christian fundamentalists in the West.  All of the current talk going on in the United States right now about refugees, Daesh knew that was going to happen and counted on it to happen.

Since 9-11 over three quarters of a million immigrants have come to the United States and Canada.  The percentage of those who have committed terrorist attacks since then; Zero.  Not one immigrant of Middle Eastern origin has committed an act of terrorism since September 11, 2001.  Any and all attacks were from natural born Canadians and Americans.  And while there is evidence of one Middle Eastern American who did make an attack on an army base, he was born in the United States.  All other attacks that have happened since 9-11 on Canadian and American soil, and there have been hundreds, have all been committed by right wing Christian fundamentalists.  Many of those with white supremacist leanings.

Because refugees don’t want to come here.  They’d rather not be on the run.  They’d love to go back to their homes, but they can’t because Daesh is literally killing them.  Scenes like what happened in Germany, where thousands welcomed Syrian refugees with open arms strikes a blow to Daesh because they don’t want that seen.  They’d like nothing better than to see continued discrimination of Syrian refugees.  Because they hope that will drive them to Daesh.

As for the 25,000 refugees Canada will allow; we have 10 provinces and 3 territories.  Divided equally, that’s 1,923 people per region.  In Saskatchewan, there are five major cities (Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and Lloydminster), five secondary cities (North Battleford, Swift Current, Yorkton, Weyburn and Estavan), and several minor cities (such as Melfort, Humboldt, Melville and Kindersley).  Taking those cities into account, if you did the math that’s 137 people per city.

We need to welcome these people with open arms much in the way Germany did.  To send a message to Daesh that we aren’t going to fall into their trap.  That we aren’t going to help drive Syrians and Muslims to join Daesh and fulfill their wish of a holy war war which pits Muslims against the West.

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Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Life, Opinion, randomness, Rants


Tags: , , , , Syria – no blood for oil

Syria’s bloody crackdown is fueled by oil revenue from Europe. EU-wide oil sanctions would cripple Syria’s ability to continue the killing. Demand EU leaders impose immediate oil sanctions: 

For months, Syria’s brutal President Assad has paid henchmen to wage war on his own people.Governments across the world have condemned these atrocities, but key European leaders could cut off the cash flow that finances this bloodbath.

Germany, France and Italy are the three main importers of Syrian oil. If they move to impose immediate EU sanctions, Assad’s slaughter funds will dry up. Assad has ignored political appeals for him to reign in his assault, and EU leaders have discussed ramping up sanctions, but only a massive global outcry will push them to act urgently.

Sign the petitionWe have no time to lose — every day dozens of Syrians are shot, tortured or disappeared simply for calling for basic democratic rights. The EU can stop funding the crackdown now. Click below to sign the petition to EU heads of state to immediately adopt oil sanctions on Syria:

We have all watched and read about the horrific violence in Syria — much of the coverage coming from Avaaz-supported citizen journalists who are risking their lives to report on Assad’s crackdown. And now we have a chance to turn our horror into action. Experts say EU oil sanctions will seriously disrupt cash flow to Assad’s cruel army without significant negative consequences to either the European economy or the Syrian people.

Almost all Syria’s exported oil is purchased and refined by Germany, France and Italy, but these governments have yet to use their key trade relationship with Assad as leverage to protect the Syrian people. Still, they have denounced the violence, and newspapers report that some EU leaders are already pushing for oil sanctions. Let’s demand that they ramp up the pressure and push through oil sanctions immediately and cut the engine of Assad’s murderous regime.

Join in the call to cut off the cash to Syrian forces now. Click below to sign the petition for EU oil sanctions and forward to everyone:

Avaaz members have played a crucial role in supporting Syrians in their demands for freedom, democracy and human rights. Much of the footage and information shown around the world is funded by small donations from Avaaz members worldwide. Let’s build the momentum for lasting change as the violence against the Syrian people escalates and insist the EU take immediate action now.

With hope,

Stephanie, Pascal, Morgan, Alice, Ricken, Wissam and the rest of the Avaaz team


Syria Forces Extend Siege on Hama as Toll Rises, New York Times 

EU to tighten Syria sanctions, European Voice

Syrian rebels urge oil sanctions, Financial Times

Syria steps up assaults on protesters, drawing first Arab League condemnation, Washington Post

Syria protests: Troops renew attacks on pro-democracy demonstrators, The Guardian

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 that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 13 countries on 4 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Life, randomness


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Muntaha's sixteen-year-old son was abducted by Syrian security forces two months ago-- one of 3000 Syrian "disappeared". India, Brazil and South Africa have close ties to Syria and could push for an international human rights delegation to find the missing, but they won't act without global pressure. Help find Muntaha's son by signing the petition

Muntaha’s sixteen year old son was abducted from a peaceful democracy protest by Syrian security forces. She has spent the last eight weeks scouring the country for her child — braving warnings from the Syrian regime that her other son would also be “disappeared” if she continued with her search. Our urgent action now can help her son and the thousands of other disappeared Syrians.

Since March, almost 3000 people have been taken by regime forces and disappeared into secret jails. The international community has spoken out, but done little to stop this attack — but India, Brazil and South Africa have close ties to Syria and could push for an international human rights delegation to find the missing and reunite families with their loved ones.

Our massive global membership can force key leaders to act now, pressuring Syria to allow an international delegation to investigate the thousands of disappeared. Sign the petition — it is being delivered by high profile media outlets around the world including the Times of India, the Guardian, CNN, and Der Spiegel:

India, Brazil and South Africa dragged their heels on a Security Council resolution that would have allowed for strong international action on Syria. Still, they remain committed to democracy and peace and have called for an end to the brutality of Assad’s regime. We can hold them to account for their actions and demand they use their close Syrian ties to protect the democracy activists. An international human rights delegation could effectively reunite Syrian families and end the terror of disappearances for good.

The international media has already stepped in to help with our call. Today, major newspapers are launching massive interactive web tools that tell the stories of disappeared people like Muntaha’s son, explain the political crisis in Syria and link to our petition for urgent action. These newspapers not only reach readers around the globe, but also reach opinion makers, world leaders and decision makers directly. Our campaign makes this all possible!

When democracy protests rocked the Arab world, Avaaz sprung into action and, with thousands of donations from around the world, we broke a media blackout in the Middle East — supporting protesters across Syria and Yemen. Since then, our network of citizen journalists has generated almost 20% of all TV coverage out of Syria and our work with the emerging democracy movements has helped build a real alternative to the dictators that refuse to step down. But brutal regimes are still clinging to power and the courageous activists need our help now. Sign the petition to find Syria’s disappeared and forward to everyone:

Egypt and Tunisia showed that people power can win against oppression. Our global community has supported these democracy revolutions, helped broadcast the stories of the brave activists and the violence against them, and forced our governments to action. Now if we act together we can help find Yazan and the thousands of other stolen Syrians and see the dawn of a peaceful, democratic nation in Syria.

With hope and determination,

Stephanie, Sam, Wissam, Maria Paz, Rewan, Benjamin, Pascal and the whole Avaaz team

More information:

Syrian protesters seized at rate of one every hour, say activists (Guardian)

International activism comes to the rescue to find missing Syrians (Al Arabiya)

Almost 3,000 Syrians listed as ‘disappeared’ (Financial Times)

Protesters killed amid huge Syria protests (Al Jazeera)

Videos Appear to Show Violence in Syria (New York Times)

Syria protests to intensify during Ramadan-activists (AlertNet)

In Syria-Qatar rift, a ‘shrewdly calculated divorce’ (France24)

Support the Avaaz Community!
We’re entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way.
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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Life, randomness


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Take back the torture “debate”

Amnesty International

Help give a torture survivor his life back.

During the height of the “war on terror” in 2002, the US government allowed Maher Arar — a Canadian citizen and father of two children who was held and later released without charge — to be tortured in Syria. And even now, the US government won’t even deign to apologize to Arar for its terrible actions.

Come on. The United States can do better than this.

Torture is wrong under any circumstances. Urge President Obama and Congress to stand for human rights and apologize for the terrible mistreatment that Maher Arar suffered in Syria under its watch.

Asking the US government to do what’s right for Maher Arar is just the beginning. The torture debate is back in the headlines. And this is one debate we can’t afford to lose.

Torture survivors — and future victims — are counting on Amnesty to ensure that recent attempts by torture apologists like Dick Cheney to reopen the torture debate are roundly defeated.

Torture’s “comeback” must end now. Let’s start with a simple apology.

Thousands of people — including author Stephen King and former US senior military interrogator in Iraq Matthew Alexander — have already signed the petition demanding an apology for Maher Arar. But we need more voices willing to speak out in support of a torture survivor.

Can we — and Maher Arar — count on your voice?


Zeke Johnson
Security with Human Rights Campaigner
Amnesty International USA

P.S. Help us reach our goal of 50,000 petition signatures by the end of Torture Awareness Month in June. After you sign the petition, will you share this action with your friends on Facebook and Twitter?

“I Still Have Nightmares”

© Bud Schultz

Don’t let Congress and Obama sweep torture under the rug. Demand an apology for Maher Arar.

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Life, randomness


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